Sunday, August 24th, 2014

When I think about blushes for fall, my mind goes to plum and coppers/browns, which today’s post features. Any recommendations?

  1. Becca Papaya/Topaz — a shimmering, copper brown
  2. MAC Sweet as Cocoa — a rich, reddish brown
  3. Kevyn Aucoin Natura — a medium-dark warm brown
  4. Burberry Earthy — a medium, neutral-warm brown with a satin-matte finish
  5. NYX Taupe — a cool-toned, taupe

>> See side-by-side swatches! <<

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

I love a good highlighter, which I’m sure comes as no surprise to regular readers! :) Many of my favorites are limited edition, but I also have a few favorites that you can get year-round and never have to worry about running out of. Check ‘em out:

  1. NARS 413 BLKR — buildable, liquid highlighter
  2. Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight — pale, golden beige
  3. Becca Moonstone — a frosted golden champagne
  4. theBalm Mary Lou-manizer — a shimmery gold
  5. Illamasqua Aurora — a glimmering cream highlighter

>> See side-by-side swatches! <<

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Here are five blushes worth considering for darker skin tones! Again, this is a short and sweet list but is by no means exhaustive; I tried to include a variety of colors, finishes, and undertones, but just because you don’t see a blush listed here doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work :) I’d love to hear your personal favorites for dark skin tones in the comments!

  1. Milani Bella Rosa — a bright, medium-dark pink with cool undertones and a matte finish
  2. NARS Lovejoy — a medium-dark plum with warm, gold shimmer and a soft satin finish
  3. Becca Papaya/Topaz — a gold-shimmered, copper-brown
  4. NARS Taj Mahal — a vibrant tangerine orange with a luminous sheen
  5. Kevyn Aucoin Fira — a rich, orange-red with a matte finish

>> See side-by-side swatches! <<

Saturday, July 12th, 2014

Next up, here are five blushes to consider if you have a medium skin tone. I tried to include different price points, finishes, and undertones, but there are so many blushes available, there are many more worth trying. I’m a firm believer that we can wear whatever we desire, whether or not it is supposedly “suitable” on us or not–there’s no harm in trying :) Please share any suggestions in the comments!

  1. theBalm Cabana Boy — a medium-dark, cool-toned plum with a satin finish
  2. Kevyn Aucoin Neolita — a rich, berry-red with a satin finish
  3. Makeup Geek Summer Fling — bright pop of orange with a matte finish
  4. Clinique Peach Pop — a pink-coral with warm undertones and a luminous sheen
  5. Tom Ford Love Lust — a brightened, coral with a frosted finish

>> See side-by-side swatches! <<

Monday, May 26th, 2014

Neutral Eyes with Teal Eyeliner
Neutral Eyes with Teal Eyeliner

Last week, a few readers said they missed seeing looks posted on the blog (as in, cohesive ones!), so I’ll try to post some periodically–depending on whether there’s time for a more “free” day.  Sometimes there are so many products to test, I can’t give up the facial real estate :)  On Saturday, we spent all day with my husband’s family, which is usually a 14-hour minimum, so it’s a day where I prefer to just go with something that works.  I remember several readers wanted to see Stila Smudge Stick Mint Julep in action, so I thought this might a good opportunity to showcase that as well.  Going forward, I will try to post looks using recently reviewed products, but this was a very “for me” look more than anything, so hopefully you can forgive the excess of older products in it.

Eyes

A lot of the times if I’m not specifically testing something for wear, then I’ll reach for products that I really, really love that are, more-than-likely, discontinued or long ago limited editions. I love the two shades of cream eyeshadow Tom Ford released a year ago so much that I keep them in my basics/regular routine drawer, and I always take them with me when I travel. I’m so used to not using primer these days, but when I know I’m going out and about all day and am not testing, then I’ll still start with a primer!

I used NARS Smudge Proof spread all over the lid to the brow bone with a finger tip. I also like to take a little and apply it to the lower lash line for extra hold for the eyeliners I’ll use as well. Next, I applied Tom Ford Escapade Cream Eyeshadow to the first two-thirds of the lid, starting from the inner lid and moving outwards. Tom Ford Pink Haze Cream Eyeshadow was applied to the outer third of the lid and into the crease, blending outwards and upwards. To soften the edge of the crease eyeshadow, I applied Burberry Trench Eyeshadow to the brow bone (this is my go-to highlighter). For the lower lash line, first I applied Marc Jacobs Beauty Ody(sea) (62) Highliner Gel Crayon, and then I applied Stila Smudge Stick Mint Julep underneath the inner two-thirds of the lower lash line and along the water line. The effect made it look as if the eyeliner was glowing–I was quite in love with it! For lashes, I used a mascara fan brush to apply MAC Opulash Mascara.

Face

Normally, I find primer an unnecessary step with my skin type (normal-to-dry) for regular, everyday wear, but yesterday was going to be a longer, 14+ hour kind of day, so I started by applying Hourglass Mineral Veil all over my face. Then, I mixed two shades of Guerlain Parure de Lumiere Foundation with half of a pump of Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Skin Liquid Illuminating Emulsion as my base. For blush, I applied Troy Surratt Duchesse Blush  on the apples of cheeks. I set with Urban Decay Naked Loose Finishing Powder and finished with Guerlain Wulong Pressed Meteorites Powder.

Lips

I mixed two shades of OCC Stained Gloss in Aurora and Dune (reviews are forthcoming).

See more photos! Continue reading →

Monday, December 30th, 2013

I went through all of the blushes I’ve reviewed in 2013, which was around 200 in total, and these were some of my very, very favorites. I could have given you a much longer list, so when there was just a really amazing formula, I limited myself to picking just one shade, but I’ve included a link to the formula itself where you can also check out other shades available! Naturally, as these are my personal favorites, you’ll likely notice a warmer tone to most, plus an inclination towards coral… I cannot tell a lie: I love coral blushes!

What were your favorite blushes this year? What makes your top ten? (Or top five!)