With the Right Brush, Everything’s Coming Up Roses for Milani’s New Rose Powder Blushes

Published in: Drugstore Beauty Finds, Face, Milani, Product Reviews

Wearing Milani Rose Powder Blush in Tea Rose on my cheeks

That’s $7.99 Milani Rose Powder Blush in Tea Rose on my cheeks

Everything did not come up roses the first time I used Milani’s Rose Powder Blushes

I made the mistake of using a cheek brush with a small, dense brush head to apply one and ended up with so much color on my cheeks that I looked like a Harlequin clown doll/vaudeville performer.

Milani Rose Powder Blushes from the left: Coral Cove, Tea Rose and Romantic Rose ($7.99 each)

The Milani Rose Powder Blushes from the left in Coral Cove, Tea Rose and Romantic Rose ($7.99 each)

The three available shades are preternaturally pigmented and matte, and therefore forgiving (pore issues, yo!), but they can look scary intense (think painted circles of bright pink) if applied willy-nilly with the wrong brush, i.e. blush brushes with a small, dense head. Same goes for large, fluffy blush brushes.

In case I haven’t stressed it enough, these blushes are VERY pigmented, and I get the best, most natural-looking results when I chill out and use a medium-sized, moderately dense duo fiber brush.

But I think a fan brush would also work well.

The flat finish looks divine in pics, and I dig the colors, which remind me of beloved shades I wear all the time, like MAC Blushbaby (01 Romantic Rose), and Chanel Malice (05 Coral Cove).

If these blushes didn’t have a logo or any branding, I’d assume they were from Sephora or Nordstrom and quite a bit more expensive (they’re $7.99 for a 0.60-oz. pan). There’s also no funny business with the fine powders. They sit on top of my skin, don’t require a lot of buffing, and last all day long.

Romantic Rose is a matte pinkish beige, Tea Rose a matte neutral rosy pink, and Coral Cove a warm poppy.

You might remember Coral Cove from last spring. This new version is more or less the same, but Milani added rose oil (although I don’t detect a scent).

Milani Rose Powder Blush in Romantic Rose

Rose Powder Blush in Romantic Rose

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Get Gorgeous Gradients In No Time With New Giorgio Armani Liquid Eye Tint

Published in: Eyes, Giorgio Armani, Makeup, Product Reviews

Wearing Giorgio Armani Eye Tints in 06 Green Iron (lids) and 01 Obsidian (lash lines) on my eyes, Milani Powder Blush in Coral Cove on my cheeks and Chanel Rouge Allure in Insaisissable on my lips

Eyes, courtesy of the new Giorgio Armani Eye Tints in 06 Green Iron (my lids) and 01 Obsidian (lash lines)

There is not a tough row to hoe when it comes to ramping up and using these new Giorgio Armani Eye Tints to create hazy, smoked-out eye looks.

They’re perfect for beginners, and/or lazy people (like moi!), and/or anyone hell bent on rocking a “smoky eye ’til I die” lifestyle. You can get a beautifully buffed cloud of hazy fog around your eyes without having to use a zillion eyeshadows.

Of course, feel free to use a zillion eyeshadows on your lids whenever you want (lord knows I do), but sometimes it’s just nice to know you don’t have to. With these, you can do simplified versions of your favorite foggy eye looks with gorgeous gradients in less time than it takes to get to the front of the line at Starbucks, order a delicious drink covered in caramel and whipped cream, and wink at the barista. ;)

Five of the 12 Giorgio Armani Eye Tints, from the left: 01 Obsidian, 02 Minuit, 05 Onyx, 06 Green Iron and 10 Senso ($38 each)

Five of the 12 Giorgio Armani Eye Tints, from the left in 01 Obsidian, 02 Minuit, 05 Onyx, 06 Green Iron and 10 Senso ($38 each)

Despite the way these look in their tubes, they are not lipglosses (although I can totally see myself pulling one out of my purse at the movies in the dark). They’re actually a brand new line of water-based liquid eyeshadows that can also be used as liners. Interestingly, the formula feels like a cream (they’re thicker than Josie Maran’s Coconut Watercolor Eyeshadows) but dries to a powder finish.

