Thursday, January 30, 2014

Tom Ford Cheek Color in 01 Love Lust, 02 Frantic Pink, and 04 Savage

Tom Ford makes some of my favorite powdered blushers -- easily on my Top 3 list along with Burberry and YSL. TF blushes are highly pigmented, super blendable, and incredibly long-lasting. I have yet to come across a single blush from his range that does not meet all three standards -- a rarity in the cosmetics world these days. Tom Ford packaging needs no explanation. It exudes class and quality, and it very well should be at $56 a pop for these blushes!

01: Love Lust
Starting off with Love Lust, ie my first Tom Ford blush, and the one that made me fall in love with his entire line-up. I have heard several beauty bloggers and Youtubers refer to this as a more mature version of NARS Orgasm, and I couldn't agree any more. Unlike the infamous O, I don't see as prominent of a golden sheen when Love Lust goes on my cheeks. The shimmer is still there, don't get me wrong, but it is certainly more refined. Also, the lasting power of Love Lust far exceeds Orgasm and with no oxidation whatsoever. This blush is incredibly pigmented, and one tap into the pan is all that one needs for both cheeks. By default, this is the most universally flattering color from Tom Ford's range of permanent blushes, since it is that neutral peachy-coral shade everyone always seems to gravitate towards. I can see this working on the lightest of skin tones to the darkest of skin tones, since this (and the rest of his blushes) are very buildable.

02: Frantic Pink
I would call Frantic Pink the 'Tom Ford beginners blush', because you simply cannot overdo this blush. This blush is that angelic pink shade that leans slightly on the warmer side. It looks amazing on very fair skin tones to give a flush of color, and it looks just as beautiful on much darker skin tones as a highlighter. I personally enjoy layering this blush on the apples of my cheeks over a matte blush shade. Like Love Lust, this is a shimmery blush, so a highlighter is unnecessary. However, if you are like me, and enjoy highlighters, I would still suggest finishing off with one. It really pulls the look together, in my opinion. Frantic Pink is one of my favorite blushes to go to when I am sporting a smoky eye or when I am trying to achieve a 'no-makeup makeup' look.

04: Savage
Though it may not seem like so from the pan, Savage is actually my most used blush out of the three. In fact, I had to tell myself to use my other blushes at one point over the Summer, because I kept reaching for this. Do keep in mind this blush is extremely pigmented. Consider yourself warned! It is quite easy to go a bit heavy-handed with Savage, thus, giving the sunburnt cheeks effect -- not too flattering, if you ask me. I cannot recommend using a duo-fiber brush with this particular blush enough; I promise you will still achieve that exotic coppery-bronze look with said brush. Even though it may look like a good bronzer shade in the pan, I wouldn't suggest it, because of the frosty nature of Savage. It's frosty, it's shimmery, it will make you look like a disco ball if you attempt to contour with it. Instead, try placing the blush towards the back of your cheeks and above your contour to give your face a more sculpted look.

(L-R): 01 Love Lust, 02 Frantic Pink, 04 Savage

I couldn't pick a favorite out of the three Tom Ford blushes I own if I had to: all three are lovely in their own ways. Everytime I go back to using one of the blushes, I wonder why I needed the rest of my blush collection. Okay, slight exaggeration but you get my drift. Tom Ford Cosmetics is available at, Neiman Marcus, and now!
Monday, January 27, 2014

NARS Eyeshadow Duo in Kauai

I'm a firm believer in the fact that all makeup brands has its hits-and-misses. NARS is no exception. Despite having fallen off of my radar for a while, the brand has quickly made a comeback with its recent releases for Spring 2014. While I passed on the Nordstrom exclusive Final Cut blushes and lip pencils, I could not resist the duo eyeshadow in Kauai ($34.) In fact, it was practically calling my name the day it launched.

I either tend to love or hate NARS permanent range eyeshadow singles and duos, but I can safely say that Kauai has won a place in my heart. It is probably the best duo NARS has released in quite a while. The left shade is described as a gold lamé, and I could not have said it any better. It is an ultra-shimmery golden taupe that leans neither too cool nor too warm. On the right, we have a shade NARS claimed is an iridescent smoky orchid -- accurate once more. Duochrome in nature, it can pull a vibrant bluish-purple under some lights and a reddish-purple under others. It's truly a chameleon of a shade.

