Archive - Face

Rated X-cellent, the Tom Ford Contouring Cheek Color Duo in Softcore Is Making Sculpted Dreams Come True

Published in: Face, Tom Ford Beauty

Tom Ford Softcore Contouring Cheek Color Duo

Wearing the new Tom Ford Contouring Cheek Color Duo in Softcore ($77) on my cheeks

My kneecaps liquified into jiggly piles of pudding when I swatched the deep red terracotta shade from Tom Ford’s new Contouring Cheek Color Duo in Softcore ($77) and found out that — aaah! — it has a matte finish.

Matte.

Finish.

YES!

It’s what I was hoping for from Stroked, the other Cheek Duo Tom Ford released for fall, but didn’t get.

Now, Softcore isn’t your run-of-the-mill, standard issue contouring palette. You’ll find no flat browns or grayed-out taupes here.

Tom Ford Softcore Contouring Cheek Color Duo

Instead, it has a dark terracotta red (to sculpt out the hollows just below the apples of your cheeks) and a lighter shimmery, peachy pink (to reflect light off the high points of your upper cheekbones). Very retro ’80s fab, and if you’ve ever wanted to look like you just stepped out of a Jody Watley video circa 1984 — I totally have, not gonna lie! — then this duo could make your sculpted cheek dreams come true.

Tom Ford Softcore Contouring Cheek Color Duo
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Sculpting Cheekbones, One Stroke at a Time: Tom Ford’s New Contouring Cheek Color Duo in Stroked

Published in: Face, Tom Ford Beauty

Tom Ford Stroked Contouring Cheek Color Duo

Wearing Tom Ford’s new Contouring Cheek Color Duo in Stroked ($77) on my cheeks while throwing my best “penetrating gaze…”

As someone who pays both monthly and annual dues to The Society of Chubby Cherub Cheeks, I always get a little hot and bothered when I bump into makeup designed to chisel cheeks, like Tom Ford’s two Contouring Cheek Color Duos ($77 each, eek!), which come complete with naughty names.

Softcore (the darker option) and Stroked (the lighter one) each come with two shades — a darker contouring powder and a lighter powder for highlighting.

I’m currently pretty stoked about Stroked…

Tom Ford Stroked Contouring Cheek Color Duo

Tom Ford Contouring Cheek Color Duo in Stroked

I didn’t expect the darker contouring shade (in Stroked) to look so flat and matte, but when I opened the compact for the first time, I saw a warm peachy reddish shade.

Cool! It looked like a straight-up matte, so I was like, “Haaaay, gurl!” (because I really like matte contouring products). :)

But then, as I buffed and worked it into my skin, I started to see light reflecting particles of reddish pink pearl.

Tom Ford Stroked Contouring Cheek Color Duo

Hmm…

That’s when the mixed feelings started.

On the one hand, I love the rich peachy reddish color and how well it deepens that area just beneath the apples of my cheeks in such a radical retro ’80s way, but I can’t help thinking that a flat matte would’ve been a tad more effective.

Tom Ford Stroked Contouring Cheek Color Duo

To quote the text I just got from my XXL pores, “A matte finish would’ve been bomb!” And it may also have been more forgiving than the pearl, which tends to amplify any dips and depressions on my skin (although not dramatically).

Tom Ford Stroked Swatches
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Benefit Majorette Booster Blush Puts Pep on Your Cheeks and in Your Step

Published in: Benefit, Face

Benefit Majorette Booster Blush

Benefit Majorette Booster Blush

Two, four, six, eight, what do we appreciate!?

Easy blush! Easy blush! Yaaaaay, Benefit! [INSERT HIGH KICKS HERE]

OK…I was never a cheerleader (more of a band geek), but I’m cheering for Benefit’s new Majorette Booster Blush. It’s fun and easy to use, has a cream-to-powder formula, feels super silky, and the packaging is shaped like a cute little drum.

Benefit Majorette Booster Blush

Benefit Majorette Booster Blush, $28

The silky formula almost feels kind of slippery on my fingertips, and it’s easy to zhuzh out the edges when I pat it on bare cheeks or on top of foundation, which I appreciate when I’m movin’ and shakin’.

I like that it doesn’t settle into my pores and that it lasts 5-6 hours on my combo oily/dry skin before I feel like I need a touchup.

Oh, and it does have a faint fragrance.

