Posts Tagged illuminator
Ever since the end of last month, when I decided I was going to make an effort to use every single makeup item in my stash over the next month (or two…I’ve got a fair bit to go through!), I’ve been rediscovering some real gems that I forgot I even had in my possession. It’s been a great exercise in recognizing just how much I have, and lessening the urge to buy anything new of which I don’t already have a reasonable fascimile. It also has helped me weed out items I no longer want, and give some love to my long-forgotten products! It’s an all around good time
One product in particular that has actually been on my radar for months, but I just couldn’t be bothered to use, is Clinique’s Up-Lighting Liquid Illuminator in Bronze ($32CAD/$25US), described as a sheer bronze with gold shimmer. For some reason, I couldn’t get on board with this product, and I kept pulling it out to use only to bypass it and choose something else. Finally, in my new dedication to using everything, I tried it once more – and DAMN! What was I waiting for!? This stuff is GOLD (well – bronze really, but you know what I mean ).
Dispensed via a pump mechanism, you only need a very small drop of liquid for each cheek – the size of a pinhead. Without natural light, it’s hard to show you the beautiful effect this illuminator has on the skin in a swatch. It looks metallic and just kinda…blech. But! Never fear my fellow makeup fiends, because this baby shows up FABULOUSLY on the face in photos – which is kinda the whole deal, right? It’s always good to have an arsenal of photo-friendly products in your back pocket! Bask in the glory:
You can see my pores a bit here, but it’s not truly due to the product (sadly), and you can only see them in this kind of very up-close view.
I remember once going out for an event, and a few photos were taken that were later posted on Facebook. A friend at the time wrote a comment and said ‘Whatever makeup you’re using to give you that glow, I WANT IT.’ Stupidly, even though I remember this and remember how GREAT I looked in that photo, I stopped using this for a few years! What the what!?!
Like my cute feathered headband?? I bought this a few years ago when feathers in your hair were a big thing. I still think this works because it’s not obnoxious, and it really dresses up my hair if I’m lazy and pull it back
I find when I’m wearing this, which has been a lot lately, I hardly need any other makeup, because it just makes me look so damn HEALTHY. And it’s terribly easy to use, at least on my skintone – I just dab a touch on each cheek and then pat it along my cheekbones with either my finger or a stippling brush. It gives a hint of color, but mostly the illuminating effect speaks for itself without anything else needed. I will give a note of caution however – on a lighter skintone, you’ll need to apply this more carefully, as it could look a touch muddy if applied with a heavy hand. Or, even better – head out and grab yourself the ‘Natural‘ shade, which is a soft neutral beige with gold shimmer, and blends into almost any skintone (and is great to use an a inner eye corner or brow highlight too!). There’s also a ‘Blush‘ option – a sheer pink with white shimmer – but I’ve never tried it or used it on any of my clients, so I can’t comment on it. Sephora doesn’t seem to carry the Natural shade online, and currently the Bronze shade is sold out, but you can get all three on the Clinique websites (Canada & the US).
Basically, you absolutely need this if you’re in the market for a liquid highlighter/illuminator – or even if you’re not. It’s just so freakin’ great! The wear time if you can believe is exceptional too – all day without any touch-ups required, which I think is quite a feat for a liquid product that I’m not layering or powdering. And I’ll admit, some Clinique makeup doesn’t seem to last that long in general – but this sure does! The only issue I have at all is that the pump sometimes gets a bit clogged so if you’re not careful, too much will come out if you push the pump too hard. But it’s such a slight inconvenience for the awesomeness you get that I don’t care one iota about it. A small price to pay to look like you just came back from a run on the beach in Hawaii or something. It reminds me of that fabulous glow you get in the evenings when your down South and it’s still warm but you’re not sweating at all – LOVE IT!
So – liquid illuminator, check. Now I just need a powder illuminator – any suggestions? Do you prefer liquid, cream or powder highlighters? Or none at all?
