Hello Champagne Dreamers and welcome back to another Face Friday! And not just any Face Friday: this week we are doing a sequel to one of my most unexpected makeup looks, 50 Shades of Beige! That look was inspired by Mama Champagne being a smartass in my comments section, but it was fun to get out of my normally very colorful wheelhouse and try something new. And when the infamous Jeffree Star announced that he was launching a 30-pan, all matte, all neutral eyeshadow palette called the Orgy palette (plus a 9-pan Mini Orgy of complementary shimmer shades), I knew that it was time to revisit this look and give it a sequel, this time going 50 Shades Darker!
First, let’s start by addressing how this fits in to my recent stance on Jeffree Star. You can read the post that I put up in July after Tati’s Breaking My Silence video came out HERE. I still stand behind it, and as of now, I am still not planning to review Jeffree Star products on my YouTube channel or on this site. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t already have Jeffree Star products that I intend to keep using, and it doesn’t mean that I will never buy from his brand again. I still like his makeup, and though I am certainly much more thoughtful before placing an order (especially for things like the concealer that I can easily get the same sort of performance from other brands), I am going to be drawn to his products from time to time, especially the eyeshadow palettes as his formula works very well with how I like to apply and wear my makeup.
As we go through, in addition to the usual tutorial stuff, I’m also going to talk a little bit about why I decided to do this post using primarily Jeffree Star products. So it’s part makeup walkthrough, part Ted Talk. I hope you’re ready for that.
Anyway, here is the final look:
This is one of those looks that I really worried about until it finally all came together at the end. I wanted to use as many different shadows as possible, and with layered looks like this, it’s a bit like putting together a puzzle: it looks messy until all of the pieces are in place! At the end, though, I was happy with the final result.
I started off by priming my face with the Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Blur Primer. I mean, it’s Jeffree Star and we’re being a little bit extra, so why not use this deluxe mini of a primer that is expensive as hell that I would never pay for! I like the effect that it gave my skin, for the most part, but there was nothing earth-shattering about it. It was fine. I still prefer my Too Faced Primed and Peachy to this any day!
I was feeling like I had more red in my skin than I liked so I used the Highlighter Concealer in Green from The Crayon Case for color correcting. This is very pigmented and I sometimes have trouble getting it to blend all the way out. This time, instead of applying it directly with my sponge, I dotted a little bit on here and there, and then blended it with the sponge. That seemed to help, but it was still a touch more green than I like. I’ll keep playing with it and see if I can conquer it.
I also had some pretty intense bags under my eyes, so I decided to underpaint some concealer to help with coverage. I used the Benefit Boi-ing Cakeless Concealer in 2.5 (picked up during the Ulta 21 Days of Beauty sale), a shade that is lighter but still fairly close to my skintone (I’ll use another, even lighter shade later when I’m highlighting!). This had nice coverage and I felt like it did a good job of covering up the darkness. On to foundation!
I decided to go with the Morphe Fluidity Full Coverage Foundation. I’m still on the fence with this one. I love the coverage and this shade, F2.10, is a pretty good match for me. But the product has an odd smell, not like it’s gone bad but just more chemical smelling than typical foundations. I’m going to keep working with this one until I use it up and then I can decide if I want to repurchase it. I don’t love the smell, and sometimes blending out it a bit of a chore, but the price is definitely right!
To highlight the center of my face, I used the Benefit Boi-ing Cakeless Concealer in the shade 1. I did the typical triangles under my eyes, down the bridge of the nose and up on the forehead, and then blended it out with my sponge. I also used the sponge to bring a little down onto my cupid’s bow and chin, but I didn’t want to use product there directly and make it too heavy.
No surprise here for the prep steps before diving into the eyes: I did a little baking under my eyes and down my nose with the Give Me Glow Setting & Baking Powder in Sugar Cookie, and primed my eyelids with the Morphe Eyelid Primer in Translucent. They are good staple products, and they get the job done.
