Friday, March 29, 2013

Oh, the things you ask

Dear Pretend Goddess, 
I'm getting married in a few months. Should I have my rings soldered together before or after the wedding? I don't want to part with my engagement ring even for a week. Argh, the stress of weddings.

A I'm not into soldering rings together because I'm not....well, let me try to be as sensitive as possible. The answer is, neither. Don't solder your rings together at all. Is that even right, the word solder? I'm not hip to words that are no longer relevant. I didn't know people still did that. Please, don't. Of course, everyone has different tastes and styles even if they are dated.  
There are more cons than pros. 
Personally, I don't always wear my engagement ring. It's beautiful and I love it but it's not always practical. I never take my band off unless it's being cleaned or when I work out. I clean my ring more than I work out, if you must know. 
When running errands or just lounging around the house, I don't wear my engagement ring. 
Everyone knows not to travel to certain places with a big diamond flashing from your finger like bait. If you solder your rings, you'd have to go without your rings or in your case, ring. I'd rather something happen to my band than my sparkly asscher cut ring. The thought alone makes me shake. 
If you choose to solder your rings together, do so. I'm not in favor of it. I like having the option of wearing both or just the band. 
I'm just a simple goddess that doesn't follow trends of decades past.  

Q I'm in high school and all my friends are getting tattoos to remember our time together. We graduate soon and we'll all be off to separate colleges and as my mom says, will eventually drift apart. I'd like to remember the best time of my life and my friends. I'm 18 so age isn't an issue. You'd get one wouldn't you?

A Well, age is an issue. Eighteen is so young. You don't see it now but one day you will. 
I won't lie. I do have two tattoos. I didn't get them as a pact to remember a time in my life, though I was about your age when I got them. I don't regret getting them ONLY because I was wise enough to not put them on places that are visible (unless I'm in the nude). I won't say where because I don't want to encourage you further. But if you must, don't do the whole ankle tattoo or a place where a future employer will see. It's (even more) trashy. Don't put the tattoo that will show if you wear a strapless dress. Basically, I'd like to say don't get one at all. 
To stay on point, you're getting one for the wrong reason. If there truly is a right reason. For me at the time there was. At least in my mind it was the right reason. You said you want "to remember the best time of your life." How do you know high school will be the best time of your life? 
Unless you're one of those girls who peaked in high school, then wait. 

If you want to remember your friends, remain their friends. I didn't go to the same college with anyone I went to high school with and I'm still close with some. Actually, my closest friends are those I went to elementary school with, those I met in college, and while out in the real world. I assure you, I felt no need to tattoo my body as a way to remember days of trading lunches or walking to class hungover while in college. 
If you want to remember your glory days in the years to come, go through your yearbook every now and then. Don't get a tattoo that says, "Class of 2013 Rocked!"
Hold off on a tattoo. If you still want one later, then get one that is unique not one that everyone else is getting. 

Q I just got bangs! I look awful. I thought they were in style. My hair stylist said to try it. Help.

A Because something is the latest trend doesn't mean it works for everyone. The blunt bang is certainly not for everyone. You have to go by the shape of your face, your hair type, and your general features. Not to mention your willingness to commit to upkeep. 
I, for example can't do bangs. You know, the bangs across the forehead. My hairdresser is smart enough to know what isn't going to work for her clients. Yes, that was me wagging my finger at your current stylist.
However, longer swept to the side bangs work for me because my face is round. The trendy Michelle Obama bangs wouldn't accentuate my features. They would instead make my face rounder.  
The good news is your bangs will grow out. 
Send me a message or pic of your new hair style or older pic and I'll tell you what would look best. Maybe bangs would look good on you but you got the wrong type. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

You asked me what?

Dear Pretend Goddess,
I have been dating a great guy for over six months. He's met my parents but I haven't met his. Normally, I wouldn't think anything of it because his family lives out of town. However, his parents have visited at least three times and never a mention of an introduction. They're coming for a visit next month and I think I should meet them. I do have thoughts that he's the one but when he is keeping an important part of himself hidden from me, I think perhaps I'm not his one. 

