21 August 2010

Blush + bronze me up ♥

I think no look is complete without a bit of bronzer to warm up the face. I also HAVE to wear blusher and I love how a dusting of girlie pink blusher can really brighten up the face and accentuate cheekbones - after all "When a girl ceases to blush, she has lost the most powerful charm of her beauty".....

♥ Bronzer - Benefit Hoola Bronzing Powder

I have tried many bronzing powders - e.g. MAC bronzing powder, Estée Lauder Soft Matte Bronzer - but Benefit Hoola Bronzing Powder definitely wins hands down. It costs £23.50 but it lasts AGES and a little really does go a long way. It comes with a small brush which I personally think is awful and ensures nothing but a streaky application of the powder. So I use my Ecotools Retractable Kabuki Brush which is pretty amazing and so affordable compared to HE brushes of the same quality.

This powder is quite dark but suits medium/olive skin perfectly.I sweep a little across my chin, cheeks and forehead for a healthy, natural looking bronzed glow. I also use this to contour my cheeks by sucking my cheeks in and applying a little product in the hollows of my cheeks. I also dust some along my jaw line and blend downwards which is meant to give the illusion if a more defined jawline - I'll try anything ;) In the evening if I want a slightly more sunkissed glow I can build it up for a bit more colour without it looking too "muddy" or heavy - it also photographs extremely well.

I love that this powder has no shimmer particles so it looks completely natural and doesn't highlight any blemishes or emphasize my oily skin. Yet it doesn't look dull in the slightest like some matte powders can do and adds a really nice radiant glow. Defo a winner :)

♥ Blusher for the daytime - MAC Mineralize Blush in 'Dainty'

I absolutely LOVE this blush. It is my first Mineralize purchase from MAC and I have to say it is my favourite blush ever. Prior to this I used to wear MAC's 'Pink Swoon' or 'Well Dressed'. I found 'Pink Swoon' too cool and wanted something to warm up my skin and complement my warm undertones. 'Well Dressed' took a look of building up to show up although it was a very pretty shade - I think it would suit paler skins a lot better as it provides such a pretty, pink girlie flush. 'Dainty' is a warmer pink...it is easily buildable if you want to increase intensity of colour but it is so pigmented I only have to use a quick sweep of product on my cheeks for the daytime and can build it up more for the evening if I want to.

It is basically baked minerals refined into a powder formula to provide a sheer and lightwight application but is so easily buildable without becoming too heavy on the skin. I also LOVE how this highlights my cheekbones. Other blushers tend to have a matte finish which leave my skin looking a little dull. This enhances my cheekbones with a luminious, pearlized shimmer. This shimmer is so so subtle and pretty without making me look like a complete glitter-ball. This blush looks perfect with golden eyes (e.g. 'Woodwinked')...soft brown eyeliner....and girlie pink lips. I can see this being a staple in my make-up for a long time :)

♥ Blusher for the evening - Benefit 'CORALista'

For the evening or anytime I want a slightly more coral spalsh of colour on my cheeks, I use Benefit CORALista. This is a gorgeous coral blush for a nice tropical flush that looks stunning on tanned skin. It works really well to highlight the cheekbones, so much so that I don't even use a separate highlighter. It is a nice pinky-corally colour rather than being an orangey-brown coral which I sometimes find coral products to be.

This comes with a little brush just like the bronzer does but this brush is perfect for the application of this blusher. The bristles are nice and soft but firm and it is so easy to use. Simply suck your cheeks in and sweep the blush in a upward direction from the hollow of the cheek up towards the hairline.

I wear this if I create a nice coral look with golden eyes and pinky-coral lips (currently Barry M lipstick in shade 53). This looks perfect in the warmer weather or if I'm wearing a dark colour and want a nice, slightly bright flush of colour. Perfection :)

♥ Highlighter - MAC Mineralize Skinfinish (MSF) in 'By Candlelight'

This is my first MAC MSF. I have tried highlighters in the past - such as Benefit 'High Beam' which did little to highlight but rather "smudged" my foundation & bronzer and created a bit of a mess rather than a glorious highlighted sheen - my skin just does not suit cream/liquid formulas. I have been on the lookout for a powder highlighter which was dark enough to show up on my skin and had a nice delicate sheen rather than a full on glitter-ball effect.

This MSF is gorgeous. It is quite pigmented so a little bit does go a long way. However, it is quite light in colour so I do have to build it up to ensure it shows up on my skin. Having said that...there is so much product in the containter..I can't see me ever finishing it! It is such a luxurious velvet-soft powder with high-frost metallic finish which smoothes on to highlight cheeks and the brow bones.

I apply this with my finger, making a figure of the number 3 from the inner brow line round to the top of my cheekbones. It provides a gorgeous golden pink deluxe polish to the skin which is so subtle yet effective at really accentuating the cheekbones. I should really try applying it with a brush to see how this alters the application and finish....I am also eager to try NARS 'Albatross' Highlight Blush Powder....

*** TIP: I think using good quality, clean brushes is essential as poor quality brushes can make the bronzer/blush go on streaky and uneven and highlight your face in completely the wrong way!! I make sure I use good quality Ecotools brushes. I would love to be able to afford all MAC brushes but, although they are certainly an investment if you look after them, they are very costly to pay out for. The Ecotools brushes are such good quality and really affordable (available from Boots or online). I have owned one MAC kabuki brush (no.192) which I brough cheap from Ebay and not entirely convinced it was authentic...but these Ecotools brushes, in comparison to my MAC brush, are just as good if not better in my opinion. I make sure I clean my brushes once a week if I can to get rid of any bacteria and keep my skin clear plus keep the quality of the brushes in tact. I clean them with baby shampoo, which is a lot gentler than normal shampoo, and soak them in lukewarm water then let me dry naturally (do NOT use a hairdryer to dry them). and voila... clean, good as new brushes :) ***

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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