Browsing Tag

Color Focus


Color Focus: Light Pink Shimmer Highlighters & Blushes

March 11, 2010

I feel like I haven’t done a Color Focus feature in a while! The release of Rhapsody in Two from MAC’s Too Fabulous collection gave me a good reason to write a Color Focus post on my favorite light pink shimmery blushes and highlighters.

If you like lighter pinks for lips, check out my Color Focus: Milky Pink Lipglosses & feature on light pink lipsticks here at MAC Dsquared² Nude Rose Lipstick.

There’s something so pretty and girly about a light pink shimmer powder. Unfortunately, many times, the light pink ones go on white on my skin even though they look pink in the container. These are the ones that are shimmery and that do show up pinkish on my skin (light-medium, Chanel Shell, equivalent to MAC NC30).

Note, MAC Cute (discontinued) is only photographed for a frame of reference.

Paul & Joe has a number of great lighter shimmery pinks too that aren’t too frosty/shimmery like MAC can sometimes be. Compared to MAC Porcelain Pink as a base-line. The products from Paul & Joe are called Face Colors and come in a mirrored compact.

Le Metier de Beaute has a beautiful shimmer powder called Whisper. Chantecaille also had a blush product called Whisper, but it’s now discontinued (the lid is pinkish because I dropped nail polish on it). Both compared to MAC Porcelain Pink.

Swatching was difficult today, so I only did my MAC Blushes, MSFs and Beauty Powders + Becca Sylph. Swatched over MAC Prep & Prime.

What are your favorite light shimmery pinks for cheeks?


Color Focus: Soft Purples, Lilacs, Lavenders & Violets

February 3, 2010

I’m not sure if purple is “in” this season (with the exception of a part of MAC’s upcoming Spring Forecast collection) – but I’m not always one to follow the trends. When I think of spring, I think of soft colors and I love using purple on one feature for the face at a time (to avoid that purple overload look). I pulled out my soft purply colors and was surprised to find how much lilac and violets I own.


Part 1: Eyes

For eyes, I can’t pull off all purples – some lilacs make me look like I have pink-eye but these are the ones that work for me. I would have to say my favorites are the Armani Maestro Single #10 because it has some slight gold sparkles and the new Paul & Joe Purple Clover from spring (waves to Josie for her wonderful swatch and review here).

1. Giorgio Armani Maestro Quad 6 Mineral
2. Giorgio Armani Maestro Single 10
3. NARS Duo Eyeshadow Violetta
4. MAC Violet, Dear (discontinued)
5. Laura Mercier Luster Eyeshadow Dusk (mini size from GWP)
6. Paul & Joe Face & Eyecolor CS in Purple Clover 066
7. MAC Eyeshadow Pro Palette in Crystal
8. Laura Mercier Mineral Eye Powder in Crushed Amethyst
9. Trish McEvoy Eyeshadow in Haze
10. Paul & Joe Eyeshadow Velvet Ribbon 06
11. MAC Pigment in Kitchmas
12. MAC Pigment in Lovely Lily (l/e)
13. MAC Pigment in Circa Plum (l/e)

* Please note, I’m not a fan of that Nars Violetta swatch, the lighter matte shade doesn’t always go on as muddy dark as it did on my arm


Part 2: Lips

For lips, I can’t wear straight purples or lilacs for the lips. Most of these are either sheer or have some pink pearl in them to give a soft cool pink lip. My favorites are Laura Mercier’s Violet & Lilac Lip Glaces.

1. Bobbi Brown Brightening Lipgloss Pink Lilac
2. Laura Mercier Plumping Lipgloss in Wild Berry
3. Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Violet
4. Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Lilac
5. MAC Lustreglass in Morning Glory
6. MAC Lipglass Nico Now (l/e)
7. MAC Lipglass Fast Friends (l/e)
8. Nars Chastity Lip Gloss
9. Nars Sweet Charity Lip Gloss
10. Chanel Glossimer in Delight
11. Laura Mercier Stickgloss Lip Color in Purple Haze


Part 3: Nails

I’m not the biggest fan of purple nails. I got a few of these as gifts yet can’t bring myself to regift them or give them away (because often times it’s the thought that counts). I desperately wanted to love Chanel’s Rodeo Drive (gorgeous violet purple) but it was simply too bright for my comfort. Chanel’s Lilac Sky is much more doable for me. I do like lighter purples for the nails, I also have a photo/swatch of Le Metier Phlox here, but it’s currently MIA.

