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!

Once I decide I like something, and I mean really like something, I tend to go all in. I have a no-holds barred approach when it comes to different makeup brands and NARS is no exception to this obsession. It’s high time, then, that I did a collection post. You know, the one where I show you my NARS blushes.

You’ll see swatches, of course. But you will also learn about the ones I love, the ones I don’t and what I have my eye on next.

NARS Blush Collection 3

L-R: Exhibit A, Taos, Liberte, Taj Mahal

Blush is one of my most favorite items to buy collect hoard. As NARS is pretty well-known for their blushing beauties, it’s not surprising that I have amassed a nice collection of them.

NARS Blush Swatches 3

L-R: Taos, Exhibit A, Liberte, Taj Mahal

Taos was a shade I envied after seeing it in a blog post but I no longer remember the original inspiration. It was a few years ago so I’ll forgive myself. Suffice it to say that it is quite bright, incredibly pigmented and shot through with a fine shimmer. It’s very pretty and can make a great natural flush.

Exhibit A is a shade that you see in the pan, freak out a little and either become obsessed with or completely uninterested in. Let’s say I started out in group A and now find myself in group B. I rarely reach for this shade. It’s not that it isn’t beautiful or totally smooth and densely pigmented (because it is all of those things) it’s just not a shade I find myself wearing daily, weekly or even monthly. It’s nice to have, but not a must for me.

Liberte is another blush I was disappointed with. I did my original review here and my opinion hasn’t changed. If you don’t already have a similar shade, it might be worth looking at. But NARS has another blush- Gilda- that’s very similar and the quality of the formula is better. This is a skip for me.

Taj Mahal like Exhibit A is one of NARS iconic shades. It’s crazy looking in the pan, and no doubt scares away many a prospective purchaser. But on the cheeks it turns into something much more lovely and glowing. It’s also great when mixed with other shades, like I show here. Definitely put this on your list if you haven’t already.

NARS Blush Collection 1

(Above and below) L-R: Mounia, Outlaw, Dolce Vita, Oasis, Sin, Mata Hari, Desire

NARS Blush Swatches 1

Mounia was sadly (and inexplicably) discontinued some time ago. It’s a highly pigmented blush. I recommend a very light hand (or the NARS Yachiyo brush- which does amazing things with pigmented blushes). It borders between berry and red and has shimmer. It’s silky smooth. Worth having if you ever see it or if it gets repromoted.

Outlaw actually disappointed me a little. It was a previously discontinued shade that got brought back last year. It’s a nice color- a berry pink with a sheen. It looks nice on the cheeks but it’s not quite as silky smooth as other NARS blushes are. If you love the color, I’ve done a comparison post here showing other blushes that might do a better job.

Dolce Vita is a classic shade that everyone needs to have. I recently did a post on the entire Dolce Vita line from NARS here. I don’t need to say anything further. 🙂

Oasis is a blush I don’t hear about as often. It’s a pinky plum shade that is a fresh take on a neutral blush for fall. Truthfully it was my love for the Oasis lipgloss that pushed me to purchase this shade a year or two ago. I still love them both.

Sin is one of NARS most well known shades. It’s a moody plum shade that seems look good on everyone. It has sparkle in the pan but don’t let that scare you. Most of it never appears on cheeks.

Mata Hari is a total under-the-radar shade that you need to know about. It’s one of my most-used blushes from the NARS line and actually a fall staple for me. It’s pigmented but not overly so and it’s matte. It has that smooth formula I’ve come to expect from NARS.

Desire is another must have from the range. It’s bright, but not unwearable. It’s my ideal shade of pink and looks especially great when I’m rocking a tan. No matter the weather or season, I always look more perky when I’ve swept this matte blusher onto my cheeks.

NARS Blush Collection 2

L-R: Amour, Deep Throat, Lovejoy, Gilda, Boys Don’t Cry, Luster, Madly, Douceur

NARS Blush Swatches 2

L-R: Boys Don’t Cry, Gilda, Amour, Deep Throat, Lovejoy, Luster, Madly, Douceur

Boys Don’t Cry was a limited edition blush from the Pierre Hardy collection that was released earlier this year. You can see my original review and comparison swatches here. It’s a beautiful and bright shade that NARS should really add to their permanent line. They don’t offer another shade like it! Get it, if you still can.

Gilda was a shade I couldn’t decide on at first. I was torn between it and it’s close relative Gina. Gina is more orange while Gilda has more pink. That’s what ultimately swung my vote. Both of them were silky, smooth and pigmented to perfection. Worth it!

Amour is a shade I had largely overlooked until I saw Christine from Temptalia feature it here and then it was love…or was it Amour. It’s like someone took all most of the peach out of Gilda and this is what was left. It’s very pretty and easy to use. I’d add this to your list if you’re a pinky coral fan.

Deep Throat is…sigh one of “those” blushes. You know, with the cheeky name that’s meant to be illicit but really just sounds cheap. I’m not trying to be a Debbie Downer, but my future sister-in-law and I agree: NARS makes products that we need to “black” out the names on lest prying eyes ever get a hold of it. Despite it’s name, it’s gorgeous. One of the easiest to wear that NARS makes. It’s a peachy pink with a hint of golden shimmer. Try it, and you’ll fall in love.

Lovejoy is a newer one to my collection. Again, inspired by Temptalia in her post here. It’s an ideal transition shade for me. The bronze tones help me hold onto the last bits of my summer tan while the gentle rose tone evokes the chill of the Autumn air on the way. I’m officially calling this my go-to fall blush.

Luster was a shade I got around or at the same time as it’s cousin Madly. Both have a similar brown/nude hue but each of them looks different on me. Luster pulls golden peach and has a fine shimmer shot throughout. It’s beautiful and more a of a summer staple than anything for me.

Madly is my favorite of the two. It isn’t as shimmery as Luster and is much more nude looking. Some find it too muddy, but for me it’s just right. It’s one of my most-reached for blushes of all time….not just of the NARS brand.

Douceur is Madly’s pinker, matte cousin and was my very first NARS blush. It’s lighter on pigmentation and that’s what makes it easy to reach for again and again. It’s the kind of blush you can wear when you don’t know what to use. It’s the perfect makeup wing-man.

I hope you enjoyed this stroll through my NARS blush collection. I know they are releasing some palettes (undecided if I’ll be partaking in those) and new single shades soon- which I’m sure will end up finding a home in my blush drawers. From their permanent line I still have my eye on Torrid. And I really wish they’d repromote Crazed (a gorgeous bright raspberry).

What do you think of NARS blushes? Any must-haves I’ve missed?

28. 10. 2012

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!

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