Posts Tagged Blush

Make Up For Ever’s new HD Blush is PERFECT for spring!

Last week I worked at Sephora for the Clinique kiosk for the first time EVER. Guys, let me tell you – that is one HARD FRIGGIN’ JOB, keeping your hands to yourself and trying to stick to your ‘station.’ DAMN!  The first two shifts were pretty slow, so I had ample time to mosey around and check out the wares…but honestly, I don’t know how they get anything done! (and for the record, pretty much everyone was on the ball, 99.9% of the time. ALL BIZNESS, ALL THE TIME).  Personally, there were so many fun things to look at that it was tough sticking to my ‘area,’ but I made it work.

MUFE HD Second Skin Cream Blush

One of the items that kept catching my eye was the new Make Up For Ever HD Blushes ($31cAD), which I believe replace their old HD *liquid* blushes? These are creams in a pot, whereas the older versions were a pump mechanism. Needless to say, these newer iterations are by far easier to use (though I wish the shade range was as exciting as the old…anyone ever check out #2 or #3, both bright hot pinks? YOWZAAAA). I think the idea is to showcase more natural-looking shades, that suit a variety of skin tones – for example, the 200 series is generally best suited for fair complexions; the 300 series for medium complexions, the 400 series for medium-dark complexions (like mine), and the 3 500 series shades are great for the darkest of skins. The exception is shade #410, a bright coral, which was created with all skin tones in mind.  I guiltily admit however, that I don’t give one iota to all of this info, because….I just WANT THEM ALL.

MUFE HD Second Skin Cream Blush #420 MUFE HD Second Skin Cream Blush #420 MUFE HD Second Skin Cream Blush #420

The shade I was sent to try was #420, described as an ‘Indian Rosewood‘ shade. As I tend to lean toward more bright, obvious blush colours, I figured it was time to opt for a more natural tone that would meld with my skin without effort. #420 does just that.

MUFE HD Second Skin Cream Blush #420MUFE HD Second Skin Cream Blush #420 swatch MUFE HD Second Skin Cream Blush #420 swatch

It almost looks like a warm bronze-y tone once applied to my skin; the reddish-brown hue melds with my skin tone to produce a really wonderfully natural ‘glow.’  I was unsure when I opened the box that this was going to be *my kind of shade* but it’s so foolproof on my skin that I really have to argument against it.  It just plain LOOKS GOOD.  And application is a breeze – just use a stippling brush (my pick is MAC’s #130) to dab it on the cheeks and then blend out; honestly, it was one of the easiest cream products to use and I had zero issues in placement or blending – my kind of product! The finish is reminiscent of Chanel’s new cream blushes, except I actually find the MUFE version a little more dewy and a little bit less cream-to-powder finish, which I personally prefer. It retains a fresh quality that I really like, especially come springtime!

MUFE HD Second Skin Cream Blush #420 swatch brown skin MUFE HD Second Skin Cream Blush #420 swatch brown skin

As you can see, it’s quite natural-looking on, and I admit that I kinda slapped this on haphazardly for these photos because sunlight is fleeting these days. I can already see the absolute necessity of buying several more of these – cream blushes are my new *thing* as I’m all over the natural, glowing skin look, and these are hard to beat. Radiant without being greasy or shiny, and a cinch to use. I’m a goner!

MUFE HD Second Skin Cream Blush #420 swatch

When it comes to blush, what is your preference: powder, or cream (or liquid)? Do you opt for natural tones or more in-your-face brights?

*Products were provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.

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Benefit’s Lollitint: Not just for kids!

The newest offering in their cheek tint franchise, Benefit’s Lollitint caught my eye right from the get-go.  When Radiant Orchid was announced as Pantone’s Color of the Year, I hopped aboard that train without looking back, and the Lollitint just seemed like the ubiquitous product, perfect for my newest color scheme.

Benefit Lollitint Benefit Lollitint

One caveat: I was SURE it wasn’t going to show up on my darker skin tone.  Something about the milky cool pink hue just seemed completely out of my realm and better suited for the more fair-skinned among us.  However, early in February, the girls behind the Beauty Envy Bag giveaways got together for a Google Chat, in which my girl Lola informed me that SHE had purchased Lollitint, and it showed up just fine on her gorgeous cocoa complexion. Um, SOLD.  I snapped it up the next week :)  And true to her word, it worked!

Benefit Lollitint swatch

Lollitint is a beautiful orchid hue that gives the skin a pretty flush, perfect for transitioning from chilly winter days to cool, sunny spring ones! It looks somewhat similar on the skin as NARS Desire, but due to the liquid formulation I find it a bit more natural – if you apply it right.  My first tries with this product were admittedly HUGE FAILS; dotting it on my cheeks directly with the brush and then blending it out with a duofiber brush (MAC’s #130 in this case) either looked non-existent, or gave me serious clown cheeks. Getting the right balance of product was extremely tough, and as it stains the skin quite quickly, a lot of blush would deposit on one main area of my cheek, looking HIGHLY unnatural.  After a few days of this, I was frustrated but determined to persevere.