A Well, You may not be his one. I do think that if he's met your parents, then you should meet his. Or do I really think that? Hmm. I'm not sure. If you pushed your parents on him two weeks after your first week together then I'd tell your boyfriend to run for the hills. If that's not the case and well, even if that were the case, the man is still with you. 
Have you asked why you haven't met his parents? When he plans on making such an introduction? Without knowing the full relationship I can only make assumptions. Maybe he felt he met your parents too soon, he moves at a different pace, doesn't want his girlfriend to meet his parents until the relationship reaches a certain level, OR you're not the one and he's keeping you around for the sake of just dating you. 
I'm not saying it's the last one. Ask him. A heads up though, evasive answers tend to be more telling than not. Do not come at him with guns firing though and don't sound accusatory. For example, "You've met my family. Why haven't I met yours?" "Am I not important enough to you?" 
You know the real question is if you're the one for him. Does your boyfriend see a future with you? And it makes you think not, when he doesn't make the parental introductions. 
So calmly (I beg), ask. At a certain age and any age, your time is more valuable and it isn't fair for it to be wasted by someone who doesn't see or know if there is a future. However, if you're say in your twenties, then relax. You don't need to be thinking about "the one" yet. 
I assure you after six months though, he knows where the relationship is going or where it won't be going. Understand? Again, calmly ask. If the answer is what you want to hear, then let him know that you'd like to meet his parents. do I put this delicately?...don't be that girl. Try not to come across as the desperate girl who just wants to get to the altar. 

Q I'm thinking of getting eye lash extensions. What are your thoughts about them? 

A Not a huge fan of them as an everyday look. I can tell more times than not when someone has eyelash extensions. You don't want people to know you're wearing fake lashes. Well, maybe you do but you shouldn't. If you're getting them for a special event or if you really don't have any lashes then I'll give you my go ahead. Otherwise, I don't like them. If you must, get the "mascara look." Stay away from the dramatic or extreme looks. Too intense looking and quite frankly, will cheapen your look. 
There are products that your doctor can prescribe if you are lacking in the lash department. Talk to your doctor about your options. You'll save money in the long run. 
Now, when you go to your spa for those fake lashes, please bring a picture of Jennifer Love Hewitt with you. Let your technician know you don't want that look. 
*If you are an escort, showgirl, "dancer," or don't have any lashes, then by all means carry on with those extensions. 

Jennifer Love Hewitt's tarantula eyes

 I'm a brunette and thinking of going blonde for the Spring and Summer. I can't afford to go to a salon every month for the upkeep. I'm going to color it myself at home. What at home color kits do you recommend?

A I don't. If you can't afford to maintain, don't do it. You're not just talking about coloring, you're talking about bleaching. That's a whole different game.
Leave it to the professionals. You'll fry your hair and cause serious breakage if you don't know what you're doing. If you have to ask which "kits" to use, you don't know what you're doing. It's a process to go from dark to light. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Top Hand Cream Picks

I don't know about you, but I hate hand cream that leaves my hands greasy or a cream that leaves a sticky film. I want a hand cream that absorbs quickly and moisturizes my wintry, thirsty skin leaving it soft. 
I've tested many brands from local drugstores to beauty and department stores. 
I must say, I was more disappointed than not while testing drugstore brands. I always want to find the most economical brands to recommend. I always say, there are products that are worth the splurge and others that are not. Regarding your skin, more times than not, I'll recommend that is where to splurge. 
Fear not though, I did find a few budget-friendly hand creams available at a drugstore that are worth my recommendation. I was very specific with what I was looking for while testing. 
A lot of creams that didn't make the cut, such as Eucerin Original, that I know from research as highly reviewed surprised me. I didn't like it all that much. It came out thick and left my palms greasy. I find if I have to wipe my palms dry after use, then it defeats the purpose of the cream. I will give it a whisper of praise because I can tell that it would heal very dry hands. Though it takes time for the cream to properly absorb and leaves hands a bit sticky, therefore causing me to not give it my full recommendation. 
When I have to spend minutes massaging a lotion into my hands, it's a no for me. They may heal dry, chapped skin but I assure you, there are better ones on the market that aren't so time consuming. Perhaps if I'm sitting in front of the TV with nothing to do I would consider such a lotion. Well, considering I now have a drawer of such creams, I may return to them when I run out of my favorites that are listed below.

