Friday, October 14, 2005

As if we needed more proof...

While doing some research, I happened upon the following disaster. This 2005 runway show proves one thing: the Shining Intellects are providing a much-needed service to the world at large. The service we provide (free of charge, I might add) is an invaluable form of enlightenment that fashion designers have apparently cast aside like last season's Pocahontas boots.

The fact that mainstream fashion designers have gone off their rockers is tediously self-evident. What is not so clear to me is how these people convinced factories to make these clothes, and models to wear them. Every sense revolts:

Redhead says: I maxed out my credit card buying cheek stain at Sephora. I had no choice!

He looks sad. It's probably because he lost his self-respect when donning this atrocity. "I wish that I had listened to Las F!"

All Gavin needed to complete his slum look was a dirty Styrofoam cup and a battered cardboard sign saying: "Will work for shampoo"

This is impressive-everything about this outfit looks 25 years old. Even the boots. It looks like Goodwill got drunk on cheap vodka and puked all over everything.

Can you guess who this designer is?

Do you give up?

This is none other than Marc Jacobs. MARC JACOBS!!! He's supposed to be a leader of fashion trends--a LEADER! That means he inspires us all to ascend to higher echelons of fashion!

The only thing this line inspires me to do is clean out my closet. What about you?

Well, at least we know where Kirsten Dunst gets her "unique" style:

HAAHAHA, and you thought you were UNIQUE? Turns out there's a whole ROOM of people running around with your tedious lack of taste. I wonder how much extra they had to pay those models to wear that get-up.

See the whole train wreck here.

Enjoy your weekend, readers! At this rate, Las F should dominate the world by Christmas.

Textured Tights 101

(The above tights are available at Rhonda's Fashions.)

Want to look like a doll this fall? Wear textured tights! They're making a comeback in a big way, and can add quite a bit of delightful funkiness to your outfit.

I (Las F Cali) first discovered these whimsical tights thanks to my sisters-in-law. They can be warmer than regular stockings and add a unique flair all your own to any outfit. But be careful--accessories such as these can easily overpower an outfit. If you're going to wear bold tights, then play down other wardrobe aspects so you don't look too funny.

If you're not sure that this look is for you, then try a simpler sort of tight, like these herringbone stockings, available at Urban Outfitters for about $18. I'd pair these with a knee-length black skirt, a white blouse, and a pullover sweater for a sweet school-girlish look.

If you're willing to add a bit more color and really make a statement, then you've got to try these lovely and colorful tights (also available for about $18 at Urban Outfitters). Keep in mind, though, that the rest of your outfit should be as plain as possible. Here's a good rule to follow: When wearing multi-colored tights, choose just ONE color from the tights to match to a shirt, then pair that solid shirt with a plain skirt. The tights are a huge statement, so remember that less is more!

Now, what shoes would one wear with tights like this? I have a couple ideas. I think that if you find the right pair, clogs would be great with an outfit like this, but I do mean NICE clogs like these:

You could also go for a pair of Mary-Janes. Keep in mind that the shoes should match the tights. You shouldn't pair a lacy pair of tights with chunky shoes, nor should you wear striped tights with pointy-toed high heels.

Have fun!

What We've Learned from Southern Belles

There's plenty to be learned from the likes of Scarlett O'Hara and the Steel Magnolias. You don't have to adopt their philosophy hook, line, and sinker, but these women are onto something when it comes to fashion and femininity.

Wear Lycra. We've covered this idea already, but it deserves another plug. With celebrities going around looking like sea cows, the public is bound to think they can follow suit. Not so! Be a step ahead of the likes of Star Jones and do the right thing.

I'm reminded of the immortal lines from Steel Magnolias, when one character (Olympia Dukakis) observes to another (Dolly Parton) that one of their more well-fed friends had forgotten her Lycra. Dolly Parton's character comments that she hadn't left her house without Lycra since she was 14. Olympia Dukakis' comment: "You were raised RIGHT!" Obviously, this approach is a bit extreme, but I find Lycra gives me a great amount of confidence.

Don't go out without being ready for the day. This is another rule that stars break all the time, hence the nasty paparazzi pictures. You'd think that if you were famous and desirous of avoiding being caught in an awkward state of undress, you'd take the time to wash, get dressed, and look presentable. Apparently this is more than many stars can manage apart from a stylist. Just don't do it. Put on some makeup and fix your hair. You'll feel much better about yourself. Just trust us on this one.