I finally found the best way to apply the product: I would brush a few swipes of colour across the actual brush head itself, and then quickly blend it in on the cheek in the area I wanted it. This allowed me to diffuse the product around before it had those extra seconds to set, and gave me a truly natural looking pink glow. I’m not generally a fan of fussy products, but in this instance I’ll make an exception, because the finished product is kinda awesome!

Benefit Lollitint brown skin Benefit Lollitint brown skin

Yea, I’m a wee bit in love :)  This has been my most-worn blush since picking it up last month, and I see no end in sight at the moment! Once it’s on the cheek, the wear time is unreal – hands down my longest wearing blush EVER. It does wash off fine at the end of the day though, it you were worried about long-term staining. I haven’t worn it on the lips yet however, and I suspect it would probably be 1) an awesome base for pink lippies, and 2) will leave you with a pink pout even after cleansing. I find that lip staining products tend to always be more tenacious.

My love for Radiant Orchid continues! I have purchased shades for lips, cheeks and nails…I’m pretty much set :)

Have you tried the Benefit Cheek and Lip Tints before? What are your tricks for applying quickly setting products?

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The Colours of Love: Pinks & Reds

This is going to be a post with many pictures and few words.  After a week where I was falling asleep by 9:30pm, now I’ve had insomnia the past few nights so I’m gonna try and get some shut eye early this evening!

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I’m all about pushing a huge pink/red theme in all things beauty.  I’ve been rocking a serious pink flush and juicy pink lips every day this week so far, and have a pretty pink mani to boot!  If you’re on the hunt for pink or red makeup and polish this week, look no further – I’ve gotcha covered ;)

Let’s begin with some cool pink blush and lippies:

Warm Pink BlushClockwise from top left: NARS Desire, Illamasqua Unrequited, theBalm Down Boy, Joe Fresh Bloom

Cool Pink Blush SwatchesLeft to right: theBalm Down Boy, Illamasqua Unrequited, NARS Desire, Joe Fresh Bloom

Cool Pink LippiesLeft to right: Kat Von D Backstage Bambi, Illamasqua Divine, Buxom April

Cool Pink lippie swatchesLeft to right: Kat Von D Backstage Bambi, Illamasqua Divine, Buxom April

Though my skin truly leans neutral, I still find that blue-based pinks are my JAM and really pop on my skin tone.  Love ‘em!

Next we have some warm pink cheek and lip colours:

Warm Pink BlushLeft to right: Chanel Blush de Horizon(LE), Illamasqua Hussy, Illamasqua Tweak

Warm Pink Blush swatchesLeft to right: Chanel Blush de Horizon, Illamasqua Hussy, Illamasqua Tweak

Warm Pink LippiesLeft to right: Bite Beauty Quince, Kat Von D Bachelorette (LE), purminerals Vintage Pink (LE), Revlon Sweet Tart, purminerals Pink Crush, Giorgio Armani #606, YSL #8 Pink in Confidence

Warm Pink Lippie swatchesLeft to right: Bite Beauty Quince, Kat Von D Bachelorette, purminerals Vintage Pink, Revlon Sweet Tart, purminerals Pink Crush, Giorgio Armani #606, YSL #8 Pink in Confidence

After doing these swatches, I think I should have swapped the Chanel blush for Illamasqua Unrequited, as the former is more cool and the latter is more warm. Oops ~shrugs~  Some of the ‘warm’ pink lippies are probably more neutral in tone, but you can see they’re not that cool when you compare them to the ‘cool’ lip colour swatches above. It’s all about comparing and contrasting!

Bringing a little more sass and edge, red is a great alternative when you don’t want the sweetness of pink.  Sadly, I do not have a great stash of red blushes (horrors!) but I plan on picking up MUFE’s Scarlet Blush/Eyeshadow in the near future.  I don’t really feel that I need more than 3 reds – one warm, one cool, one neutral – but goodness knows I may change my mind if I find a few good ones.  Red blush seems hard to come by!

Red lips, however, and happily bountiful with SO many options to choose from, it’s just plain crazy.

…Aaaand photos:

Red BlushLeft to right: Becca Papaya, NARS Turkish Red (discontinued)

Red Blush swatchesLeft to right: NARS Turkish Red, Becca Papaya

Red lippiesLeft to right: Make Up For Ever #8, MAC Russian Red, Buxom Provocateur, Make Up For Ever N46, L’Oreal Endless Red

Red Lippie swatchesLeft to right: L’Oreal Endless Red, Make Up For Ever N46, Buxom Provocateur, MAC Russian Red, Make Up For Ever #8

I find my red lippies all look the same in swatches…and in real life, they are quite close.  L’Oreal’s Endless Red is obviously more glossy, and MUFE’s N46 is slightly more blue-based, but overall they’re all close in shade.  Time to diversify, methinks! An orange-red is my next purchase :)

