How to Highlight with your Foundation

In¬†my post reviewing Charlotte Tilbury’s new Magic Foundation (if you missed it catch up here) I mentioned that sometimes I highlight using a lighter foundation. You guys seemed interested in some more detail so I decided to do a post on it. Also, I wanted to let you guys know that because of some stuff going on in my life for the next month or so, posts over here on the blog are going to be very infrequent. Be sure to keep up with what I am up to and what makeup I’m loving on Instagram.

Heres the technique, its really not advanced at all so don’t be worried. Instead of using a lighter colored concealer through the center of my face and then having two layers of cream products on my oiliest areas, I just use a foundation one shade too light all over my face. Then when I bronze I add depth and get an instant contoured look, no highlight step required. See the result of this on my face below.

wearing Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation in 2 (a shade too light for me)

For a more natural look, which I have been enjoying more lately, use a foundation that matches your skin tone and skip the cream/lighter shade highlighter step entirely. For that technique on my face, see below.

wearing NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint in Finland (my shade)

I hope you guys enjoyed this quick post, if you have oily skin or just don’t like the feeling of lots of layers of product, this works really well for highlighting.

Let me know how you are doing in the comments and what your favorite contouring technique is! Have a good week ūüôā

Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara

Marc Jacobs Velvet Nior Major Volume Mascara Sample

I got a sample of this mascara back when it first launched, but with how rainy Seattle is I wasn’t able to give it a really good try until recently (its not waterproof), now that its really spring. Now you all know, I love a good volumizing mascara, and everyone has been talking about how great this one is, so I had high hopes.

wearing Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara

Turns out, I half love, half hate this mascara (I’m very split on this one). On one of my eyes in the picture above you can see beautiful, amazing, volumized but seperated lashes. But, on the other eye, there is a clumpy mess that is just not cute (in my opinion, for everyday, this isn’t the runway people!). I have loved many a volumizing mascara, and yes, they do have a tendency to easily get clumpy, I know this. The Marc Jacobs Velvet Nior just goes clumpy really quickly for me, so I have to be very careful to use a little bit and keep my application light and feathered (not a lot of wiggle with the wand at the base of the lashes).

I found it lasted well, no smudging or smearing and its very black (very black is very important). I just can’t get past the clumpy thing. I don’t like the look of my lashes too often when I use this, and there are so many great volumizing mascaras that don’t clump. I don’t need the extra work or headache (you could of course separate the lashes with a lash comb if you really love this mascara, but again, why the extra work when there are amazing drugstore options out there!?).

I think this is a good mascara, just know that it can get clumpy and you have to be a bit careful with it. It is a beautiful deep black with good lasting power, and the hourglass wand was actually very easy to use. You can get this mascara at Sephora and online for $26 for the full sized tube.

The rundown: B-

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation is Some Kind of Magic

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation in Fair 3

As a lover of Charlotte Tilbury makeup (I love just about everything I have ever tried from the brand) I had to try the Magic Foundation. Especially since I am a foundation lover (I have way too many open, just because I love trying them) and this is a natural/semi-matte finish, medium to full coverage foundation which is basically the description of my perfect foundation.

Out of the gate, I love this stuff. It is thicker in texture (which I like since it catches less on dry patches than those super thin formulas) and dries down and sets (which I enjoy as someone with oily skin). I love the medium coverage, which is exactly how much I wear for everyday. I find sheer coverage foundations don’t cut my overall redness enough. A medium coverage evens my complexion but I still need to go in and use concealer for acne, so its not a mask. Its just my happy foundation coverage place, and everyones is different.

Okay, to the proof in the pudding. Pictures of me with and without this on are below. In the image with the foundation on, you can see the finish of it on its own, no powder or concealer. Its matte but not flat (aka, my kind of stuff).

bare face!
wearing Magic Foundation applied with fingers (my go-to way to apply all foundation)

I find this lasts beautifully on my skin through a work day, with needing to blot around twice a day (this is the average number of blots/day for me). I am very oily in my t-zone and cheeks, and I have not yet encountered a foundation I don’t need to blot (and I actually think it would dry the rest of my face out and make it look leathery, so blotting is okay by me). The good thing is that this doesn’t separate or fade/disappear in a patchy, obvious way. It holds up. Since this is a foundation that “sets” down, I do find this can collect in fine lines (like the smile lines around my mouth), so I don’t know if its really suited to mature skin, at least without proper moisturizing or primer first.¬†For an idea of how this foundation layers with concealer and some powder, heres a shot of my final makeup.

all done up and ready to go to brunch

Overall, I think this can be made to work for skin that is mature or normal with the right primers or highlighting products. But it is one of those foundations thats sets and lasts which always goes over well with the oily skin set (aka me).