Budget-friendly hand creams (prices vary depending where purchased):
I must note that most of these creams can be purchased in travel sizes. I highly recommend that while testing products. 


*Cetaphil. I'd say out of all drugstore lotions/creams, Cetaphil is my favorite. I'm not a fan of scented hand creams and if there is one it mustn't be a detectable fragrance or so incredibly subtle that my super sniffer isn't offended. Because my hands tend to be drier during colder months, I may add a very small drop of avocado oil or grape seed oil to cream when applying before bed. 

*Dove. If your hands are dry and need extra care, this is a good one for the price. However, and this goes with most hand creams, a little does go a long way. Repeat that sentence to yourself. Start with a dime-sized amount (with any brand) and increase depending upon desired amount. This one does tend to leave hands with that greasy feeling if too much is applied. 

*Neutrogena Norwegian Fast Absorbing Hand Cream. I like this one and I also like the original formula. Though I must add that you need very little of the original. It is heavier. At first I was unsure if I would like this one but my hands were smooth and soft the next morning. When I applied cream my hands and cuticles were dry. 




*Bliss High Intensity hand cream & Clinique's deep comfort hand and cuticle cream are hands down my two favorite hand creams. As long as I'm able, I will always splurge on one of the two. They moisturize incredibly well and I love how soft they leave my hands. Fantastic. 
I feel as though people have forgotten about Clinique. For a time, I did. If I may add a little side note, I still like Clinique pressed-powder. Do the Clinique sales associates still wear those white lab coats? I'll have to check as I purchased the cream online. Curious. 
Bliss High Intensity hand cream does have a scent but I don't find it offensive in the least. It won't interfere with any other scent you may have on. 

*L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream. This is a great hand cream. In fact, I love it. This is definitely a cream where a little would go a long way. My hands felt soft and passed my test of lasting hours without having to reapply. 
With that said, it's not worth the price. I can justify splurging on the Bliss one, especially during the colder months. Bliss works just as well, maybe better. I think the Clinique one is slightly overpriced but it's amazing and I'd rate it the same as Bliss in terms of effectiveness. Remember, if you use a small amount (as you should), it will last longer. 

*AHAVA Mineral Hand Cream. This is a hand cream that truly delivers. It does have a slight scent but like Bliss' scent, it is not offensive and won't interfere with other scents. The only reason why I don't like AHAVA as much as Bliss' or Clinique's is because I had to reapply it more often. Of course after washing hands you may need to reapply cream and during the winter months, you'll find your hands need more moisture. I found that I needed to reapply AHAVA randomly throughout the day, more so than usual, and that was annoying for me. This was disappointing because the cream did make my hands soft and healed a dry patch I had on my hand. 

*Kiehl's Ultimate Strength Hand Cream. This is the cream if your hands are very dry. If I were exposed to harsher conditions and were harder on my hands, I would use this daily. It is for the very dry and it truly works. 




Wednesday, January 2, 2013

My Nail Polish Picks for 2013

deborah Lippmann Just Walk Away Renee

Essie Power Clutch

Nail Color, Care & Nail Offenses. 
My post was going to be about skincare for the winter months. This, though, can't wait. I have seen such horrible nail offenses in the last two months that I feel obligated to address these offenses and to tell you what colors are my top picks for 2013, or at least for the foreseeable future.

