Saturday, 24 August 2013

Looks I am Loving: Serena van der Woodsen from Gossip Girl

The first and most iconic outfit: Serena getting off the train at Grand Central Station looking like the well-traveled, well-heeled teen she is. The Louis Vuitton luggage, the Breton striped tee and the jaunty scarf scream, "I've been to Europe and back more times than you can count."'Gossip Girl' Series Finale: A Look Back At The Fashion From All 6 Seasons (PHOTOS).
Spotted: Serena getting off the train at Grand Central
I decided to do this Gossip Girl post because I have been re-watching the entire series as prep for New York. Yes, I admit it is totally unrealistic, soap opera-ish, and ultra glam prep but sue me. This post is a little late in the game but I still really want to look like Blake Lively, aka Serena van der Woodsen circa 2008. This being not nearly as cool as doing a re-creation of a look from some obscure cult classic from the 80's or a classic hollywood film I realize, but it is my blog and I will blog about what I want! I still want to live out my Gossip Girl fantasies in New York, unrealistic as they may be, gallivanting on the Upper East side (which turns out is kind of boring really, who'da thunk).

Early days Serena

So I love Serena, I know I am more of a Blaire personality-wise but I have a long mane of blonde hair that I am still rocking in this manner. Plus, who wouldn't want to emulate the everything-naturally-falls-into-her-lap Serena? If I could get even an iota of that to help me though New York I'll take it.
Serena's makeup is simple pretty, as she is a sort of a preppy hippie. She is styled to me like an updated Princess Diana with the navy liner and care-free attitude. Obviously this starts to go by the wayside as the seasons progress and she gets into the crazy couture and the even crazier plot lines (micro film anyone?) but we still love her (if you have read this far). I am going to focus on her signature look in the first few seasons, my interpretation, I don't know what products they actually used but they make me look (slightly?) and feel like a well versed member of Manhattan's elite.

Note the peach and the navy liner... I am not crazy; you see it too right?

1. Base

So obviously you need to start with a good base. Serena's is light and very natural. I used this Urban Decay Naked Skin Liquid Makeup, and using very little, I buffed it in using the brush that goes with it, the Optical Blurring Brush in the center of my face. I used a little concealer (of your choice, preferably a liquid one, not a pot one) ((side note: does anyone want a concealer post??)) and set it with a translucent setting powder. Please remember to fill your brows in- pretty please?

Urban Decay Naked Skin Liquid Makeup
Urban Decay Naked Skin Liquid Makeup

2. Bronzer

Obviously, Serena always has a slight tan from jetting off to Spain and various places, so we need some bronzer to fake that jet set tan. It isn't a dark one though, its more of a glow, so I went with a fairly light bronzer. I am not explaining how to do this again, just look at my bronzer post. I used this Dior powder when I did this the first time and it looked really lovely. It does have a slight shimmer but it looks just like a soft sheen on the skin, and I can't imagine Serena using anything matte but then again, thats just me. If you want to spend some coin I highly recommend it.

Diorskin Nude Tan in 02 Sunset
Diorskin Nude Tan in 02 Sunset

The second time, I used this Physician's Formula one, which worked pretty much just as well, only it is more matte, obviously not as much pigment. But a much cheaper option and if you like matte it is the way to go. I think the trick in general is the different shades blended, because it looks slightly more glowy and less truly tanned looking over-all.

Physicians Formula: Powder Palette Multi-Colored Bronzer in Light
Physicians Formula: Powder Palette Multi-Colored Bronzer in Light

3. Cheeks

So Serena's cheeks are quite subtle but there is quite a bit going on there I think to enhance the bone structure (see the second pic of her). I went with the Lancome Blush Subtil Palette in Nectar Lace because it is subtil. It is not overly bright and is also shimmery, again I think it is very Serena. I know this is getting into contouring which I already stated I hate... I just hate it done Kardashian style. Or poorly. This is very subtle, it comes with instructions right in the package which is nice and there are extra videos on Lancome's website if you really need. I think in this case, some light contouring is essential to creating those Serena cheek bones. And Serena definitely wears highlighter so this get you out of buying multiple things (or as an excuse to buy multiple things take your pick ;) ) Just remember to blend, Blend, BLEND! Also check out my highlighter post, for other places to add some sheen.

Lancome Blush Subtil Palette in Nectar Lace
Lancome Blush Subtil Palette in Nectar Lace

Lancome Cheek & Contour Brush #25
Lancome Cheek & Contour Brush #25

The brush that they came out with to go with the palette is really awesome. I am just showing it because I like it so much. It is the kamakazi of face brushes; you can contour highlight and blush in a million ways. I use it with all my face stuff now, even just when I blush and highlight like I do normally.