For reference I am about an NC/NW20 and I wear the shade Fair 3. You can see in the pictures above that its a great match. I have been thinking about getting Fair 2 since I like bronzer, and that would give me the ability to get the whole highlighted look with less effort (do you guys want a post on this weird thing I do? I do it all the time, you get a foundation thats a touch light and use bronzer/contour where you want depth and boom, you have a highlight and contoured face, easy peasy, no extra lighter concealer layer needed so you get to wear less makeup).

You can get this foundation at Charlotte Tilbury counters, online, at Nordstrom and at Beautylish for $44.

The rundown: A+ (this baby is in the foundation rotation club)

Tarte Tartelette In Bloom Clay Eyeshadow Palette

Tarte Tartelette In Bloom Clay Eyeshadow Palette

Like most neutral matte eyeshadow lovers out there, I really enjoy the first Tarte Tartelette palette that came out. It was all matte and I still use it frequently and really enjoy it. So when the Tarte Tartelette In Bloom palette came out, I,  you know, caved and got it (because I really needed another neutral eyeshadow palette).

I like that this palette has a few shimmery shades thrown in, but is still mostly matte. Funny Girl, Rocker and Firecracker all have some shimmer to them. I find applying Funny Girl with my finger to be the best, since it does have some glitter in it and this minimizes fall out. Like with the last incarnation, I love the mattes. They do kick up a small amount of powder, but overall they are good shadows. The are pigmented, blend well and last all day with a primer. They aren’t the creme de la creme of a matte eyeshadow formula, but they are nice and perfect for everyday application. I love the shades, you get a good mix of cool and warm shades. I personally prefer to mix cool and warm shades in the same eye look (you get an extra layer of contrast). For instance, I will use a warm shadow in the crease but then a cool dark brown in the outer corner. Or use a cool taupe on the lid and a warm shadow in the crease. Its adds some interest to a look and its one of my favorite tricks to make your eyes pop.

Swatches of the Tarte Tartelette In Bloom Palette on my NC/NW20 Skin

You do get the bottom row of pinky-red toned shades, in the first Tartelette palette you got some purple toned shadows (personally, I prefer purple shades on the eyes to reds, though I do like reds). I’m not a big fan of the light pink shade Sweetheart (I think it makes me look like I have pink eye) but the two darker shades in that row are really pretty and don’t make me look sick (serious plus).

I think this is a great all-around palette. Especially if you love neutral palettes with plenty of matte shadows. Many of the shades are very dupeable but they are well formulated and in a nice array (my favorites in the palette are Jetsetter, Flower Child and Smarty Pants, but I also really love Funny Girl). This is one of those palettes where you get a bit of everything. You get a champagne, a taupe, a bronze, matte highlight shades, good crease shades and good shades for added depth. Its got it all.

You can get the Tarte Tartelette In Bloom Palette at Tarte, Sephora and Ulta for $45.

The rundown: B+

Too Faced Love Flush Blush in Baby Love is a Neutral Blush Lovers Dream

Too Faced Love Flush Blush in Baby Love

I have posted pictures of this on Instagram before and I wanted to devote a whole post to it. Last year I was all about neutral blushes, and the love is still going strong this year. Too Faced Love Flush blushes come in a plastic heart in a color corresponding to the blush shade. I’m not really a cute packaging kind of girl, but it being color indicating is nice. It is a bit hard to open, there isn’t much room to get your finger under the overhang to open it (its a magnetic closure).