I was at my usual nail salon over a week ago. I was seated next to a woman who was dressed in a nicely tailored suit. Obviously, you can imagine my horror when I noticed her color choices. Choices, yes. She picked two colors. I'll get into that in a bit. You should know, I don't favor multiple colors.
Anyway, I was eavesdropping. I thought maybe the woman was trying too hard to be festive due to the holidays but her manicure was for a job interview. I couldn't believe it. I did a lot of internal debating. I wondered if I needed to simply go over to her and give her a hug. Then I thought about reaching in my handbag and handing her one of my Pretend Goddess business cards. I did neither. I proceeded with my manicure and continued to watch the women next to me. I cringed when I saw her finished manicure. She was proud of her silver glitter nails and red (french manicure style) tips. Awful. Sinfully, awful. 
What job was she interviewing for with those nails? I don't want to digress further with my profiling of this clearly lost woman. I did leave a stack of my cards at the salon. I can only hope she returned later, realizing her mistake and opting for one shade and one that doesn't scream, "hooker."

I chose OPI Road House Blues (see below pics) while at the salon. A color that I would describe as the darkest of blues. A color that I'm loving for 2013, even though it's been around for awhile. Most my choices are not new but if you don't have them as your color selections, consider adding them. 


The week before, my nails were OPI Russian Navy. Think Indigo. 
If you're looking for another bold choice that won't cheapen your look, try Essie's Over the Edge. A color I would describe as gun metal grey. Essie's website describes the color as "metallic midnight silver." 

OPI Russian Navy
OPI Road House Blues
Essie Over the Edge

Zoya - Petra. A purple/grey. Beautifully smokey with a hint of mauve. 
OPI - Suzi Skis in the Pyrenees. A blue/grey.
OPI Suzi Skis in the Pyrenees
Deborah Lippmann - Stormy Weather. The name describes the color well. 
Deborah Lippmann - Hit Me With Your Best Shot

Deborah Lippmann Hit Me With Your Best Shot

Deborah Lippmann
Stormy Weather

You can't go wrong with a nice sheer pink, a subtle pink or a simplistic nude. Like nude lipsticks, there is a shade for everyone. I tend to paint my fingernails a sheer pink or nude more times out of the year than not but lately I've been going dark. 

Pinks and nudes that I love and consider classics that will stay that way regardless of the trends of the year are: 
Essie - Sugar Daddy is a favorite of mine. My go-to, if you will. My favorite sheer pink.
Essie - Mademoiselle
Essie -  Ballet Slippers
OPI - I think in Pink - tends to be more of a solid pink and not sheer if too many coats are applied. 
OPI - Aphrodite's Pink Nightie
OPI - Sweet Heart
Deborah Lippmann - Naked. This is a favorite of mine. 
OPI - Bubble Bath
Deborah Lippmann - Modern Love. A classic Mauve. Another of my go-to colors when I can't decide. 

OPI Aphrodite's Pink Nightie
Essie Ballet Slippers

Essie Mademoiselle 

Essie Sugar Daddy
Deborah Lippmann Naked
OPI I Think In Pink
OPI Don't Pretzel My Buttons
OPI Sweet Heart
OPI Bubble Bath
Deborah Lippmann Modern Love


Essie - Wicked
OPI - Malaga Wine
OPI - Got the Blues For Red
CND - Dark Ruby
OPI - Mrs. O'Leary's BBQ
Deborah Lippmann - Bitches Brew
Deborah Lippmann - Just Walk Away Renee

Essie Wicked
OPI Mrs. O'Leary's BBQ

OPI Got the Blues For Red

OPI Malaga Wine
CND Dark Ruby

Deborah Lippmann Bitches Brew
Deborah Lippmann Just Walk Away Renee

*Stay away from nail trends. Those two toned nails are not trendy, they are trashy.
*Not a fan of the traditional french manicures. So you can imagine my disgust for the red tips. 
*Glitter top coats or glitter nails are not acceptable on anyone over twenty. 
*The trend where every nail is painted a color except one nail is painted something completely different is not attractive and makes you look cheap. Stick to one color for all your fingernails. You're not ten. 
*Any nail art should go without saying is a tacky and trashy no-no. There are no exceptions to this rule. None. 

