Would You Rather...

I rarely ever partake in tags but I found Tali's tag from The Gloss Goss to be particularly amusing so here goes:

This is me thinking...

Would you rather...
Never use mascara or bronzer again?
Bronzer. My short, sparse, pin-straight lashes are practically undetectable without mascara so I could never go without that.

Only be able to buy high-end makeup or drugstore makeup again?
This is a toughie but I'd have to say high-end. Most of my most loved beauty products are not from the drugstore, and I'd rather have a few HG products than a whole bunch of mediocre ones.

Be in love or be loved?
Be loved. I hear about people falling in and out of love all the time but if you are truly loved, that will never go away.

Go out with chipped nail varnish or unshaven legs?
I would assume that your legs would have to be exposed so I'd say chipped nail polish since I find women with hairy legs absolutely repulsive. Harsh but true.

Go out with messy hair or no makeup?
Messy hair. My hair is naturally pretty straight and it won't even stay messy when I purposefully try to style it messily so I can't imagine this would be an issue.

Leave the house with a bright orange tan or burnt ginger peroxide-gone-wrong ginger hair?
Bright orange tan because at least that will wash away after a few days. The peroxide hair is going to be damaged until you cut it all off!

It were winter forever or summer forever?
Definitely summer. While I do enjoy a bit of cold weather every now and again, I seem to be shivering anytime it's colder than 70 degrees Fahrenheit so I don't think I could deal with it being cold all the time.

Have permanent 2 inch roots or permanent unplucked eyebrows?
I'll go with the 2 inch roots on this one. It's really not so bad, in my opinion. Unplucked eyebrows, on the other hand, can be really noticeable and will just ruin any makeup look.

Leave the house with dried toothpaste drool or crusty yellow sleep eyes?
As vile as both of these options sound, I'm going to have to go with the crusty eyes. I can always wear sunglasses to cover my eyes but there's no way to cover up the drool around your mouth, especially if you're going to be talking to people.

Give up all MAC or all Illamasqua products?
Easy. Illamasqua. I do love their products but I only have a few, and my staple makeup products are primarily MAC.

I tag everyone to do this!
Link me up below so I can read your responses!


♥ My Top 5: Face Products ♥

I wanted to make a My Top 5 Foundations post but then I realized that I've only tried about 5 foundations and I definitely did not like them all. If anyone has good foundation recommendations for oily skin, I'm all ears :)

So instead of my top 5 foundations, I decided to stay close to the subject and choose my top 5 face makeup products.

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer
MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Natural in Medium Plus
Diorskin Sculpt Lifting Smoothing Concealer in Beige 002
Sonia Kashuk Tinted Moisturizer in Linen
MAC Studio Finish SPF35 Concealer in NC30

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer
I was introduced to this foundation when I received a sample of it from Sephora a long time ago. I was amazed at how smooth and satiny it left my skin feeling, and it did a pretty good job at making my foundation last all day while decently controlling my excessively oily areas. At $52 it's not the most affordable primer on the market but when you have oily skin, you'll pay almost any price to tone down your skin's oiliness so your foundation won't slide off your face. I really love this primer, and I'm sad I only have about 10% left :(

MAC MSF Natural in Medium Plus
Oily skin + foundation - setting powder = DISASTER!
I never, never, ever forget to set my foundation with powder. If I'm going for a more natural, dewy look, then I'll just powder my T-zone but I never skip the powder all together. Without powder, my face will start to look shiny within minutes. No joke. MAC MSF Naturals add a bit more coverage to your foundation while also setting and mattifying it a bit. In the summer, assuming my skin is in decent condition, I'll skip foundation altogether and opt for concealer and MAC MSFN and then set it all with Fix+ for lighter coverage that won't melt in the heat.

Diorskin Sculpt Lifting Smoothing Concealer in Beige 002
I don't want to say too much about this concealer since you can read my review on it here. I do want to add that I only use this around and under my eyes and not for blemishes since the consistency is too thin for my taste. I haven't tried it on blemishes, to be honest, but I have a pre-conceived notion that liquid concealer will just slide off my face in no time so I choose not to give it the opportunity to do so :)

Sonia Kashuk Tinted Moisturizer in Linen
I heard about this from Khristine at My Fit Beauty (Definitely check her out! She's awesome!) and was immediately intrigued because I love Sonia Kashuk. I think she has really great products that are affordable as well so I definitely wanted to try this as soon as I heard about it. I had never tried tinted moisturizers before this because my skin is usually so problematic, but since it has recently started to behave itself, I decided to take the plunge. It actually has light to medium coverage, which is more than I was anticipating for a tinted moisturizer, and leaves a slightly dewy finish to the skin. The only flaw this product has is that it's only available in 4 shades (yes, four!) and Linen is the second lightest shade. Not cool, Sonia. Not cool.

MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer in NC30
This is my HG concealer for covering up blemishes and redness on oily skin! It has medium to full buildable coverage and is a thick consistency. I used to use my finger to pat it on, but lately I've been favoring using my Sigma E40 to buff it into the skin, giving it lighter, more natural coverage.

What are your go-to face makeup products?


First Fall FOTD

It's finally Fall but it sure doesn't feel like it where I live! Apparently an evil heat wave decided that Fall would be the best time to take over California and to be quite honest, the 105 degree weather is making me kind of grumpy. In an attempt to lift my mood and get into the Fall spirit as much as the disgusting weather will allow, I slapped on some very Fall-esque wine lips:

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer
Sonia Kashuk Tinted Moisturizer in Linen
DiorSkin Sculpt Lifting Smoothing concealer in Beige 002
MAC Studio Finish SPF35 concealer in NC30
MUFE HD Microfinish Powder
NARS bronzer in Laguna
Korres blush in Natural
Dior Amber Diamond Shimmer Star

MAC Paint Pot in Soft Ochre
UD e/s in Half Baked (lid)
UD e/s in Smog (lower lash line)
GOSH eyeliner in Bananas (inner corner and upper lash line)
UD 24/7 liner in Whiskey (waterline)
Cover Girl Lash Blast mascara in Blackest Black

Chanel Rouge Coco in Satin
MAC l/g in Decorated


♥ My Top 5: Highlighters ♥

In my opinion, no matter how rushed you are in the mornings to get your makeup on, applying highlighter is a must. A good highlighter will add dimension to your face as well as subtle, pretty sparkle to your skin. Here are a few of my favorites...
e.l.f. Shimmer Palette
MAC MSF in Soft and Gentle
NARS Orgasm Illuminator
Dior Amber Diamond Shimmer Star
MAC Beauty Powder in Shell Pearl

e.l.f. Shimmer Palette
This highlighter is the best bargain of the bunch. It contains four cream highlighters in a pearly white, peach, golden tan, and pink. It's the perfect highlighter to apply when you're in a pinch, because there's no need for a brush. It blends into the skin effortlessly with your fingertips and doesn't ruin the foundation you have on underneath.
The only downside is that while it appears as though there are four distinct colors in the pan, once applied to the skin, the four shades are nearly undistinguishable. I'm not too bothered by it as it allows me to mix-and-match the shades without any issue and the highlight it creates, whether a color is used alone or mixed, is gorgeous.

MAC MSF in Soft and Gentle
Soft and Gentle is a champagne colored highlighter with peachy undertones. It's a beautiful highlighter that is best applied with a light hand (I like to use my MAC 188) to avoid shimmer overload. (Skin swatches of the powder highlighters will be at the end of the post.)

NARS Orgasm Illuminator
I've seen this illuminator used in place of blush of the fairest of the fair but on me, it's used as a glossy highlighter. It is the same peachy pink with golden shimmer shade as its powder blush conterpart, but applies much less pigmented. A little product is all you need with this as you'll discover that if you slap on too much, it'll take forever for it to dry on you skin. I also find that it leaves an illuminating glossiness to the skin even after it dries that is just lovely.
The color is hardly detectable on my tanned hand, unfortunately.

Dior Amber Diamond Shimmer Star
Amber Diamond is my newest love and I may be a bit biased in saying this, but it's one of the best (if not the best) highlighters I've ever used. I think the reason it looks so gorgeous yet natural on the skin is because the powder is so finely milled and the shade is a universally flattering peachy golden color. You can read about the whole love affair here.

MAC Beauty Powder in Shell Pearl
Shell Pearl was a limited edition beauty powder that I picked up when it was released with MAC's Give Me Liberty of London collection last spring. It's a peachy pink finely milled powder. In addition to having subtle gold shimmers throughout, it also applies rather sheerly, making it the perfect you-can't-really-mess-it-up highlighter. When I'm paler, it can also work as a subtle blush.