Now on to the eyeshadow. For this look, I’m using two palettes: the Orgy palette and the Mini Orgy palette by Jeffree Star Cosmetics.
I decided to use these because, well, they were exactly what I needed for this look: a large collection of neutral beiges and browns, with a variety of tones, mattes for the base of the look and shimmers for the lids. I was conflicted, because I knew that anyone who dares to use Jeffree Star on their platforms is opening themselves up to criticism, but I’ve noticed a bit of hypocrisy in the beauty space on YouTube recently, and I figured this was a great opportunity to get it off my chest.
Although people talk about the “Beauty Community” on YouTube like it’s one specific thing, as I’ve been exploring, I’ve found that it’s actually a lot of little pocket communities. Each little community is fairly interconnected, and the creators within those pockets will shout each other out, collab, and all share a roughly similar perspective on makeup. The group that I tend to follow, and that I generally jive with, are what I call the “woke girls.” They’re the creators who like their makeup with a side of commentary and they have a strong commitment to social justice and awareness in their content. Some of them, the ones that I like, are still very much focused on beauty and include social commentary as part of their overall worldview; some are basically drama channels but occasionally they put on a little eyeliner while doing it. Or not. Let’s be real, Hannah from SmokeyGlow doesn’t even pretend to be a makeup channel anymore.
I don’t mind, and I like the awareness, but I also see a fair amount of hypocrisy in this group, specifically around Jeffree Star Cosmetics. They talk a lot about the idea of gatekeeping, but they seem to only mean gatekeeping that negatively affects people who believe the same things they do. Several of the channels I watch will not only say that they don’t watch anyone who would ever shop from Jeffree Star, but encourage their audience to not watch. That’s gatekeeping. You may think that it’s justified, or that it’s for a good cause, or whatever, but that’s still what it is.
What bothers me more is that they will mock people who use or talk about Jeffree Star products and accuse them of just doing it for the views, chasing clout, etc. But have you looked at their channels? They are doing the exact same thing: try to find one “woke girl” channel that has an anti-haul, a “will I buy it” type video, or some other commentary video from the past couple of months that doesn’t have a picture of the Orgy palette in the thumbnail. They’re using his name to drum up attention from those who hate Jeffree Star Cosmetics; how is that any different than the people who use Jeffree Star products to try and get attention from his stans? If you say that someone should disappear from the beauty space, but you mention his products at least once a month, how do you not see a conflict there.
I call her out often (for being wonderful, not in a bad way!), but I respect JenLuvsReviews very much and I love the way she has handled her stance in several of her recent lives. After the halfway point, she will often “pop topics” based on questions in the chat, and inevitably you get people wanting her to comment on Jeffree Star, the Orgy collection, etc. She has just said, “Hey, I’m not going to talk about that person or that palette. There are plenty of other places you can go to find information on that.” And she moves on. She’s not giving any time or attention to Jeffree Star. Recently she did include JSC in a video about 7 brands she doesn’t review or support, and she included it because she keeps getting questions about it; now she has a video that she can direct people to if they have questions, and she can keep it pushing.
What I find the most disappointing about the “woke girls” and the way that they behave towards other creators is that it’s so inconsistent. If you are part of their little “gang” and they know you, then you can get away with a lot. One creator recently said that it’s not enough to just call out that a brand doesn’t have a good shade range; if you’re still using that brand, even after you called them out, then she’s not interested in your content. But that same creator is friends with JenLuvsReviews, who still uses tarte products after that whole fiasco. So, what you really mean is that if they aren’t already friends with you and boosting your views, or if there isn’t a clear way that they can help you and your growth, then it’s a problem. Gross.