The lightweight, non-sticky formula is supposed to last 16 hours without smudging…

Truth be told, I do not want to be wearing these or any eyeshadows for 16 hours, because that would mean I’m having a very, very long day. I have worn them for stretches of eight hours, though, and yes, they stayed put without scooting around or settling into the crease…but I had to be very careful. The slightest touch lifts them right off your lids.

As for the coverage, it’s quite versatile. For instance, you can easily do a solid block of opaque color using one as a liner, or sheer one out and do a smokey eye.

Five of the 12 Giorgio Armani Eye Tints, from the left: 01 Obsidian, 02 Minuit, 05 Onyx, 06 Green Iron and 10 Senso ($38 each)

From the left: 01 Obsidian, 02 Minuit, 05 Onyx, 06 Green Iron and 10 Senso

A few ways to use the new Giorgio Armani Eye Tints…

  1. As eyeliners! Just trace your lash line with the tip of the applicator, and then smudge out the edges with an angled brush.
  2. As straight-up eyeshadows. Smear a bit on your lids, then smoke out the edges with a blending brush.
  3. As a base, upon which you can layer other schtuff.

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How to Build Your Courage for Crimson Lips

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To

5 tips to build your courage for crimson lips

Don’t be scurred!

Dude! Valentine’s Day? I know it’s hella commercial and cheesy, but I don’t even care. Chocolate, love and baby cherubs? You can’t go wrong with that. Plus, crimson lips? If there’s a day to go crazy with crimson, it’s gotta be V-Day.

But what if you’re scared to wear really red lips? What if you like the idea of going full-tilt Gwen Stefani, but you’re too terrified to try?

These five baby steps will build your courage for crimson lips. Remember, Drake was on Degrassi Jr. High once upon a time. Everybody’s gotta start somewhere.

1. Keep calm, and start with a red lip tint or balm

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Cherry

Wearing Fresh Sugar Lip Tint in Cherry ($22.50)

Before going all the way with opaque red lips, you can take a baby step with a tint.

Red balms and tints are like crimson kitten heels, and years from now, when you’re strutting around town in the red lipstick version of 5-inch stilettos, you’ll think back to your starter balms…

When you wear a red balm or a tint, you’ll get a sense of what it’s like to wear red on your lips without the full-on shock of something opaque like MAC Ruby Woo.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments

Ease your way into red with something like Fresh Sugar Lip in Cherry (pictured in the center)

And that shock at seeing yourself in red lipstick for the first time is a legitimate thing. The first time I wore red (I think it was in high school, which would place it in the early Cretaceous Period), I didn’t recognize the person staring back at me in the mirror. A red lip balm reduces that risk.

Some tints/balms to try…

Fresh makes a great one called Sugar Lip Tint in Cherry ($22.50). Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Red Dahlia is also gorgeous (and affordable at $6.99).

2. Shine with a sheer red gloss

NYX Butter Gloss Cherry Pie

Wearing NYX Cherry Pie

If you’re more of a gloss girl, you could skip the balm, and go for a sheer red gloss instead. It’s the same idea of easing your way into red with a baby step.

Look for a sheer red gloss that lets most of your natural lip color through. That way you won’t have to worry about the gloss migrating outside your natural lip line.

Check out Buxom Full-On Lip Polish in Taylor ($19) or NYX Butter Gloss in Cherry Pie ($4.99).

3. Text a friend

Think of her as your makeup training buddy. Here’s the scenario: you’re visiting a makeup counter and trying to choose your sheer red gloss, but you can’t decide. Do you go with a sheer blue-based gloss or a warm-toned yellowish red? Sparkles or no sparkles?

Gah! These decisions are tough. :)

If all of the reds start to look the same, swatch the top contenders on your arm or the back of your hand, then take a quick pic with your phone.

Text it to a friend who (hopefully) knows a little bit about makeup, and ask her which shade she likes best for you, because it never hurts to have a second opinion.
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NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation Is a Lightweight, Long-Lasting Jill-of-All-Trades

Published in: Face, Makeup, NARS, Product Reviews

NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation

NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation ($48, available in 20 shades)

NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation costs $48, and with a $48 foundation, you basically want that scene from When Harry Met Sally. Like, you want to feel that way when you use a $48 foundation, and then you want the lady next to you to say, “I’ll have the foundation she’s having.”

