AN ODE TO NARS SHEER GLOW.

DSC_0326Can we skip the part about how late I am to the party on this one? I know, I know, everyone and their mother is in love with this stuff and you know what? I am too.  Rewind a couple of weeks and you’ll see me at my local Nars counter (finally) getting color matched and picking up a sample. Rarely do I encounter love at first sight with beauty products but ladies and gents, I think I’ve found the one. The shade Cadiz was perfection, coverage was on point… Not to toot my own horn, but it was one of those ‘my skin has never looked so good’ moments that never, ever happens to me. After strolling through a few more counters at Saks I went to get color matched for YSL’s Touche Eclat just to see how the two compared and I had to stop the woman from applying the product on my face before wiping off Sheer Glow from underneath because she didn’t realize I was wearing any foundation the product blends so well. Fast forward slightly and I’m still in love with the stuff even a week after, and so the trouble begins. I’ll spare you my desperate journey for Sheer Glow, but I basically bought Sheer Matte instead on accident and then ended up buying (and loving) both. Review to come on the latter, but I digress. I. Love. This. Stuff. With just a single pump it’s incredibly smoothing and perfecting on the skin, making pores disappear without having to layer on product. If you’re in need of extra blemish cover it can be layered easily with absolutely zero cake factor added. Lasting power is also ridiculously good on this one; foundation especially seems to disappear on my skin like nobody’s business but somehow this withstands even the über humid Florida heat waves, so massive props to Nars for engineering that kind of wizardry. I know I keep harping on about the shades, but as someone with very in-between-undertones and darker skin I find it insanely hard to find a base that’s the perfect match. Nars have got it going on with their massive range of shades from almost paper white to deep tawny, so if you have trouble like me finding the perfect match this may just be the answer to your prayers. I know it’s called Sheer Glow, but it’s not the dewiest of foundations on the market, something I find to be right up my street. It’s more of a satin-y finish that let’s your natural sheen-iness peek through: basically, it looks like skin, no matter how much you layer on. (I told you it’s magic.) I find that on my dry-combination skin and an oily t-zone I don’t need to powder this one down, though adding a touch to set everything does help prolong staying power throughout the day. Let’s just say this: I’ve found the Holy Grail.

Have you ever tried Nars Sheer Glow Foundation?

 

THE PEACHY POP.

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Everyone, spring has sprung. I generally refuse to accept that winter’s over until I get my hands on the new spring launches, and Clinique’s new collection of Cheek Pop blushers is nothing if not the perfect little pots to usher in warm weather. I have the shade 02 Peach Pop, a lovely warm-toned pink with a hint of apricot shot through (hint: it’s peach). The formula on these is absolutely bizarre; they look like a cream product both in the pan and on the cheeks, but they’re actually made of powder. The hybrid consistency is really what sets them apart from your typical peach-y pink blusher. They apply slightly sheer at first and build up easily to give just the right amount of color. I’m usually quite heavy-handed with the blush, and I can’t say I’ve overapplied this even slightly since I got it. Foolproof. I have my eye on two other shades, Berry Pop, a bright fuschia, and the more muted Ginger Pop. They’re a dream to blend, and have the luminosity of a cream that makes melds perfectly with your skin to give the perfect sunkissed flush of color. Priced at $21, these are great bang for your buck as you don’t need a load of product and they’re reasonably priced, but the quality of these is what really sets them apart. On me, the shade is actually really similar to Nars Orgasm but more natural: think all the glow sans the discoball shimmer. Simples.

What blushes have you been loving lately?

THE DEWY SPRING BASE.

DSC_0036The spring makeup menu means a lot of changes from warm  smokey eyes and dark lips that rule during winter. We got peachy lips, rosy cheeks, bright-hued tips… We got a lot goin’ on. But the ruler of the roost? Glowy, healthy, happy skin. That sheen-y quality that makes skin look like you’ve slept a full 12 hours on a palm tree hammock in Bimini is (or like someone replaced your skin with Miranda Kerr’s) is the stuff of dreams. Alas, we can’t all take a snooze in a tropical locale when we feel like we need a little help in the base department. Enter, the Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation, arm in arm with the happiest looking beauty tool in town. Hello, Mr. Blender. On a bad skin day, I automatically reach for this duo to inject a little life back into my face. The foundation itself is gold; good coverage, long-lasting, and dewy for days, it’s almost impossible to make this look cakey even when some serious coverage buildup needs to take place. It’s light enough to wear on no-makeup days, but does double duty with a buffing brush when you’re not so in to having all your business on display. These days, I’m much more into this mid-range au naturel effect that the beautyblender gives when the two are combined, using the damp sponge to pat and blend the product into place, and voilà: medium coverage that keeps dew in check. Simples.

REVLON GOES RETRO.

