Hello Champagne Dreamers! I’ve been super busy the last few weeks and I’ve been slacking off on these Face Friday posts. Sorry ’bout that. But I’m back again with another look, and once again, I’m letting my inner Karen run wild!
In a recent video, I talked about my Karen-level shopping shenanigans during the Sephora VIB sale. I’ll include that video here. For this look, I decided to play with some of those products, as well as others from a group of brands that make me feel like I’m a Karen when I purchase from them: Pat McGrath, Marc Jacobs, Natasha Denona, and Hourglass.
So why do these brands make me feel like a Karen? I’m not sure. I spend a lot of money on makeup, and I’m not afraid to buy expensive makeup (within limits…usually), but there is something about these brands and how they present themselves that feels sort of exclusive. And by exclusive, I mean that I feel like maybe I’m a big trashy drag queen and I’m not “allowed” to buy from these fancy, elegant, “rich white lady” brands. Almost everything that I have from these brands was purchases at some sort of discount: in the sale section at Sephora, with coupons or Rewards for a discount, etc. I am not afraid to lay down some cash, but these are the brands that I just can’t bring myself to pull the trigger unless there is some sort of sale attached to the purchase.
I’m not sure what that says about me or my shopping habits, but I was excited to play with these products and create a shimmery peacock-inspired eye using these bougie brands!
I didn’t have any Karen primers, so I went with a favorite: the Too Faced Dew You Luminous Face Primer in Radiant Nude. I’m still salty that they discontinued this line of products, and I’m going to try to get another one of these before they are gone forever. This is a nice primer. It’s not particularly great for filling pores, but I love the feel and the smell.
I’ve got a new camera, and it’s much less forgiving than my previous camera, so I decided to do a little color correcting. Again, I didn’t buy any color correctors on my Karen splurge, so I went with the Jeffree Star Cosmetics Magic Star Concealer in Green. This is a favorite, and I love the effect. And if you want someone who lives a bougie life, I mean…
Alright, bring on the Karen! For foundation I went with the Marc Jacobs ReMarcAble Foundation in Bisque Golden. This was something I picked up on sale and the color isn’t right for me, but I can lighten it up enough with concealer to make is usable. Plus, it’s sort of like those white women who tan themselves into uncomfortably appropriative territory. The applicator is junk, but the foundation is nice enough. I would NEVER have purchases it at $56, but at half off in the sale section it was a an ok find. I don’t love it, but I’ll do my best to use it up. I lightened it up with the Benefit Boi-Ing Concealer in shade No. 1, which I generally like. The shade range on this is terrible, and I don’t love it enough that I would be dying to repurchase it when it runs out, but it was half off in the 21 Days of Beauty. What can I say? A bitch loves a coupon!
To get into the eye look, I went with my standby of the Give Me Glow powder in Sugar Cookie. For the lids, I primed with a sample I’m trying to use up of the Too Faced Shadow Insurance. I don’t mind this primer, but it’s not one of my favorites. I’m trying to use more of the random samples and stuff that I get, so here we are.
I used two palettes to create this look, and the first of these is the Natasha Denona Gold Palette. This was my first purchase from Natasha Denona, and I definitely waited until I was able to get it on a discount. $129 is ridiculous for an eyeshadow palette – I don’t care who you are – and even at a discount I almost hurled when I clicked to place the order. I’ve played with it a little bit, but this is my first time using it for a whole look. I started with the shade Aria and used that to set the basic shape of the eye and create a base for the shadows that are coming after. Then I followed that up with the deep teal shade Python. I used that to create a squared off shape along the nose, brought it up along the underside of the brown shade, to the arch and partway down the far side.
To create a dark outer corner, I used the Pat McGrath Celestial Divinity palette. I can’t bring myself to buy one of the 10-pan $125 palettes, but this seemed like a better option: sure there are smaller pans, but I have so much makeup that I rarely hit pan anyway, so I’m happy to get 18 shades for only $78 (plus the discount of the VIB sale!). I used the shade Smoked Amethyst to darken the outer edge. I loved the purple shimmer with the teal shade, and decided to do sort of a gilded peacock look. I also missed taking a picture of the shade that I used all over the lid. It was also from this palette, the shade Dragonfly, and it’s a gorgeous antique gold duochrome with green tones and some red notes in the base.
Next, I wanted to get a smoother transition from the matte teal into the green/gold on the lid, so I went into the Gold palette and used the teal shimmer Aurora. I just blended that lightly between the two shades and softened that line. Then I went into the Pat palette and the purple shimmer shade Violet Void and used that to blend the edge of the gold shade into the dark shade on the outer corner. I just wanted some softness and wanted to shades to “flow” a little bit more smoothly.
I couldn’t use the Natasha Denona palette and NOT use Lime Chrome. It’s a gorgeous bright gold duochrome with green shift. I used that all along the lower lash line. Then I used the candlelight gold shade Sparks to give a burst of brightness on the inner corner.
I wanted to bring some of the teal down to the lower part of the look, so I went into the waterline with the Urban Decay 24/7 Liner in Deep End. This was perfection, and gave me just the pop of color that I wanted to tie everything together. Moving onto brows, I used another Urban Decay pencil to draw the base (Demolition), and then tapped Python over the entire brow.
You know I can never use just one color in my brows! To get the ombre I used Lime Chrome at the very front of the brow and then used Aurora, both from Natasha Denona, to blend out the color toward the arch.
To complete the eyes, I added some Damn Girl! Mascara from Too Faced and then topped them with the Ice Cream Sandwich Lashes from Glamlite. They are still a spikey lash, but there isn’t as much separation as there is in the Double Cheeseburger Lashes I’ve been showing off in a lot of recent posts and videos; I felt like Karen would have a more solid and unified lash front, prepping her “armor” for any supervisors she may have to conquer!
