Bronzers & Contouring for Pale Skins | Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder in Golden Light & Benefit Hoola

If you’re pale like me, you’ve avoided bronzers all together, right? Even in the heart of the summer months here in Texas, I’ve never really been into the bronzey-tanned look; although, they look beautiful on others. Also, all throughout the year, I’m very conscious of protecting my skin with SPF, so it’s not like I have the natural opportunity to get any color. However, lately, I’ve been interested in contouring — although I’ve avoided that as well, since I never could trust a bronzer to be light enough to work with my pale skin. After some research and some major swatching, I’ve decided I like the Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder in Golden Light and the Benefit Hoola Bronzer the best for my skin tone.

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For now, I’m mainly interested in contouring my nose to help it look slimmer and more defined. I haven’t quite been able to get over the fact that bronzers tend to make my FACE look muddy or dirty — and, this may be because I don’t know how to contour my face yet, LOL. But, occasionally, I do enjoy the effortless sun-kissed look that the Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder in Golden Light gives me when I dust it lightly on my cheeks and along my hairline. Benefit’s Hoola is excellent for contouring my nose with a slim, fluffy blending brush. It’s easy to blend and a little bit goes a long way.

Also, it’s perfect for my pale skin because it is the perfect shading color — meaning, it just creates a natural “shadow” along my nose. It truly does help to define my nose naturally, so that it doesn’t get lost on the “blank canvas” I create using foundation. Because my skin is very fair, I was afraid bronzers would be reddish or too orange on my skin. However, Benefit’s Hoola is the perfect shade of rich cocoa brown that doesn’t lean too red or too orange. It’s more beige, in my opinion. Currently, I have not experimented with this product on my face. But, in due time, I think I will since I like how it looks on my nose area. The formula is matte — which is great for contouring and it’s soft and blends well. If I accidentally apply too much, I just use my finger to wipe some off!

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The Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder in “Golden Light” is the lightest shade that Bobbi Brown offers. I like how in her range, there’s a bronzer for every skin tone from lightest to the darkest. The color selections help fit different skin tones, and this is helpful since most brands release one bronzing shade that is supposed to fit everyone. I prefer to use this bronzer on my face — along my cheekbones and along my hairline. Sometimes, if I feel like it, I’ll dust some on my nose and chin for the complete look.

The golden undertone is a great match for me and helps the bronzer look natural on my skin, without going overboard and looking like I smeared dirt on my face. The texture of the powder is really soft as well and that makes it just as blendable as Benefit’s Hoola. The color “Golden Light” is light and satiny in finish. It helps the skin glow, which is why it’s great for the face and not necessarily for contouring. I have in some instances used this to contour my nose and didn’t like it as much as when I used Hoola. I think this is another great option for those with pale skins.

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Side by side, there’s a significant difference in undertone. While the Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder leans slightly more red, the Hoola bronzer remains brown/beige when compared to one another. Strangely, for me, the BB bronzing powder is great for overall bronzing, while Hoola is best for actual contouring. I’m thinking that the difference in undertones has a lot to do with that. I like both, but both aren’t necessary. For fair-skinned gals like me, using a fluffy brush that will pick up less amount of powder and spread it thinner is key. Also, it’s best to dust off the excess before applying it.

Benefit’s Hoola retails for $28.00 USD.
Made in USA.
Contains 0.28 oz.

Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder retails for $38.00 USD.
Made in USA.
Contains 0.28 oz.

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Sephora Collection: Crayon Jumbo Liner 12HR Wear (Waterproof)

Today’s post is about something surprising and pleasant: the Sephora Collection Crayon Jumbo Liner 12HR Wear eyeshadow “sticks.” The ‘surprising’ factor is that I’m blown away by this product and it’s gone unnoticed and overlooked because it’s not one of the premium brands sold at Sephora. Funnily enough, even though I frequently visit Sephora, I’ve never looked into their own line.

I stumbled across the jumbo liner sticks because originally I wanted the NARS shadow sticks. After purchasing two of them, I played with them and experimented for 2 weeks before realizing I hated them. The only reason why they stuck around for 2 weeks is because I was sure that my beloved NARS would pull through. Sure enough, I disliked the consistency, the application was not smooth, and it creased like a mother.

I began perusing the Sephora Collection display because I was bored and eager to make an exchange. I played with these babies and was instantly sold. The best part is that they’re $12 each. Since they’re pretty much half the price of all the other exclusive brands sold at Sephora, it’s such a good deal and they perform better than what I’ve previously experienced.

The 2 colors I purchased are “01 White” and “05 Beige.” All the colors in this range have unoriginal and straight-to-the-point names. The application is buttery soft and the color is true to what it’s supposed to be. The shimmer is just enough to be pretty, because no one wants to look like a pageant queen every day.

