Is there anything quite as feminine or dainty as that perfect pop of pink swept lightly across your cheekbones? I recently had a request to swatch all of my pink blushes (thanks Katherine!) and I was happy to oblige. I didn’t know when I first sat down to take photographs for this post just how many (or few) pink blushes I would have. If you have followed my blog for any length of time you know that I tend to prefer my peach and coral blushes and often gravitate towards those types of shades in new releases.

However, I quickly realized that I do in fact own a number of pink blushes in a wide variety of tones and finishes. Please note that this is only for powder blushes. I intend to do a cream blush post separately only because swatching the two different textures together isn’t exactly ideal.

I have tried my best to group them together in a way that makes tonal sense. Enjoy!

Pink Blushes 1

Clockwise from bottom left: Milani Dolce Pink, Benefit Rockateur, MAC Pink Cult, Chanel Rose Ecrin, MAC Pink Tea, Rimmel Autumn Catwalk, 17 First Kiss, Estee Lauder Tease

These are the lighter pinks and the more neutral pinks that can almost border on nude. Some are matte and some are quite shimmery. The lighting here looks slightly different as a storm ended up moving through as I was finishing and this was the last photo I needed to take. Don’t you hate it when that happens? Love thunderstorms though. ;)

Pink Blush Swatches 1

Swatches (direct sunlight) L-R: MAC Pink Cult, MAC Pink Tea, Chanel Rose Ecrin, Rimmel Autumn Catwalk, 17 First Kiss, Benefit Rockateur, Milani Dolce Pink, Estee Lauder Tease

Pink Cult has quite a grey cast to it, which also makes it quite unique. It was limited edition- I depotted mine but I think it came out with the Jeanius collection in 2010? It’s a favorite for me in the winter. Pink Tea and Rose Ecrin are wonderful blushes that work well under pretty much any circumstance as they border on being nude. Autumn Catwalk was a gift from the lovely Tiffany of Will Work for Makeup well over a year ago, maybe even two- and it really does add that “hike on a windy fall day” color to the cheeks. I feel like drinking hot cider just looking at it. The 17 blush came from a friend overseas who used to have such an incredible blog (I miss you H!) and is amazing considering the price- I think it retails for 2 or 3 pounds. Rockateur is new and I just featured it in my last post- amazing!!! Dolce Pink and Tease are both quite shimmery- Dolce Pink being lighter and less pigmented and more noticeably sparkly on the face. Tease is that gelee formula I love and makes for a very glowing complexion.

Pink Blushes 4

Clockwise from bottom left: Stila Custom Color, Illamasqua Nymph, MAC Well Dressed, MAC Azalea Blossom, Stila Love at First Blush, Tarte Fantastic, MAC Two Virtues, Tarte Adored, Cargo Catalina (also pictured Milani Dolce Pink and Estee Lauder Tease but are not in the swatches below)

These are the cooler toned pinks and ones that have a slight lavender twist.

Pink Blush Swatches 4

Swatches (direct sunlight) L-R: MAC Azalea Blossom, MAC Two Virtues, Tarte Adored, Stila Custom Color, Tarte Fantastic, Illamasqua Nymph, Stila Love at First Blush, Cargo Catalina, MAC Well Dressed

Can you even see Well Dressed? It barely shows up on my current skin tone. I feel like when I am more pale it does, but it’s not earth shattering. It’s one of the first MAC blushes I purchased due to all the hype it got on Youtube and blogs at the time and frankly I’ve never really understood why. The Stila Custom Color, Tarte Fantastic and Illamasqua Nymph are all fairly similar- with Nymph having the best texture. Fantastic was limited edition and is a mini size that came from a set. Love at First Blush was limited edition as well but the pigmentation isn’t that great. Azalea Blossom is a true treasure and I am glad MAC has repromoted it a few times. Two Virtues and Adored are nice shimmery options for a slightly purple-hued pink. Catalina is the only Cargo blush I own and it’s rather nice. I enjoy the texture and pigmentation.

