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

 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Any time Tarte releases a new shade of their famous Amazonian Clay Blush line I get excited. The formula is perfect for me- plenty of pigment, great staying power and oh-so-smooth on the skin.

I was quietly browsing my local Sephora store and came upon a new shade I hadn’t heard of before.

Tarte Captivating Blush

The shade is called Captivating and so it was. It came home with me right away.

Captivating is described as ‘warm peach’ and I’d say that’s right on the money. It’s bright, but not garish. It’s easy to apply and, despite being very pigmented, is actually hard to overdo. It looks natural on me and it’s nice for the summer as it pairs well with a good bronzer.

I knew right away I would have to compare it to the other Amazonian Clay blushes I owned…

Tarte Captivating Blush Comparisons Dupes

Clockwise From Bottom Left: Tarte Blissful, Tarte Tipsy, Tarte Captivating, Tarte Achiote

Captivating is definitely less pink than Blissful and Achiote, and more peach than Tipsy.

Tarte Captivating Blush Swatches

Swatches L-R: Tipsy, Captivating, Blissful, Achiote

If you love the Amazonian Clay line already, this blush will be a great addition to your collection. If you’ve not tried it and just love peach blushes I have a feeling you will get a lot of use from this one.

Tarte blushes are cruelty-free and formulated without parabens, sulfates or synthetic fragrances so if you have sensitive skin I would highly recommend checking the line out. The blush retails for $26. I bought mine from Sephora, but you can also find them on Tarte’s website and QVC.

 

It’s all-too-often that beauty products get released from various brands that try to copy err, recreate an already existing shade almost down to the exact detail. For example, MAC’s very famous eyeshadow Club. So many brands have come out with their version of the shade with very few distinctions between themselves and the original. While it’s all fine and good to have alternatives or possibly even a cheaper option, it’s the lack of creativity that sometimes frustrates beauty lovers. Give us something new, innovative, unique!

That’s where NARS hit it out of the park with the newly released single eyeshadow in Malacca.

NARS Malacca Eyeshadow

When I first heard about this shadow I really paid no attention to it (shame on me). I honestly thought it was “just another version of MAC Club…. that I don’t need.” It wasn’t until seeing it in person that I realized just how wrong I was.

MAC’s Club (and the other iterations of it) and I haven’t gotten along too well. The undertones of the shade pull too red on me and make me look tired or sick. Not something I aim to do, so it’s not really a shade I reach for. Many years I have listened to beauty lovers extoll the virtues of MAC Club only to be left on the sidelines because it doesn’t play well with my skin tone. But no longer!

NARS Malacca in formulation is perfection. It is smooth, pigmented and silky to the touch. It blends well in application and I don’t experience any heavy fall out. NARS describes this shade as iridescent peacock. I guess that’s as good a description as any I could muster. Sometimes it’s a cool brown, other times it flashes a teal-green shimmer and others it’s a mid-toned taupe. It is so many things at once that I can hardly contain myself.

The true test, though, would be how it compared to other “similar” shades I already owned:

NARS Malacca Eyeshadow Comparisons

Wet n Wild Comfort Zone Palette, Ellis Faas E305, MAC Blue-Brown Pigment, MAC Club, NARS Malacca, Too Faced Label Whore

NARS Malacca Eyeshadow Swatches

Swatches L-R: MAC Blue-Brown Pigment, Too Faced Label Whore, Wet n Wild Comfort Zone Palette, MAC Club, NARS Malacca, Ellis Faas E305

As you can see from the swatches above, NARS Malacca is unlike the other colors that came before it. It’s definitely more wearable on my skin tone, and the flashes of teal work so nicely alongside the taupe color it blends into.

You can see me wearing Malacca in my most recent video here.

Malacca is a must have for me. It’s what I have always wanted MAC Club to look like on my skintone! Have you checked this shade out or were you like me in thinking you totally didn’t need it?

 

I did a little beauty shopping!

 

 

I was absentmindedly browsing the Nordstrom website last week and found that in the “New Arrivals” section they had a new highlighting powder from Estée Lauder listed. I hadn’t even heard they were releasing one! I’m all over the Estée Lauder gelée powders (I own every shade they have released!) so I immediately placed an order for it. Since that time I have seen I few other posts about it and it seems as a whole the beauty community was a bit surprised at the launch!

Estee Lauder Crystal Baby Gelee

Crystal Baby takes on the same format as last year’s Tease blush (featured here). It appears in the pan as a dainty, light pink highlight with plenty of shimmer and gleam to go around.

Estee Lauder Crystal Baby vs Tease Gelee

Next to Tease, Crystal Baby is considerably lighter in shade and tone. The formula is the same silky, slightly wet feel that we have come to know and love from the gelée hybrid formulation.

Estee Lauder Crystal Baby Gelee Dupes

I also pulled some of my other pink highlighters to compare: Guerlain Cruel Gardenia, Bobbi Brown Platinum Pink, Estée Lauder Crystal Baby, Estée Lauder Tease, MAC Definitely Defined

And of course, the swatches:

Estee Lauder Crystal Baby Gelee Swatches

L-R: MAC Definitely Defined, Tease, Crystal Baby, Bobbi Brown Platinum Pink, Guerlain Cruel Gardenia

I was quite surprised to see how peach toned Crystal Baby looked on my skin. I’m thrilled with it, actually! The texture is superior to MAC’s Definitely Defined, but the two are very close in color. Tease is much darker and much more pink. Bobbi Brown Platinum Pink is again, definitely more pink pink. Cruel Gardenia is the lightest of the group.

My recommendation on highlighters is biased because I love them so much. If you like reflective but not chunky highlighters, you can’t go wrong with Crystal Baby. I wouldn’t wait too long, though, as these things tend to sell out just as soon as they appear. It retails for $40 and can be found at Nordstrom online and in stores.