September 1 Theme: Makeup

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Probably the single most common reader request I get is for a tutorial on how I do my signature nighttime lip look.  I actually started this tutorial for ages ago, but since tutorials are much more time-consuming than outfit posts (and this isn’t really a makeup blog per se, although the topic is somewhat relevant) I never felt inspired to finish it.  Until I decided to do a makeup monthly theme so everyone could join in the fun!

Black Gradient Lip Liner Tutorial

Everything I use for this look is pictured above. From top to bottom:

Burt’s Bees lip balm
Du Wop Reverse Lip Liner
Eyeliner Pencil in Black (I like any brand that is self-sharpening)
Lipstick – Any shade of red or purple
Lip Gloss in a coordinating shade
Cotton swab for cleanup

Black Gradient Lipliner Tutorial

First, I moisturize my lips with lip balm so everything won’t end up chunky in an hour.  🙂  Next, apply the reverse lip liner around the OUTSIDE edge of my lips. I highly recommend this stuff for any lip look, as it all but eliminates bleeding lipstick or lip gloss. It takes just a thin coat of this invisible wonder.  I pat a tiny bit of powder foundation over the reverse liner to give it extra staying power, and to ensure that it can’t be seen at all.

Red and Black Gothic Lipstick Tutorial

For the outline, I use a black self-sharpening eyeliner pencil. I start by lining outside of my natural lip line, although you could keep inside your lip line if you prefer. I think black makes lips look smaller, so I prefer to bulk my lips up and add to the drama.  I clean up any imperfections in the outline with a pointed cotton swab.

Once I have perfected the new outside shape, I line again just inside the lip line with black, then fill in between so I have one thick black line.

Black and Red Lipstick Makeup Tutorial

Now I apply my lipstick inside the black.

Once the lipstick is done, I blot and then go back with a bit more black liner to blend everything together. A lip brush is useful here, to ensure a smooth blend.  Once I have perfected the gradient, I add a final coat of lipstick, followed by a thin layer of gloss to make it all shine.  You don’t want it to be too glossy, or the gradient will smear too easily.

Black Gradient Lip Liner Tutorial

Want to participate in this month’s theme?

Now it’s your turn! You know what to do (or if you don’t, check out the full details). 🙂

  1. Add the Monthly Theme icon to your blog post (copy the code below and paste into your post using the Edit HTML feature):
    <a href="http://www.sophistiquenoir.com/category/monthly-themes"><img src="http://www.victoriankitty.com/blogPhotos/monthly-theme-icon.jpg" border="0"></a>
  2. Paste the URL to your post using the Mister Linky box below.
    Please use a direct link to your relevant post, NOT a link to your blog’s home page.
  3. Visit all of the other participants who have entered, and show them you appreciate their theme posts!
NO ADULT CONTENT will be allowed.

All images and text © Sophistique Noir Gothic Fashion Blog. Do not use any photos or text from this blog without providing a credit to me and a link back to the original post.

Announcement: Theme for September 1: Makeup!

The theme for September 1 is: Makeup

I am often asked to share makeup tips and tutorials, but since makeup isn’t really my focus here (and I find tutorials far too time consuming), I thought it would be fun to crowd-source some makeup inspiration as the Monthly theme for September.

For this event, you are free include daily makeup looks, special event makeup, drag queen style, Halloween effects, reviews, tutorials, favorite products, inspiration from around the Web (just be sure to credit your sources!!!) or whatever you can think of. Share whatever you love most about makeup!

You don’t have to be a makeup blogger or makeup artist to participate. Even beginners are encouraged to share their favorite styles, tips, and even advice on what you’ve learned from trial and error! 😉

Be sure to come back on September 1-3 and submit your post.

How It Works

On the first day of each month, I will post my theme post with the Mr. Linky sign-up form at the bottom. You can link to any post you’ve done that day or previously, as long as it matches the theme. Be sure to add the icon to your post, and link your post to mine using the Mr. Linky box at the bottom.