Pink Blushes 3

Clockwise from bottom left: Benefit Bella Bamba, Smashbox Pop of Pink, Illamasqua Hussy, Burberry Rose, Tarte Dollface, MAC Dollymix, MAC Mighty Aphrodite, Physicians Formula Healthy Booster Rose, Too Faced Candy Leopard

These are more the medium pinks, some are brighter than others but these are the standard, “suit all” shades that are so easy to use.

Pink Blush Swatches 3

Swatches (direct sunlight) L-R: Burberry Rose, Illamasqua Hussy, Tarte Dollface, Physician’s Formula Happy Booster Rose, Smashbox Pop of Pink, MAC Dollymix, Too Faced Candy Leopard, Benefit Bella Bamba, MAC Mighty Aphrodite

I hesitated including Mighty Aphrodite because it does border on being coral, but if you use the pink side a little more in ends up turning out a little more so. Illamasqua Hussy is the brightest of the group and Burberry Rose the darkest. Both are favorites of mine in terms of pigmentation and formula. Tarte Dollface is a super easy, never-fails shade that just seems to look good on everyone. Smashbox Pop of Pink is new to me (the newest is this group) and came in a set that may still be available at ULTA. I am super impressed with it. MAC Dollymix has a reputation all it’s own and seems to work well on a wide variety of skin tones. Too Faced Candy Leopard came in their Leopard Love palette (unfortunately limited edition) and is very soft and glowy. Bella Bamba is a nice watermelon pink with the right amount of shimmer.

Pink Blushes 2

Clockwise from bottom left: Sleek Santorini, MAC Her Blooming Cheek, MAC Azalea, Burberry Hydrangea Pink, NARS Desire, Tarte Amused, Smashbox Radiance, MAC Flaming Chic

These are the brights. The almost-neon and the ones you really have to take care in applying.

Pink Blush Swatches 2

Swatches (direct sunlight) L-R: Sleek Santorini, Burberry Hydrangea Pink, MAC Her Blooming Cheek, MAC Azalea, MAC Flaming Chic, NARS Desire, Smashbox Radiance, Tarte Amused

I have a hard time deciding between NARS Desire, Smashbox Radiance and Tarte Amused. All three are quite similar and add the most amazing pop of color to the face. I simply love these shades! MAC Flaming Chic is the lightest in pigmentation and Sleek Santorini is the heaviest. Just look at that glaringly bright color! Can you believe that it is from the drugstore? If you’re unfamiliar with the brand it is from overseas and is widely carried in drugstores (they call it “high street”) there. You can order the brand online but I’ve yet to see it carried in store in the U.S. – though I firmly believe they should! MAC Azalea is also quite the neon shade and I have to take extreme care when applying. MAC Her Blooming Cheek is similar but has no shimmer and is slightly lighter (and was limited edition).

That about wraps things up. I’m quite satisfied with my pink blush collection and feel I have most tones and finishes covered. I do still have a few shades on my wishlist (namely Chanel Rose Initial, Dior Rosy Glow and MAC Pink Swoon) but I’m not feeling the need to rush out and purchase them any time soon.

What are your must have pink blushes? Is there a shade I need to know about?

Here in the Chicago area the season of summer has made its presence known. The sun is hot, the air is humid and the flowers are in bloom. Although it’s been a little cooler this week, warm temperatures are again on the horizon-indefinitely.

Bronze Goddess Products 1

That’s fine though, because I’ve got my self-tanner on and have picked out some of my favorite new (new releases and new to me) products to look the summer part. I was actually inspired to write this post by the most quintessential summer perfume I have ever tried- Estée Lauder’s Bronze Goddess Eau Fraîche Skinscent.

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess

I picked this up a couple of months ago at my local CCO (the Estée Lauder Companies Outlet store- a true treasure if you’ve never been to one). The bottle is whimsical and chic- much like the scent contained therein. I had read many reviews about the various Bronze Goddess scents available- it seems each year brings something different. Determined to find out exactly which one smelled like the beach, I went to the CCO and gave several a whiff. Turns out this one is the exact one I was looking for (the 2011 version). It smells delightfully of suntan lotion, the warmth of the sun, and a hint of coconut. In other words- a day at the beach. The actual notes are as follows: Top notes: mandarin and bergamot. Heart: magnolia, orange blossom, tiare flower, jasmine, myrrh. Base: coconut, caramel, sandalwood, amber, vetiver

Each year the notes either change or they bring back a version from the past. I highly recommend the one you see above, from 2011. It was around $40 for 3.4oz/100mL at the CCO. A word of caution, the perfume has an average wear time of about 3-4 hours on me. It does not last the whole day. It does last longer if I spritz a little in my hair, but put this on knowing that you may need to reapply if it has to last longer than 4 hours.

