2.24.2011

The Only 11 Brushes I Really Need.


I own quite a few brushes and while I do like to switch up my brushes every now and again, after a while, I usually end up going back to the same one or two brushes I've designated for a certain purpose. Basically, I've realized that if push came to shove (but let's hope it never does), I'd be able to create just about any look I wanted with just these eleven brushes.

.:Eye Brushes:.

e.l.f. Small Angled Brush :: Filling in my eyebrows.

Inglot 6SS :: Blending out harsh lines and applying color to the crease. This brush is much, much better than the MAC 224, in my opinion.

MAC 217 :: Applying color to the lid and blending out harsh lines and applying color to the crease. This is a wonderful multi-purpose brush that everyone needs!

MAC 239 :: Packing color on to the lid and applying color to the upper and/or lower lash lines.

Sigma E10 :: Applying gel/cream eye liner.

.:Face Brushes:.

MAC 129 :: Applying powder. The smaller shape allows for more precise powder application without disturbing the rest of your makeup.

Sigma E40 :: Blending in concealer and applying under-eye concealer setting powder. The only downside to this brush is that is sometimes sheds.


Sephora I.T. Face Contour Brush :: Applying cream bronzer and blush. It works fantastically with cream products because it doesn't shed at all (minus the very occasional hair in my Chanel Bronze Universel).

Sigma F35 :: Applying powder bronzer and contour and highlighter. The small, tapered shape fits perfectly under your cheekbones when contouring, but it's still fluffy enough that it can dust on bronzer as well.

Sigma F40 :: Applying powder blush.

Sigma F15 :: Applying extremely bright, pigmented blush. This stippling brush picks up much less blush than other brushes, and it's perfect when you want a sheerer application.

How many brushes do you have on rotation usually?


Disclaimer: The Sigma brushes (except for the F35, which I purchased myself) were sent to me free of charge for review purposes only. I am not affiliated with this company, nor am I getting paid for featuring them on my blog. The opinions expressed in this post are honest and based solely on my own experience with the product(s).

2.23.2011

Seven Things About Me.

I've noticed that I don't talk very much about my personal life on my blog, and I think it's because I'm more of a private person anyway and for the most part, I just prefer to keep my blog focused on makeup and beauty. However, I think I'm going to start sprinkling in a personal post every now and again and what better way to start than with a blog award that requires me to share seven things about myself :)

Anna Saccone passed the Stylish Blogger Award on to me a few days ago, so let's get started...

.:1:.

I've had the same group of six best friends for years, and we've all known each other since elementary school. We came up with an acronym for our group, BAKAMAT, and it's comprised of the first letter of each of our first names. Yes, we are standing in order :)

.:2:.

I'm still obsessed with my ex-boyfriend's boston terrier, Brady (she's a girl). Luckily, we're still good friends so I still see her from time to time. I bought her that sweater...doesn't she just look adorable?

.:3:.

I'm never completely satisfied with my hair. One year it'll be long and the next year, it'll be bob-length. Here I am in November 2009 right before I went to the hairdresser's to chop it all off...I was taking a "Before" pic :) Also, I wear glasses and contacts (not at the same time, though, obviously!). I've since retired the pair in the photo above.

.:4:.

I have a 13 year old sister and a 27 year old brother. This is a picture of us taken about a year and a half ago.

.:5:.

One of my proudest accomplishments of my life thus far is graduating college with a degree in Biology.

.:6:.

Salmon nigiri sushi is my favorite food, hands down! I love all sushi but this one, in particular, is my favorite.

.:7:.
My favorite dessert (or just whenever I feel like eating it, really!) is red velvet cupcakes.


I know that I'm supposed to pass this award on to 10 other bloggers, but I'd really like to get to know all of you a little bit better. So yes, I'm taking the easy way out and essentially tagging all of you to share 7 things about yourself! Link me to your posts below so I can get to know you. Don't be shy :)

Thank you, again, to Anna for passing this award on to me!


Sitting, Waiting, Wishing.