Swatches of the powder highlighters (Remember, they're highlighters so swatches are going to be quite subtle):
Left to Right:
MAC MSF in Soft and Gentle
MAC Beauty Powder in Shell Pearl (applied a little heavier to show color)
Dior Amber Diamond Shimmer Star

What are your favorite highlighters?


♥ My Top 5: Makeup Brushes ♥

No matter how much you work on your makeup technique, your application will not be perfected until you get some good brushes. I do not believe that there is always necessarily a correlation with price and quality, as I've used many an expensive brush that still shed like a mofo. These are the brushes I absolutely cannot live without:

Sigma F50- Duo Fibre
MAC 224- Tapered Blending
MAC 217- Blending
e.l.f.- Powder Brush
Sonia Kashuk flat top brush

Sigma F50- Duo Fibre ($16.00)
I love using this brush to stipple in my liquid foundation. It does so flawlessly to give you an airbrushed look, and it doesn't shed at all! You can read my full review here.

MAC 224- Tapered Blending ($29.00)
Harsh lines be gone! The MAC 224 is the best brush I've come across to blend eyeshadows! I usually use it sans eyeshadow and just blend out harsh edges or if it's really necessary, I'll put some MAC Brule on it to help the lines blend out even easier. I use the Sigma E40, a similar tapered blending brush that is much fluffier (you can read the review here), to buff in concealer since I only have one MAC 224 and don't want to have to fuss with washing it every time I put makeup on.

MAC 217- Blending ($22.50)
I use the 217 to apply color to the crease and also to blend out the crease color. I'll usually do a bit of blending with the 217 before bringing in the 224 to really perfect it and make it look flawless.

e.l.f. Powder Brush ($3.00)
I think the name Powder Brush is deceiving...a flat top brush is not what I normally use to apply powder, you know what I mean? I mean, maybe a powder contour shade but that's really about it for me. Plus, it's a bit too big for powder blushes but anyway, I digress. This is my HG brush for applying tinted moisturizer! I just put a dollop of TM on the brush, dot it all over my face, and use the brush to buff it in. Flawless!

Sonia Kashuk flat-top brush ($14.99)
This brush looks similar in shape to the e.l.f. Powder brush but it's smaller and the bristles are softer. I've been using it with MAC Blunt to contour my cheekbones, but I especially love to use it with cream blushes like Stila Convertible Color in Lillium to dab blush to the apples of my cheeks and blend it out.

What are your must-have makeup brushes?

Disclaimer: The Sigma brush was sent to me free of charge for review purposes only. I am not affiliated with this company, nor am I getting paid for featuring it on my blog. The opinions expressed in this post are honest and based solely on my own experience with the product(s).


Blogs I'm Currently Loving ♥

In no way shape or form is this a comprehensive list, but here is a very small taste of the blogs I am currently loving...

Lily has an AMAZING fashion blog. Her style is what I could only wish my style was. Her looks are incredibly inspiring, she's beautiful, and I love her ombre hair.

Jennie's blog is a great mix of photography, fashion, and beauty. She's one of the nicest people ever and her talented photography skills means that her blog always has beautiful, visually interesting pictures.

Nikki is a fashion student who always has on the most amazing outfits and accessories. On top of that, she is undeniably talented with makeup as well!

Carly is a gorgeous makeup artist who creates some of the most inspiring makeup looks I've seen. Her looks range from natural to dramatic and over-the-top which is why it always makes for a good read.

DiorSkin Sculpt Lifting Smoothing Concealer

Dark under-eye circles are the absolute bane of my existence. To make matters even worse, I also have discoloration on my eyelids that with my under-eye circles create a dark, ugly shadow surrounding my eyes. Not cute.

Introducing the newest addition to my Anti-Under-Eye Circles Army:

Diorskin Sculpt Lifting Smoothing Concealer in Beige 002

Here are some photos of it in action:
Completely bare skin. Yes, what looks like brown eyeshadow on my lid is just discoloration :(

Tinted moisturizer is applied.

Concealer is dotted on using the doe-foot applicator. I added the fourth dot at the bottom to maximize the brightening of the under-eye area.

Using my ring finger, I pat the concealer into my skin and use the excess on my finger to pat it all over the lid and blend up to the brow bone.

Using the MAC 224, I set the concealer with MAC MSF Natural.

