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 🙂


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+



My Favorite Makeup Products of 2015

Hi guys! I know this took me a while, but I finally rounded up my 2015 makeup favorites. I’m trying not to repeat any from last year, so if I am still loving the same item in a category it won’t be on this list ( like the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, check las years out here).

Foundation – Smashbox Studio Skin Foundation is my favorite from last year. I finished off a bottle of this last year (my new one is currently in my makeup bag). The only other foundation I have finished a bottle of is the Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet+, which I still adore. This foundation is hydrating, but long wearing. It doesn’t break up from oil. Long wear and comfortable wear, is a win in my book (no nasty dry patches or crepey dry skin).

Smashbox Studio Skin Foundation

Powder – My favorite finishing powder of the year is the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder, which is beautifully finely milled. It sets the makeup with a rose-petal-velvet-soft finish. It perfects pores and controls oil. Its amazing. I’ve gone through three of these. I can’t stop.

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder

Bronzers – My top two (I couldn’t pick just one) are NARS Laguna and the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow. Both of the bronzer shades have some sheen to them (I like the dimension and life it gives the skin). I use Laguna when I want more of a tan and the Charlotte Tilbury when I’m pale.

top – NARS Laguna, bottom – Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow

Blush – Per usual I have a bunch of blushes (who can pick just one!?). This has been the year of the nude blush for me. Well, nude makeup really (but we’ll get to that with eyeshadow and lipstick too). I love the Charlotte Tilbury and Clinique Cheek Pop blushes. Both formulas are stellar and I would recommend any shade from both lines. I have just been all about the nude blush this year. I cannot recommend First Love, Nude Pop, and Sex on Fire enough if you love nude blushes.

from left – Charlotte Tilbury First Love, Clinique Cheek Pop in Nude Pop, and Charlotte Tilbury Sex on Fire

Eyeshadows – I have been loving simple, clean eyeshadow looks this year. I already did a whole post on my deep love for Urban Decay Beware, but basically its a beautiful shade and great formula. I was surprised by how much I love the Urban Decay Gwen Stefani palette. I used this for two months straight after I got it. Its amazing, the formula of these shadows are great and the shades are perfect for everyday, nude eye looks. Charlotte Tilbury The Sophisticate is my favorite all matte palette from last year. I love the colors and the formula, matte looks aren’t boring to me, I love the definition you can get without it being over the top. The Giorgio Armani Eye Tints are amazing. The formula is easy to use, long wearing, and beautifully shimmery. My favorite shade is 11 Cold Copper, a stunning champagney taupe.

from the bottom left clockwise – Urban Decay Beware, Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Palette, Charlotte Tilbury The Sophisticate, Giorgio Armani Eye Tint in 11

Mascara – My two favorite mascaras this year are at totally opposite ends of the expense scale, but they are both dramatic and volumizing. I love Maybelline Lash Sensational, I’ve gone through tubes of these in the last year. This gives great big voluminous lashes, which is my jam. Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill is a new love, but man, this stuff is amazing! No wonder everyone has been talking about it. In a few swipes I get huge, amazing lashes. I swear, my lashes look fake. Its amazing, but really only if you like dramatic lashes. This is not for the faint of heart.

top – Maybelline Lash Sensational, bottom – Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill

Lipstick – I still love lip liner in a big way, but I’m still loving the same shades and formulas I did last year. So this year I’m going to talk about lipsticks (another real love). I spent all of my summer in NARS Rita (after becoming obsessed with 1920s lips), a beautiful true red. Marc Jacobs New Nudes formula is amazing, super comfortable and a nice medium pigment. Its easy to wear and easy to re-apply. Eat Cake is a beautiful muted pink that I have been wearing all the time. Charlotte Tilbury B*tch Perfect is the perfect nude shade in the perfect classic lipstick formula. Creamy, comfortable and pigmented these lipsticks (any color really) are just amazing.

from the top – NARS Audacious Lipstick in Rita, Marc Jacobs New Nudes Eat Cake, Charlotte Tilbury B*tch Perfect
swatches from the left – Charlotte Tilbury B*tch Perfect, Marc Jacobs New Nudes in Eat Cake, NARS Audacious Lipstick in Rita

Please let me know what you loved last year in the comments! I need a new shopping list and you always have the best recommendations.  Thank you guys so much for reading this blog and being makeup enabling friends this past year 🙂 .

