makeup

You’re Makin’ Me Blush: NARS Orgasm, Milani Dolce Pink and Benefit Sugarbomb

Ever since I heard that NARS Orgasm was a universally-flattering coral blush for any skin type, I was bent on trying it out. Unfortunately, when I did it was practically translucent on my skin. No matter how much I (and the Sephora sales associate) tried to layer it on, it wouldn’t show.

Annoyingly, when swatted on the back of my hand, the flattering rumors about NARS Orgasm proved true. Instead of this cosmetics staple, I was advised to try Benefit Sugarbomb. It was an acceptable substitute — nowhere near similar to Orgasm — but it added a lively shimmer to my cheekbones that did the job. While I went on my MAC lipstick dupe hunt, I decided to also try Milani Baked Blush in Dolce Pink. This hue is definitely more impactful than Orgasm and Sugarbomb, in a more punchy, pink glitter kind of way.

Below are swatches taken outdoors in the shade:

NARS Orgasm-Milani Dolce Pink-Benefit Sugarbomb

Swatches in natural sunlight. Here you’ll see that Benefit Sugarbomb gives more of a highlighting effect:

NARS Orgasm-Milani Dolce Pink-Benefit Sugarbomb-Natural

I used to be exclusively an eye makeup fiend, but lately lipstick and blush have worked their way into my collection. I’m looking for more blush colors to try, and have already ordered:

e.l.f. Studio Blush in Gotta Glow (allegedly a NARS Albatross dupe)

e.l.f. Studio Blush in Twinkle Pink (another NARS Orgasm/Super Orgasm dupe)

e.l.f. Studio HD Blush in Headliner (Make Up For Ever #5 Nip Slip liquid blush dupe)

Reviews for my e.l.f. haul to follow soon!

Suite 707

Sephora Haul: Those Highbrow Kids

Winter has finally decided to show its mug in L.A., and for some, it’s a face that only a mother could love. It’s nowhere near the kind of winter that much of the country is facing, but it’s ours. It’s rain.

There’s a saying here: “People get crazy in the rain.”

And that’s what’s happened. I went nuts… at Sephora.

Sephora Haul

I’m obsessed with thick caterpillar eyebrows, so I was all over the Anastasia Beverly Hills display. No one wants spidey-brows, but everyone wants Cara Delevingne‘s furrow (cause they’re beautiful and Cara is many woman’s girl-crush at the moment).

I’ve usually don’t fill in my brows, just because they’ve always seemed fine in the mirror. That was before I noticed the pictures. My brows are somewhat sparse at the tail, so this is happening.

Anastasia-Beverly-Hills-powder-highlighter-gel

In addition to a strong brow, I’ve decided to change up my skincare regimen. I currently use Lift Lab Purify and Clarify Daily Cleanser (thanks TPOLA!) and Yes to Tomatoes Daily Balancing Moisturizer. That’s pretty much it.

I’m still sticking with Lift Lab, since it lathers well, smells like its straight out of a luxurious spa and washes clean. My new routine includes Origins United State Balancing Tonic after cleansing, which is a good thing considering I still see grime after my Clarisonic. Yes to Tomatoes was a fair drugstore moisturizer and I like that it was all-natural, but it was too heavy at times no matter how sparingly I applied. First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Face Moisturizer absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave a greasy feeling.

While I’m far from full-blown crows feet, my grandmother always told me that splurging on skincare was worth it. Youth lasts a three decades max, if you don’t take preemptive steps to take care of your skin. So I’ve transitioned into grown-up skincare by investing in a $40 night cream. The price almost made me gag.

Origins High Potency Night-A-Mins caught my eye. Not only was the name cute, but it received rave reviews. First impression? Pretty damn good.

Origins-Skincare

First-Aid-Beauty-Clarisonic

Hopefully losing the hundies won’t all have been for naught.

