Inspiration: 50 Shades of Grey

Inspiration: 50 Shades of Grey

*I first published this piece back in 2012 after reading EL James’ hyper-sexual best-selling book. But now, with the movie release looming a mere 24 hours away, I thought it rather suiting to revisit Anastasia Steele and her constant “flushing” and “blushing.” 

Besides pondering the sad realization that American’s are sex starved, the “50 Shades” phenomenon got me wondering, what does sex look like? Not the actual act of love making, more like the post-coitol look on one’s complexion. “Flushed” cheeks as EL James has so promptly pointed out on numerous occasions, a bitten lip (also pointed out time and time again – more as a turn on than as an effect of a good lay), and steely eyes? I asked celebrity makeup artist Denika Bedrossian to think up two looks for any woman wanting to channel her inner Anastasia Steele. Get these seductive looks just in time for the big V-Day evening!

Up first, 50 shades of flushed

“For this look, I’d recommend Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer ($43) to not only create a natural even skin tone but also protect it with moisturizers and SPF. Adding a Tarte Cheek Stain ($30) in Exposed for fair skin and Natural Berry for darker tones or Elizabeth Arden Cream Blush  in Nectar ($24) for fair skin and Plum for darker tones on the apples of the cheeks will give a dewy, sun kissed face. Stains and creams create a flirty pinched cheek appearance as described by  EL James when writing of Anastasia’s constant “blushing apples.”

Next, try using MAC clear or tinted Brow Set ($16)  to keep fine eye brow hairs in place. Placing a light coat of black or brown mascara on your curled lashes is a must. Try Tarte Eyelash Curler ($17), followed by their MultiplEYE Lash Enhancing Waterproof Mascara [discontinued, so try Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Splashes Waterproof Mascara ($20)]. You’ll need a good waterproof lash, for all of those steamy baths and showers with Mr. Grey!

I’d finish this look with a bitten lip such as Stila Lip Glaze in Raspberry ($22) – it’s great for all skin tones. MAC Tinted Lip Conditioner is also a great alternative for less gloss and more hydration.”

For a 50 Shades of Grey eye (think: flirty, sexy, irresistable), Bedrossian recommends: 

“To bump things up and add some drama for a “GREY” eye, I like to use MAC Paint Pot in Dangerous Cuvee  ($21) as a base. Layering MAC shadow in Greystone; this adds a bit of drama with out using black as a smokey color. Urban Decay Naked2 Shadow Palette ($54) is a great alternative, using shades Pistol and Verve. Apply to the eye lid and blend into the crease. You may also lightly dust the same grey tone under the lower lash line. Add a soft hint of Bootycall, included in the Naked2 Palette, under the brow and in the inner corners of the eye. This will brighten the eyes and lift your eyebrow arch. If your feeling extra sexy, add a sleek black liner on the upper lash line. For a liquid look, extend MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack ($16) with an angled brush. For a smudgy, smokier look, add Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Shadow Pencil in Barracuda [discontinued, try Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Smoke and Tuxedo ($28)] . This is a great and easy product to achieve a quick smokey eye.” 

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