*Most nail colors are acceptable as long as you follow the "Nail Don'ts." What no one can pull off, unless you're at an 80's costume party, is neon. 
*You can have the nicest polish on that is perfectly applied but if your surrounding skin is dry and your cuticles are dry and raggedy, then your manicure is well, in need of a redo. 
*Apply cuticle cream or cuticle oil everyday. I prefer at night and in the mornings. Actually, keep some in your purse. 
*Always use hand cream. 
*Splurge on a quality top coat. Even if your nail color is a drug store brand, splurge on a top coat. The splurge would really only be a few dollars more. Best top and base coat buys: Seche Vite Top Coat, OPI Top Coat, Seche Base Coat, and Orly Bonder Base Coat. 
*Use a base coat.
*Avoid those fast-drying nail polishes. I promise. I can always tell when someones nails are painted with the over-rated polish. They lack shine and the color turns dull very quickly. 
*If your nails are very short and bitten, use a clear polish until you get them to an active length. Pay for a manicure. A professional will do a better job getting your bitten nails looking a little healthier and you might be more inclined to take care of them. 
*With that said, don't grow your nails too long. There is long and then there is an unnatural length that is outdated. 

There are so many more colors I adore. 
I encourage you to visit the below websites to see all the great nail colors. 
I should also note that I only mentioned nail brands I favor the most. I find the department store brands, for the most part, to be overrated and honestly, not that great. Deborah Lippmann is a department store brand and a splurge. I wouldn't recommend it if I didn't think worth it. Remember, you deserve the occasional treat. I wish Chanel was worth the price but it's simply not. Their make-up is but not their nail polish. So many great colors. The good news is OPI and Essie have most the colors that one would need. YSL and NARS have nail colors that are worth the price if you are willing to splurge. Personally, I don't see the point when others are equally as good and to some degree, better.

Now, tell me, what are your favorite nail colors? Just because you don't see them listed here doesn't mean they are not one of my favorites too. 
So many colors, so little time... 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

More Questions, More Answers

Ask The Pretend Goddess

*Pretend Goddess, 
I'm throwing a holiday party in my home next weekend. I invited many people but only people I consider a friend. I invited co-workers and friends I have outside of work. Apparently, a co-worker that I did not invite found out and approached me at work about my upcoming party. She seemed hostile and angry that I didn't include her. She told me she would have invited me and that she was hurt. I told her I was sorry and pretended I was in a hurry and walked away without talking to her further. I avoided her when I saw her yesterday. Did I make a mistake by not including all co-workers? 

A: You only made a mistake if you're the boss. If you're the boss then you don't include your employees in a holiday party that takes place outside of the office. The exception is if all employees are invited. Then I would keep it in the office or a public space. 

However, you said co-worker so I'm assuming you are not the boss. You are though in a delicate situation because now you have a co-worker, someone you probably see and have some sort of relationship with on a daily basis who is upset with you, which has already affected your work environment. With that said, no, you did not make a mistake by not including this person. You said in your question you only invited people you "consider a friend" and the fact that this person confronted you about it at work tells me you made the right call. First of all, you never confront someone you have a personal issue with at work. If you had any friendship with your co-worker outside of the office, I'd think they'd ask you about it outside of the office or via email so not to be in ear shot of would-be gossipy co-workers. 

Unless there is some office policy against socializing outside of work, you are entitled to invite who you want. You really don't owe this person any explanation but since you work together and I presume you'd like your working environment to be pleasant, then I suggest you address the fact that she was not invited. You won't be able to avoid her forever. 

Keep it short, direct, and don't be overly nice. You are, after all, a little put off by the hostile approach. I'm going to assume you are, as I would be. You never know who the crazies are. This person sounds a little too intense for my taste. Send an email. Simply write: "I apologize that you are upset that you were not included in my holiday festivities. Space is limited and I chose to only include those who I have a personal relationship with outside of the office. Thank you for your understanding." Had you been approached differently, my advice would be different. 

*I've been engaged for over four months and my wedding is in less than two months. No one has offered to throw me a shower. I'm surprised that my best-friend hasn't offered. I was engaged twice before. She threw one and co-hosted the other. Since it doesn't appear that anyone is going to throw me a shower, can I throw one for myself?

