Archive - Unsung Heroes

Unsung Makeup Heroes: Tom Ford Beauty African Violet Nail Lacquer

Published in: Nails, Tom Ford Beauty, Unsung Heroes

Tom Ford African Violet Nail Lacquer

Tom Ford Nail Lacquer in African Violet ($32)

African violetPurple eyeshadows; purple liners; purple lipsticks; flowers; candy; sweaters; one-eyed, one-horned flying purple people eaters! PURPLE EVERYTHING!

And purple paw polish, too. :)

Of the millions (well, hundreds) of promising purple paw polishes in the universe, the one that electrifies me like a Tesla coil from the tips of my ears down to the tips of my toes has to be Tom Ford’s bright creamy Nail Lacquer in African Violet.

Tom Ford African Violet Nail Lacquer

Purse by Reed Krakoff; bracelet by Na Hoku

It borrows its name from one of Mother Nature’s most perfect purple creations, in my opinion, the Saintpaulia ionantha plant, or African violet, which, coincidentally, happens to be cat-friendly, according to the good folks over at VCA Animal Hospitals.

Speaking of cats (’cause we alway circle back to the kittehs around here), this particular African Violet has never elicited any complaints from my favorite fashionable feline.

Tom Ford African Violet Nail Lacquer

Ring by Wings Hawaii; bracelet and earrings from Nordstrom

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MAC Unsung Heroes: Style Blush

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

MAC Powder Blush in Style

Wearing a single layer of MAC Powder Blush in Style ($21) on my cheeks

I’ve had to do rapid-fire makeup to get out the door and catch appointments two days this week. From start to finish, I’m talkin’ 10, 15 minutes tops.

This pressure cooker of time has led me to MAC Style, a shimmery golden coral Powder Blush in the MAC permanent line.

I picked it up a while back during a stress shopping session (girl, you do it too!) but set it aside when I became totally infatuated with MAC Cantaloupe.

I guess I was just feeling more like matte cheeks and full-on wintery makeup looks for a while there, and Cantaloupe fit the bill. I had a blast layering different highlighters and shimmer products with it, too, but that was when I had enough time to play…

When my schedule doesn’t allow for that and I have to leave the house in a hurry, extra little makeup touches like highlighter usually get cut.

Which is where MAC Style comes in…

MAC Style Blush

MAC Style Blush

A lovely soft coral powder blush with a delicate golden sheen, I think it’s great for getting out the door in a flash. Its moderately pigmented coral base has just enough color to give a nice flush to my cheeks.

It’s not so intense that I have to spend precious breakfast time buffing and blending everything out if I inadvertently over-apply, and it’s easy to control. No exaggeration, but I can get it on my cheeks and be done with blush in less than a minute.

MAC Style Blush Swatch on NC42 Skin

Style Blush on my NC42 skin

But that’s not my favorite thing about Style. That distinction goes to its fine golden sheen.


While delicate and subtle, it totally takes this blush to the next level for me, transforming it into a hybrid blush/highlighting butterfly, and I smile every time I see a flash of its pearly golden glow.

Not only is Style dynamic, it also shaves a couple steps off my makeup routine.

MAC Style Blush Swatch on NW25 Skin

Style Blush on a good samaritan’s NW25 skin

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Unsung Makeup Heroes: Tom Ford Nail Lacquer in Viper

Published in: Nails, Tom Ford Beauty, Unsung Heroes

Tom Ford Viper Nail Lacquer

Two coatsssss of Tom Ford Nail Lacquer in Viper ($32), writhing and hissing now at Tom Ford counters and online

Tom Ford Nail Lacquer in ViperNot even seasoned snake charmers could tame Tom Ford’s Nail Lacquer in Viper ($32).

OK, so I’ve been on a personal quest, Indiana Jones-style, to find the Tom Ford Nail Lacquer that shouts the loudest to my soul. Before I started, I estimated that this would take approximately forever, or roughly three months, whichever came first, but then I got bit by Viper, which may have ended my personal beauty mission forthright…

Tom Ford Viper Nail Lacquer

Halp! I’ve been bitten by Viper!


Well, this creamy blackened purplish berry stalks Tom’s permanent line like a cobra stalks a mouse in a field… It’s dangerous! — and if you drop your guard for a second, you’ll be hypnotized.