Too Faced Love Flush Blush in Baby Love Swatched on my NC/NW20 Skin

The color in the cutesy heart is where its at though. I love the nice, creamy texture that blends easily into the skin and lasts all day (my days aren’t 16 hours long, so I don’t know about the claim these have, but it does a good 8 hours on me). The color is very ladylike and pretty. Its a soft muted pink with some gold shimmer. The shimmer, once blended into the skin, just looks like pretty glowy skin. I don’t see chunks or actual flecks of shimmer on my cheeks. It just looks naturally glowy and healthy. Since the shade is so soft, you can really go to town with this. Don’t be afraid to dip your brush in there, it never looks like too much on me. This is a go-to everyday blush for me. Its just beautiful and easy (my favorite combination).

wearing Too Faced Love Flush Blush in Baby Love

None of the other shades in this line have tempted me (yet) but if you have tried one that you love and think I need, let a girlfriend know. You can get this blush at Too Faced and Sephora for $26.

The rundown: A

NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint is Mousse Textured Flawless Coverage

NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint SPF 30 in Light 1 Finland

NARS came out with a new foundation/base product, so obviously I needed it. I actually snagged this while I was on a work trip in Wichita, KS and have been testing it out for three weeks now. I got the same color I use in the NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer, Finland (there is a lighter shade for those who are fairer than I). I find the colors very similar from the Pure Radiant to the Velvet Matte, but I would still suggest going in store to double check the shade works for you before purchasing.

This product has a super light texture on the skin. Its almost mousse like, its fluffy, airy, that kind of thing. A little of this also goes a long way. Like with the Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer, this has more coverage than your average tinted moisturizer. This one dries down to a nice demi-matte finish, which basically means a matte finish but without turning your skin into the Sahara¬†desert. As an oily skinned girl, I appreciate that balance. I find this lasts beautifully on me all day. The Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer does fade on me during the day but, the Velvet Matte Skin Tint performs much better on my oily skin. I really love this formula, its a cool texture that I can’t feel on my skin, has nice everyday coverage, and pairs well with oily skin without making my skin look like a raisin. Now for the pictures, below is my bare face, my face with just the NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint, and with the rest of my makeup applied.

bare faced and fancy free
wearing the NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint in Light 1 Finland
I might have gone a bit glam….sorry I’m not sorry

If you look closely, not only has the Velvet Matte Skin Tint reduced my generally ruddy skin but it has done a nice job of covering the remains of hyperpigmentation on my cheeks by my nose and on my chin. In my “after” shot you can see that my skin tone now matches my neck and chest, this stuff does pack some real pigmentation. The finish is very pretty and soft. I don’t look oily or shiny anywhere, but there is dimension to my skin on the apples of my cheeks and on my chin. In the last picture you can see that the powders I applied over it (because I do set this with powder, my oily skin, its a mess) blends beautifully and doesn’t get cakey or heavy looking.

I have a new favorite everyday base. Have you guys tried this? Are you loving it or not?

You can get this fabulous skin transformer at Sephora, NARS online and NARS counters for $44.

The rundown: A+



Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer Brightens Under Eyes Masterfully

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer in Y23

With all the hype around the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer I hunted around until I found my shade in stock. I’m about an NC/NW20 in MAC and Y23 works really well for me under my eyes. Its brightening on but not so light that you get the quintessential¬†reverse raccoon effect.

The concealer is very smooth and blends in amazingly¬†well. It glides over the skin. I find it doesn’t make my under eyes look dry or cause my mascara to transfer or smudge around. Its the perfect consistency for use under the eyes. I don’t have bad under eye darkness, so I use this shade alone but MUFE also came out with pinky toned correctors with this launch that will color correct blue/purple under eye color. First you would use the pink toned concealer to correct and then layer one of the yellow toned concealers over to cover any discoloration. ¬†The applicator is a rounded plastic nib with a very small hole, you squeeze the tube to dispense some product and then I tap it in with my finger. In true¬†MUFE fashion, this product is super pigmented, so you only need a tiny amount. Thanks to how blendable it is, this product is still very easy to use, even with the super high pigmentation you never get under eye product build up. This means I never get a cakey or heavy makeup looking under eye area when I use this. The look is very clean and subtle, but brightening.

This is very brightening on me, so while I love this for under the eye, I wouldn’t use this anywhere else. Because of how brightening it is, it will draw attention to anywhere its used.¬†So you could use this for highlighting the face but I would not cover a spot with it, it’ll just make the spot more evident.

Overall, I really love this. I think its great for under eye concealing. Its now a part of my everyday concealer routine. You can get this at Sephora and online for $27 in both pink and yellow tones.