I didn’t have any shades in my Karen collection that were deep enough for contouring, so I decided to try out the Thailor Bronzer from Kim Chi Chic Beauty in I Went To Waikiki, one of my Black Friday sale purchases (I’ll include my video on that at the bottom, in case you’re interested!). I’m going to have a full review of all of my Kim Chi items in a separate post, and this is my first time using it, but my thoughts so far are mixed. The powder is soft and I loved it on the one cheek, but on my other cheek, as you can see in the lower left image, is that it laid down unevenly. I went over those patches multiple times with more product and just couldn’t get rid of that line or the patchiness. Not cool, Kim!
Now comes the Blush Journey of 1000 products! Maybe not quite that many, but I found most of these fancy blushes to be very sheer and very light, and I had a hard time building up the look that I wanted. I started in the Natasha Denona Bloom Blush & Glow Palette, using the Duo Glow powder. I was hoping that it would be similar to Orgasm by Nars, and it certainly is in the pan, but it’s fairly sheer and only gave me a hint of pink when blended into the bronzer. The gold shimmer all but disappeared. I will say after this whole face that I’m not a huge fan of ND cheek products – they just don’t have enough pigment to create the drag realness that I need!
To give the blush a little bit of a boost, I used the Marc Jacobs Air Blush in the shade Lines & Last Night. This blush is phenomenal, even though it seems like it’s being discontinued. It’s been in the Sephora Sale section for a while now, and my local Sephora clearance it out and got rid of them. I love this, and I may need to pick up one or two more before they disappear on me. This was a great shade to fill in the rest of the blush area from the apples of my cheeks and blending down into the rest.
I wanted to brighten and add a little bit of a shimmery glow to the blush, so I went into the Natasha Denona Love Glow Cheek Palette, and used the Diamond Powder. This looks ok in the pictures, but it felt like a bit of a dud. In the pan it has that gorgeous Barbie pink color, but on the cheek I got a little hint of pink and mostly just a sort of champagne glow. I have a ton of champagne highlights – that’s not what I wanted from this powder.
I was hoping to get a little more depth into the peachy/pink blush look using the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Incandescent Electra, but this is all light and no color! It added a little touch of peachiness, but it all gets overpowered by the shimmery champagne highlight powder. This could be lovely in the right context, but it was definitely not what I was looking for.
Deciding to quit while I was ahead and move on to highlight, I grabbed the Marc Jacobs O!Mega Glaze Very Merry Cherry Edition (there was more to that name, but even this was too precious for me), which I was thinking was going to be a dud, but I actually loved it! I thought it would be too dark and I would have to use it as glowy blush, but it applies as this lovely wet look golden peach highlight that I was absolutely living for! I used this on the cheeks and down the middle of my face.
Too much is never enough, so I decided to add not one, but two highlight shades from Pat McGrath’s Sublime Skin Highlighting Trio. I used the pale yellow gold duochrome shade Fine Gold 003 to amp up the shine on the cheek highlight. Then I took the duochrome pink shade, Iridescent Pink 003, and put that just on the curve of the cheek highlight, below the gold highlight and blending down into the blush. I also added a little touch of this to the tip of my nose. These shades are gorgeous, and they applied like a dream, but are they unique to my collection? Definitely not.
I had two options for a pinkish red lip. I decided to pass on the Marc Jacobs Very Merry Cherry lipstick (which is still gorgeous, but overpriced at $32) and opted instead for the Pat McGrath holiday BlitzTrance Lipstick Starglaze (what’s up with these names?! At $38, am I paying by the letter?!) in Rebel Red. This is a gorgeous red with glitter, though the description says coppery and I would definitely call this much more of a berry/magenta-leaning red.
And that’s it – that’s how you create a Karen using ridiculously expensive makeup!
Now, I get it: makeup is a luxury product, never a necessity. It’s pointless to argue about whether or not something is “worth” whatever it costs because it’s for sale at that price, and with these brands there are at least some people who are buying it or it would disappear from the market (I can’t imagine that EVERYONE is buying it at a discount like I am!). Were these bougie products fun to play with? Yes, and some of them did lay down very easily and gave me fantastic performance. But is it really that much different from most of the other makeup I own? No, not really. For the cheek products, most of it was worse! I wanted smooth and effortless at that price point, and I found that I still had to work just as hard (if not harder) to get the same results. While there are some obvious caveats to this, it’s less about the makeup and more about the skills that you bring to the process.
Don’t feel like you need to have the newest and best and most expensive. It was fun to create this look for you, but I don’t know that any of these products are going to become favorites. I’m going to try to get more use out of them, because they were so expensive, but I doubt anything on this page will end up in any sort of “best of” list that I do. The hype is just that: hype. If you love it and can afford it, go for it, but don’t feel bad if you’re a budget bitch like me and have to go with less expensive options. The sale is over, and I’m perfectly happy to go back to the price range to which I have become accustomed!
As usual, none of the links in this post are sponsored or affiliated in any way; I simply provide them so that you can browse products, discover new brands, and make a purchase if you so choose. Don’t feel like you need to have these exact products to recreate this or any other look that you see. Don’t be afraid to shop your stash.
On a related note, I recently got a new phone, and I’m still learning how to work it. What did you think of the photos in this post vs other Face Friday posts? What do you think about the new collage styles I tried out for this post? It’s a new app, and I’m still getting the hang of it, but do you like them or did you like the simpler collages that I was doing before? Let me know your thoughts down below or hit me up on my socials.
And finally, after all of those disclaimers about not buying all the things, here is my video about my Black Friday shopping…where I bought all of the things. I’m a goddamn mess.