This concealer is creamy, has medium coverage, and blends like a dream. My only qualm is since it's a liquid concealer and I have an annoying natural crease under my eyes, I have noticed that it tends to settle into the crease after a while, but a quick pat/swipe with a clean ring finger is enough to fix the problem. For those who are normal and do not have a random crease under their eyes like me, I don't believe that this concealer would crease at all. Other than that, it has great staying power (even on my oily skin) and never looks cakey. 

As with all Dior products, this concealer is a bit of a splurge at $32 but I don't regret my purchase one bit as I believe it's one of the best products for covering dark under-eye circles I've come across in a long time. I would not recommend this for those who do not have issues with dark circles, though, as it would simply be an unnecessarily expensive concealer.

How do you combat dark under-eye circles?


Dior Amber Diamond Shimmer Star

Amber Diamond has been slowly taking over the title of HG highlighter in the makeup world, one beauty blog at a time. It's a finely milled powder highlighter with ivory, champagne, tan, bronze, and peach sections (as described by Sephora) that can either be used individually or swirled together to create a universally flattering highlight shade.

It took me a while to hop on this bandwagon as the $44 price tag is a bit of a splurge for me. I like to make sure that if I will be spending this much money on any one product that it will be money well spent, and I truly believe that it will be with Amber Diamond.

I'm a big fan of using highlighters on your cheekbones and down the bridge of your nose as they add a bit more dimension and sparkle to your skin. Prior to getting Amber Diamond another favorite of mine had been MAC Soft & Gentle MSF. In comparison, Amber Diamond applies much smoother and more natural looking as the powder is much more finely milled than Soft & Gentle.

It's a bit difficult to tell in this photo since it's so bright, but there are 5 different colors that can be used individually or swirled together.

Applied on cheekbones...Glowy yet natural, no?

I'll admit that due to the price tag, Amber Diamond is a bit of an investment piece. However, if you are sick of wasting your hard earned cash on one crappy highlighter after another and are looking to find your one HG highlighter then look no further. 

I believe that the overall color achieved with Amber Diamond is a universally flattering highlight shade. On the fairest of skin tones it will appear more as a peachy golden highlight, while on darker skin tones it will simply appear as shimmery gorgeousness.

In case you couldn't tell, I ♥ Dior Amber Diamond.

Glamour Doll Eyes Discount Code!

The Glamour Doll Eyes site is officially back up and running and as a result, I can finally share my discount code with all of my readers!

The discount code is willworkformakeup and is good for 10% off any orders of $20.00 or more. The code is not applicable on The Look Book collection, collections, Glamour Gloss, or insurance. This code is valid until October 31st, 2010 so be sure to get your orders in before then!

If you missed my review on Glamour Doll Eyes eyeshadows, click here.

Here are two completely different looks I was able to create with my set of 6 shadows:

What will you be ordering??

Disclaimer: The Glamour Doll Eyes eyeshadows were sent to me free of charge for review purposes only. I am not affiliated with the company, nor was I paid for mentioning the products or the company on my blog.


Hello Concealer Lips!

I was really excited to win an e.l.f. lipstick in Natural Nymph in Justine's giveaway recently, but after applying it to my lips I realized that it just does not work with my skin tone. Case in point:

Hello concealer lips!

I hate seeing products go to waste, though, so I was determined to figure out how to make it work. One of my main issues with wearing lighter colored lipsticks is that they often do not show up true to color because my lips are so naturally pigmented. For example, let's take a look at Revlon Color Burst lipstick in Baby Pink.

Bare lips

Revlon Color Burst lipstick in Baby Pink

As you can see, while Baby Pink is a pale, frosty pink with medium coverage, it only adds a slight frosty pink sheen to my lips since my lips are so pigmented. I decided to first apply Natural Nymph and blend it into my lips to nude out the natural pigmentation before applying Baby Pink to see if that would allow Baby Pink to show up more true to its pale, frosty pink color.

e.l.f. Natural Nymph

Revlon Color Burst in Baby Pink applied over e.l.f. Natural Nymph

Clockwise from top left:
Bare lips
Revlon Baby Pink on its own
Baby Pink over Natural Nymph
e.l.f. Natural Nymph on its own

                        e.l.f. Natural Nymph                 Baby Pink over Natural Nymph


Here they are swatched on my hand:
Natural Nymph is the 3rd from the left; Baby Pink is 4th from the left

What do you do with a product that just doesn't work for you?

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