The first look I created (purple on the lid, gold in the crease) resulted in a rather editorial, work-inappropriate look on me. My quick fix by layering the gold over the purple resulted in a discovery: when layered, the two shades boast a stunning, metallic purplish-taupe! Needless to say, it is my favorite way of wearing the duo. Who would have thought that Kauai is a triple threat in disguise? Of course, I will let the swatches show just how nicely the two shades came together...

(L-R: Left shade, Right Shaded, Gold layered on top of the purple)

NARS has recently reformulated its eyeshadows, starting with the Guy Bourdin collection, and I must say it has taken me by surprise. NARS rarely lacked in pigmentation in the past, although the products weren't as soft and buttery as they could be. With these shadows, you barely need to dip your brush into the colors and you get enough pigmentation... for both eyes. The lasting power of these shadows are just as impressive -- easily 10+ hour wear with no signs of fading nor creasing even after a workout! 

I know Kauai has been selling out online. I was pretty frustrated when I was not able to track one down myself. However, I was able to find mine at my local Sephora store, which was fully stocked (even when it is not showing up on yet!) No worries, however, as this duo is now part of the permanent range -- like all outstanding products should, right?!
Thursday, January 23, 2014

Anna Sui Rose Cheek Color: 100, 300, 301

Let me admit up front that I'm a sucker for packaging. I also love rose-scented anything. Therefore, it should not come as a surprise to anyone that I absolutely adore Anna Sui's makeup line, particularly her Rose Cheek Colors. Within the past six months, my collection has grown quite a bit. (I blame my friend who originally lived in Canada and, thus, had easy access to Anna Sui products for kickstarting my love for these blushes, as she had sent me my first one in #300.)

What I love so much about these blushes is that you can customize each one to your liking effortlessly. It can be coral if you prefer coral cheeks. It can be pink if you want your blush of the day to be on the pinky side. And if you are not feeling like having shimmery cheeks, just work your brush around the shimmer bloom present in each one of her blush. Don't even get me started on how easily these blushes blend! Do keep in mind that since this is an Asian brand, you will not over-apply at first swipe. Instead, you will have to build the colors. Do not confuse this as a less-than-stellar product, however. Buildable doesn't always translate to bad products nor poor pigmentation. Rather, it gives you more control as to how much product goes on the cheeks.

100: Mystic Rose
This is my latest acquisition, and the one that had intrigued me the most. Of all the blushes available from her line, I really feel this truly reflects Anna Sui's fairy theme. What does Mystic Rose do exactly? It's a great blush topper, especially cool-toned blushes, as it tweaks the color just slightly while adding some dimension. I'm hesitant to fully call it a highlighter, since I prefer wearing on my cheekbones layered over other blushes. When applied slightly heavy-handedly down the bridge of my nose, it was very unflattering. It pairs quite nicely with NARS Desire and Gaiety, as well as the next Anna Sui blush I will be talking about...

300: Romantic Rose
Like the name implies, this is a rather rosy blush that leans more cool-toned pink. Most days I prefer swirling my brush onto the entire pan for that shimmery, angelic pink. There are days when I really want that flushed look, in which case, I would just concentrate a smaller blush brush on the lower left hand quadrant. Built up, the color you see in the pan will translate onto your cheeks much in the same manner.

301: Dreamy Rose
Without a doubt, Anna Sui's most popular blush from her line-up. This shade is always sold out, so I would suggest snatching it up whenever you see it available. It is popular for justifiable reasons: it is that peachy pink blush that so many of us (yours truly included) simply cannot get enough of! Admittedly, it is the shade I find to be the most flattering across all skin tones. However, you can get a pretty vibrant orange blush if you focus on the top and bottom right hand corners of the pan.

Swatches: (L-R: 100 , blended; 300 heavily swatched, blended; 301 heavily swatched, blended)

Will I be picking more Rose Cheek Colors? You bet! Not only are they long wearing on the cheeks (well over the 8-hour mark before I notice slight fading), but they do not oxidize either. I am already eyeing her two brand new, limited releases for Spring in the colors Lovely Rose and Magical Rose. These blushes, along with the rest of the Anna Sui line, are available on, Urban Outfitters, and Beautylish.