2015 Makeup Favorites: Contour, Bronzer, Blush, Highlighter

Hi guys!

Welcome to the second installment of my 2015 Makeup Favorites. On this post, I’m gonna talk through the face coloring I found outstanding during last year.

facecolour

I’m not a fan of heavy contouring and highlighting in real life. I think it looks amazing in pictures, TV and editorial, but under daylight and in the short distance, it’s easy to see all the build-up of the color and the illusion of a contoured face remains evident.

My facial structure is pretty heavy and I have naturally strong cheekbones, but I do feel my face is quite square-esque, so I like to apply just a tiny bit of contouring powder creating a short line from right where my hairline starts and following the hollow under the cheekbone. I don’t go crazy trying to hide my jawline or forehead, I find it tricky to do naturally, and I quite like having strong features.

I had been using Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder in Medium for years, and I still do, but last year I got the Smashbox Shape Matters Palette, which comes with 4 face shaping powders, and I fell in love with the contouring shade. You do have to go light handed with this one as it is very pigmented, but I find it easier to blend that the Kevyn Aucoin one, and the color is just as natural. I apply them both with MAC 168 brush.

As a contour-bronzin hybrid, my favorite is the sculpt shade in the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow. I use it in the lower part of my cheekbones, blending it upwards to give some color as I would do with a regular bronzer, but focusing on the lower part to create a more sculpted look. It is just perfect. Being it such a pigmented product, and since I use it in a bigger area, I like applying it with a fluffier brush. My choice is Real Techniques Blush Brush. This product is a cooler shade of brown with a slightly sheen to it, and makes your cheekbones look gorgeous. This duo is really expensive so I try not to use it every day, because I don’t know if I could justify repurchasing it given that I’d never use the highlighter up. But for sure I know I don’t ever want to be without it.

As for an actual bronzer, I got the Soap & Glory Solar Powder last year (it’s recently changed the packaging), and it made it to my favorites straight away. It is affordable and truly foolproof, I can never have a bad bronzer day with this product, as any excess can be easily bendable and the color is very natural. I like to apply this bronzer with my Bobbi Brown Bronzer Brush, which I use because I invested in it but honestly I don’t think is worth the splurge because it sheds really badly.

A splurge that I don’t regret is the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette. Both of my Ambient Lighting palettes (I don’t have the Edit one) have a spot in this post, but if I had to choose one, it would be the Blush one. These palettes might as well be the most expensive makeup products I’ve ever bought, but I think this one is fantastic and is worth every penny. My favorite blush in the palette is Mood Exposure (the shade on the right), though I never thought I’d like a plum color in my cheeks (I usually gravitate towards warmer shades). It goes with everything, blends smoothly, gives a sculpted look to the cheeks and has a very good lasting power.

My other favorite blush of 2015 is my fave Nars one: Deep Throat. I don’t really like pink shades on me, but this tends to peach, so is warm enough for me to pull off, and also looks beautiful with any kind of look. As with most of Nars blushes, the pigmentation is lovely, and the texture easily blendable.

I used to love wearing even two highlighters at the same time every day, but for some reason, I seem to have fallen out of love with them last year. I try to use it every day anyway because I want to give love to the ones I have, but I hate it when it looks obvious and I tend to go with liquid highlighter for a more natural effect. However, this is something I started doing more consistently towards the end of 2015, so none of those products are featured here now.

Instead, I’d like to talk about the Ambient Lighting Palette, also by Hourglass. I tend to avoid powder unless I’m wearing a dewy foundation to work, and in that case I use By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra Powder because it’s hydrating and I find powders very drying and uncomfortable in my skin. But even if it’s necessary because hard work makes me sweat sometimes and I want to be ready for that, I don’t like when it hides the healthy dewiness in my face. That’s why I love the Hourglass Ambient Powders: they weren’t created to blot or to mattify, so they still look natural on the skin. I use the medium shade of the palette, Dim Light, in the centre of my face, the lightest one as a subtle highlighter on top of my cheekbones and the darkest one as a sort of natural bronzer, specially on days when I’m wearing little makeup and I wanna keep my bronzer subtle.

That’s it for my face color favorites of last year guys! I’ll bring more posts soon with my Eye and Lips favorites.

Sara xx

Advertisements

2015 Makeup Favorites: Priming, Foundation and Concealer

Hi guys!

I was going to write a full post about my 2015 favorites, but as I am editing it, I’m afraid it would be too long, so I’m just gonna divide it into categories.

Let’s talk about the base then…

 

face

PRIMERS

I must say my absolute favorite primers are not in this picture because I’ve run out of them both. I will for sure repurchase them but I need to finish first some of the stuff that I’m trying to use up.

