Paint it Pink, Paint it Black: When Love Leaves You Twisted

Published in: Makeup, Product Reviews

The past few Paint it Pink, Paint it Black posts have either celebrated the joy or treated the pain of Valentine’s Day, but in life things are rarely that simple. Love can be about extremes — hot passion, cold shoulders, opposites attracting — but it can also be about compromise, sacrifice and shades of gray. Several times in my life I’ve felt a mix of both joy and sadness on the Big V. Truth be told, sometimes you’re caught in the middle! And when you are, you’re painting it pink AND black.

Case in point: several years ago, I wandered into a bookstore a few days before Valentine’s Day to buy myself a pen. At the time, I was fresh out of a long, emotionally draining relationship, and I was angry and very, very sad. Wandering through the store, I managed to end up in the Valentine’s Day card aisle. Hello, emotional breakdown!


I stood there, staring at the beautiful cards with their messages of love, clutching my pen with a death grip. Good thing I was alone in the aisle because I might have stabbed some poor unsuspecting loverboy/girl right then and there. I was just about to start bawling in the aisle when I spotted a card with a picture of a rabbit princess on it (complete with crown and ball room gown) dancing with a frog prince in a joyful scene. Inside the card was one simple line: “I had to kiss a lot of frogs before I met my prince.” It was the most perfect Valentine’s Day card ever, and I didn’t have anyone to give it to.

But I bought it anyway because at that moment I realized that someday I would find someone worthy of receiving it. Even though my heart was filled with sadness, I still felt hope for the future; I was painting it pink AND black that year, yo.

I waited a long time to give that card away — 10 years, as a matter of fact. I finally gave it away last February, the first Valentine’s Day that El Hub and I shared together as man and wife.

This Paint it Pink, Paint it Black post is for my girls who are in the middle this year, painting it both pink and black. Hold on to your hope, baby! It does get better.

If you’re feeling both pink and black this year, get thee to the Lancome counter and treat yourself to a gift that keeps giving way past Valentine’s Day — the Color Design Artist Palette in Stylish Neutrals.


When I first opened it, this palette took my breath away. It includes eight beautiful matte and shimmer finish shadows:

  • light pink shimmer
  • bubble gum pink matte
  • mauve shimmer
  • taupe shimmer
  • burgundy matte
  • light stone gray shimmer
  • white shimmer
  • black shimmer

It’s the best shadow kit I’ve seen in a while. Lancome and MAC shadows have similar textures and color payoff, which is probably why I like ’em so much. All of these colors work with my skin tone, and I like that you can combine them to create so many different looks!

So far I’ve already tried these three…

Easy work eye:
Apply the mauve or taupe shadow onto the lid. Concentrate most of the color there, and then slowly fade up into the crease. Curl your lashes, and add two coats of mascara. You’re good to go!

Easy date night eye:
Cover the lid with the pink shimmer shadow, and add definition to the crease with the taupe. Wet a liner brush and apply a thin line of the dark burgundy to the upper lash liner. Finally, curl your lashes and add mascara.


Easy smokey eye:
Rim the upper and lower lashlines with black kohl liner. Then, smudge it with a pencil brush. Apply black shadow or burgundy shadow on top of the liner and blend. Then, apply mauve or taupe shadow on top of the darker color and blend them both together.

The entire palette is $70, which seems expensive at first glance, but it’s really a pretty good deal. Each eyeshadow pan in the palette is about the same size as a $14 MAC shadow, so if you purchased eight similar MAC shadows, a palette purchased that way would cost you $112.

Whatever condition your heart is in this month (broken, mending, fully functional and filled with love to spare), I’m sure it’ll beat a lil’ brighter when you see this palette.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 25 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Charlene says:

    please post some looks with this karen! it looks sooo grgeous and promising.

  2. Karen says:

    Hi Charlene,

    Sure! Also, if you get a chance swing by a Lancome counter to check it out in person. It’s sooo pretty! πŸ™‚

  3. Lilan says:


    I heart your Vday story! It’s real, touching and adorable all at the same time – I can’t help but feel sort of in the middle of pink and black now.

    The palette is also really pretty. I don’t think I’ve ever purchased Lancome shadows since they always give a mini-quad in the GWP. But this one is really beautiful and I love purples. Can’t wait to see if you post some photos up πŸ™‚

    Happy Thursday – one more week until the big V-Day!! πŸ™‚

  4. Karen says:

    Thanks Lilan. πŸ™‚ I got a few MAC Shadesticks and I can’t wait to combo ’em with this palette…some tutorials are currently bubbling around in my brain. Sometimes I feel like there’s so much wonderful makeup and not enough time to wear it all! I should start changing my looks a few times during the day, like how celebs change dresses multiple times during awards shows.

    Happy Thursday to you, too!

  5. TUPRNUT says:

    Hey Girl!

    This is one of those beauty products that I pay a special visit to while shopping. I’ve been on the fence about it… mostly because I hate to drop $70 even though I know it’s a good deal considering all the beautiful shadows you get.

    Can’t wait to see what looks you come up with this… you may sway me to take the plunge.

  6. Karen says:

    Hi Tuprnut,

    Oh, this palette is so worthy of a special visit. πŸ™‚ Okay, I’ll have to do some FOTD’s (or maybe a tutorial) this weekend with my new MAC Love, the Pink Couture Shadestick.