One star who always seems to have it together when she's out and about is Paris Hilton. Even if she's dressed casually, her hair is always clean, she wears a little makeup, and she probably smells really good. Laugh at us if you like, but that girl has something going for her. Follow her lead, or risk eternal mockery!

Wear high heels. In a day and age where all stylists seem hell-bent on turning the American Woman into an ugly, stump-legged little troll, high heels are becoming a blessed relief. Please, ladies, before you succumb to the horrors of the ballet shoe trend, consider this: the average American woman is 5'4" and weighs something like 160 pounds. Do you think with those proportions that flats are a good idea? Hell to the NO! We're not saying you're stuck in heels for the rest of your life, though. Heels help you to walk with a more feminine swing in your step. They add length to any frame, and they just make you feel sexy. Wear them.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Snag Your Man

If you're one of those girls who has a hard time meeting guys, I can sympathize. A lot of the women I talk to say that it's nearly impossible to meet normal, employed men with all their teeth. There are plenty of weirdos, but no nice guys. The social dynamic between men and women is changing rapidly, and the old tricks just won't work anymore. There are a few things that women need to get comfortable doing if they want to find their very own kindred spirit.

1. Know exactly what you want, and settle for nothing less. This may sound harsh, but what's the point of messing around with a guy who really doesn't mesh well with you? You're wasting both of your time, and it just means you'll have to wait that much longer to find The One. Make a list of qualities, if you have to, to keep in mind what you are looking for in a guy. At the same time, don't make snap judgements about people. Get to know the fellow, find out what he's all about, and if he doesn't suit you, move on.

2. Grow a pair. I, personally, have never had a problem telling guys exactly how I feel, and it's worked well for me. Not every girl has the chutzpah to do it. What you need to remember about guys is that they don't pick up hints well, and they're just as nervous as you are. I'm not saying that you need to make the first move every time, but very often you'll think things are moving along between you and a guy, and you're waiting for him to say something, and he never does. Then you go home and analyze what he said over and over to determine if he likes you or not, and the best way to determine that is to just say something. Be coy, be smart, but say something. He may never say anything, and you don't want to be in that spot, right?

3. Once you have him, tell him what you want. There's nothing that can be more frustrating for a guy than when a girl makes him guess what she wants. He knows she wants something, that much he's aware of, but as I said before, guys don't do hints unless they're tied to bricks, so being a little more open about what you want will take the pressure off him and you'll actually get what you want. For example, let's say you're having a bad day, and you wish he would hug you and sit with you and comfort you. You think he should already know this, so you're not going to mention it and just hope he does it. This will not work - firstly, he's not a psychic, and secondly, every girl is different. Maybe his last girlfriend just wanted to be left alone when she was having a bad day. So now he has to learn a whole new set of reactions - tell him the first few times, and after a couple of months he'll already know what to do.

4. Don't be overwhelming. As much as it's wonderful to have a guy, if you overdo it, you'll most likely scare him away. If you call too much he'll start feeling smothered, then he'll ask for space, and that's not what you're trying to get to. Instead, let him be the one to call once in a while. He can't miss you unless you go away, and if he's doing the calling, then you know he really wants to talk and must have been thinking about you. This is the ticket! Let him take the lead a bit and find out where his comfort level is. Oh, and for crying out loud, whatever you do, don't assume that you have to do everything together. Have girls night, let him have guys night, or else he'll start to feel like he just gave everything up for a relationship. You have to both be two whole people to have a good relationship.

5. Be stellar to his friends and family. The people that he is close to are important for you to be good to, as well. Encourage him to bring friends to an occasion once in a while, be friendly when you run into his mom at the grocery store. By treating these inner-circle people well, he'll know he can bring you into that inner circle, too. Don't worry if someone doesn't particularly like you, though. If you put your best foot forward and they don't like you, it's their problem, not yours, and he'll recognize that. Don't give them a reason to dislike you. If you're truly not compatible, it will be something that will have to be dealt with, but most incompatibility issues stemmed from a lack of cordiality at your first few meetings. The key here is to pick your battles - if his dad thinks you're just a golddigger and doesn't trust you, that's his problem, but if he calls you a slut to your face, then it's your problem and you should politely ask him to shove it.

