Archive - Face

5 Best Highlighters

Published in: Becca, Face, Hourglass, MAC Makeup, Makeup, Smashbox

my five best highlighters

The Tragedy of Tabby, Prince of Novato

Act III, Scene I

Enter Prince Tabby, Queen Karen, Left Turn the Black Cat, Thug the Russian Blue and Lords.

TABS: To highlight or not to highlight — that is the question.

Whether ’tis nobler in the condo to suffer the humiliating pets and chin scratches of outrageous fortune, or to raise paws against a sea of troubles, and by opposing, end them. To eat, to nap — perchance to dream; ay, there’s the tummy rub.

Wait, what the heck is Prince Tabby talking about!? I don’t know about him, but speaking for myself, there is absolutely NO question about it. I am always, ALWAYS down for highlighting, and here are my five top picks for “Best Highlighter.” These are the ones I wear the most. :)

Best Everyday Highlighter: Hourglass Ambient Powder in Luminous Light ($45)

houglass luminous light

It’s amazing to me how this champagne pearl pressed powder barely looks like I’ve made a dent in it, when I’ve been wearing it pretty consistently — sometimes for weeks on end — for the past few years.

That’s a pretty good thing to know, that a single pan of anything could last until forever, or until Skynet eventually takes over (whichever comes first).

What I love about Luminous Light — I mean, other than the name, because don’t most gals like the idea of being bathed in luminous light? — is the finish. On the skin it looks like expensive, plush velvet bathed in the light of a buttery late summer afternoon.


The sheen is unlike anything else I’ve seen before. Soft and subtle, yet still noticeable, and it’s oh, so forgiving of large pores and fine lines (hallelujah!).

All told, this one’s my favorite everyday, all-occasion highlighter in the world!

$45; available now at Hourglass counters and online.

Best Highlighter for a Dewy Finish: MAC Cream Colour Base in Hush ($22)

mac hush


No, you can talk. I was referring to MAC Hush, which I love for its flexibility. It’s a soft peach with subtle shimmer, and I like it just about any which way/any how — on bare skin, on top of tinted moisturizer, foundation, even on top of powder. Whenever I’m aiming for more of a dewy, wet look, out comes Hush.

All I do is use my fingers to apply and blend it, usually on my upper cheekbones, down the bridge of my nose and on my Cupid’s bow, and it takes all but a minute to use.

I also think it looks amazer-ing in pics.

Oh! — and you can also use it as an eyeshadow base. Score! :)

$22; available now at MAC counters and online.

Best Highlighter for Dramatic Looks: BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Opal ($38)

becca opal

Good ol’ Opal. How many pans of it have I gone through over the years?

Three? Four…? I’ve lost count.

BECCA has many marvelous Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed options, but Opal is the one I wear most, by far. It’s a super shiny golden opal pearl, and for dramatic highlights, it’s unbeatable. Unlike standard-issue high-shine highlighters, of which there are many, it’s the very definition of luminous, and the complete antithesis of harsh and metallic, so skin glows seemingly from within with magical eldritch power without appearing oily.

It’s so friggin’ good that when I had to pick a single highlighter to wear on the red carpet to the Emmy’s last year, I went with Opal. There was no question about it.

Fun tip: to open up the eyes and make them look as big, bright and wide as possible, lightly apply Opal in the inner corners of the eyes, and just above and below the highest point in the arch of your brows.

$38; available now at Ulta, BECCA counters and online.
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Excited About This! Sephora Bright Future Gel Serum Concealer

Published in: Eyes, Face, Makeup, Sephora

sephora bright future gel serum concealer

I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw these new Bright Future Gel Serum Concealers at Sephora today.

So. Many. Colors! Twenty of them in all, which is an incredible range of shades, and they’re only $14 each!

What sealed the deal for me was talking to one of the makeup artists who raved on and on about them and how they don’t settle into fine lines but still provide complete coverage. I asked her if she thought they could handle real-deal dark circles, and she said “definitely.” She even said that she uses them sometimes in place of foundation.

