“Rose Gold” Series — Part 2 (Blush)

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Welcome back to Part 2 of my “Rose Gold” Makeup Series!

Without further ado…

Top Rose-Gold Blushes:

1) Nars “Orgasm”

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This blush, with its peachy-pink goodness, is the epitome of rose-gold allure. This blush has achieved iconic stature in the beauty community, and it’s easy to see why. Although it does contain a sheen, it assimilates into the skin seamlessly once applied. With its dueling pink (cool) and golden (warm) tones, it is universally flattering — as are so many rose-gold products. This blush costs $30.

2) L’Oreal “Rose Gold Lift”

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This beautiful cream blush is a true rose-gold. It can be applied with the fingers or with a stipple brush. More than any other shade mentioned in this post, it provides a stunning (and very flattering) highlight to the cheeks. It is not highly pigmented, but just enough to provide a natural rose gold flush on those mornings when you are struggling to get out the door! At $12, you can’t beat the price.

3) Benefit’s “Rockateur”

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If I had to choose one blush to wear with every makeup look for the rest of my life, this would be it. It’s gorgeous in the pan — neutral enough to flatter any outfit or eyeshadow look, but packing an understated feminine punch. As demonstrated by this promo image released by the company, it flatters all skin tones:

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I previously reviewed this blush here. It costs $28.

4) Sleek Makeup’s “Rose Gold”

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“Sleek” makeup is a British cosmetics brand, widely known in beauty circles for their affordable (and incredibly pigmented) blushes. I ordered this blush from the UK a year ago, and its beauty rivals that of Nars’ “Orgasm.” It leans warm (with a prominent golden sheen) but still manages to flatter most skin tones. You can order this blush from sleekmakeup.com for $7. In other words, it’s an absolute steal!

5) Clinique’s “Precious Posy”

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This is such an underrated blush! A hidden treasure at the Clinique counter. Very pretty, and more on the matte side than any blush mentioned even though it has subtle gold shimmer in the pan. Excellent lasting power as well. It costs $21 at your local Clinique counter.

For Part 1 of my “Rose Gold” Series (Eyeshadow), click here.

See you next time! 😉

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Review: Sephora “Rouge Infusion Lip Stain”!

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If your schedule resembles mine, you have very little time to re-apply makeup — especially lipstick — during the day. Long-lasting lip products, especially lip stains, have thus always held a special appeal to the working woman.

I recently picked up a sample of the Sephora brand’s new “Rouge Infusion Lip Stain” in the shade “Red Essence.”

Did it stand the test? We shall see 😊

It comes in a long thin cylindrical tube, with a doe-foot applicator:

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It applies to the lips with a nice punch of tomato-red with a thin, but not runny, consistency and did indeed dry down to a lovely stain:

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Full face view:

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The finish is indeed beautiful and initially felt comfortable on the lips.

So far, so good!

However, the ultimate test of any lip stain is its ability to survive a meal and its tendency to dessicate (dry out) the lips as the day progresses.

This lip product passed the first test with flying colors. It faded, as expected, after a meal, but the stain remained, ensuring that “popsicle lips” look. Where this product failed, however, was in the moisture department. While I don’t expect a long-lasting lip product to be moisturizing per se, it should at least be non-drying. Within hours of applying the product, my lips felt parched and lip balm was required.

In my opinion, makeup should be comfortable to wear. This is not comfortable to wear — indeed, quite the opposite.

Unfortunately, this product is a skip. 👎

However, I would recommend trying other Sephora lip products, which are generally amazing and usually the most inexpensive at Sephora stores. Although my full review is upcoming, their new “Luster Matte” formula is stellar — and non-drying.

Final Verdict: 2.5/5 Stars

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Available at Sephora and sephora.com for $14

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Kate Middleton Makeup Look!

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Since the announcement of her engagement and entry into the royal family, I have always admired Kate Middleton’s makeup. Hallmarks of this look include a well-defined eye, fully rimmed in kohl and accentuated by taupe shadow, as well as dusty pink blush and neutral pink lips. Since the time of Cleopatra, lined eyes have exerted a captivating effect. When paired with pink cheeks, a mark of health, and natural glossy lips, it provides a classic look, both seductive and office-appropriate. It is also a very easy look to achieve, as I hope to demonstrate below!

My beautiful friend Ali, with her olive skin and brunette hair, possesses physical similarities to the Duchess — and was kind enough to serve as my model!