The rundown: A+


From my Favorites – Giorgio Armani Eye Tints

Giorgio Armani Eye Tints in 11 Rose Ashes (top) and 9 Cold Copper (bottom)

This product really impressed me last year (and still does). These are super easy to use cream to powder shadows that last all day without creasing and come in some really stunning shades. They have a felt doe foot applicator, which makes application super easy. I just swipe some on my lids and blend out with my fingers. I would suggest starting with a little, since these really go a long way. The other great thing is that if you don’t get the color payoff or intensity you are looking for in one application, these layer without getting pilly or crumbly. They also set down quickly, which makes applying liquid liner over them a non-issue. I find when I use powder shadows over them, like to intensify the outer corners, they don’t break apart or cause any trouble.

Giorgio Armani Eye Tints in 11 Rose Ashes (top) and 9 Cold Copper (bottom) (these swatches really don’t do these justice)

The two shades I have are very much for everyday eye looks. They add a nice sophisticated sheen to the lids that isn’t over the top glittery or too subtle either (perfect for the office or brunch!). Rose Ashes has a bit of a pinky sheen to it while Cold Copper is more taupe. I am looking¬†to add to my collection next year. There are some amazing smokey, dramatic shades in the range that I am itching to get.

I feel like there isn’t too much to say about these because they are just so fantastic. They work beautifully and with no¬†fuss. They work easily¬†and look beautiful, what more could you want?

You can get these amazing cream to powder formula shadows at Giorgio Armani counters, Nordstrom and Sephora for $39.

The rundown: A+

From my Favorites – Urban Decay X Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette

Urban Decay X Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette

I didn’t originally plan on getting this palette, but I ended up caving with all the hype and after seeing it in store. It really is a beautiful everyday eyeshadow palette if you love a soft eye or enjoy wearing winged liner (which I usually enjoy pairing with a shimmery lid and soft crease).

I find these shadows have an amazing formula (and last year was the year of Urban Decay shadow love for me). The top two rows are all neutrals that vary from cool to warm tones, blend beautifully and are richly pigmented. The bottom row is for fun and events for me, I like to press Pop, which has some glitter in it, onto my lid with my finger to add some extra shimmer. I find if I use my finger I don’t get fallout (whoo!). I love Danger and 1987, both of which are great smokey eye shades. Blackout is great for smoking out liner (of just for adding depth). Really the only shade that isn’t my thing in the palette is Harajuku, pink shadow doesn’t really look good on me. The top two rows are just perfect for everyday/work shades. I do find most of the shades a shimmery champagne/gold color, but I do love that kind of thing (and they are all different, to my crazed beauty blogger mind, lol!). Baby and Steady are more on the taupe and rose gold side, which is some variety. My favorite shades are probably Skimp and Zone, they are so beautiful!

swatches from the left: Blonde, Bathwater, Skimp, Steady, Punk, Baby, Anaheim, Stark, Zone, Serious, Pop, Harajuku, Danger, 1987 and Blackout

I didn’t think I would love this so much, but I honestly prefer this to any of my Naked palettes (there are more mattes!!). I used this palettes for two months straight after I got it and I honestly can’t stop using it. I’m thinking of getting a backup, but that might be a little crazy.

You can get this palette at Sephora, Ulta and Urban Decay for $58.

The rundown: A+

Burberry Light Glow Blush in Cameo No.2

Burberry Light Glow Blush in Cameo No.2

I decided to try some products from the Burberry line, so of course I picked up a blush. I chose a neutral, natural pink.

The packaging of these is amazing. This blush comes in a heavy, metallic case with a magnetic closure. The powder and case are patterned with the Burberry Check. I find this powder blush beautifully pigmented, smooth, and easy to blend. I do think this can be a bit on the pigmented side, so I would recommend being careful when you use it for the first time. I like to tap my brush off on the back of my hand before applying to my cheeks.

Burberry Cameo No. 2 Blush Swatched on my NC/NW20 Skin

This blush lasts all day on me, and the color is perfect for adding a natural flush. I think its a perfect everyday blush. I have always been of the mindset that the best way to spoil yourself is with something you will use everyday.

I think this is a beautiful blush, and I will be trying more of the Burberry blushes (especially Earthy).

You can get this blush for $42 at Sephora, online, and at Burberry counters.

The rundown: A