Finally, we have some pretty pink and red polishes for you to peruse!  Though I don’t profess to wear much of either shade, I have a reasonable size stash of both (though again, the red lacks variety):

Pink & Red Nail PolishFront row, left to right: Zoya Kissy, China Glaze Ahoy!, butter London Snog, L.A. Girl Hyper, Essie Muchi Muchi, Rescue Beauty Lounge Poco a Poco
Back row, left to right: China Glaze Ruby Pumps, Essie Limited Addiction, American Apparel Downtown LA, butter London Come to Bed Red

Pink Nail PolishLeft to right: Zoya Kissy, China Glaze Ahoy!, butter London Snog, L.A. Girl Hyper, Essie Muchi Muchi, Rescue Beauty Lounge Poco a Poco

Red Nail PolishLeft to right: China Glaze Ruby Pumps, Essie Limited Addiction, American Apparel Downtown LA, butter London Come to Bed Red

So there you have it! A few ideas to get your mind going (and perhaps your wallet screaming?).  I picked up a couple more pink items this past week which I hope to show you before the 14th. Time to get girly, ya’ll!!

Do you wear pink makeup or nail polish?  Is red a staple colour you wear or do you shy away from it?

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Warm things up with Becca’s Mineral Blush in Sweet Pea

Last year, I was on the hunt for a neutral, natural-looking blush to add to my collection of bright pinks and corals.  Though I do love more intense, happy cheek shades as a general rule, there is a time and place in which a more subdued blush is favoured (and who am I kidding – if I can justify buying ONE MORE BLUSH for whatever reason, I’m gonna take it!).  On my radar was either MAC’s Blushbaby or Becca’s Mineral Blush in Sweet Pea ($32US).  When I was in NYC, I picked up the latter as it’s much more difficult for me to come by here on the East Coast.

IMG_1042Becca Sweet Pea Mineral Blush

Described as a ‘rosy plum nude,’ I find Sweet Pea to be more on the rose-nude side with very little plum, which is OK with me!  It’s a lovely neutral with a bit of kick so as to not look ‘blah,’ which can happen when you’re trying to steer clear of “colour” per se.

Becca Sweet Pea Mineral Blush swatch

Looking at this in swatches, you may think that this would be too close to my skin tone to really do much of anything when worn.  That was my concern before I had an opportunity to swatch it in-store. It’s true, it’s unlikely to show up much once I am in the throes of a summer tan, but for the other 8 months of the year, this works perfectly to add a subtle yet pretty warmth to my skin.  The ‘micro-fine minerals’ of which you can see just a touch in the swatch above, are said to give a soft glow to the skin, and I would say that’s pretty accurate! These types of blush formulas are my favourite – more of a satin finish than plain matte, that really bring life to the skin in a natural way without being too matte-powdery or disco-ball shimmery.

Becca Sweet Pea Mineral Blush

When I got home from NYC, as usual I rummaged through my stash to see if I had any similar shades already (I really do dislike replication!).  Another reason I had held out on buying Sweet Pea previously is that I thought it too close to Milani’s Sunset Beach bronzer/blush duo I have. Too late I also remembered Burberry’s Russet blush, which is another warm neutral and could possibly be close in tone. Thankfully, in both cases the shades do not have the same effect (in swatches and on the skin).

Becca Sweet Pea Mineral Blush comparison Becca Sweet Pea Mineral Blush comparison swatchesLeft to right: Burberry Light Glow Blush in Russet, Becca Mineral Blush in Sweet Pea, Milani Sunset Duos in Sunset Beach

As you can see, Russet is much warmer and more orange (which is actually why I don’t wear it much), and Sunset Beach is more brown (as it is primarily a bronzer). Though the swatches aren’t terribly varied, the differences do show up considerably when worn. So, happily for me, no dupes!

As my skin tends to be finicky, one of the biggest culprits to skin irritation via makeup is blush – so many contain ingredients like fragrance (WHYYYYY??), or lanolin which my skin can’t tolerate. Parabens and talc are also cause for concern for some – delightfully, Becca’s Mineral Blush contains none of these ingredients.  On top of that good news, the formula contains Vitamins A, C, and E to nourish and condition the skin.  What’s not to like?

IMG_1465Becca Sweet Pea Mineral Blush Ingredients

Though I haven’t tried too much from the brand (YET), from what I know and have read, it seems that Becca consistently knocks it out of the park with their beautiful (and beautiful-making) products again and again. Their aesthetic centres around natural gorgeousness, and as of late that is exactly the image I strive to achieve on the regular. All I know is – I GOTTA GET MY HANDS ON SOME MORE OF THIS STUFF!!!!!

Have you tried Becca cosmetics?  What is your favourite neutral blush?

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The Luxury that is…TOM FORD

Sooo….I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday!!  I have been living it up in a big way, despite the fact that I came down with a wicked cold two days before Christmas :S  Probably why I haven’t yet shaken it a week later, oops!  Nevertheless, I didn’t let it stop me from having a really lovely holiday :D  I hope you all had the same!