My Everyday Staples

NARS Smudge Proof Shadow Base, Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil, Kat Von D Tattoo Liner, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, Hourglass Veil Primer, Shisheido Lash Curlers

There are some products I never stop using or rotate. While the foundations, blushes and eyeshadows come and go, these products are always in use. I know they aren’t flashy or pretty, but if I run out of any of them I have to go out and replace them. And aren’t those the best products?

For priming, I do both my eyes and my base. The NARS Smudge Proof Shadow Base is the best I have found for my extremely oily lids. Without a primer powder shadows will crease on me within 4 hours. This primer gives me all day wear without creasing and my days can last 12 hours. The Hourglass Veil Primer is another great one for oily skin. This doesn’t have any silicone in it (which I prefer since silicone can clog pores and I have very acne prone skin) but still feels silky smooth when you apply it. It helps control my oil and reduce the appearance of my pores. Another great primer for those with oily skin.

My favorite brow pencil is the Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil. These come in great ashy tones (which is my biggest reason for loving them). They are also a bit hard, so they wear a long time. I find if you just need a little filling in, this pencil makes it super quick and natural looking. The pencil also lasts a long time, so you don’t need to buy a new one every couple of months.

The Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper is my favorite liquid liner. This has a brush tip so it doesn’t fray and the color is good and black. Its very easy to use and lasts a few months before it dries out. Plus its waterproof. I love it!

My ride or die concealer is the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. I still really love this, it has great coverage, blends beautifully and lasts all day on my oily skin. I keep trying other concealers and returning them, the consistency of this one just can’t be beat for me.

My lash curlers are another item I am never without. Curl your lashes! It wakes up your face. The Shiseido lash curlers are great if you have almond shaped eyes and I love how clean and simple the design is.

What are your makeup staples? Or do you always try new things?

The Lip Products that have Accumulated in my Bag

the goods

I raided the bottom of my bag and per usual, I have quite a treasure trove of lippies down there. The real theme here is pinky-nude everyday lippies (shocking I know). My favorite formulas are represented though, so I thought it would be good to share.

I love Bite Beauty and their Luminous Creme Lipstick in Fig is a newer shade for me, its a pretty pink. I love the Luminous Creme formula, the shade Rose is a long time favorite as well (Rose is warmer and Fig is cooler). I also have the Butter Cream Lipstick in Heather, which I love. Its more of a browny pink than Fig, which I find easier to wear day-to-day.

Charlotte Tilbury’s Bitch Perfect Lipstick is an all time favorite, it goes with me everywhere. Fully pigmented, pinky-nude and, comfortable to wear makes this one a winner every time.

NARS has two products in here as well, their Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien is fabulous. Its a more mauvey pink, but the pencil format makes it super easy to apply. This is the mini size from Sephora’s birthday gift this year, but I could see myself getting the full sized (the shade and formula are fab). The gloss is the new Chelsea Girls color from their Fall 15 collection, its a beautiful sheer pinky nude. I have been loving both the color and the easy, non-sticky, unscented formula.

Then we are really throwing it back with the Dior Lip Glow. I used to be obsessed with this when I first got into makeup. Its a nice balm that changes your lip color based on your lips skin chemistry. Its easy to wear and goes a nice bright pink on me (this isn’t actually a gimmick, it goes more plummy on my mom). I think this is in my bag in an effort to use it up, this one is old, I must admit.

Another oldie and goodie is the Clarins Instant Light Balm Perfector. This one is in shade 02 but I love all the shades, this is just the one currently in my bag. This is an easy, moisturizing, lightly tinted lip gloss/balm hybrid. I just love em.

What do you have in your bag? Any lippies you recommend?

NARS Dual Intensity Shadows from the Fall 2015 Collection are Fall Shades Perfected

Dual Intensity Shadows in Pasiphae and Telesto

I am not going to waste any of your time today. These are amazing, I love them, I cannot express through words how amazingly beautiful and perfect these are for Fall (all my love for these shadows).