Making Your Clothes Work for You

"Can you elaborate on this girdle thing? I have to admit that I hear 'girdle' and think 'grandma,' which as you've so wonderfully pointed out in another post, doesn't mean un-sexy at all, but nevertheless, is not exactly the look I'm going for. How do they work? Are they sexy at all? How do you explain it once the dress comes off???
Please enlighten me,

I know what Julia and a lot of people must be thinking - either that Grandma image or the image of Vivien Leigh getting strapped into that corset before the barbeque at Tara. Either way, it doesn't sound very appealing. Fortunately modern science has made it possible for women to achieve a smooth look without sacrificing air quality or ribs. The girdle, or foundation, as I like to call it (it just sounds more appealing), goes underneath your fancy dress to smooth out any lines that you may get from your body shape. As in that picture of Star Jones that we lampooned a while ago, there was a big ol' roll of fat sticking out of her dress, and it just looked unattractive. Now, there is nothing wrong with heavy women, but you need to dress appropriately for your size and shape, and the foundation helps to eliminate some of the problems with dressing up. The one pictured at left is a good example - it's basically a an article that forms to your body and is made out of a smooth, stretchy material such as lycra. It sucks you in a little and smooths you out so your dress lays slinkily over your body. You can, of course, wear it with other articles of clothing if you like. They come in all shapes and sizes, depending on what kind of dress you have. There are also foundations that just shape a particular part of your body if you have a problem area, like your hips or your stomach. Some people wear them all the time, but what's the sense in that? Las F prefer just to wear it for a special occasion.

Now that you know what it is, how do you go about getting one? They are sold online, but this is something that I'd really recommend you go to the store to try on before you buy. Sizes, in my opinion, are a general guideline in this case, and certainly not foolproof. And as good as it can help you look, you'll look that much worse if it doesn't fit properly. That said, it can be really difficult to come across a foundation. You'll need to go to a store that sells mainly undergarments. You can find a few at Victoria's Secret, but even they don't have a wide selection. Bridal stores often carry them, and boutique-style lingerie stores, as well. If you think that sounds expensive, it probably will be. As I said, though, you'll spend a bit of money, and it will be well worth it. Trust me!

As for how to explain the foundation once the dress comes off, there are a couple of ways around it. For many people, by the time the dress is coming off your significant other already loves you for who you are, and the presence of the foundation will mean little considering what's to follow. In the situations where this is not the case, you could always use the "slip into something more comfortable" line. You can even carry a purse that will be big enough to fit your foundation, excuse yourself to "freshen up" and pull the foundation off really quick whenever you get back to your destination. Then you emerge looking much like you did before - just suck it in for a few minutes. Trust me, especially if you're with a guy, at this point he's not looking at how your dress falls on your body - he's thinking about one thing only and it's not that.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Curly Hair Styling Tips

Some of you have been asking for tips on curly hair. Las F California, the curly-haired fashionista, is on the case.

For years, straight hair was the new black. Being the hopelessly curly bombshell that I am, I despaired, because I was never able to get my hair as straight as they do in the magazines. I gave up trying to make my hair straight and simply defied the trends by embracing my curls instead of lamely attempting to conform to an ideal I'd never reach. However, the curly-haired woman's day as arrived. Now, with the advent of a softer, more feminine side of fashion, curls are back, and they're better than ever.

Curly hair tends to be dryer and more porous, so make sure you're giving it enough moisture. Treat your hair to the occasional deep conditioning treatment, like Kelp Help from John Frieda. My stylist (whom I've been going to for about 10 years and trust implicitly) recommended not washing your hair every day, to save the stress of heat treatment. Get your hair trimmed regularly, and make sure your stylist is on board with you. My rule of thumb is that if you don't want to look like the girl or guy who's cutting your hair, then don't let them come near you. Remember, you're the boss. The haircut has to work for YOU, not give the stylist a chance to exercise his or her scissor-happy creative tendencies. If they're not willing to embrace YOUR hair, then stay away.

Here are a few great options for styling curly hair:

Go Natural. Wash your hair, then use a generous amount of styling serum. Pick something that doesn't have alcohol in it as alcohol can dry your hair. My personal favorite is Citre Shine, about $6 at drugstores everywhere. I put it on my hair every morning while it is still wet.

You can also use a diffuser on your blow dryer. I've never used one, but they seem to be pretty popular. Again, just be careful not to burn your hair!