Bronze Goddess Products 3

Laura Mercier certainly knows how to do bronze the right way. Her new Ritual bronzer that was released in her summer collection has been practically the only cheek product I’ve been using since getting it almost two months ago. It’s had some pretty stiff competition with the new Dior blush/bronzer duo and Clarins Splendours bronzer I purchased around the same time. Ritual tops both of the others. I have Lisa of LisaLisaD1 (wonderful Youtuber) to thank because when I first swatched this in store I was frightened by the pigmentation and color. Turns out it’s perfect.

The shadow is another Youtube beauty find- the lovely Vanessa of TheBombshellSuite recommended this shade awhile ago and I finally picked it up. Turns out it’s as incredible as she said it was. It’s Laura Mercier Baroque and I think every girl needs this shade in her arsenal.

MAC released a new verion of their Strobe Liquid Lotion called Golden Elixir. I thought it would be a nice way to add a subtle glow to my complexion and I was right. It’s fabulous. I believe the MAC website sold out, but try your local store/counter. Give it a swatch and see what you think. It’s thin enough to be mixed with foundation but can be built up enough to use as a highlighter on cheeks.

Bronze Goddess Products 2

MAC released their Temperature Rising collection a few weeks ago, and although I hauled a number of things, this eyeshadow quad turned out to be my favorite. The textures, colors and pigmentation are all top notch. One of the best quads they’ve ever released I’d say. On that same note- Urban Decay released a handful of new shades of their buttery shadows this spring. I picked up two of them, the one shown here is Easy Baked and it’s perfect for the summer.

For liners, MAC and Urban Decay stun again with two amazing products. Demolition is a deep, matte brown that works well with most every shadow I’ve paired it with. It looks great smudged too. MAC’s Rich Ground fluidline was actually the very first MAC Eyeliner I ever purchased. It was used on me by one of their MUA’s at Saks (incidentally- I have several favorite products because of that one very talented artist, including their prolongwear concealer and #33 lashes). I probably would never have picked it out for myself, but once I had it on I was convinced I needed it. It’s a gorgeous luminescent bronze and the formula is flawless.

Bronze Goddess Swatches 1

Swatches L-R: MAC Rich Ground, Urban Decay Demolition, Laura Mercier Baroque, Urban Decay Easy Baked, MAC Bare My Soul Quad- When in Rio, Friendly, Romantico, Bare My Soul

Side Note: How gorgeous is When in Rio?!?!

Bronze Goddess Swatches 2

Swatches L-R: Laura Mercier Ritual, MAC Golden Elixir

Below is a picture I posted to my Instagram using a few of the products mentioned above (Rich Ground, Baroque, Ritual). By the way, I update Instagram WAY more than I update here (unfortunately). If you’re wondering what I’m hauling, loving, eating or wearing- that’s the best place to find me.

Laura Mercier Ritual FOTD

Subtle, but glowy- my favorite kind of summer look!

I’ve been testing a number of self-tanners over the past few months and I’m working on a comprehensive breakdown of the ones I like, love or loathe. Expect to see that soon.

In the meantime, what are your bronzey favorites? What is your go-to summer look?

17. 02. 2013

One of the things that really alerted me to the presence of beauty blogs a few years ago was my intense google search(ing) for swatches, and more importantly, comparisons. I have amassed several swatch comparison posts in my time as a blogger, many of which end up being quite labor intensive. It’s worth it, though, because I can’t tell you how many times I have gotten emails/tweets/comments thanking me for comparing X to Y and how helpful it was in deciding on a purchase. Not only that, but it benefits your truly as well. When I see things side-by-side my mind creates a little photo repository and the next time someone asks me or the general masses if A compares to B, I can generally recall how close they were or what major differences I saw.

