The search for a clever way to cover legs during winter without constantly relying on tights brought the discovery of a truly unique separate that I just had to use in the first Carny Style article of the new year. Despite my aversion towards the company due to some of the designs, Sourpuss did more than hit the mark with these graphically appealing Welcome to the Sideshow Leggings, which take black and white stripes to a whole new level by covering them in an array of boldly printed slogans that are influenced by those found on sideshow banners. It would be very easy to create an outfit that reads cartoon character, which is fine if this is the look you’re going for. However, with a garment which makes a profound statement all on its own, one can become lost and even overwhelmed in something that is too busy. While it seems simple, the Vavavoom Top [also by Sourpuss] is described as having the “perfect pinup fit”, achieved with a ruched sweetheart neckline and cap sleeves that comfortably hug your arms. Since there is already plenty of blue and red in the leggings, I thought it would be nice to balance with a bit of yellow in the form of the Anna Rose Embroidered Cardigan, since the color is soft without being too distracting. The black trim disguises the buttons down the front while a set of roses embroidered on the back adds a nice ‘surprise’ detail. Layering the Shadow Stripe Swing Skirt over the leggings may risk covering some of that amazing print, but the subtly striped satin skirt is another vintage styled separate from Sourpuss that focuses on the fit of the garment, which shows in the way it gives the illusion of a tight waist.
What better way to coordinate with stripes than using polka dots, particularly when they are plastered across Wanna Be Bad yellow heels, their classic shape and mellow tone putting a bit of punctuation on the mostly monotone materials. A popular Sourpuss purse gets an updated look, the Floozy now available in gold trimmed black vinyl, the vintage inspiration gleaming behind custom hardware, a kisslock closure and the overall polished finish. Protect the skin from sudden gusts of cold with the Merona Stripe Scarf, where an engaging mix of black and white stripes, starting with one color dominant over the other and having the two reverse positions, will make it seem as though you have a bit of magic up your sleeves. Accent an artfully arranged up-do with Gimme Couture’s Audrey Hair Clip, faux pearls set in the center of pointed petals – the black and white striped variety – for a hint of glamour. In fact, turn up the dial on that with hair clips from Claire’s such as the ravishing red Flower With Feathers and brilliantly blue Glitter Rose, their small sizes ideal for accenting the main piece without weighing down the hair.
Embellishing an ensemble that already has strong lines is open to interpretation depending on whether you want to look refined or like you fell out of an alternative clothing catalog. The opulence of circus can be translated through shimmering accessories such as the Aurora Borealis Diamond Drop Earrings, which feature a cluster of stones that form the diamond shape for plenty of sparkle. This can be another area where kitschy and campy can go too far and come across as overdone, but a Rhinestone Braided Choker gives a dash of brilliance to the neckline as rhinestones dance along braided strands. Combining elements from both of these pieces, the Crystal and Shiny Stone Squares Bracelet has glittering stone squares that are framed in multiple crystals, with trios of links bringing them together around the wrist. Even though they are rather trendy at the moment, I have been pulled in by the allure of Midi Rings, and this particular set offers a two different thicknesses as well as a spiral ring, all of which can be worn alone or stacked. They can be mixed with statement rings for a very extravagant effect or in a simple layout that still accents the anatomy in just the right way, particularly when paired with the manicure detailed below.
One of the most important parts of Carny Style is coordinating an outfit to ones makeup, and this is an outfit which certainly speaks volumes on its own and can easily be lost in a sea of too many colors on the face. Picking up on the palette that appears throughout the look assembled above, the following products are merely suggestions based on what I felt would work best to execute the idea that popped into my head when thinking about the finished ensemble.
1 – Achieving flawless skin is something that many crave, and Camera Ready BB Cream by Smashbox is a mutlitasking product that can deliver just that, providing a glowing and ethereal finish to your face in any occasion. Enhancing the wear of makeup while maintaining moisture, the tinted cream also primes and protects from the moment you put it on.
2 – Having a choice between sheer and full coverage is what makes COVER FX Pressed Mineral Foundation ideal for layering over the BB Cream foundation. The product is said to never dry skin, so you won’t get that ‘cakey’ look that other powders can leave behind, which is fairly impressive for a vegan foundation.
3 – Conscious of the inevitable aging process, Urban Decay offers their incomparable Eyeshadow Primer Potion in an Anti-Aging formula that actually minimizes the appearance of wrinkles. Not only does it cover up imperfections, but it locks your shadow in place for a crease-free color that remains vibrant all day.
4 – Using the Pretty Rebel Eyeshadow Palette by Too Faced, a range of 10 highly pigmented shadows, take Ringleader and pat it across your lids, gently blending it slightly past the crease. Grab an angled brush and swipe Jailbird from the outer corner and down into the crease, ensuring that the application is in a ‘C’ shape to avoid sharp corners. Follow up with a healthy dose of Badass, blending the blues together and bringing the darker shade under the eye as well. Tap a bit of Instigator on the inner corners, and then wet a brush to line eyes with Miss Sparkles and a thick ‘flick’.
5 – While completely optional, the hyper saturated pigment of Ubangi Eye Paint lays black and blue shimmer wherever you want. Precision may be essential but with a seemingly weightless gel and the right tool, drawing lines to emphasize the previously created cat eye is a breeze.
6 – The fact that a mascara can lengthen, curl, lift and separate lashes with just a few swipes is so unbelievable that Benefit called it They’re Real! to ensure there is no trickery afoot. Each and everyone of your lashes will be treated to a coat of luxurious jet black pigment that won’t clump or dry out.
7 – Following the application of this magical mascara, set False Feathered Eyelashes with proper adhesive for a deluxe extension custom designed faux lashes that have a severe angle and feathers that accent the sharp corners.
8 – Conceived for the Parisian Aquatic Ballet, the Aqua Lip Waterproof Lipliner Pencil is guaranteed to stay put, allowing the nude tones of Rosewood to define your lips while delivering vitamin E and jojoba wax in the smoothest lines.
9 & 10 – Touted as having 50% more pigment than traditional products, Rogue Artist Intense is an immediate true-to-color lipstick that delivers in one swipe, a blend of three natural waxes allowing it to glide on effortlessly yet promising a long-lasting hold. When paired with the liner, it sort of ‘mutes’ the lips in order to allow the work you did on your eyes to be the center of attention, while also making sure they don’t completely disappear. This can be achieved with a bit of Glossy Gloss in Royal Icing, a high-shine lip gloss packed with plenty of white and silver shimmer that gives the otherwise matte lips a wet look without making them sticky.
11 – Contouring and highlighting are becoming more common in makeup application, so why not choose a three-in-one product that allows you do it all? Ultralight pigments in the MicroSmooth Baked Sculpting Trio blend effortlessly to enhance the skin, from defining cheek bones to giving them a lustrous highlight.
12 – 15 – Minimalism has its place in circus, such as the white faced clowns and pastel shades that occasionally grace costumes, and that is the base of this show stopping manicure. The sheer cream porcelain of Unforgettable, part of the Translucents range by Forumla X, might seem muted, but there is a certain luminescence that radiates from the fast-drying polish. Apply it to two of your nails and then top it with Chaotic, essentially black and white confetti that might as well be glitter graffiti found among the Xplosives Top Coats. Crushed microsparkles and metallic pigments collide in Grandiose, a kaleideoscope of rose and shifts of bronze with plenty of multidimensional shimmer. Allow this to take over two more of your nails and then get ready for an explosion of blue rainbow mega-glitter on one nail for an Outburst of excitment.