I had a hard time coming up with the title for this post, as to state I have a NARS collection sounds like I should have a HUGE stash, and in fact I don’t – but out of all the cosmetic brands I own, I have more NARS makeup than any other, so that constitutes as a collection, right? Anyway, don’t say I didn’t warn you!Modest, to some I’m sure. In any case, I definitely feel that NARS is the brand that gets most of my money on a consistent basis. I’m pretty much a devotee and I’m certain my relatively small assemblage will continue to grow until it is no longer ‘modest.’ I’m OK with that!
Earlier in the week, several of my fave blogs wrote on one of their own collections – of blushes. As I am becoming something of a blush enthusiast myself, I read these posts eagerly with a mixture of interest and envy. While their numbers were all near the 30 range, a quick look in my train case revealed that I have a measly 8 blushes – a fair number if one is to be realistic, but clearly I am nowhere near a true aficionado yet! Anyway, to the point: half of my blush collection is made up of NARS shades (plus 3 of my 4 highlighters). While there is something like, 31 shades of NARS blush, I have had an idea percolating in my head that I want to start a collection of just NARS blushes – I know having 4 hardly makes a dent, but it’s something to work towards right?
Anyway, again, getting back on track – here are my NARS blushes, or 1/2 of my blush stash:Starting with the most exciting, as well as my first NARS blush if you can believe it – WOW, take a look at Taj Mahal! When I was first breaking into higher-end cosmetics, I wanted to buy really interesting, one of a kind products you couldn’t replicate at the drugstore. Case In Point: Taj Mahal is a fiery orange with high shimmer. It looks terrifying, not only to the shade but the formulation, but it’s actually quite beautiful on the right skintone. I limit this to the Summer months as it just feels that way to me, though the shimmer probably would do wonders for Winter-pallid skin. It can show up rather noticeably in sunshine so a light hand and some major buffing is necessary, but the resulting look is well worth it.My next blush purchase from NARS was the lovely Torrid, which the SA noted would be my version of the award-winning ‘Orgasm,’ which was too light for my skin. I’ve gotten a lot of use out of this blush, especially in Spring and Summer. It’s a lovely peachy-pink shade that really goes with just about anything, but I like to switch it up (but of course). Very flattering and girly on, and the shimmer really doesn’t even factor into it when all’s said and done. Another winner.I snagged Turkish Red, a discontinued NARS cream blush, through a swap, and at first I was not impressed. I wanted a red blush to give me that ‘cold weather flush,’ but I found it just looked silly once on. However, I gave it another shot and made sure to keep a light hand (I use my MAC #130, which is why you see pock-marks in the blush), and now I find myself reaching for this shade again and again – it almost gives me a two-in-one look where I look like I got some sun, as well as was out in the cold. Really pretty effect.After reading the infamous ‘blush posts,’ I confess I pretty much ran out to Sephora and picked up Sin, in order to make myself feel better. Also, I had just finished a blush (which is kind of amazing) and figured I was allowed to buy a replacement of sorts. I’ve owned this blush now for a total of 26 hours, and already I can say with certainty that this is my favorite of all my blushes (all 8), hands down. Wowza, this blush was made for my brown-olive skintone! An MUA-er noted that this shade works well for olive skin as it “swallows up the purple” – sound strange, but considering some reviews I’ve heard find it produces a bruise-like effect, it seems accurate, as on my skin it looks absolutely wonderful. It turns out to be more of a neutral pink-mauve and is ridiculously flattering and perfect for Winter. I haven’t been this excited about a makeup item in a really long time – I woke up this morning and was so happy just to know that I’ll get to wear it again! So, so sad, but ultimately true.
NARS blush retails for $29CAD.
