Monday, February 21, 2011

Adele-inspired FOTD: Pretty, polished and easy

Adele came onto the scene around the same time as Duffy and Amy Winehouse and I don't know if I had overdosed on 60s-style-soul-singers or what, but although I acknowledged that she was an unbelievable singer and songwriter, her music just didn't click with me. Her new album is currently #1 in 17 countries and when I saw this video a month or two ago, I was completely hooked. 

I played this video over and over again, and most plays, I wept, but I still kept watching it. She has the ability to write a song that resonates with people, I hear it over and over again. 'Someone Like You' is heartbreakingly powerful and you feel her pain in every word. 

Yes, I've drunk the Adele Kool Aid finally.

Perhaps another thing that I've responded to this time around with Adele is her styling. She has a 50s-60s-style polish about her clothing, makeup and hair. She looks gorgeous.

When I discovered that Nic from PixiWoo had done a tutorial inspired by Adele's look, I decided to do my own version. The key to the look is to look polished, healthy and retro but with a modern softness.

What do you think?

Here is the PixiWoo video I used as reference - I did almost exactly what Nic does but used some different products. By the way, if you haven't checked out the sisters behind PixiWoo, you must! They're absolutely amazing. 

Here's the Adele-inspired video Nic did.

And here's another shot of me with my Adele-inspired look.

Basically the only difference between mine and Nic's version of this look is some of the products and that I went with cool tones on my cheeks and lips while she went more tan, which is closer to how Adele's look is. I simply don't have a bronzer or peachy lip products that would work for this, so I went with pink. I think it works just fine with my skin tone and hair colour. I am on the hunt for a good peachy lipstick though...

So what I did was moisturizer (Bare Escentuals RareMinerals Moisturizer), a bit of primer on my T-Zone and then buffed on Bare Escentuals Mineral Makeup in Fairly Light. For this look you want a base with coverage. Not what they would have worn back in the 50s and 60s, but something that's not overly shiny. You want natural but covered. Use concealer (I used MAC Studio Fix in NW20 mixed with MAC Select Moisturecover in NW20) under your eyes and on any areas you need a bit more coverage.

Eyes first. 

Blend a creamy highlighter along your brow bone (I used Benefit Moonbeam), on the inner eye and blended softly across your eyelid. Right away, use a bit of MAC Paint Pot in Groundwork (I had a sample I'd gotten to try) and smudge it across the lid, softly. You want the lighter cream shade below and Groundworked to blend a little. Use a broad, flat brush like the one pictured below.

MAC Groundwork

Then blend a combination of the orange (Rich & Earthy) and gold (Skintone 2) shades from MAC's Notoriety palette (from 2009's MAC Make Up Art Cosmetics Collection - Richard Phillips) across the eyelid, focusing on the outer corner. (Nic uses MAC's Woodwinked.) You are looking for a soft, shimmery, warm effect. Use a broad, full brush like the one pictured below.

MAC Notoriety Quad
Next, use MAC's Patina in the crease, blending it above slightly. You want a touch more definition but still very natural and shimmery. You can use the same full, fluffy brush just clean it off a little first.

MAC Patina
And finally, that cat-eye eyeliner flick! I used my MAC Blacktrack and an angle brush, as always.

MAC Blacktrack
Start from the inside of your eye and draw a line along your lashline, extending it beyond the edge of your eye and flicking it upwards. Draw the line again, making it thicker. If you wish to, you can draw two lines, one above the other, just join the corners and make it thicker in the middle. Go over it again with new product if you need to intensify the colour. Make sure it looks as perfect as possible and use Q-tips to help you tidy the line up if you need to.

*Don't curl your eyelashes before drawing your eyeliner line. 

Finally, run your brush along your upper waterline, below the top lashes all along your eyelid. It's like lining the upper waterline. This intensifies the look and if you've got tangly eyelashes like me, this helps to cover any skin in between the eyeliner line and your waterline. 

Curl upper eyelashes and coat with two or three coats of mascara. I used Benefit's Big Lash. You'll want to use mascara on your lower lashes as well. Nic uses a Clinique Lower Lash Mascara in her video - ooooh! I've never heard of this but I want it! A mascara for lower lashes will have a smaller, denser brush than a regular mascara. I have upper eye-length lower lashes so I can get away with using a regular mascara on them, as long as I'm gentle.

I filled in my eyebrows with MAC Sketch and a short-bristled angle brush. You want to have full, well-groomed brows for this look. 

MAC Sketch (the hard, shiny part at the top is from when I've used it wet)

For my cheeks I used two pinky versions of what Nic used, simply because I don't have bronze-peach colours in my makeup case. 

Use MAC Strada blush to softly sculpt your cheeks. Using a fluffy, angled blush brush, sweep it just below your cheekbones.

MAC Strada
On top of that, use MAC Mineralize Blush in Warm Soul on the apples of your cheeks with a fluffy blush brush. Sweep it up to your temples. You want to look glowy and healthy. 

MAC Mineralize Warm Soul

Lips! The idea is a subtle, glossy but sculpted lip. Use a neutral or pale pink lip liner (I used Smashbox in Smashing Muse and MAC in In Synch) and apply to your entire lip. Top it with a pale pink lipstick like MAC Plink! and then top that with a glossy pale pink gloss like MAC Baby Sparks.

L-R: MAC In Synch, Smashbox Smashing Muse, MAC Plink!, MAC Baby Sparks

 If you wanted to, you could use false eyelashes with this look for a more dramatic, glamourous effect. Obviously, more for night than for day.

 And there you have it, a gorgeous, polished, modern retro look. Check out Pixi Woo and Adele!

Here's another of her songs: 

Sam and Nic Chapman, the Pixiwoo girls can be found:
On Twitter at @pixiwoos
On YouTube at
On the Internet at


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