Makeup Interview: Heather

Posted on April 16, 2015 under Interview

Today I’m sharing with you the last post in this installment (for now, at least): an interview with my pal Heather! Heather is an 18-year-old student from Canada, and she’s been my friend for about two years now.

1. How would you describe your style of makeup?

I think my style usually flips between bold and classic. I love bold colours and trying new things but sometimes I also just really love classic or “natural” looks.

2. Describe a makeup look that you would consider “classic” you.

I think a classic look for me is a more porcelain look, fairly matte, with dark, smokey eyes and dark red lips.

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Heather says, “This is a pretty old picture but this was one of the first looks I tried and I became very attached to it. Also you’ll notice my eyebrows were very wild during this time.”

3. About how long does your normal makeup routine take? What does it consist of? Do you do anything else while you do your makeup, like drink your morning coffee or watch TV?

My normal makeup routine usually takes about 20 minutes. I usually listen to music while getting ready and lately it’s been a lot of Taylor Swift and Hall and Oates because both are very upbeat and honestly just make getting ready that much better.

4. Where do you get makeup inspiration from? Are there any websites or YouTube channels you visit regularly? Any celebrities whose makeup you might draw inspiration from?

I mostly draw inspiration from musicians. Haim and Lorde are ones I tend to be drawn to the most because I love Haim’s subtle looks and I love the way Lorde switches things up. I like to experiment with makeup a lot to see what colours work on me and I often use looks I find in magazines to do that.

5. Do you feel that your makeup helps to convey your personality, or is a way in which you can visually and aesthetically construct a sense of self? What are you trying to convey through your makeup, if anything?

I think the way I do my makeup is kind of the complete opposite of who I am as a person, if that makes any sense. To me it’s a way to step outside my own boundaries and express myself in a way I can’t necessarily do in other parts of my life.

6. Why do you wear makeup?

For me, I think makeup just makes me feel kind of like a whole different person and I like that. I love the way I can put it on and by the time I’m finished I’m like “Woah! Look at you!” That might sound kind of negative but I just really love the way makeup can transform you.

7. When did you first start wearing makeup regularly? When did it become an interest for you, i.e. something you actively wanted to talk about, read about, etc? How did that interest develop?

I first started wearing makeup in my second year of high school. It started off super simple with just foundation and some black eyeliner and gradually progressed to me taking more time and effort into my looks. I think it was sometime in late 2013 that I really started to become interested in makeup and all the different things I could do with it. I now find myself looking for new products when I’m out [lipstick has become my weakness] and searching for new things to try.

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“I did a lot of digging to find this gem. This is the look I wore everyday to school for like, an entire year. It was very simple and boring and my eyebrows were..shameful..but I’ve grown a lot since then!”

8. You like to wear a lot of dark lip colours, which is something that I know a lot of people I’ve talked to feel like they can’t “pull off”. What is it about dark lipstick that you like so much, or that makes you feel comfortable? And what are some of your favourite dark lipsticks?

When I first started wearing makeup I never in a million years thought I would be cool with wearing half the stuff I do now. For me, I love the contrast of darker lip colours with my [very] pale skin. I feel like it brings something more out of what ever look I’m trying to achieve. The first dark lipstick I ever bought was Rimmel’s Bordeaux and it remains to be my favourite dark colour to wear and once I was introduced to it, Revlon’s Matte Balm in Shameless became a very close second.

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“I love Shameless so much!”

9. When I think of you one of the first things I think of is how you are super, super interested in music. Would you say that any of the artists you like have influenced your self-presentation, or the aesthetic side of yourself that you’d like to convey to the world?

Absolutely! I definitely get most of my inspiration from my favourite artists. Emily Haines has always been a big inspiration to me in a lot of different ways and actually the first “look” I ever experimented on with makeup was one inspired by her. I absolutely think my favourite artists shape my life more than almost anything else mostly due to the fact that I feel very connected to them through their music. I think that I’ve learned so much through that medium that it would be very hard for me to deny its involvement in me being the person I am.

A big thank you to the lovely Heather for sharing!

I’m placing this series on hiatus for now, but I’m fairly certain it will come back at some point. I love looking into people’s brains and collections, so this will probably not be the last of it.

