Beauty Lessons: Blush Basics

Blush 101

Beauty Lessons: Blush Basics

What is blush? What is blush for?

Blush is any color makeup product that adds or changes the color of your natural cheek. It can brighten up your entire face by giving you a rosier, healthier glow and complexion. Blush can come in a variety forms, including cream, gel, liquid, or powder (loose or pressed). Similarly, blush can come in different finishes–they can be matte (meaning they’re flat or have no shimmer), shimmery (fine particles that reflect light), glittery (larger particles that reflect light), or satin (ultra-fine particles that impart more of a sheen). The intensity of a blush can vary from brand to brand and shade to shade; some blushes apply intensely even when used gently, while other blushes require more product in order to achieve richer color.

Best Brands for Blush

For POWDER BLUSHES, consider NARS ($26), MAC Cosmetics ($18.50), Smashbox ($24), and Benefit ($28). Both MAC and NARS blushes come in a wide range of shades, with several textures available, which makes them both solid brands from which to choose from. Smashbox makes exceptionally wearable shades with varying degrees of shimmer, and I’ve found it’s hard to go wrong with one of their shades. Benefit’s Boxed Powders are easy to use and travel with, plus the shade range is natural and wearable for even those who tend to be more heavy-handed.

For CREAM/GEL BLUSHES, consider Tarte Cheek Stains ($30) and Make Up For Ever HD Blush ($25). Tarte applies effortlessly and always looks natural with a subtle sheen; they’re excellent for those with drier skin and find powder blushes look cakey. Make Up For Ever is a creamy blush that is extremely blendable before it sets and gives a luminous, natural look–but it can also be layered for a deeper hue.

What color blush should I choose?

  • If you have cooler undertones, light blue-pinks, pastel pinks, roses, and plums naturally suit you best. To venture into warmer shades like apricots, corals, and peaches, choose shades with more pink tones than orange tones. You can also offset a warmer blush shade by pairing it with cooler eyeshadow or lipstick/gloss.
  • If you have warmer undertones, apricots, bronzes, corals, and peaches lend themselves well to your skin tone. For cooler shades, try more yellow-based pinks, red-based plums, and orange-based corals. If you wear a naturally cooler shade on your cheeks, you may find that wearing warmer eyeshadows or lipstick/gloss can work to create a more cohesive look.

What finish of blush should I choose?

  • For drier skin, try cream and gel blushes, which will blend easily into skin without adding any additional dryness or powder to your skin.
  • For oilier skin, consider a mixture of face primer, cream/gel blush, and powder blusher. Oilier skin will pair well with cream-to-powder or powder-based blushes, but a primer or cream/gel blush can be used to build a better foundation so blush lasts all day and fading is minimized.
  • For combination and normal skin, all types of blushes are suitable for you. It becomes more a matter of preference on what you like and enjoy using.

Spring to Summer with Dior Crush Glow

Spring to Summer with Dior Crush Glow

I promised I would do a look using Dior’s Crush Glow Eyeshadow Palette, and I used it on Friday for a quick and easy look. It’s funny — I loved this look in person, but I felt like a lot of the subtlies of the shades didn’t pick-up so much on camera. It’s a great warm-toned palette for soft and subtle looks, though. I can definitely see it working as a travel palette for many.

P.S. Normally, I’d opt for a more neutral highlighter, particularly since I am warmer toned, an icy pink is not-so-neutral on me, but per my usual routine, I like to try and stay within a palette as much as possible. So just between you and me, you may want to go for a warmer highlighter (or one with less frost in its finish to tone it down, too). :)

You will need the following…

For eyes, start by applying Eden Primer Potion as your eyeshadow base all over the eye area with the 249. Using the 239, apply the icy pink eyeshadow on the inner third of the eyelid. Next, apply the gold eyeshadow on the middle third of the eyelid and lightly blend with the inner corner. Darken the outer third of the lid with the coral eyeshadow with the 239, gently brushing it into the lower crease. Lightly blend the plummy-mauve eyeshadow, with the 239, on the outer corner and lid. Lightly tap and brush the gold eyeshadow directly above the crease to soften. To finish the eyeshadow look, sweep the icy pink eyeshadowas a highlighter on the brow bone. Bring everything together by applying Bourbon eyeliner on the lower lash line and the gold eyeshadow lightly patted below the lower lash line with the 219 brush. Finish by sweeping lashes with Extase mascara.

For cheeks, apply Sugarbomb blush to the apples of the cheeks and sweep upwards towards the temple with the 116. Highlight cheekbones with Beige Tint meteorites with the 165.

For lips, apply Emotion lipstick first, and then layer Prep for Colour lipglass for a complementing lip.

