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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My Top Picks for Fall Blushes! Drugstore + High End

I love fall and I love blush! So why not do a post that joins these two things? I've already done my top picks for fall lipsticks so I'm sticking with that trend (just scroll down one post in case you are interested in reading that.) I don't believe in adopting certain makeup trends if they don't flatter your features and skin tone or if you just really aren't that comfortable with changing up your products too much. Thus, the blush I wear more in the fall isn't a super big stretch from what I prefer to wear in the summer, but I may take it down a couple of notches on the brightness meter. My fall/winter blush philosophy is simple. I want to achieve that "I've just gone apple picking in the crisp fall air and now I have that natural rosy glow" kind of look. I've never been apple picking but I assume it is a lovely fall activity. Let's get started.

Lorac Baked Matte Satin Blush in Velvet Rope: This is a deeper toned plummy rose and a little goes a very long way. Don't be fooled by the word "matte" because these blushes are anything but. They are infused with the most microscopic shimmer that gives a gorgeous sheen to the face. You can forgo the highlighter all together if you have this blush brushed up higher on the cheekbones. Will work for all skin tones.

MAC Tenderling: This is a nude/warm pink blush for fair to light/medium girls perfect for the days when you want a natural look but you don't want to go without blush altogether. There is no shimmer in this blush, it is very basic and natural but lovely and not at all boring. This shade goes with any makeup look and especially the heavy eye looks when you don't want to put something too bright or "look at me" on the cheeks. I wouldn't think this shade would show up to well on medium/tan/deep tones.

Cover Girl Cheekers Plumberry Glow: Good ole' Cover Girl Cheekers. This is a nice rose-berry toned blush. don't know about you but whenever I smell a CG powder product, I am instantly transported back into the high school powdering my face at my locker and touching up my Revlon Colorstay lipstick. I am glad that CG has kept that fragrant smell because I quite enjoy the occasional trip down memory lane. This shade is quite shimmery so you don't want to overdo it. Will work for all skin tones.

Benetint: This is a liquid product that works as a cheek and lip stain. The sole purpose of this stain is to achieve the apple pickin' look or that I was describing earlier. In a very big way. This product looks scary in the bottle, its quite a deep red and you need very little but its a really cool concept at the same time. You just apply a few streaks of color with the little brush and blend with your fingers. And it smells like roses. A classic product that goes back to the beginning for Benefit.Will work for all skin tones.

Wet N' Wild Berry Shimmer: I have to include this blush even though mine is currently broken into a million pieces. You can't expect great packaging AND great product in a $2 blush so I forgive them. This shade always reminds me of Snow White as she is strolling about the woods dodging death with that rosy glow. This is a very strongly pigmented warm-berry shade that requires a very light hand no matter what skin tone you are. This is the softest and the most pigmented (tied with Lorac) of all of the blushes in the list and its by far the cheapest! Will work for all skin tones.

Pictures include some close ups and a group shot of all the blushes. Photos taken by me. 

Benetint & Wet N' Wild Berry Shimmer

From L to R, Lorac Velvet Rope, MAC Tenderling, Cover Girl Plumberry Glow, Benetint, Wet N' Wild Berry Shimmer

Lorac Velvet Rope, MAC Tendering, CG Plumberry Glow

Friday, October 26, 2012

My Top Fall Lipstick Picks (Drugstore & High-End)

I haven't posted in so long! My life has been consumed with finishing my last 6 months of graduate school, working, and most importantly, being a mom to two little girls. But as Eleanor Roosevelt famously quoted, "A woman is like a teabag, you never know how strong it is until it's in hot water." Nothing like a little female empowerment to get a beauty post going! So let's begin.

This season is all about darker lip colors, reds, burgundy, plums, hell even black. I'm sorry I just can't jump on that bandwagon. Well, actually, I've jumped onto it but then a few minutes later I jump back off and head right for my comfort zone.... the land of nudes, pinks, and peachy tones. But I'm willing to compromise. I have put together a list of lipsticks that I am comfortable with for fall, not too far out of the comfort zone but still darkening things up a bit. For reference, I am neutral-cool light/medium skin tone (in MAC terms about an NW25). I'm liking the warmer pinks, so that is going to be the main theme here. 

Too Faced Centerfold I love this shade, its comes across as a deeper mauve tone on me and I think its a great pick for fall. The formula is very nice on this lipstick but I know that there are others in the line that can be a bit gritty. Since this is a nice, creamy, no-shimmer shade, it's not at all gritty. 

MAC Blankety (Milani dupe can be found here) I know, I know, not exactly a stretch but for my skin tone, this shade is considered a darker nude. It's a brown toned warm pink, an amplified formula, and a favorite of many. This would be a good nude for darker skin tones because some nudes can make medium/tan/deep tones look like a corpse. Which is appropriate for Halloween but not the other 364 days of the year. Sidenote, I hesitate to even call MAC's lipsticks high-end anymore when they are like $4 more expensive than some of the drugstore choices.

MAC Pure Zen I know, I know, this doesn't exactly scream fall but I've been wearing it like it does. This shade was recently released with the Marilyn collection but it's not a new shade by any means, just overlooked by me apparently. I love this for a warmer-peachier-toned-nude. It's much much easier to wear than the Myth, Fleshpot, crew. This is a must-have for nude lovers that can't quite, yet almost, pull off the fleshier looking nude shades. With or without the Marilyn insignia, this is a great lipstick. Paired up with Chanel Natural Lip Definer, and you've got yourself a lovely fall nude lip combo.