Equally at home on a bad@ss gal’s nails in a bar fight (a gal who artfully escapes the melee on her Harley without anyone noticing), or a lady in box seats at the opera, or a girl wearing pleather leggings and black Chucks. It’s elegant, tough and edgy — and surprisingly approachable — all at the same time.

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

It’s also dynamic. When I tilt my fingers juuust right, I see a shiny, vibrant purple, like wet grapes on a vine. A second later, it’s deeper, like a bowl of ripe blackberries about to be devoured by greedy, hungry mouths…

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Unsung Makeup Heroes: Hourglass Femme Rouge Lipstick in Muse

Published in: Hourglass, Lips, Makeup, Unsung Heroes

Hourglass Femme Rouge Lipstick in Muse

Wearing Hourglass Femme Rouge Lipstick in Muse

Got milk? coral lipsticks on the brain?

Why, yes. Yes, I do. But what else is new?

Maybe it’s a genetic thing. I don’t know… But last night I was chatting with my mom on the phone about coral lipsticks and my 86-year-old godmother in the Philippines.

My godmother, whom I call Ninang (pronounced knee-nung), is the most glamorous gal I know, and my mom was telling me last night about how Ninang is apparently obsessed with coral lipsticks right now, LOL!

I guess it runs in the fam. :)

I think Ninang would thoroughly approve of Hourglass Femme Rouge Lipstick in Muse, the creamy coral lippie I’m wearing in these pics.

My heart fluttered the first time I saw it. No joke.

Hourglass Femme Rouge Lipstick in Muse

Hourglass Femme Rouge Lipstick in Muse

Then when I slipped it on — oh, my goodness! — I may have hyperventilated a little. The intense pigment, shiny finish and bright color were all too much for me (but in a “I’m perfectly OK with this” kind of way).

Hourglass Muse Swatch

Now, Muse looks pretty dope on its own, but if you want to turn up the drama even more, try layering a reddish coral gloss on top, like MAC Star Quality Cremesheen from the A Fantasy of Flowers collection.

Looks phenom! — as does Hourglass Nectar Extreme Sheen Lip Gloss. (Do I need to post pics of these combos? Let me know. I’ve been all about the combos lately.)

Hourglass Femme Rouge Lipstick in Muse

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Unsung Makeup Heroes: NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation

Published in: Face, Makeup, NARS, Product Reviews, Unsung Heroes

NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation

NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation. That’s the compact in the center surrounded by refills.

“Feline enthusiast.”

“Beauty addict.”

“Beyonce advocate.”

“Defender of dental floss.”

“Hater of the word, ‘panties.’” (YUCK! I can’t even stand seeing it in print.)

“Advocate of enabling (primarily in the makeup arena).”

“Enemy of under-eye circles.”

Like you, I wear many badges, and I wear them all with pride. :)

“Foundation philanderer.” I’m growing quite fond of that one, too.

Interestingly, I’m able to remain committed to the same cat for seven years (I don’t count my dalliances with Charlize and Orangey, my two favorite neighborhood kitties), yet I’m unable to stay with the same foundation for more than a few months.


Just when I think I’ve found THE ONE, I stumble on to something else, and frequently describe it as having, air quotes, “changed my life.”

NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation

Loving it: NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation

As of now, that distinction goes to NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation, and yes, it really has “changed my life.” :)

At least I think it has… I certainly love it; that’s for sure.

Yeah…I’m kind of on a serious NARS kick right now, and Radiant Cream has something to do with it.

It’s a great little foundation, especially if you like medium-to-full coverage and have combination, or straight-up dry, skin.

I’ve been fiendishly obsessed with MAC Face & Body for the better part of a year, and I still love it…but I’ve temporarily set it aside in favor of this. For now. I mean, I still have mad love for Mac Face & Body, but like I said — I’m on a serious NARS kick.

This stuff handles my combination dry/oily skin like RyGos handles ab work — beautifully. Even the dry parts. It smooths and evens out my skin tone without catching on any flakes or drawing attention to my dry or scaly bits (gross, but true). Great coverage, and it looks natural.

NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation in Barcelona

Wearing NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation in Barcelona

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