5 Effortlessly Natural Blushes
My go-to for a great natural cheek color is Korres #15 Natural, which gives my cheeks a little warmth and natural color without being too pink or plum. I also really love Tarte Exposed, which gives a little more color but still retains a soft, natural result.
- Tarina Tarantino Neopolitan Lane — soft medium brown
- Burberry Russet — medium-dark brown with orange undertones
- Korres #15 Natural — medium-dark brown
- Tarte Exposed — muted rosy plum
- Burberry Cameo — muted plum
What’s your go-to blush for a natural cheek color?
Holiday Gift Guide: Must-Have Beauty Products for Lips
One of the things I am most thankful for is that by becoming a beauty blogger and having the opportunity to try so may different products is that it’s opened up my eyes to how many fantastic brands and formulas there are. Not every brand does everything perfectly, and there are a lot of great formulas that are just varying degrees of great. Picking a favorite really comes down to a less quantifiable factor, I think. It might be the color range, packaging, scent, or the overall feel. These are all lip products I personally recommend from brands’ permanent ranges.
- Kiehl’s #1 Lip Balm ($7.00) is nice for those who prefer a thinner balm with no shine. It’s very, very slick and thin on the lips, but it does a good job at moisturizing.
- Jack Black Lip Therapy Lip Balm ($7.50) is my all-time favorite lip balm, and I have them all over the house–at my desk, purse, pocket, nightstand–and a stock pile of them in reserve. So, so hydrating and comfortable to wear. My favorite flavor is Lemon & Chamomile, with Original as a runner-up.
- Philosophy Lip Shines ($10.00) are kind of a balm, kind of a lip balm; because they tend to run so sheer and have the thicker feel of a balm, I’m going to go with it as a lip balm! I like that they’re fragranced with Philosophy’s signature scents plus have some shimmer and shine.
- Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment ($22.50) is a decadent balm that works well but wears away quickly–I like the product, not so much the price tag and how quickly it finishes, though! They do have tinted versions, though, and they’re some of the better lip stains because they’re more hydrating, but they are prone to uneven fading.
- Sara Happ The Lip Scrub ($24.00) is my favorite lip scrub, because it holds together well, exfoliates lips, and leaves them feeling soft and moisturized.
- Guerlain Terracotta Baume Au Couer Lip Balm ($30.00) is tinted and feels like butter on lips; it wears for a few hours before disappearing, but it’s moisturizing the entire time.
- La Mer The Lip Balm ($45.00) is probably the priciest lip balm I’ve ever used, but it really does work well. It hydrates lips while still wearing well (you won’t have to reapply every hour).
- CoverGirl Lip Perfection ($6.99) is really rich in color, glides on easily, and wears for hours. The downside is the scent, so if you’re super sensitive to smells, you might look elsewhere, but these perform well overall.
- Maybelline ColorSensational Lipsticks ($8.29) is a good go-to for a more affordable lipstick brand, and of course, like other drugstore brands, you can catch it on sale for much less than $8 a pop. I find the creamier shades are the best!
- MAC Lipsticks ($14.50) straddle that price point that doesn’t quite break the bank, feels a little more high-end than some drugstore brands, and is an all-around good formula. Their range is one of the most extensive that I know of, and with that, does come some inconsistency–not every single shade is as great as the last, but they do have several favorites. Some of these include Angel, Russian Red, Girl About Town, Crosswires, Sweetie, Cosmo, Plumful, and Media–just to scratch the surface.
- Korres Mango Butter Lipsticks ($18.00) are lightweight, comfortable to wear, and come with a fairly glossy finish and semi-sheer color. Shades like Natural Pink and Natural Purple are really easy to wear.
- Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Colors ($23.00) are long-wearing, opaque, and comfortable to wear. For cooler skin tones, try Bare Pink, Cosmic Raspberry, and Mod Pink. For warmer skin tones, try Cosmic Raspberry, Soft Coral, and Sweet Nectar.
- Giorgio Armani Rouge d’Armani Lipsticks ($30.00) are creamy, moisturizing, and long-wearing while delivering good color coverage in over forty different shades. Shades like #400, 402, 501, and 506 are really easy to wear on most skin tones.
- Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Creme Lipsticks ($30.00) are rich in color and long on wear. For cooler complexions, I think shades like Ballet, Edition, and Fresco would work. For warmer complexions, try Edition, Muse, and Whisper.
- Dior Rouge Dior Lip Colors ($32.00) is long-wearing and moisturizing with a wide range of shades. For warmer complexions, I recommend shades like Pink Songe, Andalouse, and Red Muse. For cooler complexions, I recommend Pink Caprice, Devilish Pink, and Daisy Plum.
- Guerlain Rouge Automatique Lipsticks ($35.00) come really close to the Rouge G formula, but they are slightly less creamy, sometimes less opaque, and a smidgen less hydrating. They are really close but there is a noticeable difference on lips. I still really love the formula, though! For cooler complexions, I recommend Samsara, Cherry Blossom, and Champs Elysees. For warmer complexions, I recommend Violette de Mad, Rouge d’Enfer, and Coque d’Or.
- Guerlain Rouge G Lipsticks ($47.00) is my all-time favorite lipstick formula, because it’s long-wearing, opaque, moisturizing, and the color range is really nuanced. For cooler complexions, I like Galia, Greta, Gabrielle, and Grenade. For warmer complexions, I like Galante, Gala, Gipsy, and Ginger.
- Cle de Peau Beaute Extra Silky Lipstick ($52.00) feels like glossy silk on the lips; it’s super moisturizing and has a glossy shine. It wears well on me, too, despite how creamy it is. The shade range is really wearable and mostly universal, too.
- Cle de Peau Beaute Extra Rich Lipstick ($60.00) is a decadent formula that’s rich in color, comfortable to wear, long-wearing, and has a formula that helps to plump and fill lip lines giving lips a smoother look. It’s totally over the top, but it’s an excellent formula, so you’re not just paying for brand name/packaging here.
- Revlon Super Lustrous Lipglosses ($6.99) is a budget-friendly shimmery gloss that’s mostly sheer but delivers a fair amount of sparkle and dazzle. Like other sheer formulas, the range should work across skin tones.
- Korres Cherry Oil Lipglosses ($17.00) are hydrating and comfortable tow ear, and about half the range delivers richer color, while others are sheerer (and are described as such). My favorites are #52, #52, and #22.
- Make Up For Ever Lab Shine Lipglosses ($18.00) is a really wide range of glosses with three different finishes. I really like how Make Up For Ever has expansive color options for most of their products, and the lipgloss range is no exception.
- Illamasqua Intense Lipglosses ($20.00) are a total must if you or someone you know loves opaque lipglosses–these are really rich in pigment, comfortable wear, long-wearing, and have a beautiful glossy shine. I recommend virtually all of them, but a few of my favorites are Belladonna, Hermetic, and Move.
- Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lipglosses ($23.00) are a new favorite for me; they’re very reminiscent of Chanel Glossimers but more affordable. Sheerer color with lots of dazzling sparkle! Because they’re on the sheerer side, the shade range is fairly universal.
- Hourglass Extreme Sheen High Shine Lipglosses ($28.00) are super slick, comfortable to wear, and moisturizing. Some shades are sheer, some are more pigmented. Shades like Siren are beautiful and opaque with a really interesting metallic finish. Fortune is a great shade for everyone because it’s sheer and peachy-pink.
- Giorgio Armani Gloss d’Armanis ($28.00) may not be as long-wearing as the brand claims, but a gloss that wears six hours without drying lips out while delivering good color coverage is rare. I really love this formula, despite the shortfall in wear (relative to their claim). I love shades like #401, 402, 404, and 505.
- Chanel Glossimers ($28.50) are a classic gloss for someone who loves lots of shimmer and glossiness. These took me awhile to appreciate, but they really do shine and sparkle. These days, most shades are sheer, so they should flatter the full spectrum of skin tones. I really like shades such as Aurore, Coral Love, Futile, Meteore, Spark, and Sundress.
- Le Metier de Beaute Lip Cremes ($36.00) are extremely creamy, non-sticky, and hydrating. It was one of my first high-end glosses (and probably high-end purchases in general)–who knew that $36 would become “normal” to me one day–and I absolutely love shades like Fraise Creme, Framboise Creme, and Papaye Creme.