For anyone who originally expressed interest in being interviewed, feel free to send your answers to me still – I will post them! I’m just not currently actively seeking new people to interview.

Makeup Interview: Maura of Maura Ivy

Posted on March 20, 2015 under Interview

Long time no see, everyone! I’ve been busy with the end of semester and trying to cram in as much international travel as possible before I go back to Canada in a few weeks. (I know, hard life.) However, I think I’ll be back on a regular blogging schedule from now on.

Today I’m interviewing Maura, a 20-year-old student from the Netherlands who has her own excellent beauty blog at MauraIvy.com. I’m very excited for this one because Maura is not afraid of standing out, which you will soon see!

1. How would you describe your style of makeup?

#feministmakeupping is the first thing that comes to mind.

2. Describe a makeup look that you would consider “classic” you.

I usually start with a radiant looking base with contoured cheekbones and some blush, and then I do something with my eyes and what’s on my lips depends on what I’m doing with my eyes. On a school day I usually do a bold lip colour combined with a neutral-ish eye look.

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Two looks that Maura often wears: bold lips and easy eyes.

3. What is the most recent product that you bought? What’s your most recent makeup discovery that you’re excited about?

I recently bought the Milani Baked blush in Rose D’Oro. It’s really pretty. I also ordered this set of two dual ended eye brushes from Ecotools. Such a nifty set, you can create entire looks with just those two brushes. And they’re very affordable, too.

4. What are your 3 holy grail products?

  1. Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream. I use it for chapped lips and irritated skin but also to create eye gloss or highlighters (just mix it with some pigment!).
  2. NARS Liquid Illuminator in Copacabana. It’s the best highlighter I’ve tried so far. It doesn’t contain huge chunks of glitter and it blends beautifully. I’ve heard that the BECCA highlighter is even better so I’m really intrigued to try that one too.
  3. Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick. The best lipstick I’ve ever tried. I only own one (Glastonberry), but I want them all.

5. What product do you think is worth the high price tag, and what product that you can find at the drugstore do you think is awesome?

Urban Decay eyeshadow palettes are amazing. I use them every day and I’d rather have less palettes that I actually use a lot. These eyeshadows all have beautiful finishes and they’re so easy to use. Nothing is more frustrating than an eyeshadow that doesn’t blend or that’s chalky. I’ve always been pleased with drugstore eyeliner and mascara. My favourite eyeliner is by Catrice and it’s not even €3.

6. About how long does your normal makeup routine take? What does it consist of? Do you do anything else while you do your makeup, like drink your morning coffee or watch TV?

On a school day I usually give myself 45 minutes. I’m really bad at waking up in the morning, so I have to sit around and drink coffee for a while before my brain starts working. I use that time to do my makeup because it’s a relaxing morning routine for me. First when I wake up I clean my face and apply moisturizer. While that’s sinking in I’m making my coffee. Then I go upstairs and usually put on a tvshow of some sort. While sipping coffee I do my makeup. Usually it takes me around 20 minutes to do my eyes and then I finish everything else. On weekend days I can spend ages on my makeup, though.

7. Where do you get makeup inspiration from? Are there any websites or YouTube channels you visit regularly? Any celebrities whose makeup you might draw inspiration from?

I get inspiration from so many places. I regularly visit xoVain.com, the Powder Doom Tumblr (which I’m a proud contributor of) and I subscribe to tons of Youtube channels. My favourites are Pixiwoo, Wayne Goss, Claire Marshall and NikkieTutorials. I also get a lot of inspiration from Tumblr, Instagram and Pinterest. I get a lot of inspiration from editorial looks and I often try to make them work in real life. I really like Lorde’s makeup. Both her aesthetics and face shape are very similar to mine. I’m a massive Beyoncé fan so I always look at what she’s wearing too. However, recreating her looks can be a punch in the self-esteem because she’s so beautiful. She often has her makeup done by Sir John. He’s a great makeup artist and I love his work. I’m very guilty of buying things just because I know he used them on Beyoncé. I mean, if it’s good enough for Queen B, it must be really good.

8. Do you feel that your makeup helps to convey your personality, or is a way in which you can visually and aesthetically construct a sense of self? What are you trying to convey through your makeup, if anything?

