A Little Bit Femme
Welcome back guest writer extraordinaire Ness for a peek inside her femme kit!
I’ve never really considered myself to be femme.
“Femme?” I thought, painting my fingernails. “I’m not femme.”
“Femme?” I thought, sitting at my vanity, curling my eyelashes and carefully applying mascara. “I’m not femme.”
“Femme?” I thought, pulling on a pencil skirt and heels. “I’m not femme.”
OK, so maybe I’m a little bit femme.
I’m not really sure where it comes from. My mum didn’t wear makeup when I was growing up. My go-to attire in middle school was baggy, medium-wash jeans and an oversized T-shirt with a horse on it. Hell, I didn’t even try makeup at all until my junior year in high school (holler, navy Tony & Tina glitter eyeliner!).
But I have become that woman — the one who won’t walk her dog in sweatpants, won’t ever show up underdressed, won’t even consider leaving the house without lipstick.
I have mellowed some; in my younger, crime reporter days, I covered house fires, car wrecks and murder scenes dressed for a day in court. I’ve chased down witnesses in stilettos. Now, I keep a pair of smart flats in my trunk in case I need to run.
But one thing that hasn’t changed: I keep a makeup bag (made by the lovely Rosie of the “On Pins and Needles” podcast; get your own here — seriously, go buy one; she is amazing) in my purse at all times. Look, it’s hot in the South, and you never know who you’re going to meet. It’s good to always look your best.
So, here’s what’s currently in my N7 makeup bag (oh, and I didn’t get any compensation for writing this; these are all just what happens to be in my makeup bag today):
Coppertone Tattoo Guard. For those with tattoos, this product is genius. It’s a little stick of sunscreen you can keep in your purse. It’s SPF 50 and can help prevent your tattoo(s) from fading. It’s unscented and absorbs quickly. I even use it on the bigger piece on my arm, and it applies quickly and easily.
Commodity Goods Gold perfume. It’s not possible for me to overstate how much I love Commodity Goods. Normally, I’m not a huge fan of ordering perfume online — for obvious reasons. But you order a scent kit from Commodity with all their white or black perfumes (or if you’re me, you order all of them because duh). The ones in my current rotation are Gold, Whiskey, and Paper, but I’m coveting Gin, Wool and Tea, too. Really, you can’t go wrong with any of the scents.
Bite Beauty. I adore Bite Beauty’s lipsticks. They’re made with food-grade ingredients, which is great — considering how much lipstick I end up eating. I use the Line and Define Lip Primer before applying my lipstick; what I like about this is if I forget to swipe on some color, it’s just a clear coat. It doesn’t look like I’ve got chalk lips. (Not that this has happened before.) It helps make your lipstick last longer. My two favorite neutral colors are Retsina, one of the luminous creme lipsticks, and Rosewood, in the butter cream formulation. I also love their high-impact matte crayons; they last and last for days, and the color payoff is incredible. None of the lip products I’ve tried from them are drying; they all feel amazing on.
Indie loose eyeshadows: I have Tumblr and Cassie to thank for getting me into indies. Several years ago, I saw a review on Tumblr for Geek Chic Cosmetics’ N7 line, and I immediately bought it. Geek Chic’s eyeshadows are lovely; they tend to have a bit of shimmer or glitter in them and have amazing color payoff. Cassie blogged about Shiro Cosmetics, and I was lost. I swear I order from Shiro at least every other month because everything is just so pretty. Both companies specialize in geeky collections, like Harry Potter, Lord of the Ring, the Avengers and the Hunger Games — just to name a few — so you can indulge your fandoms. My current mix is Geek Chic’s Cerberus with Shiro’s War of Five Armies and Five Years Stuck on My Eyes. Pro tip: Use an eyeshadow primer with loose shadows; I use Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Original. It gives the shadow something to stick to. Then, when mixing shadows blend the heck out of them. Seriously. Shiro also carries the best translucent powder of all time. So there’s also that.
Julep. I think it was the lovely and talented Allegra Clark who first turned me onto Julep. Once you sign up to be a Maven, you get a box of nail polish and beauty products delivered to your house every month for about $20. This allows me to feed my burgeoning nail polish addiction, so thanks, Allegra. Currently, I’m trying Julep’s Go Big volumizing mascara and Lip Luxe conditioning treatment. I’m digging the Lip Luxe a lot; it has a slight coconut flavor, which I love. I really want to adore the mascara, too; it’s got a great brush and curls my lashes fairly well, too. But it melts in the North Carolina heat, which is just not cute. As long as I stay inside and never leave, I’m good.
Benefit. Last but certainly not least, we come to Benefit. I’ve been using the Erase Paste since I became a journalist to hide the under-eye circles that seem to go hand-in-hand with the low pay, high stress and AP Stylebooks. Basically, it makes me look like I’ve slept, which is nice. I’ve been an on-again, off-again user of Benetint — a cheek and lip stain — for years, but my skin seems to just drink it up. After I use this up, I’ll probably be off again, permanently.
Really, what it boils down to is this: Looking good makes me feel good. And if that means being a bit (or a lot) femme, I’m all right with that.
So, what’s in your makeup bag?