Here is the look:

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FACE PRODUCTS USED
Foundation — Bare Minerals “Ready Foundation” in the shade “Fairly Light” (R170)
Undereye Concealer — Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer in the shade “Neutralizer”
Contour Powder — It Cosmetics “My Sculpted Face” Contour Kit
Blush — Bobbi Brown blushes in “Pale Pink” & “Sand Pink”
Highlighter — The Balm “Mary Lou-Manizer”

EYE PRODUCTS USED
Primer — Urban Decay Primer Potion in the shade “Eden”
Base Shadow — Mac’s “Blanc Type”
Lid Shade — L’Oreal’s “Infallible Eyeshadow” in “Bronze Taupe”
Crease Shadow — Urban Decay’s “Buck” from the “Naked 1″ Palette
Inner Corner Shadow — Mac’s “Nylon”
Brow Bone Shadow — Mac’s “Nylon”
Eyeliner — Urban Decay “24/7 Liner” in “Perversion” (Pencil)
Mascara — Too Faced “Better than Sex” Mascara
Brow Powder — It Cosmetics “My Sculpted Faced” Contour Kit

LIP PRODUCTS USED
Lip Liner — Makeup Forever Aqua Lip Pencil in Shade C3
Lip Gloss — Buxom “Full-On Lip Polish” in the shade “Dolly”

Eye Makeup Close-Up:

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One Final Shot:

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Hope you enjoyed this “royal makeup” look!

See you next time 😉

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Review: Chanel “Perfection Lumiere Velvet” Foundation!

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Chanel is one of those brands which has always exuded style more than substance for me. Although the packaging is luxe, the price tag always leaves me with a sour aftertaste.

Count me intrigued, however, when my friend Diana recommended their new foundation — “Perfection Lumiere Velvet.”

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It claims to be a lightweight foundation in the spirit of Giorgio Amani “Maestro” — but is unique due to a full coverage, matte finish.

The packaging is sleek and black, oozing the classy minimalism expected of Chanel.

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The foundation’s consistency indeed proves lightweight, even runny, as this swatch demonstrates:

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Nevertheless, the foundation’s coverage is impressive, with a matte and radiant finish, all the while maintaining its light feel upon the skin! Its lightness is very similar to that of L’Oreal’s “Magic Nude Liquid Powder” foundation. See below (bare face –> foundation applied –> full face of makeup):

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To my surprise, unlike L’Oreal’s “Magic Nude Liquid Powder” foundation (reviewed here), this product lived up to most of its claims. The coverage, although not full as described, is indeed matte and kept oil at bay throughout most of the day. It also contains SPF 15, so fulfills its sunscreen requirement. As you can see, it also looks gorgeous in photographs!

I would give this foundation 5 stars except for one small detail — it costs an ungodly $45 bucks. For a foundation, that is ludicrous. Although I feel like this is a very lovely foundation, no makeup product is worth that much money. The price, I suspect, is based upon the Chanel name.

If you have money to burn, however, this is an option if you are on the hunt for a stellar foundation! ;-)

Final Verdict: 4.5/5 Stars

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Available at Dillard’s and Chanel.com for $45

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Drugstore Dupe Alert: Urban Decay “Naked Basics” Palette!

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It’s always a wonderful epiphany to discover a cheaper version — of equal or even superior quality — of an iconic high-end makeup product!

I recently found a marvelous drugstore dupe for the Urban Decay “Naked Basics” palette — a matte eyeshadow palette ideal for natural eye contouring!

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Meet the dupe — Physician’s Formula “Canyon Classics” eyeshadow quad!

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The shades of this palette include a matte creamy white, a warm-toned camel shade, a matte grey-brown, and a cool-toned taupe (right-to-left):

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As you can see, these shades are richly pigmented, perhaps more so than the Urban Decay shades in the “Basics” palette (which I reviewed here). The colors last all day without creasing. The only difference between the two palettes is the absence of a shimmery highlight shade in the Physician’s Formula palette — AND the fact that the Physician’s Formula palette is $22 cheaper!

I have created a look using this palette! See below:

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It’s a win-win! $29 for the Urban Decay “Naked Basics” palette VS. $7 for the Physician’s Formula “Canyon Classics” palette.

Final Verdict: 5/5 Stars

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Available at ULTA, Wal-Mart, & your local drugstore for $7

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Be Back in 5 Minutes!

