I am a big fan of red wine. Or, rather, I am a huge fan of red wine because of what tends to accompany it when I choose to have a glass: great food, happy friends, dark chocolate, lovely memories… the kind of lovely stuff that ads for wine companies and vineyards show you. Unfortunately, there are other things that come along with every sip that are much less fun than chocolate, boozy delights: red wine stains. They are the pothole that ruins your shoes, they are the 500-page biography of Benjamin Franklin that was required reading during summer vacation, they are the frat brother who just won’t stop breaking your stuff. They are jerks, and they refuse to leave unless you ask them very, very nicely to.

“But Sam,” I hear you insist, “red wine stains are avoidable provided you are old enough to legally dri–”

But nothing!, I say, cutting you off mid-pretend-thought. Sadly, I am the clumsiest human being I know due to my poor balance, terrible eyesight and crappy depth perception — really, I regularly walk into opaque walls — so red wine stains are actually one of those things that I am constantly dealing with cleaning up. Whether they’re on my floor or my clothes, each time I drink red wine, I will undoubtedly have to sprint to the bathroom to snag cleaning supplies.

The sad thing is that I actually think red wine stains are rather beautiful, particularly when people get super artsy with them. So, since I would like to make friends with my past nemesis and actually turn them into something lovely, as well, I have decided to do a much darker look than last week’s Brenda Starr and do makeup inspired by red wine stains.

makeup 1

Note: Sam without makeup looks like a stark white emoticon.

Apply your foundation, base, coverup and whatnot the way you normally would. It’s especially important, though, to get an even tone under the eyes since the dark red color will bring out any purplish undereye circles quite a bit. Apply a subtle powder blush — nothing too vivid or bright — to the apples of your cheeks, sweeping upward.

makeup 3

Use a satin-finish shadow (i.e. not sparky or shimmery, but not super opaque matte, either) in a brownish-red shade and apply it using a brush over the whole lid. Take a darker berry shadow and apply it in your lid’s crease, blending it with the lighter color.

makeup 2

The shadow palette is from a Clinique gift at Macy’s, but the shades I used were Stone Violet (3rd shade) and Chocolate Chip (last shade).

makeup 6 2

Apply a black liquid liner in a thin line on the top of lid, but don’t wing it outward. Using a black eyeliner pencil, darken the lower lashline. Make sure the line is subtle, though, and not too hard. Add two coats of mascara on top. For the liquid liner, I used Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liner, for pencil liner I used NYC (it’s like $2!) and the Mascara was BadGal Lash. If you have a lighter complexion and tend to prefer brown mascaras/liners, swap all the black products here out for deep brown shades.


Also, I feel like it’s worth noting that this is Stanley, and just after I took this photo, he knocked all of my makeup over because he felt like it. But just look at how adorable he is under the covers?


makeup 4

My best attempt at doing a Lara Stone mouth. :'(


Apply a deep wine-colored lipstick, like Sephora by izak’s Mademoiselle, on lips very carefully. This can be tricky since any imbalance on either side will be more obvious since the color is so dark, so just make sure you go slow and take your time checking for evenness. Blot lips on a tissue, then apply the color again.

Ignore the zits. IGNORE THEM.

Ignore the zits. IGNORE THEM.

Also, if you so choose, fill in your eyebrows with brow powder (I used Clinique’s here). Normally, I would do this along with my eye makeup, but I wanted to see how dark they should be to balance them with the lipstick. I also usually wear brow gel, but I didn’t want to make them look too firm; otherwise the whole look becomes severe, and that’s no fun.

makeup 5

Tada! Now you just have to come up with a vampy alter-ego

Photos: jiannone / Flickr + me.