Having said that, I have once again compiled a small archive of comparison swatches over the last few months which I probably would have done individual posts on but thought it might be more fun to just collage a few of them together for a neat little post. Enjoy!

Blue Aqua Liner Comparison Swatches

L-R: MAC Undercurrent, Urban Decay LSD, Stila Peacock, Sephora 12 Hour Peacock Blue Shimmer

Sephora had released a new shade of their 12 Hour Jumbo Pencils in Peacock Blue Shimmer some time last fall and I picked it up. I wanted to see how it compared to other shades I had in my collection. It ended up being fairly unique.

Remember that beautiful Lancome holiday shadow with the interlocking pattern (Fil d’Argent)?

Lancome Fil D'Argent

I never did a full post on it, but she is an incredibly gorgeous shadow. Comparisons below!

Lancome Fil D' Argent Swatch Comparisons

L-R: Chanel Fauve, Burberry Rosewood, Lancome Fil D’Argent, Le Metier de Beaute Corinthian

Dolce & Gabbana Caramel Blush Swatches Cooler

L-R: NARS Madly, MAC Gingerly, Tarte Exposed, Dolce & Gabbana Caramel, Burberry Russet

Of these I’d say Caramel is hands down my favorite! Thanks to two wonderful girls (Jessica of Don’t Call Me Jessie for introducing it to me and J. of Lil Lady’s Life for picking it up for me) this has happily been my most used blush of 2013 thus far. The lasting power is amazing…all freakin’ day!

MAC Betty Bright Lipstick

A long time Archie fan (I  still read the comics, Team Betty ftw) I had to indulge in some of the MAC Archie’s Girls collection. I picked up two blushes and two lipsticks, my favorite being Betty Bright. I knew it would be a popular color, as all coral/peach shades MAC releases tend to be. I also knew a comparison swatch fest would be in order….

MAC Betty Bright Comparison Swatches

L-R (all MAC): Watch Me Simmer^, Sunny Seoul, Vegas Volt, Costa Chic, Betty Bright^, Ever Hip^, Cut A Caper^, Fresh Salmon^, Flamingo^, Reel Sexy^, Pleasureseeker^, Ravishing

The lipsticks marked with ‘^’ are all sadly limited edition. I included because I know many of you may own one or more of those shades and would perhaps be curious as to how they compared. The closest is Flamingo but they are different formulas. Costa Chic is also somewhat close but unfortunately not an exact dupe.

IMG_1657

Taupe cream shadows and liners! I know Taupe is really a general term as it applies to colors that are both warm or cool, brown toned or purple toned, matte or shimmer…you get the idea. I have several that I picked that I believe fall into the “generic” taupe category (though I wouldn’t describe any of these shadows as ordinary)!

Taupe Cream Shadows Liners Comparisons

L-R: MAC Electric Cool in Superwatt, Loreal Bronzed Taupe, Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill #4, Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill #27, MAC Dangerous Cuvee, Buxom Pug, Bobbi Brown Galaxy, Loreal Liquid Diamond, Chanel Illusoire, Tarte SmolderEyes Gunmetal*, Sephora 12 Hour Dark Taupe Shimmer, Mally Dusk*, Mally Rosy Taupe*, Sephora 12 Hour Taupe, Lancome Taupe Brilliant, Annabelle Armour, Urban Decay Mushroom, Urban Decay Stray Dog

Of the above (I know… !!!!) the shade that comes to mine first when I hear the word taupe is Chanel Illusoire. Not this specific brand but just a shade type in general. It’s the perfect mix of purple-grey-brown, flecked with iridescent shimmer. There isn’t a shade in the bunch not worth owning.

IMG_1654

Enter the beige/champagne cream shadows. I should do regular eyeliners too  but I didn’t really think of those at the time, and frankly I didn’t have space on my arm for them all! This type of shadow is my most used. They are the one-swipe wonders of the beauty world. One swipe and you can instantly brighten your eyes and face. They are great as bases or to add a touch of shimmer to any look.