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No, I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth! A monster exam (AKA Internal Medicine Boards) is coming up on August 7, so I have been studying diligently the past month. The blog will be back with lots of product reviews, makeup tips, & drugstore dupes soon! :-)

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Top 5 Eye Primers

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One of the golden rules of makeup is to prime the lids for eyeshadow! I personally hold this rule so seriously that I forego eyeshadow if lacking a primer. Primers provide a matrix to which shadows can bind — and thereby prevent creasing.

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I’d like to name my top 5 selections for eye primer. Of note, I own and have tested each primer listed!

Here we go (in no particular order):

1) Urban Decay “Primer Potion”

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This product is golden.. This is by far the primer I’ve used the longest, and it has never failed me. In other words, it has never allowed my eyeshadow to crease! To add diversity, the primer comes in 4 shades — the “Original” (which goes on colorless), “Sin” (champagne), “Eden” (matte yellow cream), and “Greed” (golden sheen) — depending upon the look you have in mind! This product can be purchased at ULTA, Sephora, or urbandecay.com.

2) NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in “Milk”

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This is a recent discovery, featured in an earlier blog post here. This milky white eyeshadow pencil multiplies the vibrancy and pigmentation of any eyeshadow applied over it — threefold. The best part is that this jewel is only 4 bucks! Unfortunately, this is the only drugstore/budget primer to earn a place on this list. You can grab this little gem at CVS, ULTA, or nyxcosmetics.com.

3) Mac Pro Longwear Paint Pot in “Painterly”

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The entire Mac Pro Longwear line is high quality, but perhaps my favorite items are these paint pots! The shade in “Painterly” is an excellent all-over lid primer. The formula has just the right balance of thickness and smoothness. A matte pinky-beige shade, this primer is flesh-toned and will likely suit all skin tones — but especially cooler-toned ladies. You can purchase this item (and the next) at your local Mac counter or at maccosmetics.com.

4) Mac Pro Longwear Paint Pot in “Soft Ochre”

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This is another wonderful shade from the Pro Longwear line! “Soft Ochre” is a yellow-based beige — and will be ideal for warmer skin tones as well as eyelids with visible capillaries. Again, the formula is a dream. Unlike “Painterly”, this shade is not flesh-toned and also serves to brighten the eye area in general.

5) Lorac “Behind the Scenes” Eye Primer

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I recently received a sample of this primer with my new Lorac “Pro 2″ Palette — and have been very impressed! It is most similar to the original Urban Decay primer potion in that it goes on the lid completely colorless but keeps shadows vibrant and intact all day long. This primer can be purchased at ULTA or loraccosmetics.com.

One final tip regarding eyeshadow primers! It is always best to apply this product with one’s fingers — not a brush. This application technique “warms up” the primer and helps it melt into the skin.

See you next time! 😘

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Review: Lorac Pro 2 Palette!

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Having truly loved Lorac’s original full-size “Pro” palette, as well as its mini-sized “Pro-to-Go” palette, I was super excited after hearing that the brand was releasing a sequel palette!

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This palette is marketed as cooler-toned than its predecessor, containing a navy, grays, purples, and silvers. It also continues the trend of matte shades on the palette’s top row and shimmering shades on the bottom row:

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And let’s jump straight to the swatches!

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I will briefly describe these shades individually:

TOP ROW
1) Buff — Matte cream. Perfect as a base color all over the eyelid up to the browbone!
2) Light Brown — Matte tan/caramel. Great crease/transition shade!
3) Cool gray — Matte gray with a hint of plum.
4) Nectar — Matte peach. Beautiful (and unique) as a crease shade, particularly on blue eyes!
5) Plum — Deep matte eggplant. Flattering to green/hazel eyes especially.
6) Navy — Matte navy; the cool tones here would suit brown/black eyes best!
7) Charcoal — Matte neutral-toned gray.
8) Black — Matte black. Along with “Navy” & “Plum”, this is a suitable liner shade.

BOTTOM ROW
1) Snow — Highly pigmented shimmering white. Stunning as a brow bone or inner corner shade, but must be applied with a light hand due to its heavy pigmentation.
2) Beige — Champagne. A more subtle highlighting shade.
3) Rose — A gorgeous shimmering rose-gold. Beautiful on all eye colors!
4) Mocha — Golden bronze. Fantastic lid color.
5) Chrome — Cool-toned silvery taupe.
6) Silver — Highly pigmented silvery sheen.
7) Jade — Olive green shimmer. (I love this shade since it is the exact color of my eyes!)
8) Cocoa — Deep brown with golden sparkles. Another great lid or outer V shade which packs a punch!

