Product Reviews

The Tarte Rainforest After Dark Colored Clay Eye & Cheek Palette: When This Snake Bites, It’s Good for Your Skin

Published in: Eyes, Face, Makeup, Palettes, Product Reviews, Tarte

Tarte Rainforest After Dark Palette

Wearing the new Tarte Rainforest After Dark Colored Clay Eye & Cheek Palette ($38) on my eyes and cheeks

Snakes.

Freak out, man! SNAKES! They’re all over Tarte’s fall collection, including the Rainforest After Dark Colored Clay Eye & Cheek Palette ($38), which is kind of like the star serpent of the nine-piece release slithering now across Tarte counters and online.

The collection includes both limited edition products and new pieces bound for the permanent line, with the After Dark palette being one of the limited edition items.

The palette houses nine powder products — six eyeshadows, a bronzer, a highlighter and a blush — in colors inspired by the deep orchid hues of a rainforest at dusk, and in true Tarte fashion, the whole enchilada is cruelty-free, and made without parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate or gluten.

Like many of Tarte’s products, this one is designed to deliver skin benefits which, in a way, I’m kind of conflicted about…

I mean, I love that whole idea — the idea of makeup that doubles as a skin care product — but I’m just not sure how well it works.

With serums and moisturizers, I can actually see and feel them being absorbed into my skin, but with makeup, it’s kind of just sitting right there on top, ya know?

Is it doing anything? I don’t know, but I figure it can’t hurt.

The secret ingredient in these is something Tarte calls colored clay, a super absorbent clay able to auto-magically color correct and address your specific skin and complexion concerns, and these powder definitely do absorb oil well.

Might be something to consider if you have very oily lids and/or cheeks.

The colors — plums, tans and golds — are all fairly neutral, and not too cool nor warm, making them good fits for a wide range of skin tones.

It’s hard to really mess up when using the eyeshadows, too, no matter how much I pack on, because they aren’t crazy pigmented (I’d say they’re about a medium). They blend out beautifully without looking too heavy.

I do notice a little fallout, but it’s not a big deal. Just tap off your brush first, or work it into the back of your hand.

Tarte Rainforest After Dark Palette

Tarte Rainforest After Dark Palette

In terms of performance, the eyeshadows put up major points. In a perfect world, though, I might darken the darker shades a bit.

As for the blush, wow, so beautiful. That matte plummy tone sure looks natural on the skin, but the Park Ave. Princess bronzer? Eh. I think that one’s just OK. Probably better suited for lighter skin tones than mine.

Oh, about the gold highlighter and gold eyeshadow — holy highlight that, man! We’re talking really, really shimmery.

All and all, I’d say it’s a lovely palette — perfect for gals/guys who like natural looks with a kick.

I usually prefer a little more oomph from my eyeshadows, but I still see a lot here I’m sure I’ll wear this fall.

Tarte Rainforest After Dark Palette

Tarte Rainforest After Dark Palette

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Contemplating Classy Cheek Color With the New Laura Mercier Cheek Mélange Blush in Sensual Reflections

Published in: Face, Laura Mercier, Makeup, Product Reviews

Laura Mercier Cheek Mélange in Sensual Reflections

Wearing the new Laura Mercier Cheek Mélange in Sensual Reflections, from the Sensual Reflections fall 2014 collection), on my cheeks

You know, as I sit here thinking about it — reflecting, if you will — it makes sense that Laura Mercier’s new $42 Cheek Mélange Blush is called Sensual Reflections, because it’s part of the upcoming fall Sensual Reflections collection.

But…when I wear it and see myself in the mirror, I feel like it should have been called Quiet Reflections instead.

Like, I should be sitting quietly under a willow tree by a pond and contemplating the meaning of life.

“Tabby, or not tabby, that is the question.”

Laura Mercier Cheek Mélange in Sensual Reflections

Laura Mercier Cheek Mélange in Sensual Reflections, $42

And, uh…I don’t exactly think of myself as a “sensually reflective” kind of person. Really, I feel about as sensually reflective as a rind of parmesan cheese, but that’s neither here nor there.

Sensual Reflections, with the way its satin finish softly shines, is one of those beautiful blushes that makes an understated statement, and with hints of peach, plum and gold, it works on most every skin tone, whether used as a blush or a highlighter.

Laura Mercier Cheek Mélange in Sensual Reflections

“Laura Mercier Cheek Mélange features hand-selected, complementary shades to add natural, glowing colour to cheeks. It provides natural radiance to complexion and is designed to complement all skin tones.” — Laura Mercier PR

It’s one of the limited edition pieces in the Sensual Reflections collection, and I think it’s the most striking piece in the entire launch.

I mean, just look at that pretty pan! It looks like a closeup of a cosmos flower…

You’re supposed to mix the peachy pink beige, golden beige and sheer plum together, and apply the combined color to your cheeks for a natural, flattering glow.

Laura Mercier Cheek Mélange in Sensual Reflections

All three shades mixed together

This blush is all about the finish, which is sort of halfway between satin and sheer. The finely-milled powder reflects light evenly and subtly when it’s on my cheeks — glowing, but not looking frosty at all (great for gals/guys of all ages). You end up looking like you just left the spa and had a facial done by the World’s Best Esthetician. :)

Also, because it isn’t too heavily pigmented, you won’t end up with crazy clown cheeks (an added plus!).

Laura Mercier Cheek Melange Sensual Reflections

Additional makeup worn in this look: Laura Mercier Satin Matte Eye Colours in Plum Allure, Gold Seduction and Sensual Pink (also from the Sensual Reflections collection), Laura Mercier Kohl Eye Pencil in Black Gold and theBalm Read My Lips Lip Gloss in Snap

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The Primary Colors Are of Primary Importance in My Look Today With NARS Torre del Oro Nail Polish

Published in: Nails, NARS, Product Reviews

NARS Torre del Oro

Primary colors!