My all-time favorite face primer is Clarins Instant Light Radiance Boosting Complexion Base in the shade 02 Champagne. Not only does it smell like expensive parfum, but it also evens out the skin tone and gives it a beautiful natural luminosity. It’s perfect for no-makeup days, as it makes you look like you have even skin, but without the coverage. I also find that any foundation looks better on top of it and they last longer.

For my eyes, I’ve always loved Nars Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base. I must admit that I never wear eyeshadow without primer, so I wouldn’t know whether it makes colours more intense or not . However, I can swear it makes eye makeup stay perfect and creaseless all day long, without drying my eyelids. Right now, I am using the Milani Eyeshadow Primer, which is a third of Nars’ price, and so far so good!

Now, let’s carry on with what you can actually see in the picture:

For lips, the only primer I’ve ever tried is MAC Prep & Prime Lip. I wouldn’t say I can’t live without it, but I like to use it with some lipsticks that tend to bleed around the edges or slip too much. I find it soothes the surface of the lips, making the fine lines less evident, and keeps lipstick in place, while maximizing their lasting power.

FOUNDATION

As for foundation, I have picked out the two that have passed my mum’s test. That means, every time she sees me wearing either of them, she compliments my skin saying she loves when I wear so little makeup. That is how natural both are.

Of course, I had to include what I firmly believe is my Holy Grail foundation: Guerlain Terracotta Joli Teint. Sadly, I can only use it during the summer months, since the lightest colur (Light) is too dark for me during the rest of the year. This foundation is so natural that it just looks like you have perfect skin everyday, but its golden-beige pigments give you the healthiest glow. I found too that it has the longest lasting power I’ve found in a foundation, and SPF 20 as well. Should I also mention that it smells like tiaré flowers? That’s something I love but maybe it would bother sensitive skins.

My other favorite for 2015 was Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation (I wear the shade 52). This is a very light foundation with a beautiful dewy finish. It feels very comfortable and I think it would be specially suitable for normal to dry skins given its moisturizing power, however combination to oily skins could pull it off as well with a little bit of powder on top, or maybe getting some help from blotting papers every couple of hours.

CONCEALER

My fight against dark circles feels like a lost battle, and after trying a lot of cult products over the years, I would choose very affordable products as my favorites.

The first of them is Maybelline The Eraser Eye Concealer in the shade Nude. The one you can see in the picture was purchased in Spain, hence the name change. I have fairy pale skin, but I don’t like my undereye concealers to be too light because my dark circles would look grey otherwise. I love this concealer because its texture is very light, so it doesn’t crease crazily, but at the same time it gives amazing coverage. Many people find the sponge applicator gross, and I understand, but as I only use it for myself and only for under my eyes (no spots) I am not too bothered about it. However, if you are concerned about it, the sponge can be easily removed.

I also love the so well known Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer. It can be purchased only in Boots and Superdrug I think, but I believe Superdrug offers shade 3 (I believe it’s Cool Medium), which I’ve never seen in Boots. I have shade 2 (Warm Medium), which is pretty light but as it has such amazing coverage, it doesn’t make my dark circles look gray because you can hardly see them! It’s thicker in texture than the Maybelline one, but it stays crease-free for a long time as well, and its lasting power is also outstanding. I strongly recommend everyone to try this one, you can’t really go wrong with this price tag!

And last but not least, my beloved Seventeen On the Spot Concealer, which I’ve talked about in a previous post. This is the one I use for my spots because it dries them up, but also as a primer when my skin is not behaving and I need extra coverage, and to retouch my makeup after working when I need it to look fresh to go somewhere else. I’ve recently repurchased it because I found it on offer at Boots for 1,99 GBP! A friend of mine was with me that day and got one for herself, and now she’s obsessed and she also wears it all over the face. There is also the foundation version but I haven’t tried it yet.

That’s all for today guys, I’ll see you very soon with another 2015 favorites post!

Sara xx

 

Nars Sheer Glow foundation

Hi guys!

This is my first post after Christmas day so I hope you all have had some amazing days and are getting ready for the new year!

narssheerglow

My Nars Sheer Glow foundation was running low lately. I tried using a cotton bud to get the foundation left on the sides of the bottle, but I felt the product was thicker than normal, so I decided it was time to let it go…

After using up the whole bottle, I guess I should be able to give an opinion I am 100% sure about but I just can’t make up my mind about this foundation.

When I bought it, I used to have issues with foundations settling in my pores, so I went to Sephora, tried this one and after wearing it for a few hours, I purchased it straight away because my pores stayed invisible.