I often think of myself as a concept. This sounds really pretentious but it’s my way of dealing with body image issues. I feel like my personality floats somewhere above my body, I don’t feel fully connected to it a lot of times. This is what makes it so easy to take risks with my appearance, I think.

I don’t do the whole ‘expressing your feelings through makeup’ by wearing black eyeshadow if I’m sad. Makeup a way of making myself feel better when I’m not feeling good. It’s a way to make myself look even better when I’m already feeling good.

My personality is visible in my makeup in the way that I like weird things and some people might conceive my makeup as weird. But most of all I just like to draw on my face. I don’t like it when people make assumptions about me based on my appearance, I just do whatever I like that day. There usually isn’t a deeper meaning.

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One of Maura’s bolder looks, complete with glitter, glorious glitter!

9. What is it that you like best about makeup?

Makeup is very calming to me. It’s peaceful. I got into the whole makeup game because at that time I was dealing with anxiety and depression. One day I made a trip to Sephora and I looked at all the beautiful stuff, I had no idea how to put it on. That’s when I started watching Youtube tutorials. Those videos were so peaceful to me and it really helped me relax. That’s when I started learning more and more. A bit later I started practicing the things I’d seen in the videos, and I kept getting better and better at makeup. At that time makeup was a way to make myself look good when I was feeling really bad. I found out that using concealer made the people around me less worried, and as it turned out, it also worked for myself. I was sad but at least I looked good. That’s what I like best about makeup. It’s really calming to me. From talking about it to applying it, it’s all a very soothing process for me.

10. Why do you wear makeup?

I wear makeup because I want to. I love doing my makeup, sometimes I love the process of applying it even more than the actual look I’m wearing. Of course there are days I just put on some makeup to conceal a zit and make myself look awake, but I don’t feel obligated to wear makeup at all.

11. When did you first start wearing makeup regularly? When did it become an interest for you, i.e. something you actively wanted to talk about, read about, etc? How did that interest develop?

I started wearing makeup regularly around the age of 14. At that time I had a massive crush on Alexa Chung and I wanted to look like her as much as I could. I dressed like her and I had her haircut. At that time she started wearing winged eyeliner, which was kind of a big deal back then because it wasn’t as much of a staple as it is now. That’s when I started practicing that. On the face I would spot-conceal with foundation. It was a different time. I wore the winged eyeliner for years, until I started practicing makeup at 18. After that became more and more passionate about makeup. At 19 I started blogging about makeup because I wanted a safe space where I could share my passion. I just liked talking about makeup so much and I felt that the people around me didn’t care as much as I did, so I had to find a place to share my thoughts.

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Two of Maura’s earlier looks. Of the look on the left, she says, “This look is from last summer, the bold lips with winged eyes and dark and strong eyebrows were my signature look back then.” The look on the right “is when I just started makeup. I was really proud of this look. It’s one of the first ones I created.”

12. You do a lot of very interesting, almost editorial looks, with bold colours and glitter. Is there something in particular that draws you to these types of looks instead of something more “conventional”? Does this relate to any sort of makeup philosophy you might have? And do you wear these looks out – if so, what context (class, out for drinks, etc)?

I have always been drawn to all things extraordinary and strange. I’ve never been one to ‘fit in’. This quickly translated to my makeup philosophy. Especially when I started I only had bright, colourful and glittery items. I’m still really drawn to shiny things, they just make me happy. For a long time I didn’t do conventional looks because I didn’t know how to do them. I used to watch many drag and other over the top tutorials, and I enjoyed those. I learnt to do the “no makeup makeup” way later. My makeup philosophy has always been “if you like it, wear it” and “it’s not permanent”. So if you end up disliking your look, just take it off. Don’t worry about your brows not being #OnFleek today, tomorrow is another chance. Literally no one cares that your makeup looks wonky for a day (unless you’re a female celebrity, but that’s another discussion).

I wear all my looks out! My FOTD’s are usually pictures from school days, or weekend days but most of the days I leave the house. If I’m ok with putting my picture online for the whole world to see, it’s good enough for everyone else to see.

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One of Maura’s bold looks, which she wore to a New Year’s Eve party this year!

