Beauty for Dummies: Compact in a Compact

Capitalizing on the beauty equivalent of a clown car


I suffer from a syndrome I have recently identified as Stoop Kid Syndrome.

It earned its title from an episode of Hey Arnold! that chronicled the animated, namesake character-cum-incredible excuse for a living unibrow in mustard-colored socks. He spends the entirety of the 30-minute slot languishing on a stoop that he refuses to leave, harassing passersby in perpetuity as they come and go. Ultimately, we learn that he doesn’t leave the stoop because as a static social predator that is immobilized by fear, he can’t function off the confines of his comfort steps.

Though my comfort steps aren’t actually steps, they are a combination of the city and more acutely, the apartment that I occupy. When I am pushed out of the latter, I am more or less okay but when I resolve to leave this city — my stoop — everything I know about my judgement, my style, my ability to put an outfit together and self-maintenance flies out the window faster than a bird accidentally soaring through a slaughter house does.

Case in point: my most recent trip to France for fashion week where I decisively resolved that I did not need a) my most reliable pair of jeans, b) heels. Any heels at all, c) a computer charger and most important for the case of this story, d) any makeup independent of one Bobbi Brown eyeshadow compact. And a red lipstick. A red lipstick I fortuitously found in my jacket’s pocket.

So that’s ten days on another continent with a lot of eyeshadow and some rouge.

But I didn’t go to a makeup shop and fill the pronounced cracks that were staring me straight in the left eye that appeared in the form of dark circle and depleting eyelash. I just made like a lemonade squeezer and turned my compact plus lipstick into the beauty equivalent of a clown car that keeps on giving or as I like to call it, the complete, physical manifestation of every Beauty for Dummies published heretofore.


Using the white shadow at top left, I forged a fake under-eye concealer. A combination of the black and brown shadow served as eyebrow filler (trichotillomania is still winning), while the black, with a dab of water on the brush, worked nicely as an eyeliner. I used a combination of the metallic brown and center brown as eyeshadow proper and to give my cheek bones a little bit of life, after I finished applying my lipstick to my lips, I dabbed some of the extraneous color over said bones.

I’m still trying to discern whether or not this was a good idea but I do know that it worked, so, should you find yourself somewhere between your stoop and another with just a compact in hand, I think I have a decent idea.

Sweater by Prabal Gurung, neck scarf from Madewell.

Get more Beauty ?
  • A great idea with beautiful results – you took (the spirit of) your stoop with you to Paris, didn’t you? 🙂

  • Love this post, mostly for the Hey Arnold reference. Nickelodeon really had the best cartoons.


  • Looking might fine, Leandra. You have such nice skin!

    The look you created feels very full, especially with the relatively small amount of tools at hand. You could be good at camping, as this might be considered the fashion version of “roughing it.”

  • That compact looks great especially for when I’m travelling. I usually end up with at least two powder/cream explosions in my carry-on bag which needs to stop…something I’ve been claiming since I started wearing make-up. Maybe this compact can fix me and all my flaws.

  • Quinn Halman

    You’ve got a really nice face

    • She definitely scored in the lottery that is genetics. Actually, don’t you think all the MR ladies did? I feel like this could become some kind of statistics/probability problem involving foreign buttons on a calculator. Or not.

      • Quinn Halman

        Seeing as I’m still on spring break, I think we can hold off on the TI-82 shenanigans and just accept the beauty of the 3 laydays (ladies)

        • aight lil mami imma let u br8k

          • Quinn Halman

            tears (of laughter) streaming down my face rn

  • Love this. I feel like I’m always re-purposing my naked palette in the same way! Glad to know I’m not alone.

  • OOOH lovin’ these ideas! It’s amazing the things I’ve used as brow pencils over the years when I misplace mine. I vaguely remember a sharpie. Riddle me this – what syndrome would it be if someone couldn’t stop eating peanut butter on their stoop??!!

  • clueless

    are you blessed with that spectacularly clear skin or is it a byproduct of extreme care? please share, as I would love to know how it stays looking so healthy.
    if the answer is not genetics, please PLEASE do a post on your skincare routine.

    • also clueless

      PLEASE. the world (me) needs to know

  • MargaretInArabia

    My mom says all you need in life is great sunglasses and a good red lipstick. She’s 88.

  • Red lipstick was made for you Leandra! Great tips!

    Mafalda ❤

  • That cover photo tho!!! So adorabs! Love the outfit too x

  • Lipstick as blush is my number one beauty cheat. And when without lipstick, I make like an Austen character and pinch my cheeks to achieve a rosy/coquette-ish glow and bite my lips to give them some oomph.

  • We are very impressed! So many people buy so many unnecessary products when it comes to makeup. This tutorial creates a much more effortless look that is more beautiful than a full face of a dozen products. Great post!

  • jaclyn

    didn’t know that lip gloss or stick had so much power. such a great color!

    check my blog:

  • Emma

    Even though you put that compact to great use, I think you have the face and skin to pull of no makeup!

  • Johanna

    You look great with no makeup, but the final look is striking too….. urban armor vs. less is more?

  • Lol, how funny, but a good idea, if one doesn’t have other make up tools with them. 😀

  • I really loved this post:)

    Any LUSH lovers out there? Check out my new blogpost xoxo