Pinkie to Thumb: Sephora by OPI Call Your Mother, OPI Parlez-Vous OPI?, MAC Love & Friendship, Chanel Violette (euro exclusive), Chanel Lilac Sky


Color Focus: Teal Eyes & Nails Inspired by Marion Cotillard

January 20, 2010

I watched part of the Red Carpet coverage of the Golden Globes and was inspired by Marion Cotillard’s beautiful deep teal-green dress, eyeliner and nails she wore to dig through my collection and find similar shades so I could try to recreate the look. You can see her look linked here.

I don’t have a lot of blues or teals in my stash but with a little practice was able to combine the shades to achieve a similar result. Just a disclaimer: I have no idea what products or colors were used on her actual look, this is just what I tried myself to get a similar effect.

My application steps/technique:

Cheeks: First apply MAC Dainty on apples of cheeks followed by a sheer dust of Pink Swoon.

Eyes: Apply a pale champagne cream on eyes as a base like Nars Copacabana and dust MAC Quick Frost pigment from lash to brow (apply heavier near lash line). Right around the rims of the eyes, apply a seafoam green shimmer like the Bottom Left shade of Chanel Murano followed by a smokey line of a darker smokey grey-green like the Top Left shade of Chanel Murano. Apply a teal green liner like Laura Mercier Black Turquoise Eye Kohl heavily along upper lash line and lower lash line. Take a slightly damp brush and apply a shimmery teal-green shadow like MAC Deep Blue Green Pigment or Chanel Murano right over the pencil blending with a soft brush for a smudged look. The last step for the eyes (not pictured) is to take a contouring powder or soft brown like MAC Soba or Era and apply right over the middle of the eye for depth/contour.

Lips: Line with a pale pink shimmer like Trish McEvoy Essential Pencil in Baby Pink and top with a shimmery shell pink lipstick like Chanel Waikiki Aqualumiere. Top with a matching gloss for shine like Dior #431.

I would have liked to get a brighter smokey teal along the lash lines, the teals I have are darker and more subdued. I learned from experimenting that the key to get a brighter teal is to layer the colors from light to dark. Layering the Laura Mercier Black Turquoise, MAC Deep Blue Green Pigment and dark green shade from Chanel Murano over the lighter shades brings out the teal shimmer more.

For nails, I pulled out my green shades. I’m still in search for a dark teal shimmer that doesn’t look black in natural light. It’s hard for me to find something that’s the right balance of teal and dark shimmer. Most teals are either too bright for my taste or too dark. All swatches are taken with a flash, each has 3 coats. Anyone have alternative recommendations on pretty dark teal shimmers?

I already featured some other teal shades in my Smokey Eye Series in Color Focus: Smokey Eyes Part 5 (Blues & Greens) last November.


Color Focus: Rosy Pinks for Lips and Nails

November 15, 2009

I will admit that I tend to associate rosy pinks more with spring or summer, but I feel that rosy pink lips can pretty much be worn year round. For lips, I tend to lean more towards more natural pinks since I already have a lot of pink in my natural lip tone, so these won’t be the rosiest pinks that are out there.

