Thursday, June 27, 2013

Beauty in Black and White

As a lover of cosmetics it’s easy to be distracted by the bevy of beautiful colors, shimmering neutrals and dazzling brights that are available in seemingly infinite variations. Though I do profess to be a neturals lover where shadow is concerned, I can’t help but find myself attracted to bright pops of color however impractical practical they may be for my pale complexion. This inclination toward colorful items often causes me to overlook the many excellent products in shades of black, white and grey in my collection. 

At least on Getting Cheeky, beauty in black and white tends to be featured far less than these products’ colorful counterparts. Unfortunately these items in the grey area are often work horses in my collection, doing twice the work but getting little of the glory. Today’s post aims to change that.

I'm not one for many hair products, but when I do feel the need to spritz my locks with hairspray or apply a post wash treatment I often find myself turning to a brand I discovered via GlossyBox, Sebastian Professional. This straightforward range of products gives my thick mane just what it needs ... although I must admit that the sleek black and white packaged products from Sweeden's Sachajuan have recently captured my hair's attention. 

Simple black nail polish is always a winner in my book (despite my mother's accusation that I was "going goth" when I asked to be permitted to wear it in middle school), but there is just something about shades of grey and graphite that looks incredibly chic. Where polish is concerned, I naturally turn to a brand that is the crème de la crème, the minimalistically packaged Chanel Le Vernis. 

Winged black liner in varying degrees is my signature look and has been since I started wearing makeup (though my skills at drawing on a cat eye have unquestionably improved). It's amusing that I haven't written a post on this look, but given the fact that it's my go-to I'm apt to overlook it as a "style." Though I've tried dozens of liquid liners in my day, Stila's Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Liner always tops my charts: it's easy to apply, lasts on the eyes and doesn't dry up as quickly as many others that I've tried. 

(Clockwise from center): Sebastian Professional Shaper Fierce Hair Spray, Chanel Le Vernis 559 Frenzy, 529 Graphite, Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner 

Each and every product that I've tried from Aesop has been utterly incredible. Every now and then I'm left with the feeling that a brand has spent too much time thinking about how a product will look and not enough about the product itself. Packaged in vintage, pharmaceutical looking metal tubes Aesop's products deliver on their promises and leave one with the impression that the cream inside the simple tube really was the focus of the development meetings. As a lip product junkie, my unquestionable favorite of the bunch is the Rosehip Seed Lip Cream

Last, but certainly not least, I must dedicate part of this homage to black, white and grey to shadows of varying forms. Chanel's Ombre Contraste in Notorious, for instance, is the most realistic contour on the market for its ability to create the appearance of a genuine shadow along the cheekbone, crease of the eye etc. It's so good, Notorious is almost black magic. I also habitually overlook black and grey shadows because I love a good neutral brown, but truly perfect and flattering black shadows and sleek shimmering greys are hard to come by. Those that are well executed should be celebrated as such.

(Clockwise from center): Le Métier de Beauté Fin eye shadow (Nouvelle Vague Kaleidoscope), Aesop Rosehip Seed Lip Cream, NARS Vent Glacé Shadow Duo, Chanel Notorious Ombre Contraste

When all is said and done and I look over my makeup collection I realize just how little gratitude I give to the black, white and grey products that I employ on a daily basis without acknowledging their importance. Though these items are somewhat "boring" when placed next to a vibrant coral blush or bright pink lipstick, they serve their own purpose and I would, indeed, be lost without them! 

What are your favorite black and white products?