Archive - Unsung Heroes

Unsung Makeup Heroes: Tom Ford’s Bad@ss, Budget-Busting $44 Brow Sculptor

Published in: Eyes, Makeup, Tom Ford Beauty, Unsung Heroes

Tom Ford Brow Sculptor in Espresso

Smizing and wearing Tom Ford Brow Sculptor in Espresso

People of the world…y’all just don’t understand! In the morning, right after I wake up, I can barely make it the eight feet from my bed to the bathroom without falling down. “Not a morning person” isn’t just a catchy phrase with me. It’s an official descriptor, like female, 39, 5’1″, Gemini, not a morning person.

Before I’ve splashed some water on my face and had my coffee, delicate makeup maneuvers like the filling in of brows are normally impossible, but Tom Ford’s Brow Sculptor gives me a fighting chance.

I’ve successfully used it to fill in my eyebrows and create perfectly drawn arches at jacked-up times without a drop of coffee in my system (so we’re talking about worse muscle control than a zombie). This $44 makeup miracle delivers flawless, full, natural-looking brows, and I could not live without it.

Well…I could, but you know. Life would be rougher, man. :)

Tom Ford Brow Sculptor in Espresso

A much-loved, well-worn Tom Ford Brow Sculptor in Espresso

Of course, here’s the thing about Tom Ford Beauty: it’s So. Freaking. Expensive. I feel that unless his products are completely on point, I can’t justify their price.

I mean, what sane person drops $44 on a brow pencil??

Answer: someone who’s tried some of Tom’s products before, because when he gets it right, boy gets it really, really right (case in point).

Most brow pencils for me are slightly less exciting than a John Philip Sousa march, but I think Tom’s Brow Sculptor is epic.

EPIC.

So epic that I had an out-of-body experience once when I put two of them into my online cart (the shade I wear is called Espresso) and realized that the subtotal was $88 before tax. I swear, I floated out of my body and watched myself slowly click the “buy” button while my inner monologue said, “Holy effing crap.”
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Unsung Makeup Heroes: Topshop’s Terrific $12 Cream Blush in Afternoon Tea

Published in: Face, Makeup, Topshop, Unsung Heroes

Topshop Afternoon Tea Blush

Topshop Cream Blush in Afternoon Tea, $12

Do you have to be simultaneously sipping tea out of a dainty teacup while wearing Topshop’s $12 Cream Blush in Afternoon Tea to fully appreciate the nuances of either product?

No, you do not.

It does, however, help. :)

And it also helps to appreciate a great deal.

Topshop Afternoon Tea Blush

Topshop Cream Blush in Afternoon Tea

(Incidentally, if you decide to brew a pot of Earl Grey, I’ll take mine with cream and two lumps of sugar, please.)

I almost can’t believe this pretty pink cream-to-powder blush is only $12. It’s a total unsung hero in my book. On my unpredictably combination oily, and sometimes dry, cheeks, I swear it looks exactly like the $38 Le Blush Creme blushes by Chanel, and it lasts just as long. I get from eight to nine hours if I do a minor touchup around hour six.


Topshop Cream Blush in Afternoon Tea
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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

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