Highlighters -NARS - Highlighting Blush Powder in Albatross
sfbond 1/29/2013 4:19:00 PM
What can I say about this HG product. I've been searching high and low for a powder highlighter. I'm an NW45 and have been attempting to really try my hand at highlighting my features. I've used MAC Gold Deposit (to chunky), MAC Loose Powder in Golden Bronze (to bright). I just wanted a nice warm glow. I saw this powder online and said no way I can wear something this light. OMG I glow. I actually glow. You don't need much to achieve it either. A barely there dusting and I glow. I have oily skin and cream/liquid highlighters slide right off my face. But this has stuck most of the day. If I was heading out later I would probably need a quick dusting at a minimum. My daughter who is close to NW20 couldn't get this to show up much of anything on her skin. So not sure how it would work for my lighter sisters. I'll save the MAC for girls night out!
Ok so I bought Fig.1 months ago when I was on my matte kick. I wore it once and wasn't happy. It just looked so matte and flat and didn't really stand out on my NW45 skin. Well one day I wanted to do a smokey eye and didn't want to do the black or brown look and decided to give Fig a try again. It was looking so sad in my pallet. I don't know if it's because I have better brushes now or I'm using a better eye primer (Lorac Behind The Scenes) or what but my gosh this is HG for purple smokey eye. This is a rich deep matte purple, I pair it with Texture as my all over lid color,Fig on the lid and Carbon in the crease/corner...instant smokey. I do find that Fig is a color I have to really layer to get the color payoff but it's worth it. The matte2 shadows are some of the best mattes out there.
Not sure what more I can add to to describe this wonderful brush. I have small lids and from the reviews I thought it would be to much brush for me. This brush is my HG. When I say it covers it covers. It's soft and applies beautifully giving my eyelid area nice complete coverage of color. You don't need a heavy hand to apply nor multiple attempts to get the coverage you need. It does it in one full swoop. When I don't have time for elaborate eye makeup I just slap on one nice color with this brush and I'm good to go. It also works as a great face or under brow highlighter brush as well. It cleans much easier than my goat haired MAC brushes. No splaying or bristles falling out after multiple use. You need this brush in your life. It's worth every penny.
I've used AHA cleansers before and know that they can sting a little bit but are great with cutting face oil and reducing acne. I received this in my August Birchbox and was excited since I've used DDF products before (their sulfur mask is a dream). This cleanser actually burned me after I began using it. I mean burned. Even after I rinsed my face. When I applied moisturizer afterwards it burns. 3 days after using it my face still burns when I apply any product or cleanse (Origins Cheeks & Balance). I'm beyond miserable. Add on the extreme drying effect. I mean I love anything that cuts the oil on my face but this dried me out so bad it hurt to smile and my skin started flaking. Just horrible. I've never had sun burn on my face before but I imagine this is what it feels like. I think if I apply some aloe vera gel or something I might get some relief. Ladies proceed with caution with this product.
Bronzers -MAC - Mineralize Skinfinish in Sun Power
sfbond 8/21/2012 12:13:00 PM
This bronzer is amazing. I'm NW45 but I still needed a little color during the summer. I always shied away from bronzers because as a woman of color I was always told that I didn't need more 'color'. I've finally seen the light. I used my girlfriends MSF in Give Me Sun and it did ok...I had to really build it up to get the full effect. I decided to go a bit darker and picked this bronzer up. Sun Power is a deep rich terracotta color. Not a lot of sparkle and not overly orange or to brown. Just perfect. It doesn't take a lot to get a beautiful rich application. I'm so used to sparkly bronzers and assumed that this wouldn't give me the pop I wanted. But it did and man what a difference. It gives my face depth and color instead of flat sparkly glitter. This works perfect in the morning when I'm rushing and just need to some color and don't have time to do a full face. I apply using the 3 method with my MAC167SH for a soft application and blend. This is what a bronzer is supposed to do! Update: Even though I love the rich color of this bronzer my friends told me I had heavy face orangyness going on. I still wear this but buff it out a lot and then use setting/finishing pwder to tone it down. Not happy about it. I think I will check out Guerlain Terracotta Bronzer in #08 next
I've worked with some pretty dark brown eyeshadows but Mekong by NARS is something different. In the tester it looks like a deep rich golden brown with gold shimmer/sparkles. Just beautiful. I had to have it. On my eyelid though it looked almost black. When I first used it for my smokey eye I looked like I was punched in the eye. The gold shimmer doesn't really show up on my lid either. Had to start from scratch with this one. It's a very hard shadow to blend as well. I specifically use this shadow as a liner and for my outer v which is wear this shadow really shines. I will stick with MAC Handwritten (deep matte brown) for my crease.
