Pretty Little Life

After last week’s Friday Feature kind of in celebration of the finale of the third season of my favorite show on television, “Glee,” it only seemed appropriate that this week I should celebrate the premiere of the third season of my second favorite show on television: “Pretty Little Liars.” Unlike “Glee,” “Pretty Little Liars” is not a musical series and may seem like a considerably less obvious choice for a Friday Feature here, considering the Friday Features are intended to showcase both beauty and music. While the characters on “Pretty Little Liars” don’t sing themselves, though, the show actually puts a pretty major emphasis on music. Before going into that, though, I figured I should share a little back story on the show itself, for those who may not be familiar. First of all, another reason I chose to do this particular post today is because today actually marks the 2-year anniversary of the show’s premiere in 2010. In that time, the series has become a massive success and is the highest-rated series on ABC Family, which is actually really saying something, considering the popularity of some of those series. It is actually based on a series of young adult novels by Sara Shephard. “Pretty Little Liars” is set in the town of Rosewood, PA, which I believe doesn’t actually exist, and centers around 4 girls whose high school clique fell apart after the disappearance of their fifth member and queen bee, Alison DiLaurentis. They are reunited, and the series begins, one year later when each of the girls begin receiving text messages from a mystery person, labelled only as “A,” who knows all of their secrets and are using all of this information against them. Initially, they believed that these messages were from Alison herself but when her body was finally discovered in the pilot episode of the series, they realize that there is somebody else out there who knows too much about their lives and has the potential to do very severe damage. The series is kind of like a teen version of “Desperate Housewives,” mixed with a bit of “Gossip Girl,” although I find that this show is actually so much more interesting and innovative than either of those series. It’s got such a gorgeous, fresh-faced young cast, brilliant twists and turns in the story and an ending to every episode that leaves you shocked and anxiously wondering what in the world could possibly happen next!

One of my favorite aspects of the series is the music featured throughout each episode. The series has always put a really strong focus on featuring independent artists. I actually read a really great article about the music featured on the series, called “How Pretty Little Liars Will Save The Music Industry” over at WetPaint.com, which I thought was really interesting. They have heavily featured music from some brilliant independent musicians, like one of my long-time favorite bands, The Weepies, as well as Graham Colton, Andrew Belle, Brooke Waggoner, Fay Wolf, Hayley Taylor, Right The Stars, Katie Herzig, Matthew Perryman Jones, Jules Larson, Trent Dabbs, etc., I just love the fact that the show has a very specific sound to go along with it’s very specific look and feel, as well as the characters having such specific styles, as well. So, I gathered up some YouTube videos of some of my very favorite songs to have been featured on the show so far.

Orelia Has Orchestra – “Suggestions”


Gemma Hayes – “Wicked Game”

Lykke Li – “Get Some”

Christina Perri – “Jar of Hearts”

Alexz Johnson – “Time To Be Your 21”

Florence + The Machine – “I’m Not Calling You A Liar”

Missy Higgins – “Where I Stood”

Meiko – “Heard It All Before”

Colbie Caillat – “I Won’t”

Andrew Belle – “All Those Pretty Lights”

2AM Club – “Make You Mine”

Fay Wolf – “Your Love”

Matthew Perryman Jones – “Out Of Reach”

Aside from this list including one of my favorite songs of all-time, “Where I Stood” by Missy Higgins, which can make me cry just hearing the opening bars. Also featured is one of my very favorite artists, and the Buzz Artist for the month of March, Alexz Johnson singing “Time To Be Your 21,” a song that was actually written for her old series, “Instant Star,” and a song that held a great deal of meaning to me when it first came out, due to it’s focus on needing to mature and step up to the responsibility of moving into a really serious relationship. I also featured songs from the show by a couple of my favorites like Meiko, Colbie Caillat and Florence + The Machine. There are also a couple of really amazing covers of songs I have loved since I was a child, like Gemma Hayes cover of “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak and Fay Wolf’s AMAZING cover of “Your Love” by The Outfield. My favorite tracks featured on the show, though, aside from “Where I Stood,” of course, are definitely “Suggestions” by Orelia Has Orchestra and “Out Of Reach” by Matthew Perry Jones, as these are both artists that I only discovered through hearing their music on the show and absolutely fell in love with. These are really just the tip of the iceberg in terms of brilliant indie music featured on the show.

Now, as far as the looks go on the show, I have always absolutely loved the fact that the cast of characters on the show are a group of girls whose personalities and, in turn, styles are so dramatically different yet mesh with one another so well. Each of these characters, and the actresses playing them, bring something really interesting and different to the table. It creates a really cool dynamic to the show and I love that there is such an emphasis put on these girls styles throughout each episode of the show. Each character also has their own individual style in terms of the makeup they wear. I wanted to add that in recreating each of the girls’ looks I kind of did them with the characters’ lifestyles and what I would imagine would be their approach to doing makeup in mind, which was kind of fun for me because it kind of made me look at the whole process differently than I ever have before. So, that having been said, let’s get on with the looks!

