Archive - Unsung Heroes

MAC Unsung Heroes: Shaping Powder in Lightsweep

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

Wearing MAC Shaping Powder in Lightsweep underneath my eyes

Wearing MAC Shaping Powder in Lightsweep under my eyes


No, it’s not the name of a Transformer or an evil supervillain (far as I know), but it is a very appropriate name for this highlighting face powder.

Whenever I wear Lightsweep (I don’t know why, but that name cracks me up!), I do kind of feel like I’m being illuminated by soft beams of light.

Really flattering light — not hard or harsh streaks of noonday desert sun.

MAC Shaping Powder in Lightsweep

Shaping Powder in Lightsweep (MAC Pro)

I’ve been wearing it as a highlighter and an under-eye concealer a lot over the past month, all thanks to Mr. White…which is to say that I’ve been marathoning Breaking Bad lately, and Lightsweep has saved me after quite a few late nights (seriously, Mr. White could REALLY use a life coach!).

After waking up bleary-eyed, I’d put on my face paint and use Lightsweep to set my concealer. Then it’s, “Hello, bright eyes!” Just like a Jetoy Choo Choo Cat (my latest obsession).

Lightsweep, like the fictitious supervillain I just invented, is one of those secret squirrel MAC products that can be tough to find, but it’s SO worth tracking down.

Like the other Shaping Powders ($16.50 each), it’s a MAC Pro product, so it isn’t carried at regular MAC counters. It lives at MAC Pro Stores and online.

So what is it exactly?

This: a warm-toned, finely-milled face powder with a whisper of barely-there shimmer. It highlights skin with a delicate sheen — none of that greasy or oily-looking business you get with some highlighting powders. You can also use to set under-eye concealer, and brighten the under-eye area without going over the top.

At first glance in its pan, you might be like, “Wha? Really now, Karen? I don’t get it,” and your heart may not be thumping like it does when RyGos wears a striped tank top.

I feel ya…but wait! Pat it under your eyes, on top of your regular concealer (I usually pair it with MAC Pro Longwear), and I think you’ll understand.

I like to take into the “triangle” area…

No, not the one by Bermuda. :) I’m referring to the triangle area under my lashes that runs along the side of my nose, from the tip of one nostril out to the outer corner of the eye on the same side.

Give that a try, and then step back from the mirror. Take a good look, and you should see a soft, diffused, natural-looking highlight under your eyes. Oh, so glowy.

As if that wasn’t enough, Lightsweep doesn’t settle into my fine lines or appear heavy or caked-on (the grains are very fine), and it doesn’t dry out my combination skin. Once applied, it stays put, too. No need to touch up for the rest the day.

If you have dark under-eye circles or more mature skin and are looking for brightening products that don’t emphasize pores or fine lines, Lightsweep is a fantastic product to have in your makeup bag.

By the way, the Shaping Powders come in other shades, too, if you’re interested. If your skin is lighter than NC42, check out Emphasize and Accentuate, and if you’re a darker diva, peep Warm Light and Soft Focus.

MAC Shaping Powders in Lightsweep (left) and Accentuate (right)

Shaping Powders in Lightsweep (left) and Accentuate (right)

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Unsung Makeup Heroes: Yves Saint Laurent Glossy Stain in Pourpre Preview

Published in: Lips, Unsung Heroes, Yves Saint Laurent

Yves Saint Laurent Glossy Stain in Pourpre Preview

Yves Saint Laurent Glossy Stain in Pourpre Preview rocks!


There! That’s much better. I can hear you now. Sorry, but I can’t help it when it comes to The Purple One. Hello, Take Me With You? Kiss? Purple Rain? You know how it is — you gotta turn it up when you’re bumping Prince. :)

Speaking of purples that reign (LOL! How’s that for a lazy transition?), I was ferreting through my lipgloss stash last week when I rediscovered one of the greatest purples of all time (IMHO), Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stain in Pourpre Preview, or “purple preview” en Francais.

I’ve had purple lipgloss on my mind (and lips) a lot lately…partly because of Pantone’s Color of the Year, Radiant Orchid, making headlines, but it actually goes back much further than that — at least as far back as my twenty-sixth birthday, when my friend Jen got me my very first tube of purple lipgloss (Benefit Kiss Me).

Yves Saint Laurent Pourpre Preview Glossy Stain

Yves Saint Laurent Glossy Stain in Pourpre Preview, $34

Yves Saint Laurent Pourpre Preview Glossy Stain wand

Gotta love the doe foot

So, Pourpre Preview — yeah, it’s $34, but for what it’s worth, with YSL’s Glossy Stains, it’s like you’re getting two lip products for the (pretty high) price of one.

In this case, the color starts as a gorgeous, glossy orchid violet, which then mellows out to a purplish pink stain.


  • Lasts from 5-6 hours on my lips
  • Has a moderately moisturizing, slightly sticky formula that feels quite thick when first applied
  • Unflavored, but it smells a little like green apples to me (yum!)

