Next week, one of my favorite books of 2016 will be released in the wild! ROSES & ROT by Kat Howard is a delicious story of creativity, sisterhood and artistic sacrifice. You can find my review here! R&R was pitched as THE NIGHT CIRCUS meets THE SECRET HISTORY. Which, I mean, if that doesn’t make you salivate, we will have some words.


You can pre-order now from:


Barnes & Noble


Anyway, her book is so soul achingly gorgeous that I *had* to come up with a makeup look in honor of her debut! I know that it’s been a minute since I last posted a makeup tutorial (thanks a lot, debut year). Once things quiet down (this summer I have been living out of boxes thanks to an upcoming move and all manner of book-related traveling…) I’ll have an *actual* schedule that I’ll follow and Myth Monday/Makeup Madness shall return!

But without further ado…


So this makeup look was pretty easy! All I used was liquid eyeliner, shimmery maroon eyeshadow, gold eyeshadow.

  1. To start off, apply primer to your eyes (or just concealer) and line your eyes on the top. Conceal any blemishes on your face, but you don’t want to have a full face of makeup or the colors may not stick.
  2. For this look, I wanted a dimensional cut-crease. To do that, find the hollow of your eyelid, and trace a line with black eyeshadow following the shape of your eye. Flick the eyeshadow past the end of your eyebrow for a dramatic wing.
  3. Once you’re satisfied with the line, go back with a shimmery maroon (or any kind of deep red) eyeshadow and outline the shape. Then intensify the black by going over it with liquid liner.
  4. Line the bottom of your eyes by following the shape of your tear duct to form two slanting arrows. They don’t have to be perfect. In fact, I think that this fairytale masquerade look feels more convincing when there’s something ragged and unfinished about the makeup.
  5. I like how contouring can make your face sharper than normal. And I think leaving the contouring signs can look downright Otherworldly. So contour your nose with the maroon liner.
  6. Forming the rose trellis on the side of your face is easier than it looks. Start off by drawing a spiral (like you’re about to draw a snail) in black. Then frame it with rose petals and fill in with shadow.
  7. Adding shadow to and around the petals gives the roses more depth, almost as if they’re unfurling from the hollows of your cheeks. Be careful not to smudge your design. Continue drawing roses and tiny trellises until you’re satisfied!
  8. Dust with gold!

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At long last, THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN…exists.

I have imagined this day since the time I wrote my first story about a queen ladybug laying waste to a kingdom of aphids (…rather gruesome first tale…). I did my best to write neatly and in straight lines on precious computer paper. I wrote it first in pencil. Then I traced it in pen. Then I stapled the pages together, and handed it to my parents.

They weren’t exactly raptured by my brilliance.

But they were still encouraging!

Since then, I have wanted to be a writer. In my imagination, being a writer meant swanky parties, swimming in champagne, and pacing decrepit mansions whilst shouting “I’m on deadline!”

As one does.

The reality is quite different. I don’t have a decrepit mansion, though not for lack of yearning. I pace. But it’s usually up and down my driveway. I don’t think I’ve ever used the word “swanky” as a description of my life except in utter irony. And on the eve of debut, I didn’t bathe in fountains of champagne.

Instead, I returned to the start of all my writing dreams: the bookshelf. When you think about it, bookshelves are extraordinary things. They are cathedrals full of miniature universes. And all you have to do to escape is pick one up and turn the page. When I look at my bookshelf, I see worlds and mirrors. I see who I was and who I wanted to be.

Today, perhaps one of your bookshelves will host a new world with The Star-Touched Queen. Perhaps you will discover that this world has elephants who spin clouds, jeweled fruit and fierce friends. Perhaps perhaps perhaps.

Today, I celebrate that ‘perhaps.’

This opportunity to write a world that has lived in my head for a very long time is a dream unlocked and a prayer answered. When you choose to write, you have no claim to a book’s emotional consequences. So while I celebrate the fact that this book exists, I’m also celebrating the unknown. I’m celebrating what I did control and what I can’t control. I’m celebrating an achievement and the hardwork of so many people (my agent, editor, publishing house, family, friends and more). I’m celebrating the Perhaps of what everything can be.

This is very much the book of my heart. I hope it finds a home in yours. And if not, perhaps the next one will 🙂




Impossibly, there is ONE WEEK left until The Star-Touched Queen comes out! I wanted to share some of my own inspirations for the characters. This past week, I released some character graphics on Twitter. I’ve placed them here below in case you didn’t get a chance to see!





Lately, I think I’ve begun to feel a bit like Maya. Things are just happening. It’s wonderful. And downright terrifying. Mostly because so much is out of my hands. I think sometimes the most challenging thing about writing and putting your work out there is making peace with its finality and letting yourself celebrate an accomplishment. Sure, it will have its flaws. There will be always be a spectrum of responses. Love, like, indifference, annoyance, hate. But it’s part of the job. And this is a dream job to me. To all of you who have made this dream possible, you have my deepest gratitude 🙂


1 Comment

I’m so delighted to share this excerpt of THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN with you!

You can find it HERE!

Can you believe there’s only 22 days left until the book hits shelves?!! WHAT IS LIFE I CAN’T EVEN…


So pleased to share the first excerpt of THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN audiobook! You can listen to it here or below!

I think Priya Ayyar has infused her entire narration with magic, and I hope you like it as much as I do!


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