Silvana is definitely one of the most underrated NARS blushes. It's a tan color with peachy undertones and a subtle golden sheen. I have medium skin with warm undertones (NC30) and Silvana gives me a gorgeous, sunkissed glow that works with both neutral looks and more dramatic ones. This blush is almost like a 3-in-1 product--it adds warmth to the cheeks, shapes the face, and adds a soft radiance to the skin. The texture is soft and finely-milled, and it blends easily on the skin. Unlike brighter NARS blushes, I apply Silvana with a regular blush brush like the MAC 129 rather than a stippling brush because the color isn't so intense. If you're very fair or have cool undertones in your skin, Silvana might show up as muddy or orange, but if you have warm undertones, definitely give this one a try.
This foundation gives the most beautiful, naturally flawless finish I've ever seen. It provides light-medium coverage that covers the redness I have on my cheeks, but I have to use a separate concealer for blemishes. B30 matches my medium, warm-toned skin (NC30) very well. I have normal to combination/dry skin, and VA never clings to my dry patches. With powder, it lasts all day and looks great until I take it off. The foundation gives a natural satin finish that blurs the look of pores and really makes your skin look flawless. It's one of the few foundations I've found that looks invisible on the skin. The result is naturally flawless looking skin, not nice looking foundation.
Lipstick -Hourglass - Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick - Raven
hisquiggle 1/16/2013 5:58:00 AM
Raven is an amazing, traffic-stopping orange-red that wears incredibly well. Despite being a long-wearing formula, it doesn't dry out my easily chapped lips and looks flawless for 7-8 hours provided I moisturize and exfoliate beforehand. Warm-toned reds tend to pull orange on my very warm, NC30 skintone, and while Raven is no exception to that, it manages to retain its redness while its orange base just brightens the color and really lets it pop. MAC Lady Danger and NARS Heat Wave are both much more orange on me. Opaque Rouge Lipsticks come with a flattened doe foot applicator that makes application a breeze, and the super pigmented formula clings to the lips comfortably resulting in a nearly weightless feel and very little transfer to anything you put to your lips. The finish is a lovely, velvety matte that doesn't look flat. Raven lasts incredibly well throughout the day with drinks and meals, and the only thing that will break down the color is oily food, but that goes for all lipsticks. It fades evenly and doesn't flake, but I'd recommend removing the color completely if you want to reapply because it balls up when layered. Raven is a must-have for anyone looking for a long-wearing orange-red. It's pure gorgeousness in a tube.
Having dry skin, I expected Vitalumiere to work great on me but the finish is too dewy for my taste. I purchased 30 Cendre and it was a good match for my medium, warm-toned NC30 skin. Vitalumiere provides light to medium coverage that looks very natural and never cakes because of the thin formula. It doesn't cling to my dry patches, but it does accentuate my pores and makes me look too shiny. I can tone down the dewiness with a matte powder, but the main reason I wear foundation is to minimize my pores so Vitalumiere didn't work for me. The staying power is also not that great--it only wore for about 4 hours while sandwiched between a foundation primer and a setting powder. I found that it applied best with fingers or a buffing brush. If you have very dry skin, love a super dewy finish, and don't need a foundation to last all day, you might have more luck with Vitalumiere.
Lips -Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics - Lip Tar - Nylon
hisquiggle 1/14/2013 3:34:00 AM
If you're into bright lipsticks, do not pass this baby up. Nylon is an insanely bright, very neon blue-based pink that dries down to a satin finish. I got it in the summertime when I was tanner than usual (NC35-40), and thought it looked slightly garish against my skintone especially because my hair is bright pink as well (though not nearly as bright as Nylon). The whole look just seemed a little too raver meets ganguro girl for my taste. However, Nylon looks great when I'm my natural skin color (NC30)--it's still very, very bright and eye-catching, but the contrast between the blue-toned pink and my yellow-toned skin was less stark. OCC Lip Tars can last up to 6-7 hours on my lips because they cling to your lips and after they set, there's very little color transfer to anything you put to your lips. The formula is extremely pigmented--I only need a drop the size of a pinhead for each lip for opaque coverage so the little tube will no doubt last a long time. My lips always chap during the day if I don't put anything on them, and having a Lip Tar on them prevents any dryness despite the formula not feeling that hydrating. If you want a lipstick with crazy pigmentation and great longevity that isn't too expensive, there's nothing better than a Lip Tar.
Belle de Jour is an easy to wear, slap-on-and-go kind of nude. It's a neutral beige with slight peach undertones and a semi-opaque, glossy finish. I have NC30 Asian skin and pigmented reddish-pink lips, and Belle de Jour lightens my lip color but doesn't cover fully, resulting in a pinkish nude color that's very flattering and can be worn with simple eye looks, not just dramatic eye makeup. The satin formula wears around 2 hours if you don't mess with it, but it definitely requires reapplication after a meal or multiple drinks. It's not particularly moisturizing, but it's not drying either. I haven't been able to find a complete dupe for Belle de Jour--MAC Freckletone is slightly darker and warmer, and Revlon Lip Butter in Creme Brulee is sheerer and greyer compared to Belle de Jour. I wish the wear time was better, but I don't think that would be possible with this type of glossy, semi-opaque formula. Overall, Belle de Jour is a lovely, delicate nude that would suit lots of skintones due to its sheerness and relatively neutral undertones. Definitely worth it if you like a no-fuss, easy nude.