I got the shade Deauville, which is my perfect Winter match, but I was only able  to use it for a few weeks before Summer came and I got tanned as I hadn’t been in years. But I missed it so much that when I moved to London in October, it was the only foundation I brought with me, alongside with Chantecaille Just Skin tinted moisturizer. I hope that can give you an idea about how much I used to love it.

This foundation is not the most travel-friendly because the bottle is made of glass. I found that a lot of product gets sticked to the sides and you end up not being able to use the whole of it, and damn it is an expensive foundation! Also, I’m going to be the person number 1 million to complain about it not coming with a pump, which makes you either use too much product or wasting it. I usually prefer tubes when it comes to foundation, so that you can cut them when there are just a few uses left.

Regarding the coverage and finish, this foundation is lovely but I used to like it more than I do now. I must say it is not sheer at all, in fact I generally go for sheer foundations and keep a higher coverage one for when my skin is not behaving or I need my makeup to last extra long, and for months this was the one.

However, despite it being so high coverage, it still looks pretty natural. I wouldn’t say glowy, but definitely luminous. When I started using it, my skin was more on the combination side, whereas now it is more normal, and I found it held shine free for the whole day (I’m not a fan of powder so that is a win for me!).

The reason I am not thinking of repurchasing it now is that I found that lately it felt a bit dry on my skin. I don’t know if it is entirely due to the new state of my skin or just that my preferences have changed, but I need to feel my skin hydrated all day long to feel comfortable, and Sheer Glow wasn’t the most comfortable foundation for my skin in the last weeks. For some reason, it also stopped lasting that long on me. Now THAT is a mystery.

I guess this foundation might be my holy grail if my skin was the same as it used to be, this is, a bit more oily and with major imperfections to cover, so if this is your case, I would definitely recommend it to try it!

Nars Sheer Glow foundation can be purchased at Nars counters at a retail price of 31GBP but I found that in HQHair they usually have between a 10 and a 20% off, and sometimes they do gifts with purchase when you get two Nars products or spend over 45GBP. Bear in mind that they don’t offer the whole range of shades, but I believe for every skin tone there are three Sheer Glow shades that match, so you might be able to find your perfect one anyway!

Have you tried this foundation? Do you think it is worth the hype?

 

Sara xx

 

 

Top 5 Mascaras

Hi guys!

I think that if I had to choose only one makeup product to wear for the rest of my life, it would be mascara. I must admit, as you will see, that I am the proud owner of some of the deepest undereye  circles I’ve ever seen, and still, I’d rather show them around forever than living with bare lashes.

I’ve always been in the search for the perfect mascara, and for quite a few years I used to have only one mascara in use. Obviously it was never THE ONE, (I took me a while to figure out that I needed falsies for the effect I was looking for), so I would spent 3 months trying to ask everybody I knew with amazing looking lashes about which mascara was their holy grail. This was the era before Internet broadband became mainstream, so it was a hard work that required a lot of surveying 🙂

I think there was a turning point when one day I had this brilliant idea: if I’ve got two different lipsticks, why can’t I also have two different mascaras? So 2 became 3, 3 became 6 and I got carried away until I reached the point where I am today. I haven’t counted how many I own but I have around 8 unopened, so even I have realized they are too many 😉

So after all of these years of exhaustive investigation, today I would like to bring you my top 5 mascaras. Bear in mind that the opinion on mascaras depends a lot on your natural lashes, and also on the kind of look you’re looking for. In my case, I like curled, well defined lashes, but with volume at the same time, and pointing outwards. I’ve tried many lovely high end mascaras but I didn’t want to include them today, so instead I have chosen a couple of cheaper alternatives that I find just as good.

My lashes are not sparse but they are very thin and blonde on the ends (why, if I am a brunette, oh why?), as you can see in this picture, and in all pictures I’m wearing two coats of mascara and no lash curler has been used (to be honest, I don’t use it every day anyway because with some mascaras it does’t make a difference).

I’ve organized this list from the most natural effect to the most dramatic.

thumb__DSC0322_1024

1. Givenchy Phenomen’eyes Extension Effect Mascara

I was so late on de bandwagon with this mascara, which I only discovered two years ago. I tried the regular version first, and the truth is that I preferred the effect of that one, but the formula used to stay wet forever, so my lashes kind of sticked together when I blinked. I don’t feel that the Extension Effect lengthens my lashes more, but the formula dries perfectly and lasts all day on me.