I have so many products to write about that it’s kind of criminal.  I feel particularly guilty that I haven’t shared with you the handful of Tom Ford goodies that I picked up while in New York – I mean, it’s TOM FORD guys, probably the ultimate in luxury cosmetics (in no small part due to the price lol).

Tom Ford Beauty

First up, the nail lacquers.  I have been searching for a great deep red polish for a while now, and none were doing the trick for me – either too dark veering on black, or too light.  When I visited the counter at Bergdorf Goodman, I had a plan that I was going to buy a polish, lipstick, and blush from the brand.  As soon as I saw the shade Bordeaux Lust, I knew I had found a winner!

IMG_1015

Bordeaux Lust ($32US) is truly the perfect shade of dark red – it’s clearly not black, but it’s more vampy than your typical red.  It’s got a somewhat sheer, slightly jelly-ish formula which adds to it’s uniqueness – from reviews I know that some dislike this aspect, but I actually like the way it looks, and it’s UBER glossy on it’s own.  Due to the formula it does require 3 coats to avoid streakiness, but again, I’m so pleased with the colour that it *ain’t no thang*

Tom Ford Bordeaux Lust nail polish Tom Ford Bordeaux Lust nail polish Tom Ford Bordeaux Lust nail polish

Sexy, no???  IRL it’s even more fabulous.  All I’m sayin’ is that I LOVE THIS COLOR and I don’t even mind the insane price tag.  Also, the bottle shape with it’s clean lines and dark bronze cap with just a hint of gold is totally up my alley.  This checks all the boxes for me!

Next we have the shade Black Sugar ($32US), which I picked up separate from my initial Tom Ford splurge, at Saks on Black Friday.  I had seen this shade in swatches several times before and it intrigued me with it’s secret red shimmer in a perfect mauve-taupe base.

Tom Ford Black Sugar nail polish Tom Ford Black Sugar nail polish

Of course, as with most secret shimmer, you really can’t capture it once worn on the nail, and in particular with this polish it’s next to invisible altogether, even in sunlight.  Kind of a bummer, but for some reason it doesn’t bother me too much – guess I’m getting used to these kinds of polishes pulling fast one on me.  I’m content to admire the shimmer in the bottle – although I’m hoping that in the more sunshine-y days (of which we have been lacking of late) I’ll get a surprise glimpse here and there.

Tom Ford Black Sugar nail polish Tom Ford Black Sugar nail polish Tom Ford Black Sugar nail polish

The formula of this one was good – two coats here, and easy-peasy application with a great viscosity that allows it to dry in a reasonable amount of time.  It’s not as glossy as Bordeaux Lust, but a top coat would fix that right up.  I really enjoy shades like this and find they work on a variety of skin tones, so another thumbs up here!

Moving right along, we come to the covetable Lip Colour, a creamy lipstick that has a wonderfully opaque finish.  After trying on several ‘nude’ shades at the Bergdorf counter that just didn’t do it for me, the SA Maria (SO great, by the way!) tried out the fabulously bright True Coral ($49US), a punchy coral-red that pretty much forces you to stand out anywhere you go.

Tom Ford Lip Color in True Coral Tom Ford Lip Color in True Coral Tom Ford Lip Color in True Coral

The formula feels great on the lips, creamy but not slippery and long-lasting – it’s such a rich colour that it stains the lips, leaving considerable colour behind so touch-ups are required less frequently.  If you have particularly dry lips, you might want to put a bit of balm on first, as while it’s not drying, its slightly matte and that combined with the outrageous colour can make dry flakes noticeable if your lips are parched.

Tom Ford Lip Color in True Coral swatches Tom Ford Lip Color in True Coral swatches

 It was hard to capture the coral aspect of this shade in photos – it tends to look just like a bright red, but trust me when I say that it’s not nearly that simple.  It has an almost neon quality to it that makes it completely unique to most reds I’ve ever seen!  Its not a shade for the faint of heart, that’s for sure – but if you like bold colour, this is a great bet.

Finally, probably the item you’re most interested in – THE BLUSH.  I present to you the Tom Ford Cheek Color in Flush ($56US).  I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

Tom Ford Cheek Color in Flush Tom Ford Cheek Color in Flush

Pow!!  Look at that colour, will you?  How can you resist a bright, gorgeous coral like this one?  And it obviously compliments the lipstick perfectly, which was actually just a happy accident.

