Archive - Face

How Far Does Tarte Clean Slate Timeless Smoothing Primer Turn Back the Hands of Time?

Published in: Face, Makeup, Product Reviews, Tarte

Tarte Clean Slate Timeless Smoothing Primer (2)

Tarte Clean Slate Timeless Smoothing Primer

If Father Time got his contractor’s license, he might invent something like Tarte’s new Clean Slate Timeless Smoothing Primer ($39). Designed to turn back the hands of time (that’s the idea at least), it works like makeup spackling paste.

A new addition to Tarte’s permanent line of cruelty-free cosmetics, it fills in pores and smoothes out fine lines and wrinkles, so skin looks a little blurred, and a little closer to flawless. It also preps the skin for foundation and other makeup layered on top.

Tarte Clean Slate Timeless Smoothing Primer (1)

Tarte Clean Slate Timeless Smoothing Primer (3)

I have to say, I like how lightweight it feels, and I dig the lemony scent, even though, yeah, I don’t feel like ’90s teenage Karen is staring back at me in the mirror when I wear it on my face.

Still, I think my skin does look smoother when I wear it, and my pores aren’t all up in my grill.

I guess in a way, maybe, it does turn back time a bit… Like perhaps six months to a year. :)

Tarte Clean Slate Timeless Smoothing Primer (4)

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The Tarte Rainforest After Dark Colored Clay Eye & Cheek Palette: When This Snake Bites, It’s Good for Your Skin

Published in: Eyes, Face, Makeup, Palettes, Product Reviews, Tarte

Tarte Rainforest After Dark Palette

Wearing the new Tarte Rainforest After Dark Colored Clay Eye & Cheek Palette ($38) on my eyes and cheeks

Snakes.

Freak out, man! SNAKES! They’re all over Tarte’s fall collection, including the Rainforest After Dark Colored Clay Eye & Cheek Palette ($38), which is kind of like the star serpent of the nine-piece release slithering now across Tarte counters and online.

The collection includes both limited edition products and new pieces bound for the permanent line, with the After Dark palette being one of the limited edition items.

The palette houses nine powder products — six eyeshadows, a bronzer, a highlighter and a blush — in colors inspired by the deep orchid hues of a rainforest at dusk, and in true Tarte fashion, the whole enchilada is cruelty-free, and made without parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate or gluten.

Like many of Tarte’s products, this one is designed to deliver skin benefits which, in a way, I’m kind of conflicted about…

I mean, I love that whole idea — the idea of makeup that doubles as a skin care product — but I’m just not sure how well it works.

With serums and moisturizers, I can actually see and feel them being absorbed into my skin, but with makeup, it’s kind of just sitting right there on top, ya know?

Is it doing anything? I don’t know, but I figure it can’t hurt.

The secret ingredient in these is something Tarte calls colored clay, a super absorbent clay able to auto-magically color correct and address your specific skin and complexion concerns, and these powder definitely do absorb oil well.

Might be something to consider if you have very oily lids and/or cheeks.

The colors — plums, tans and golds — are all fairly neutral, and not too cool nor warm, making them good fits for a wide range of skin tones.

It’s hard to really mess up when using the eyeshadows, too, no matter how much I pack on, because they aren’t crazy pigmented (I’d say they’re about a medium). They blend out beautifully without looking too heavy.

I do notice a little fallout, but it’s not a big deal. Just tap off your brush first, or work it into the back of your hand.

Tarte Rainforest After Dark Palette

Tarte Rainforest After Dark Palette

In terms of performance, the eyeshadows put up major points. In a perfect world, though, I might darken the darker shades a bit.

As for the blush, wow, so beautiful. That matte plummy tone sure looks natural on the skin, but the Park Ave. Princess bronzer? Eh. I think that one’s just OK. Probably better suited for lighter skin tones than mine.

Oh, about the gold highlighter and gold eyeshadow — holy highlight that, man! We’re talking really, really shimmery.

All and all, I’d say it’s a lovely palette — perfect for gals/guys who like natural looks with a kick.

