Scandal aside (although I’ll acknowledge that the scandal is the reason we even know who Sydney Leathers is), we at the xoOffices can’t help but be intrigued by the stark contrast between Sydney's look and Huma Abedin’s.
Huma is an aide to Hillary Clinton, one of her many role descriptions has her down as Hillary’s “body woman,” which sounds pretty badass. She’s poised, beautiful, and her signature perfect matte skin, simple black lash line, and bright red lip implies a sense of self-assurance that matches her attitude toward the scandal. She seems to be taking it in stride, speaking out in support of her husband.
Sydney was active as a field organizer for the Obama presidential campaign and a blogger for the Indiana Progressive Liberals. She’s young, attractive from a downward angle for sure, and has a sparkling, Instagram-ready smile.
She’s definitely more experimental with her beauty routine, choosing nontraditional bright eye shadows, even pairing contrasting shades. She’s tan, has an affinity for pink lipgloss and accent nails, and sometimes uses platinum hair extensions, letting them peek through her mall girl waves. In a few photos she has a sparkly rhinestone “Monroe” piercing between her left upper lip and cheek.
This article is not encouraging pitting the women against each other, Kitson “Team Angelina” T-shirt-style, because honestly, I can see a bit of myself in each of their “looks.” I am from generation “selfie,” growing up wanting nothing more in life but to be tan like Lindsay Lohan circa "Herbie: Fully Loaded" and also disgustingly famous, no matter the reason. Hell, I’m a beauty writer, if anybody knows the temptation of a good spray tan and an is-this-tacky-or-not nail wrap, it's me.
But as I get a little older, I’m becoming more attracted to simplifying. I’m constantly working, constantly in transit. I can’t even imagine what Huma’s schedule must be like, but having a go-to look is HUGE when it comes to juggling life’s countless responsibilities. I'd definitely consider myself the Huma to Jane's Hillary. She's like, "What should we legislate today?" and I'm all, "Reformation is having a sample sale. Can I dye Charlotte's hair?"
Huma’s always having her photo taken by other people, so having a bit more control of her appearance through a simple, classic, and beautiful look is a must. It’s easy to make a purple and teal smoky eye look great through an Instagram filter, but in real life I’m definitely leaning toward a more demure face.
Which brings us to our version of Huma's signature look, as modeled by Olivia:
Huma's creamy skin is always on point, so I used a medium-coverage foundation (Armani's Luminous Silk Foundation) after applying an oil-free moisturizer with no SPF, as we're going for a super matte look. Just blend into your skin using your fingers. The product's consistency is on the thin side, it applies easily and wears beautifully without settling into lines and creases.
Next I used YSL's Touche Eclat to highlight beneath the eyes, over the cheekbones, and at the center of the forehead. Dial a bit of product out into the brush, swipe onto any areas that you want to highlight, and blend with your fingers.
I used a light bronzer (Chanel's Luminous Bronzing Powder) beneath the cheekbones and around the hairline, under the jaw, and a little on the tip of the chin to frame the face and add depth.
Her eye makeup is always super simple, with a focus on the upper lash line. I contoured the crease using Bobbi Brown's Taupe shadow--a GREAT neutral, using it in the crease, and even below the lower lashes, frames the eyes, making them appear more deep-set.
I like the utility of Devita's Absolute SoftLines Eyeliner Pencil, the cap has a built-in sharpener, and the other end has a tiny stiff foam smudge brush. I lined Olivia's upper lashes with the pencil after warming it by drawing a few back-and-forth lines on the back of my hand. This will help the black shadow we're about to use really stick to the lash line and stand out on her lid.
Next I went in with a stiff flat brush and the black shadow from Lorac's Pro Palette, and lined over the pencil we used. This creates a softer line than a liquid liner, and allows you to really get in between the lashes. I flicked a bit of the line out upwards at the outsides of the eyes for a lifting effect without the drama of a full-on cat eye. Place a folded tissue or cotton pad beneath the lashes so that powder doesn't fall onto the cheeks.
Huma is almost always wearing a red lip. Sometimes with an orange undertone, sometimes a richer berry red.
To bring down some of the shine, I peeled apart a tissue and dusted some translucent powder over the lips. This powders the lips, and picks up some of the gloss onto the tissue.
For the hair, I applied Arrojo's Frizz Control cream to Olivia's damp hair after rubbing between my hands to warm it up. Notice how that Hourglass liquid lipstick DID NOT WASH OFF. Ever. It's still on my arm as I type this.
I sectioned her hair using bobby pins before giving her a freaking amaze blowout. Final look to come, first you get to look at photos of me.
So, yah, I volunteered myself to myself to try a look inspired by the more avant-garde Sydney Leathers. Here's me before:
I started with a bright pink, to match the top I planned to wear. Sydney's really great at matching her clothes, nails, and makeup. This shadow (OFRA's 3D Loose Shadow) is great. I'd been saying I wanted a bright pink shadow, and this is super-pigmented. It's reflective, a bit gold in some lights.
I used Physician's Formula liquid liner -- the black from the trio. It has little rainbow glitter flecks, which I thought Sydney would really love. I lined my upper lashes with this.
Then smudged some pink shadow in my bottom lashes before lining these with the black liquid liner as well.
I softened the liquid liner with the black shadow from Sephora's Desert Sunset palette, blending into the pink.
For the accent color, I chose a nice contrasting lime green shadow (Urban Decay's Stargazer). I just smudged some under my inner tear duct and a bit out and up at the outer edges. This look is great for ordering strawberry daiquiris from the bartender using only your eyes.
I'm not nearly as tan as Sydney, I'd recommend bareMineral's Faux Tan Face Gradual Glow Sunless Tanner for a more authentic look. Instead, I dusted on some TooFaced Milk Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzing Powder.
Then I went in with ANOTHER bronzer with more of an orangey tinge, this time on the apples of my cheeks.
Her mermaid waves are super simple, just wrap single-sized-spaghetti-serving sections of hair around the barrel of a 1.25'' curling iron (highly recommend Amika's Interchangeable Barrel Curler Set), angled downward, and let fall directly down so that the curl turns into more of a wave.
And now for the final looks:
Which beauty ethos do you most identify with? Do you find yourself simplifying your routine to balance out a crazy schedule or can you make time for a more extreme look either way?