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.

URBAN DECAY OCHO LOCO 2.

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ud 82I’m sure we’ve all heard our share about how incredible Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Eyeliners are, since the beauty world has hyped them up to the point of no return. I’ve tried sample sizes of the pencils before, and even then was completely blown away by how amazingly they get the job of defining them eyeballs (and lashes, of course) all too well. Even on my beyond-oily eyelids, once these set, they don’t budge ever. So naturally when I heard there was a set out for the holidays including not one, but eight full-sized pencils, I was a woman obsessed with getting my mitts on this year’s version of the “Ocho Loco.” The set includes three shades from the permanent collection (Perversion, Roach, and Deep End), and five that are new and exclusive (Mars, Ultraviolet, Tornado, Crave, Twice Baked).

ud 83L-R: Roach, Twice Baked, Crave, Perversion, Mars, Deep End, Ultraviolet, Tornado

Roach is a shimmering reddish copper.

Twice Baked is a medium bronze. It’s lighter than Roach, and less warm-toned.

Crave is a dark mate chocolate brown.

Perversion is UD’s classic matte jet-black shade.

Mars is a bold, shimmering green.

Deep End is a stunning aquamarine/teal.

Ultraviolet is a deep blue with noticeable shimmer. This one has quite a purple tone to it.

Tornado is a blackened, shimmery purple. It’s quite dark, and looks like a glistening black in some lighting.

Overall, I’m completely in love with this set. I was skeptical about a few of the brights, but I think they’ll be great for simple statement looks worn alone with mascara for summer. Ultraviolet in particular is beyond gorgeous on its own as a bold take on a cat eye, and Deep End is stunning on the waterline to thrown in a pop of color. While there are a few bright shades, I think the set is totally wearable on the whole with all the neutrals and a great way to get your hands on a lot of shades for a great price. It retails for just $59; if each pencil was bought alone, it would set you back a whopping $160, so it really is an amazing value. It also includes their Grindhouse pencil sharpener which is amazing, and worth $10 alone. Plus, you get the lime green exclusive one, which kind of makes the whole thing totally worth it. It is limited edition but still available at Ulta.com here and the Urban Decay website here. All the eyeliner you could ever need (for the next two months), simples.

 

 

 

 

THE CAPSULE BAG #1.

the week #1With the New Year comes some changes to succhisimples., and the addition/replacement of a category on le blog. Rather than doing “The Weekly Edit” about which I posted sporadically during the last six months, I’m committing its re-vamped version, officially called “The Capsule Bag”. This way I don’t just post about what I’ve been loving over the week but really what my staple and bare necessity products have been for that week. So, I have officially started over, and am committing to doing this post once every single week. Pinkie Swear. So what’s in the capsule this week? First off Kevyn Aucoin’s The Creamy Glow Blusher in “Liquifuschia” is gives the most stunning pink flush for winter weather, which pairs beautifully with the dewy finish of Revlon’s Nearly Naked foundation. I’ve been addicted to tightlining with MAC’s Smolder Eye Kohl lately; it really adds the extra oomph to lashes after curling. Lastly, Buxom’s full-on lip polish in Leslie is the perfect plumping gloss that doesn’t add color, but makes you look like you’ve got “Porn-star lips” as Estée of Essiebutton once called the effect. A week in my makeup bag, done. Simples.

DULL SKIN SAVIORS.

skangelsAfter all that partying to ring in the New Year, my skin seems to be at an all-time low. We’re talking dull and dry with more under-the-skin spots than I care to mention. The stress of the holiday season always manages to take a toll on my skin, so I’ve been relying on this roster of handy-dandy skangels (skin angels, obviously) to restore the balance, or at least make it look like it. On the actual skincare front, of course my Origins GinZing, which I’ve reviewed here, is a staple to perk up the complexion; it’s great for that morning-after (the party, I mean) feeling when your skin just needs to look that little bit brighter. To de-puff, I’ve been religiously applying Caudalie’s SOS Vinosource Eye cream in the morning as it’s light but moisturizing. The Revlon Nearly Naked is a year-round favorite for me, but when I’m faking healthy skin, it’s an absolute Godsend; gorgeous dewy but natural finish for a great price, followed by the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger to banish undereye bags. Lastly, to add to the healthy skin look, I top off the base with Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal on the cheekbones, chin, and down the bride of my nose. No powder to be seen here, nothing that might make the skin feel any drier than it already is, just your setting spray of choice and we’re ready for a photoshoot in a health magazine. Simples.

THE NEW THING VOL. 4: MAC ECLAIR PAINT POT

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I’ve always had a thing for cream eyeshadows. One quick swipe, buffed out lightly with a finger, and you’re good to go. Smudgey perfection in five seconds. They tend to give a more natural, effortless look that just seems to say, I woke up looking this good. Out of all the shades to choose from, I think bronze is the faultless and perfect way to go. Of course, we’ve all heard of Maybelline’s Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze, a slightly cool-toned, metallic hue that lasts and lasts and lasts, no primer necessary. I’ve even worn this to the beach and out for the rest of the day in the middle of hot Florida July and still come home with my shadow lookin’ prety damn good. However, being that my skin is very warm-toned, I’ve always thought that it can look a little strange on me, having almost a silver-y sheen. Enter a little rust-colored pot of goodness.

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MAC’s paint pots are some of the bet crème shadows on the entire planet, if not the best. They have an incredibly silky texture that glides on the skin but gives you just enough time to blend before setting completely and staying put all day long. I have a few of these in my collection, namely Vintage Selection, a glittering champagne-pink, and Soft Ochre, a nice matte yellow-toned base, but this one beats them all out of the water. Eclair is a warm-toned, rusty brown shade that is just an absolute joy to apply; it’s practically butter in a pot. Smudged out and blended all the way under the lower lashline and just past the crease? This is Mary-Kate and Ashley rock-chic perfection. I managed to grab one of these before they went out, since they were part of the MAC Baking Beauties collection, so unfortunately, they’re not sold anymore, but if you can find one at a CCO store, grab it. I’m thinking about doing a massive giveaway and including this product once I reach 150 followers, so help me get there for a chance to win this bad boy.

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.

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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.

 

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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.