I love Myth, but Fleshpot looks absolutely hilarious on me. The white, cool base of Fleshpot just does not work on my NC30 complexion and ends up looking too pornstar chic for my liking. It's workable if I dab it on or apply it lightly from the tube and add a bright lipgloss over it, but for me a lipstick should really work on its own. Fleshpot is a satin formula so it wears around 3-4 hours, but I find it to be more drying than MAC's other satin lipsticks (including Myth) and because of the color it emphasizes lip imperfections like crazy. Your lips might feel moisturized and exfoliated to perfection but Fleshpot will find dry flakes to cling to and make them worse as you wear it. If you're fair and cool-toned, this may very well be a flattering nude lipstick on you. Anyone who's an NC20/NW20 and darker will find Fleshpot hard to wear, and for those people I recommend Myth. The pinkness and lack of white in Myth make it so much more flattering than Fleshpot.
Strawberry is a warm, slightly orange-based red that I think would look beautiful on a huge range of skintones. It's similar in color to NARS Exhibit A blush, but Strawberry has less orange and is much easier to apply. If you're not familiar with the Beach Tint formula, it's a silicone-based cream that gives you plenty of time to blend and dries down looking completely natural. I have NC30 skin and Strawberry gives me the kind of flush that taking a jog or sitting in a sauna would. I use a rice grain sized dot on each cheek, and blend it in with a duo fibre brush. If you're fairer than I am, you could even use half that amount for a noticeable flush. Fingers work fine with the Beach Tint formula, but I find that using a brush blends the color faster and more seamlessly. On the lips, Strawberry gives a summery warm red tint that would be ideal for those just venturing into wearing red lipsticks and want to start with something sheer. I've never had problems with Strawberry separating in the tube, which does happen with some of the other Beach Tint shades. Despite the tube being so small, Strawberry will last you a long time because you don't need much product and it lasts all day without powdering on top. This shade would complement skintones ranging from the very fair to the very deep.
Foundations -Giorgio Armani - Face Fabric Second Skin Nude Makeup
hisquiggle 1/6/2013 12:14:00 AM
This is the first foundation that I really love and would repurchase over and over again. The main concerns I have with my skin are the blackheads on my nose and the enlarged pores on my cheeks, and Face Fabric makes them disappear. When it comes to hiding pores, it works better than primers specifically marketed as "pore-refining". I find that Face Fabric applies well with fingers, but using a kabuki/buffing brush hides the pores even better. I'm an NC30 and wear #3, but because the coverage is so sheer you could go up or down a few shades if you wanted to brighten or darken your skintone. Face Fabric gives a semi-matte, soft focus finish that looks like perfect, poreless skin and feels weightless on your face. I do need to use a separate concealer if I have blemishes or if the redness on my cheek is particularly bad. On days where I want a more dewy complexion, I love mixing Face Fabric with Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfector. The only downside to this foundation is that it does accentuate dry flakes slightly, but it's easily fixed by using a heavier moisturizer beforehand. For anyone who has struggled with concealing pores, I highly recommend checking out Face Fabric.
I never thought in a million years that a lipstick paler than my NC30 complexion would be flattering, but with the right application Myth gives me that sultry, 60s sexpot look. It's a slightly difficult lipstick to work with because it's not moisturizing and emphasizes lip imperfections like no other, so I have to exfoliate and moisturize my lips heavily before using it. I apply it straight from the tube (way too pale if I leave it as is) then blend the color into my lips with a finger to sheer it out. I like to pair Myth with a bold cat eye and a strong cheek or, of course, a smokey eye. Like the other Satin lipsticks MAC offers, Myth wears an average amount of time, around 3-4 hours. It looks very sexy with NARS' Turkish Delight lipgloss on top, but the natural satin finish of Myth is flattering on its own as it's not too matte. It's not the easiest lipstick to work with, but definitely one worth having if it flatters your complexion.
Amazing! I'm a mascara fanatic and this is my new favorite. It's better than any of my previous holy grail mascaras, YSL Faux Fils, Lancome Hypnose, and Chanel Inimitable Intense. Length-wise, Chanel Le Volume performs the same as the others, but when it comes to volume and curl hold, it takes the cake. I have pin straight Asian lashes that are average in length and volume, so I like a very dramatic mascara that makes them look as big as possible. With 3 coats, Chanel Le Volume makes them look like false lashes. I did need to use a lash comb after the third coat, but it didn't clump as badly as YSL Faux Cils. The thing that really blew me away about Chanel Le Volume is that it performed perfectly when I first opened it, whereas with my previous favorites they all needed a week to dry otherwise the formula was too wet and my lashes would droop. The brush is big, but it reaches every lash and doesn't touch my eyelids as long as I'm careful while applying. I had no problems with smearing or flaking throughout the day. If you like big, dramatic lashes, definitely try this mascara out.