I have also composed several eye looks using this palette!

LOOK #1

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LOOK #2

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LOOK #3

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LOOK #4

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LOOK #5

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LOOK #6

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LOOK #7

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The palette, although advertised as cool-toned, has several warm-toned shades as well, including “Rose”, “Mocha”, “Cocoa”, “Jade”, & “Light Brown”. This broadens its appeal to a universal scope. The eyeshadow combinations are endless for this palette, especially since it contains two finishes (matte & shimmer). The pigmentation is strong, and the shadows hold up well throughout the day. As a plus, this palette comes with a free Lorac eye primer to use as a base for the shadows — and it is a fantastic primer.

If you already have the original Lorac “Pro” palette, you don’t necessarily need this one. However, this is a fabulous high-quality product — and well worth owning!

Final Verdict: 5/5 Stars

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Available at ULTA, Kohl’s, & loraccosmetics.com for $42

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Holy Grail Makeup Products — from the Drugstore!

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1) L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow
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These eyeshadows, which boast high pigment and a creamy texture to die for, are among my favorite shadows of all time and surpass many high-end shadows in quality, including Mac. They are ideal for easy, one-shadow looks, last all day, and do not crease. I reviewed these shadows earlier here. They retail for $8.

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2) Coty Airspun Powder

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This product, which hails from the 1950’s, perfected and smoothed the complexions of silver screen sirens throughout the 1950s. It truly makes one’s face resemble that of a porcelain doll. If it was good enough for Elizabeth Taylor and Grace Kelly, it’s good enough for me! See my earlier review here, as well as my photo wearing this cheap miracle powder:

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Coty Airspun Powder costs a mere $7.

3) Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer

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This concealer, which I prefer in the shade “Brightener”, is creamy, never creases, and covers those dark circles beautifully. The shade “Brightener” favors cool-toned ladies while the shade “Neutralizer” is best for warm complexions. I use this every single day! See comparison below:

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The cost is $8.

4) L’Oreal Infallible Gel Lacquer Liner

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Another item I use nearly every single day! I now prefer it over my Bobbi Brown gel liner, which held “Holy Grail” status in my collection for a long time. This liner is ultra-pigmented and goes onto the lash line like butter. It lasts all day and does not smudge. The brush with which it’s sold is not bad, either. See a demo below:

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It retails for $9.

5) Revlon Colorstay Whipped Makeup

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This foundation is gorgeous on so many skin tones! Its mousse-like texture is delightful and feels wonderful during application. It assumes a smooth, powder-like finish on the face. It does not turn oily throughout the day; neither does it dry the skin. See the (old) photo below (no foundation –> foundation applied –> full face of makeup)

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6) Covergirl Lip Perfection Lipsticks

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These lipsticks are the best at the drugstore, by far! They pack stunning pigment. From neutrals to brights, this lipstick line has you covered — with a variety of finishes. They do not dry the lips and last all day long. I repeat — they last all day long. These cost $7. See swatches below:

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7) L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Excess Mascara

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This mascara in the red and gold tube is comparable to the famous Lancome mascaras at less than half the price. They provide volume, separation, and length — without flaking. I previously reviewed this mascara, which costs $8, here. See the comparison below:

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8) NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in “Milk”

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Now that NYX is carried at CVS, I can include the Jumbo Eye Pencil in “Milk” on this honored list. After discovering this product, I have used it every day. When applied underneath eyeshadow, it intensifies the pigmentation of the shadow beyond belief. See the comparison below:

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It retails for $4. I posted a more extensive review here.

9) Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation

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This foundation, which contains sunscreen, provides superior coverage, and lasts all day, has it all — and is a must-have for working women. It does not become shiny in the T-zone and therefore requires no touch-ups throughout the day. It retails for $8. See the comparison below:

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You can read my earlier review here.

10) Revlon Highlighting Palette

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This is a relatively new addition to the drugstore and comes in 3 shades. I have been absolutely loving the “Rose Glow” shade, pictured below. In my opinion, it is the best highlighter in the drugstore and is an absolute dupe for the gorgeous Bobbi Brown shimmer bricks. When applied across the cheekbones, it provides an ethereal highlight to the face. It costs $11. Close-up of this product, as situated in my Z-palette:

I hope you enjoyed this post! Until next time 😉

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