A: I have to first note that I've been staring at your question for ten minutes. Not because I don't have an answer, but because I'm genuinely worried about your state of mind and your narcissism. Okay, no, you do not throw yourself a shower. That's tacky. Do you blame your friend for not throwing you a shower? Give your friend a break, and dear misguided reader, you're lucky she's still your friend. Instead of wondering why no one is throwing you a shower, you need to start examining yourself. I believe you have issues. You're on engagement number three. Why? Ever make it down the aisle or do you just like people throwing you parties and receiving free kitchen goods? With two previous showers down, I'd say you have enough place settings and blenders and don't need anymore. 

*Pretend Goddess, I wear white after Labor Day but people tell me you can't wear white in the winter. I say they're wrong. Who's right?

A: You are. Tell your friends to pick up a Vogue every now and then. Heard of the color, winter white? Even regular white is acceptable. To clarify if I may, your stark white denim, cotton capri pants, and white shorts should remain put away as should your white sandals. Last week I wore a white cashmere sweater from this season. Common sense with all clothes. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Smokey Eye or the Bold Pout?

Perfect eyes

I'm not saying you have to choose between having smokey, smoldering eyes or a brightly painted lip, you can have both. Granted if your goal is to look like a Joan Collins reject or a low-class call girl, then yes, by all means cake it all on. 
Now, there are always legitimate exceptions to every rule. Drag queens on stage, those attending red carpet events or a runway model can get away with bold eyes and lips. I'll even say you, on occasion, can get away with both, but darling, if you don't know how to do it properly and are not familiar with the phrase "less is more" or how to tone both down a bit, then you can't wear the look so don't even try as you will fail. 


I can't tell you how many times I'm at a store or restaurant and see such horrid make-up offenses. My maternal arms want to give the misguided offender a hug. I then of course want to wipe their make-up off and drag them caveman-style to my headquarters and show them the error of their ways. Oh dear readers, it's all about color selection and application. 

Just last summer I admired the lipstick that a friend of mine was wearing. She's a little tanner than I but we both have the same color hair and eyes. I didn't even test the lipstick before I bought it. Shame on me! When I stood in front of my mirror and applied the nude lipstick, I gasped. Yuck! I looked like a washed-out corpse. 
I suppose I thought nude lipsticks are created equally, though I should know better. There are pink, peach, brown, mauve, and many other shades of nude. You must know which ones are best for you. 

Until you find your perfect nude, this works: if you look at the color of the inside of your bottom lip, that is your color. You want that color enhanced. Don't match it completely. Use it as a springboard, if you will. Take that color and take it up only slightly. Day or night, that color lipstick will work despite what you choose for your eyeshadow, without fail. Personally, I prefer a sheer lipstick. My go to is Chantecaille's Tea Rose. On me, it is a cross between a sheer natural light red/pink. While not usually a fan of gloss, and I don't consider this collection a true gloss, I'm quite fond of Laura Mercier's Mini Lip Collection in Soft Nudes. The collection is great for all skin types. There is a pink, peach, brown, and mauve color in the collection and all match my skin type. Try it. Might be a great collection for you as well. Just dab a little on the center of your bottom lip and pat all the way around, smack your lips, and there you go. 

Nudes and sheer colored lips are perfect for the smokey eye look. If you cover your entire lid with any color without defining and blending, you have failed. 

I highly recommend asking a friend who knows how to apply make-up to teach you the correct techniques or ask them who they know who applies make-up well. Most people will know someone. If you were to ask me, I'd show you. After I lose my patience with you and I inevitably would, I'd send you to one of two people. The first woman is who I buy my make-up from here in Dallas. She works at a certain counter and will get whatever I need from four or five different counters. She can also tell me who knows how to apply make-up and who just sells lipstick, if you know what I mean. The other woman is a make-up artist in Dallas. I'm lucky, I have a trusted make-up saleswoman and access to a make-up artist who taught me a few application tricks and how to correctly buy make-up.