13. Balance is something I’m very interested in, because often we get told “bold eyes or bold lips, but not both”, which I think isn’t necessarily true. Obviously you like to do a lot of creative and bold looks. How do you decide what lipstick to pair with a bold eye look, or vice versa? And how do you feel about this kind of prescriptive beauty “rule”?

I don’t believe in rules when it comes to makeup. Rules are boring, you should just try everything and see how it works on you. I think that bold eyes on bold lips can totally work, dramatic bronze eyes with plum or red lips for example. So glamorous!

When I don’t have a clear idea when I’m doing my makeup, which happens often, I just try on a couple lipsticks and see which one matches the look. Sheer lipsticks are a safe bet because they look great with anything. I often wear those with bold dramatic eye looks. When I’m doing bold lips I usually combine them with neutral shimmery eyes.

14. On your blog, you sometimes do tutorials that recreate, or are inspired by, celebrity looks. Obviously tutorials are designed to teach others, but I’m wondering if you learn anything from creating these types of looks. Does recreating a look help you be more detail-oriented when it comes to doing your makeup?

Recreating celebrity looks is a great way for me to do a look without being limited by your own idea of what your makeup should look like. That way I try completely different things that I maybe wouldn’t have come up with myself. It’s a good way to see what works on my face and what doesn’t.

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Another bold look – so much glitter!

15. I saw you mentioned that you’re on a self-imposed eyeliner ban. Why is this? How has this forced you to get creative with how you do your eye makeup?

I’ve been on an eyeliner ban before, it was this spring. I watched a tutorial with Sir John and he was recreating a look he did on Beyoncé. He said that eyeliner is over and that everyone should stop doing the winged eye all the time. At that time I’d been a winged eyeliner enthusiast for five years and I thought he had a point. I banned it for a month. I really wasn’t used to seeing my bare eyelids anymore, but I got used to it after a while.

At the beginning of this year I ditched the winged eyeliner again. I’m just bored of the look, it’s not my aesthetic anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I think it can look glamorous on a lot of people but I’m just done with it. It’s a look I’ve worn for years, and I don’t like it anymore It’s forced me to get creative because suddenly there was an entire eyelid to fill, when before I’d cover up half of it with eyeliner.

Lastly, Maura kindly shared these pictures of her setup:

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I want to thank Maura for sharing her unusual and inspiring makeup philosophy today and letting me pick her brain! Make sure you check out her blog, Maura Ivy, for more of her aesthetic and perspective.

Makeup Interview: Anna

Posted on March 12, 2015 under Interview

I’m really excited for today’s makeup interview, featuring one of my closest friends, the wonderful Anna. Anna is a 19-year-old linguistics student originally from Virginia, currently studying in Halifax, Canada.

1. How would you describe your style of makeup?

To be honest, I’m not sure if I really have a definitive style! I wear mostly warmer colours and black, as those are what best work with my complexion. I tend to draw inspiration from the past I reckon, like mid-20th century.

2. Describe a makeup look that you would consider “classic” you.

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My classic look is actually very minimal! It’s just red lipstick + liner and few coats of black mascara; it’s been my go-to makeup since middle school!

3. What is the most recent product that you bought? What’s your most recent makeup discovery that you’re excited about?

NYX lipliner in a reddish brown! It was on sale at Lawton’s for $2.50!!

When I went home for winter break I left my entire cosmetics bag sitting on my couch at home – it was a nightmare, especially considering how many photos my parents + friends wanted to take with me since it was my first time back since going off to college. Luckily, my mom gave me a good bit of makeup that she didn’t use (and most of which I didn’t end up using either.) One of the items was Revlon Diamond Lust eyeshadow in Neptune Star. It’s an extremely glittery dark green-blue, which usually isn’t a colour I would go for and I haven’t even swatched it yet, so fingers crossed that it looks as good on as it does in the package!

