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Naughty vs. nice: Using makeup to make the mood

As any guy will tell you, girls can be a moody bunch. Some days our inner vixen is screaming to be released, other days we’re struck with a severe case of who-really-cares? Just as you can project your mood to the world through your clothes, you can do the same with your makeup. Here’s how to tell the world “I’m sexy and I know it,” or “Buzz off. I’ve got a date with my sweats” with the makeup you wear.

We all get in makeup ruts. We develop makeup routines that we can calculate down to the second, many of which have been with us since junior high. We switch it up from time to time, only to revert to old habits.

So how do we branch out to create nice and naughty looks? We asked the experts.

The looks
Mary Schook ( is a “beauty engineer” on the forefront of the intersection of beauty and well-being. Schook strongly believes in unraveling the mythology around beauty products and practices, and says one can make the same lipstick, liquid liner, mascara and blush and create two entirely opposite moods! Now you have our attention. Two looks from one makeup collection?

How the looks compare

For the naughty vs nice look, Schook defines them as follows:

Lips: Vixen. Deep red lipstick applied across the lips says you mean business and you’re not playing around. You’re the HGIC (Head Gal In Charge) and everyone knows it.

Eyes: Liquid eyeliner smudged around the eye adds mystery, while mascara is applied to the edge of the lashes giving a little bit more of ‘let’s engage in some intense flirting, potentially followed by some heavy petting” look.

Cheeks: Blush contoured below the cheek bone brings out the diva. Combine all three of these, and you are licensed to thrill.

Jessica Simpson does both naughty and nice looks


Lips: Red lipstick tapped across the lip like a stain. This is what our pioneer sisters did with rose petals for a kept, but natural look.

Eyes: Liquid liner applied lightly to the base of the lashes. Mascara is wide-eyed and innocent. Application is mostly at the center of the eyelashes. With this application, fluttering your eyelashes will bring attention to your beautiful eyes and blushing cheeks, as opposed to the caterpillar legs you glued to your eyelashes.

Cheeks: Rosy blush is whisked lightly across the apples of the cheeks. This tells the boys in your immediate sector, “Why no. I’m not wearing makeup. I just came inside from engaging in girly, outdoor activities.”

Step by step: Get a sweet look
Monique Powers (, a highly-regarded California-based airbrush makeup artist and brow specialist, offers these tips on how to create your inner ingénue or nice girl.

  • Start with a foundation primer.
  • Follow with a tinted moisturizer or apply your foundation with a sponge for sheer coverage.
  • Set with powder and then apply a sheer blush for a soft glow.
  • Apply soft eye shadow colors to the lid, and then line the top with a soft brown pencil.
  • Follow with a coat of mascara.
  • Complete the look with gloss on the lips.

Powers says that if you’re going for the innocent look, “Less is always more.”

Step by step: Get a hot look
Sexy sirens — the naughty girls — are all about inviting lips and smoky eyes. Their look says, “Shyness is for Saturday night shut-ins.”

Monique says the best way to create this alluring look is as follows:

  • For smoky eyes, start with a soft shadow to highlight the brow bone area and then sweep an intense color such as brown, grey, or bronze on the lid. Depending on your eye color any rich color will work. The key is to blend, blend, blend — so that the lines are smooth, and the color looks intense but not harsh. Remember, you want a “smoky” look, not “the-barbecue-just-blew-up-in-my-face” look.
  • Next, line the top of your eyes and underneath the bottom lashes with a corresponding or complimentary eyeliner pencil. To open up the eyes, try extending the eyeliner just a little (meaning not to your hairline) to elongate the eyes.
  • Then, curl your lashes, apply a coat of mascara and to give your eyes a smoldering look, apply false eyelashes.
  • For inviting lips, start by lining your lip with a lip pencil, and then follow with a lip gloss that will last. Glossed lips imitate “just-licked” lips — a look that needs no explanation.

Robert Jones ( creator of Simple Beauté, a web-based company that carries a large variety of makeup tools and accessories (and author of the book Makeup Makeovers) says, “Nothing says ‘naughty’ quicker than a smoky eye.” He advises, though, to pair it with nude lips so as to not overdo the look — but “a dark, intense lip color will turn up the naughty quota.”

Drew Barrymore also can look both naughty and nice


Something in between
If you’d like to fall somewhere between naughty and nice, Belinda Moss, a professional makeup artist and spokesperson for Softlips, seconds wearing a more subtle shade, such as a metallic brownish lip tint — a rich color that complements all skin tones and accents your wardrobe.

He also suggests adding false eyelashes and a little extra eyeliner will help create high drama. As for the nice-girl look, Jones says nothing beats a soft flush to your cheek. Go for a soft, shimmery apricot. “No man wants to kiss dark lips — choose a soft glossy nude.” For a flirty-but-innocent look, go with a soft, shimmery taupe eye shadow.

Naught or nice, or something in between can be easily achieved, and by using the same exact products. Now you have no excuse. Pick a mood, bust out of your rut and use your face to get in the word’s face with the perfect version of you.

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