Rosy Pink Lipglosses:

1. MAC Sweet Strawberry Lipglass
2. MAC Bingo! Plushglass
3. MAC Creme Anglaise Cremesheen Glass
4. Le Metier Siena Lip Creme (GWP)
5. Becca Rosita Lip Gloss
6. Nars Stella Lip Gloss
7. Paul & Joe Limited Edition 001 Lip Gloss
8. Chanel Imaginaire Glossimer
9. Edward Bess Love Always

Swatches, same order:


Rosy Pink Lipsticks:

1. Chanel Ischia #96 Aqualumiere
2. Chanel Tasmania #99 Aqualumiere
3. Bobbi Brown Ruffle Metallic Lip Color
4. Le Metier de Beaute Cannes
5. MAC Strawbaby Lipstick (Fafi label came off)
6. MAC Party Mate
7. MAC Skew

(The swatches didn’t turn out so well, I might try again later)


Nail Polishes:

1. OPI California Raspberry
2. Essie Very Cranberry
3. OPI Grand Central Carnation
4. Dolce & Gabbana Rose (received as a GWP, but part of the regular D&G line)
5. Paul & Joe #13

For the swatches, the order is:

1. Thumb = Paul & Joe #13
2. Index = Dolce & Gabbana Rose
3. Middle = OPI Grand Central Carnation
4. Ring = Essie Very Cranberry
5. Pinkie = OPI California Raspberry

My blush collection has a lot of nude pinks, hot pinks, dusty pinks, peachy-pinks. I don’t have very many rosy-pink colors for cheeks other than my Bobbi Brown Raspberry Pot Rouge. Hence, no focus on the cheeks. I definitely do not have any rosy pink eyeshadows.

Would love to hear what your favorite rosy pink colors are!


Color Focus: Purple Nail Polish Photos & Swatches

November 6, 2009

Thanks to several e-mails and other blog recommendations, I checked out the new Hard Candy Mr. Wrong at Walmart and the new OPI Merry Midnight Nail Polishes. Hard Candy Mr. Wrong is very sparkly with a base similar to Dior’s Silver Purple but with chunky gold glitter mixed in. I was initially worried that OPI’s Merry Midnight would be too over the top, but when I tried it on at home, it turned out really pretty. The formula is super sheer though and required 3 full coats for me. Here are a few swatch pictures to compare.

Unique Purples: Hard Candy Mr. Wrong (Walmart), Dior Silver Purple (Holiday 2009), Dior Lemon Balm (Nordstrom Exclusive)

Plummy-Mauve Purples: Le Metier Violaceous Splendor, OPI Merry Midnight, Le Metier Black Orchid

* Note, the OPI Merry Midnight sparkle doesn’t show up so well in the swatch photo, I highly recommend you check out All Lacquered Up or Scrangie’s Blogs for better swatch pictures!

Light purple shades: Like purples, but don’t like darker colors? Check out Le Metier de Beaute Phlox, Chanel Violette, MAC Love & Friendship

If you want to see more purple nail polishes I’ve written about, check out these links:

* Color Focus: Dark Vampy Nail Polish
* I *HEART* MAC Baby Goth Girl
* A Few Alternatives to Super Dark Nail Polish . . .


Color Focus: Neutral Sparkle & Glow

October 13, 2009
This is an expansion on some color focus features I’ve done in the past for face/eyes, nails and lips. When I was getting into makeup, there were only 4 loose shimmer powders I knew of and was always looking for something in between since the silver ones were just a tad too white and the bronze ones were way too dark. Now there are a lot more options out there!

I have medium golden-toned skin, so this is a post on more neutral glowy nude-beige products that work for me to give that natural glow. I love these because they are so versatile, you can use these alone or layered over other colors to add shimmer. Laura Mercier Stardust and MAC Silver Dusk are featured even though they are on the paler side and look more silvery because they still work if used with a very light hand.

Loose Shimmer Powders: These are my most neutral natural loose shimmer powders. I have a lot more colors of peach, pink, and bronze variations, but those I will save for a later feature. For these, I would say the most sparkly ones are MAC’s Silver Dusk and Dancing Light. The most subtle ones are Armani’s Midnight Shimmer Powder and Becca Hyawatha. The rest are somewhere in between.