I usually prefer a little more oomph from my eyeshadows, but I still see a lot here I’m sure I’ll wear this fall.

Tarte Rainforest After Dark Palette

Tarte Rainforest After Dark Palette

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Contemplating Classy Cheek Color With the New Laura Mercier Cheek Mélange Blush in Sensual Reflections

Published in: Face, Laura Mercier, Makeup, Product Reviews

Laura Mercier Cheek Mélange in Sensual Reflections

Wearing the new Laura Mercier Cheek Mélange in Sensual Reflections, from the Sensual Reflections fall 2014 collection), on my cheeks

You know, as I sit here thinking about it — reflecting, if you will — it makes sense that Laura Mercier’s new $42 Cheek Mélange Blush is called Sensual Reflections, because it’s part of the upcoming fall Sensual Reflections collection.

But…when I wear it and see myself in the mirror, I feel like it should have been called Quiet Reflections instead.

Like, I should be sitting quietly under a willow tree by a pond and contemplating the meaning of life.

“Tabby, or not tabby, that is the question.”

Laura Mercier Cheek Mélange in Sensual Reflections

Laura Mercier Cheek Mélange in Sensual Reflections, $42

And, uh…I don’t exactly think of myself as a “sensually reflective” kind of person. Really, I feel about as sensually reflective as a rind of parmesan cheese, but that’s neither here nor there.

Sensual Reflections, with the way its satin finish softly shines, is one of those beautiful blushes that makes an understated statement, and with hints of peach, plum and gold, it works on most every skin tone, whether used as a blush or a highlighter.

Laura Mercier Cheek Mélange in Sensual Reflections

“Laura Mercier Cheek Mélange features hand-selected, complementary shades to add natural, glowing colour to cheeks. It provides natural radiance to complexion and is designed to complement all skin tones.” — Laura Mercier PR

It’s one of the limited edition pieces in the Sensual Reflections collection, and I think it’s the most striking piece in the entire launch.

I mean, just look at that pretty pan! It looks like a closeup of a cosmos flower…

You’re supposed to mix the peachy pink beige, golden beige and sheer plum together, and apply the combined color to your cheeks for a natural, flattering glow.

Laura Mercier Cheek Mélange in Sensual Reflections

All three shades mixed together

This blush is all about the finish, which is sort of halfway between satin and sheer. The finely-milled powder reflects light evenly and subtly when it’s on my cheeks — glowing, but not looking frosty at all (great for gals/guys of all ages). You end up looking like you just left the spa and had a facial done by the World’s Best Esthetician. :)

Also, because it isn’t too heavily pigmented, you won’t end up with crazy clown cheeks (an added plus!).

Laura Mercier Cheek Melange Sensual Reflections

Additional makeup worn in this look: Laura Mercier Satin Matte Eye Colours in Plum Allure, Gold Seduction and Sensual Pink (also from the Sensual Reflections collection), Laura Mercier Kohl Eye Pencil in Black Gold and theBalm Read My Lips Lip Gloss in Snap

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Defeat Dark Days With Bobbi Brown’s Brightening Blushes in Pink and Bronze

Published in: Bobbi Brown, Face, Makeup, Product Reviews

With the two new Bobbi Brown Brightening Blushes from the new Surf & Sand summer collection

With the two new Bobbi Brown Brightening Blushes ($45 each) from the new Surf & Sand summer collection

Order! Order! People, please, settle down. I know we’re all upset, but let’s approach this like adults.

OK…I call this meeting of the I Heart Ryan Gosling Support Group to order.

As most of you probably know, my name is Karen, and I’m the current president of the Northern California chapter. I called this emergency meeting in response to the tragic news yesterday about Ryan.

We’ve received more calls to the counseling line over the past 24 hours than we have in the prior two years. Clearly, many of us are upset.

There’s no two ways about it — this is a catastrophe, so we’re officially in disaster recovery mode.