- Cle de Peau Beaute Lipglosses ($48.00) wear longer than the average gloss, have a great shimmer and shine, and are moisturizing. May I recommend #2? It’s a total staple for me.
What are your favorite permanent lip products?
Korres #36 Natural Brown Lipstick
Korres #36 Natural Brown Lipstick
Korres #36 Natural Brown Lipstick ($18.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a peachy, light-medium brown with soft champagne micro-shimmer and soft shine. It’s nearly opaque on lips, despite its lighter, more nude-ish coloring.
Korres’ Mango Butter lipsticks have a lightly sweetened fruit scent (“mango”) with a moisturizing, creamy lipstick formula that glides onto lips and looks even without drying them out. Most of the shades are semi-sheer, but this one was nicely opaque, though I imagine on more pigmented lips, there might be less peach and more red peeking through. These usually wear three to four hours on me, which is about average for a lipstick.
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- Product: 27/30
- Value: 8/10
- Ease of Use: 4/5
- Packaging: 5/5
FINAL THOUGHTS: This is a nice slightly-warmed peachy nude for warmer skin tones. Both lighter and darker skin tones should be able to wear this as a flattering nude that doesn’t pack a ton of color nor will wash one out. The warmer undertones in this shade are slight, which means that those with cooler or pinker undertones should still be able to wear this shade.
WHERE TO BUY: Sephora
CoverGirl Blue Boom, UD Deviant, Tarina Tarantino Glamorous Thief, NARS Kitty, MAC Hi-Def Cyan, Korres #13, MAC Smoothline, Milani Aqua, MUFE #7L, UD Electric, Tarina Tarantino Kanzashi, tokidoki Rondine
Blue Eyeliner Comparisions & Dupes
I think I may have more blue eyeliners than any other color in my stash. It’s definitely a close race between blue and green, though! These are just medium to light blues – I kept navy blues separate.
- CoverGirl Blue Boom Liquiline Blast is a medium-dark ocean blue. (Review)
- Urban Decay Deviant 24/7 Liner is a medium-dark ocean blue with subtle silver sparkle. (Review)
- Tarina Tarantino Glamorous Thief Dream Hyperliner is a medium-dark ocean blue with subtle silver sparkle. (Review)
- NARS Kitty Eyeliner is a medium-dark blue with a cream finish. (Review)
- MAC Hi-Def Cyan Chromagraphic Pencil is a sky blue with a cream finish. (Review)
- Korres #13 Eyeliner is a periwinkle blue with a cream finish.
- MAC Smoothline Technakohl Liner is a darkened blue-based teal with a satin sheen. It’s more aqua than blue.
- Milani Aqua Liquif’Eye Liner is a medium-dark teal. Though not included in this comparison, it is very similar to Urban Decay’s Covet. (Review)
- Make Up For Ever #7L Aqua Eyes is a bright, lightened blue. (Review)
- Urban Decay Electric 24/7 Liner is a bright, lightened blue. (Review)
- Tarina Tarantino Kanzashi Dream Hyperliner is a bright, lightened blue. (Review)
- tokidoki Rondine Glitter Eyeliner is a medium sky blue with silver glitter. (Review
DUPE ALERT! I think it’s safe to say that CoverGirl Blue Boom Liquiline Blast, Urban Decay Deviant 24/7 Liner, and Tarina Tarantino Glamorous Thief Dream Hyperliner are very, very similar. I would say they are dupes, with the exception of Glamorous Thief being a smidgen darker.
DUPE ALERT! It is apparent that Make Up For Ever #7L Aqua Eyes, Urban Decay Electric 24/7 Liner, and Tarina Tarantino Kanzashi Dream Hyperliner are very, very similar.
Formula/Wear: CoverGirl Liquiline Blast and NARS Eyeliner are the only two that have any issues based on my experience. CoverGirl just requires more layering, as it is not as pigmented as the other shades here. NARS, however, I’ve had a lot of migrating issues with, but I encourage you to read the review and the comments. tokidoki Glitter Eyeliner stays on well but can be scratchy against the lash line due to the glitter particles.