Sephora claims that “these jumbo pencils create a range of effects, from bold lines and blended effects to thin, defined lines.” The formula is “resistant to water, heat, and humidity,” and the “creamy, high-pigment formulas apply smoothly.” Apparently, each jumbo pencil “is formulated with exclusive waxes and pigments to assure maximum color intensity that stays put for 12-hours.”

Honestly, I’m not sure what “exclusive waxes” they’re referring to – but, I’m impressed with the creamy and smooth texture, the easy application, and color that doesn’t run and smudge all day. Because the product is waterproof, blendability is an issue. Once applied, you have to work quickly to blend out the color. With these, it’s best to use your finger than a brush to do so. The warmth of your finger will naturally heat up the product and blend it easily. But after the first 5 seconds of application, that formula is there to stay until you remove it.

P.S. Both the “01 White” and “05 Beige” are great for inner corner highlighting and are perfect as bases for corresponding shadows. Or, you can wear them on their own with some liner and mascara. BOOM. :)

Thanks for reading. What affordable treasure have you found lately?

Made in Germany.
Net. wt. 0.10 oz. each.
Retails for $12 each.

*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels)

New Things Make Me Happy

I’m telling myself to stop hauling stuff and I’m sticking with that promise! This post is a bit overdue and I only recently unboxed my new goodies. So, technically, it’s like a mini surprise that I was actually expecting.

I had an early birthday gift card that I was going to save until my actual birthday – which is in April. But, I’m one of those people who like to be gifted early, so I treated myself nearly a month in advance. :)

My new goodies unboxed here:
NARS eyeshadow in “Nepal” – totally my new favorite
MAC eyeliner in “Teddy” – another favorite
Lancome Brow Expert – not sure about this one
MAC blush in “Blushbaby” – my go-to blush right now
Bare Minerals concealer in “Well Rested” for undereyes – impressive product
Laura Mercier lipgloss in “Bare Naked” – totally my new favorite lipgloss, pretty much of all time
NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in “Roman Holiday” – love!
NARS Velvet Lip Gloss Pencil in “Frivolous” – love!

NEW MAKEUP BAG from Victoria’s Secret that I absolutely adore.
It meets all of my makeup bag requiremets:
1.) bag must be wide (to stuff a bunch of stuff in);
2.) bag must be deep (to stuff a bunch of stuff in);
3.) bag must be made out of flexible material (to stuff a bunch of stuff in);
4.) bag should be reasonably cute, but not tacky and junior high-ish;
5.) bag must contain sturdy and reliable zipper that does NOT get stuck.

As you can see, I’m quite particular with makeup bags and rarely change them. So when I find one I like, I stick with it (unless I’m traveling and need to pack accordingly). For me, my main makeup bag stays at home; I rarely tote around all my makeup. If, for whatever reason, I do take some cosmetic items with me – only necessities like lipgloss, chapstick, oil blotting paper, floss, and tampons – are carried in a smaller pouch.

Though I try to keep everything reasonably organized on my vanity, items in my makeup bag have a special and honorable purpose. It basically means those products are my “go-to” products or can be easily labeled as my “current favorites.”

When I rotate items OUT of my makeup bag, it generally means I got bored of a particular product and it will be waiting in line during rotation; or, it means I don’t like the product anymore. I’m hard to please, haha.

Thanks for reading. I know this post seemed kinda random, haha.

*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels)

Everyday Beauty Essentials for Spring

Spring is just around the corner and I was reminded of this when we suddenly hit 80 degrees yesterday. I suppose it’s about time – after all, I admit I was in need of a little pick-me-up. My winter fashion has been leggings, Ugg boots, and oversized sweaters (pretty much like every one else). As for makeup, I did dabble in experimenting with foundations and cooler toned colors; I was enjoying the hydration my skin needed rather than fighting the oil; and, I’ve been itching to paint my nails something hideously bright and obnoxious. :)

I was playing with polyvore.com and created a collage of the upcoming Spring essentials. Other than bright colors and pastel tones, I like to keep things quite minimal in the beauty department since my clothes tend to be brighter in the Spring months. Also, since we’re heading into summer months, I tend to avoid wearing liquid foundations as it gets hotter because it’s going to melt and run down my face any way.

Are you thinking about Spring, too? What changes do you plan to make?

