classic makeup: the romantic

For the fourth post in my classic makeup looks series, I'll be showing you one of my all-time favourites, the romantic. This look is inspired by the soft beauty seen in many of my favourite period pieces. From Wuthering Heights to Downton Abbey, the ladies in television and films set from basically the late 17th Century to the early 1920s always seem to have a consistent look: natural brows, rosy lips, softly defined eyes and--most importantly--glowing cheeks. A touch of rouge or a quick pinch from the fingers did the trick back then, and a swirl of rose on the apples of the cheeks is the key to this pretty look.

It's perfect for natural beauties with romantic sensibilities with who want a little bit of glamour without wearing too much colour. It's a subtle look, very similar to the au naturel, but with a little more shading on the eyes and deeper pink tones on the lips and cheeks. It suits all skin tones beautifully--you just adjust the colours accordingly.

Here are some examples:

Here's what you need:

Here's how to do it:

Prep your skin with a primer to create a soft-focus base. I then like to mix foundation and luminizing cream (such as Stila All Over Shimmer or MAC Strobe Cream) together on the back of my hand, and apply with a foundation brush. This creates a foundation with a lighter finish and built-in luminosity. Or, if you use foundation on its own, set it with a mineral powder that has a slight sheen, like MAC Mineralize Skinfinish.

Prep your eyes with a primer close to your skin tone (I used MAC Paint in Bare Canvas) then dust a shimmering powder overtop to set. Now you're ready to have fun with colour. I think the combination of taupes and a warm pink creates a really romantic look. I use MAC Omega and Patina all over the eyelid, blending upwards towards the brows, and also underneath the lower lashline. Use a fluffy brush to really diffuse the colour outwards. This defines the eyes softly and beautifully, without harsh lines. If you have a deeper skin tone, just look for shades that are in between the colour of your skin and brows, as that will be the perfect colour to create depth and shadow.

Use an angled brush to apply a more concentrated amount along the upper and lower lashlines to add a bit more definition. Use your finger to press on a shimmery pink shadow (MAC Expensive Pink was used here) overtop the taupe tones. If you feel like you still need a bit more definition, lightly apply a chocolate brown eyeliner along the upper lashline and smudge it up a bit. Apply several coats of your favourite mascara.

For the cheeks, dust on a bright cheerful pink or a true rose pink onto the apples of your cheeks, and on your neck and décolletage too. Choose a neutral pink for your lips, preferably something in a creamy (or even matte) finish. Don't use anything too glossy as that won't look as classic. Tidy up the edges with a lip liner in a similar shade to the lipstick, ensuring that you blend it inwards to avoid a harsh line. This step is really only necessary for pale people, so skip the liner if your skin tone is deeper.

That's it! Final look:

Now excuse me while I go watch Atonement and/or Pride and Prejudice.