It was hard to narrow this down, but I feel like these shades are really too good to pass up!






It’s no secret that all of us beauty lovers tend to obsess over a particular shade or type of product until we move on to another, seemingly more interesting obsession. Sometimes I go into phases where I want every bright pink blush or every coral lipstick. Over the past few months that focus was easily on bronzers. Perhaps it was the long and almost tortuous winter we had here in Chicago, but I couldn’t get enough of the bronze glow on my face all spring. Now that summer is nearly here my obsession appears to have paid off.

Favorite Bronzers 2014

Bronzers come in many forms but on a day-to-day basis I definitely reach for powder products over cream or liquid versions. They just seem to be easier to use and less difficult to overdo. I usually choose a satin or matte finish, but I do have some with a slight sheen or shimmer. I almost always use the same brush to apply my bronzer- the MAC 138 tapered face brush. It applies the right amount of product and the tapered shape allows me to dust my temples, jawline and cheekbones with ease. I would recommend getting the MAC version of this brush over the Sigma version. I had the Sigma one first and it shed everywhere! I had to discard it it was that bad.

Favorite Bronzers 2014 2

Aphrodite’s Shell from the MAC Alluring Aquatic collection is my newest edition. The packaging is absolutely stunning, isn’t it? It’s my current go-to shade. My most used is definitely Laura Mercier’s Ritual- a product I’m nearly devastated to say was limited edition. The only cream bronzer I’ve been using lately is Daniel Sandler’s Fiji. It has an amazing texture and has the perfect red undertone to it. It really does create a stunning, believable tan on the face. Bobbi Brown Natural 1 is like Fiji in powder form. The powder is smooth and pigmented and the color is perfect. The Bare Minerals compact is relatively new and I’m quite impressed with both the presentation and actual product. It adds a nice glow without looking heavy or overdone.

Favorite Bronzers 2014 Swatches

Swatches L-R: Daniel Sandler Fiji, Chanel Les Beiges in 30, Laura Mercier Matte Baked in 02, Bobbi Brown Natural 1, Laura Mercier Ritual, MAC Aphrodite’s Shell, Becca Duende, Bare Minerals The Beach is Waiting, Dolce & Gabbana Glow Powder Shimmer 6

The Dolce & Gabbana powder is actually touted as a highlighter- but I bought it to use as a contouring product and it works well for that. The powder is incredibly soft and velvety. I’m still warming up to the Chanel powder. I find it a bit light so I have to layer it to get the correct color. Becca Duende is a great color, but the formula isn’t as smooth as I would prefer. It’s not noticeable in application but it is when I touch the powder with my fingers. Having said that, I don’t apply it with anything other than a brush so, maybe it doesn’t matter. Laura Mercier Matte Baked Bronzer in 02 has a nice texture and color, and for some reason I had totally forgotten about it! I’m glad to have it back in rotation.

There you have it! My picks for getting your glow on this summer, and throughout the year!

Tell me, what bronzer or bronzers have you been using lately? Why are they your favorite?



Well, it’s that time again. Another MAC Collection is being released. Normally I take a look at the collection, sigh a little with boredom and move on. However, this collection absolutely took my breath away.

Meet the packaging:

MAC Alluring Aquatic Haul

The Alluring Aquatic collection contains new Extra Dimension eyeshadows and blushes, as well as new lipstick, lipglosses and nail polishes. It also introduces Extra Dimension bronzers and some repromoted bronzers in the limited edition packaging. When I fall, I fall hard. The aqua packaging along with the faux water droplets (yes, you can feel them on the packaging) make the items in this collection pretty irresistible.

MAC Seduced at Sea

MAC Seduced at Sea

MAC Sea Me Hear Me

MAC Sea Me Hear Me

MAC Aphrodites Shell

MAC Aphrodite’s Shell

MAC Refined Golden

MAC Refined Golden

MAC Enchanted One Lipstick

MAC Enchanted One

MAC Mystical Lipstick

MAC Mystical

MAC Goddess of the Sea

MAC Goddess of the Sea

MAC Clear Water

MAC Clear Water

MAC Silver Sun

MAC Silver Sun

MAC Lorelei

MAC Lorelei

MAC Sea Worship

MAC Sea Worship

MAC Fathoms Deep

MAC Fathom’s Deep

First, Let’s look at the blushes.

MAC Alluring Aquatic Swatches 1

Swatches L-R: MAC Autoerotique, MAC Fiery Impact, MAC Sea Me Hear Me, MAC Seduced at Sea

If you already own Fiery Impact, I don’t see the need to get Sea Me Hear Me. They are close enough to be almost dupes. Seduced at Sea is more orange in tone than my other extra dimension blushes, and more bronze. Both of the new shades are pigmented and smooth.

MAC Goddess of the Sea Comparison

Goddess of the Sea was more purple than I expected. It’s pretty, and not very similar to what I already owned.

MAC Goddess of the Sea Swatches

Swatches L-R: MAC Courting Lilac, MAC Feel My Pulse, MAC Goddess of the Sea, MAC Heavenly Hybrid, MAC Daddy’s Little Girl

Goddess of the Sea is more plum than several of the other lipsticks I have from MAC. It’s more purple than Plumful and not as bright as Rebel. It’s a more wearable plummy-purple for sure.