Champagne Shadow Comparison Swatches

L-R: MAC Electric Cool Pure Flash, Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill #8, Loreal Blinged and Brilliant, Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill #9, MAC Vintage Selection, Loreal Iced Latte, Maybelline Barely Beige, MAC Bare Study, Sephora 12 Hour Beige, Tarte SmolderEyes Champagne*, Tarte Clay Shadow Stick (unnamed)*, Urban Decay Midnight Cowboy, Milani Champagne Toast, Mally Champagne*, Chanel Emerveille

Again, Champagne and Beige shadows take on different forms, some leaning cooler and others leaning warmer. Of the shades above, Giorgio Armani #9 is definitely my most used. I am also very happy to finally have MAC Vintage Selection in my collection. I missed out on it when it was first released in 2010 (I think) but MAC has recently brought it back in their permanent collection.

I hope you enjoyed the comparisons! If you have any comparison requests feel free to leave a suggestion below…I’m always looking for new ideas!

Items marked with a ‘*‘ were provided by PR for review purposes only

Rose gold. It’s no secret why this shade is so popular. Seemingly flattering on all skin tones and a goes-with-everything reputation, rose gold became a fast hit in my makeup routine earlier this year. If I could describe the shade in one word, it would be enchanting. I thought I would feature some great options in this shade that I have come across so far.

Rosy Outlook.

 

Gilded lillies are for amatuers.

 Tarte Amazonian Clay Shimmering Powder in Rose*: This is a subtle and super soft highlight. It gives a gentle ethereal glow without saying “Hi my name is shimmer and I’m all over your face” The powder has an excellent texture and is as lasting as I have come to expect from Tarte’s Amazonian Clay line. If you think the next highlighter is just too much, this may be the one you are looking for. This is a product that would work for pretty much everyone, especially if you despise shimmer/glitter. This is a grab-n-go kind of product that doesn’t require a lot of thought or precise application.

Laura Mercier Face Illuminator in Rose Rendezvous: Not for the faint of heart. This is Bam! Pow! highlighter and although and it can be worn subtly, the shimmer is ever-present. The texture is divine and the the pattern goes without saying- GORG. It’s limited edition which does tack on a little bit of frenzy if you want to get this before it’s gone. However, I don’t think it’s something everyone will love nor is it something I would universally recommend to everyone.  You have to be careful because it’s easy to overdo. I overlook it because frankly, it’s a gorgeous powder.

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Wash Shadow in Rose Gold 8: It’s pretty self-explanatory. It is more of a sheer shadow, soft to the touch and easy to blend. It’s shimmery but not glittery or gritty. It’s almost a satin in my eyes. It’s lovely all around and I don’t experience fall out with this formula.

And the Gold you Rose in on...

Mally Lip Laquer in Delish Apricot*: A great long lasting liquid lipstick because it’s quite thick and very pigmented. It’s the only rose gold-ish shade for the lips I own. It leans more apricot as the shade name suggests, but it is positively stunning.

bareMinerals Prime Time Primer Shadow in Sundance: This shade reminds me of MAC’s Rubenesque paint pot, only on steroids. It stays put all day when I use it as a base, but on it’s own I have seen it start creasing at the 6-7 hours. Nothing horrible and nothing worth returning the product over. It’s smooth and pigmented and a little of this goes on loooong way. It’s a small tube, but since you need so little I don’t mind. I like that it’s in a tube vs in a pot for sanitary reasons.

Swatches L-R with flash: Mally Delish Apricot, Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous, Tarte Rose, Bobbi Brown Rose Gold, bareMinerals Sundance

 

Swatches L-R in Natural Light: Mally Delish Apricot, Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous, Tarte Rose, Bobbi Brown Rose Gold, bareMinerals Sundance

 

Good as Rose Gold

Orly Rage: Shimmering metallic goodness. I love this shade. have loved it since I purchased it several months ago…I think back in March or April. It’s graced my nails many times and for a nail polish addict like me, that’s saying a lot. I like the formula and it holds up well on my nails without chips for at least 4-5 days.

MAC Soiree: A limited edition color. Identical to Orly Rage, only Orly Rage is better in my opinion. The sparkle is better, the formula is better. If you missed this polish from last year’s Cham Pale collection, you aren’t missing out because Orly’s Rage is readily available at Ulta (and other places too).

Which is which?

Can you tell which is which? I kind of don’t want to say, but if you must know my middle and pinkie fingers are both Orly Rage, index and ring are both MAC Soiree.

