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What Francesca Is . . . | Manolo for the Big Girl
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My friends, Francesca has been beside herself over the death of Alexander McQueen.

May his soul rest in peace.

What Francesca is…

wearing on her face.

Francesca created such a nice makeup look for herself this morning, and looks so good, she must share it with you! (Squee! as our readers say.)

Context: Today Francesca is sitting in a coffee shop with her computer, working on the various assignments. She is wearing a knit sweater in a light purple, and wanted to look  finished but not overdone. She has blue eyes, very fair skin, and red hair.

You will see that Francesca has a few of the high-end brands, but mostly sticks with the oldie-but-goody name of Maybelline, to which Francesca developed a loyalty years ago when she discovered it is the only brand of mascara that does not make her cry (literally). She does not know why this is the case, but there it is.  Some good things come in cheaper packages, which is the good thing because we spend all the monies on shoes!

Foundations: Laura Mercier powder foundation applied with a large brush; Maybelline Mineral Power concealer blended with a concealer brush; Laura Mercier brow powder duo in Soft Blonde, applied with a small brush. The darker color goes all along upper part of the brow, and the lighter color goes just beneath it. Having two colors makes it look more natural, since our hair is not naturally all one color.

Francesca has pretty good skin (so no need for liquid foundation every time) and rarely wears blush during the day, so this was it for the basic prep before the colors.

Eyes: From the Lauren Luke My Smoky Classics collection, Francesca applied eyelid primer, and then the Cashmere Cream eyeshadow –a cream color with some copper tones — onto the inner half of the lid and just under the brow. Then she applied the  gorgeous Antique Pewter — a grey-blue that picked up the purple a bit from Francesca’s sweater –onto the outer half and into the crease. Then she used the tip of the same brush to pull a bit of the blue color under her lower lid, just a teeny bit of the way in. For eyeliner she used Maybelline Define-A-Line in Slate Grey, just on the outside half of the lids, and used the little sponge at the tip of the pencil to blend the color on top and bottom, creating a slightly smokey look.  And the finishing touch: A dab of pure white eyeshadow (Francesca used Maybelline’s Shadow Stylist in Contemporary White) and blended toward the eye. This makes one look more “awake” and adds a bit of drama. Mascara: Maybelline Intense Volume XXL in Brownish-Black, which Francesca likes because it comes with a primer at one end and the mascara on the other. The primer helps to make Francesca’s woefully short lashes look longer.

Lips:L’Oreal Endless in Fawn Fatale, a fall/winter mauve shade that complemented the purple sweater. This is Francesca’s favorite color ever, and if they ever discontinue it, she will cry as if she is wearing non-Maybelline mascara.

Francesca feels so pretty!

What Francesca is …


Land’s End: a walk in Provincetown by Michael Cunningham. Evocative, lyrical little book about the town that, during the summer, is family tourist attraction by day and happening gay scene by night.

The Street Lawyer by John Grisham. The lawyer-cum-fugitive plot is standard Grisham fare (only flimsier), but the book offers a deep and thought-provoking look inside the world of Washington D.C.’s homeless population. In other words, the book is  cotton-candy-coated way to digest some bitter pills.


House, MD, season 5. It took Francesca months to find a way to download this show legally in the country in which she resides. Francesca respects copyrights! But now she finally has access to the fifth season.

Listening to

Electric Light Orchestra’s Time. The song “Ticket to the Moon” breaks Francesca’s heart every time (because she thinks it is a metaphor for death). And yet “Your’s Truly, 2095” makes Francesca smile with its fun premise and innuendos.

Happy weekend! xoxo