4. What are your 3 holy grail products?

  1. MAC lipstick in Russian Red – I’ve been wearing some kind of red lipstick since I was 12, and I’ve been using this one the longest because (surprise!) it’s my favourite! This shade of red looks soooo good on me and it’s matte which is what I prefer for lipstick!
  2. MAC (again!) Fluidline in Blitz & Glitz – This is another product that’s allowed me to do a look I’ve been doing since age 12 (black winged eyeliner) and been using since 16. Like literally, I’ve had the same pot since I was 16 and there is still plenty left, even though it’s one of my most heavily-used products. The very fine gold glitter is barely noticeable once applied, but I like to think it makes my brown eyes a little brighter.
  3. FLOWER Zoom-In Ultimate Mascara – Admittedly, I haven’t used this since it started drying up and I got a free replacement via Sephora’s birthday gift, BUT that doesn’t change the fact that my lashes have never been more beautiful than when I used this. It was amazing and I highly recommend it.

5. What product do you think is worth the high price tag, and what product that you can find at the drugstore do you think is awesome?

I think I paid around $30 CAD for Makeup Forever Aqualiner in Iridescent Red, which is way more than I would usually spend, but it’s impossible to fine red liquid eyeliner! This was the cheapest I was able to find and it applies spectacularly! And while I didn’t pay full price for it, I bought Stila liquid eyeliner at Winners and I LOVE it.

As for drugstore finds, I would have to say the FLOWER mascara listed above, as well as Revlon Super Lustrous & Matte lipsticks, and the Rimmel Lasting Finish Kate Moss lipsticks in both creme & matte. Both brands sell for around $5 or $6 in Canada/US and they come in a great variety of colours and quality that is above the price range for sure.

6. About how long does your normal makeup routine take? What does it consist of? Do you do anything else while you do your makeup, like drink your morning coffee or watch TV?

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A minimal makeup look for Anna’s passport photo.

So I wouldn’t say I wear makeup regularly or as a routine. At this point in my life I wear it probably 3 times per week (for work) and usually that is just mascara and lipstick, which takes all of three minutes if I decide to curl my lashes and apply lipliner. Sometimes I will fill in my brows and apply eyeliner and maybe light eyeshadow, which would bring it up to 15 minutes or so. If I am really doing my makeup, which happens when I have a good bit of spare time on my hands, it can take upwards of 45 minutes if I go into it unsure of what exactly I want to be doing. I like to play music when I’m doing my makeup, usually nothing in particular, just whatever I’ve been into at the moment. But if I am getting ready for a special event or something equally important I will play feel good sexy music to set the mood!

7. Where do you get makeup inspiration from? Are there any websites or YouTube channels you visit regularly? Any celebrities whose makeup you might draw inspiration from?

I am very much in my own little bubble when it comes to things like this! I have, a handful of times in the past, copied the exact looks of certain celebrities, namely Edie Sedgwick when I was 16 (I will try and find a picture!) Beyoncé’s Vogue cover in 2013, and one Betty Draper-esque look even though I’ve never seen Mad Men. Otherwise, my inspiration can come from anything that catches my eye, usually a colour palette, but not necessarily from other makeup looks.

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Edie Sedgwick, Beyoncé, and Betty Draper

8. Do you feel that your makeup helps to convey your personality, or is a way in which you can visually and aesthetically construct a sense of self? What are you trying to convey through your makeup, if anything?

For me, personally, I have not consciously noticed a way I use makeup to convey my personality. I think if anything, I am just trying to have fun and look beautiful! I used to be heavily involved in creating visual art, and makeup is now a way for me to show off my technical abilities and creativity. And much like how I always got asked how I learned to draw, I often get asked how I learned to do makeup and truthfully, I just don’t know! Ever since childhood I’ve just kind of had a sense of what looked good and how to apply it. I remember contouring my friend’s face when we were 8!

9. What is it that you like best about makeup?

I really love the artistry. I love seeing something well-applied even if it is unflattering on the person wearing it. I also love that I can make myself look like a different person just by changing the shape of my brows or eyeliner. The smallest things can make the biggest difference. Painting on a living canvas is truly amazing.

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The first look includes eyeliner with a red and black gradient. About the second, she says, “This is really so far from my usual look but it was so fun!” The cut crease in the third was created with “only the tiniest eyeliner brush and my fingers”.

10. Why do you wear makeup?

Because I love being beautiful! Don’t get me wrong, I am completely comfortable without makeup, and even feel beautiful most of the time. But being able to take this idea of beauty and exaggerate it is appealing to me.