What I love about this spiky spheric brush is that it allows me to apply mascara from the very roots of my lashes and comb them pointing them outwards, to get a feline effect. The effect you see in the pictures is not very dramatic because the product is running out, but I hope you get the idea 🙂 It’s also great as a “top coat” to use on top of another mascara and guide your lashes upwards or outwards, whatever you fancy.

(Right are my bare lashes, left are my lashes with two coats of this mascara)

 

2. Essence Lash Princess Mascara

This drugstore bargain is one of my most recent discoveries. Essence is way easier to get in Spain than in the UK, but equally affordable. I got it for 4,19€ and it retails for 3.30 GBP.

I actually find the packaging a bit cheesy with the rubbery pink ribbons, and the brush looks a bit weird at first, but it works wonders. The pigment is rather intense, and I love it specially because it defines my lashes pretty well whilst giving them a decent amount of volume. The cobra snake shaped brush curls them slightly too. I find it particularly easy to remove.

_DSC0415

(Right are my bare lashes, left are my lashes with two coats of this mascara. Excuse the cream eyeshadow stain on my right eye, I removed my makeup and put it back on so many times for the pictures that I forgot about blending)

3. Yves Saint Laurent Faux Cils Effect Mascara

We move from one end of the spectrum to the opposite, as this is a luxury product. Everything about it feels expensive: the golden packaging is heavy, the gorgeous smell is completely unnecessary but it doesn’t bother my sensitive eyes, and when you close it you can feel the click that seems to mean you’re locking a treasure inside.

This mascara is not the most defining one, but lashes look black, volumised and just gorgeous. My eyes look wide open and I although you can build it up without getting clumps, but I’ve found that two coats is enough with it because I can’t really see an improvement on what my lashes look like with more.

The downsides about this one are the high price tag and the fact that dries out quicker than other mascaras.

(Right are my bare lashes, left are my lashes with two coats of this mascara)

_DSC0427

selected4ysl

4. Tarte Lash, Camera, Flashes Mascara

In my recent trip to New York, this mascara was my number 1 item on my wishlist thanks to Fleur De Force’s recommendation. I’ve tried a few of the products she usually recommends on her monthly favorites and I usually agree, but this mascara was so raved about by her that I knew it HAD to work.

This mascara has plastic bristles that defines the lashes but they are not very close together, so it gives a lot of volume as well. The bristles are so sharp that they coat the lashes from the roots to the ends, lengthening them. But it is also because of how sharp the brush is that I need to be very careful to avoid hurting my upper waterline.

I’ve found that I like it better when I curl my lashes before applying it. It’s not waterproof but you need a good eye makeup remover and some patience to remove it 😉

Tarte can be found in the USA and Australia at Sephora and in the UK via qvc.

_DSC0439

(Right are my bare lashes, left are my lashes with two coats of this mascara)

5. Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Ultra Black Mascara

If I had to choose THE ONE, I think this would be it. It gives me the hugest lashes I could ever imagine. They look jet black, abundant, fluttery, long and curled. I think this one and the YSL are my absolute favorites, but the Bourjois beats the YSL due to its more affordable price tag and because it doesn’t dry out that quickly.

_DSC0454

(Right are my bare lashes, left are my lashes with two coats of this mascara)

Now I would like you to tell me if my search for THE ONE is not over yet. Do you know any mascaras that are better than these?

 

Sara xx

What’s in my purse makeup bag

Hi guys!

Today I’ll give you a peek inside my purse makeup bag, so basically my essentials on the go.

Some of them are favorites and some others are just the opposite, products that I carry with me to make myself get more use of.

Most of the time I can’t be bothered to use all of these when I need a touch-up, but it makes me feel more comfortable to know that I have them if necessary.

thumb__DSC0256_1024

Face:

thumb__DSC0261_1024

thumb__DSC0266_1024

 

Blotting papers Bobbi Brown: I bought these years ago, when I was dealing with extremely oily skin. I don’t use them often nowadays because my skin is pretty normal, but I love them because they just absorb the excess of oil without affecting the coverage of your foundation and avoiding the powdery finish. Even if you like to touch up your makeup with powder, I would recommend you to use these first to avoid looking cakey. There are cheaper alternatives than Bobbi Brown, but I got them for almost nothing with a discount voucher.

Paul & Joe Pressed Power : I must admit I got these because of the packaging, but I ended up loving them so much! These are my favorite blotting powder ever, they are invisible on the skin color-wise and they don’t make pores more visible either, but there is a hint of shimmer on them (it doesn’t bother me though). I apply them with a Sensai brush that came with a bronzer.

