February 20, 2011

My Top 5 Moisturizing Lip Glosses

Being sick is no fun. When I get sick, my lips always feel extremely dry. I was applying my Kiehl's lip balm every hour but was getting bored of it. I looked in the mirror and saw that my face, which has been pretty much drained of any sort of colour, could use a bit of a pick me up. 

Since it's winter and the air can get quite dry, I decided to share with you some of my most moisturizing lip glosses. 

Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss ($32 USD, $37 CAD) Love the applicator, love the lip gloss, love the luxurious packaging! 

Clinique Superbalm Moisturizing gloss ($14 USD, $17.40 CAD). If you read my last few posts, you know that I tend to ignore my Clinique products. Unfortunately, that's true about this lip gloss too. However, unlike my other Clinique products that inexplicably get ignored, I actually have a reason for not using this gloss as much as I should - it isn't pigmented enough. I usually like really pigmented lip glosses so I probably shouldn't have picked the most natural looking one (01 Apricot). This lip gloss is actually really moisturizing, not sticky at all, and gives your lips a high shine glossy pout. 

Dior Addict Lip Polish ($30 USD, $37 CAD). LOVE. 

shu uemura vinyl unlimited lip gloss ($20 USD, $25 CAD) This is probably the tackiest lip gloss of the bunch but it gives your lips the most brilliant and vibrant colour. I'm not sure if it's really 'moisturizing' but it doesn't dry out my lips like a lot of other lip glosses so I decided to include it anyway. The colour I bought (OR 556) is an amazing peachy coral gloss. 

Josie Maran Natural Volume lip gloss ($20 USD) If you're looking for a plumping lip gloss, you should definitely give this one a try. It makes your lips look full without the tingling/numb feeling. These lip glosses are flavoured with dulce de leche which I suppose is a good thing if you...lick your lips? At the risk of sounding like a drama queen, the thought of licking my gloss covered lips (or any sort of cosmetic product) has always sort of made my stomach churn so that isn't a major bonus for me. I'm not sure if I mentioned this before, but the smell, which is quite strong, reminds me of the Flintstone vitamins I used to eat. I noticed this lip gloss has gotten quite a few negative reviews. Most people have complained about the smell, brush applicator and lasting power. I bought this lip gloss last summer and my applicator hasn't frayed (but I'm always careful when I put any brush applicator back into the tube). Perhaps the lasting power varies by each shade, but I bought 'Soledad' and it's definitely long lasting. 

The best part about these glosses is the fact that they (for the most part) pass the icky-white-line-that-forms-on-your-lips test! Also, with the exception of the Clinique lip gloss, these are all very pigmented lip glosses. Of course if you're not a fan of pigmented glosses, you can always opt for a more natural shade. 

What are some of your favourite moisturizing lip glosses?


February 14, 2011

Life's a peach so swipe on some blush and enjoy it!

Happy Valentine's Day girls! I'm having so much fun posting these blush-overview-type posts. It really forces me to dig deep and find the blushes that I haven't used in a while. 

If I'm ever in a pinch (which reminds me I want MAC's Pinch O' Peach) and only have a few minutes to get ready, I usually like to apply a peachy shade of blush. I find they're the most natural looking on my extremely warm (okay fine, extremely yellow) skin. That isn't the only time I use these blushes, but I find they're always a safe choice. I'm sure I'm forgetting a few, but I think I managed to get the bulk of my peach/coral blushes into the photo. 

10. MAC mineralize blush in Utterly Game (LE)

Because I find the above photos a bit of a jumbled mess, I decided to show you which are my most and least used peachy/coral blushes. 

Least Used:
7. elf Candid Coral
4. elf Peachy Keen
5. NARS Torrid
6. Benefit Sugarbomb

Most Used:
1. Shu Uemura P Peach 47
8. Anna Sui 300
10. MAC Utterly Game
3. Lorac Peach*
11. Laura Mercier Lush Nectarine 
*this one requires the most blending though so I don't use it if I'm in a hurry

I feel it's worth mentioning that even if your skin tone is on the cooler side, don't be afraid of the peaches. My skin is as yellow as they come and I still love to wear bright bubblegum and cool-toned pink blushes.

If you have a similar skin tone to me or are just a bit darker, I highly recommend the Anna Sui blush in the shade 300. Love, love, love it. It's sheer but pigmented enough. This blush is such a joy to apply. I usually like to buff and blend my blush until my arm is tired, but this blush just gives the most beautiful flush without all of the buffing and blending. The colour is very buildable so no need to worry about the fact that it's slightly sheer. It also has a light rose scent. It isn't a strong scent so I can't see it being a problem for those of you who prefer unscented products. I have only been using this blush for a few weeks so my opinion could change (and if it does, I'll be sure to update you) but for now I'm incredibly pleased and impressed with this blush. 

Are you a fan of peach/coral blushes? Any favourites? 

Peace, love & lots of chocolate covered kisses
Elise x

February 09, 2011

Bronzers: Kissed by the Sun

1. Stila Sun spf 15 Bronzing Powder in Shade 01
2. Hard Candy So Baked Bronzer in Hula Hula
4. NARS Laguna (poor thing always gets dropped)

Ignore the '5' in the middle of Hard Candy Hula Hula. 
I would fix it but I'm using paint and it's a jpeg so let's just pretend that isn't there :)

My bronzers really look like they've been through a lot but that's actually a lie. I rarely use bronzer so these poor little gems probably feel a bit neglected. My favourites are NARS Laguna and Cargo's medium matte bronzer. Now that I look at the swatches, the Clinique and Hard Candy bronzer actually look really pretty. I must have something against Clinique cosmetics. I never seem to want to use them. Hopefully that changes soon because I don't like wasting money. 