Green Eyeliner: MAC Tealo, Korres #4, MUFE #16L, MAC Jade Way,
UD Mildew, shu uemura #07, UD Graffiti, tokidoki Sandy, MUFE #17L, CoverGirl
Green Glow, NARS Parrot Cay, Korres #12
Green Eyeliner Comparisons & Dupes
I’m always surprised by the sheer variety you can have within a single color. You have deep, muted, cool, warm greens. You have undertones. You have finishes. It’s just incredible how even a slight alteration to a color can change it.
- MAC Tealo Powerpoint Eye Pencil is a darkened green-based teal with a creamy matte finish.
- Korres #4 Eyeliner Pencil is a muted medium-dark green with a creamy matte finish.
- Make Up For Ever #16L Aqua Eyes is a muted medium green with green shimmer. It is a lighter version of Korres #4. (Review)
- MAC Jade Way Technakohl Liner is a dark teal with a softly blackened teal base. It is a tealer version of Urban Decay’s Mildew.
- Urban Decay Mildew 24/7 Liner is a dark forest green. It has a blacker base, and less teal and more green than MAC Jade Way. (Review)
- shu uemura ME Green 07 Drawing Pencil is a light-medium green base with a soft golden sheen.
- Urban Decay Graffiti 24/7 Liner is a medium grassy green with cool undertones. (Review)
- tokidoki Sandy Glitter Eyeliner is a medium grassy green with warmer undertones and gold glitter. It is yellower and a little brighter (plus has gold flecks) compared to Urban Decay’s Graffiti. (Review)
- Make Up For Ever #17L Aqua Eyes is a pale chartreuse green with strong gold sheen. It is a much lighter, paler version of CoverGirl Green Glow. (Review)
- CoverGirl Green Glow Liquiline Blast is a bright pop of chartreuse green with a lighter chartreuse sheen. (Review)
- NARS Parrot Cay Eyeliner is a pale sea foam green with a creamy matte finish. It is similar to Korres #12 but leans greener. (Review)
- Korres #12 Eyeliner Pencil is a pale aqua with a creamy matte finish. It is similar to NARS Parrot Cay, but it leans a little bluer.
SIMILARITY ALERT! (I don’t think any of these are close enough to call a true dupe, but there are a couple that are quite similar.) The general feel of Korres #4 Eyeliner Pencil and Make Up For Ever #16L Aqua Eyes are very similar, but Korres is a shade or two darker and has less shimmer. MAC Jade Way Technakohl Liner and Urban Decay Mildew 24/7 Liner also seem similar at first glance, though MAC Jade Way has less black in its base and is tealer, while Urban Decay Mildew has a blacker base and leans greener. Make Up For Ever #17L Aqua Eyes and CoverGirl Green Glow Liquiline Blast are both chartreuse greens, but CoverGirl Green Glow is much darker and brighter–less gold. NARS Parrot Cay Eyeliner and Korres #12 Eyeliner Pencil are also similar, but NARS leans greener while Korres leans bluer (but they are close!).
Product Formulas/Wear: All of these wear all day long on me except NARS Eyeliners, which migrate and smudge terribly on me. I urge you to check out the NARS review and comment section, because some readers had similar experiences while others had great ones! I have not tested shu uemura’s formula at this time. CoverGirl tends to need a second pass for true color intensity. I’m not a fan of tokidoki’s Glitter Eyeliners, because their texture is rather rough from the gritty glitter, but they wear fine.
Lipstick Comparisons: $13 to $25 (Part 1)
In this price range, lipsticks tend to be more pigmented, have less synthetic scents, and wear an average of four hours. I’m not typically disappointed beyond belief with a lipstick formula in this price range. Brands from MAC to NARS to Smashbox fall into this price tier, while designer brands like Chanel, Dior, and YSL are in the next tier. There are really SO many brands and formulas to choose from in this category that I had to split this post into two parts!
- PROS: Creamy, opaque, glossy, wears for 3 to 4 hours, moisturizing
- NEUTRAL: 0.10 oz., slight sweet scent
- CONS: Very limited shade range
- MY REC: These aren’t quite as glossy or as creamy as the Silky Finish line, but they’re more opaque. I still find them rather creamy and moisturizing, though. Some of mine seem to have a very subtle sweetened scent while others have none.