MAC Mystical Comparison

Mystical is somewhat similar to others in my collection, but it still adds a nice touch having this everyday shade in such beautiful packaging.

MAC Mystical Swatches

Swatches L-R: MAC Apres Chic, MAC Mystical, MAC Morning Rose, MAC Gem of Roses

Mystical falls directly between Apres Chic and Morning Rose. It’s a nice, easy-to-wear rosy red shade that’s slightly subdued.

MAC Enchanted One Comparison

I really struggled to find something that compared to Enchanted One. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I don’t have anything that’s even close.

MAC Enchanted One Swatches

L-R: MAC Betty Bright, MAC Ravishing, MAC Hue, MAC A Perfect Day, MAC Enchanted One, MAC Mehr, MAC Spice

A Perfect Day is the closest I could find, but it’s still significantly lighter. The formula is matte so I wanted to compare it to Spice and Mehr, both of which have a similar formula and feel on the lips.

MAC Lorelei Comparison

Lorelei and Sweet Heat

MAC Fathoms Deep Comparison

Grand Galaxy, Fathoms Deep, Blue Orbit

MAC Alluring Aquatic Swatches 2

Swatches L-R: Grand Galaxy, Fathoms Deep, Blue Orbit, Sweet Heat, Lorelei

Fathoms Deep is more blue toned than Grand Galaxy and significantly darker than Blue Orbit. Lorelei surprised me because I thought I would fall in love at first swatch. I was surprised to see that Sweet Heat was so similar, and actually more reflective. Depending on your taste you may like Lorelei better if you thought Sweet Heat was too shimmery.

MAC Sea Worship Comparison

Warm Thunder, Silver Sun, Modern Pewter, Sea Worship, Silver Dawn

MAC Alluring Aquatic Swatches 3

Swatches L-R: Warm Thunder, Silver Sun, Modern Pewter, Sea Worship, Silver Dawn

Silver Sun is similar but darker than Modern Pewter. Sea Worship is more golden and olive than Silver Dawn.

All of the eyeshadows are smooth, pigmented and absolutely worth it.

It was the packaging the won me over, but the products inside made it worth it. I will swatch the bronzers in a separate post, but they are both lovely as well.

What do you think? Is packaging something you’re willing to spring for?

Yes, spring is very near! Time to bust out the pinks and corals and of course, the cream blushes!

Here are my picks/thoughts:


I mentioned in my recent video that I had finally picked up Bobbi Brown’s rather famous blush in Pale Pink. A reader asked if I would do some swatches comparing it to a few other colors in the same family. As I love doing a good swatch-fest I happily obliged (thanks Shayna)!

Hot pink blush is something I have a hard time resisting, as you will see below. It’s just a fun, face-brightening shade that no one should be scared of- no matter how eye-searingly bright the color in the pan may seem!

Hot Pink Blush Comparison

The contenders, clockwise from bottom: MAC Pink Swoon, Illamasqua Nymph, Tarte Amused, NARS Desire, Smashbox Radiance, Stila Custom Color Pink, Bobbi Brown Pale Pink, Milani Delizioso Pink

All of my hot pink blushes are matte. I’m not sure if this was intentional or if hot pinks are really catered to that particular formula. In any case, all of these are beautiful in their own way and some are more similar than others. I believe Smashbox Radiance I have owned the longest and Milani Delizioso Pink is brand new.

All of the swatches below were done with the same brush on unprimed skin.

Hot Pink Blush Comparison Swatches Sun

Swatches L-R (in direct sunlight): Milani Delizioso Pink, Stila Custom Color Pink, Bobbi Brown Pale Pink, Smashbox Radiance, NARS Desire, Tarte Amused, Illamasqua Nymph, MAC Pink Swoon

The least pigmented is Pink Swoon and the most pigmented is NARS Desire, followed closely by Stila Custom Color Pink. NARS Desire is the most warm-toned of the group, along with Smashbox Radiance and Tarte Amused. Stila and Milani are definitely cool toned.

Hot Pink Blush Comparison Swatches Shade

Swatches L-R (in shade): Milani Delizioso Pink, Stila Custom Color Pink, Bobbi Brown Pale Pink, Smashbox Radiance, NARS Desire, Tarte Amused, Illamasqua Nymph, MAC Pink Swoon

The best texture goes to Illamasqua, Milani, NARS and Stila- all of which were smooth and soft. The biggest disappointment is MAC Pink Swoon. Although it looks nice when applied when swatched it loses a lot of it’s luster, especially when compared to some of the other standouts in my collection. Lasting power goes to Bobbi Brown, NARS and Tarte. I haven’t properly tested Milani so I cannot compare that one yet. I don’t have a problem with wear time on any of these blushes, but the ones noted above stood out to me as being particularly long-lasting .

My overall picks? NARS Desire, Stila Custom Color Pink, Bobbi Brown Pale Pink and Tarte Amused. If you’re on a budget the Milani blush is a great option. Skip MAC Pink Swoon. It isn’t as pigmented and the color in the pan isn’t exactly the color you get applied. Illamasqua Nymph is lovely all the way around, but it really isn’t hot pink as much as it is a bubblegum pink so I don’t feel right comparing it to the shades above.

I hope you found this helpful! What’s your favorite hot pink blush? Is there anything I am missing out on?!