But as bad as things seem, we have to get it together, people. Come on! If I have to listen to another person cry on the phone for 45 minutes about she-who-will-not-be-named, I will lose my sh*t.

Focus. Quit listening to Adele, get your butt off the couch, and change out of your pajamas. Pull yourselves together! Ryan needs us now more than ever.

In situations like this, I can’t recommend makeup enough. It always makes me feel a little better. In fact, blush is a personal favorite of mine.

Bobbi Brown Brightening Blush in Pink 2

Brightening Blush in Pink 2

Bobbi Brown Brightening Blush in Bronze 1

Brightening Blush in Bronze 1

Why, before I applied these new Bobbi Brown Brightening Blushes this afternoon, I felt like this…

Bobbi Brown Brightening Blush Pink

Bummer, dude

But now I feel like this…

Bobbi Brown Brightening Blush Pink

Everything’s gonna be A-OK

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Late-Night Callers and the New NARS Unlawful Blush

Published in: Collections, Face, Makeup, NARS, Product Reviews

NARS Unlawful Blush

Wearing two layers of the new NARS Unlawful Blush on my cheeks

**RING! RING!**

KAREN: Hello?

MYSTERY CALLER: Hey, girl.

KAREN: Hey… (?)

MYSTERY CALLER: What are you doing?

KAREN: Um…well, I have a wicked bout of insomnia right now, but what else is new?

MYSTERY CALLER: Damn, that sucks.

KAREN: And despite the fact that it’s closer to dawn than dusk, I’m playing with some new fall makeup from NARS.

MYSTERY CALLER: Fun!

KAREN: I know! I actually just applied a new blush of theirs called Unlawful — wait, who is this, and why are you calling me in the middle of the night?

MYSTERY CALLER: Well, that’s for me to know and for you to find out.

NARS Unlawful Blush

Wha?

KAREN: OK, that was creepy…

MYSTERY CALLER: Wait, don’t hang up on me. Trust me, you’re a fan.

KAREN: Alright… OK, well, this is totally weird, though, but what the heck. It’s the middle of the night, and I’ve obviously got insomnia, so I might as well just go with it.

MYSTERY CALLER: Yes! Now, about that blush… I want to hear all about it.

KAREN: Uh, huh… Have I mentioned how TOTALLY WEIRD this is?

MYSTERY CALLER: You have.

KAREN: Right… But I’m not one to pass up an opportunity to talk about makeup, even if it is with a mystery caller in the middle of the night.

So, Unlawful. It’s a real showstopper — a warm-toned opalescent bronzed amber pink packed with tiny flecks of silver glitter, and it’s very pigmented, too.

That NARS decided to add silver glitter to it seems kind of unusual, because as warm as it is, I would have expected NARS to go with gold instead.

But the silver works. There’s just a lot of it.

OK, a ton.

You can’t really tell in pics, but you get up close and it’s a total glitter-fest.

I mean, the flecks are almost microscopic. They’re really tiny, which keeps the shade from delving into tacky territory, but it’s great. With this, you really don’t even need a highlighter.

NARS Unlawful Blush

NARS Unlawful Blush, $30

Ultimately, it depends on how you feel about glitter. It’s all really subtle in pics, but it’s like, “Hey, how YOU doin’?” in real life.

MYSTERY CALLER: A friend of mine told me that Unlawful is from the new fall Night Caller collection? Is that right?

KAREN: It is. I always look forward to the NARS fall — wait, can you hold on a second? My cat just walked into the room, and if I don’t pick him up and show him some attention he’ll throw a fit.

Come here, Tabs.

MYSTERY CALLER: Take your time…

KAREN: Anyway, the fall collection is dope! Ten pieces. Along with the blush, there are a couple of eyeshadow duos, two Satin Lip Pencils, a new multiple and, oh! — a new line of glittery eyeliners based on the NARS Night Series eyeshadows.

Do you know those?

MYSTERY CALLER: Actually, no. Frankly, I know more about acting than I know about eyeshadow.

NARS Unlawful Blush Swatch

Unlawful Blush

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