Maria told me that the blush was extremely pigmented and only required the slightest touch of brush to pan to pick up plenty of colour.  How right she is!  The blush packs a serious punch with only a hint of effort.  Its finely milled, super-soft texture blends out beautifully and is a great shade to brighten up the face, stat.  I don’t have a shortage of shades like this, truth be told, but nevertheless this has become one of my go-to’s since purchasing it – which is good because the cost is kind of crippling, hey?  It’s unlikely I’ll be buying anymore Tom Ford blushes, but I’m certainly happy to have this one in my possession nonetheless :)

Tom Ford Cheek Color in Flush swatch Tom Ford Cheek Color in Flush swatch

Below are a couple shots of me wearing the lipstick and blush so you can see them in real time.  I also want to point out that I’m wearing nothing else aside from the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders in Dim Light (all over) and Radiant Light (on cheekbones).  I hadn’t seen them in action before in pictures and I am HELLA impressed at how well they blur imperfections!  My skin is in pretty good shape right now due to my organic skincare regime (which I promise to write about soon!), but I still have some unevenness which needs attention.  I’ve been preferring to skip foundation altogether lately to keep a more glowing look to my skin, and these powders have helped that cause immensely.  Oh, and also – no mascara!!  Witness again the amazingness that is XLash growth serum.  I honestly think I might have to buy a barrel of this stuff, I still can’t get over the difference in my lashes.  SO good.

Tom Ford Cheek and Lip Color swatchNatural light

Tom Ford Cheek and Lip Color swatchWith flash

Overall, my first foray into Tom Ford Beauty has been a complete success.  Despite the fact that these 4 purchases did some significant damage to my bank account, I am 100% pleased with them all so the cost doesn’t hurt my heart (much).  In terms of originality, I think Bordeaux Lust and True Coral stand out the most, while Flush is one of many coral blushes on the market and you may find one better suited to your chequebook.  Black Sugar looks original but I’m sure there are similar shades available as well.  Stay tuned for a comparison post for all, just to cover the bases!

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Summer in a Tube: Becca Beach Tint in Papaya and Comparisons

Becca Beach Tint Papaya comparison (2)

I’ve been on this kick lately of wanting to own every red blush EVER.  MAC Frankly Scarlet.  Illamasqua Libido.  Dolce & Gabbana Sole.  NARS Exhibit A.  ALL THE RED BLUSH.  Each are quite different from the other and therefore totally justifiable in purchasing (right?!).  However, last month when I scored another red on my list, Becca’s Beach Tint in Papaya (described as a ‘hot red’), I had to pause in my red blush frenzy – not all of these shades will look good on me, guys! :’(

Becca Beach Tint in PapayaBecca Beach Tint in Papaya

As some of you know, I’ve been sort of struggling to figure out my skintone – cool, warm, neutral, what is it? – and I think I’ve decided that I’m neutral with a bit of a cool leaning.  Well, I think that my assumptions have been confirmed with this blush – it is FAR too warm for my skintone and has to be worn with an exceptionally light hand.  See for yourself:

Becca Papaya Beach Tint (2) Becca Papaya Beach Tint

Though it doesn’t look terrible on me the way I’m wearing it  – which is to say, very sheerly – it’s really not my best shade.  with my tan I can pull it off, but any other time of year I suspect this will look ghastly (not to be confused with ghostly, as this is much to orange-toned and vibrant for that).  This leads me to believe that similarly warm-toned blushes such as the Illamasqua or NARS versions noted above, may not be my cup of tea.  I need to tread more carefully.

I suspect that the shades that will work best for me are more coral-red (such as D&G’s Sole) or the more pink-red tones of the MAC shade noted above.  I’ve swatched the only other shades in my collection that even come close, NARS Boys Don’t Cry (of the coral-red camp) and MUFE’s #12 First Kiss (which in fact is a touch too orange and I usually layer it with other products).

Becca Beach Tint Papaya comparisonLeft to right: MUFE #12 First Kiss, Becca Papaya, NARS Boys Don’t Cry

Its interesting to look at these swatches, because I still feel like Papaya looks flattering here – but don’t let it fool you.  I had to blend and blend down to next to nothing to ensure I didn’t look like I had been burned in a fire.  Its certainly a summery shade and paired with bronzer can work well, but I prefer to wear more effortless shades that compliment naturally, even if they’re brighter.  I’m starting to wonder if the key to blush isn’t to pick complimentary shades to your skintone, but contrasting.  In swatches Papaya looks made for my skin and Boys Don’t Cry is more stand-out, yet the latter absolutely looks fantastic on me no matter if I’m tanned or not.  Similarly with NARS Desire if you recall.  INTERESTING.

Ultimately, I’m happy to have this shade as it represents a niche I hadn’t filled in my collection, and as it was a acquired via swap, I don’t feel bad about owning it.  It was an excellent way to trial-run a warm red blush and learn that I probably won’t acquire any more in the future, focusing my energies instead on cooler-toned shades.  The product itself is quite nice – easy to blend and wears quite well (though not exceptionally tenacious on my oilier skin).  I likely won’t pick up anymore shades as most of them contain linalool which I avoid in products (can cause allergic reactions and sensitivity in people with eczema), but if you don’t have those concerns, I’d definitely check them out – they’re so easy and handy!

Becca Beach Tint Papaya comparison (3)

Do you own any red blush?  To which tone does you skin favor, warm or cool?

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Long Overdue MEGA-Praise for NARS High Voltage Blush in Boys Don’t Cry

Yet another late post which means: Words. Few.  However, you all know by now that I always say that and then still end up rambling.  So…enjoy?