Every day Beauty Essentials for Spring

Dior Addict Lip Glow
$30 – lordandtaylor.com

Revlon Vernis à Ongles Couleur N°004 Sheer Nude
€11 – placedestendances.com

CHANEL Small Eyeshadow Brush 15
€24 – pret-a-beaute.com

Essentials of the Moment

So, since I’ve been “shopping my stash” as of late, it’s helped with re-discovering products; and, remembering which ones I loved and then forgot about. I suppose that’s the issue with routinely purchasing so many products all the time. Ha! My current essentials of the moment consists of:

Sephora Collection Pro Foundation Airbrush #56
Chanel Perfection Lumiere Long-Wear Flawless Fluid Makeup in B10
Chanel Poudre Unveriselle Libre Natural Finish Loose Powder in 20 Clair-Translucent 1
Benefit Posie Tint

Sephora’s airbrush foundation brush from their “pro” line works wonders for fluid and cream makeup of all sorts. In the beginning, although I adored Perfection Lumiere’s finish, I was on the fence about the product because of the application. The formula’s quick-drying gel-ish consistency was surprisingly hard to work with; and, unfortunately – it seemed that a traditional foundation brush and stippling brushes of both natural and synthetic fibers – made the finish of the foundation streaky and unnatural. However, after discovering Sephora’s airbrush foundation brush, I quickly changed my mind. The brush provides good control for different textures of makeup, while depositing just the right amount of color where you want it. It blends well and seamlessly – and, even makes difficult foundations, like Chanel’s Perfection Lumiere – blend flawlessly. In short, I’ve discovered that sometimes it may not be the texture of a cosmetic item that irks you – you may just be using the wrong tool.

Here’s what Sephora has to say about the foundation brush #56:
“For even greater control and precision, Sephora’s cult favorite Platinum Foundation Airbrush now comes in a version with a smaller brush head. Create a flawless, airbrushed finish thanks to this brush’s densely packed bristles and smaller head. Smoothly and easily, layer foundation from light to heavy. As you continue application, your results will be perfectly smooth at every level of coverage.”

Benefit’s Posie Tint is a bright baby pink color that is in liquid form. Pictured in this post is a sample size, since I wanted to test it out before committing to purchasing the product. I do have to say that it’s an interesting product to use: it’s watery and blends right into the skin – leaving you with the perfect flushed pinkness without looking powdery or cakey. It looks like you took a quick jog around the block, and your skin is healthy and refreshed. Now, too much of this product can make you look like you’ve got rosacea, so use a light hand.

*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels)
*Click on images to enlarge.

Recent Favorite Products

Back by popular demand – some current favorite products! So I admit, as a product junkie, it’s hard to keep up with all the new releases by so many departments, companies, and brands. However, since I know what I like – and what my skin likes – I find good face products from time to time. For me, I focus a lot how the skin looks. In my opinion, no amount of expensive eye products, fancy colors, and professional-looking application – will cover up the fact that the skin/base makeup looks like ruddy, uneven, or discolored.

If you think about makeup as an artistry – the skin is the base – hence, the term “foundation.” It’s the basic canvas before you start getting into the technical work, like gradation in color, color application, etc. And, even from a painter’s point of view – before creating your masterpiece, you start with a clean, blank canvas, right?

Featured products:
L’oreal True Match Super-Blendable Power in “W1 Porcelain”
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 (oil-free) in “Porcelain”
Chanel Illuminating Base Makeup

The infamous tinted moisturizer by Laura Mercier in the oil-free formulation is what I prefer. “Porcelain” is the lightest shade that is offered, and is yellow-based – which is quite odd for a shade named “Porcelain.” However, for a tinted moisturizer, it gives good, lightweight coverage. This product is used on “good skin” days because the coverage isn’t going to be as thorough as a foundation. It’s long-lasting, lightweight, and evens the skin tone out beautifully without looking overdone. Perfect for every day wear and for when you want to sport the “no makeup look” on weekends or to the gym.

L’oreal True Match powder is a great alternative to pricey powder. “W1 Porcelain” is the lightest shade in their “warm” cateogry – and, yes, that’s what the “w” in this range stands for. L’oreal True Match powder is also available in cool tones as well. I use this with a fluffy powder brush to get a sheer application. This provides good oil control, and so this power is great for the T-zone.

Chanel’s Illuminating Base is great for a special occasion or night out on the town. The base is essentially a primer and is designed to be worn under foundation – or, for me as of late – under the tinted moisturizer. This product is gel-like in consistency and is clear, yet white-ish in color that contains small pearly, iridescent particles that cleverly disappears once you rub it onto the skin. It perfectly “lights up” whatever base product you decide to pair with this base.

Since it’s winter, a dewy look still looks healthy – however, it’s important to address our skin’s changes with the weather. Now, rather than oil control, I prefer to focus on retaining moisture.

What are you loving lately?

*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels)
*Click on images to enlarge.