An Ode (And Guide) To “Trashy” Beauty


I’ve always identified with that song that goes, “I like my women just a little on the trashy side.”

I want to be more ladylike, but I just can’t bring myself to wear a nude bra with a white shirt instead of a black one or keep my tights from running. I love a good bodycon dress, and I like my makeup more Jenna Jameson than Kate Bosworth.

I mean, isn’t it wonderful to be a woman and slip on a sexy dress and go dancing?

I love beauty websites, but so many of the women featured on them say things like, “I don’t wear much makeup; just a little tinted moisturizer and some mascara. I’m French and we are very low maintenance.” Or “One should never wear too much lipstick/eyeshadow/bronzer/perfume.”

Wait — what?

I get that most people don’t share the same aesthetic as Snooki, but one of my favorite things about makeup is its transformative abilities. Yes, it can be used to enhance the good and hide the bad in a very natural, basic way, but it can also create sooty, stayed-up-all-night eyes or ’50s bad girl cherry red lips.

Though my basic workday makeup is foundation, brows, mascara and lipstick, I am always game to be contoured and smokified.

I want to wear sparkle dust on all my limbs! I want to hoist my boobs up to my chin! I want long red talon nails and a face full of bronzer! I want a man to say to me, “I smelled your perfume before I saw you.” (That actually happened courtesy of Angel by Thierry Mugler. In the colder months I have a habit of drowning in it.)

I’m pretty confident in my body and my “look,” so I’m not averse to looking a bit “too much” sometimes. I am a woman, and it is my God-given right to wear fake hair, fake nails and get a spray tan or two if I damn well feel like it.

Makeup is fun for me; I wake up every morning thinking, YES! I get to play with my face today! You know how the Golden Girls were always in bed with a face full of makeup on? That’s aspirational. I love that the Kardashian sisters’ contouring routine is similar to contestants’ on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” When I was little, I wanted to be Princess Mombi from “Return to Oz,” who had a whole hallway of heads to choose from every day.

There’s no reason why we should be ashamed to wanna cake it on and trash it up every once in awhile. I will load up on three types of liner and a buttload of NARS shadow, then sleep with it on for days, letting it move and migrate into something new.

Here’s what I keep in my bombshell arsenal:

A loud perfume

You should definitely take a cue from my stripper friends and go with something sweet and gourmand, like the aforementioned Angel. The original Gucci Rush works well too, as does classic Fracas, whose “hot tuberoses” dry down to something very sexual. You want to make a statement here.

When I’m using perfume to seduce, I spritz it behind my knees, down my cleavage and behind my neck so when I’m fiddling with my hair, it wafts over to all the men leaning on the bar. Smart thinking, right? Slide that Bud Light right down to me, sir.


Once I dressed as Sexy Lambchop for Halloween and wore three pairs stacked on top of each other. My favorite lash brand is Eylure; their Evening and Intense styles are perfect for the look we’re going for.

A few black eyeliners

I use two or three different liners: a liquid/gel, a smudgy kohl, and a basic, long-lasting black for my waterline.

MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack is my favorite gel liner of all time because the pot lasts for years and it does not budge, even if you have oily eyelids like me.

For smudgy “sexy Nancy Spungeon” eyes, I rely on Givenchy Magic Kajal Eye Pencil. This stuff is NOT foolproof; I would suggest fiddling around with it a few times before you wear it out, because it’s greasy and slides around.

NARS Larger Than Life Long-Wear Liner in Via Veneto is what I trust for my waterlines. I slept in some last night and it’s still perfect today.

Urban Decay’s ‘Naked’ Pallette

Yeah, yeah, every single “beauty person” recommends this. It’s the NARS Orgasm of eyeshadows. But it deserves the accolades!

I am consistently amazed by how many looks I can create with the Naked Palette. (I also use it to tint my brows.) It’s $50, but you get a legit primer, a useful brush and 12 shades of shadow. Whenever I’m about to trashify my eyes I smear Sin (light champagne) over my lid, then slash a mix of Creep (almost black) and Gunmetal (self-explanatory) into my crease and outward. It’s the easiest smoky eye ever.

Tip: Always use a flat brush when you’re using sparkly shadows, because they’re less likely to “fall” and dust shadow all over your face.

Body shimmer

Trashy girls like glitter. I wear bronze shimmer powder (any kind will do — mine is an ancient discontinued Too Faced product) on my collarbones and contour my cleavage with it.

Another way to wear shimmer: Mix it with baby oil gel and rub it down your shins to make your legs look more defined.

Vampy nails

I am completely obsessed with Broadway Nail’s imPRESS Salon Manicure line. You’re like, “Press-on nails, Kara? It’s not 1988.” Well, let me tell you something — these changed my mind on that subject.

They’re foolproof; just size them, peel off the little sticker and press firmly.

Now you have a fun mani that’ll last up to a week! You can get them in basic colors like red and black, but I tend to go for the neon leopard print or hot pink. They can be clipped and filed to your liking and come in a few different lengths.

Lip gloss

I detest lip gloss. It’s sticky and my hair gets caught in it. But when I’m wearing my trashy face, I’m probably gonna slick some on.

ModelCo SHINE Ultra Lip Gloss in Strip Tease is my favorite. It doesn’t feel heavy and is the perfect mix of shimmer and shine.

Do I sometimes use all this makeup as a shield? Sure, of course I do. But on no-good, very bad, horrible days, sometimes all I need to bust out of my funk is a ton of mascara and some shiny red lips.

Are you pro-“trashy” makeup? What are your favorite products for over-the-top looks?

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