NARS Boys Don't Cry Blush (2)

I am ashamed at how long its taken me to show you guys this blush.  YOU GUYS.  THIS BLUSHNARS Boys Don’t Cry blush ($48CAD) from the Pierre Hardy collection is probably one of the best makeup purchases I’ve made all year, if not THE best.  A total 10/10 for me!  How can you go wrong with a) a NARS blush, that b) is a gorgeous bold coral red (or pink grapefruit, as it’s described)?!  Answer: YOU CAN’T.  It’s all sorts of WIN.

NARS Boys Don't Cry Blush (4) NARS Boys Don't Cry Blush (3)

The ‘awesome’ quote above was on a card I bought for my mom for Mothers Day (which, stupidly I forgot to give her – next year maybe?), and I just had to use it as a prop.  Because this blush is, in fact, AWESOME.  See all my use of caps today?  It’s for a reason, people.

Of course, the beautiful gold design above is an overspray, and disappears after a use or two, which is just fine with me.  What you’re left with is this:

NARS Boys Don't Cry High Voltage Blush swatch

I feel like this shade of blush was honestly made for my skintone – it’s so damn flattering!  Or maybe it was just made for everyone’s skintone – it’s got both a warmth and a coolness about it so that I think it would work on most people.  It also buffs out beautifully so that you can wear it with a light hand, or more intense if you so desire.  Below, I’m wearing it first with a more subtle touch – this was an actual look I wore (which incidentally accompanied the eye makeup in this post); in the rest of the shots I applied the shade more heavily so it would show up more strongly in photos.

NARS Boys Don't Cry High Voltage BlushIn sunlight, with a light hand

NARS Boys Don't Cry worn (2)Natural light, with a heavier application

Please note that the hardcore glow I’ve got going on in these photos is due to Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector and not from the blush – it is a matte formula, though not powdery at all so it melds with the skin beautifully.  I like that I can wear it over liquid products and it doesn’t get blotchy throughout the day like some other products I own.  In fact, this blush wears well throughout the entire day with very minimal fading overall, even in humidity.

NARS Boys Don't Cry worn (3) NARS Boys Don't Cry worn (4) NARS Boys Don't Cry worn

I really don’t know what else I can say about this blush that you can’t see clearly with your EYEBALLS – it’s frickin’ GORGEOUS.  I never really thought about a blush this shade before until suddenly there it was, and I am SO happy that I picked this up – as many of you have said, it’s A LOT of blush at 0.45oz (NARS blushes are usually 0.16oz), and I was intimidated as who really needs that much blush!?  But now that I have it, I would pay for even MOAR if it meant having this shade in my possession.  Of the 30+ blush I have, since it’s purchase I’ve worn this consistently more than any of my other shades.  And since it’s essentially seasonless (it can go all summer-flushed or windblown with ease), I don’t see that changing any time soon.

A big YIPEEEEEEEEEE to blush, and THANK YOU to NARS for making a shade like this :D :D :D

Did you pick up Boys Don’t Cry (or Rotonde)?  What shade of blush gets the most love from you in your collection?

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Raise Your Hand If You Love a Pretty, Glowy Blush {That Would Be: LORAC’s Pro Powder Cheek Stain in Coral Crush}

Words.  I don’t got ‘em.  I spent the day trying to come up with questions for the trivia challenge I’m spearheading at the office next week for our National Public Service Week (yeah…I KNOW), and my brain is a bit mushy today.  Also, I really need to start writing posts earlier – a nightowl I’m not, and I do my best thinking before 8pm.  Bugger.

LORAC Pro Powder Cheek Stain in Coral Crush

Anyway – I’ve been meaning to show you the blush I snagged back in March, and now finally it’s time!  LORAC’s Pro Powder Cheek Stains ($26CAD) are long-wearing, paraben & fragrance-free blush that are infused with skin-loving ingredients and impart a beautiful glow to the skin.  I first saw these on Tracy’s blog, and of course having a blush addition like everyone else, decided I MUST own one.  I had a friend pick the shade Coral Crush up for me when she was in the States – the color is a pretty coral pink with golden shimmer; a fairly standard shade across a lot of brands, but quite lovely nonetheless (I didn’t do comparison swatches but the shade is similar to theBalm’s Hot Mama (which is less pigmented) and probably shades like NARS Orgasm, which I don’t own for comparison).

LORAC Pro Powder Cheek Stain in Coral Crush  (2) LORAC Pro Powder Cheek Stain in Coral Crush  (5) LORAC Pro Powder Cheek Stain in Coral Crush  (4)

The pigmentation on these is supposed to be pretty intense, and I suspect a lighter touch would be prudent for fairer skin than mine.  On me, I can apply it fairly easily (though not with abandon) and it does show up beautifully on my skin.  The radiant, healthy glow is nothing short of fantastic, especially in sunlight.  As you’ll see below, it really is more of a luminescence versus glitter/shimmer – so you can feel comfortable wearing it in sunlight and not feeling terribly obvious.  I find the length of wear very good, though not necessarily oodles better than many of the other blush I own – I get through a work day without requiring a touch up, which is fairly standard for me as a whole.

