01. 02. 2015

Up until today, we had not really had a winter here in Chicago. A little snow, a few really cold days…but compared to last year it was like spring. Of course, it was too good to be true and we have gotten about 15 inches of snow in less than 24 hours. It’s definitely a blizzard out here! Keeping in the spirit of the weather, I thought it was a good time to share my picks for icy winter looks. I was inspired by Sam’s video here on her favorites for this time of year.

Winter Highlighters

My choice for winter highlighters are lighter versions, almost all cool toned or leaning that way. Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector in Pearl is great this time of year for adding dewiness. MAC Lightscapade is the most muted, but adds just a hint of glow to the skin without being obvious. Chanel’s Camelia de Plumes is a full-on highlighter (one that doubles as an eyeshadow) that has a gorgeous finish but is definitely not for those who are timid around sparkle. Edward Bess’ South of France is one of those unique, multi-taskers that manages to add definition to the cheeks like a bronzer, but also a glow like a highlighter. It’s very light, and may not work for everyone. On my pale skin, it’s perfect this time of year.

Winter Blushes

Another thing most makeup enthusiasts agree on is getting that perfect “Snow White” or “in from the cold” look. It’s easy to achieve with shades like the ones I have above. Tarte’s Natural Beauty is a very popular choice for good reason, the formula is impeccable and the tone is spot on. MAC’s Frankly Scarlet (top) and Salsarose (right) are both variations of the same shade. Salsarose has a slight sheen and is a bit more pink, while Frankly Scarlet is very matte and more red. Of the three, Natural Beauty is my favorite. Frankly Scarlet is bit dry in texture and a little harder to work with.

Winter Eyes

In terms of colors on the eyes, it’s a bit of a mix. Cool purples, icier blues and mints and shimmery taupes are all good picks for this time of year. Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill in #24 Madre Perla (top right) is a pearly white with a hidden mint/pink flash that is gorgeous (you can see it in action here). Bare Minerals shadow in Skyline (middle right) is a cooler, slightly greyed blue that pairs nicely with the Bare Minerals duo in Showstopper (bottom middle) (which I’ve also used here). MAC’s Aqua shadow (bottom right) is the perfect mint that is slightly blue that gives it a bit more of an icy flavor, but still so brightening on the eyes. NARS Heart of Glass (top middle) is one of my all time favorites. Michele1218 on Youtube once suggested it over NYX Jumbo Eye Shadow in Milk and the pairing is great during the winter. It gives a hint of blue without being Miss Piggy. It’s very chic. It’s probably the most reached for blue eyeshadow in my collection. Laura Mercier released a limited edition shadow in winter 2013 called Pearl Fantasy (top left) which was too pretty to pass up. It’s one of the lightest taupes I own, but the sheen it gives on the eyes is quite stunning. The formula and texture is interesting, kind of creamy. Similarly, NARS Dual Intensity shadow in Callisto is creamy, but more intense. The sparkle here is amazing and I really enjoy these shadows. I do have to say, I experience fallout during application so while I like them, they aren’t perfect in my book.

Winter Lips

It so happens that all of my choices here are from MAC. As much as the brand may frustrate me at times, they make some really unique colors and I fall for them frequently. The lipglass in Clear Water is icy and sparkly in a way that is beautiful and not obnoxious. The lipstick in Summer Shower looks scary in the tube, but goes on very sheer, adding a hint of minty sparkle to the lips that brightens my smile and lifts my complexion. MAC’s Gone Romancin’ dazzle glass is a pretty, sparkle lavender shade that is probably the most wearable in that category. The formula is creamy and not sticky.

Tomorrow is Groundhog Day. Let’s enjoy our icy winter makeup and secretly wish for an early spring! ;)

Happy first day of fall! The nights are getting cooler and the days are getting shorter; is there anything more comforting than the change of season?

A few days ago I shared my favorite blushes for this time of year. Now I’ve gone through my collection and picked the eyeshadow shades that I gravitate to as the leaves start to change.


Shown (from bottom left): Burberry Chestnut, Burberry Mulberry, Dior Golden Savannah, NARS Galapagos, Chanel Fauve, Paul & Joe 076

You will notice a theme as you look at the products I selected. Warm tones, burgundy, brown and taupe. I really enjoy khaki tones and browns that lean warm/orange. They are effortlessly appropriate for the season. I believe the Dior and Paul & Joe palettes were limited edition but the rest of the shades are readily available. You can never go wrong with Burberry shadows and these two colors paired together or used alone are stunning.


Swatches L-R: Dior Golden Savannah, Paul & Joe palette, NARS Galapagos, Burberry Chestnut, Burberry Mulberry, Chanel Fauve

You can see just how perfect any or all of these shades are!


