Archive - Unsung Heroes

Unsung Makeup Heroes: The Dolce & Gabbana Desert Quad

Published in: Dolce & Gabbana, Eyes, Makeup, Palettes, Unsung Heroes

Dolce & Gabbana Desert Quad

Wearing the Dolce & Gabbana Desert Quad on my lids and daydreaming about succulent saguaros…

It was hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk.

That’s how how hot it gets in Davis, California, where I went to school. I can’t believe I’d go jogging in the middle of the day back then at the height of summer. It would be 110 degrees outside, with waves of heat rippling off the sidewalk and vultures circling high overhead, and there’d I’d be, jogging my steaming buns off between classes.

In parts of the California Central Valley, it gets hotter than Death Valley. I’m serious. A whole swath of the state basically turns into a desert every summer, which reminds me…

I’ve liked Dolce & Gabbana’s Eyeshadow Quad in Desert ($60) ever since I started wearing it off and on in 2010, but I only recently fell Beyonce-crazy-in-love with it.

I noticed that I was bringing it with me on all of my trips this summer. I literally wasn’t leaving the house without it, and I think the mattes have everything to do with it.

Dolce & Gabbana Desert Eyeshadow Quad

The Dolce & Gabbana Eyeshadow Quad in Desert ($60)

There are three of them in this quad — a beige, a golden brown and a dark chocolate brown, all of which are the freakin’ ish — as well as a hit-the-pan worthy golden shade, which we’ll get to in a minute.

Dolce & Gabbana Desert Quad Swatches
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Unsung Makeup Heroes: Hourglass Femme Rouge Lipstick in Vintage

Published in: Hourglass, Lips, Unsung Heroes

Hourglass Femme Rouge Lipstick in Vintage

Wearing Femme Rouge Lipstick in Vintage ($30) by Hourglass, an unsung makeup hero!

Ironically, my favorite lipstick (this week) is a modern twist on a traditional idea. It’s called Vintage, and I think of it as a modern twist on a traditional nude lipstick for fall.

I’m kind of loving that idea, the idea of lips that are slightly richer, and maybe a few shades darker, than your natural lip color.

Tom Ford’s fabulous new rich, rosy brown Lip Color in Negligee has some of that same vibe.

The whole idea is just so different from what I picture in my head when I think “nude lips,” which over the past few years have meant a lot of light peach, pink and beige.

Barbie lips, so to speak.

I was digging around in my lipstick collection last weekend for something modern and nude when I re-discovered this old friend’s charms — Vintage ($30), a shade in the Hourglass Femme Rouge lipstick line, and one of my unsung makeup heroes.

Hourglass Femme Rouge Lipstick in Vintage

Hourglass Femme Rouge Lipstick in Vintage, $30

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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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Unsung Makeup Heroes: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Diffused Heat

Published in: Face, Hourglass, Unsung Heroes

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Diffused Heat

That’s Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Diffused Heat ($35) on my cheeks

I can’t believe it’s already August… Can you? No! I refuse to accept it. I’m in a state of denial.

I’m not even going to entertain the possibility that summer could end until at least October.

Or late November.

I want to go straight from summer to Halloween, back to summer, and then wake up on Thanksgiving night, LOL! :)

Oh, well. Sooner or later, probably when it starts cooling off, I’m going to have to accept the inevitable…and somewhere along the way, I’m sure I’ll feel a hankering for rich, red fall lips.

To help me through this difficult time and ease the transition, I’ll turn to Hourglass Ambient Blush in Diffused Heat ($35).

Hourglass Diffused Heat Ambient Lighting Blush closeup

A closeup of Diffused Heat Ambient Lighting Blush

Talk about your beautiful blushes, babe. It’s one of my favorites to wear with warm-toned and/or vintage pin-up red lipsticks like MAC Lady Danger.

I dunno… There’s something about the way this blush works with warmer yellow-based reds (and corals).

Me likey.

Hourglass Diffused Heat Ambient Lighting Blush

Diffused Heat

Orangey poppy mixes with warm pale gold in the marbled pattern, and blended together on cheeks, they look natural (see: no crazy clowns).

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

When I apply one layer, it looks like RyGos just chased me around my condo (because, obviously, he takes time out of his busy schedule to play hide and seek with me).

Noticeable, but not hella distracting, which is great when you don’t want your cheeks competing with your lips when you wear a bold red.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Diffused Heat

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