The beauty of such a gig is that tons of free samples entered through our doors, many unsolicited. If my boss, the beauty director, isn't planning on using it for a story, into the closet it goes. A few weeks pass, the shelves fill up, and before you know it, I'm swinging a glossy white bag down 5th Avenue with a stash of serious swag.
My favorite product so far? MAKEUP FOREVER's Aqua Rouge waterproof liquid lip color in No. 16. I've had a soft spot for the brand ever since Broadway makeup artist Angelina Avallone and I spent the day shopping together for TimeOut New York. She introduced me to the line which is a favorite of makeup artists and stage actors since the pigments are super saturated. That means their lipsticks, foundations, and blushes last forever and come in an immense array of colors. It's like working with gorgeous, blendable, shimmery paint. So naturally, I delved into the pile of take-home goods and went straight for the hot pink liquid lip color. Pre-Angelina, I never would have bothered swiping a hot pink-anything across my lips, swearing it wasn't my color. But our conversation changed my prejudice. Angelina, who has painted countless famous faces (at the time, she was working on the first production of The Addams Family), revealed that there's no such thing as an off-limits color. Confidence is all it takes. Maybe a bold peacock-green eye seems scary, but it can actually be perfectly flattering.
I've found texture and application are the most important factors for makeup. The Aqua Rouge went on like paint (and actually sort of felt like it), but with the addition of the provided gloss, turned into a bold pout that stayed put for hours and wore comfortably. The color is intense--and something I'm no longer too timid to pull off.