Department store saleswomen or men are sometimes helpful with the application. One made me look like a hooker and one did a fantastic job (making me not look like a hooker). Both tried selling me an assortment of products with each stroke of their make-up brush. Stay quiet and let them finish. If they don't do what you asked, simply cross them off your list, wash your face and maybe try again with someone else. A little advice if I may, you don't have to layer on the mascara for the smokey eye look. One "artist" thought creating tarantula eyelashes were key to the look. It's not. 

Like I said, I've had bad experiences and good. I hesitate to say to go straight to a make-up counter and ask them to do your make-up. I don't care what you say, their job is to sell you the products they sell. It is important to note that just because they sell make-up doesn't mean for a second that they know how to apply make-up. I assure you of that. Ask them. That's key. Tell the person behind the glass counter what look you are trying to achieve and who their best artist is and make an appointment to see them. Rule of thumb: a good make-up artist uses more than one brand. 

I must digress even further from the original point of the post for a moment. If you are at the Chanel counter at your department store to buy a must eyeliner (Precision Eye Definer), your sales associate can go to other brand counters to get anything you request. They work on commission and want your business and for you to be a return client. Don't be afraid to say to the Chanel associate that you'd like to try say the Trish McEvoy Barely There Essential Lip Pencil, which is a must anyway. It's a chubby lip pencil/lipstick and it belongs in your make-up bag. My point is, don't feel pressured to buy all your make-up from one counter. 

While I encourage certain drugstore brands, it is rather difficult to test lipsticks when there are no testers and no one there to tell you that you're blind. Same goes with eyeliners. You want an eyeliner that is easy to apply and blend. It should go on smoothly without force. Blending your eyeliner is key to creating the perfect smokey look. And you really need to play with different colors under the right light and mirror. You won't know if the color is right if you're judging the color based on how it looks in plastic wrapping at your local drugstore. Regarding eyeliner, if you have to pull your eyelid to apply the liner, then it's not right. It's not the best pencil for blending. Though I will say that Revlon has a great budget friendly eyeliner. It goes on smoothly and is true to color. 

To save money at the make-up counter, I like to buy eye shadow palettes with the shades I wear most. Neutrals for day and anywhere from grays to plum shades for evening. 

When I choose a bold red lip for a night out, I like to use creamy light eyeshadows with a dark liner. Laura Mercier cream shadows have a classic look. They pair well with not only the right shade of red but will also work with most any lip color. Please know, that not all reds are the same. My best red is one with blue undertones, yours may not. 
Two of the above Laura Mercier brand eye shadows that blend well together and look great on most skin types are: Platinum and Gold. With that said, I encourage you to test for yourself. 

Pale skin tones cannot always wear the same colors that someone with olive skin can wear. Everyone can wear nude lips, though. I promise! There is a nude color made for every skin tone. I can't stress that enough. 
Everyone and I mean everyone, even red heads, can wear red lipstick (if it's the correct red), and everyone can have the smokey eyes. If you don't know how to do it, then wait until you learn. You may have to try several different make-up artists or read a few how-to's but you'll get it. 

Jennifer Lopez can sometimes get things right

Hilary Duff 

The infamous home-wrecker  (Angelina Jolie) does know her make-up
or her make-up artist does. 

I dislike Kim Kardashian's make-up
more times than not (see below) but this time she got it right. 

WRONG!! This doesn't work. Best example of tarantula eyes. 

For tips about eyeshadow techniques I recommend these two sites:

Chanel Precision Eye Definer

Some of my chosen products: 
Laura Mercier Eye Basics
Trish McEvoy Beauty Emergency Card For Eyes
Laura Mercier Metallic Cream Eye Color

Chanel Professional Eyeliner Duo

Trish McEvoy The Essential Pencil
Cover Girl LashBlast Volume Mascara

Laura Mercier Portable Palette (Warm Neutrals)
Chanel Luminous Intense Lip Color
Laura Mercier Soft Nudes
Chantecaille "Lip Chic" Lip Color