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DSC_0266Holy mother of peach. I’m pretty positive all I want in life is to win an Oscar and become a buddhist. Why? One word. Reincarnation. Hell. Yes. Because that would mean that I could, theoretically, come back in another life as, you guessed it, a warm fuzzy peach. Or maybe you didn’t guess that. If you did, I actually might question your mental status and if I were you, I’d seriously consider getting a medical consult to be absolutely positive your mind doesn’t work the same way mine does, but I digress. Revlon has resurrected five shades of lipsticks past that were popular back when they first started in the 1930’s: Fifth Avenue Red, Icy Violet, Sandstorm, Jungle Peach, and Snow Peach. I first heard of these coming out on one of my favorite blogs to get a heads up on at the drugstore, Nouveau Cheap, and I immediately had my eye on the peach shades (obviously). So, after a witch hunt ransacking the aisles of the drugstore league of America, I finally found these two kids and snapped them up. Snow Peach is the punchier of the two, and I have to say, it was a bit of a let down for me personally. It’s a beautiful shade and the formula is excellent; great color payoff, glides on smoothly, all that jazz, but it just doesn’t seem to suit my skin tone. It makes me look very sallow and makes my teeth look slightly yellow, but I think in the summer dabbed in as a stain it will be very pretty. It’s not quite peach, it pulls very pink when applied and it looks like a dupe for MAC Impassioned lipstick, if only a tad less bright. The second shade, Jungle Peach, is a gorgeous light peach. On me, it’s a lovely nude color that doesn’t make me look dead and actually adds some light to the face, but I’m sure on lighter skins it’ll be a gorgeous everyday peach colors. Overall, I like the shades and I’d definitely have a look if you’re eying any of them up.

What lipsticks have you been liking lately?

THE SPRING FLUSH.

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DSC_0287Are you sensing a theme in my spending menu here? I apologize for the MAC-heavy posts here on le blog, but I’m not going to lie, I’m feeling a little like Will Ferrell in Elf right about now. I’m in love, I’m in love, and I don’t care who knows it. Yeah. I am. Let the angels sing it from on high, I’m having a fling with MAC and I don’t want it to end. Ever. If you popped into one of their stores or visited a counter since the beginning of the year, you’ll probably have seen their “Magnetic Nudes” collection. Now, like the frugal person I am (pretending to be), I exercised restraint here: in and out empty handed. I completely put it out of my mind until I saw Lily Pebbles in this video wearing a lipstick from the collection in “Morning Rose”, immediately looked up swatches, and became a woman obsessed. I looked online (sold out), had a friend who was visiting in Miami check every counter and store she could find (really sold out) and then gradually gave up on the idea. My last hope? The MAC counter in Dillard’s. Hallelujah, hallelujah. I may or may not have been happy-dancing my way around for the next five hours after finally finding my own tube of glory. It’s a lovely shade that’s exactly the perfect my-lips-but-better color for my skin tone and lips. The formula isn’t the smoothest and it’s lightly frosted, but for the color I can most definitely grin and bear it. As for the blush, MAC’s mineralize blush in “Love Thing” is a beautiful plummy rose that looks beyond shimmery in the pan and swatched, but fear not; no glitter to be seen once applied. I was actually slightly disappointed that the shimmer doesn’t translate as heavily, as it’s absolutely stunning in shades of pink and green duochrome, but it does give a healthy glow and perfect flush to the cheeks. Simples.

Will you be picking either one of these up soon?

RETURN TO TIFFANY.

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DSC_0328I’ve been lusting after these sunnies for over six months now after having spotted them in my local Sunglass Hut, so imagine how excited I was when my mum left this pair under the Christmas tree! These are the “Return to Tiffany” Aviators, and I absolutely love them. I fell in love with my last pair quite a few years back, so I thought it was finally time for a new investment. The frames are just the right size for my face, and I think they suit me better than the Ray-Ban Clubmasters I was ogling at the beginning of the summer. They’re super light too, which is nice since they don’t leave the bridge of my nose all bruised after hours of use. I love how the metal detailing on it is subtle because of the brown-toned color; I think it’s less flashy than gold/silver-rimmed lenses. Overall, I’m totally obsessed with these. My sincere thanks, Santa.

WOMT #1: ESSIE LAPIS OF LUXURY

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Oh, I do love a good pastel blue. This one is no exception, but it’s a bit of a twist on your classic sky-blue, with more periwinkle and purple-ish undertones. While the shade IS gorgeous, the formula is kind of funny compared to your usual creamy, milky pastel polish, since this one’s really sheer. Here, I had to layer on three coats to get full opacity, but a white base might help.  All in all, a gorgeous spring and summer shade if you’re willing to put in extra work. While this was from a resort collection a few years’ back, you can get it here.

THE NEW THING VOL. 1: MAC SYRUP

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Ooh yes. She’s a beaut. For the past three months, I’ve been hoarding a little collection of empty MAC containers to exchange for a free lipstick, but I just hadn’t had the time until Monday. If you haven’t heard of it, MAC do a nifty little program called “Back-to-MAC”, wherein you can exchange six empty containers (depotted eyeshadow containers, used up powders, etc.) for a free lipstick. I was told at the counter I visited in Dillard’s that the policy has changed a bit; you can exchange them for a free eyeshadow, lipstick, or eyeliner at freestanding stores or a lipstick (excluding the Viva Glam and Sheen Supreme lines) at counters in department stores. After a bit of searching for the perfect rosy shade and a lot of blotting paper, I finally happened upon Syrup.

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It’s a gorgeous, plummy rose shade that’s not heavy on the lips but stays put for three to four hours. There’s no noticeable shimmer in it once it’s on the lips, but it has a nice sheen to it because of the lustre finish. MAC lipstick finishes can be quite confusing, but lustres are generally more hydrating than your average lippy and are sheerer in application, lighter on the lips, and glide smoothly on. This one’s a great everyday shade for all skintones; it pulls a pinky-plum rose on my skin tone but could easily lean more rose or purple-y depending on the undertones in your skin. Definitely at the top of my year-round lip wardrobe.