I’m Dani Ward,

and I do lots of things.

Makeup

Smokey Eye with tarte energy noir palette

For my first ever makeup tutorial, I use tarte cosmetics’ energy noir palette—and let me tell you, I am in love.

Every color in this palette is a color that works well with my skin tone. I’m cool-to-neutral, and this is definitely on the mauve/taupe/plum side of things, which is simply perfection.

The shadows are so easily blendable and buildable. There’s not a lot of fallout, and they don’t irritate my sometimes sensitive eyes.

A+, would buy again in a heartbeat.

Self-Care and Why I Wear Makeup

At long last, I’ve been able to record and produce another episode for Self-Care Artist! Self-Care Artist is an ongoing conversation about body positivity, make-up, mental health, social issues, and self-care in general. I hope you enjoy! Please subscribe and comment if you like it, and let me know what you’d like me to talk about next. Thanks! Subscribe to…

Comic book girl Halloween makeup.

Halloween Makeup 2014As I wrote last year, I’ve never really dressed up for Halloween before the past year or so. This year, I wanted to do something special, especially since we were having friends over for a low-key Halloween hangout celebration and I have makeup at my disposal.

Roy Lichtenstein has been one of my favourite pop artists since I saw a catalog my art teacher mom had that featured him as an artist. So when I saw Emma Pickles’ YouTube tutorial on how to do a comic book girl/Roy Lichtenstein style look, I became uncontrollably excited. Especially when I realized I basically had everything I needed!

I ultimately decided not to dye my hair or use a wig — I thought my curls and cut worked well with the look as they are. I wore a navy dress with white and tan polka dots from Dress Barn and a string of faux pearls to pull everything together.

I’m really pleased with how this turned out. Maybe next year I’ll get even more adventurous!

Read more to see what brushes and products I used.

My current skincare routine.

Earlier this year, in the wake of serious depression, I started watching makeup tutorials as a form of self-care. Specifically Sinéad Cady’s tutorials, a la The Makeup Chair. (If you stop reading right now and just go sit on her channel for hours, I will not blame you. Maude knows I do it.) This week, Sinéad talked about her skincare routine as of late, and I thought I’d write a bit about mine as well. This will double as a mini product review for everything I use.

I have combination skin, both dry and oily — and sometimes in the same places! It’s not unusual for my nose and forehead to be both oily and flaky, which is frustrating to deal with sometimes. In fact, my skin is the number one physical reason I didn’t wear makeup for years. (There were philosophical reason as well, but I’ve written about those before.)

It’s taken me a while to figure out what works for my skin. In fact, I’ve dedicated this entire year to figuring it out! So please don’t take what I say to be gospel truth — your skin will tell you what it needs and what works for it, so be sure to experiment until you find what’s best for you. Pay really close attention to how your skin reacts to different products and treatments, and be sure to give them a couple of weeks before determining whether it’s working or not. Unless something you’re using is causing rashes or chemical burns, then stop immediately.

My skincare routine is concentrated at night before bed, so I’ll be starting there.

Acceptable Femininity: some rambling thoughts about gender roles, high heels, and makeup.

These are the products I typically use on my face when I do my makeup.

It’s been gradual, over the past year or so. But I’ve started embracing myself, my whole self, feminine aspects and all. I’ve been letting myself explore the things that I’ve suppressed for so long — “girly” things, “childish” things, vain and wasteful things that I only deemed vain and wasteful because I enjoyed them and I mistrusted my tastes as a woman. I’ve been learning to do what I enjoy and to love myself for the first time in my life.