4. Shadow

This is where it get tricky. Serena (aka Blake Lively) has a unique eye shape; she doesn't really have a lot of lid so the eye make up is meant to fake it a bit and make her eyes look larger. So I will tell you about a few modifications you can make for different eyes.
First I put on the Urban Decay Primer Potion in Greed, its a shimmery (big surprise, and its Urban Decay) light yellow gold.

Eyeshadow Primer Potion by Urban Decay (Official Site)
Urban Decay Primer Potion
Greed is the bottom one

Then I dug out my trusty Urban Decay Naked palette. Yes, the original. I am using this because I know you all have this already, or at least something like it if you read this kind of stuff on the net.

Naked Palette by Urban Decay (Official Site)
Urban Decay Naked Palette

First I put Buck, the warm matte brown on my lid and then I used Virgin, a shimmery beige all over the brow bone and in almost a third of the inner eye. Get liberal with it.
Serena often wears a peach which is quite pretty an unexpected. This is done because orange, peach's more intense sister, is the opposite of blue, Serena's eye colour, which in turn makes them look bluer. Colour theory is crazy right? I think this would look good on most people with warm complexions but do play around because its is about the feeling of Serena right? Try the opposite of your eye colour. Anyways moving on...
I used an Urban Decay single shadow in Freelove.

Urban Decay - Eyeshadow Freelove
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Freelove

I blended it in the crease, blending together the Buck and the Virgin to create basically the world's lightest smoky eye. It should progress from mid tone through to light from the lash up.
Again, if you have a different eye shape (aka most people) you can play around with the placement of the shadows. You can switch the shadows around for a bit more of a creased look, or you can add a crease in with a darker brown.

5. Liner

So Serena started off with a navy liner, if you actually look. Standing back, it looks very normal and not outrageous at all. Again it is to bring out her blue eyes, and this to me is the major Diana throw back. Anyway back on point. I thought if we are going to talk about the 80's lets use an 80's staple, Glimmersticks!

Avon Glimmersticks Waterproof Eye Liner
Avon Glimmersticks Waterproof Liner in Midnight Blue

It really does seem like the perfect shade for this-

Yes, she is using Makeup Forever in this picture. You can go with this, or my more peach suggestion, more like the second picture.
So what I did now was put the liner somewhat haphazardly three-quarters of the way around my eye, focusing on the upper lid, making it darker. Then I smudged the bejesus out of it with my smudger to really diffuse the colour out. I did this a couple of times to get the depth of colour I wanted. This again, is a great trick to make your eyes look larger, and along with highlighting shadow (virgin) in great quantities makes them huge. Check out my most popular most How to: Look Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed. I have what a smudger looks like and how else to make eyes look brighter. Add several coats of black mascara (after curling preferably).

6. Lips

Serena seems to fluctuate between a pink lip and a peach lip, but it is always barely there and it is always glossy. No lipstick for Serena, she is too busy with all the drama going on to worry about her lipstick. I went with a Smashbox gloss, because it wears quite well in terms of lip gloss and doesn't migrate about your face, again because we, nor Serena have time for that. This shade is my favourite and is described as a melon shade, so it is somewhere in the middle, but if you have a favourite pinky gloss, I am sure most would do.

Smashbox Limitless Longwear Lipgloss in Boundless
7. Hair

I am just going to say it now, hair is not my strong suit. It is why I like the Serena hair is because it is not perfect. What I did was hot roller it, and brush it out with a large paddle brush and add some texturizing spray to it. Sometimes I put a few more defined curls in with a large barrel (aka. 1 inch or bigger) curling wand or iron (without using the tong). It is quite helpful that I have pretty descent long blonde hair. I am not going to lie, it makes styling easier. Optionally, I have done this for friends and clip-in extensions really help giving it extra thickness and making it more Serena-ish. Because I am pretty sure she had extensions of some kind for the majority of the time. 

And Done!! (finally, this is a seriously long blog post)
Just throw it in your clutch, put on a fabulous dress and go to some high-society charity gala.
You might also want to consider some sunless tanner to get the full-on Serena effect which I will be covering in my next post...

Are we over Gossip Girl?
What is your favourite "Serena" gloss?
Where would you gallivant on the Upper East Side? (The Empire State, Bergdorf's, or the Palace (I was hoping for the Palace but it is sadly under construction)
Are you a Blaire or a Serena?
Or more importantly Dan, Chuck, or Nate?

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