Confession: it’s far too easy for me to get into a makeup rut.

The reluctant groom and I go out with some regularity, but usually it’s to the bar around the corner and that seldom necessitates busting out the “going out” makeup routine that every girl has–for me, it’s eyeliner, then smudged with a taupe cream base (love NARS’s The Multiple), then dark brown eyeshadow, and often finished with a light dusting of white shadow on top for some shimmer and mascara.  It’s a routine I picked up years ago after attending a free session at my local Clinique counter–I was on my way to college, and even my mom saw the value in me knowing how to properly apply more sophisticated makeup.  I’ve always really liked it–it’s a softer version of a smoky eye, and doesn’t go too over the top.

(Image from Sephora)

But you know what?  Having a go-to look is great and all, but it gets awfully boring.  That’s when I go to my favorite place for makeup and hair inspiration:  Style.com.

Every season the editors cull through the hundreds of runway shows and select their top ten looks–and usually, these are the looks that in some way can be converted into civilian wear (but perhaps not for everyday!), so bonus:

I’m going to a semi-formal this weekend (yes, I’m 26 and I’m going to a semi-formal.  What can I say–I hang with grad students), and given that my outfit is heavily inspired by Gwyneth Paltrow’s turn as Pepper Potts in Iron Man (see it see it see it!), I wanted something that would jive with that sleek minimalism, but be more than just some black eyeliner and mascara.

(Image from imdb.com)

Et, voila, courtesy of Narciso Rodriguez:

Yep, complete with the side part and swept up bun/loop thingy (which is a techincal term, of course).  I’ve ordered some navy eyeliner from Sephora–let’s all hope it comes in time for Saturday (otherwise, I’ll need to go to the bookstore and hit up the Clinique counter there).  Given that my look is a simple navy silk/cotton tank from Miu Miu (this one, actually, but in a deep, deep navy), a pencil skirt from J.Crew, and these insanely tall-but-comfortable heels from Old Navy of all places (but in black), the blending of the navy and black around the eye should work well. 

Where do you look to get yourself out of a fashion/beauty rut?  Have you considered doing something different than your go-to look for your wedding day?

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