Yes. I like the sound of that. :)

sephora bright future gel serum concealer

sephora bright future gel serum concealer

sephora bright future gel serum concealer

sephora bright future gel serum concealer swatches

1) Bavarian Cream, 2) Meringue, 3) Fondant, 4) Butter Cream, 5) Parfait, 6) Madeleine, 7) Custard, 8) Palmier, 9) Sable, 10) Eclair, 11) Tatin, 12) Pecan Pie, 13) Creme Caramel, 14) Toffee, 15) Dulce de Leche, 16) Pot de Creme, 17) Chocolate Souffle, 18) Ganache, 19) Truffle, 20) Devil’s Food

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Tuesday Tip: Apply Moisturizer Before Your Face Primer

Published in: Face, Makeup Tips/How To

Let's get ready to moisturize and prime!

Ready to moisturize, blot and prime!

I know I say this all the time, but that’s because it’s freakin’ true! — it really does take a village, so to speak, when you’re trying to do the whole smooth/flawless skin thing, or as close as you can get to it.

Oh, my goodness, yes, it would be SO nice if it were possible to do it all in one easy step, but that hasn’t been my experience. There are lots of steps involved in getting as close as possible to perfect-looking skin for me, and it takes a lot of work, especially upfront prep work at the beginning of the process.

But here’s something that helps, and I always do it, without fail: I always apply moisturizer before my face primer.

When I do, my skin looks smoother, my makeup lasts longer, and everything I apply on top of moisturized skin just seems to work better.

I really don’t know why… Maybe the moisturizer plumps the skin and makes whatever I apply on top of it look smoother. Colors also look richer and more intense.

Here’s my basic process…

Step 1: Moisturize

First, I moisturize, and it’s the first step when I’m applying my makeup (before this, however, right after washing my face in the morning, I apply any skin serums and products with SPF).

My combination skin is more dry than oily (but it’s also oily on my forehead and around my nose and chin), so I reach for rich moisturizers, and I like ones that don’t contain SPF, in this case, to avoid the telltale white cast that can happen when you mix SPF-containing products and flash photography. I also like moisturizers that don’t pill or clump when I apply other products on top of them.

Once my face is fully moisturized, I give the moisturizer enough time to fully absorb and sink in, which is usually around five minutes. Note: this step is very, VERY important because if the moisturizer is still wet in spots, products applied on top of it won’t last as long as they should/could.
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The Fab 5, Vol. 8: Chanel

Published in: Chanel, Eyes, Face, Makeup, Video

Those double Cs, man! They get me every time.

I’ve drooled over and chased after Chanel for… I don’t even know how long! Years and years. It’s one of my favorite beauty brands (and fashion and accessories, etc.) of all time.

Makeup-wise, their permanent collection is huge and daunting. At their counters, there’s a LOT of great stuff to play with and look at, and between the lipsticks, glosses, eyeshadows, blushes and more it can be overwhelming.

So where do you start? Hopefully this episode of The Fab Five gives you some ideas. It might even spark a lifelong love affair with Chanel, oui, oui! :)

I wear these five pieces almost daily. They’re the products I find myself grabbing over and over again.

The Fab 5, Vol. 8: Chanel (probably part one of two, haha)

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


Go With the Grain When You Apply Powder (and Foundation)

Published in: Face, Makeup Tips/How To


Facial hair.

Unless you don’t mind sitting in front of the computer for the next four hours, let’s not even go there…

OK, let’s go there anyway. :)

In my years on the road to Mrs. Chewbacca-ville (it’s been a good ride!), I’ve made a few fur-related observations, like that it helps to go with the grain when applying face powder or foundation.

Whenever I apply powder or foundation with a brush, I always apply in the same direction that the hair on my face naturally grows, as opposed to brushing against the grain and literally lifting the hairs up to make them stand at attention.

Sure, sweeping a big ol’ powder brush willy-nilly all over my face feels great, and it’s fun, especially when I sweep in huge circles (SO FUN!), but it also exacerbates the facial fur situation — i.e., it makes the hairs look more obvious.

For the hirsute ladies and gents among us, go with the grain next time you apply powder or foundation! You’ll see a difference.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


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