Okay, so if you are interested in just a bit more information, I can do that. As part of the NARS Fall 2015 collection they added two new Dual Intensity Eyeshadows to their permanent range. Gorgeous bronze Telesto and stunning brown/emerald  Pasiphae. These are the same Dual Intensity Shadow formula, which I am in love with. These wear all day, have great pigment and, blend like a dream.

swatches from the top – Telesto and Pasiphae

I love Telesto all over the lid for a everyday bronze eye (but extra metallic and stunning). I usually just end up using a bronzer in my crease or a matte shade to blend it out. Thats all you need, its so beautiful! Pasiphae is something different and, I love it. There is a shimmer/glitter in it, so in shadow it looks more brown but when the light catches it the emerald shimmer/glitter shines (note there is no fallout here, I tried to get the effect in the swatch, hopefully it came across). I really love using this for a fun smokey eye. I pop it all over the lid and add a darker shade in the crease. The really special thing about Pasiphae is that because of how it catches the light, the emerald  highlights the center of your lid. Its like you did that fun shadow technique where the center of your lid is bright and the outer and inner corner are dark, but you only used one shadow! Plus its gorgeous. I’m sorry, I need to stop gushing, but these are just perfect. If I had to pick perfect fall eyeshadow colors, these two would be what I would think of.

I love these (clearly). You can get these shadows at NARS counters, online and, at Sephora for $29 each.

The rundown: A++ (an A+ was not enough)

NARS NARSissist Matte/Shimmer Eyeshadow Palette is in my Daily Rotation

NARS NARSissist Matte/Shimmer Eyeshadow Palette

The NARSissist Matte/Shimmer palette is part of the NARS Fall 15′ collection. I have been using this for a few weeks now and I wanted to let you guys know what I think. I was drawn to it originally by the colors (love them!) and the large number of matte shades, since I am a huge matte shadow lover.

Swatches of the NARSissist Matte/Shimmer Palette on my NC/NW20 Skin from the left: Nassau, Maya Bay, Ithaca, Dogon II, Mandchoure I, Bonifacio, Zagreb, Heraklion and liner Night Clubbing

I love the matte shades in this palette. I love that they have a gradation from cream Nassau to black Dogon II and, that the black is sheer. I don’t go for the traditional matte black smokey eye, for which a pigmented black is most useful. Instead I like to use blacks to add just a touch of intensity to the outer corner, a purpose that sheer blacks are better for (easier to blend). The almost denim blue Mandchoure I in the palette is really the only shade I don’t like. Its really just the color, I won’t ever wear it (maybe for a funny theme party or halloween?). The other shimmer shades in the palette are beautiful, I love the shimmery pinky-champagne Bonifacio and the shimmery brown Zagreb the most, they are stunning. The shimmery black Heraklion is more pigmented than the matte version, so its good for more dramatic nighttime looks. There is a Night Series eyeliner included in Night Clubbing which has gold shimmer/glitter in it. Its really pretty, and would be a nice base for a smokey eye (or for just a liner).

I really love this palette for everyday. It has beautiful colors and I honestly enjoy the formula of NARS shadows (I know not everyone does). This palette has been in heavy daily rotation and the only complaint I have about it is the two mid-tone matte shades, Maya Bay and Ithaca, can kick up some powder when you dip a brush into them (I hate that).

I read a lot of not so great reviews of this palette and honestly, I feel like I must have gotten lucky or something. I dunno, I just don’t see it. Most of the reviews cite poor blendability and choppy/rough lines. I honestly have tried using just the matte shadows on my eyes (with NARS Smudge Proof Primer, per usual) and they looked great! Excuse the bad liner in the picture below (I’m only human, I was having a bad liquid liner day, we all do), but I had to show you guys the blend. I used the matte cream all over the eye first (maybe a shadow beneath the other shades helped?) and then used the two matte shades next to it in my crease. The edges look good to me, I just used my trusty Wayne Goss 04 brush (which I always use). I guess, like with all shadows, I would suggest using a gradation of color as you go darker. For example, I used Maya Bay in my crease first (a lighter pink-beige) and then went in with a darker shade, Ithaca to deepen. I didn’t go straight in with the darkest shade, I built up to it.

All Matte Eye Using the NARSissist Matte/Shimmer Palette, Nassau on the lid, Maya Bay all over the crease and Ithaca to add depth to the crease

I love this palette (though I will say I wish the blue shade was a green or purple, but thats a personal preference). I think its a great cool toned palette for the fall (which I am so excited for). You can get this palette at NARS counters, online and at Sephora for $65.

The rundown: A- (The minus is for the blue shadow and, really thats just mean, I purchased it knowing the blue shadow was there, I just need to suck it up.)