Shown (clockwise from bottom): MAC Fluidline in Rich Ground, Chanel New Moon, Giorgio Armani #28

One of my all time favorite gel liners is Rich Ground from MAC. It’s a perfect coppery-bronze shade that has a slight red undertone to it. Chanel’s New Moon is not for the faint of heart. It’s extremely glittery and shimmery. It’s a night time shade for me but the effect is gorgeous. Armani’s eyes to kill shadow in #28 is a blend between rose gold and copper. It’s wearable for daytime looks for me.


Swatches L-R: Chanel New Moon, Giorgio Armani #28, MAC Rich Ground

You can see that the Giorgio Armani shade has more pigment and a sheen where New Moon is quite glittery and more sheer. Rich Ground has amazing payoff and a shine to it that just makes my eyes pop.


Shown (clockwise from bottom) MAC Outre, MAC Saddle, MAC Cranberry, MAC Sable

Finding an eyeshadow palette to use throughout the fall can be difficult, especially if you have something very specific in mind. I would recommend putting together some of your shades from MAC or Inglot (or any brand with single shadows) and making something that’s all your own. That’s one of the reasons I love Z palettes. I love having the ability to switch and swap colors as my mood or season dictates. I picked a few colors from my MAC palettes that I reach for this time of year.

I hope you enjoyed my selections and got some new ideas for shades to try. I have two more Autumn picks posts left- lips and nails, so watch out for those in the next few days. Let me know some of your favorite eyeshadows for fall; I’m always on the hunt for a gem!

The first day of Autumn is just around the corner and I couldn’t be more excited. While I enjoy the summer, it’s been quite hot and humid here for about as long as I can tolerate. I prefer the fall with the cool breeze, changing colors and warm soups! I love the weather when you need to throw a sweatshirt on to go for a walk at night.

In celebration of fall I went through my makeup and picked out the shades for eyes, lips, cheeks and nails that I always wear this time of year. I am going to start with my favorite- blushes!


Shown: NARS Madly, Hourglass Mood Exposure and Laura Mercier Mocha Spice

In the fall I tend to go for similar colors for lips and cheeks. Nudes, berries and rosy tones make up the majority of my choices for both categories. I think I reach for nudes more because I tend to amp up my eyes more in the fall. These three shades are all very nude, in my opinion. None of them are completely matte, which I like. Nude shades can be harder to blend into the skin without a satin finish or a bit of sheen. It makes it more skin-like.


Shown: Tarte Blushing Bride, MAC Stark Naked, NARS Mata Hari, NYX Raisin

Not all berry shades have to be intimidating. They can be a berry pink, have a mauve tone, etc. that make them easier to wear. MAC Stark Naked was limited edition (NARS Sin is somewhat close) but the rest are readily available. Mata Hari was a surprise for me when I bought it years ago because I expected it to be a summer color. While it does look great with a tan, Mata Hari is a chameleon. It has just enough mauve/murkiness to it mixed with the right amount of berry pink. It’s a must have for me.


Shown: Illamasqua Sin, NARS Mounia, Becca Raspberry/Opal

While you can certainly use more sheer tones, it’s also fun to throw in some of those really pigmented colors that can imitate the effect of the cold. Illamasqua Sin and NARS Mounia are perfect for the fall. NARS Mounia was discontinued awhile back, but try a shade like NARS Taos or MAC Ambering Rose for a similar effect. Becca’s Beach Tint Shimmer in Raspberry/Opal is also worthy of fall must-have status. It’s the only cream product that made my list- but for good reason. The color gives a nice, refreshing berry tint while the highlighting aspect leaves behind a warm and wearable gold sheen. The two paired together are perfection and the formula is wonderful with excellent staying power.


Swatches from L-R: Illamasqua Sin, NARS Mounia, NARS Mata Hari, Tarte Blushing Bride, MAC Stark Naked, NYX Raisin, Hourglass Mood Exposure, NARS Madly, Laura Mercier Mocha Spice, Becca Raspberry/Opal

Also worth noting are the two highlighters I reach for in the fall season.


Shown: Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous and Guerlain Parure de Nuit

Both of these majestic (yes, it’s that serious) highlighters were sadly limited edition. Try another highlighter from Guerlain, like their meteorites perles. MAC has released a highlighter called Superb that is pretty spot-on for Rose Rendezvous. I have some comparison swatches of similar highlighters done here. If you ever spot one of these in a blog sale definitely snatch it up!

That wraps up my favorite cheek products for the fall. I’ll be doing eyes next!

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?