A floral look.

As someone who sometimes does art things and sometimes shows up to class for it, work in progress is a term I am extremely familiar with. I will never forget the first time a teacher told me that any artwork–no matter how “good”–is always considered a work in progress. Wherever an artist leaves their work, changes can be made. The work is never “done.”

Vincent Van Gogh stood out to me as someone whose work and personal life could both be categorized as works in progress. He gave a face to the troubled artist archetype in the early 20th century, which his paintings corroborated: thick layers, textured strokes, bold colors and austere themes made Van Gogh the name he is today.

In celebration of Van Gogh’s sunflower series, an unapologetic work in progress, I present to you: a new makeup trick!

What you’ll need:

  • Foundation, concealer, etc.
  • Yellow eyeshadow (or something that could become yellow shadow–cream color, etc.)
  • Orange eyeshadow
  • Gold eyeshadow
  • Bronzer
  • Nude matte lipstick

How to do it:

Step One:

Not to be The Most Awful with art references now, but… Prep your canvas! A lot has changed with my base routine over the past year (I graduated from BB cream to actual foundation, got more strategic with my concealing, etc.). I still trust my fingers more than anything, so after doing some preliminary swiping with my ten best friends, I blended Colourpop’s No Filter Foundation out with a foundation brush, followed by a Beautyblender rip-off.

Also, these are my designated concealer areas now. Do with that what you will. As a proud, not-so-new owner of hormonal zits, I went in again afterwards, applying concealer dots to face dots. You know the drill.

Step Two:

Another new thing I pride myself on is knowing what eye primer is and how to use it. Let me tell you, it is LIBERATING. Put a little bit of this all over your lids (I’m using my fav, MAC Paint Pot in Layin’ Low). Creasing whom?

Step Three:

After looking at Van Gogh’s sunflower studies, I noticed that he used cooler colors to surround warmer-toned flowers. With this in mind, I took Colourpop’s shadow in Telepathy and did (kind of) the same thing. Apply to inner and outer corners using a finger for that real WIP look.

Step Four:

Repping for the famous flowers is a vibrant orange (Colourpop’s Bubble Bee) with yellow undertones to harmonize with the cooler chartreuse-ish base we first applied. Using your finger, swipe twice in the center of the lid and below the brow.

Step Five:

A gold accent will draw out the yellow undertones that both shades have in common. Apply with a finger anywhere you think needs it. I added a small bit to the end of my lid. However, in the spirit of WIP, don’t be afraid to leave things rough and streaky.

Step Six

The contrast of the warm bouquets and the rich blues Van Gogh would often pair together is enough to make my heart stop. To incorporate this into the look, line your under-eyes with a breath-stealing periwinkle (like Colourpop’s liner in Prance).

Step Seven:

I have to say, my inaugural experience with bronzer was pretty great. That’s right–I bronzed just for you! For the sake of makeup trick-ing! I covered all the bases–below the cheekbone, under the chin, sides of forehead–using It’s All Fluff’s Bronzer. My one unsolicited, amateur tip: tap the brush against the side of the container to remove any extra powder, thereby removing any chance of becoming Groot. Live your bronzed dreams.

Step Eight:

If you’ve made it this far (*confetti blower erupts half-heartedly in the distance*), it’s time to slow down, apply the most naked of nude lipsticks in your repertoire, and call it a day. The lips need to be the supportive spouse of facial features, especially when there is so much Van Gogh-ing on with the eyes. Matte is ideal.

Since we’re all for the spirit of “Do as I say, not as I do,” let’s all conveniently forget that I applied mascara and brow gel and finished with both to morph into Supreme Sunflowers. ♦