I was on the hunt for a new nude lipgloss and picked up Tiber. It's like a deep rich caramel. I am in love. This is my first NARS lipgloss. I'm a MAC lipglass junkie but wanted to branch out. It took a short while to get used to the brush as it's not the traditional sponge applicator. You more or less paint this on. Good smooth application, good coverage, no crazy sticky, lasts longer than an hour (I tend to eat all my glosses off so this is a huge bonus). Is it pricey? Heck yeah but it's worth the $26. I normally use MAC lipglass in Spite but now pair MAC lipstick in Fresh Brew with NARS Tiber. The brown in Tiber balances out the mauve undertones in Fresh Brew and gives me a beautiful nude lip. Great nude lipgloss for women of color. For reference I'm a NW45.
As a WOC it's been tough perfecting my nude lip. Most colors make me look ashy, gray or washed out. I currently use Fresh Brew paired with Spite lipglass and that has been working great but I wanted to try a new color and see if I could get the same great results. Enter Freckletone. A pretty decent peachy nude but it does require me to use Lip Erase for my pigmented lips. Paired it with Chestnut liner to help tone down some of the yellow and Revealing lipglass and it gives a nice warm nude lip. This one is a keeper.
Makeup Brushes -Sephora - Professionnel Platinum Air Brush #56
sfbond 1/22/2012 8:28:00 PM
Goodness gracious this is my HG foundation brush. I'm one of those gals that can't apply liquid foundation to save my life. This brush does the work for me and I look flawless. I use it to apply my Laura Mercier tinted moisterizer. I compared this brush with the #55 and found the #56 smaller and easier for me to handle. My TM goes on smooth, with no pulling or tugging, even by my hairline where I always struggle to blend. This brush gets the job done. After using it for 3 months it's still soft, easy to clean, no coarse or stray hairs and worth every penny I paid.
Mascara -Christian Dior - Diorshow Black Out Mascara
sfbond 1/22/2012 8:15:00 PM
Wowsers! What a mascara. I've been blessed to have long full lashes and usually go light with my mascara. I use Clinique High Impact for daily use. But I was looking for an after 5 mascara without having to rely on false lashes. After reading review after review I went with Diorshow Black Out. Goodness gracious I wowed myself. This mascara gives me the blackest, darkest, fullest lashes without a monster brush (I have small eyes and some of these new mascara brushes are ridiculously huge). I decided to test it out during work hours to see if it was really noticeable or was I just fooling myself. I had more than one co-worker ask me if I had on falsies. This mascara also hangs after hours when I've been out dancing and sweating all night. One lippie off because this stuff is pricey. Ladies you need this in your makeup bag asap.
Tinted Moisturizer -Laura Mercier - Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 - Oil Free
sfbond 12/18/2011 2:47:00 AM
Where do I begin...this is a wonderful product. I've tried foundations high and low and they all felt like I was wearing a mask on my face and gave me an unnatural ashy or orange glow...ugh. I eventually gave up on foundation for years. Great reviews led me here. This moisturizer works wonders for me even with my oily skin. It went on smooth, looked natural, gave me just a hint of color and evened me out. Is it pricey...yes. Does it make me 100% oil-free...no but it's close enough. I prime using Smashbox, slap this on, dust with a light powder and I'm done. Glad Laura Mercier came out with more tones for us brown skinned women. Unlike MAC we are all not a NW45. In LM I'm Tan. My co-worker is Walnut and she looks just as flawless. One Lippie off for the price!
OMG where has this brush been all my life?! I recently got back into using eyeshadows and started with the E.L.F brushes...baby steps here...that was a mistake. Decided to take the plunge on the 239 due to the reviews. Best decision ever. I'm so excited to apply eyeshadow as before it was so cumbersome and way to much work. The 239 puts the eyeshadow exactly where I want it and how I want it. Packs color on my lids like a champ. I need to invest in another one asap because I'm always cleaning it! Ladies get this brush.
I happened to pick up MAC Studio Finish Concealer and the SA told me I needed the 231 brush. Works flawlessly with my concealer. Easy to control and I can pinpoint exactly where I want to place the concealer with little to no fuss, especially around my eyes. I have very specific areas I like to conceal and this does it perfectly. I'm now realizing that this is actually sold as an eye makeup brush. I'm a gel liner gal and I may give it a try with this brush. Either way I have my HG concealer brush if all else fails. Ladies this is the brush to get!
Lip Treatments -MAC - Tinted Lip Conditioner - Soothing Beige
sfbond 3/16/2011 4:45:00 PM
Love the scent, the sheer color and the SPF15 but this product disappears off myr lips pretty fast. I was pretty tired of having to re-apply it multiple times during the day. It also felt like it 'sat' on top of my lips and didn't really moisturize and that is probably the case since it disappeared off my lips almost as soon as I applied it. Will not repurchase
I've tried blot powders before most recently Clinque Stay Matte but it just didn't work with my NW45 complexion. I hate the feeling of foundation and/or heavy powder on my face but I still want to control my oil output and leave a smooth surface behind. Enter MAC Blot Powder. This is my HG. Using the sponge makes the powder go on a bit to heavy for my tastes but it's good for a quick touch-up. I use my powder brush for an all over application. I don't have to re-apply again until hours later. Great staying power.