LORAC Pro Cheek Stain Coral Crush swatch (2) LORAC Pro Cheek Stain Coral Crush swatch (3) LORAC Pro Cheek Stain in Coral Crush (4)

Strangely enough, though I love this shade in theory and in photos, I don’t wear it that often.  However, looking at these swatches, I’m reminded of how pretty it is and how I need to start wearing it more!  I used it for a couple weeks straight when I first got my hands on it, but stopped after a bit – and now my heart belongs to another (NARS BDC…I really need to stop talking about this blush and post on it already, no?).  Though its nothing terribly unique, the reason this kind of shade keeps being reincarnated is because it’s so darn pretty!  Certainly one that everyone should have on hand – it’s really versatile.

LORAC Pro Powder Cheek Stain in Coral Crush  (3)

Do you own a shade like this?  How much love does it get from you?

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Fun with Fuchsia: American Apparel Neon Violet Polish, NARS Desire Blush, and Illamasqua Divine Lipgloss

As some of you may know, I’ve been in a slight polish slump for the past while.  Nothing has really got me excited much, though I have picked up a few shades here and there (as seen in my last post) that were great additions to my collection.  Last week I was admittedly quite enamoured with China Glaze’s new Dandy Lyin’ Around, a sparkling white polish, but by the end of the week, as usual I was ready for a change.  I was feeling kinda frisky (huh?) and pulled out American Apparel’s Neon Violet polish, a blue-leaning bold pink, which is part of their Neon collection that came out quite a while ago.  I haven’t given this polish much love for whatever reason, though it often draws my eye as it stands out a lot amid the other shades in my stash.  As soon as I put it on, my love was seriously revived – guys, this is a fantastic shade!!  I’ve shown pics to you before (once as a pedicure and once on a friend’s hand) but I’m not sure I’ve given it enough due – you really gotta check it out.  Aside from the glorious color, it’s a near one-coater with a great formula – it’s just FABULOUS.

American Apparel Neon Violet swatch American Apparel Neon Violet swatch (6)

Anyway, it got me thinking again about skintone and whether I am more cool or warm – this is most definitely a cool-leaning shade, and while I inherently think I’m warm-toned because of my caramel coloring, more and more I think I might actually just be neutral, leaning neither way, because I seem to be able to pull off shades all over the color spectrum (hooray for me!).  I also am realizing that it has a lot more to do with just finding the right shade within each color range, rather than whether or not you can wear ‘warm’ or ‘cool’ tones.  After all this thought and over the past few months with some of the beauty accruals I’ve made, I have found my jam in one area at least – fuchsia.

Fuchsia makeup

A few months ago, I was on this kick where I wanted to collect NARS blushes – I already owned four and I thought I’d just keep going with it.  I’ve since kind of gotten over that, but not before I scored Desire in a swap.  Initially I thought it was probably a stupid move – a cool ‘cotton candy pink’ on my skintone??  I just wasn’t convinced.  And since I received the shade in the late summer, which did not seem like the season for this color, I left it alone for ages.

When winter rolled around, I figured it was time to give this ago and decide if I was going to keep it or not.  As true for many NARS blushes, it has great pigmentation, and because it’s completely matte it’s exceptionally wearable (as a general rule, I find bright pink + shimmer = TOO DAMN MUCH).  The first time I wore it, I happened to pair it with heavy black liner and naked lips, and BAM!  Compliments galore!!  It looked smokin’ (sadly, I do not have pics from that day).  It was then that I started to think that fuchsia might be a color I want to start giving more of a chance.

NARS Desire Blush

One night a couple months ago when Illamasqua was having their last huge sale, I was perusing the site – and on top of discovering that my current blush lemming Crush was on sale, I also could score the Sheer Lipgloss in Divine (a ‘deep fuchsia pink’) for 1/3 of the regular price.  When my package arrived, I was pleased to find that Divine was a wonderful addition to my gloss collection, as it was unlike anything I already own.  Additionally, it’s smooth, non-sticky formula was a pleasure to use, and while it isn’t as pigmented as it looks in the tube, its a great shade to brighten up my face in a pinch.

Fuchsia gloss and blushFuchsia gloss and blush (2)Swatches: Illamasqua Divine (left), NARS Desire (right)

As I already noted, I had previously always thought I had a warm-leaning skintone, so when I saw evidence of how yet another cool-based color looked great, I was finally convinced – fuchsia rocks my world!!