By Terry Baume de Rose SPF 15 $58

This multi-purpose balm is a pale, shimmery pink that smells of roses. If it were mine, I'd save it for use on my lips only because let's be honest, $58? Yikes.

Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in Black Pearl $25

I'm not generally sucked into high-end nail polishes but I have yet to find a dupe for this unique, blackened teal-green concoction. If you know of one, please share :)

MAT LUMIÈRE - LONG LASTING LUMINOUS MATTE FLUID MAKEUP SPF 15

Chanel Mat Lumiere Foundation $54

Despite having oily skin, I'm not typically a fan of matte foundations and strongly dislike long-lasting formulas (long-lasting= mask-like). However, with Summer right around the corner, I fear my skin will need a foundation with more oil-control and I've heard great things about Mat Lumiere.

Scandal Queen Mascara

FAIRYDROPS Scandal Queen Mascara $24

This japanese mascara is new to the Sephora line-up and I can't help but be immediately pulled-in by the cute packaging and intrigued by the interesting wand shape.

 Superslick Liquid Eye Liner

MAC Superslick Liquid Eye Liner in On the Hunt $17.50

I'm terrified of liquid liner. I've only barely mastered the art of gel/cream liners but can never seem to get the hang of the liquid variety. Everyone seems to rave about how easy this one is to apply and how black and long-lasting it is that I figured, maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to figure it out soon.

Mia™ Skin Cleansing System - Lavender

Clarisonic Mia in Lavender $149

The most extravagant purchase on my wishlist is this glorified face brush. Everyone either has one or wants one and sadly, I'm in the latter category. Lavender, please!

Have you tried anything on my wishlist yet? If so, thoughts? :)


2.22.2011

Rimmel Crushed Pearl


Rimmel Lasting Finish Pro nail polish in Crushed Pearl is a metallic, pink pearl shade with somewhat of a pale pink-lilac duochrome. As a result of it being a bit more of a complex color, it was a pain in the butt for me to photograph and I still don't believe that any of these pictures really, truly do it justice because believe me, it is gorgeous!

Rimmel Lasting Finish Pro nail polish in 290 Crushed Pearl


I think this last photograph captures its true color the best.

Crushed Pearl was nearly opaque in one coat and completely opaque in two. It applied like a dream, although the ginormous Lasting Finish Pro brush is definitely not my favorite. Also, this color is perfect for Spring!

If you follow me on Twitter, it's no secret that I've been drooling over Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in Black Pearl for weeks now, and I think that if Chanel had released a pink version of Black Pearl (Pink Pearl, if you will), it'd probably look a lot like Rimmel Crushed Pearl. Rimmel...Chanel...same thing, right? ;)



2.21.2011

Forgotten Goods.



Oh, my poor makeup. I'm constantly finding my "favorite" products, only for them to quickly be pushed to the sidelines when I acquire newer favorites. It's really all very unfair if you ask me and yet, I can't seem to figure out why it keeps happening. (Ok, let's be honest, I know why it keeps happening - it's because I buy way too much makeup but let's just ignore that small detail, shall we? On with the post!)

This is how it normally transpires:
I'll randomly go through my makeup drawer one day and pull things out that look pretty. 

Then, I tilt my head to one side while thinking, "I forgot I had this," before thinking, "Why haven't I used this in forever?" and then finally realizing, "I have way too much makeup."

It's always in that order.

These are a few of the victims that have fallen prey to the side effects of my addiction in recent weeks...

MAC Salsarose blush (PRO) was a favorite of mine to apply sheerly to the apples of my cheeks for a natural looking flush but it quickly got shoved to the back of my makeup drawer with the acquisition of some newer blushes, namely NARS Taos, which is now the blush I gravitate towards when I want a red blush.

I go in and out of phases where I'm obsessed with wearing a particular color on my lips and for the past few months, nudes were in the "Out" category for me. However, I applied Revlon Colorburst lipstick in Soft Nude a few days ago and had forgotten how nice it feels on my lips! I'm still not completely back into the nude lip trend, so I topped it off with a pinky coral lipgloss for added color.