I got a sample of this not expecting much, but good God do I love this perfume. It reminds me of of my grandmother, hugging her as a kid and sitting on her lap while she read me stories. My grandmother, even now, is one of those extremely well put-together women who never leaves the house without makeup on and smells like luxury. I've always shied away from oriental fragrances because they bring back such strong memories of my grandmother, who's one of the most glamorous women I know and owns a strong fragrance like nobody's business. All the orientals I've tried in the past have made me felt like a little girl trying to wear a fragrance that's much too sophisticated for her. Santal Majuscule reminds me of those heady, classic fragrances my grandmother wears but reimagined in a lighter, more modern blend that makes me feel like a glamorous woman rather than a kid trying to grow up too fast. Santal Majuscule opens with a fresh rose and creamy sandalwood blend against a backdrop of subdued, sweet cocoa. As the fragrance develops, the rose fades and the tonka bean and cocoa come to the forefront, mixing with the sandalwood to create a buttery, creamy oriental that's not too heady but still very glamorous and feminine. The tonka bean and cocoa give the fragrance an almost caramel-like sweetness, but never sends the fragrance into being overly sweet or gourmand. The fragrance is so well-blended that it's hard to pick up each individual note, and it's definitely one of the most balanced fragrances I've tried. The sillage is moderate, and it lasts about 6-7 hours on me. I have to disagree with those who say this is identical to Jeux de Peau. Jeux de Peau was a hot gourmand mess on my skin. It was overpoweringly sweet and very simple, reminiscent of plastering caramel sauce on my body. If you tried JDP with high hopes and found that it was too sweet, Santal Majuscule would be a good bet for you. The other sandalwood in Serge Lutens' export line, Santal de Mysore, smells too strongly of cumin and cooking butter and is much more poorly constructed than Santal Majuscule. If you couldn't tell by the long-winded review, I love Santal Majuscule. It's a beautiful, glamorously feminine fragrance with the right components in the right measurements to create a well-blended scent that makes you feel like a real woman. It's the perfume version of red lipstick and Christian Louboutin heels. While it's not as loud or complex as many orientals out there, it's certainly not boring and I think everyone should try it once.
Eye Shadow -Make Up For Ever - Aqua Cream No. 18 - Lilac
hisquiggle 12/21/2012 6:02:00 PM
This cream shadow looked so pretty on my hand when I swatched it in stores, but on my eyes it's a totally different story. It's not very pigmented, applies patchily, and clumps up on the eyelid even with one thin layer. I've tried applying it with multiple different brushes and my fingers and putting it over different bases and primers, but nothing seems to make this shadow work. The worst thing about it is that it makes my eyelids look flaky because of the way the pigment clumps together. In fact, the texture is so dry that it gave my monolid eyes a crease, which is unheard of. I have another Aqua Cream in #23 (lime green), and that one is super pigmented, creamy, and a dream to work with. I don't know if it's this particular shade having a bad formula or if I got a bad pot. I can't even use it as an eyeshadow base because it looks so flaky and dry and makes anything I put on top of it look disgusting too. The only thing it has going for it is the great staying power, but it looks so bad that I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Maybe if you have oily eyelids this might work for you.
Putting on this fragrance makes me feel like I'm soaking up the sun at the beach with flowers in my hair. Monoi oil is one of my favourite scents in the world, and Intense Tiare smells like monoi oil's more sophisticated older sister. Within the first 15 minutes of application, the fragrance has an almost green edge, probably due to the jasmine. However, the jasmine quickly takes a backseat and the tiare and coconut milk come to the forefront creating the most perfect, warm, creamy, elegant tropical fragrance. Unlike monoi oil, which, though gorgeous, is a rather static scent containing only tiare and coconut, Intense Tiare develops on the skin and has depth. I don't detect any rose, and only the slightest hint of ylang-ylang, but the floral blend adds sophistication to the otherwise sweet scent and saves it from smelling like suntan lotion. Sillage is good but not offensive, and it lasts around 8-9 hours on my skin. I asked my husband what he thought of the scent and he straight up just said "sex", so if that's not a stamp of approval, I don't know what is.
This mask did nothing for my skin. I have pretty good skin that's normal-dry and not sensitive but I have decade-old blackheads on my nose and enlarged pores on my cheeks so I was hoping this mask would help those areas. All it did was burn my face and provide some rough exfolation when I washed it off. I used it three times in a couple of weeks, and it didn't improve my skin in the longterm or the short term. My pores weren't tightened, my skin wasn't brighter, but my face did look redder thanks to this mask. Totally overpriced and overhyped. An aspirin mask did more good for my skin than this tub of glorified mud.