Check out more photos!

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The Summer Season: Bobbi Brown Orange Lipstick

Bobbi Brown Orange Lip Color ($22.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a vibrant shade of deep orange. This is orange without being neon, flashy, or so unnatural that it looks weird–this is an orange you can wear that looks and feels like an orange, but it’s wearable. It’s a rich, opaque orange with a creamy finish and lightweight feel. It has a subtle glossy sheen and no scent or taste that I could distinguish. Bobbi Brown describes it as a “pumpkin orange,” but I’d say it’s a bit redder than a pumpkin. Nonetheless, count me amongst the surprised, because I never expected such a bold shade to come from Bobbi Brown!

The Summer Season is a series of posts featuring bright, vibrant shades of coral, orange, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for a summer of fun — that runs through July 2010.

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Zoya Sparkle Collection

Zoya Sparkle Collection

Zoya Sparkle Collection includes six sparkling shades of lacquer in fun, summery shades. Zoya Polishes are $7 a pop or else you can buy the Sparkle Sampler (includes full sizes of all six) for $36 (save $6!).

After reviewing several of this season’s nail lacquer collections, I might have to say this is my favorite in sum. (I think Chanel’s Nouvelle Vague is my ultimate favorite, but I have a penchant for Tiffany-blue polish, period, so I’d say that was a no-brainer.) I love me some glittering, sparkling polish, and Zoya does not disappoint here.

The glitter used in this feels very fine, more like a micro-glitter, so it has a smoother feel and look–and a huge plus is that it is easier to remove than traditional glitter polish. The polish has a very glassy look once you finish and apply a top coat, and the glitter shimmers across like sparkling water.

I found the formula to be consistent across all six shades, which is mostly a good thing. Despite having a very thin, almost watery feel and consistency, it works well and delivers stunning results. All of the shades required three coats for solid, opaque color, except Nidhi, which only needed two. Nonetheless, I found you could use thinner or thicker coats here–there wasn’t any concerns about application. I could get away with a thinner initial coat and go with medium-thick coats on two and three, or I could do three thin coats. The glitter spreads very evenly, which can sometimes be an issue in glittery lacquers. The drying time seemed faster than usual on these, and even without a top coat, these had quite a bit of gleam.

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Two-Minute Reviews: CoverGirl Eyeshadow Palette, Physicians Formula Healthy Glow, Smashbox Heartbreaker

The concept behind two-minute reviews is mostly products that I photographed, swatched, but I never ended up reviewing.  Rather than just bury the photos into the “Unlikely to Review” folder and never let them see the light of day, I decided that perhaps a quickie review was better than no review at all… Let me know if you’d rather a quickie review than no review :)

CoverGirl Vibrant Browns (#700) Eyeshadow Palette ($7.49) is a palette that features four shades of eyeshadow: a softened, matte black with glitter overlay, subdued blue-toned sheer gray with silver sheen, muted copper with orange-gold shimmer and frost finish, and an incredibly sheer white with sheen. The colors are all on the sheerer side, and the shadows themselves just don’t grab me. I think one or two more muted shades might work, but these altogether just don’t. I find the gold too warm to work with the coolness of the black and gray. Quick Rating: C-

Physicians Formula Healthy Glow Shimmer Strips ($11.95) reminded me of Bobbi Brown’s Shimmerbricks. Healthy Glow is a gradation of light, icy pink to a muted raspberry pink. The colors are better used together rather than alone, as individually, they’re not very pigmented. Together, they create a lightened raspberry with a frosty white sheen. This is great for those with closer-to-flawless skin, because it’s pretty and shimmery–but if you have larger pores, the high frost finish will accentuate them. For a drugstore blush, though, the price is a little steeper than I’d like to see. Quick Rating: B

Smashbox Heartbreaker Collection looked super cute in the promos, but I wasn’t loving it when I saw some of the pieces in person. In fact, I loved the actual box packaging infinitely more than the product packaging! The boxes are cute with doodles and polaroids on it–just sweet and fitting for the theme. The shiny white plastic makes it look and feel on the cheap side, and Smashbox really isn’t a cheap brand. I tend to think of Smashbox as more of a mid-to-high end brand. I tried three products: Starlight Fusion Soft Lights ($30), Rollerball Lip Gloss ($21), and Liquid Liner Pen ($24). I reviewed the eyeliner previously, but I never got around to the other two products. Despite looking rather vibrant in the pan, Starlight is a very soft, lightened raspberry sorbet with a soft champagne sheen. It didn’t show up very well on my medium skin tone, so I wasn’t never driven to wear it in a look (hence this quickie review!). Quick Rating: C+

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