I've been so much better at controlling myself with MAC's limited edition collections in recent months after noticing how often those purchases tend to go unloved a mere few weeks after being frantically purchased by me. MAC Beauty Powder in Shell Pearl, MAC Mineralize Blush in Hang Loose, and MAC Mega Metal Eyeshadow in Unflappable are just a few examples of gorgeous products that for some reason or another, got neglected :( I wore Hang Loose about a week ago and while it was really pretty, I'm not sure it'll get worn again anytime soon since Accessorize blush in Starlet is now my blush du jour. I also wore Unflappable a few FOTD posts ago and again, while it's gorgeous, I had to force myself to remember to use it. Why is that?

Lastly, a product that seems to be a forgotten good more often than a loved good is NARS Illuminator in Orgasm. It was one of my favorite highlighters but I'm not sure I can say that it is any more, due to the sheer fact that I very rarely use it. I think the problem is that I normally powder my face after applying foundation and concealer without even thinking about it and after that, it's just easier to use powder highlighter in order to not disturb the peace. I'll have to remind myself to use this one more often.

All of the above products are products that are beautiful and I enjoy using, I just don't remember to use them for some reason. Excuses, excuses. I haven't included products that I don't like and haven't used because let's be honest, I know why I haven't been using those...I don't like them!

Am I the only person that has forgotten goods?


2.20.2011

Products I'm Loving Right Now ♥ Vol.IV



+Accessorize Merged Blusher in Starlet+
I only received this is the mail from Nicola last week but I'm OBSESSED with it! I've worn it everyday since getting it, and I'm so surprised that I could love a pink blush this much! I sometimes have a difficult time finding a good pink blush that really suits my skin tone (I usually find that peachy blushes are more flattering on me) but this one has the perfect amount of shimmer and just brightens up my complexion and makes it look radiant. I'm wearing it here.

+Swedish Skin Anti-Aging Eye Cream+
I've already talked about my love for this eye cream in my updated skincare post so there's not too much more to say, but this eye cream has really been one of those products I didn't think I needed but have now realized that I can't live without :)

+Wet n Wild Silent Treatment Palette+
This trio includes an icy pink highlight shade, a black with pink and gold shimmer crease shade, and a silvery taupe lid shade. All three shades have excellent pigmentation and are perfectly coordinated to create a cohesive eye look. The best part is that it retails for only $3!

+Bare Minerals Well-Rested+
I'm addicted to using Well-Rested to set my under-eye concealer! Not only does it set my concealer perfectly and aids in its lasting power, it also adds a considerable amount of additional coverage and brightness to my under-eye area that I haven't been able to achieve with the use of any other products. You can read my review here.

+MAC Soiree and Essie Chinchilly+
These are the two nail polishes I've been alternating between lately. Soiree is a gorgeous and unique rose gold shade, while Chinchilly is a creamy grey that is a fresh take on neutral nails. I can't seem to get enough of either of them! Here is Chinchilly on my nails.

+MAC Blushcreme in Ladyblush+
I don't have a ton of experience with cream blush but this is definitely one of the best I've tried. It has a really thick and somewhat sticky texture but I find that when I apply it with my Sephora contouring brush (I've never applied it with my fingers), it's still super easy to blend and the odd texture actually helps with the longevity of the blush, especially on oilier skin.

+Milani Liquif'eye Metallic Eye Pencils in Black and Silver+
I'm just going to go ahead and say it: The Milani Liquif'eye eye pencil in Black is blacker and lasts longer on the waterline than Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On pencil in Zero...and it costs less than half the price! I've also been loving the Silver one on my inner corners as a brightening highlight :)

+Inglot brush #6SS+
I was intrigued by this brush because it looked very reminiscent of the MAC 224 Tapered Blending Brush. The shape is almost identical with the exception of the Inglot 6SS being the tiniest bit wider/bigger. This brush is also softer and denser than the 224 and therefore, it's better at blending out harsh lines but is still dense enough that it can be used to apply color to the crease. Love.

What have you been loving lately?