It’s one of the most wearable purples I’ve ever seen, and that’s what makes it an Unsung Hero to me. It’s just so frickin’ wearable! It looks good on just about anyone.

It’s purple — but not too purple, if that makes any sense — and semi-opaque, so it allows your natural lip color to peek through.

Yves Saint Laurent Pourpre Preview Glossy Stain swatch

Ooh, purple!

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Unsung Makeup Heroes: The Too Faced Shadow Brushes Essential 3-Piece Set

Published in: Makeup Tools, Too Faced, Unsung Heroes

Too Faced Shadow Brushes Essential 3-Piece Set

The terrific teddy bear-haired $39 Shadow Brushes Essential 3-Piece Set from Too Faced Cosmetics

“Made with luxurious teddy bear hair!”

Every time I see that phrase on my Too Faced Shadow Brush Set tube, I see a sad teddy bear with long, luscious ’80s rocker hair, like Bret Michaels had back in his hair heyday before he stormed the reality TV show circuit with a weave.

(No judgement, Bret! It’s all good!)

Too Faced Shadow Brushes Essential 3-Piece Set

100% pure teddy bear hair (not)

When I mentioned these brushes last week, I got some requests to review the set, so here goes… :)

First, it’s darling, isn’t it? $39, comes with three eye brushes, a cute carrying tube, and it’s in the permanent line.

I like this set, a lot, mostly because of the epic Crease/Blender brush. I mean, none of the brushes are slouches, but that one takes the cake.

The bristles are made from synthetic fibers, otherwise known as “luxurious teddy bear hair,” and yup — there’s Bret Michaels again in my mind’s eye…

Too Faced Shadow Brushes Essential 3-Piece Set

The set’s three eye brushes

It includes:

  • One Crease/Blender Brush — This one’s like a thinner MAC 224 Tapered Blending Brush, and it’s fab for applying shadow in the crease (more on this in a sec).
  • One Lid/Smoker Brush — This dense, flat eyeshadow brush is all about quickness and precisely packing tons of color on lids.
  • One Liner/Smudger Brush — Like a hobbit-sized version of the Lid/Smoker Brush. I use it to line my lash lines with eyeshadow or soften the edges of pencil eyeliner. In a pinch, I’ll also use it to fill in my brows.

For me, the Crease/Blender Brush headlines this show. That brush — I kid you not — I use practically every day.

It’s shaped like the MAC 224, only thinner, and that makes it perfect for placing eyeshadow right where I want it.

Very handy, particularly in smokey eye looks, or any looks with precise placement in the upper and/or lower crease.

Of course, it’s also OK for blending, but I think its forte is placing product, and not buffing. For blending, I like fluffier brushes, like the MAC 224, with bristles that fan out to spread product over a wider area.

Too Faced Shadow Brushes Essential 3-Piece Set

The Crease/Blender Brush on the left beside a MAC 224

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MAC Unsung Heroes: Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly

Published in: Eyes, MAC Makeup, Unsung Heroes

MAC Painterly Paint Pot

MAC Painterly Paint Pot ($20)

Please pardon my less-than-pristine pot of MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly. We’ve done a lot of lovin’ together over the past few years.

Painterly, a clean, classic nude beige with a matte finish, is one of my favorite cream eyeshadows in the MAC Paint Pot line. Mostly, I use it as an eyeshadow base or to even out my lid color by buffing a single layer of it on with a MAC 217 before some cat eyeliner and mascara.

I absolutely lurve the way it enhances other shadow colors when it’s worn as a base. It keeps other colors true to the way they look in their pans, which is a nifty trick. Products are also easy to blend on top of it, so when I’m doing a look with multiple colors and gradients, Painterly is almost always the base I grab.

MAC Painterly on NC42 skin

Painterly on my NC42 skin

On my (now, this time of year) slightly dry lids, Painterly lasts all day long without creasing, but if you have uber-oily lids, you might want to give it a hand by applying it atop a layer of NARS Pro-Prime or Too Faced Shadow Insurance.

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Unsung Makeup Heroes: Chanel 505 Particuliere Le Vernis Nail Colour

Published in: Chanel, Guest Post, Nails, Unsung Heroes

Chanel Particuliere 505 Le Vernis Nail Colour

Sabrina of The Beauty Look BookAbout the Author
The following guest post was written by Sabrina of You can also find Sabrina on Twitter, Instagram, Bloglovin and on her new lifestyle blog

Chanel Particuliere 505 Le Vernis Nail Colour ($27 for 13 ml/.04 fl oz) is a classic taupe putty grey cream. Former Creative Director of Makeup Peter Philips designed the color for the spring 2010 collection (read about how he chose the name in his interview with the LA Times here), and years later it’s still a classic, universally flattering staple.

I love it for its no-fuss polished look. Particuliere is an office appropriate neutral with a little bit of edge to prevent it from looking boring. It applies smoothly with just one coat; two coats give fully opaque coverage.

It’s one of those go-with-everything shades, and whenever I can’t decide what to wear on my nails, I end up going with either taupe Chanel Particuliere, or another classic, deep red Dragon.

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