NARS is always on their A-game when it comes to blush and bronzer. Their iconic powder shades like Orgasm and Laguna are virtually must-haves for beauty gurus. Their newest formula features adored shades in a liquid form. I couldn’t resist throwing one in my cart because I love that more natural, “lit within” glow that comes with gel or liquid colors.
NARS Liquid Blush is billed as high-pigment but I actually find the finish very wearable and neutral. It comes off as a natural flush with weightless effect. Monoi and tamanu oils nourish skin adding to the natural look. It is buildable so those looking for more of a statement can achieve that, but I think the formula is best suited for that healthy, subtle glow. I use barely a half of a pump on the apple of my cheeks in Orgasm. It looks like Orgasm is not longer available at Sephora. But I actually am drawn to Luster, a sheer golden apricot, even more than the classic Orgasm. Perfect to that springtime glow!
I had a whirlwind trip to NYC this past week. Always such a pleasure to be in the city for many reasons – inspiring, great food, full of energy. But one of my favorite things about a visit to NYC is a spin through giant Sephoras full of brands I love. I was doing a late night run after dinner (that city truly never sleeps, Sephora closes at midnight), and my beauty-guru friend, Pamela, asked me to pick up of her favorites for her. Naturally, I had to have one myself.
Benefit Cosmetics Watt’s Up! Cream-to-Powder Highlighter has always tempted me as I love a luminous finish and I have a long term love affair with this Benefit bronzer. Watt’s Up is a cream to powder with a champagne finish. It is definitely “high wattage” but the sophisticated hue makes it okay for daytime or work as well. Applied on the cheeks and brow bones, it adds a luminous sheen. I also like to use it down the bridge of my nose and cupid’s bow. The sponge on the other end of the stick is great for blending but I like to use my fingers. I’ve found it works best applied above tinted moisturizer/foundation but before brush/bronzer. But I also like it alone on skin for weekend days to add just a fresh and natural glow. No wonder this is a celebrity makeup artist favorite.
I think Hourglass has established itself as a luxury brand that is here to stay at this point. And what I love about it (and attribute its success to) is the natural and luminous finishes and luxurious feel. I have tried most of their products, but what I keep coming back to is face color. Right now, I am hooked on the HOURGLASS Ambient Light Correcting Primer.
This primer can be worn under foundation or alone. Its main purpose is to blur and perfect while adding a glow. The light-correcting pigments neutralize and brighten my skin. Since I run a little red, this is perfect for me. The formula is oil-free and weightless. It soaks into my skin without looking greasy. I love the smaller sized tube for travel. And you’ll only need a pea-sized amount. I apply with my fingers. Lately, I have applied MAC Studio Face & Body Foundation on top of this primer for a very natural look. Hourglass products are 100 percent cruelty-free. Available at Sephora.
These clothes don’t irritate my sensitive skin, and actually sooth with rice extract and aloe. The formula is simple without fragrance. And is dermatologist-tested as hypoallergenic. I like using before I wash my face and setting aside to clean up any remaining eye makeup after cleansing. And they also come in handy those nights when a full regime is just too daunting.
My mornings are always rushed. When will I ever learn? But one thing I have mastered is a quick makeup routine. I’ve been so pleased with this set of products that I couldn’t resist sharing. And not to mention this whole thing takes me less than five minutes (4:26 minutes this AM thanks to my handy Apple Watch stopwatch).
Next, I brighten under my eyes with NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer in Honey. Normally I don’t care for matte finish but this works nicely with the illuminating tinted moisturizer and it has great staying power. Sometimes I use a brush to blend this in, but usually I apply just with my fingers. I also do some spot coverage on blemishes if necessary if the tinted moisturizer doesn’t cut it on its own.
Another favorite find of the summer is BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Poured Crème Highlighter in Moonstone. I tap a little bit of this under my eyes, down my nose and above my cupid’s bow. It also adds a nice touch under the brow. The cream consistency allows for such a natural and “grown up” highlighter application.
I’ve really embraced a bold brow lately and have been using two products to get the look. First, I use the brush end of Dior Diorshow Brow Styler Ultra-Fine Precision Brow Pencil in Universal Shade to tame any unruly, rogue hairs. Next, I use the pencil to fill in any sparse spots. Lastly, I set the shape and add color with LASHFOOD BROWFOOD Tinted Brow Enhancing Gelfix in Brunette. It has a peptide blend promises to deliver fuller, stronger brows. While I have only been using it for a couple weeks, I am hopeful about some of my sparse spots getting some growth. Will keep you posted.
I am still hooked on Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper. Nothing has quite the precision and staying power. I apply a quick and thin line right against my lashes. I did try the brown shade, Mad Max Brown. But it had no where close the pigment and ultimately went into the trash can.
Last but not least, I use Lancôme DÉFINICILS WATERPROOF High Definition Mascara in Black. I am a waterproof mascara devotee – I just get way too much fallout with regular mascara. I make every effort to get the brush right against the lashes at the root for the best effect.
Lastly, I got a peel today by the fabulous Gabriel Horn here in Tulsa. It promises no downtime which I love in the middle of the work week. I will pop back in and share results in a couple of days.
When something achieves “cult” status, it becomes hard for me to resist it. And when it is a highlighter promising to add just the right amount of glow, I just have to see for myself. On one of my rare in-person visits to Sephora last week, I picked up BECCA’s Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter in Moonstone (a pale and neutral gold).
I really like RMS Living Luminizer, but prefer BECCA because it is slightly creamier (and easier to apply) and comes with lasting staying power. It provides what best is called “shine” thanks to luminescent pearls that absorb and reflect light. The pigment is nuanced making it both dramatic and natural because it molds to undertones. The neutral Moonstone works with my redness and both over tinted moisturizer and on bare skin.
My favorite part is the creaminess. There is no caking and my drier skin soaks up the nourishment. The finish is sophisticated and healthy. Other shades include:
Sephora exclusive Champagne Pop shade, a soft gold with sunny, peach undertones—created in collaboration with Jaclyn Hill.
Pearl: A soft, luminescent white that’s perfect for fair skintones
Rose Gold: A rosy pink with warm-gold undertones
Opal: A neutral, white gold with universally flattering, soft pink undertones; adds a perfect amount of radiance
Champagne Pop: Bestselling shade that’s a soft gold with pinky peach undertones
Prosecco Pop: True, ethereal gold, that flatters medium to deep skintones; perfect for anyone who wants a flash of golden radiance
Topaz: Radiant bronze with golden undertones that’s perfect for deeper skintones; adds a sunkissed, bronzy glow on fair-to-medium skintones