A Matte Bronze.

After I apply my finishing powder, I like to attempt to chisel in some model-esque cheekbones (fyi: I keep chiselling away but model-esque, they are not) and add warmth and dimension to my face, and the only product that seems to be able to do both seamlessly is matte bronzer.

Clockwise from bottom:
Bourjois Delice de Poudre Bronzing Powder #52 Peaux mates/halees
Benefit Hoola
Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel (aka Bronze Universel)
Dior Matte Bronzer in 002 Honey Matte


L to R:
Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel (aka Bronze Universel)
Dior Matte Bronzer in 002 Honey Matte
Bourjois Delice de Poudre Bronzing Powder #52
Benefit Hoola

Technically, the Bourjois bronzer has "glints of sunshine" or gold shimmer in it, but they're quite tiny and sparse that it actually applies more or less matte. It's quite a hard powder (very densely packed) and is the least pigmented and least easy to blend of the three powder bronzers. The difficulty in blendability is really more apparent when swatching it on my arm than it is when I'm actually applying it with a brush to my face.

The colors of Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel and Dior Matte Bronzer in 002 Honey Matte are very, very similar, with the main differences being that the Chanel one is a smidgen darker and a touch more orange, whereas the Dior one is a bit lighter and more peachy. (Note: I am aware that these differences are not very detectable in the swatches above.)

Benefit Hoola is the coolest-toned bronzer and the brownest, darkest, and softest and easiest to blend powder bronzer of this matte bronzer bunch.

The Chanel and Dior bronzers are both great matte bronzer options for light to medium skin tones, while the Bourjois and Benefit bronzers are perfect for medium, and possibly even darker (this is true of Benefit Hoola in particular), skintones.

I prefer matte bronzer to the traditional, shimmery bronzer for contouring as I think it mimics the natural shadows created by your face shape better and looks more natural. Especially if you have oily skin like mine, matte bronzer can be a great option since too much shimmer on your face (if you plan on doing a lot of contouring) can settle into your pores and also make your skin look ultra-shiny and overly luminous (not in a good way!). I usually like to team matte bronzer with a slightly shimmery blush instead, just so that there is still some sparkle but the shimmer is under control.

Are you a fan of matte bronzer?


2.19.2011

Winners of my Giveaway!



Thank you so much to everyone who entered my 1000+ follower/1 year blogiversary giveaway!

I literally could not be more excited by the two numbers that were drawn by random.org because I happen to know and love both of these lovely ladies. 


Winner #1 who will be receiving the Inglot eyeshadow palette is...



Winner #2 who will be receiving the Inglot lipstick is...


CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU BOTH!!!



Courtney-love-crazy-eyes_large

I'm going to be emailing each of you soon, and I trust that you'll both put the goodies to better use than good ol' Courtney did with her makeup^^  ;) Oh, dear!

Hope you all have a great weekend!


2.18.2011

One.

If you recall, I'm currently doing Gloss-Out 2011 and am only allowing myself to purchase five lipglosses this entire year. This is lipgloss purchase number one.

Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in 02 Apricot Shimmer

Sponge-tip applicator


This lipgloss claims to have 3D shimmer (whatever that means) and in fact, it has super micro-shimmer that without close inspection, is nearly undetectable. In other words, I don't think the point of the "3D shimmer" is to make your lips look shimmery as it is to make them look luminous and shiny.

As you can see from the lower half of the swatch, once blended out, the color is almost completely lost and especially on more pigmented lips like mine, the lipgloss appears clear. It strikes me more as a lipgloss-lipbalm hybrid than it does a traditional lipgloss and for that reason, I think it will be the perfect addition to my handbag for on-the-go touch-ups that will still cater to the needs of my chronically dry lips.

It retails for $21 and is extremely moisturizing, non-sticky, and smells like creme brulee :) YUM.


2.17.2011

Just a friendly reminder :)


Today is the last day to give me your best makeup tip and be entered into my Inglot giveaway!



Good luck and the winners should be announced later this weekend :)

Click here to enter.