Hair Setters- God's gift to women!
If you're looking for a more finished look, try hot rollers. This is my style of choice. If your hair is thin, or you're looking for a super-curly look, try a curler set with a lot of different choices of curlers, like this one available for about $30. If you're just looking for a little extra body and a curled shape, try something with bigger rollers.

I've been using hot rollers for years now, so here are a few ideas that work for me. First, make certain that you use a heat protector. All that heat for your hair can dry it. I always use a generous portion of Thermasilk. It's heat activated. Spray it over the length of your hair, then spray a bit on each individual section of hair as you curl it.

Heat opens the pores of your hair. While you're waiting for the curls to set, use your blow dryer's cool setting to close the hair shaft, ensuring a) a solid, long-lasting curl and b) shiny hair. It really does make a difference, trust me.

There are two different ways to use hot rollers. The first is to curl your hair from the end to the roots. This will give a great look with abundant curls; a style that lasts all day with minimal fuss. Start at the bottom and spray a little product to protect the ends from heat. Roll slowly upwards and pin at the scalp. When you take the curlers out, shake your head or finger style. Don't brush your hair unless you want minimal shape.

The other option is to start with the curler at the scalp. Position the curler
underneath the section of hair you wish to curl, then wind the strand around the curler and pin it. This style tends to produce a more understated curl, but the great part is that it looks as if it's been done professionally.

You can follow these exact same steps with a curling iron as well. Remember that it takes time to get your look right. Be patient and don't be afraid to experiment. Have fun!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Review: Serenity

Yesterday being Columbus Day, and the boyfriend and I having the day off, we decided to take in a film. He chose Serenity solely based on the fact that he heard it was supposed to be good. I had also heard phenomenal reviews of it, but neither of us knew what it was going to be about at all. I had seen one ad on television for it, and all it said was it was an action-adventure film. There weren't too many other details, so I was a little worried that it might eat it hard and we'd be out our hard-earned $10. Fortunately, the movie did not in any way disappoint.

This film was written and directed by Joss Whedon, who you should remember from being the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly, and has signed on to do Wonder Woman, the feature film due to begin production in 2007. Unbeknownst to either of us, Serenity is meant to be the cinematic version of Firefly, inasmuch as we had never seen the show. Now, while I admit I wasn't the biggest Buffy fan, the show was good, and this movie confirmed what I believed all along - Buffy was a mere shadow of what this man is capable of. Serenity was a very well thought-out plot and well-executed film, weaving its deep characters with a bushido-style honor code. Mix with that the old West guns and talk, and you've got a mishmash film that speaks brilliantly to its ideals. The film is also very pleasing to the eye, mixing gorgeous, deep colors with dark, brooding colors to portray two different worlds. Really fantastic work behind the camera was equalled by the ensemble cast in front. The truly enjoyable part was that not one of the actors was a big name actor, but rather all the original cast of the television show, which I'm sure has been a comfort to the fans who went to see the movie. Those of you who watched Firefly will recognize Nathan Fillion reprising his role as Malcolm Reynolds, and does a perfect job of striking the balance between heart and vigilantism. The action sequences were great, and I never found myself bored at any point during this film, which is an accomplishment.

I definitely would recommend this film if you're looking for a good action flick, as it is much better than most of the fare we were handed this summer. As good as it is, however, it's not making a fortune at the box office, which is most likely due to poor marketing. As I said, I'd never heard of it. I'm sure if more knew what it was about or even that it was out, it would do much better.

Men We Love to Hate

"Can we attack some dudes, cause ladies are getting enough hate these days...don't ya think?"

Echo, you had me at "Can we attack..." I love nothing more that doling out slams to the people who so richly deserve them. Just for the sheer thrill of it, three men that we absolutely love to hate on, and why. Just for the record, I'm leaving out Michael Jackson. As far as I'm concerned he's public enemy #1, but he's too easy a target, so we'll focus on some others. Ditto for Tom Cruise, and we've railed on Jude and Brad, so we'll move on.