You can post your theme post earlier than the first of the month, or link to an old post, but you must add it to Mr. Linky on my first post of the month. I will leave the Linky open until 11:59 PM PST on September 3, so everyone has three full days to post.

You don’t have to participate every single month. Feel free to join in whenever you wish. Just be sure you get your post linked before the third day of the month!

You don’t have to do outfit posts. Post on whatever type of subject matter you like, as long as it is related to the theme.

Also, let’s keep the posts appropriate for all ages, in terms of both language and imagery. Thanks!! 🙂

Posts that are linked up without including the icon will be removed from Mr. Linky.

HTML for the icon: (The icon and the HTML will remain the same each month)

<a href="http://www.sophistiquenoir.com/category/monthly-themes"><img src="http://www.victoriankitty.com/blogPhotos/monthly-theme-icon.jpg" border="0"></a>

Be sure to paste the code in while in HTML mode.

Please pass this invitation on to any bloggers you know who might be interested, and feel free to share the announcement on your blogs. Of course, it’s a good idea to follow my blog to be sure you don’t miss any of the themes. 😉

Questions? E-mail me!

Want to Suggest a Theme?

Leave a comment on any post at any time, or e-mail me. If I use your suggestion, I will credit you on my theme post for that month and in the theme announcement the week before. No promises that I will use every suggestion, because the themes have to be things that I would be able to do a post about.

Want to participate in the Monthly Theme?

Here’s how:

  1. Add the Monthly Theme icon to your blog post (copy the code below and paste into your post using the Edit HTML feature):
    <a href="http://www.sophistiquenoir.com/category/monthly-themes"><img src="http://www.victoriankitty.com/blogPhotos/monthly-theme-icon.jpg" border="0"></a>
  2. Paste the URL to your post using the Mister Linky box at the bottom of my September 1 post.
    Please use a direct link to your relevant post, NOT a link to your blog’s home page.
  3. Visit all of the other participants who have entered, and show them you appreciate their theme posts!

Makeup Giveaway!

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As a little thank-you to all of my readers, who make my blog such a rewarding endeavor for me, I have decided to offer a giveaway! I know this is a fashion blog and not a beauty blog, but I wanted to share a sampling of some of my favorite makeup products with one lucky winner, including:

  • Red Cherry Eyelashes, Style #47
  • Sample size Ardell Eyelash Adhesive
  • Ben Nye Pressed Eyeshadow in Graphite
  • Lancome Le Stylo Eyeliner in Noir
  • Illamasqua Intense Lipgloss in Hermetic
  • Sample size Bare Vitamins Prime Time Eyelid Primer

Makeup Giveaway

All products are brand new and were purchased by me – this contest is NOT sponsored by any of the brands included.

How to Enter

To enter the contest, I’m going to do it a little bit different this time. Entries will all be based on my Facebook page.

For one entry:

For a SECOND entry:

  • You can also share my giveaway post on Facebook. Shares must be public (not “Friends Only”), otherwise I won’t be able to see your share so I can’t count it.

Maximum two entries per person. I will select a winner randomly on Friday, March 29, 2013. Both ladies and gentlemen are welcome to enter, and I will ship the items anywhere.

Questions? Feel free to ask in the comment section below so I can post an answer for everyone.


All images and text © Sophistique Noir Gothic Fashion Blog. Do not use any photos or text from this blog without providing a credit to me and a link back to the original post.

Decadent Designs – and a Special Offer!

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Decadent Designs Peplum Blouse

I’m so excited to feature a new acquisition from Decadent Designs today! I received this puff-sleeve peplum blouse a few weeks ago and have been not-so-patiently waiting for illness to subside so Mr. Kitty and I could spend an evening out with this lovely top.

