April 07, 2020

Don’t be afraid of the DARK Bold, black cosmetics can bring a subversive touch to your look

As soon as I saw Chanel’s Black Satin nail polish this summer, I knew things were looking up.

You see, I’m not one of those gals who limits her manicure options to tasteful shades of ballerina pink or subdued nude.I have crooked fingers and short nails and dammit, I’m proud of them. Last weekend, when I broke out my tried and true (and discontinued) Revlon Violet X-Treme, a few strangers grabbed my hands and asked me whether or not I was wearing black polish. Even ShopGuy noticed. Let’s just say nobody’s ever stopped me on the street and asked me where I got that fabulous clear nail polish.

Yes, folks, bold cosmetics are back with a vengeance this fall. But how to wear them without looking like a freak is another story altogether.

Black nail polish is one thing. Especially if you have a job that actually allows you to wear black nail polish. Sure, it’s a little bit subversive, but that’s a good thing. And besides, without the Manic Panic hair, pale powder, all-black outfits and multiple piercings, nobody’s going to mistake you for a goth girl. I like to think of it as shockingly elegant.

Emerald green gel eyeliner, on the other hand, is a little harder to pull off, though I’m absolutely wild about the Jet Set liner by Smashbox in “Illume” ($22, smashbox.com). My adventurous colleague Emily swears by Clinique’s cream eyeliner in black. A dramatic choice for the bold among us, but I must admit, charcoal is more my speed these days.

Looks like I’m in luck, because Smashbox also has a trio of black, gray and white shadows ($28, Smashbox.com) that are perfect for that smoky-eyed look. The key? A light touch and a good brush (I love my set from Mary Kay).

And speaking of brushes, Clinique has improved on what I considered perfection with its “brush then comb” High Definition Lashes mascara ($13.50, Macy’s). Amazing, I tell you.

Also amazing is my new favorite product from Goldie – Lip Stained. Despite the fact it looks like blood in the tube, it’s subtle, it smells like coconuts, and, unlike almost every “stain” product, it doesn’t make me look like I spent the morning drinking cabernet. It’s available at Bath and Body Works.

Styli-Style’s versatile flat lip pencil (available at CVS, about $7) has all the stylish gals at work talking. It can be used as a liner or a lipstick, and it’s small enough to fit in the tiniest bag. For the daring, I suggest the new shade Carnaby Street, a deep plum that will be available Oct. 25.

I, however, am less bold on my lips than on my fingertips. Fortunately, there are all sorts of wild options this fall, from Sally Hansen’s “Ruby Slippers” – Toto too? – to the limited-edition Chanel Black Satin, which I won’t be paying $60 for on eBay. I’d rather buy Avon’s “Wine Velvet,” a deep red that costs a whopping $5.

Still, there’s something really sexy about almost-black polish. I could settle for red, but I’ve spent the last few weeks pining for a suitable replacement for my Revlon Violet X-Treme – it’s starting to get all gooey and sticky. For a while, it seemed that everything I found was just a little too purple. Then I discovered China Glaze’s Urban Attitude. At $6.50, it’s a great stand-in for Black Satin.

It’s a little bit goth and a little bit glam.


There’s still time to submit your entries into the ShopGirl Beauty Poll. One lucky entrant will receive a Liz Claiborne purse full of this fall’s hottest cosmetics. If you’ve already filled out your response form, send it in before Monday, Oct. 23. If you need a copy of the response form, please e-mail kandresen@bangordailynews.net (please write “poll request” in the subject line) – I’m happy to send you one. Responses will appear in the Oct. 28 ShopGirl column. Good luck and, as always, happy shopping!

ShopGirl would love to hear from you! Send questions, comments or suggestions by e-mail to: kandresen@bangordailynews.net, by U.S. mail to: Kristen Andresen, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor, ME 04402-1329, or by fax to: 941-9476. Tune in to ShopGirl at 5 p.m. Fridays on WLBZ-2.

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