THE BLUSH GUIDE.

Flushed cheeks. Glowing cheeks. I’ve-just-been-running-through-the-forest-like-Snow-White-cheeks. Cheeks. The toughest trick in the world of lipsticks and mascara? Not really. Every woman, it seems, has, at one point, been on the journey to find the perfect blusher. With so many options today, how do you ever begin to find the right one? Blusher tends to be skin tone-specific; certain undertones in the shades look best on certain complexions. Sound tricky? Here’s my breakdown of the world of blush for every skin tone.

Porcelain Skin
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For the uber pale, glowy cheeks can easily be achieved with apricot-tinted blush. Try Nars “Luster” blush for a bit of shimmer to highlight cheekbones and give a gorgeous, luminous finish without being glittery. For a rosy flush, try out Dior’s Rosy Glow Healthy Glow Awakening Blush in #001 “Petal”. Adjusting to your skin tone, this one looks scary in the pan, but gives the perfectly natural pink  flush to the skin, especially for very light complexions. You can buy the Nars blusher here and the Dior one here.

Fair SkinScreen shot 2013-07-30 at 10.35.19 AM

In most cases, blusher for fair-skinned women stays in the range of peachy-pinks. Try Nars “Orgasm” blush (which you can purchase here) for glowy cheeks all year round. To get the Snow White flush, try out something crazy pigmented for a bit of fun, like Kevyn Aucoin’s The Creamy Glow Blush in “Liquifuschia”, sold here, or Tarte’s Amazonian Clay blush in “Natural Beauty”, here.

 

Medium SkinScreen shot 2013-07-30 at 2.12.48 PM

Like fair-skinned women, peachy-pinks, as well as corals, tend to be the most flattering on medium complexions; try out Benefit’s “Coralista” Blush, here. If a deeper version tickles your fancy, try out its pinkier sister, “Bella Bamba”, here. Bright rose shades are lovely for a pop of color, like Illamasqua’s cream blusher in “Laid”, which you can pick up here.Screen shot 2013-07-30 at 2.37.21 PM

Olive/Tawny Skin

Olive and Tawny skin tones (think Eva Mendes, Nina Dobrev, Freida Pinto) can get away with brighter shades. In general, the rule of thumb is: the darker the skin, the brighter the blush. There are exceptions, but that’s usually an okay rule to go by. Now, don’t go out and pop cherry blusher heavily on them apples and say I told you tom but it’s a good starting rule to know. Try out different shades of coral and amber for the perfect natural blush. For glowing skin, Nars “Luster” looks amazing patted on the apples of the cheeks, as does Nars “Torrid”. Olive-skinned ladies may have a problem with Nars “Orgasm” showing up on their skin; even though it’s meant to be universally flattering, I wouldn’t recommend it. However, for a pinky flush, Nars “Deep Throat”-its less shimmery, more pigmented counterpart-may be for you. You can pick up all four here. Try out MAC’s “Frankly, Scarlett” blusher lightly applied along the outer part of your apples for a true flush, here.

Almond Skin

Lastly, deep-skinned women can try out almost any bright blusher there is. Tangerine shades, however, tend to be the most flattering on almond skin. Although it looks absolutely terrifying in the pan, Nars’ “Taj Mahal” (here) blusher looks incredible on dark skin, giving it the most perfect golden-orange glow imaginable. For the perfect flush, try out fuchsia shades like YSL Crème de Blush in #5 Fuchsia Temptation (here). If you have a MAC Pro store nearby, check out their powder blusher in “Full Fuchsia”, or order it online here. Screen shot 2013-07-30 at 2.52.57 PM

So there you have it! My quick and easy guide for finding your perfect blush.  Simples.

INTO THE GLOSS

best glossesNo, not the uber-famous blog with a cult following. But two of the best glosses ever to grace my lips? Absolutely. On her last trip, one of my best friends (and uproariously funny cousin/sister) acquired these two stunning lip glazes from Nordstrom. Obviously, seeing the sleek black Nars packaging and the gleaming Clarins case, I had to have a look. The results? Nars lip gloss in Giza, described by the brand as being a “nectar” shade, and the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in #01 Rose Shimmer. So, naturally, when she went to her makeup bag the next morning, both happened to be gone, and so was I. Around town we went, the glosses and I, and I tested them both for a full week before returning them discreetly to her pouch, shaking my head no, of course I didn’t take them. The verdict? These two non-slippery lip glosses are beyond fantastic. The shade “Giza” is a beautiful nude-y shade with a bit of peach and apricot in it, perfect for olive/tawny skin. The scent, however, isn’t to die for; you’ve probably heard of the plastic smell of these glosses before. However, I can forgive Nars’ smell testers for their cosmetic blunder, since the stuff melts into the lips like butter, giving a glowing sheen. In the Clarins department, the Lip Perfector doesn’t give much color, but definitely gives the dewy, luminous appearance of fuller lips and a fresh face. The smell. It smells like cotton candy. No joke. Cotton freaking candy ladies and gents. So, if I was made to choose, the Clarins lip gloss would likely win out as my favorite lip gloss ever, but they’re both definitely ranked as the top two in the history of my world.

BRING IT, BRAZIL.

brazil nut Brazil nut. Anything new? Nope. But the Body Shop’s revamped brazil nut     line? That’s a different story.

Ladies and gentlemen, this stuff is worth phoning home about.

My love affair with The Body Shop is, to say the least, short-lived, seeing as I only just discovered it about a year ago, along with beauty blogs and youtube videos to make my face look a little less like I haven’t slept in a few years and a little more like I care about life. BUT. That isn’t to say that I am not deeply, deeply smitten with the brand. This is love.

I first found their coconut body butter through watching essie-button‘s youtube videos, in which she often spoke about her undying love for the stuff, and instantly had it in my head that I needed it in my life. So, I took a trip to the mall and pranced into the store to take a whiff, and let me be the first to tell you, it is incredible. One sniff, and you’re transported to this warm, charming Hawaiian island, watching yourself sip Mai-Tai’s in a bikini on white sandy beaches. Well, not really, but kind of. It’s a warm, comforting scent that I now cannot live without. My mum, born and raised in the Philippines, grew up around a whole lot of coconuts. Naturally, after purchasing my own small tub of magic, I ran home to her office and made her smell it, to which she reacted with a wrinkle of the nose and frantic motions for me to remove the stuff from her nostril area. Unfortunately, she hates it. Fortunately for the rest of the world, this is the most accurate test available for the authenticity of the scent; her hatred comes from smelling the fragrant scent of the fruit all her life. Thus, we both vouch that it smells exactly like real island coconuts. And so began the affair.

A few months ago, while out shopping with my best (and similarly makeup obsessed) friend, we waltzed past the shop and saw the new display of the brazil nut line, which the brand discontinued a few years ago. Naturally, the only thing to do was zoom in for a look. And so it was that I sniffed the body scrub for the first time.

The way that stuff smells. Holy. It’s this caramel-y scent that’s almost like a macchiatto with vanilla thrown in that envelops you in this warm cocoon of bliss. It’s INCREDIBLE. Against my better judgement, I decided against buying it, running in to Sephora instead to sample Nars “Sin” blush for the hundredth time to keep my mind off the beautiful scent. Fast forward to about a month ago, and both the scrub and body butter wound up in my basket at the check-out counter and later on my bathroom counter. After having used them for a while, I can safely say both are beyond amazing. The scrub has just the right amount of scrubbi-ness to exfoliate well and leave skin baby soft without being too harsh, and the body butter hydrates deeply and smells divine. I’ll be stashing these until long after I turn eighty.

You can purchase both at The Body Shop by clicking here.