Friday, July 9th, 2010

An Underappreciated Lancome Blush

Lancome Shimmer Mandarin Sky Blush ($29.50 for 0.18 oz.) is one of the prettiest shades of coral-pink with peachy-gold shimmer and sheen. Even though it seems reminiscent of such cult favorites as NARS Orgasm and MAC Springsheen, the way the gold sheen reflects light makes it stand out. It’s so wearable you could wear it as an everyday blush, but it can be worn subtly or intensely, depending on the look you’re going for. It blends beautifully with skin because of the soft, smooth texture of the powder. I always forget how gorgeous this shade is until I pull it out. It’s even pretty in the pan, but it’s truly at its best when worn. Very glowy without being shimmery.

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re a fan of coral blush, definitely check this shade out next time you’re near a Lancome counter or Boutique.

AVAILABILITY: Lancome, Macy’s, Nordstrom

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Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Sunset Eyes with Maybelline Eye Studio

As promised, here’s a look using Maybelline Eye Studio Give Me Gold Eyeshadow Palette. I think these are definitely some of the better drugstore eyeshadows I’ve tried in recent history, particularly from such a mass marketed brand as Maybelline. I don’t think they are better than MAC or other high-end shades, but for $6-10 for four shades compared to $10-15 for a single shade, they’re a worthwhile option for those on a budget or who just want to try out a certain color and don’t want to shell out $16 for one shade that they’re not even sure they’re going to use.

I found these eyeshadows very easy to blend, but do remember to use a light hand, because it can be easy to over blend soft shadows such as these (I often have the same issue with soft eyeshadows from Urban Decay and Stila). I’m expecting to try out a few of the more colorful palettes in the next few weeks, because I am definitely curious to see just how well they do true color (because this palette is still neutral, which I do feel is an area drugstore brands are stronger at as compared to bright, bold color, for instance). I’ll keep you updated, but what better way to show you how these perform than with a look, right?

I also gave Bobbi Brown’s Extra Tinted Moisturizing Balm a try in this look, but it seems to run a little yellow-ish on me, so I think Medium Tint might be too dark or something (maybe I’m Light to Medium). I did love the scent, though — a very lemon-y citrus kind of smell.

You will need the following…

  • Eyes: MAC Soft Ochre Paint Pot (neutral beige base), Maybelline Eye Studio Give Me Gold Palette (champagne white-gold, gold, copper-bronze, bronze), Maybelline Eye Studio Sinful Sinnamon Marbleized Eyeshadow (burnt red / pink), Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner in Blackest Black (black), Chanel Exceptionnel Mascara (black)
  • Face: Bobbi Brown Extra Tinted Moisturizer (Medium Tint)
  • Cheeks: Lancome Shimmer Mandarin Sky Blush (peach-coral)
  • Lips: Benefit Jing-a-Ling Lipstick (soft rosy pink), MAC Nymphette Lipglass (sheer golden pink)
  • Brushes: 226 (fluffy crease brush), 219 (pointed crease brush), 214 (smudge brush), 249 (flat, firm brush), 239 (fluffy shadow brush), 116 (dense blush brush)
  • Substitutes: For MAC substitutes, try Nylon, Goldmine, Amber Lights, and Bronze

For eyes, start by applying Soft Ochre paint pot as your eyeshadow base all over the lid with the 249. Using the 239, apply the gold eyeshadow on the inner third of the eyelid. Next, apply the copper eyeshadow on the middle third of the eyelid and lightly blend with the inner corner. Darken the outer third of the lid with dark bronze eyeshadow with the 239, gently brushing it into the lower crease. Lightly blend the dark bronze eyeshadow, with the 239, on the outer corner and lid. Next, define the crease by applying Sinful Sinnamon eyeshadow (the burnt red side) with the 226. To finish the eyeshadow look, sweep the white-gold eyeshadow as a highlighter on the brow bone. Bring everything together by applying Blackest Black gel eyeliner on the lower and upper lash lines with the 208. Finish by sweeping lashes with  Exceptionnel mascara.

For cheeks, apply Shimmer Mandarin Sky blush to the apples of the cheeks and sweep upwards towards the temple with the 116.

For lips, apply Jing-a-Ling lipstick first, and then layer Nymphette lipglass for a complementing lip.

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