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!
I promised I would give you some FOTDs (face of the days) with the two new blushes I featured on Wednesday from Illamasqua’s latest collection. I took my inspiration from Mad Men and created some looks based on January Jones character Betty Draper and Christina Hendricks character Joan Holloway. I am madly in love with the show from the plot down to the makeup and costumes. If you haven’t seen it, you are really missing out.
My eye makeup is the same in both, but I switched blushes and lipsticks. I’m not wearing any bronzer either because I wanted to show the blushes on their own. I kept the eyes simple, like they do in the show. I actually read a few articles about the makeup that was used on set for the first 2 (maybe 3) seasons and it was mostly NARS. I picked up some of the products so I could try to replicate the color scheme pretty exactly.
I really like how all of these products work together. It’s a face-brightening look and while it’s defined, it’s also quite subdued. Very easy for day-to-day wear. It’s exactly the kind of look that Joan or Betty would sport during the day to the office or horseback riding.
My heart belongs to both Zygomatic and Red Square. Perfect alone and sublime together. I have seen both Betty and Joan sporting a neutral blush and a bright red-orange lipstick on many occasions throughout the seasons and I admire it every time. It’s bold, but classic.
Both looks are easy and timeless and I feel like they capture the styling and essence of the show quite well. Also, you may need NARS Red Square in addition to the blushes- it’s gorgeous!