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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
In my last post I said I was planning a recent favorites entry and here we are. I wanted to share some of the products that have really been staples for me over the past two (or more) months. During the move and my early visits to Chicago before the transition I was relegated to using makeup out of a makeup bag so I learned to pick my choices wisely. Natural and versatile are two words I would choose to describe the items I ended up falling in love with all over again, and some for the first time.
I stuck with products that would work with anything and were versatile enough to change up my eyes & lips when I wanted to.
Estee Lauder Modern Mercury- For powder highlight this has been my go-to. I’m sad that this was limited edition because it’s absolutely fabulous and works great as a brightening eyeshadow as well
Benefit Watt’s Up- When I wasn’t using Modern Mercury I was using this. I think it’s the only one I’ve been using for the last two weeks for sure. I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed it until now. I have Becca Moonstone shimmering skin perfector on the way so I’m interested to see how the two compare.
NARS Madly- This was the blush I used for most of August and early September. It’s one of my all time favorites in general, but probably my most used from NARS.
Chanel Rose Ecrin- This was my first Chanel blush and I keep going back to it. It gives the perfect rosy/nude flush to cheeks. If I could suggest any Chanel blush of the ones I have tried/own it would be this one. Darker skin tones may have a harder time pulling it off though, because it is a bit lighter.
Mark Pro Bronze- This is the only bronzer I have used (I may have used others a mere handful of times) since May. It is barely showing a dent and I use it every day. The next bronzer on my list is from Edward Bess, but I haven’t taken the plunge and ordered it just yet because I love this one so much. I would like to see Daydream in person (or if you have tried it, what your thoughts are).
Garnier Anti-Dark Circle Roller- I started using this again recently after switching from my Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer (I use a combo if light and medium to get my perfect shade match) just to freshen up my routine a bit. I like this a lot for under the eyes and I believe this is my second or third rollerball.
Swatches L-R: Mark Pro Bronze, NARS Madly, Chanel Rose Ecrin, Estee Lauder Modern Mercury, Benefit Watt’s Up
For lips I stuck with neutrals for the most part. I spent a lot of time in meetings so I needed things that looked polished and professional and didn’t really distract anyone.
Buxom White Russian- I saw this on Michele1218′s Youtube Channel awhile back and I think I purchased it sometime in July. I think it’s a great nude gloss and the formula is really enjoyable. It does have that minty tingle, but it’s not overpowering. I am sensitive about products with the “tingle factor” in them because they usually irritate my lips but the Buxom product don’t.
NARS Greek Holiday- For going out this gloss is one of my favorites. I wear it alone of layered over a lipstick. It has the most gorgeous sparkle to it (though not at all gritty) and the NARS lipgloss formula ranks in my top favorites for sure.
NARS Lip Pencil Sex Machine- This is a great neutral color. It adds just enough pop to the lips without being overly noticeable or showy. I use it when I want to brighten my face a little bit but don’t want anything loud. The lasting power is great and of all the shades I own I think I use this one the most.
Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick Rose*- This has to be my favorite liquid lipstick to date. They are incredibly creamy and pigmented. You only need a small amount and the lasting power is almost unbelievable. This color is a nice rosy neutral. I also have Empress which is a deep berry shade perfect for fall. I have my eye on Canvas and Muse next. Go figure that I’d pick the coral.
Dior Addict Extreme Incognito- I fell in love with the Addict Extreme formula when I purchased Saint Tropez much earlier this year (May?) and knew I wanted a shade that could carry me into the fall. I chose a nude because I wanted something I could just pull out of my bag and apply without a mirror. This did the trick. I love it!
Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color Plum Rose- I had first seen Plum Rose what seems like forever ago on Karen from Makeup and Beauty Blog here. I fell in love with the shade but we were headed into spring at the time so I didn’t give it much more thought as I knew it would be a great fall color. This past summer I started looking at a new plum or berry shade of lipstick that was a little less bold and a little more neutral and came back to this. It was out of stock for several weeks on the Bobbi Brown website, but once I got the email notification that it was available again I pounced. I love the shade and the formula wears comfortably.
Blistex Medicated Balm- An old favorite. Tried and true, I always have several of these in my bag and around the house. It heals my lips and keeps them moisturized better then anything else I have ever tried.
Swatches L-R: Dior Incognito, Bobbi Brown Plum Rose, NARS Sex Machine, NARS Greek Holiday, Buxom White Russian, Hourglass Rose
I will start with mascara. I have been having lots of fun trying new types and brands of mascara lately. I have gotten some really nice sample mascaras: Diorshow New Look, Lancome Hypnose Star, Chantecaille Faux Cils. All three are lovely and I’m still deciding if I will purchase full sizes. I still have a full size of my all time favorite Lancome Hypnose Drama waiting in the wings, so we’ll see. I also tried the Marykay lash love waterproof mascara* and lash primer* and was thoroughly impressed. I have used the waterproof mascara the most the last two months. I discovered that sometimes when I thought my eyeliner was smudging it was really my mascara. I used to be against waterproof mascara unless you knew you were going to get wet or going to cry because they are such a pain to remove. It still is more difficult then regular mascara but I definitely prefer the staying power.
Again, with eyes I stuck to more neutral colors with little pops of bling and black.
Noir Eyeliner in Forever Noir- I have almost exclusively worn black eyeliner for the past several weeks. I have been testing different application methods and a few different formulas and found a favorite in the Noir eyeliner that was included in a Birchbox a few months ago. It is quite black and stays put all day. Most black liners I have tried smudge after 6-8 hours. This goes strong until I remove it.
Urban Decay 24-7 liners in LSD, Mushroom and Midnight Cowboy- I love the UD 24-7 liner formula. I picked up the Ocho Loco set a few weeks ago with LSD and Mushroom being the two shades I wanted most. It is a good deal if you like the formula so I recommend checking it out. Midnight Cowboy was from the set they released last year and it’s a nice eye-brightening shimmery beige.
Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill in shades 9 and 26- I have long sung the praises of these shadows and they will always be in my top favorites for formula and shade range. 9 is a peachy-champagne and 26 is a light brown/gold. They last all day even with a primer and just brighten the eyes like no other.
Sephora 12 Hour Pencil in Beige- This is a great all-over lid color when you just want to swipe and go. I use it frequently during the work week.
Tarte EmphasEyes Clay Shadow Stick- This doesn’t have a shade name but it’s a nice bronzey-brown that doesn’t turn orange on me. It lasts all day and is easy to blend.
Dior Earth Reflection Quint- Dior makes one of my favorite eyeshadow formulas. Not all of the Dior quints are equal in terms of formula and color payoff. I have been disappointed by some in the past, but that’s not true here. Earth Reflection gets a lot of use from me because it’s easy to create something lighter or darker and the shadows are incredibly buttery and iridescent. I have some more of the quints to show you soon (Fairy Golds, Night Golds and Golden Savannah) so be on the look out for those.
Swatches L-R: Earth Reflection Quint, Giorgio Armani 26, Giorgio Armani 9, Tarte EmphasEyes, Sephora Begie, Urban Decay Midnight Cowboy, Mushroom, LSD, Noir Forever Noir
That’s all I have for now. I forgot to include nails in here but if I think back I really wore Chanel Delight, Butter London All Hail the Queen and Zoya FeiFei the most.
I hope you enjoyed taking a peek in my makeup bag. What have you been using lately? Any rediscovered loves or new finds I should know about? Dish!