Chanel Joues Contraste 84 Accent (LE Christmas 2013): This browny-rose blush comes in my purse with me because it goes with everything, and the brush it is pretty decent for retouching. It doesn’t look like much in the pan but it gives a really flattering sculpted look to the cheeks. I believe you can’t find it now on the counters but in my opinion, Benefit’s Rockateur and Hourglass’ Mood Exposure are fairly similar.

Eyes:

thumb__DSC0295_1024

thumb__DSC0297_1024

Deliplus Maxi Volumen Mascara: This is a love-it or hate-it product from the Spanish supermarket Mercadona. With a pretty short and wide wang, it puts a lot of product on your lashes. You can get amazing results if you apply it carefully, but it works really well over a defining mascara that doesn’t give much volume. That’s why I carry it with me.

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara: I love this mascara, it’s not the most volumizing one but it’s awesome for defining, lengthening and curling. So, it has everything that the one above doesn’t have, making them a perfect couple.

Revlon Colorstay liquid liner: It is really black and the nib is very firm, but in my opinion is not precise enough to draw a sharp flick. I carry it in my purse in case I need to retouch the area around my teardots, since I have very watery eyes.

Concealers:

thumb__DSC0279_1024

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in 2-Medium: This concealer is really raved about around the Internet and for the price tag it’s amazing. I have to say that every concealer I have tried in my life creases on me, but this one does it just a little.

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Honey: I was kind of disappointed with this product when I purchased it because it creased a lot under my eyes and I found it too dry for that area, but I love using it around my nose. My skin is a bit paler than this so I need to blend it very carefully, but I purchased this shade for my underage area which is pretty dark.

Seventeen On The Spot Concealer in Medium: This product is truly amazing. It’s specially created for spots, I wouldn’t use it under my eyes because it’s tingly. It has a gel-liquid texture that blends perfectly with my skin, blurring my pores (I can’t even explain how it does that) and it’s also supposed to improve the skin. I don’t usually have any spots but I use it in my T-zone as if it was a foundation, and even if it’s the Medium shade it blends perfectly. Sometimes I even use it as a primer before I apply foundation in the morning if I want extra coverage.

Lips:

thumb__DSC0272_1024

thumb__DSC0278_1024

Kat Von D Studded Kiss in Lolita (above swatch): Usually I carry in my bag the lipstick I am using for the day. This is a 90’a rosy-brown, and I love the texture and the color. It is a creamy matte, super long lasting. I have also the liquid lipstick version, which is also lovely, but darker.

Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien (below swatch): A my-lips-but-better kind of shade, with a satin finish and pretty hydrating in my lips. This must be the only lipstick that stays permanently in my makeup bag.

Benefit Posie Tint: I thought I would love this product and I initially got it for my cheeks, but I am not able to make it work. It leaves traces after seconds if I don’t blend it immediately, as you can see in the swatch. I use it in my lips for a soft rose tint.

I am also surprised that I don’t carry any lip balm with me, but Nars Rikugien is hydrating enough for me at the moment.

Other:

Kiko Coral Rollerball Parfum (LE summer 2014): This fragrance takes me to tropical paradises where I haven’t even been in my life. Not very suitable for this time of the year but it’s the most convenient packaging I own.

Teardrops: Since I was on medication for my acne three years ago, my eyes get very dry sometimes when I sleep, so I always take these with me in case I fall asleep in the car and I can’t open them when I wake up (this is very specific but it’s happened to me before!).

So there we go guys, leave me a comment if you have any questions or if you would like me to review any of these products more deeply. I’d also love to read which are your on the go essentials!

 

xx Sara

10 facts about me

Hi guys! I thought this would be a nice start to my blog so that you can know me a little bit better, so there we go 🙂

1- I’ve loved makeup for as long as I can remember, but I got more deeply into it after a severe acne breakout because it helped me boost my confidence

2- As I was growing up, I looked older than I was but now people usually think I’m younger

3- Fire is the physical thing that scares me the most

4- I broke one of my front teeth when I was 9 years old and the dentist reconstructed it and said it would last around 10 years. It’s been 16 since then and I’m afraid it will fall down any day!

5- I love surprising people but I would die of embarrassment if somebody thrown a surprise party for me

6- I don’t think of myself as particularly shy, but I hate being the centre of attention. For example, being sung at “Happy Birthday” in a restaurant

7- I LOVE talking but I find little talks really awkward

8- I’ve secretly (and not so secretly) always wanted to be naturally red-haired as my grandma

9- I am a 90% blue person but my favorite color is red

10- I have a sister that is physically the opposite as me, but nobody can difference us on the phone

 

And here’s a very unusual picture of me bare-faced. One of my favorite ones because of who’s in it with me 🙂

IMG_0002