Rose Gold Eyes and Bold Brows after Sunday Spa-day

After a perfumed bath featuring Lolita Lempicka by Lolita Lempicka, I used two face masks: an AHA peel by Alba and a scar-lightening mask by Garnier. Then I decided to play with makeup for a rose gold look, a tiny winged eyeliner, and a nude lip with my naturally bold brows (and the help of a pencil).



products used:
face- Clinique acne solutions foundation, NARS orgasm and laguna
brows- NYX eyebrow pencil in dark brown
eyes- Sonia Kashuk eye on neutral shimmer palette, Physician’s Formula Eye Booster liner and Jumbo Wear mascara
lips- Burt’s Bees Chapstick, Revlon Colorstay lip liner in Rose, Milani lipstick in Dulce Caramelo


Makeup, Self-Expression, and the Selfie

I remember my introduction to makeup. I was in junior high, and my mother had a Mary Kay party, to which she politely included my sister and I. I remember one thing of this party, and I always will: how to apply eye shadow. Just the basics — a lid shadow, a highlight, a crease color. Apply liner (my middle school preference was raccoon liner) and mascara and voila! From girl to lady — albeit a dark one — I went.


This was the era of MySpace. I thought of it as explaining oneself on one complex sheet of digital paper. I was confused enough to believe, at 12 or 13 years old, that the self and spirit of a person could be understood via the information provided on that platform. My misguided self took all of my artistic energy and applied it toward the crowning jewel of social media — the selfie. I did not think myself beautiful, and in fact, from 2002-2011 I downright hated myself. But in my own portraits, I could create a little melodramatic me-centric universe where I could be understood. Maybe even appreciated! (I much later understand that I was loved and appreciated through even my darkest times.)



I’ll leave it to my psychiatrist to determine why I often only shot half of my face in these early portraits.

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Some of these images are quite happy. My last high school band concert. Being accepted into art school for music. Playing guitar, faceless, on my parents’ front porch. A few photos of me fooling around on my new Macbook for college, hoping to capture my thin face and my eye for new experiences.

But as I look through my collection of photos on my laptop and on my cell phone, there is a complete gap of pictures of myself from my freshman through my fourth year of college. This gap says a lot — for one, I rid myself of social media entirely. At times, I thought taking selfies was completely vain. (It is. But there’s more to it than that.) But I also didn’t ever think I could take a picture that I’d like. For most of this time, I was battling bipolar disorder and PTSD undiagnosed and all alone. Add in the stress of music school, an abusive relationship, alcoholism, a few breakups, and adult acne, and you have the mess that was Martha for several long years.

Enter my brilliant psychiatrist and therapist. Enter endless medications and self-help books. Enter my service animal. Enter the acceptance of the love I couldn’t previously handle from my mother, my father, my sister, my boyfriend, and all of my wonderful friends in this world. (Honorable mention goes to my cats!) Enter my confidence machine — makeup.

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image (my first Sephora makeover, which changed my life; my first day with Buddy, my service animal; the day I chopped off all of my hair for the first time)

So I’m taking this back to the beginning, back to Mary Kay, back to makeup.

After I made enough progress in treatment of my mental illness, I started to care for myself again. I started wearing foundation, seeing a dermatologist, and expressing myself with eyeshadows and lipsticks.

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(channeling my inner Winona; look at me I knit a hat, playing trombone in a pit orchestra, being a red-lipped ice queen, a pre-Halloween party selfie)

And there was the one night of bipolar mania in which I decided to do a self-portrait titled “Androslut,” which one of my friends noted was “very Bowie.”


A picture says a thousand words. A selfie, I believe, says more.

Cheers to the confidence to take one, and thanks to my mother and Mary Kay for my first makeup lesson.



Blush Tag!

Blush is my absolute favorite part of my makeup routine. It adds dimension and glow to the face, and it can really add intensity or subtlety to any eye/lip look. I love creams, powders, gels, sticks, you name it! On to the questions:

1) How many blushes do you own?


Oh my God, 19!! I have a problem!

2) What is your favorite blush brush?


I have two… three if you count my fingertips. 🙂 But for most blushes, I use my Sephora PRO Blush contour #74, and for extremely pigmented products I use my MUA Professional stippling brush. They’re both very soft, durable, and put the product where I want it.

3) Creams or powders?


I’m going to have to go rogue and say gels, especially for winter! I only own one of them, but it applies so smoothly and looks the most natural.

4) Peach vs. Pink and favorites of each?

For my complexion, peach, but I love both colors. It really depends on what I do with my lips that day.

Favorite peach: NARS Orgasm


Favorite pink: Physician’s Formula Rose Pearl


Can you tell I’m a shimmer fan? 🙂

5) Drugstore vs. high end and favorites of each?

I only have two high end blushes, NARS and Josie Maran, and I reach for them often, but I’m going to have to say drugstore simply for the Milani baked blushes.

Favorite drugstore blushes: Physician’s Formula Rose Pearl and Milani Baked Blushes in Luminoso and Red Vino.


Favorite high end blushes: my only two, NARS Orgasm and Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelée in Poppy Paradise.


6) Most overrated?


These bad boys, the Maybelline master GLAZE Blush Sticks (in Just-Pinched Pink and Coral Sheen). They are okay, but need to be set with a powder blush in a similar color to last at all.

7) Most underrated?


Milani Baked Blush in Red Vino. You have to go easy on her because she is deep and richly pigmented, but after application with a stippling brush you get the perfect “snow-kissed” glow! And it’s only, like, $7!

8) Worth the hype?


Definitely Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso!! It is perfect for fair skin. It looks better on a face than the back of my hand, but you can still appreciate the dewiness, depth, and glow that Luminoso provides.

9) Top 5 blushes everyone should own?

I can’t speak for all that’s out there, but I certainly think everyone could use these out of my collection:


There’s a bright coral (orgasm), a hydrating red (poppy paradise gel), a pink (rose pearl), a look-at-my-skin-glow (luminoso), and a deep berry (red vino). All but the poppy shade are shimmery. What can I say, I’m 22!

10) What blushes are on your wish list?

NONE! Not until I use some up and give some away! I’m on a makeup using-up and gifting mission! But I have been eyeing a few by Too Faced, The Balm, and Bobbi Brown… 😉

I’d like to thank tatt2sandwarpaint for introducing me to this tag, and I tag all blush-lovers out there!