Decadent Designs Peplum Blouse

I am thoroughly impressed with the quality of this piece. The fabric is a very high-quality spandex blend. Its heavy weight gives it a classy elegance without looking bulky (and it is very cat hair resistant!). The peplum is so amazingly flattering, and the puffy shoulders make me feel like a true Gothy princess from my own, dark little fairy tale. 😉

Decadent Designs Peplum Blouse

A blouse this fabulous calls for a fabulous necklace, and that neckline was simply begging for this beaded masterpiece. Yes, I wear it all the time, but I’m sure no one can blame me. A fishtail skirt was the finishing touch on the outfit.

Decadent Designs Peplum Blouse

I have one other creation from Decadent Designs that I will be featuring in a couple of weeks, and I have a feeling I will be buying more from her collection soon! While I don’t really make New Year’s resolutions, I do plan to re-focus my clothes shopping for the coming year. I find it so much more rewarding to save up for a few pieces of true quality than to impulsively buy a bunch of inexpensive items that I like, but don’t really feel “special” wearing.

Decadent Designs Peplum Blouse

Special Offer!

Decadent Designs is offering my readers a 15% discount for the next month! Just use the code noir1 at the checkout, and treat yourself to a little decadence!!

What is your favorite item from the Decadent Designs collection?


All images and text © Sophistique Noir Gothic Fashion Blog. Do not use any photos or text from this blog without providing a credit to me and a link back to the original post.

Make-Up Tutorial: Creating the Perfect Eyebrow

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I’ve had quite a few reader requests for a tutorial on how I achieve my brow look.  Tutorials take me forever, so this post has been in the works for ages.  🙂  Sorry for the delay!

Many Goths choose to shave their brows completely, which I love because the possibilities then become endless. However, it’s not something that would be practical for me, so instead I go with a somewhat dramatic plucked shape, adding intense color to suit my look.

There are two phases to how I perfected my brows: Shaping and Coloring (with make-up, not with hair dye!).

SHAPING:

I can’t really show you a current “before” picture for the shaping phase, since mine are already shaped. To get an idea of the “before” check out this photo from my Vampire Valentine’s Day post. 🙂

Create a template:

Cut a rectangle of tracing paper or vellum (I used vellum because I had some handy in my craft room, and because it was heavier in weight). Whatever you use, it needs to be somewhat translucent so you can trace through it.

Hold the rectangle over your eyebrow and trace your existing eyebrow shape. This will show you exactly what you have to work with.

Draw in your desired eyebrow shape within the tracing of your existing brow. You probably won’t want to go outside of the existing shape, because then you’ll have to draw the missing part in every day. I created my new shape fully inside me existing brow so I could just pluck away the unwanted parts.

Take a small pair of scissors or an Xacto knife to cut out a template of the new shape.

You can also buy pre-made templates in brow kits from stores such as Sephora, but I preferred to make my own so I knew exactly the original brow shape I had to work with.

Create Your New Brows:
Hold the vellum up, lined up with your existing brow, and draw in the new shape from your template. Don’t use a Sharpie, even though that is how I did it.  😉

After you’ve drawn in the new shape, pluck away any hairs that don’t fall within that outline.  Work gradually, checking in the mirror periodically to see how you like the evolving new shape.  Don’t be in a rush, because  it’s easier to take more off later than wait for things to grow back if you take off too much at once.

Maintenance:
I never wax my brows, as my hair is dark I can’t stand letting them grow in enough for the wax to do its job. It’s just too obvious, on my pale skin, that my brows are growing in.  Plus, no spa lady will ever be as much of a perfectionist with my brows as I am. Instead, I pluck mine daily as needed. It takes about 10 seconds a day to remove the few new hairs that appear and keep my shape perfect.

COLORING:

Once you have plucked your brows into your perfect new shape, you’ll probably want to bump up the impact for your makeup looks by coloring them in. As you can see, my brows are dark but they look very faint compared to a dramatic makeup look.

before blackening

I color mine using Ben Nye pressed eyeshadow in black and a soft angled brush. A firm angled eyebrow brush is also a good choice. I dampen the brush slightly and press it into the eyeshadow. I tap the brush to remove any excess so it doesn’t destroy my eyeshadow with little flecks of black. Then I carefully draw in on top of my eyebrows.

after blackening

You can do this with whatever color suits you. If you are lucky enough to have blonde eyebrows, you can have a lot of fun with purple, pinks and red! For dark brows, I’ve found I have to stick with dark colors as the hairs give brighter colors a muddy look.