Next, we have almost my entire collection of highlighters, courtesy of NARS. First, my fun Summer purchase, one of the coveted illuminators in Laguna (reviewed here). I didn’t get as much use out of this as I’d hoped, mostly because I’m lazy and an extra step wasn’t always in the cards. Still a great product though and I’m hoping I’ll start pulling it out more this coming year.I received this from the Sephora rep after the luncheon I attended back in May. It’s a lovely bronzed shade of highlight, that could be used in place of bronzer for fairer skins – for me it’s really just a highlight with a touch of bronzed effect. I can use this year-round, which I like, and the texture is so smooth and not at all greasy. This is my first full-sized Multiple and it has me considering buying another down the road (they retail for $46 CAD).I hounded people on MUA to get this product, one of The Multiples in South Beach. I wanted it so bad and no one wanted to swap for it with me – until finally someone approached me for a swap and had this deluxe sample in her swap list. Shortly thereafter I received the Laguna Multiple from my Sephora luncheon, and didn’t have as much need for this. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s a sample, but the texture on this is so smooshy, it’s quite irritating. I can’t apply this directly to the face, but have to use my fingers because otherwise it’ll deposit way too much product and ball up on my skin. So, needless to say I’m glad this is just a small portion of product – though the shade and look of it is quite lovely. Sort of like warm rose-gold.
Moving right along…NARS eye shadows!I bought this Habanera Eyeshadow Duo without first trying it on or even really swatching it, which was a mistake. I was going by the awesome photos on MUA, but sadly, on me this duo falls flat. The metallic ice blue shade is far too much on my darker skin, and the pretty plummy shimmer has poor color payoff that makes me sad. I have this up for swap now, which hurts my heart a bit as it was my first NARS eyeshadow purchase – and I hate to part with a NARS product, regardless – but it’s gotta go. I never used it, and it could be receiving some mad love elsewhere, so…Ohhh, how badly I wanted this Rajasthan duo from last year’s Fall collection!! As soon as it landed on counters I scooped it up, and I’m still very pleased with the purchase. The golden metallic shade is very subtle but really, really gorgeous; the dark blackened-teal shade is mysterious and adds depth to any look. Its texture is a bit more stiff than the gold shade, but it isn’t usually a problem. Overall, a solid combo which you can make work a variety of ways.The lovely Grand Palais duo from this past Spring collection. Previously reviewed here. I don’t use this as much as I’d like, but I still get great pleasure from it, especially the taupe side, and I think this adds two new shades to my eyeshadow collection, that I might not have purchased otherwise. Soft and lovely!
NARS eyeshadow duos retail for $38CAD.
My one lipgloss from the brand:I posted a swatch of Wonder back in the Summer after I received it also at the Sephora luncheon. Great shade of tomato red-orange. My first and only NARS gloss ever, and I really love everything about it – the texture, the opacity, the shade. Eventually I’ll pick up another from the line (they retail for $28CAD), but at this point I have too many to entertain buying any more at the moment!
And the basics:I totally forgot to include the Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base in the group shot, oops! Too late now (literally – it’s almost midnight)! I discussed the awesomeness of the base in my Best Of post – really stellar product that works wonders for keeping your eye makeup in place. Go check it out!I also just extolled the virtues of the Sheer Glow foundation in my last post – this shade in Syracuse is an insane match for my skin, it blows my mind a little bit. Definitely get to your nearest NARS counter and at least try this formula out, it’s worth a look!As much as I love loose powder for it’s long-lasting ability – as in, you don’t have to buy it very often because it lasts forever! – I also hate it for the same reason. I thrive on change, and MAN do I ever want to change to a different powder than this one! This is the shade Mountain, and that’s another thing I’m totally over – powders with shades, rather than just an overall translucent one. I won’t make that mistake again. In the meantime, I swear I’ve only used a third of this product, and I’ve had it for probably two years!! It really just needs to get be finished already. Absolutely nothing wrong with the product, it sets makeup well and looks natural, but I’m just done with it now. I want something new, damnit!! (The loose powders retail for $42CAD)
So that’s my collection – nothing too crazy but I like just about all of it and I feel that it was all money very well spent. I’d like to try some of the new Longwear Eyeliners, and the Larger than Life mascaras, as well as continue to pick up a new blush every so often. NARS to me is like the upscale, less gimmicky version of MAC, which suits me to a tee.
What do you think of my collection? And of NARS in general?