At the end of the day, I’m tried of tiptoeing around a group of fake woke people who have all been excluded by the “mean girls” of the world, but instead of taking that experience and creating a community that is truly welcoming and inclusive they just create their own rules and become the new “mean girls” of their own domain. They have this “all or nothing mentality” that they apply inconsistently, and act like if you make a purchase from JSC then you must be a bad person. Well, you know what? I don’t judge people that way, and I don’t have much respect for the quality of your judgment of character if you do. I’ve been researching and buying from Black-Owned Makeup Brands for several years; while some of the “woke girls” were patting themselves on the back for doing Black-Owned Makeup Brand videos that were almost nothing except Fenty (which isn’t even a BOMB – Rhianna only owns 15% of that Kendo brand) and Pat McGrath (which is technically an indie brand but hardly needs the kind of support an exposure that small indie BOMBs need in the current economy), I made a video about 12 BOMBs that I have personally supported that also included several more brands that either I hadn’t had a chance to order from yet (though I’ve made purchases from all 4 since then – new video coming soon!) or that are no longer around. I’m not bringing that up because I think I need a pat on the back or that I’m doing anything note-worthy or special; I’m bringing it up because I don’t think that purchasing from one brand (of MAKEUP, for fuck’s sake) is sufficient to judge anyone’s character, and if it is, why is it only that brand that counts? Why shouldn’t I be judged off of one of the many indie brands that I support, or my taste in drugstore makeup, or even my nostalgia for Urban Decay. In the end, what I’m saying is that if someone is so shallow that they feel a person’s character can be summed up by whether or not they purchase products from one brand of makeup, then that person is an idiot and I don’t really have any fucks to give about their opinion. I’m standing behind my decision to not review products on my platforms as a general rule, but I’m not going to feel bothered about using the products I do have when it makes sense for the situation.
There endeth the lesson. Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.
Remember how this used to be a makeup tutorial? Let’s get into the eye look!
I’m not going to indicate which palette the shades come from since the Orgy palette is all matte and the Mini Orgy is all shimmer. I started with Knee Pads, a matte beige shade, and used that to define the arch of the look and define where I wanted to have my crease. This shade turned out darker on the eye than it looked in the pan, but it was still a pretty good transition shade. This one was definitely more cool in tone, and that’s what I wanted for this step so it all worked out fine in the end.
Next I used the matte cream shade Vanilla Latex above Knee Pads and blending down into it. This step looks a little messy, and that’s fine. I’m going to do something a little later to sharpen up the edge of this look; for right now, I just wanted to establish a base. After that, I took the shade Bottom and blended that underneath and up into Knee Pads and took it most of the way across, stopping underneath but at a small diagonal from the arch. I always do my looks with a little bit of a diagonal slant; I find that it’s much more flattering on my face that way.
Next I took a warmer brown matte, Chocolate Craving, and placed it all over the lid, up against Bottom on the inner portion and then over to the outer part of the eye. Most of this is going to get covered with shimmer later on, but I wanted a base for the shimmers to go on top of, and I wanted something to extend out to the outer corner of the eye before I darkened it.
Next up, I took Scorpio, a much cooler tone medium matte brown and used that on the inner portion of the eye, up against the nose and darkening the very inner part where I originally placed Knee Pads, and blending up the eye about 1/3 of the way. across to the arch.
At this point in the look, I was a little worried. This is one of those looks that I really had to let go and trust the process, because it really doesn’t look quite right until all of the pieces are in place – like a jigsaw puzzle. Just know that at this point, I was skurrred.
Next up, it was time to add some depth to the look! I started with the darkest matte shade, Glory Hole, and put that in sort of a triangle shape on the outer edge of the lid. Then I took the next darkest shade, a slightly lighter and much warmer brown called I’m Close and ran that from the outer point of the darkest shade up towards the outer point of the arch, blending out as I went. I also blended that in toward the middle to get a slight gradient to the edge of that shadow.
Finally time to bring in a little shimmer! I took the light, bright champagne shimmer called Champagne Drip and placed it all over the inner part of the lid and stopped it just a tiny bit before Glory Hole. Then I dipped back into Chocolate craving to go over and define the edge of where the shimmers met up with the mattes. I didn’t want to do a full on cut crease, but I still wanted the shimmers to have a pretty strong border and not blend away into the mattes.