Recipe for an Everyday Face


This isn't necessarily the makeup I wear everyday but rather, it's a look that could be worn everyday because it seems to go with everything and is both day and night appropriate.

What you'll need:
your usual base makeup (foundation, concealer, powder, etc.)
pretty, neutral eyeshadows (lid, crease, and highlight shades)
black eyeliner
mascara
matte bronzer
pretty, pink blush
pink lipstick or lipgloss



Face:
Sonia Kashuk tinted moisturizer in Linen
Dior Sculpt Lifting Smoothing concealer in 002 Beige (under-eyes)
MAC Studio Finish concealer in NC30
Bare Minerals Well-Rested
MAC MSF Natural in Medium Plus
Bourjois bronzer in 52 Peaux mates/halees
Accessorize blush in Starlet

Eyes:
UDPP
MAC e/s in Era (lid)
MAC e/s in Antiqued (crease)
MAC e/s in Dazzlelight (highlight)
Milani Liquif'eye pencil in Black
Covergirl Lash Blast Volume mascara

Lips:
Bonne Bell l/g in Strawberry Parfait

I like neutral eyeshadows for everyday but it's important for me that they have some sort of shimmer or sheen to them, because I find matte neutrals can sometimes be a bit blah and therefore, will need blush and/or lipgloss with more oomph, if you will (Notice how I've managed to incorporate "blah" and "oomph" into my blogging vocabulary!). I also like to pair neutral eyes with pink blush and lips, rather than nude/neutral blush and lips, so that there is still some color.


The bronzer and blush I used were two products that recently came for me from the lovely Nicola in the UK...

Accessorize Merged Blusher in #2 Starlet and Bourjois Delice de Poudre Bronzing Powder in #52 Peaux mates/halees

Nicola was a sweetheart and offered to send me the Bourjois bronzer after hearing me moan about wanting it but not being able to get my hands on Bourjois in the States. The gorgeous blush, on the other hand, was thrown in from the kindness of her heart and I couldn't be more ecstatic! It is so pretty! By the way, how freakin' cute is the bronzer? It looks like a chocolate bar and smells like it too! Both ridiculous and awesome at the same time :D

I've talked about Nicola so many times before on my blog so I'd be surprised if any of you weren't already following her, but in the off chance that you're not, what are you waiting for? Her blog, Magic's in the Makeup, is lovely and definitely one of my all-time favorites, and she is genuinely one of the sweetest people I know.

Thank you so much, Nicola! 

What's your recipe for an everyday face?


2.13.2011

Updated Skincare and Swedish Skin.


Basically, at the start of the year, I became fed up with my skin and the lowered standards I had for it. A "good skin day" for me was probably a terrible skin day for the average person, and I was determined to find something that would finally clear up my skin, even out my skin tone, and impart some radiance into it. I decided to take a risk and change up almost my entire, existing skincare routine at once.


Say hello to my new skincare army:
Biore Triple Action Astringent
St.Ives Apricot Scrub Blemish & Blackhead Control
Shu Uemura High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil Fresh
Carlson Norwegian Cod Liver Oil
Swedish Skin Apply Rejuvenation Serum
Swedish Skin Intensive Anti-Wrinkle Moisturizer
Swedish Skin Anti-Aging Eye Cream
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo

My Morning Routine
In the morning, I alternate between washing my face with the Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil one day and the St.Ives Apricot Scrub the next day. This way, I end up exfoliating every other day, a frequency that is ideal for my oily, acne-prone skin.

I then apply a thin layer of La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo to my entire face (except for my cheeks since I almost never break out there...knock on wood!), let it settle into my skin for a few moments, and if I'm going to use moisturizer that day, I'll finish off with the Swedish Skin Intensive Anti-Wrinkle Moisturizer.

I pat the Swedish Skin Anti-Aging Eye Cream under my eyes and apply my makeup.

My Night Routine
I first remove my makeup with makeup removing towelettes (I'm not too picky as to which brand it is), then I wash my face with the Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil.