TROIAN BELLISARIO as SPENCER HASTINGS



Spencer Hastings is definitely the most straight-laced, “preppy” girl in the group, often dressing in styles that seem considerably more old-fashioned than the rest of the girls. While being the most straight-laced and preppy in appearance, Spencer is probably the most daring of the group, having been the only one brave enough to ever stand up to Alison, who was often domineering, hateful and manipulative to all of the other girls. Spencer has always been a perfectionist, largely due to the massively high expectations placed upon her by her parents. Troian Bellisario, who plays Spencer, has been acting since she was three years old, although she never really reached a “big break” until being cast in “Pretty Little Liars.” She is also currently dating the star of the show “Suits,” Patrick J. Adams. I have always thought that she has the most “model” look of the group, as she is stunningly gorgeous. The character of Spencer Hastings has a really classic style, most frequently seen wearing either a soft brown smokey eye or a sort of modernized version of the 60s classic cut crease with winged liner and either a nude lip or a nice, bright pink color. The look I recreated here features the 60s mod eye with a bright pink cheek and lips, which I found absolutely stunning on her.




PRODUCTS USED:

FACE:
Covergirl TruBlend Mineral Foundation in Natural Beige
Clinique Quick Corrector Concealer in Light Medium
Guerlain Meteorites Perles Illuminating Finishing Powder in 03
Covergirl Cheekers Blush in Sierra Sands
Sedona Lace Contour & Blush Palette (gold-toned highlight shade)
Revlon PhotoReady Cream Blush in Tickled

EYES:
Urban Decay Naked2 Eye Shadows in Foxy & Blackout
Urban Decay Naked Palette Eye Shadows in Naked & Buck
L’oreal Extra Intense Liquid Pencil Liner in Carbon Black
Clinique Quickliner for Eyes in Black Brown
Clinique High Impact Mascara

LIPS:
Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Lip Balm Stain in Sweetheart
Clinique Superbalm Moisturizing Lip Gloss in Grapefruit

SHAY MITCHELL as EMILY FIELDS



Emily Fields is the athlete of the group, with several of her storylines centering around her being on the Rosewood High swim team. Emily is also a lesbian and had one of the most interesting stories of season one when she was forced out of the closet by “A.” It was also revealed throughout the first season to have kind of been the one closest to Alison before she died and actually having been in love with Alison. For this reason, dealing with Alison’s death seems to be particularly hard on Emily. Still, Emily has had some of the most interesting and intriguing relationships of the series, including her relationship with a mysterious and seemingly dangerous new neighbor, Maya. Shay Mitchell, who plays Emily, has done a good deal of modeling, although “Pretty Little Liars” is actually one of her first acting jobs, having only appeared on “Degrassi: The Next Generation,” the Disney Channel series, “Aaron Stone,” and an appearance on “Rookie Blue.” Still, with her stunning and somewhat exotic look, she has attracted a lot of attention from modeling for American Eagle Outfitters and appearing in an ad campaign for Pantene. The character of Emily kind of has the most “no-nonsense” look of the group and seems to be the one who would kind of pay the least attention to her makeup and kind of do the most in the way of “convenience” makeup – kind of slap it on and go, so I made it a point to use products that would work for that type of style.



PRODUCTS USED:

FACE:
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Compact Makeup in Natural Beige
Clinique Line Smoothing Concealer in Moderately Fair
Neutrogena Skin Clearing Mineral Pressed Powder in Natural Beige
Smashbox Double Exposure Lip & Cheek Color in Speedracer

EYES:
Urban Decay Naked Palette Eye Shadows in Buck & Naked
Urban Decay Naked2 Palette Eye Shadow in YDK
Revlon Colorstay Liquid Liner Pen in Blackest Black
Clinique High Impact Mascara
Maybelline Master Shape Brow Pencil in Soft Brown

LIPS:
Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Balm in Pink Crystal


LUCY HALE as ARIA MONTGOMERY



Aria Montgomery is my favorite of the Little Liars. She is a bit of a former “punk” but has since matured into a really gorgeous young woman, although she has maintained a bit of a wild side, which is reflected in her style. In the series pilot episode, Aria returns from a year away from Rosewood, living in Iceland, and immediately meets a man named Ezra Fitz who turns out to be her English teacher, which winds up being kind of the central romance of the show. Aria continues her relationship with Ezra, which winds up being kind of the main story arc for Aria on the show and one of  the biggest secrets that “A” uses against her. Lucy Hale, who plays Aria, is probably the most accomplished of the show’s cast, having won the “American Idol” spin-off series “American Juniors” in 2003. She released an album with the group but disbanded pretty immediately after that. Since then, Lucy has gone on to appear in several different television series, including regular roles on the series “Bionic Woman,” “Priveliged,” and appearances on long list of other series, as well as appearing in one of my favorite films of recent years, “Scream 4,” and played the lead in the sequel to the sequel “A Cinderella Story: Once Upon A Song,” the soundtrack to which also featured four songs by Lucy. You can see the video for my favorite song from the soundtrack, “Bless Myself,” below. As I mentioned above, Aria has kind of a more wild child style and I think she would probably be the character with the most fun, expressive approach to makeup. The look I recreated for Aria is kind of a very typical look for her, featuring a very dark, brown smokey eye.