Next I took the deep woody brown shimmer, Eiffel Tower, and blended that from the edge of Champagne Drip and out into the deeper shades on the outer v. I loved the way it blended into the deeper shades, but it was such a clear division between the two shimmers, so I decided to take Bath House, a medium taupe shimmer, and use that the diffuse the border between the other two shimmers.
Then I took the shade Explicit, which is much more cool toned that the photo of the pan implies, and used that to define the edge of the deeper color from the nose up to the arch, and blending down into the deeper shades. In the photo above, I just did one side so you could see what a difference it makes to sharpen up that line. After finishing the other eye, I took Implant, a pale, more neutral bone shade than Vanilla Latex, and blended the area between the dark line of the eye look and the spot where the brows will go.
For the lower lash line, I brought Glory Hole down onto the outer third to help it flow nicely from the upper part of the look. Then I took Foam Party and placed that over the rest of the lash line, wetting the brush with setting spray to get a more foiled appearance. It was nice enough, but it was a little too close to my own skintone, so I decided to create a little more dimension by adding Gagging, a lighter, brighter gold shimmer to the inner part of the lower lash line, also foiled. I think that really helped create a better gradient and made the lash line more interesting.
For the inner corner, I used the pale yellow gold shimmer Glass Wet from the Mini Orgy. It was cute, but I was surprised that it wasn’t brighter or more impactful. I used a wet brush to lay it down initially and went over it several times, but it never got as bright and impactful as I was hoping.
I also drew on the brows using a Morphe pencil in the shade Richie, which I also used later on for my lips.
I wanted to try out as many shades as possible in these palettes, so I stuck with them to give my brows some pizzazz! I strated by coloring in both brows with the matte brown shade Happy Ending. Then I took the coppery brown shimmer shade Soaking Sun and, starting at the inner point of the brow, blended up about two thirds of the way to the arch to get a nice shimmery gradient.
Once that was done, I traced the underside of the brow with the lightest matte shade, I’m Shy, to define the brow a little more. I also decided to use the shade Bed or Floor? to do a little nose contour. This was…not the best choice ever. The shade has a pinkish undertone that came out and it hit the foundation and appeared much darker than I anticipated. I should have take a photo at that stage, but I was in panic mode! I took my foundation sponge and lightly went over the bridge of the nose and the contour, and then powdered the area. That was almost a little too subtle to have much effect, but I’ve never been strong in the nose contour game. It was good enough for me, and gave me a chance to try out that shade.
I used 19 shades between the two palettes, 7 shimmers and 12 mattes, and it confirmed for me that Jeffree Star’s formula is still one that I love working with, even in neutrals, and this palette is going to happily replace the few other neutral palettes I’ve been holding onto (buh-bye tarte!). I’m done entertaining the question of whether or not anyone needs a palette with 30 neutral shades in it; makeup is a luxury item and absolutely no one needs any of it. I want some reliable nude and neutral shades in my collection from a brand that makes a formula that works well for me, and that’s what I got.
For contouring the face, I went with my Uoma Beauty Sculpt + Strobe Duo Stick in Honey Honey. I am really trying to love these, and in a way I do, but they just aren’t as blendable as my Tyra Beauty contour sticks. I know that I need to get over that and move on, because they are never coming back, but these just don’t have the same smooth blend to them. I zoomed in a bit on the left cheek to show you the bit of patchiness that I got on the edge of where I was blending (and that was after quite a bit of fixing and working. I evened it out with some powder products, but I just want these to be a little softer and a little smoother to blend.
I blended out the edge of the contour using the Nabla Skin Bronzing powder in the shade Soft Revenge. This is a deep, very cool-toned brown, and it blended nicely into the Uoma and temptered some of the warmth of the contour. It was still a little dark, but I knew I could counter that.