How do you style and maintain your eyebrows?


All images and text © Sophistique Noir Gothic Fashion Blog. Do not use any photos or text from this blog without providing a credit to me and a link back to the original post.

March 1 Theme: GRAY

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My outfit for this month’s theme is brought to you by Mr. Kitty. Last weekend I was standing in the closet mumbling to myself while pondering what I should wear for the gray theme. He walked in, caught me mid-mumble and immediately responded, “Do you still have that dress with all the ladies on it?” Problem solved. Today I present to you one of Mr. Kitty’s all-time favorites from my wardrobe. I wore this dress on one of our VERY early dates, and maybe only once since. Yet he remembers it vividly and even brings it up from time to time. It really made an impact! So, without further ado… The outfit!

Yes, this slinky little dress is covered in classical ladies of all shapes and sizes! When I found it about a decade ago in a little shop on Melrose Ave., I fell in love with this celebration of the female form. What is better than wrapping a shapely figure in shapely figures? 🙂

I spent considerable time debating how to approach hair, makeup and accessories to complement this dress. The shrug was a given, since it matched so perfectly (and the dress has plain black spaghetti straps that don’t really lend anything to the overall look). I tried several different necklaces, a couple of bracelets and a huge set of dangly earrings before I realized that less is really more in this case. You won’t hear me say that often, but this print and cut really doesn’t need much embellishment. I went with lightweight black sleeves because it’s still chilly out, and no jewelry other than simple sterling silver studs, ear cuffs and two rings. The belt helped break up the pattern a bit and further emphasize my waist. I added a couple of flower clips to the belt to further the overall femininity of this look.

A sleek, high ponytail seemed perfect for this sleek dress. For the makeup, I decided to go monochrome, which is another thing I don’t do often. I used a shimmery white shadow that was a birthday gift from Sephora, and my usual Ben Nye black shadow applied with a light touch to make it a soft gray. The lipstick is also Ben Nye, in Silver Ice. Silver lipstick, in my opinion, really needs a black outline.

Today’s eyeliner is the result of several tips from Lady Bethezda’s recent Winged Eyeliner Tutorial.   If you are not already a fan of her blog, Bethezda’s Preoccupations, you must check it out right now!

Want to participate in this month’s theme?

Now it’s your turn! You know what to do (or if you don’t, check out the full details). 🙂

  1. Add the Monthly Theme icon to your blog post (copy the code below and paste into your post using the Edit HTML feature):

    <a href=”http://www.sophistiquenoir.com/search/label/Monthly%20Themes”><img src=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-A82Oi4aFQ80/TfkeMOqmtaI/AAAAAAAAAh4/H8unYe_-Cx8/s1600/monthly-theme-icon.jpg” border=”0″></a>
  2. Paste the URL to your post using the Mister Linky box below.
    Please use a direct link to your relevant post, NOT a link to your blog’s home page.
  3. Visit all of the other participants who have entered, and show them you appreciate their theme posts!

 

NO ADULT CONTENT will be allowed.

Make-Up Post: Morgana Cryptoria Lip Balms and a New Necklace

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I don’t plan to do a lot of make-up reviews, as this is a fashion blog and not a beauty blog. But to keep things interesting, I thought I would occasionally share things that I think really need to be shared.

Living in the hot, dry desert as I do, lipstick becomes tricky business. Lipsticks usually dry out on my lips within an hour and are a chunky mess within two. I love to use L’Oreal’s HiP (High Intensity Pigment) lip gloss, as it never dries out or bleeds and the pigment is adequate, but their line of colors is extremely limited and not really Goth-friendly. Based on reviews from Little Miss Metamoroph and Metamorphosis (the name similarities being coincidence!), I ordered five shades of Morgana Cryptoria’s Lip Balms. These sounded like the perfect combination of EXTREMELY high pigmentation and moisture: just what I need.