1. Danny Bonaduce. You may remember this man as a kid from the Partridge Family. Like many child stars, this man couldn't handle not being famous or having yes men at his side, so he resorted to drugs and alcohol to bring him through. He has an impossibly patient wife Gretchen who, despite the mountain of evidence that he will never change, stands by her man quite admirably. Of course, she can't be that bright, she married him the very day she met him. What we hate about this guy is his crassness and the fact that he chose to make something as private as his crumbling marriage a public spectacle. Of course, I'm watching it, so I suppose I'm not that much better, but this incredibly voyeuristic look at his personality makes it clear that he is selfish and, frankly, an absolute psycho. I will give him that he does love his wife very much, but it's as if his love for her is selfish, too. He didn't mind cheating on her, but when her friends got her a stripper for her birthday party, he had a thrombo. This hypocritical, philandering exhibitionist has made it onto Las F's blacklist.

2. Donald Trump. Now, I don't really care that he married someone half his age, and it doesn't bother me that he's richer than Godiva chocolates. That's okay with me. What makes me absolutely despise this man is his ability to be magnanimous about anything that crosses his plate. He is happy to rub people's faces in his success at any given time, and his godlike spin as the master on The Apprentice just makes it easier for him to dispense his pellets of greatness upon others. The deal-breaker, though, is that if things aren't exactly going his way in the ratings department, he'll actually make numbers up to brag about. I can understand being proud of your accomplishments, but you don't need to be the best at everything all the time, Donald. Take a day off. And get some new hair, unless you need to cling to your toupee as a trademark, considering you're starting to slip in popularity. I did read an article in New York Magazine about his children, though, and they seem to be eerily well-adjusted. I think we can thank Ivana for that one.

3. Kobe Bryant. This guy is just aching for a write-off. He meets this girl and starts dating her although she is not even yet out of high school. I mean, May-December romances are one thing, and so is robbing the cradle, but he didn't even wait until she was potty-trained. Thankfully, she finished high school, which is good, since I don't think "Kobe's Wife" is a legitimate profession anymore. Then he cheats on her. What a classy guy. Not to mention his recent trial for sexual assault, which is just symptomatic of a bigger problem in sports today. Athletes are overpaid and over-idolized, so they get this idea that they can act however they choose and they can just buy their way out of their problems. As I confessed before, I'm an avid Rangers fan, but with the frequent cancellations of seasons over contract disputes, I've started to lose interest in the sport. It's more like a drama than entertainment. Here's hoping the athletic field starts to become more about the sport than the stories behind it.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Two Fashion Toughies

Our friend Mitzi writes: "I have a fashion question. Gaucho Pants, how do you feel about them? The first time I saw them I thought they were horrid and wrong in so many levels, but the more I look at them, the more appealing they seem. Are they actually cute, or am I just another fashion victim? Also, what's a good way to wear a pencil skirt? With boots? pumps? high-heeled sandals? With a button down shirt? a sweater?"

We love a challenge, M. We'll start with gauchos, which came from out of nowhere last season and are showing staying power for this season. The gaucho, at left, first made an appearance during the '70s, and like so many other fashions from years past, were resurrected for another go in the 21st century. Like Mitzi, we've seen gauchos and loved them, and we've seen them and were horrified. The gaucho is like a dare - wear me, but risk looking like a fool. So how do you do it right? First of all, if you're short, then this is probably not the article for you. Finding the right length for short legs is like trying to park a Buick between two SUVs - it'll be tough no matter what, and you may end up out of money for a mistake. And, like clamdiggers or capris, they just tend to exaggerate your shortness. If you do wear them, no matter your size, you pretty much have to wear some kind of heel or platform with them. I'm having a hard time explaining why, but I think you'll agree if you try it. You walk different in heels, your legs look different. In addition, as we've said before, baggy pants require a fitted top, and to complete the look, some chunky bohemian jewelry. Let's be real here, though. These are not for the fashion conservatives, they are for the fashion liberals. Don't, however, wear other '70s-inspired fashions, like your espadrilles, with these pants, because you will look like you got stuck in a wormhole and now you're forced to wear old fashions forever. Like leopard-prints and polka dots, one fashion format at a time.

Now that fall is coming, the gauchos can still come strong with a pair of knee-high boots and a blazer. As this lady at right has shown us, the fall can embrace the look as well. For the record, I don't appreciate the shoes - as one of our astute readers mentioned, webbed feet are for ducks (died when I read that, by the way). This is another thoughtful application of the opaque tights, by the way, which I've had the best luck finding at the Gap. All this stuff is available at Rampage. I think where people go wrong with this article of clothing is that they think they're comfy, so they're casual. They are not meant to be casual, however. That's why they make capris in sweatpants material. Gauchos are a dressier pant, so don't wear them with sneaks and a tee shirt. You will look sloppy because they are baggier than regular short pants. They can be great for work or a brunch, so don't be afraid to wear this pant with a little thoughtful application.