PRODUCTS USED:

FACE:
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Foundation in Natural Beige
Clinique Line Smoothing Concealer in Moderately Fair
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Protector Finishing Powder in Natural Beige
Covergirl Cheekers Blush in Sierra Sands
Ulta Cheek Color in Girlie

EYES:
Urban Decay Naked2 Palette Eye Shadows in Foxy & Bootycall
Stila Matte Eye Shadows in Champara & Nanda Devi
MAC Eye Shadow in Espresso
Clinique Quickliner For Eyes in Black Brown
Clinique High Impact Mascara in Black
Maybelline Master Shape Brow Pencil in Soft Brown

LIPS:
Revlon ColorBurst Lipstick in Petal

ASHLEY BENSON as HANNA MARIN



Hanna Marin is the most popular, on-trend Little Liar, who kind of took over the role of “Queen Bee” after Alison disappeared. Hanna has probably been the character who has had the most growth throughout the course of the series, seeing her go from shoplifting popular girl in the first episode to a really well-rounded, moral girl with a genuine concern for her friends and family and really willing to do what it takes to protect the people who she loves. Hanna has also been one of the characters that has had the highest risk in dealing with “A,” as her situation had very strong legal implications against her mother, who had stolen a large sum of money from the bank where she works. Ashley Benson, who plays Hanna, has appeared on several television series and films with only small roles, including a regular role on the short-lived series “Eastwick,” and a role in the upcoming film “Spring Breakers” with Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens and James Franco. As mentioned above, Hanna is kind of the most trend-focused member of the group and this is definitely reflected in her makeup and clothes. The look I decided to recreate from Hanna is a really gorgeous warm-toned brown smokey eye with Hanna’s signature emphasis of really dark colors right at the base of the lashes. I also loved Hanna’s look so much that I decided to film a tutorial for this look, which you can view below.





PRODUCTS USED:

FACE:
Covergirl TruBlend Mineral Foundation in Natural Beige
Clinique Line Smoothing Concealer in Moderately Fair
Covergirl TruBlend Mineral Loose Powder in Translucent Light
Maybelline Expert Wear Blush in Dusty Rose
Covergirl Cheekers Blush in Sierra Sands

EYES:
Stila Matte Eye Shadows in Illimani, Champara & Nanda Devi
MAC Eye Shadow in Espresso
Clinique Quickliner for Eyes in Black Brown
Urban Decay Supercurl Curling Mascara
Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara
Milani Easy Brow Pencil in Natural Taupe

LIPS:
Palladio Lipstick in Ice Princess


SASHA PIETERSE as ALISON DiLAURENTIS



While Aria, Hanna, Spencer and Emily are the main cast and the  titular Little Liars, you can’t really talk about the series at all without talking about Alison DiLaurentis. While Alison was deceased at the time of the series beginning, there is really no more central character on the series than Ali. Ali was the leader of this clique and the one who actually brought this group of girls together. The entire series has been focused on solving the mystery of her murder. Ali was a girl who seems to have genuinely cared about her friends but she also had this incredibly enigmatic personality that drew everybody in, led them to share their secrets with her and gain control over them. She was a master of manipulation and seems to have been blackmailing pretty much everybody in Rosewood and has slowly been revealed to have been living a very deep and seemingly seedy secret life. Sasha Pieterse, who plays Ali, has also only had small roles in various film and television series and has also only really gotten her big break on “Pretty Little Liars.” One thing that I have always found so fascinating about the makeup on the series is the fact that the 4 main cast members, the protagonists or “good guys” of the show, always seem to wear really dark makeup and clothes and such, whereas Ali, who is painted in a very dark, twisted, disturbing light, always has this extremely light, airy, glowing, almost angelic look. It is an absolutely brilliant move on the part of the show’s makeup artists and creative team.




PRODUCTS USED:

FACE:
Calvin Klein Infinite Hydration Moisturizing Foundation in Toasted
Clinique Line Smoothing Concealer in Moderately Fair
Covergirl TruBlend Mineral Loose Powder in Translucent Light
Smashbox Fusion Soft Lights Blush in Tease

EYES:
Urban Decay Naked2 Palette Eye Shadows in Verve, Suspect, Bootycall, Blackout and Tease
Clinique Quickliner for Eyes in Black Brown
Clinique High Lengths Mascara
Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara

LIPS:
Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Lip Balm Stain in Honey
Stila Lip Glaze in Ulta-mate Pink

So, there you have my kind of ode to my other favorite television series! Like I said, I absolutely adore this series and highly recommend everybody check it out, although I definitely recommend that you go back and watch the first two seasons before trying to dive in to the current episodes, because there is a very long, complicated back story involved. It is definitely worth going through, though, because it is absolutely brilliant! Next week, I can assure you, will not be a television-related post. In fact, I’ve got something really fun and different planned for next week’s Friday Feature that I am very excited to attempt to pull off and share with you all! In the meantime, though,  I wish you all a beautiful weekend and a beautiful life!

Jason

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