Overall, I’m extremely pleased with this product. While not as moist as a regular lip balm, these are worlds better than regular lipsticks. The colors are all just gorgeous. Some of the shades worked out better than others, so I’ll give you an overview of each.  I am wearing Eggplant (a medium-dark, low-chroma purple) in today’s photos.  This shade is just perfect for work: slightly abnormal but not shockingly so.  Eggplant fades a bit but is easily touched up without needing to start from scratch.

Diabolical Druscilla, a bright shimmery pink with a hint of purple iridescence (just a tiny hint), was the brightest shade I ordered. This one was the best to wear. It lasted a few hours before needing retouched, and never got chunky.

Conversely, Hathor is a dark, intense purple. The color is stunning, but it was difficult to apply smoothly and was much drier than Diabolical. It felt chunky after just a couple of hours and I had to reapply frequently.  Out of the five shades I ordered, this one required the most maintenance.  However, I think the amazing color is worth the effort, and despite this shade being drier while wearing, it did not leave my lips feeling chapped afterwards as regular lipstick does.

Merlot (a dark wine shade with lots of sparkle!) was the most moist of them all, yet I never saw a hint of bleeding into my fine lines.  Merlot lasted for hours with little maintenance. 

Countess Bathory is a lovely crisp red.  It wore very well, but on me it was a bit on the orange side.  I might try mixing it with the Diabolical Druscilla and see what happens!

I will be linking to photos of the other colors as I wear them for future outfit posts.  Or you can check them out on the Morgana Cryptoria Web site.

After several wearings of each shade, I have found that a bit of my regular Burt’s Bees balm applied before these colors helps them all wear better without chunks or fading. I will definitely be ordering more colors of these fun lip balms!!

My fabulous eye shadows in these photos are all Bare Essentuals. But that’s a topic for another post. 🙂

Now, to bring this post back on-topic… 😉 I recently debuted a new necklace that was a birthday gift from dear friends. I love the Art Deco feel, and the striking contrast between the black and the crystal and silver tones. I paired it with a tiered ruffle top from Macy’s, because this top reminds me of the Art Deco days as well.

October 1 Theme: Lace

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For today’s theme, I wanted to present my absolute favorite lace item from my wardrobe. The clear choice was a lace ballgown skirt from Drac in a Box. This amazing skirt is made with high-quality lace (no cheap stretch stuff here!) and has two layers of taffeta underneath to give it shape. Each layer has a mesh ruffle along the bottom, gathered up every foot or so and topped with a tiny rosette. This skirt would look stunning with a petticoat underneath, but I prefer it a bit less puffy since my frame is so petite.

This purple brocade underbust corset from Corset Story is making its debut tonight. While checking out their Web site for the first time, the designs were so lovely and the prices so reasonable I promptly began drooling over this one (not so) subtly. The drooling continued for weeks. My birthday happened to take place just before I got sick, and Mr. Kitty used to opportunity to prove he is the perfect husband by ordering it for me! I am absolutely delighted with the quality construction and beauty of this piece. The purple is subtle, but when the light catches it just right it’s simply breathtaking. It’s comfortable, sturdy and creates the perfect shape.

Wanting to make this outfit just a bit more grand, I broke out the old handmade tulle veil. This was a really simple project I did about 10 years ago, but I haven’t worn it in years. Now that I remember how regal it makes me feel, it will most definitely be put back into service. I also plan to do a tutorial on it sometime soon.

Tonight’s makeup is extra exciting for me, as it incorporates three products I won in a giveaway over at Metamorphosis! Two eye colors and a blush from the “Colours of Decay” line by Detrivore Cosmetics.

