Archive - Unsung Heroes

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


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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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Unsung Makeup Heroes: Chanel Joues Contraste Blush in Malice

Published in: Chanel, Unsung Heroes

Chanel Malice Blush

Cheeks, courtesy of Chanel Malice Blush

For the life of me, I can’t figure out why this blush is called Malice because it doesn’t have a malicious bone in its sweet, blushy body. There’s nothing malicious, cagey or wicked about it at all…unless you count how wicked cute you look with yo’ fresh cheeks when you wear it.

Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush in Malice

Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush in Malice, $45

Peachy pink Chanel Joues Contraste Blush in Malice ($45) has been not-so-maliciously sweetening my makeup bag for about two weeks, and in that time I’ve literally not wanted to wear anything else. I think it just might be the most flattering blush in Chanel’s entire permanent line, and it’s all about versatility.

Vehemently versatile

Malice is like NARS Orgasm…only not. Like, if glittery golden NARS Orgasm was a wild child sent to finishing school for a year, she’d come back wearing pearls instead of a leather jacket and be calling herself Malice.

Malice and Orgasm have a similar peachy pink vibe, but Malice’s shimmer, which is more like a barely-there, soft-focus sheen, is much less outrageous and flamboyant.

And it’s that finish that makes Malice one of the greats for me.

I thought it was a matte the first time I swatched it, but then I saw the light reflecting on my skin, almost like the dreamy haze of candlelight, and I realized its greatness.

Effortless and flattering, it just always seems to look natural and good — never like clown cheeks — whether I wear it sheer, or layered to increase its intensity.

Chanel Joues Contrasts Powder Blush in Malice

It should really sing on a wide range skin tones, and because its sheen is so forgiving (unlike many glittery and/or shiny blushes), that includes the skin of more mature makeup lovers.

On top of everything, it’s just as easy to dress up as it is to dress down. I wore it to run some errands yesterday with the LORAC Pro Palette 2…

OK, I went to Anthropologie to look around, LOL! (Not my fault. There was a sale!)

So anyway, I wore it to run “errands,” also known as “go to the mall.”

Anthropologie white and yellow striped top

Um…does this top make me look crazy?

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Unsung Hair Heroes: $6 Tresemme Fresh Start Renewing Dry Shampoo

Published in: Drugstore Beauty Finds, Hair, Product Reviews, Tresemme, Unsung Heroes

Second-day hair don’t care!

Second-day hair don’t care!

Err…make that third-day hair don’t care.

OK, fourth-day hair. :)

Yes, fourth-day hair. Last week I ran three days in a row without washing my hair (no judgment) and, dude! — by the last day my roots were janky to the Nth degree.

I was only able to tolerate myself thanks to Tresemme’s new Fresh Start Renewing Dry Shampoo. I was actually kind of shocked by how well it worked.

Tresemme Fresh Start Renewing Dry Shampoo (1)

Now I’m thinking I might’ve even been able to make it to five-day hair…


Since I got my hair chopped a couple weeks ago, I’ve actually had to — gasp! — style it in the mornings (because I can’t just put it up in a ponytail anymore and forget about it), so to save a little time between shampoos, I’ve been spraying Fresh Start on my roots after my morning shower.

Tresemme Fresh Start Renewing Dry Shampoo (2)

It contains oil-absorbing mineral clay and sucks up sweat and funk like a root-sucking hair vacuum!

After using it, my scalp definitely feels less greasy, but doesn’t feel thick or packed with powder, which happens sometimes when I use other dry shampoos. My roots actually feel less dirrrrty when I use this stuff — not as clean as real shampoo, obvs, but all things considered, it’s pretty great for two- or three-day hair.


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MAC Unsung Heroes: Brun Eye Shadow

Published in: Eyes, MAC Makeup, Makeup, Unsung Heroes

MAC Brun Eye Shadow

Wearing MAC Brun Eye Shadow on my lids, my lash lines, and in my brows

INSIDE VOICE: Dude. You should do an Unsung Heroes post for MAC Brun Eye Shadow ($15).

OUTSIDE VOICE: Eh, I dunno. I love it and all, but it’s a dark blackish brown shadow. I mean, that’s not very exciting, ya know?

MAC Brun Eye Shadow

MAC Brun Eye Shadow, $15

INSIDE VOICE: True dat. It’s no Club or Impassioned, but I think it’s still worth a shout-out, right? You wear it practically every day.

Plus, remember that trip when you forgot it at home?


INSIDE VOICE: You freaked-the-eff out! You had to track down the nearest MAC counter on your iPhone, and then had El Hub drive you there before you would agree to do anything else. That’s dedication, dude.

OUTSIDE VOICE: El Hub was so grumpy! He was like, “Are you kidding me right now!? Come on! We’re on vacation!”

Bless that man. He puts up with a lot of crazy sh*t. :)

OK, I guess you do have a point. Brun’s a great brow filler for brunettes. It’s warm-toned, not too reddish, and I’ve always liked that despite it being so dark, it doesn’t look harsh on my skin, and it’s interesting, too, how the satin finish looks almost matte.

MAC Brun Eye Shadow

Brun on NC42 skin

INSIDE VOICE: I’ve seen you use it for other things — not just for filling in your brows.

OUTSIDE VOICE: True, true. I also wear it a lot with slightly defined neutral eyes, where I’ll pat a little MAC Soft Ochre Paint Pot all over my lids, buff some MAC Mylar on top of that with a 224, then sweep a little Cork or Soft Brown in the crease.

For a little depth, I’ll take Brun, apply it in the outer corner or the outer crease, and do a quickie winged liner. I tell you, that’s the best classic neutral eye combo right there, I swear. It’s so easy! I can do it half asleep, LOL!

Maybelline Blackest Black Lasting Drama Eyestudio

Wearing MAC Soft Ochre Paint Pot, Mylar Eye Shadow, Cork Eye Shadow and Brun Eye Shadow on my lids, and Maybelline Blackest Black Lasting Drama Eyestudio on my upper lash lines

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