I’m obsessed with all of these Nabla cheek powders, so I decided to keep on going! I used the Skin Bronzing powder in Ambra, to blend out the contour and also put a little color onto the apples of my cheeks. I wanted to make sure that everything stayed very much in shades of brown and beige and neutral, even the blush, so this helped fade out the edges a bit. I wanted a little bit more color, and in the next step I added a shimmery blush. If I were doing it over again I would use a matte beige-y peach blush instead, but I didn’t do that so let’s look at what I did instead.
I dipped into the Too Faced Fruit Cocktail Blush Duo in Apricot in the Act, and just used the bright golden shimmer powder, working that from the apples of my cheeks down into contour. I actually love the way this blended, I think it’s glimmer and stunning, and I think the golden tone was subtle enough to still work with the monochromatic brown look. The only thing I didn’t love was how it blended with the highlighter that I used next.
(As I was getting this post ready to publish and adding links, I realized that Too Faced is discontinuing the Tutti Fruiti line! I’m considering this a hate crime generally as well as a personal assault on me as this and the Peaches and Cream line at Sephora are the only things about Too Faced that I give a single shit about anymore. They have some great prices on what’s left, so if you’re interested, check them out at the Too Faced website – they’re already gone from Ulta!)
The highlighter I chose was Kaleidos Makeup’s Ray Rider, which is a gorgeous peach highlighter! The only reason I don’t like it with this look and with the Too Faced blush is because when applied it has a definite silvery sort of shift to the shimmer that I don’t think flows that well with the blush. I love that highlight against the browns of the cheek, but it’s a little harsh where it melts into the bright gold. I think if I had used a different blush there, maybe something matte or more neutral, it would have been a smoother transition. Not that this looks terrible, of course, but just something I would do differently – and something for you to keep in mind if you’re attempting a similar sort of look!
For the lips, I started by lining them with a Morphe Color Pencil in Richie. This was mostly just to establish the shape and keep the lipstick from bleeding. I then went over the whole area of the lips with the Give Me Glow liquid lipstick in the shade Brownie Batter. My intention was to create an ombre with the lighter brown shade, Root Beer Float. I got a little bit of ombre, but in this case the formula was a little too liquidy, and they mixed together to much to get as much contrast as I would like. I love a dark lip moment, so I decided not to remove and try again, and instead opted to put a gloss over the top.
I had one of the new Jeffree Star Cosmetics glosses from the Orgy Collection, in the shade Beaded Glass, so I decided to use that. I didn’t get as much glitter payoff as I was hoping, but I feel like with the lighter gloss you can see a little bit more of the gradient in the browns, and it’s got a very sexy shine.
Pardon me, I’m going to go scrub the fuck out of my lips with a sugar scrub. I feel like I do that fairly often, but clearly not often enough! Those lips look rough!
Finally, since I was playing with the Orgy Collection anyway, I did have one of the JSC Magic Star Luminous Setting Powders that I picked up in the shade Natural. I wanted something that would give a very subtle glowing finish, like the Jaclyn Hill Mood Light powders, but in a less highlight-y sort of shade. I thought the powder was nice, and it helped settle down the harsh meeting of the highlighter and the glowy blush, but it wasn’t as luminous as I was expecting. It’s subtle, but perhaps too subtle? Maybe it’s not as prominent because it’s so close to my actual skinetone, who knows? I just wasn’t blown away.
And that’s the final look, all topped off with this sultry black and brown beehive wig! So what do you think? Should I try to embrace neutrals more often? Is brown a good color for me? Or did you give up on this post way back when you found out that I was using the dreaded Jeffree Star Orgy collection (in which case you wouldn’t have made it to this sentence, and I’m basically talking to myself…)? Let me know what you think in the comments below!
Those quarantine bangs you cut, 6 months later…
As always, none of the links on this post as sponsored or affiliated in any way; I simply provide the links so that you can browse products, discover new brands, and make a purchase if you feel so inclined. Never feel like you have to have the exact products shown in this or any makeup tutorial to recreate – or alter! – this or any other look. Don’t be afraid to shop your stash!
I hope you enjoyed, and as always, if you have any suggestions or requests for upcoming Face Friday walkthroughs, let me know!