    Are you back home from LA? Or still hanging with your sis?

  7. TUPRNUT says:

    Ooo, Pink Couture. Looks pretty. I have Beige-ing and love it so much. I want to get Taupographic next – I think it’ll set off Mulch really nicely.

    Yes, I am home sweet home now… just in time for snow showers and then flooding… ahh! But I was ready to get back to my little Grace and hubby. I hope you cherish every minute of the beautiful Cali landscape! The Midwest has nothing on it!

  8. Karen says:

    I just got Beige-ing, too! I’m really digging on using creams and pencils to change how shadows look. They seem to make blending easier, too. πŸ™‚

    Oh my gosh, trust me, I appreciate every sunny day here!

  9. Those colors are so pretty…please do show us what they look like on you. πŸ™‚

  10. breezy says:

    Hey Karen, your card story was SO the cutest thing I’ve heard! So glad u found the right person to give that too!

  11. Ping. says:

    i love this post. πŸ™‚

  12. Karen says:

    Hi Live Fabulously,

    I’ll be posting up a FOTD soon. Check back! Happy Friday πŸ™‚

  13. Karen says:

    Hiya Breezy,

    Thanks, my friend! πŸ™‚ Yeah, it’s kind of a miracle that I held onto it for so long (I just was telling someone I moved nine times in like, 10 years) without losing it. Any exciting plans yet for the weekend?

  14. Karen says:

    Hi Ping,

    You know, your comment from a few weeks inspired this one! Sometimes you find yourself caught in the middle… πŸ˜‰

    I hope you are having a good Friday so far!

  15. Megan says:

    So that palette is beautiful… butI’ve already been planning in my mind and I think I’ve already committed to a couple of the shu uemura shadows from the other day…at least in my mind :-). Tonight after work I’m hitting nordstroms…and I hope I can control myself. I’m thinking the purplish shade, and the green shade as well as the aqua flow pencils. There I go with my colors again :-). I’m also planning to pick up the EA Ceramide mascara you reviewed. I agree with you…so much beautiful makeup and so little time to wear it.

  16. Karen says:

    Hi Megan,

    AHHHH! What you’re experiencing is MAKEUP TRIAGE! Welcome to my world! I agree, the Stylish Neutrals palette is so very pretty. I started dancing around the living room at home when I opened it up and El Hub thought I lost my mind! I am not always moved by palettes with pink eyeshadows but this one made my heart thump. Stop by your Lancome counter to “visit” with it, LOL. I do that all the time, ha!

    I am heading to Nordstrom today after I get some stuff done too! I am calling on the powers-that-be to give me some self control. I’ve been dreaming about the Laura Mercier spring eye shadow palettes…

  17. Lilan says:

    Don’t I wish that I could change my look a few times a day! My face would hate me for all that washing and wiping though πŸ˜‰

    What color shadesticks did you get? I’m out of my favorite base color Beige-ing so I’m running out to get some – hopefully this weekend!


  18. Karen says:

    Hi Lilan,

    TGIF indeed! Any fun plans for tonight?

    I got Beiging and Pink Couture shade sticks. I think I’m going to get more of ’em, because they really add a nice dimension and texture to shadows. πŸ™‚

  19. Lilan says:

    Hey Karen,

    I’m actually going to Tahoe tonight to visit my mom for her belated birthday since we didn’t make it up because of the storms a couple of weeks ago. What do you have planned for the weekend?

    I’ve only used Beige-ing as a base, but I think it would be fun to get them in different colors too. I agree, they really enhance the shadows! πŸ™‚

  20. Steph says:

    Ok, let me pick up my jaw, literally. OMG, this is truely one of the best palettes I’ve seen in a long time! and, I’m usually not into lancome products, but, I just cannot stop looking at this darn palette. Did you have a chance to look a the other colors? Overall, 70 bucks is a great deal. But, at this point I dont have a dime to my name after all these spring collections, espically after Fafi hits. I bet this color looks Fab on your, esp with your complexion! I don’t know if I can resist. hehe

  21. Karen says:

    Hi Lilan,

    Have fun visiting your mom! Is she gonna do your nails? πŸ™‚

    If you like purples consider getting Pink Couture. I used it with some purple tones today and it made the colors really pop.

    Today I took a much needed day off and went to Fisherman’s Wharf in the City to just hang out and veg. It was fun. Tomorrow I’m going to probably spend the whole day working on a new writing assignment and just doing errands around the house.

    Anyway, hope you are having fun and staying warm up in Tahoe!

  22. Karen says:

    Hi Steph,

    Seriously, this palette ROCKS. It’s sooo super pretty, and I’ve worn it like three days in a row and I can’t get enough of it. Today I wore the light pink shimmer on the lid, the grey shimmer on the brow bone, and a mix of the mauve/taupe color in the crease. The colors combine well and they never look like they are too obvious or trying too hard.

    Yeah, I’m sure several wallets around America will be throbbing in pain after Fafi hits on the 13th, LOL!

  23. Ping. says:

    wow.. you really have great memory. haha.. i love your story of the vday card.. rather touching πŸ™‚

  24. Lynda says:

    Hi Karen, would the Lancome palette colors fit into the MAC palette do you think?

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