What are your rose gold recommendations? Do you find the shade as enchanting as I do?

*Items with a ‘*’ were provided by PR for review purposes only*

Hi ladies! I didn’t really intend to post two bigger posts back to back, but such is life. ;)

EDIT: Two new pictures of the paint pots have been added below. One is with Let’s Skate in direct sunlight, no flash and the other is a comparison swatch of Dangerous Cuvee Paint Pot and For Effect.

MAC Glitter & Ice has landed!

MAC Glitter & Ice is coming soon and I just got my order in today! I wanted to share my swatches and thoughts in case you hadn’t decided what to order yet. First, I’m not a huge fan of the white packaging. It looks wintery enough but I neither love nor loathe it. I did however enjoy the silver boxes that everything came. Oooh…something shiny to play with. Or, at least that’s what my mind told me..

MAC Unconditionally Fabulous vs China Glaze Snow Globe

I am not going to swatch these right now because I don’t know if I will be keeping the MAC one. In person they are very similar but you can see the MAC glitter is smaller than in the China Glaze. Bummer. I was hoping for the white polish that looked like a candy shop/ice cream shop for your nails.

MAC Glitter & Ice Paint Pots (without flash)

MAC Glitter & Ice Paint Pots (flash)

 

L-R: Let's Skate, Morning Frost, For Effect

I knew I would love Morning Frost being that it’s in the same vein of shade I tend to go for a lot (think lighter golden taupe). The one that really surprised me was Let’s Skate. It looked ok in swatches but nothing stellar. I ordered it just to see and honestly, I love the shade. It has a golden-pink shimmer in it that makes it look iridescent. A stunner for sure! For Effect is a charcoal grey with plenty of shimmer (think Cham-Pale paint pots in terms of texture and glitter/shimmer). I like them all, but Morning Frost and Let’s Skate are stand outs.

MAC Snow Season MES

 

L-R: Snow Season over Pixie Epoxy, Snow Season Dry, Snow Season over Morning Frost

I am admittedly not the biggest MES fan. For the money, I think the shadows could use significant improvement. Usually. Snow Season is a great one, though and is worth the money in my opinion. It’s lighter on it’s own but over Pixie Epoxy it shines and looks gorgeous over Morning Frost.

MAC Shimmermint MES

 

L-R: Shimmermint over Pixie Epoxy and Shimmermint Dry

I was expecting Shimmermint to be a little more….mint. And maybe for some people it is, being how the colors can vary pretty drastically based on veining. It’s pretty and smooth and one of the better MES I’ve swatched and touched. It’s very winter-like. Icy, without being blue.

MAC Whirls & Twirls Lipstick

 

MAC Seasonally Spicy Technakohl

 

L-R: Whirls & Twirls, Seasonally Spicy

Whirls & Twirls is exactly as I thought it’d be. It’s a glaze so I knew it was sheer and shimmery. It has a lovely iridescent quality to it again and is truly unique to my collection. I love that it’s shimmery without being frosty.

Seasonally Spicy I got just to try the Technakohl formula. Having never tried it before I didn’t know what to expect. It’s a nice shade, and goes opaque fairly easily. It’s not as soft as my Urban Decay 24-7 pencils, but it also dries to a nice firm liner. I tried to smudge it after about 30 seconds and the thing wouldn’t budge. it was like it had formed a layer on my skin and was …adhered? to it. Can’t wait to test the wear time!

MAC Dazzleglass She-Zam

 

MAC She-Zam Swatch

I already had the She-Zam Dazzleglass from a previous release. I couldn’t tell you what one that was because I got mine from a CCO. It’s nice, definitely not an everyday gloss for me and it’s super sparkly. Hate to use the word for the third time this post…but it is  iridescent. Or, a silver-opal.

EDIT: Adding extra swatches:

L-R: MAC For Effect vs Dangerous Cuvee (natural light, no flash)

 

Let's Skate Paint Pot, direct sunlight

Those were the items that stood out in the collection for me. I hemmed and hawed at some of the other items for awhile, but determined that my collection just didn’t have room for the other items in there.

What are you planning to haul? Did this collection do it for you or were you unimpressed? Dish!