Revlon Lip Butter Pink Truffle This has been my latest love, and my current go-to when I'm running out the door in the morning and need something quick and easy to apply (at the stoplight) on my way to school or work. So this is a very warm pink, almost so that you can't see the pink but somehow its flattering. Not all lip butter formulas are the same, there are some grittier because they have shimmer and then there are really creamy ones like Pink Truffle that give this gorgeous shine. I just love lip butters in general, great product all around!

Revlon Kissable Balm Stain Honey I really love these as well, give it up to Revlon for nailing it with lip products this year. Honey is gorgeous warm pink that looks great on everyone. One drawback, when it begins to go into "stain mode", it turns into a much brighter pink which I don't dig. But I love the color, texture, and ease of use! This shade is a great way to really warm up your makeup look and I find that it makes my teeth look extra white. 

Rimmel Vintage Pink This is the deepest of the shades I've mentioned. Vintage Pink is sort of this rich mid-tone plummy pink that is creamy and totally gorgeous. This is a shade that will look great on deeper skin tones but I can pull it off as well which makes it very versatile. This is a great shade that is perfect for fall but kind of that mid point for those that don't want to completely merge themselves into that whole deep plum-burgundy-lip trend.

Photo taken by me, from L to R: Too Faced Centerfold, MAC Blankety, MAC Pure Zen, Revlon Pink Truffle LB, Revlon Kissable Lip Balm Honey, Rimmel Vintage Pink

Friday, October 5, 2012

MAC Marilyn Monroe Collection Haul ft. Lipstick + Blush

I was able to snag five pieces of the much anticipated Marilyn Monroe collection for MAC, but it was no easy task. At my particular MAC store, they sold out of all lipsticks and face products in less than 10 minutes. Customers were angry, one girl was in tears because it was her birthday and she left empty handed, and others were trying to make deals with the people that did get some items. To be honest, there were hits (lipsticks) and misses (eyeshadows) as there always are in MAC collections but I was after the packaging so the containers could have been full of sand for all I cared. The Marilyn collection was sought after by many groups of people with different agenda's which made for major competition to get the goods. First, the MAC lovers who will always want some pieces of a hyped up collection, then you have the Marilyn collectors who may have never shopped at MAC before but simply want the items because its Marilyn, the third group is a combination of the two, and finally, the Ebay sellers who hoard an obscene amount of product when it is released online to be able to mark it up and profit from it. Hey, I'm not judging, I just think MAC should find a way to cater more to its loyal customers who buy from MAC throughout the year, like, oh I don't know, maybe by giving the stores more than 3 or 4 of each lipstick and ONE beauty powder. Just an idea. SO that was my intro, let's get on with it. I picked up three lipsticks: Charmed I'm Sure, Love Goddess, and Pure Zen. I also purchase both blushes: Legendary and The Perfect Cheek. Love Goddess isn't pictured because it hasn't arrived yet. I am quite happy with all of my purchases- especially the Legendary blush. I recently expressed my disappointment with the photos used for packaging- until I found out that the photos are special because they had never been made public before the collection. So cool!

Photos taken by me

Blush: Legendary (satin) & The Perfect Cheek (matte) (above)

Charmed I'm Sure (matte) & Pure Zen (cremesheen, repromote)

Love the cute details!

Lipstick packaging (above)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Friendly Reminder: Marilyn Monroe for MAC Collection in Stores Tomorrow Oct 4th!

If you've missed out on purchasing any of the MAC Marilyn Monroe collection online- which many people did because the good stuff sold out in minutes- it will be available at MAC counters and stores tomorrow, October 4th. I am picking up both of the blushes, Charmed I'm Sure and Purely Zen lipsticks after reviewing swatches and reviews for the products. Though I must say I'm disappointed in the Marilyn images used for the packaging- of all the gorgeous photos that exist of the famous blonde bombshell, the ones chosen for the packaging are just lackluster as far as I'm concerned. Why couldn't MAC use any of the rich and vibrant pictures that represent her signature look (found out they had a tough time getting photos they were allowed to use). I was envisioning white shimmery packaging with a photo that really encapsulated her classic red lips. Kind of like the one I've included in this post. I figure if you're going to do Marilyn, stick to the look she's known for and go for the glam, particularly if you're selling an array of red lipsticks, black liners, etc (even though Marilyn actually wore a dark brown kohl pencil, not black and not liquid). Oh well, I felt the same way about the Hello Kitty packaging and I still bought some of that. I certainly don't need much convincing to buy blush and lipstick! So tell me, have you ordered anything or do you plan on picking anything up tomorrow??I hear the stuff is going to go FAST at stores today. Maybe I should do a contest for those that didn't get to pick up anything??

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Nails of the Day: Essie Stylenomics

I had high hopes for this polish after seeing how it appeared in the bottle, a really rich dark green. However, it didn't transfer to my nails in quite the same way. For the life of me I couldn't see the green-ness and even in broad daylight, the green was too subtle to change my mind. A-ha! I know what it reminds me of now. When I was in elementary school, we mixed together all kinds of pop (or soda if you prefer) and it created something that we called "Swamp Juice". It was this really dark murky color that you couldn't really pinpoint. Until now. It was called Stylenomics.

Nice color concept, bad delivery. Nail Fail.