The pencil skirt, on the other hand, you almost can't do wrong. Again, this is meant to be dressier, so as long as you give it dressy attention, you'll look fantastic. Yes, pair it with a tucked-in button-down and a fancy belt for the sexy librarian look. Yes, pair it with a fitted, argyle sweater (layered with an untucked button-down, maybe?) for the naughty student look. With pumps you boost the vamp factor. With flats you get what I like to call the Rizzo effect. In Grease, Rizzo wore a pencil skirt, a fitted short-sleeved polo and flats, and if she didn't look hot! Flats channel the '60s, heels bring your look into this era. To be honest, there isn't much you could do to get the pencil skirt wrong, it's a very forgiving piece. The bottom line, as always, is to take a long look at yourself in the mirror and think to yourself - if I saw someone else wearing this, what would I say? Let your fashion conscience be your guide.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Makeup 101

"Maybe you can write about the do's and dont's of makeup next. I work in a bank and we are required to wear makeup, to make us look more professional...I notice that some of the girls wear too much or too little. Any thoughts?"

Happy to help, Cathy. The secret to makeup as I see it is that makeup should only be used to enhance who you are, not make you something you're not. What you do and what you use is entirely up to you, and many people have to experiment with a few different products to find the ones they swear by. There are a lot of things to keep in mind when wearing makeup, and a lot of it is dependent on your particular face needs. To start things off, however, we'll start with the basics.

One of the first things you'll need to invest in is a good foundation. This is one of those products where I'd say you need to get a higher-level of quality than drugstore, although many people have found happiness in the cheaper section. I personally swear by Clinique Superbalanced foundation for my combination skin. You want to get a really good foundation because it will cover your entire face and effect everything else you put on. Find one that won't clog your pores and will lay evenly - you are trying to even out your skin's tone and texture. With this kind of product, you generally get what you pay for, so it's worth it to shell out extra. When you apply foundation, cover your entire face, and don't leave mask lines - if you stop at your jawline, you'll have an obvious line between the makeup and your skin. Blend! Some people also choose to use concealer to even their skin tone, and there are different kinds depending on what you want to hide, be it a blemish or a dark circle. Shop around. I like to apply a light dusting of powder at this step to give my skin a velvety finish, and to lock in what I've done up to here. There are a lot of conflicting thoughts on the order of applying makeup - do what works best for you.

The next step is blush, which many people skip because they don't necessarily want rosy cheeks. There is so much more that blush does, however. Blush can give your face added dimension, depending on where it's applied and what color you use. If you put blush under your cheekbones, it will shadow your face and make them stick out more. If you put the blush on your cheekbones, it will make them stand out more. When you go to the department store and ask them to match you with a foundation, ask them about blush as well. You don't necessarily have to buy it, since you'll be buying the foundation, but they'll show you where best to put the blush so you look radiant. There's a bit of makeup etiquette for you - the consultation is free, but it's poor form to not buy anything.

Now you're ready for some color, and on this score it's really anything goes, so there's no sense in making suggestions. What I will tell you, however, is that there are a couple things that professionals can keep in mind for all-day wear. Liquid eyeshadow, while daunting, lasts a lot longer than powder, and doesn't crease the way powder does. Powder, however, is great if you want to layer a few colors and blend them together for an effect such as the smoky look. Choose appropriately. Also, matte lipstick comes in a wide variety of long-lasting choices, whereas lip gloss will just slide off your lips. On the other hand, lip gloss gives your lips more volume, and when you add a neutral lip liner, will really enhance the fullness. My mom suspected I was getting botox injections when she saw my lips - of course, she doesn't get out much, but the point is that she noticed the difference. A word of caution - lip liner is not something that people should be able to notice. They should just notice the effect. Also, the lip liner does not belong outside the lip. It goes just along the inside, and then you blend it. Then you put your lip gloss on top and voila. If your friend can tell what color lip liner you're wearing, you did it wrong. I love Carrie Fisher, but for crying out loud, the lip liner stinks.

Well, I hope that helped somewhat. Makeup is a big topic, and it's hard to talk about in just one article. The stuff above is the basics, though, and that should help you get a decent start in the makeup world. More advice will follow, of course.