Suite 707

Tarte for True Blood Palette

In honor of our favorite supernatural love triangle– or hexagon, depending on which team you’re rooting for– I thought I’d finally share a few notes on the Tarte for True Blood Palette.  Before going into my review, let’s go into the nitty-gritty of what this palette includes:

– 17 Eyeshadows

  • Taken from Sephora: The Light (shimmering warm ivory,) Fairy (shimmering pink,) Dusk (matte warm taupe,) Dawn (shimmering gold dust,) Werewolf (matte chocolate,) Waitress (sparkling pink champagne,) Nocturnal (sparkling deep indigo,) Charmer (sparkling burnt copper,) Glamour Me (sparkling deep plum,) Stake (matte steel,) Bayou (shimmering golden tan,) Telepath (sparkling warm rose,) The True Death (sparkling silver,) Immortal (sparkling midnight black,) Moss (shimmering forest green,) Legend (deep matte black,) “V” (sparkling crimson) 

– True Blood EmphasEYES Aqua-Gel Eyeliner in Black
– True Blood Lights, Camera, Lashes! Mascara in Black
– True Blood Lifted Natural Eye Primer

I’m far from an avid make-up wearer; in fact, I’d gladly go au natural for a no-fuss, extra-thirty-minutes-of-sleep morning.  This palette, however, quickly made me come around.  Here’s my standard daytime color combination (always start off with a primer base, ladies:)

– Dawn swept over the entire underbrow and lid
– Charmer blended onto the lid and heavy along) the crease
– The Light swept just under the eyebrow and blended into the inner eye as a highlight.

I always follow with black eyeliner and maybe mascara if I’m really looking to primp.  I’ve got a long way to go as far as experimentation goes, but the earth tones really set the bar pretty high.  So, what about the extras?  Good question.

True Blood Lifted Natural Eye Primer: This formula is relatively thick compared to Urban Decay’s Primer Potion, which makes it a bit more difficult to spread over the lid.  The coloration is a standard nude, which is a shade (or two) lighter than my natural skin color.  Once applied, it creates an added highlighting effect.  Firmitol is incorporated into this primer, which is supposed to decrease the appearance of wrinkles.  I did not notice a significant difference.  Overall, I’m sticking to Urban Decay’s Primer Potion for its more fluid consistency.

True Blood EmphasEYES Aqua-Gel Eyeliner in Black:  I absolutely HATE this product.  At first application, the liner literally crumbled on my lids, creating a look worthy of having been applied in middle of an earthquake.  I’m used to cream-based eyeliner that goes on smoothly, without tugging.  When applying this, it feels like liquid eyeliner, and sets rather quickly.  I simply could not figure out how to use it correctly, and out of sheer frustration I decided to finally look up user comments on the Sephora website.  To use it successfully, you need to ensure that only a half-millimeter is poking out.  This is a major design and formula drawback that obviously did not get addressed at the lab. Its only decent attribute is that it is highly pigmented; unfortunately, this is just not good enough in my book.  Too soft.  Vamps don’t do soft.  What self-respecting vamp would?!  (Twilight references may apply.)

True Blood Lights, Camera, Lashes! Mascara in Black: Usually, I cannot tell the difference between mascaras; they’re all the same to me.  Longer this, volume that, de-clumping magic, every cosmetics company claims to have created the next great chemical concoction.  It’s a tad too tedious for my taste, but I will say that my biggest gripe is flaked mascara on my face at the end of the day .  Tarte’s mascara has an even, and smooth consistency that stays impressively smooth even when dry.  I don’t encounter gross, dry flakes on my cheeks, so that alone merits my recommendation.

Wearing True Blood Lifted Natural Eye Primer, Dawn, “V”, The Light, Dusk , and True Blood EmphasEYES Aqua-Gel Eyeliner in the photos above.

I know that was all a mouth-full up there, but despite the drawbacks of the miniature eye extras, the color palette itself is worth the $52.  Your inner vamp, werewolf, fairy, shifter (or any other non-human variant you associate with) will adore you for it.

Brush Cleaning

I’m going to over-share and let you in on an embarrassing secret, but keep this hush hush: I have never washed a single makeup brush.  Yes, it’s as bad as it sounds.  Unfathomable.  Disgusting.  Unhygienic even.  I’ve decided to change my negligent ways, however, and underwent some intensive deep cleaning.  It’s amazing what shampoo and water can do to three years of caked-on foundation!