- PROS: Creamy, moisturizing, glossy, wears for 3 to 4 hours
- NEUTRAL: 0.10 oz., shades range from sheer to semi-opaque, slight sweet scent
- CONS: Short shade range centered around pinks
- MY REC: The Silky Finish is a much glossier, often shimmered lipstick compared to Benefit’s Full Finish range. These actually remind me quite a bit of Laura Mercier’s Stick Gloss. They’re more moisturizing than the average lipstick and have a slicker texture, too. Some of mine seem to have a very subtle sweetened scent while others have none.
- PROS: Creamy, slightly glossy, wears 4-6 hours, opaque
- NEUTRAL: 0.12 oz., scent-free, more neutral/pink based shade range
- CONS: One finish (semi-matte)
- MY REC: I like the pigmentation and creaminess in the texture of Bobbi Brown’s Lip Color. Sometimes I get caught in thinking that Bobbi Brown is all about sheers, but then the Lip Color line always reminds me that it’s not always the case. Despite their creaminess, they’re not moisturizing; not drying either, but not particularly moisturizing.
- PROS: Wearable shade range, creamy, moisturizing, semi-opaque
- NEUTRAL: 0.14 oz., more neutral/pink based shade range, scent-free
- CONS: Wears 2 to 3 hours (despite being touted as long-wearing)
- MY REC: I think Clinique makeup often gets overlooked, but I like how much of their makeup is scent-free. I also think they’re worth more than just a glance given the price tag.
- PROS: Opaque, true-to-tube color, wears 5 to 7 hours, lots of fun shades
- NEUTRAL: 0.14 oz., scent-free
- CONS: Mostly matte finishes, dry
- MY REC: It’s important to note that while the texture itself seems a little dry, these lipsticks don’t suck the moisture out of your lips, but they definitely don’t impart any either. With an abundance of matte shades with drier finishes, these are not ideal for those with dry to ultra dry lips.
- PROS: Creamy, opaque, moisturizing, wears 3 to 4 hours
- NEUTRAL: Guava-scented
- CONS: 0.06 oz., limited shade range
- MY REC: My biggest issue with these is how little you get; they’re half the size of Korres’ Mango Butter Lipsticks and $4 more. The Guava lipsticks are more opaque and not as glossy in the finish, but they’re a little less moisturizing than the Mango Butters.
- PROS: Creamy, moisturizing, semi-sheer, wears 3 to 4 hours
- NEUTRAL: 0.12 oz., mango-scented
- CONS: Name/numbering system doesn’t always match tube color, limited shade range
- MY REC: I find these very moisturizing, and I love the glossiness of the finish, because it almost looks like you’re just wearing a gloss. If you have dry lips and haven’t tried these, you might want to give ‘em a shot.
- PROS: Creamy, semi-opaque, wears 3 to 4 hours
- NEUTRAL: 0.14 oz., scent-free
- CONS: Limited shade range
- MY REC: I’ve found these to be very creamy, and they’re often more on the opaque side of color. They impart some moisture but I wouldn’t consider it a moisturizing lipstick.
- PROS: Moisturizing, glossy, semi-sheer, wears 3 to 4 hours
- NEUTRAL: 0.12 oz., Berry-scented
- CONS: Very limited shade range
- MY REC: It’s very comfortable to wear and feels incredibly moisturizing–it’s just a shame that there are so few shades available.
The Lipstick Comparisons series is designed to provide a quick reference summary sheet for some of the many available lipstick formulas. It seems like most brands have at least a couple of formulas, if not half a dozen, and it can be difficult to find the formulas that will work best for your budget, coloring, style, or taste.
This is not necessarily a best of list, and it’s not exhaustive–it is based on actual lipsticks that I’ve tried; they are all, however, decent to excellent lipsticks. (And perhaps, some day, it will be an exhaustive list.) I have summarized my experience based on pros and cons, but also some “neutral” factors that may be pros or cons, depending on your preferences. I will update this series as I try new lipstick formulas.