I try to be a very careful makeup purchaser these days, but when I got my first job out of university, I was a little more reckless with my paycheck. The MAC Boutique in Oxford, where I was living at the time, was on my walking route home, and many a time did I wander in and find myself seduced by their latest releases.
As a result, I ended up with a Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack in Butterfly Party. I don't know where the other three pigments went, but I'm left with Moss Garden, and I can honestly say I have never worn it. (To give you an idea how long "never" is, this product was limited-edition in 2012.)
Why? Because this stuff frightens me! Is it even supposed to go on your face? Because to me, it looks like something you might decorate a fancy cake with. Whenever I have tried to use it I find it just falls out everywhere. The problem is compounded by the fact that I don't even like wearing bright colors on my eyes that much (a Brain Problem for sure). All of this means that poor old Moss Garden has been sitting at the bottom of my big makeup storage bag for nearly four years, unloved and untouched.
Thinking about this pigment inspired me to find some ways to get over my fear of some of the more intimidating items in my stash. Writing for xoVain has made me want to improve my skills and push my boundaries a bit, so today, I'm talking about the techniques that have worked for me in my quest to turn a scary makeup item into my friend.
Ask the experts
First, I decided to do some research. These crushed metallic pigments aren't necessarily beauty-blogger favorites, but a quick Google did lead me to the Temptalia, which had an in-depth review and a few notes on how best to use this product. I also asked some other lovely xoVain contributors, and Kim suggested that I try a mixing medium.
Finally, I took a look at Alle's fantastic article on using MAC's regular powder pigments, which was really useful in helping me understand what MAC intended this product to do. (And also because it's always a good idea to read an Alle article.)
Guys, you can totally ask the writers here at xoVain any time! Open threads, articles, and LOTW are all great opportunities to ask the xoVain writers to cover something you're not sure about. Chances are your fellow commenters, who are the nicest and most knowledgeable group of people I've ever encountered on the internet, will also have some advice for you. They've had my back many times!
Gather your tools
I decided not to buy a mixing medium, and I tried eye drops instead because I figured they would be safe for use around my eyes. I had a good look at the brushes in my kit and decided that my Laura Mercier Flat Eyeliner Brush would be good for mixing and squishing the little balls of pigment into a smooth paste that I could apply.
I was pleased to find I didn't have to purchase anything to make this product work for me. Before you go out buying new brushes or primers or whatever, take a look at what you already have that might be able to multitask for you.
Wear it for a friendly audience
I had a tradition with my old housemates and my boyfriend called "Fashion Show." Anyone who had been shopping that day had to model new clothes for the rest of us while we clapped and admired them and shouted "Fashion show!" in weird European accents. Find yourself some people who will do that for you when you try a new thing with your makeup!
It can be super-weird at first — we don't all like taking compliments or being scrutinized even when it is positive. But with a deep breath, you might find yourself able to embrace the moment a little.
Of course, if you're a regular xoVain reader, you know that the friendliest audience of all time is the Look Of The Week audience. Post your selfie there and you are guaranteed some positive affirmation. Thursdays are the best days when you drop into the LOTW thread, so try out a new look there!
Here's how I made it work
I started by priming my eyes, because that's never a bad idea. Then I laid down the pigment with the side of my brush, building it up to a foiled finish.
Once the pigment had set, I figured I should try to blend. It's not very easy to blend this product, but I had pretty good results by just buffing the edges with a finger. Embrace imperfection!
I then added some extra flair using my Sleek Storm palette. I used Storm Cloud, a bottle green, to liner under my eyes, and Electric Storm, a midnight blue, in my inner corners.
Well now, that wasn't so bad in the end!
Paired with a peach lip (Und Gretal lipstick in Apricot), I ended up loving this look and definitely resolved to wear more blues and greens on my eyes in the future.
- What's the scariest product in your beauty collection?
- Any products you passed on because you just couldn't make them work?
- Share your tips for mastering new makeup techniques!