I then give my skin a deeper clean by using about 5 cotton balls total and swiping the Biore Tripe Action Astringent across my face and neck.

After that, I apply a thin layer of La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo and once that's settled in, I massage the Swedish Skin Apple Rejuvenation Serum across my face and neck, concentrating on my forehead and around my eyes.

 Depending on how dry my eye area feels, I may or may not pat on the Swedish Skin Anti-Aging Eye Cream.

The Carlson Norwegian Cod Liver Oil is a part of both my morning and night routines because I take a teaspoon of it with either breakfast or lunch and also with dinner. Cod Liver Oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E, so it's great for your skin and hair, among other things. As with all supplements, I encourage you to do your research before choosing to take it, rather than trying it blindly based on others' recommendations.


***

If you compare my current skincare routine to the routine I was following in my previous skincare post, you'll notice that only two products remain the same: Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil and St.Ives Apricot Scrub. I swear by the Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil and it's the best facial cleanser I have ever used! I'm currently using the last few drops of my second huge bottle (450ml/15.2 fl.oz.) and am sad that I can't afford to repurchase it at the time being, so I'll be turning to Cetaphil for a while. As for the St.Ives Apricot Scrub, it has a cult following and for good reason, although LUSH Ocean Salt will always hold a special place in my heart!

The La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo is one of my new HG skincare products. It's a paraben-free corrective and unclogging anti-imperfection (imperfection= euphemism for blemishes) care that is super gentle and non-drying. I jumped into using it twice a day and didn't experience any dryness or discomfort at all. Rather than being a spot-treatment, Effaclar Duo works to keep your pores clear and unclogged to prevent future breakouts.

I decided to give Swedish Skin products a go after hearing rave reviews about them from Alex. My first Swedish Skin experience before even receiving or having time to try out my products was their excellent customer service

Without going into the details, I had an issue with the package of goodies I purchased and after expressing my concern to them, I received a prompt, friendly, and helpful email that quickly fixed my problem and made everything right again. I later found out that my problem had been the fault of Fed-ex and not Swedish Skin at all, so I was even more grateful and impressed that they were so quick to take responsibility to ensure their customer was satisfied. Based on that alone, I'd be happy to order from them again.

As for the products, I love the Anti-Aging Eye Cream! It's smells fresh and is light but very moisturizing without being greasy. It's creates the perfect canvas for under-eye concealer and powder and retails for $19.99. The Apple Rejuvenation Serum claims to fight aging and wrinkles, increase skin elasticity, even out skin tone, and reduce discoloration and retails for $23.99. It's probably also a result of other things as well, but I definitely have experienced more even skin tone and fading of my acne scars since using this fresh apple-scented serum. Lastly, the Intensive Anti-Wrinkle Moisturizer retails for $23.99 and smells of fresh cucumbers and is light, non-greasy, and great for normal-combination-oily skintypes. It's a nice moisturizer but nothing special, in my opinion. I'd definitely repurchase the eye cream and the serum but doubt I'd repurchase the moisturizer, as I believe I could find something comparable for a more affordable price.

I wanted to write this updated skincare post because, without sounding too dramatic, my skin has done a complete 180 since using this new skincare regimen! My skin has not been this clear, smooth, supple, or even in years...literally years. My only regret is since I started using so many new products all at the same time, I'm not sure where the credit is due.

I believe that my clear skin is mostly a result of using the Biore astringent in conjunction with the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo, since the facial cleansers I'm using have not changed. As for the vast improvement in my skin's texture and tone, I believe the credit goes to the Carlson Cod Liver Oil and the Swedish Skin Apple Rejuvenation Serum.

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to leave them for me in the comments below :)

Just a word of caution: I'm not a doctor or a skincare expert and while the dramatic change in skincare products didn't cause my skin any adverse reactions and I've greatly benefited from this particular skincare regimen, I cannot guarantee that anyone else would see the same effects or benefits as me. I just wanted to share with you my own, personal experience :)


2.10.2011

Dare to Bare.