Really faint, though. I have to get my nose up in the pan to detect it, but I think it smells like peach gummy candies.

Yes, boom. Those are awesome. :)

The look is matte and natural, which should be a great option for gals and guys heading back to the classroom.

Which reminds me, I wish I’d had a better appreciation for minimal makeup when I was in my tweens, teens and early 20s. When you’re that age, it’s easy to get away with very little makeup (that flush of youth and all). This is a great blush to accentuate a youthful glow without going full-on makeup crazy.

Benefit Majorette Booster Blush

Cheerful design!

Benefit Majorette Booster Blush

Benefit Majorette Booster Blush

With a MAC Lipglass for scale

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Unsung Makeup Heroes: Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder

Published in: Face, Laura Mercier, Makeup, Unsung Heroes

Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder

Laura Mercier’s Secret Brightening Powder

By no means is Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder sexy or exciting.

It’s a loose face powder with a single talent, but it’s a talent I quite appreciate.

It sets under-eye concealer — and it’s not flashy, but it does its job well. If dark under-eye circles are a bane of your existence, as they are mine, Secret Brightening Powder is freaking fantastic.

I’m serious! — it belongs on the periodic table of elements. That’s how special I think it is. The light-as-air setting powder has white pigments in it that create a subtle brightening effect and help to cancel out dark shadows.

Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder

I’ve been using this stuff with concealer on my dark circles off and on for years, and it never looks caked-on or riddled with creases. It keeps my concealer from scooting around and also increases wear time. Perfect for when you’re hardly getting any sleep, and/or you’ve been recently bitten by a zombie, and you’re this close to turning.

Because, clearly…when one is losing their last vestiges of humanity, dark under-eye circles are still a concern. #priorities :)

Anywho! I’ve had this one jar for, like, seven years. Yeah…it lasts a long time. It only takes a tiny amount to set your concealer.

The long-running Unsung Heroes series features some of my favorite permanent collection products from a variety of bodacious beauty brands.

To apply, I load a small amount (you don’t want to apply too much; otherwise, it looks obvious) on a fluffy eyeshadow brush like the MAC 217, and layer that directly on top of my under-eye concealer using a patting motion, rather than a swiping motion.

(You don’t want to swipe, lest you can accidentally swipe away your concealer and end up looking MORE tired. No me gusta.)

Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder

That’s my paw for scale…

Once applied, Secret Brightening locks down your concealer, where it should behave for the rest of the day.

It comes in two shades, too. The first, #1, is for fair and medium skin tones, while #2 is for medium, tan and darker skin tones. A 0.14-ounce jar will set you back $24, and you can find it now at Laura Mercier counters and online.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

Unsung Makeup Heroes: theBalm Cindy-Lou Manizer

Published in: Face, Makeup, theBalm, Unsung Heroes

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Anna

Wearing theBalm’s Cindy-Lou Manizer on my upper cheekbones

Quick! Grab my hand! Guuuuurl, we’re making a prison break. I’m busting you out of this shimmer-free solitary confinement, Shawshank-style, with theBalm’s Cindy-Lou Manizer ($24).

Super shiny highlights without the drama of a finicky frost

theBalm Cindy-Lou Manizer

It’s theBalm…

With peachy pink Cindy-Lou, theBalm got it totally right. You can wear this powder as a highlighter, an eyeshadow or a blush. The fabulous finish is unconditionally Unsung Heroes worthy.

The otherworldly opalescent sheen lifts dull skin, making your mug look fresh, bright and alive. The effect is like a Broadway spotlight manned by the best lighting guy in the biz — dramatic, but still soft and flattering, and without the harshness of a high-shine frost.

A little goes a loooong way…

theBalm Cindy-Lou Manizer

Watch out for Cindy-Lou!

It’s important to use just a smidgen, though. A little definitely goes a long way with this.

I like to load a skinny tapered eyeshadow brush like the MAC 224 by running it lightly across the pan. Then I’ll gently buff that on my upper cheekbones, down the bridge of my nose and on my Cupid’s bow, where it lasts from 8-9 hours (without touchups) on my combination dry/oily skin.

I’ve been wearing it a ton lately for “KA-POW!” highlights on my upper cheekbones, and the best thing about it? — it doesn’t settle into my fine lines or embiggen my pores.

Teams up well with matte foundation

theBalm Cindy-Lou Manizer

Ingredients…

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