Illamasqua Divine lip swatch FOTD MUFE 21L and Illamasqua DivineWearing Illamasqua Divine Lipgloss

Out of all this discovery, one thing became glaringly clear – I desperately need a bright fuchsia lipstick!!  The lovely Sarah from Beauty and the Baked Goods send me Revlon’s Sweet Tart lip butter, which is a great pink, but it leans more candy-colored.  I’ve been doing my research and I’m torn between Bite Beauty’s High Pigment Matte Pencil in Quince $28CAD (described as a rose berry – but looks pretty fuchsia to me), YSL’s Rouge Volupte Radiant Lipstick in Rose Culte $39CAD (a ‘vivid fuchsia’), or new NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Yu $30CAD (a ‘shocking pink’).  I haven’t gotten to swatch the NARS pencil in person yet, so not sure if it’s the right tone, but the other two totally do it for me – it’s likely I’ll opt for the Bite pencil as it’s more reasonably priced and I have yet to try a lippie from the brand.

All said and done, I’m pretty stoked that I’ve stumbled upon a go-to shade that seems to work so well with my skintone.  I’ve made several discoveries of this kind over the past couple months while funds have been so limited – I’ve been taking the time to play more and make more informed decisions about what I purchase when I have the means to do so, and it’s been a positive learning experience :)

Fuchsia makeup (2)

What unlikely makeup / polish shades have you discovered to really work for you?

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29 Comments

How Convenient That Pantone’s Color of the Year Was Also PERFECT for St. Patty’s Day!

So.  Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day!  7 years ago (OMG how time flies…barf) I was in Dublin for Paddy’s Day (as they shorthand it in Ireland), and yea…it was as crazy as you’d imagine it to be!  Not so much a drunken mess, but just the sheer amount of people…yowza.  It was a fantabulous time, and I’ll never forget it!

As the years pass, it seems the crew of hardcore Paddy’s Day party-goers dwindles in my crowd – job responsibilities, babies, and aging in general all seem to keep everyone at home on one of the most fun days of the year ~tear~  Thankfully, I have an excellent partner-in-crime who I can always count on to celebrate with me!  This year it was just the two of us, so it was more low-key than usual, but I still made sure to dress the part – which includes green makeup (and nails), of course!

St. Patty's Day Makeup 2013  (5)

St. Patty's Day Makeup 2013  (7)

St. Patty's Day Makeup 2013  (4)

I usually do a lot more green on the eye, but since it wasn’t a rip-roaring party I went subdued and just wore a simple flash of green liner on the top lash line.  I used Urban Decay’s 24/7 Liner in Covet (an emerald green with silver microglitter) on top of MAC’s Blacktrack Fluidline – the black gave the green more depth and helped the line look more crisp.  I added MAC All That Glitters shadow all over the lid, as I find it gives the most beautiful shine to the eye without ever seeming like too much, and then a dab of Giorgio Armani’s Eyes to Kill shadow in #6 Khaki Pulse to the crease to add a little bit more depth.  *Side note – anyone notice that I’m trying to grow my eyebrows out?  It’s so frickin’ hard dude!  I want to pluck all the random stray hairs but I’m trying to be patient ~sigh~ They are coming along though :)

St. Patty's Day Makeup 2013  (2)

Since it was going to be a long day, I wore MUFE’s HD Blush in #12 First Kiss on bare cheeks, layered foundation on top, and then added a touch of MAC’s Mineralize Blush in Early Morning to make sure my blush had good staying power.  I quite liked the way it made my skin look kind of lit from within.  I don’t usually layer cream and powder blushers but I really need to get on that!  I topped off my cheekbones and other high points of the face with MAC’s Beauty Powder in Shell Pearl, which gives the best glow – I finally got my hands on the Year of the Snake version last week and I LOVE this product.  Review will be forthcoming!

St. Patty's Day Makeup 2013  (3)

I finished with a very simple lip using Benefit’s Ultra Plush gloss in Hoola.  I didn’t want anything competing with the green liner, so this gave the barest hint of shimmer and warmth, but that’s about it.

St. Patty's Day Makeup 2013

Of course, the look isn’t finished – gotta get some flash on the nails too, right!?  Because I’m not a fan of green nail polish as a whole, I don’t actually own any that are going to give me serious pizazz.  But I have shades with a green tinge… haha.  I made it work, I think!  I just read about sideways manicures, so I tried it out – easiest nail art EVER.  And also my new favorite!!

St. Patty's Day Nails 2013 St. Patty's Day Nails 2013 (3) St. Patty's Day Nails 2013 (2)

The shades I used were a-England Tess d’Urbervilles as a base, and Chanel Peridot on top.  This was probably more subtle than I should have gone with – the nature of Peridot with it’s duochrome nature just makes the a-England shade look like a shadow.  Nonetheless, I loved the effect, and loved how darn easy this one (no nail stickers required – freehand works perfectly!), so I’ll definitely be trying this again and again with other shades.  Fun!

I always have intentions to get these kinds of event posts up before the actual event, but who am I kidding?  That’s never going to happen – I’m too busy prepping for the occasion to actually have time to post!  LOL  Anyway, all the other bloggers have got this covered for me :D  And it’s not like I did anything particularly unique, and both the makeup and nails could be done any time of the year, right?

How did you celebrate Paddy’s Day??  Did you do any themed makeup and/or nails?

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