Product Reviews

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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NARS Soft Velvet Loose Powder: I Got 99 Problems But This Powder Ain’t One

Published in: Collections, Face, NARS, Product Reviews

NARS Soft Velvet Loose Powder

The new NARS Soft Velvet Loose Powders ($36)

These days, my pores run the show. They drive the car. They’re the CEOs of my face, and every face-related product I use, from foundation to primer and powder, like the one I’m wearing here, new NARS Soft Velvet Loose Powder, has to keep the CEOs happy.

And $36 NARS Soft Velvet does.

NARS Soft Velvet Loose Powder

$36 NARS Soft Velvet Loose Powder

What is it exactly?

Honestly, it’s a loose powder. It does not exist to bring about world peace, but it will, however, set your foundation and concealer (and it does so without appearing thick or heavy), blur those pores (yea!), smooth the texture of your skin, and soak up that pesky oil patch in the middle of your forehead. You can wear it all by itself on bare skin, or on top of other products.

My skin always gets dry this time of year, so this isn’t the best time for me to assess an oil-controlling product, but I’m guessing that if I were in one of my oily skin phases, like when I could fry egg rolls with the grease on my forehead (throughout my teens and early 20s), this would have laid a decent smack-down, although it probably wouldn’t have gone home with the championship belt.

Before NARS Soft Velvet Loose Powder

The before shot: Wearing NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation on my face

The before shot: Wearing NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation, but without powder.


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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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Get Flawless Skin From a Weightless Formula With New Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer

Published in: Face, Product Reviews, Urban Decay

Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealers from the left: Medium Light Neutral, Medium Neutral and Medium Dark Warm

Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealers from the left in Medium Light Neutral, Medium Neutral and Medium Dark Warm

So, one day last weekend when I wore Urban Decay’s new Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer ($28, coming this spring to the permanent line), I got into a big tiff with my parents, and there was lots of crying involved.

(Long story, but it was a misunderstanding, and everything’s fine now.)

When El Hub and I got home later that night, I went to wash my face and saw that the concealer I’d been wearing was still intact…10 hours later!

Granted, it didn’t look perfect, especially around my fine lines, but considering the buckets I’d cried a few hours earlier, it looked pretty good.

Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealers from the left in Medium Light Neutral, Medium Neutral and Medium Dark Warm

Before Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer…

Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer Before shot

The before shot: yeah, I know, I look tired…

And after Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer…

Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer in Medium Dark Warm

And after: wearing Medium Dark Warm underneath my eyes


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