Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Just Peachy

In my late teens, I never used to wear blush. I've got quite naturally rosy cheeks, and I was under the impression that I would look fatter if I made my cheeks pinker.

Of course, I was very wrong. If anything, I looked fatter, more moon-faced, without blush. Blush helps define and sculpt your face. It's called "contouring" to the professionals, apparently.

I've since worn blush, but this year I've begun really falling in love with it.

I got Natio's Rouge Glow a few months back, which is a tremendously fun, almost sparkly, pink. I recently picked up Natio's Rosewood colour, which is a soft, dusky - well, "rosewood" describes it well. At roughly $13 a piece, they're well-priced and lovely to use.

Rouge Glow on the left, Rosewood on the right.

But for some reason there was a WHOLE other blush colour that I had failed to give consideration to.


I always aspired to an "English Rose" complexion - fair skin and pink cheeks. But I realise my skin could just as easily be moulded into a "Peaches and Cream" complexion.

So I picked up a glorious Prestige Minerals blush in Peach. I had been eyeing it off, and when I saw it 50% off at Priceline (for $11.25 instead of $22.50), I snapped it up.

It's a gorgeous product. The baked mineral formulation is smooth, and its swirl of a deeper streak of pink and a touch of shimmer gives the colour a fullness. Start with a little on your blusher brush - it's stronger than you might think, and you don't want to overdo it. You can always build the colour on. Pop it on the top of the apple of your cheek, and sweep back towards your temples.

All I'm wearing here is the Prestige Peach blush and some of Natio's Mineral Lip Butter in Cheer. I think  it's a soft, easy look that would suit most casual occasions.

Let me know about blushes you love!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Fat Lashes

I'm slightly obsessed with mascara at the moment.

It took me many years to wake up to the fact that mascara is quite possibly the most effective tool you can have in your make-up kit. A few sweeps of mascara - even without anything else on your face beyond moisturiser - can open up your eyes, make them pop, and make you feel just a little bit glam.

I've got a few mascaras on rotation at the moment. One is Designer Brands Beyond Amplifying Mascara, which uses "tubing" technology to coat your lashes with fibres that extend their natural length. They claim to stay on until physically removed using cream and a pulling motion. I'd say it's pretty good at adding length, and I found their staying power satisfactory. You will need to invest time in removing it properly though, as it seems to flake off as little black pieces, which can end up all over your cheeks the next morning. It looks like your lashes have dandruff.

Another is Max Factor's False Lash Effect (the waterproof version). I mistakenly picked up the brown colour in this one, but I have to say it's quite nice for a more natural day look. The brush is big with well-defined bristles, meaning it coats well for an generally pleasing all-over effect.

Having said that, I kept getting this feeling that my lashes weren't FAT enough. I decided what I really wanted was that thick, voluminous, even slightly cloggy look.

So I picked up Max Factor's 2000 Calorie mascara, with the Curved Brush option (you can also get a Straight Brush). I have to say I really like this one! It claims to fatten lashes up to 300 per cent. Now I don't even know how I'd go about measuring that without an atomic scale. But it certainly gives lashes a fullness. The brush has thicker, more closely threaded bristles, so it "clumps on" a bit more. And it seems to stay put well.

It's late at night, and PhotoBooth never captures things
that well, but you may get a bit of an idea.
Want to know why I picked up two Max Factor mascaras? Well, if you keep an eye out, you'll notice KMart often reduce all MF mascaras to $10. They'll just do a blanket special, so all these mascaras that are generally $20 to $25 will be $10. It's much more palatable to experiment when the sticks are half-price or less.

Another great place to look for mascaras is in those discount bins out the front of chemist shops. That's where I picked up the DB on, for $14.95. Given what you can find if you do some basic searching - and given that you're supposed to change mascaras every six months - it's unlikely I'd pay more for one than $15. Perhaps if I was shouting myself to something super special, like BeneFit's Bad Gal Lash, which I had once a few years ago. However, even that one was prone to melting, so personally I think the 2000 Calorie is a great option for those mascara-lovers wanting some fat lashes.