I saw this challenge on Nicoletta's blog a few days ago and despite having seen similar challenges before, like The Beauty Bite Detox back at the start of the year, I finally feel like I'm ready to post a photo of my bare face for all on the internet to see.


Don't get me wrong - I don't wear makeup everyday, even if I am going out in public (gasp!). In all honesty, even when my acne was at it's worst, I'd still go to class without any makeup on because I didn't really care what people I didn't know thought of the way I looked. I'm very quite secure with the person that I am and let's be honest, I do own a mirror and am very aware of what I look like without makeup on, so there's really nothing anyone can say or think that would be news to me.

What really perplexed me for the longest time was why I was fine with going to class and meeting strangers without a trace of makeup on, yet the thought of baring all (of my face, that is...get your mind out of the gutter!) on my little blog for my readers to see made me so uncomfortable? It all comes down to the good and the bad that comes with beauty blogging, my friends.

Aside from the obvious, which is the fear of receiving the dreaded Anonymous comments saying things that I guarantee, those sad individuals wouldn't ever dare say to your face without the protection of the anonymity of the internet, I think that while beauty blogging and making friends and receiving super sweet comments can definitely boost your confidence, subconciously, you may also start to feel a bit insecure as you read other beauty blogs and think, "She's so much prettier than I am" or "I used all of the makeup she used but I still don't look like that," or another blogger has posted a photo of their bare face and you can't even tell the difference because they're still gorgeous.

Am I the most beautiful person ever? Absolutely not, but I am fine with that and I am happy and proud of the way I look - with and without makeup. Makeup is a hobby of mine so of course, I like the way I look with makeup on because I like learning about new makeup products and application techniques, etc. But, more so than being proud of how well I was able to put makeup on my face, I'm most happy with my actual face. Because it's me. I don't think I look perfect by any means, but this is how I look. This is me. And I love it.

I can put makeup on and take it off but my face will always be my face. If you aren't completely comfortable with the way you look naturally, no amount of makeup will be able to truly make you feel happy or confident in your own skin. Makeup is always the most beautiful when it's used to enhance, rather than cover-up, hide, or change a person.

With that said, I don't wear makeup because I feel lost, naked, insufficient, or ugly without it. I wear it because it makes me feel more confident, more beautiful, and it's one of the main ways I express myself. 

I've always loved makeup but I wasn't able to truly appreciate it and take advantage of it until I was first comfortable in my own skin.

I encourage all of you to join Nicoletta's Dare to Bare Challenge as well and I'd like to know, Why do you wear makeup?


2.09.2011

Blush Overload.

I've been ill that last 3 days but I'm starting to feel a bit better today and even though I had nowhere to go, I really wanted to find an excuse to use my new Dior Matte Bronzer so I slapped on some makeup and took some pictures :) Still couldn't be bothered to do my hair, though...



Face:
NARS Sheer Glow in Punjab
MAC Studio Finish concealer in NC30
Dior Sculpt Lifting Smoothing concealer in 002 Beige (under-eyes)
MAC MSF Natural in Medium Plus
Bare Minerals Well-Rested (under-eyes)
Dior Matte Bronzer in 02 Honey Matte
MAC blush in Peaches
MAC MSF in Perfect Topping (highlight)

Eyes:
MAC Greasepaint Stick in Dirty (base)
MAC e/s in Unflappable
MAC e/s in Wedge 
Milani Liquif'Eye Pencil in Black
Milani Liquif'Eye Pencil in Silver (inner corners)
Covergirl Lash Blast Volume mascara

Lips (same lip combo discussed here):
Burt's Bees lip balm
YSL Rouge Volupte in #13 Peach Passion
MAC l/g in Perennial High Style

Initial thoughts on the Dior Matte Bronzer are that a) I've probably been using bronzer that's too dark for my Winter skin because this one is one of the lighter shades of bronzer I own and I think it suits me perfectly, b) despite being a warm bronzer with orange undertones, it doesn't make me look orange at all, and c) I love it! Possibly a more in-depth review to come...

Also, I'm not sure if it comes across on-camera, but in real life, I have way too much blush on. There. I said it.


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