Wow, when did that happen…?

When did we teleport back to eighth-grade art class?

I’m wearing red, yellow and blue today and feeling like I’m sketching an apple and using those grids to get the proportions correct (you know the ones I mean).

My eighth-grade art teacher would always go off on tangents about the primary colors, and then, while he was rambling, he’d suddenly get this glassy, faraway look in his eyes, like he was dreaming about the seminal summer he spent on the coast of Italy painting and eating pasta.

Actually, now that I think about it, that glassy look could’ve been due to something else, as I’m pretty sure he was a total stoner, but I digress…

Anywho! Besides learning how hard it is to draw bowls and vases (those curves are seriously freaking difficult), I also learned that you really can’t go wrong with pairing red with yellow and blue. It’s a classic color combo.

This morning, I put on this bright highlighter yellow top, and then slipped on some layering necklaces with red, yellow, blue and white.

And a blue and gold bracelet.

NARS Torre del Oro

NARS Torre del Oro

Then, to play off the red accents in the necklaces, I chose a cherry red nail polish by NARS called Torre del Oro ($20), an opaque blue-based red with killer pigment (you could easily get away with a single layer, no problem).

NARS Torre del Oro swatch

Cherry red, she said…

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Defeat Dark Days With Bobbi Brown’s Brightening Blushes in Pink and Bronze

Published in: Bobbi Brown, Face, Makeup, Product Reviews

With the two new Bobbi Brown Brightening Blushes from the new Surf & Sand summer collection

With the two new Bobbi Brown Brightening Blushes ($45 each) from the new Surf & Sand summer collection

Order! Order! People, please, settle down. I know we’re all upset, but let’s approach this like adults.

OK…I call this meeting of the I Heart Ryan Gosling Support Group to order.

As most of you probably know, my name is Karen, and I’m the current president of the Northern California chapter. I called this emergency meeting in response to the tragic news yesterday about Ryan.

We’ve received more calls to the counseling line over the past 24 hours than we have in the prior two years. Clearly, many of us are upset.

There’s no two ways about it — this is a catastrophe, so we’re officially in disaster recovery mode.

But as bad as things seem, we have to get it together, people. Come on! If I have to listen to another person cry on the phone for 45 minutes about she-who-will-not-be-named, I will lose my sh*t.

Focus. Quit listening to Adele, get your butt off the couch, and change out of your pajamas. Pull yourselves together! Ryan needs us now more than ever.

In situations like this, I can’t recommend makeup enough. It always makes me feel a little better. In fact, blush is a personal favorite of mine.

Bobbi Brown Brightening Blush in Pink 2

Brightening Blush in Pink 2

Bobbi Brown Brightening Blush in Bronze 1

Brightening Blush in Bronze 1

Why, before I applied these new Bobbi Brown Brightening Blushes this afternoon, I felt like this…

Bobbi Brown Brightening Blush Pink

Bummer, dude

But now I feel like this…

Bobbi Brown Brightening Blush Pink

Everything’s gonna be A-OK

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The Four New NARS Night Series Eyeliners and a Heartbreaking Call From Ryan Gosling

Published in: Collections, Eyes, Makeup, NARS, Product Reviews

NARS Night Series Eyeliner

The four new permanent collection NARS Night Series Eyeliners ($24 each)

ry-guy-sweater**RING! RING!**

KAREN: What up?

RYGOS: ‘What up?’ Are you serious? Why can’t you say hello like a normal person?

KAREN: Why can’t you stop being the subject of countless Internet memes?

RYGOS: Touché…

KAREN: Mm-hmm.

RYGOS: Can you talk for a second?

KAREN: Well, now that you ask, I’m in the middle of a review for the new NARS Night Series Eyeliners –

RYGOS: Cool. Hey, so –

NARS Night Series Eyeliner

The four completely new NARS Night Series Eyeliners from the fall 2014 Night Caller collection

KAREN: You just interrupted me.

RYGOS: Did I?

KAREN: Yeah.

RYGOS: Sorry.

KAREN: It’s OK…

RYGOS: So do you like them?

KAREN: What?

RYGOS: The liners.

KAREN: I do. They’re these new glittery ones based on the NARS Night Series eyeshadows. They’re smooth and pigmented and last a long time, even on bare lids without primer. Only thing is, I can’t use them on my water lines.

RYGOS: Why’s that?

KAREN: The glitter. My eyes are really sensitive, and any time I get glitter up on my water lines, they freak out. And as a general rule, you usually don’t want glitter anywhere it could scratch your eyes.

Wait a second — I know you didn’t call to talk about eyeliner and glitter, so what’s up?

RYGOS: I have some news…

KAREN: Oh, yeah? Is this legit news or the start of some BS joke on my behalf?

RYGOS: I don’t do that.

KAREN: Oh, yes you do! Remember that one about the new line of luxury cat accessories you were working on with Chanel, and you were sending me and Tabs diamond-studded necklaces and collars to wear?

RYGOS: Oh…

KAREN: Yeah, I harassed the FedEx guy for weeks. Weeks!

RYGOS: Hahaha! Sucker.

KAREN: I learned my lesson.

RYGOS: But I really do have news.

KAREN: OK, what’s this news? The suspense is killing me.

RYGOS: Well…it’s about me and Eva. We’re having a baby.

NARS Night Series Eyeliners from the left: Night Bird, Night Clubbing, Night Porter and Night Flight

The NARS Night Series Eyeliners from the left in Night Bird, Night Clubbing, Night Porter and Night Flight

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