Laura Mercier Stardust:

Laura Mercier Candlelight:

Laura Mercier Starlight:

MAC Silver Dusk:

Scott Barnes Diamond Dust:

FACE Stockholm Gold Shine:

Becca Hyawatha:

MAC Beauty Powder in Dancing Light:

Giorgio Armani Midnight Shimmer Powder:

Swatches: 1) Laura Mercier Stardust, 2) Laura Mercier Candlelight, 3) Laura Mercier Starlight, 4) MAC Silver Dusk, 5) Scott Barnes Diamond Dust, 6) FACE Stockholm Gold Shine, 7) Becca Hyawatha, 8) MAC Beauty Powder Dancing Light, 9) Armani Midnight Shimmer Powder

For liquid/cream products, I find colored products (bronzey and peachy included) more forgiving because you can blend the colors out easily or mix them with your foundation. Nars St. Barts is my holy-grail nude highlighter because it blends out to give that perfect contoured and slightly tanned look without any orange or bronze.

Left to right: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Topaz, Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Opal, Chanel Brilliance Pur Sunkissed, Armani Fluid Sheer 2, Armani Fluid Sheer 10, Nars Multiple Maldives, Nars Multiple St. Barts

Swatches in the same order as above (note that these are not blended out):

For nails, I’ve always been into that barely-there natural manicured look. These are natural with a pretty sheen. I don’t have swatches as I just got my nails done. I highly recommend searching for awesome pictures with different lighting and also swatches on different skintones.

Left to right: Chanel Galactic Touch, Nars Adelita, OPI Sand in My Suit, OPI Hollywood Blonde, Rescue Beauty Lounge Ani, MAC Golded

For lips, I have yet to find that perfect glowy lipstick that works all the time. I do have glosses that I love which gives that glow:

Left to right: 1) Bobbi Brown Rose Gold, 2) Bobbi Brown Sand Sugar, 3) MAC C-Thru, 4) MAC Young Thing, 5) MAC Instant Gold, 6) Nars Greek Holiday, 7) Chanel Gold Light #118, 8) Chanel Beige Guitare #121, 9) MAC Sugarrimmed Dazzleglass, 10) Dior Addict #137 Trenchcoat Beige, 11) Laura Mercier Champagne Glace (old packaging)

For eyes, I like to use the loose shimmer powders a lot, but there are quite a few beige-gold shimmer eyeshadows that enhance your skin making it look like a subtle glow. Basically your lids-but-better in a warmer nude glow. MAC Bagatelle is my favorite for this, but has since been discontinued, here are some other alternatives:

1) Bobbi Brown Copper Penny Shimmer Wash, 2) Benefit Rich Beach, 3) Chantecaille Rose Gold, 4) Chanel Gold, 5) MAC Bagatelle, 6) MAC Creme de Miel, 7) MAC Blonde’s Gold Pigment, 8) Paul & Joe Pearl Powder 01, 9) Bobbi Brown Sunset Gold Metallic, 10) Armani Maestro #2, 11) Urban Decay Blaze, 12) Becca Loose Shimmer Powder in Odette

Swatches, same order:


Color Focus: Milky Pink Lipglosses

October 12, 2009

I have an obsession with light milky nude pinks and am forever searching for that perfect shade that will give me that angelic natural pout (ala Angelina Jolie).

I did a line-up of my milky light pink lipsticks from MAC in my MAC Dsquared² Nude Rose Lipstick feature. Here is my line up of milky pink lipglosses – which I’m sure you will be happy to know include shades from a wider range of brands.

For me, my first classic milky pink gloss was Nars Turkish Delight, but it can be a bit too pale sometimes without liner or another lipstick underneath. Here are the others in my collection:

(The photograph has been updated to match the list & swatches below, sorry for the confusion!)

1. MAC Prrr Lipglass
2. MAC Pastel Emotion Lipglass
3. MAC Sugar Trance Lipglass
4. Chanel Seashell Glossimer
5. Le Metier Vanilla Rose Lip Creme
6. Chanel Bon Bon #73 Aqualumiere
7. MAC Baby Sparks Dazzleglass
8. Nars Turkish Delight Lip Gloss
9. MAC Angel Cream Plushglass
10. Chanel Sesame Glossimer
11. MAC Partial to Pink Cremesheen
12. MAC Culture Clash Lipglass
13. Dior Clutch Pink #517 Addict
14. YSL Pure Rose #2

Here are the swatches:

Slightly different lighting (just doesn’t have the high flash so the photo is more cool-toned):