I mean, I wouldn’t actually pretend to have a big O in the middle of Sephora or anything, because hello! — we live in a digital age of smartphones and video, and knowing my luck, I’d blurt out “It feels like I’m hardly wearing anything at all! Yes, yes, YES!!! It’s so natural looking on my skin!” inevitably, some pervert would be filming me, and it would get around on the Interwebz, and my mother would see it…

The way NARS describes this foundation, you’d think you’re reading about the invention of time travel in Scientific American. With new “Even Tone Technology,” one drop/pump is supposed to deliver 16 hours of weightless, oil-free full coverage, and with long term use, it’s also supposed to make skin tone appear more even.

It’s an all-encompassing Jill-of-All-Trades foundation without SPF (meaning that it shouldn’t produce a white cast in pictures with a flash), and it’s available in 20 shades.

So, how well does it really work?

NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation

Pretty well. It’s not the CERN of foundations or anything, and the claim to offer full coverage from a single pump seems like a stretch to me, but you can build it up for more coverage (with a caveat, which I’ll get to in a minute).

I’d say it has one foot in the medium-coverage pool, and the other foot in the full-coverage pool. Of course, “full coverage” is open to interpretation, and one person’s full coverage is another person’s medium. My definition might be skewed by Laura Mercier’s Flawless Fluide, one drop of which covers every. Single. Thing on my face.

One pump of NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation gets rid of any redness around my nose, cheeks and forehead while unifying the skin tone all over my face, but I still have to do some spot concealing on the freckles around my eyes, and I can still see the patch of skin above my upper lip that appears gray on camera unless it’s fully covered.

You can build the foundation up for fuller coverage by using more product, but then that interferes with its natural-looking mojo…

Being a curious kitty with an inquisitive nature, I’ve tested this in a number of ways — atop one primer, atop two primers (which is what I usually do with Laura’a Flawless Fluide), by itself, with a powder on top, applied with my fingers, applied with a Beautyblender, applied with a foundation brush, and at the end of the day, the simplest way works best. Just the product all by itself applied with fingers on bare skin (well, bare skin prepped with my skin care). That’s it.

Before NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in Stromboli…

Before applying NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in Stromboli

Before applying NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in Stromboli

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How Did Your Last Makeup Purchase Turn Out?

Published in: Drugstore Beauty Finds, Just For Fun

Loreal True Match Lumi

YASSSS, gurl! Magic in a bottle, otherwise known as L’Oreal True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous foundation ($12.99)

magical goodnessFluffy baby kittens and pink cotton candy and glittery sprinkles and unicorns and a nap on Ryan Gosling’s abs. Otherwise, great. :)

My last makeup purchase went great. It was at Ulta a couple weeks ago, where I found a few gems…

Like truly moving makeup gems!

One of them was something I’ve been hoping to find for years — decades even — a drugstore foundation I could love with every fiber of my being, and I finally have. I cannot stop raving about L’Oreal True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous foundation ($12.99).

I went on a 10-minute sermon about its wonderfulness to a stranger sitting next to me at the dentist’s office yesterday, and I didn’t even care when her eyes started to glaze over. I think the poor woman was wondering if I’d ever stop to take a breath (I did).

It’s not just one of the best drugstore foundations I’ve ever found, but one of the best foundations of any kind, ever. Super affordable ($12.99), available in a wide shade range, and best of all, effortlessly natural coverage, like, “What, me? Wear makeup? Naw, I just woke up like this…”

And I don’t even have to resort to special blending methods or doohickeys to make it work. No primers or fancy tools. Just a bit applied with fingers. That’s all.

Right now I’m not using it with powder because my skin’s been incredibly dry, and powder makes it look even drier, but for more coverage I’ll just top it with either MAC Mineralize Skinfinish or Chanel Loose powder.

Holy grail.

How did your last makeup purchase turn out?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


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