I rarely use the MAC bronzing powder. For some reason it's just really difficult to work with. I can swirl my brush in there a few times and still end up with no product on the brush. I remember trying the tester at the MAC counter and it had the same problem. At the time, I thought it was because there was too much oil in the tester from customers' fingers poking around in it. However, I now know it wasn't just the tester. I even scraped off the top layer with a mascara spoolie brush but that didn't seem to help. If you a have medium to dark skin tone, I would definitely suggest going a shade (or two) up. 

The reason I love the Cargo and NARS bronzer so much is because they never look orange on me.  I'm really pale and many bronzers have a tendency to look orange and harsh on my skin. The MAC bronzer in Golden is also good about never turning orange on me, but as I said, it isn't the easiest product to work with. Faux Tan by bareMinerals is beautiful but a little dark for me. It's very pigmented so it's actually a great price for a believable and natural looking faux tan. 

Do you have a favourite bronzer?


February 06, 2011

Comparison: NARS Madly & Douceur

In all photos: NARS Madly is on the left, NARS Douceur is on the right

Sorry about the post overload from me, but I've been impatiently waiting for the Superbowl to begin so I've been in a blogging mood.

I was at a NARS counter the other day and they were still selling Douceur (a limited edition blush from the Fall 2010 collection). I know there are still people wondering about the difference between Madly and Douceur so I thought I would attempt to take a few photos that would clearly illustrate the fact that Douceur isn't just a matte version of Madly. 

They are both neutral blushes, but they actually aren't that similar. On me, Madly is more of a tawny-beige with a subtle shimmer. It is very highly pigmented and blends easily. If you swirl your finger in a MAC sheertone blush, that is what Madly feels like. Douceur is a dusty neutral rose shade. It isn't nearly as pigmented as Madly (although I do find that in the beginning the colour payoff was minimal but now that I've had it for a while, my brush can pick up a lot more product). If you are familiar with what a MAC sheertone shimmer blush feels, that's more or less the texture of Douceur.

Are they both must haves? I think you can probably get away with just one or the other. I would probably suggest NARS Madly. I feel it has the ability to work for a greater number of people since Douceur isn't as pigmented. When I first got Douceur, I thought it was a great shade. Now that I've had them both for quite some time, I feel Madly is the slightly more flattering and unique shade. 

I hope that was helpful!

Elise x

February 05, 2011

My Least Used Blushes

I hope everyone is having a good weekend so far. I have got an intense week ahead of me and I already know it's going to be filled with sleepless nights and a whole lot of "where-did-the-time-go?" moments. When I don't sleep, I tend to go a little crazy and turn into a bit of a moody mcgee. I try not to stress too much because I've done that in the past and nothing will ever get done if I'm on the floor sobbing. 

While procrastinating (I'm more of an eleventh hour kind of gal anyway), I was trying to think of all the things that make me happy. If I'm stressed I always make sure I take several breaks to do the things that make me happy. Even if I'm swamped, I make time. Blush rarely fails me so I think this upcoming week will be "Blush Week" here at Blush is the New Black. 

As I said, blush rarely fails me, but there are a few in my collection that I either dislike or just never seem to reach for. If any of these are one of your favourites, colour me jealous. 
  • Guerlain Blush 4 Eclats Lueur d'autommne 03 - Gorgeous packaging but I just can't make this blush work. The shade is way too dark for me and isn't flattering at all. It doesn't matter how lightly I apply it or what kind of brush I use. The result and my reaction is always the same: "oh wow, that's definitely not attractive." I'm going to wait until the summer to give it one last try but if it still doesn't work, then I'll have to say goodbye to it. 
  • Clinique Precious Posey - Honestly, there's absolutely nothing wrong with this shade. It's actually a pretty pink. The price is very affordable and the packaging isn't too shabby. Why don't I use it? I don't know. I just never reach for it. I'm always trying to convince myself to use it, but right before applying it I'll change my mind. Something about it just prevents me from liking or using it. It's a mystery. I actually considered using it the other day after reading that it will be included in the Milly for Clinique Pretty in Prints compact (but I didn't).
  • Benefit Sugarbomb - When I swatch Sugarbomb on my hand, it's beautiful. It looks a blush that has the ability to make my cheeks glow. I've tried this blush on numerous occasions but have never actually left the house wearing it. In fact, just a few days ago I applied it but had to wash my face and redo my makeup. I was horrified at what I looked like. More on this later. I'll do an entire post on this haha.
  • ELF Blushes - My poor ELF blushes must feel so neglected. I actually think they are extremely good quality and very comparable to many high end brands. Somehow they always end up at the back of my blush drawer though. 
  • Benefit Posie Tint - I'm starting to get the feeling that I'm just not the hugest fan of Benefit cheek products. I'm pretty sure Posie Tint is supposed to be a no-fuss blush but when I try using it, it turns into a whole ordeal. I dot it on and try to blend it out but before I can get to the blending part, the dots have set into my skin and I end up looking like a dark haired Pippi Longstocking (sans gravity-defying pigtails). As it turns out, pink freckles aren't the best look on me. 
  • MAC Prism - I can really only use Prism in the summer because it's a little too dark for me. It's also matte and in general I prefer a bit of shimmer in my blushes. 
I am shocked that there aren't more blushes on this list. While going through my collection, I realized that I actually do a decent job of rotating my blush. Of course I always favour certain ones over others, but for the most part, there aren't too many that I don't use. Sorry, I know this post wasn't exactly helpful but hopefully you enjoyed it nonetheless :). 

Are there any blushes that seem to always get pushed to the back of your drawer? 
What's your least favourite blush?