Plague is the greenish-black sparkle eyeshadow I’m wearing in my crease. Harlot is a lovely soft pink shimmer shadow, seen just below my brow. Vulgar is a delicate lilac blush. All of these colors are intense and intriguing, although the green-black shadow lost a lot of its green (and its shimmer) as I was blending it. Application was a treat because these go on so smoothly! And they wear very well. I actually forgot to apply my eyelid primer tonight (I know, how did that happen?!?) but these shadows served me well all evening without creasing. I imagine the Plague shadow would remain more true to the color in the pot if applied over a primer. Thank you so much to Luna for this fun package!!

I always look forward to the variety of interpretations you guys contribute to these monthly themes. Now, bring on the lace!

Want to participate in this month’s theme?

Now it’s your turn! You know what to do (or if you don’t, check out the full details). 🙂

  1. Add the Monthly Theme icon to your blog post (copy the code below and paste into your post using the Edit HTML feature):

    <a href=”http://www.sophistiquenoir.com/search/label/Monthly%20Themes”><img src=”http://www.victoriankitty.com/blogPhotos/2012/07/monthly-theme-icon.jpg” border=”0″></a>
  2. Paste the URL to your post using the Mister Linky box below.
    Please use a direct link to your relevant post, NOT a link to your blog’s home page.
  3. Visit all of the other participants who have entered, and show them you appreciate their theme posts!

 

NO ADULT CONTENT will be allowed.

Skin Care, the VictorianKitty Way

The other day, a reader asked me about my skin care routine. Since I have had years of practice caring for sensitive skin, I thought I would share my routine with everyone.

First off: about my skin. I battled bad breakouts until I was around 30. Now that I have fewer (and much less severe) breakouts I only cleanse my face once per day, in the evening. I live in the desert so my skin stays quite dry, eliminating the need to wash my face when I wake up in the morning. Also, since it is such a dry climate, I re-moisturize in the middle of the day most days. If you have blemish-prone skin or live in a humid climate, you’ll want to cleanse more often than I do. All of the products I have listed are excellent for blemish-prone skin, as they are light and fragrance free. They are also great for extremely dry skin and aging skin, which are currently my main concerns.

I’m providing links to each of the products I use, but be aware that I did not look around for the best prices on each of these (I buy most of them locally, not online). You might want to shop around if you consider purchasing any of these items.

Daily Morning Routine

Daily Mid-Day Routine

Daily Evening Routine

Special Treatments

  • When my face is very dry, I steam it for 5-8 minutes using Conair Facial Sauna  once a day for a couple of days.  Be careful any time you use steam in your beauty regimen!
  • Apply a 35% Glycolic Acid Peel monthly, and occasionally weekly for a month (no one under 30 needs this). Please see my comments about chemical peels below! **
  • Sleep with Frownies on 2-3 times per week to help miminize the lines between my eyebrows.
  • Apply Neutrogena SPF 100 Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sun Block on face, neck, shoulders, arms, and back when I will be out in the sun for any length of time. If temperature is not too insanely high, I will wear a lightweight long-sleeve shrug or just sleeves or long gloves to protect my arms and the back of my hands from age spots.

* Coconut oil not only removes makeup better than any commercial makeup remover I have used, it also is all-natural and moisturizes the skin. I also use coconut oil as a shaving oil for my legs.

** 35% Glycolic Acid is considered an entry-level professional peel. If you purchase it for home use, please exercise caution until you are certain how your skin will react. Do a small spot test, following the instructions on the product carefully, and then wait 24 hours before applying to your entire face. I leave mine on for 10 minutes and experience a mild tingling and have no redness at all after the fact, but your results may vary!!! Peels like this do not result in any visible “peeling” so you will not have any healing time (everything that is peeled off is microscopic) but you should avoid sun for 24 hours after each treatment.

Of course, everyone’s skin is different and there is no guarantee that what works for me will work for you… But I have used all of these products for a long time, and I quite delighted with the current state of my skin.

Do you have any special skin care tips you’d like to share?