a little nod to the nineties


Mademoiselle V. is a dear, dear friend of mine who occasionally lets me try different makeup looks on her.
Some months ago now (yes, I am slack as), we went to the White Night festivities in lovely Melbourne.

A very gamely V. agreed to be my muse for an experiment with 90s hair and makeup. Now V. does not usually do lipstick and she certainly likes her hair a certain way. So I am mighty grateful she did not if, but or hiccup when I steered her toward a red lip and a semi-wet-look mop.

While she was out of her comfort zone with the end result, she wore it very well and carried it with a little nonchalance that night as we gallivanted the magnificently illuminated Burn City.
I think she looked absolutely gorgeous, don’t you?


Do forgive me, I did ask V. not to smile in the photos – she is rather amiable in person.

So, I find the red lip pulls more pink in these photos than it did in person. I promise to work on the lighting issue.

Here is what we used to create the look . . . .


  • Face of Australia Face Base
  • Avene Eau Thermale
  • Elizabeth Arden Hydrasplash Toner
  • Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Gel






  • L’Oreal Play Ball Anti-Frizz Fizz hairspray
  • Herbal Essences Tousle Me Softly mousse



We started by dabbing some toner onto the skin using a soft cotton ball. We used an alcohol-free formula so as not to dry out the skin.

Next, we applied some moisturiser, concentrating on the spots that need it the most. V.’s skin is normal to combination and doesn’t need a heavy moisturiser. We found her skin slurps up gel moisturisers.

Once the moisturiser had been absorbed, we spread a pea-sized amount of a calming primer onto the face and let it sit there for a minute.

Now we were ready to apply the base so I lightly sprayed some thermal water onto the face. I find this helps with blending the foundation more easily and keeps the look rather natural and dewy.

I must admit, I didn’t have to work too hard as V.’s skin is naturally clear and the slight redness you are seeing in the picture below is not perceptible in person. In fact, V. does not usually wear foundation.


Using a buffing brush, I applied a tiny amount of foundation to the entire face, starting at the centre moving outwards. As V. does not have any blemishes or pigmentation, we skipped using any concealer.


We then moved to the eyes. I wanted a soft, dirty gold eye to add a glamour factor to this look. Using  the UD Naked palette, we applied a wash of the Half Baked shadow all over the lids. In hindsight, I think a little MAC Nylon on the inner corners would have been even more beautiful.


To give the eyes a little depth, I blended the tiniest amount of Smog to the outer of the eyelids working inwards. The effect is apparent in the following photo


Next up, we filled in her brows with some brow powder.

I am lazy and have worked out a reasonably good technique for filling in eyebrows that is very quick (perhaps to be shared in another post?). The idea was also to keep it a little less precise so as not to take away entirely any softness from the look.


Eyeliner next. . . . I used a gel formula applied using a slanted brush and basically followed V.’s natural eye shape and extended it outward and slightly upward. I am normally rubbish at a winged eye when doing one for myself but I must say, I was pretty pleased with the results on V.


As the focus was not meant to be entirely on the eyes, we stopped at one coat of mascara which was still ample given how pigmented Diorshow is.

Now for the customary pop of colour. You should’ve seen the colour drain fro her face when I showed V. my pride and joy, the unmistakable tube of matt red lippie. Ruby Woo can be a a little daunting, particularly to someone that does not usually wear even the most natural-looking lipstick. I had to convince V. that she would not look like a prostitute (this being her worst fear when leaving me to paint her face). We settled for a light dabbing of colour versus painting it on in full bloom. Nonetheless, the results took the look from lovely to wow. A gentle pat of cream blush on the apples of her cheeks followed by a light handed dusting of powder highlighter was all that was needed to finish the face.


As you may have noticed from the above pictures, V. does not usually wear her hair parted. But by this point, I think she was just saying to herself, “Oh, to hell with it. Let’s just do it all!” and permitted me to run two lemon-sized balls of mousse through her hair, focussing on the front and sides which I then stroked into place with a hairbrush.

The idea was to have it a touch messy, like it was still partially wet, but neat enough to look clean and sleek (paradox here?). I brushed her fringe (which is rather long) to the side using the brush to lift it at the roots and brush back off the face.

To keep it in place, we sprayed the hair with a strong hold hair spray. It had to last the night out and, this being Melbourne, the weather was apt to change so I was hoping it wouldn’t matter too much if the hair caught a few light showers.

Here is the final look.




What do you think? Would you wear this look? What would you change?

We ended up having a fabulous time at White Night which served as a wonderful reminder of why I absolutely love this city.

a little nod to the nineties

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