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Anna without any makeup.

11. When did you first start wearing makeup regularly? When did it become an interest for you, i.e. something you actively wanted to talk about, read about, etc? How did that interest develop?

I first started wearing makeup (aside from playing dress-up) when I was around 11. At first I would just wear mascara, a little bit of eyeliner, and a sheer gloss, but then I got more comfortable wearing makeup out in public so I branched out. I discovered red lipstick! It’s what I feel most comfortable in – my “safe” colour if you will – and because of this I feel like it’s sort of become my signature. I’ve always had an interest in makeup, but wasn’t able to fully explore until I had my own money to buy it, so around 17 is when I really dove deep. The desire was always there, I just needed the capital.

12. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Just that I hate wearing foundation! I’m sure it’s psychosomatic, but I have yet to wear a foundation that doesn’t totally skeeve me out when I’m wearing it. So because of this, I only wear it out a few times a year.

13. I know you won’t mind me creepily saying that you have a lot of really beautiful features that make up a beautiful whole – you have incredible cheekbones, beautifully shaped eyes that I am supremely jealous of, and really nice delicate lips. Do you use makeup to emphasize or play around with these features? In particular, I think you do really great eye makeup that emphasizes your eye shape – can you talk about that at all?

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Okay, so first of all, thank you so much!! I put a lot of conscious effort into accentuating my favourite features. I don’t usually contour my cheekbones, but if I want them to look stronger than usual I will. I haven’t worn blush in awhile, but I am a huge fan of a strong, clean pink blush. As far as my lips go, delicate is a nice word to use! My mouth is not very wide at all and my lips, while not thin, are not exactly thick either. What I do have is a very defined cupid’s bow, so I play that up whenever I’m wearing something on my lips.

As far as my eyes go, I am so particular about the shapes I use that I find it almost lacking creatively. I like the shapes of both of my eyes, but they are not symmetrical, so if I don’t apply my eyeliner and shadow just so it only serves to emphasize that. And as we all know, asymmetry isn’t beautiful. In fact, I find it very off-putting on myself. I know I won’t be able to make them look perfectly symmetrical, so my main goal is to widen them (like horizontally, not vertically) and to make them look farther apart so as to offset my nose, which at time I feel can take over my face. So, to widen my eyes, I almost always do a winged liner, and I don’t draw it too thick as I think that makes my eyes look rounder than I’d like, so I do a graduated thickness from the inside out. For the wing, I know most people recommend angling it in line with your bottom lid, but I bring the liner down + out just a tiny bit past the outer corner, then I bring it up at a slightly slower angle than my bottom lid. If I’m wearing bold shadow, I’ll have the outside bit follow that angle as well. Also for eyeshadow, I usually just do a horizontal gradient with a slightly contrasting crease and brow highlight! And speaking of brows, they are so important! Mine are naturally pretty thick so most of my maintenance is keeping up a good arch. I also have what I guess would best be described as long brows? I keep them long to offset the length of my face. Overall, I try to make my eye makeup mimic the shape of my eyes except more elongated.

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Anna kindly indulged my favourite form of voyeurism: looking at makeup storage and collections.

14. You’re not one to be shy with how you dress – your clothes are full of personality and confidence, which is completely congruous with the Anna I know and love. Do you think that your makeup complements this side of your personality that you like to express? Is it something you like to have fun with rather than take super seriously?

My clothes and makeup are both things I love having fun with! To say I take them seriously would be such a blatant lie. I mean, I’ve gone out in public my fair share of times with no real bottoms on and glittery makeup, and I was giggling the whole time. I know I have a strong and outgoing personality, and I like to think my style exudes this. The other week I wore a red, white, and blue getup to work complete with a shirt with a sequined American flag. Since I’m an American expat in Canada, my coworkers got a kick out of it.

My clothing style is a lot like my makeup style in that it doesn’t reflect my personality overall so much as how I’m feeling when I put it on. If I feel sexy, I’ll put on a tight red dress and bedroom eyes. If I’m feeling playful, I’ll wear bright pink lipstick and something floral. And on Halloween, I’m something else all together.

I want to thank Anna for her thoughtful, interesting responses! (And for letting me apply liquid foundation on her this summer even though she hates it!)