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:
- NARS 413 BLKR — buildable, liquid highlighter
- Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight — pale, golden beige
- Becca Moonstone — a frosted golden champagne
- theBalm Mary Lou-manizer — a shimmery gold
- Illamasqua Aurora — a glimmering cream highlighter
>> See side-by-side swatches! <<
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!
- Milani Bella Rosa — a bright, medium-dark pink with cool undertones and a matte finish
- NARS Lovejoy — a medium-dark plum with warm, gold shimmer and a soft satin finish
- Becca Papaya/Topaz — a gold-shimmered, copper-brown
- NARS Taj Mahal — a vibrant tangerine orange with a luminous sheen
- Kevyn Aucoin Fira — a rich, orange-red with a matte finish
>> See side-by-side swatches! <<
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!
- theBalm Cabana Boy — a medium-dark, cool-toned plum with a satin finish
- Kevyn Aucoin Neolita — a rich, berry-red with a satin finish
- Makeup Geek Summer Fling — bright pop of orange with a matte finish
- Clinique Peach Pop — a pink-coral with warm undertones and a luminous sheen
- Tom Ford Love Lust — a brightened, coral with a frosted finish
>> See side-by-side swatches! <<
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.
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.
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.
I mixed two shades of OCC Stained Gloss in Aurora and Dune (reviews are forthcoming).
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!
- Chanel Presage (62) Le Blush Creme de Chanel — a warm-toned, medium-dark orange with a hint of pink, but I loved every single shade released in this formula (see them all here!)
- Illamasqua Peaked Velvet Blusher — an amazing cream-to-powder formula in a cool-toned berry-pink
- Kevyn Aucoin Natura Pure Powder Glow — or take your pick, as the formula was incredibly consistent and fantastic; Natura is a soft, medium brown with rose and peach tints
- NARS Boy Don’t Cry High Voltage Blush — an intensely pigmented coral-red that was as gorgeous to look at in the pan as it was applied
- Burberry Coral Pink Light Glow Natural Blush — a dark pink with a hint of coral and warmth and a soft, satiny finish
- MAC Ripe for Love Blush — a medium coral-orange with a satiny sheen
- Chanel Accent (84) Joues Contraste — a softened, medium-dark rosy brown with neutral-to-warm undertones
- Givenchy It-Girl Purple Le Prisme Blush — a light-medium, cool-toned pink with a hint of lilac and a barely-there satin finish
- Benefit Rockateur Box o’ Powder — a mix of pink, beige, and brown with warm undertones and a satiny finish–almost rose gold as described
- NARS Taj Mahal — bold, vibrant orange with a hint of red and a golden sheen–one of many choices as I reviewed most of the permanent shades from NARS this past year
What were your favorite blushes this year? What makes your top ten? (Or top five!)
I love a good finishing powder. I love an ethereal, lit-from-within glow. There is a very high likelihood of me trying any new formulas or shades that hit the market–I’m just a total fiend for them. I can’t wait to see what 2014 brings in this department!
- Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder — easily one of the most talked about new formulas this past year, it delivered as a beautiful finishing powder–plus, 50 users reviews and still maintaining a 4.5 average!
- Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Skin Liquid Illuminating Emulsion — since I first started testing it, I’ve been reaching for this nearly everyday to mix with foundation
- Illamasqua Supernatural Gleam Highlighting Cream — a gorgeous, shimmering bronze highlight
- Tom Ford Fire Lust Skin Illuminator — absolutely love this peachy-pink mixed into foundation or patted onto high planes of the face
- Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight The Celestial Powder — a pale, golden beige with soft warm undertones and an ethereal glow
- NARS Nico Blush — a pale, subtly warm-toned beige with a satiny sheen–perfect for a subtle highlight
- Giorgio Armani No. 10 Fluid Sheer — a warm, golden bronze with very, very fine shimmer to give a dewy sheen on the skin
- Becca Rose Gold Shimmering Skin Perfector (Pressed) — a rosy, golden copper with a frosted, slightly metallic sheen for a pronounced highlight
- Guerlain Crazy Meteorites Radiance Powder — fell in love with this holiday’s finishing powder–and I fell hard!
- NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder — for a smooth, flawless canvas
What highlighters and finishing powders have you been reaching for in 2013?