Christmas Haul

Santa was pretty good to me this year as I got several beauty-related items I was lusting after. Tarte's The Vanity Palette ($52) found its way under my tree and it is every bit as wonderful as I had anticipated. My one complaint is that I wish a few of the lip colors were stains rather than glosses. Since the palette is too big to carry around, it's impossible to do touch-ups, so a few longer-wearing shades would have been nice. But, otherwise, I am loving it! This holiday item is still available on sephora.com with free shipping, no less!
Benefit's BADgal in Plum ($19) also arrived in a neat little package (thanks Marisa!) and I'll be posting a review soon. As a side note, apparently my sad little post about getting an inferior mascara in my eyes was particularly compelling because this is the second time I've been gifted with some BADgal Plum. Seriously! I have such nice friends.
Lastly, my charming husband even tolerated a trip to the cosmetics department at Nordstrom to get me some of my favorite Lippmann Rich Girl hand cream ($24). Plus, he actually liked the Anthony Perfect Shave Kit ($50) (accompanied by a new razor) that I got him, and that was the best gift of all.

All in all, I had a very beautiful holiday and I hope that yours was as well.

 

Total Beauty's Hand Cream Showdown

My hands are starting to get that dry, wrinkly, winter skin look that I combat (with varying degrees of success) every single winter. So, obviously I was interested in Total Beauty's round-up of the best and worst hand creams on the market.














I was disappointed that Lippmann's Rich Girl Hand & Cuticle Cream ($24) did not make the cut. This is absolutely my most favorite hand cream. I love the texture, consistency, subtle scent and the long-lasting moisturization it provides. It is expensive, no doubt, but I've been using the same bottle for nine months and it is just now running out. And, believe me, I'm going to cut it open and get every last bit out before throwing it away.
Plus, you may have noticed in the Martha segment with Debbie Lippmann from yesterday, Martha has a bottle beside every sink in her house. So if it's good enough for Martha...

 

Monday Musings (Vaguely Beauty-Related)

Sorry for the delay in posting, folks. The bad weather and resultant difficulty navigating my life have kind of got me down. You would think that being housebound would result in more posting, not less, but it turns out that being cut off from all of one's social outlets and only venturing out of the house to go to work is less than inspiring.

But here's what I have been doing, combing the internet for beauty-related videos to entertain myself. First, I watched the entire season of Blush: The Search for the Next Great Makeup Artist on Lifetime online. I had my hopes up that this would be stupid-fun, kind of like America's Next Top Model before it became completely intolerable due to Tyra's truly incredible narcissism. Unfortunately, Blush was completely lame and the challenges weren't even that interesting. Even more disappointing, it had a whole slew of reality-show stock characters that are really over-exposed and need to be retired: the "old" person, the over-rated drama queen, the "I'm doing this for my kids" Southern woman, the person who randomly inserts a "y" into their name, the smug personality-bereft host, and the grandiose overblown judges with their questionable expertise. Anyway, I could go on, but it was lame lame lame. Next!
You can always count on Martha Stewart to class things up a bit. I admit to being a Martha fan and I'm not afraid to own it. I especially love her post-prison, cringe-inducing MARTHA! show where she invites celebrities on to do various cooking and crafting tasks and then tries to awkwardly relate to them while ensuring that they are working up to her standards. That s**t is priceless. But Martha does have a few celeb friends whom I wish were my friends, namely Debbie Lippmann and Bobbi Brown (wow, what's with all the double letters?). Both ladies were on her show last week and had pretty rockin' segments, complete with Martha's charming trademark stiffness.

Bobbi Brown did a "Holiday Makeup" segment where she very helpfully demonstrated two supposedly simple but challenging looks: the smokey eye and the red lip. Bobbi has a more extended how-to on allure.com that is worth checking out as well. I went out to buy a Sephora Brand Professional Lip Brush #61 ($9) because of her instructions. Haven't tried it out yet, though.

Debbie Lippmann then came on to talk about "Holiday Nails" and how to preserve one's manicure over the holiday season. And, just for kicks, check out Martha's segment on how to transform your guest bathroom (because don't we all have a guest bathroom?) in the holiday spirit.
I also managed to read Tim Gunn's Guide to Style ($12) which was moderately entertaining and mildly informative. If nothing else, it is authentically Tim Gunn. You can almost hear his voice in your head as you read along, it's a little spooky. It could have used a little constructive editing and perhaps a thesis because, after all that reading, I'm actually not quite sure what good ole Tim was trying to accomplish. I will say that his fixation on ballet flats is a little irritating. Yes, Tim, we know you love the ballet flat, get over it.

Well anyway, that's what I've managed to accomplish in the past few days. Impressive, no?

 

Book Review: Rescue Your Nails (You Need This)

A few weeks ago I briefly mentioned Ji Baek's Rescue Your Nails ($10). Since then, I decided to take a closer look because, while I thought that I knew everything a lay person needed to about nail care, I figured that Ji might have something to teach me.

It turns out that this book is one fantastic resource! It's easy to read, informative, and has tons of beautiful color photos on every page. The information is very practical and she explains her reasoning for some quirky things (such as using a rolled up paper towel for a toe separator) so that they make sense. Her focus on cleanliness and hygiene both in at the spa and at home is intelligent and very much needed, although I admit to being too creeped out to get in one of those spa whirlpool chairs ever again.

Starting from the beginning with her "three absolutes" (nothing has to be complicated, everything is fixable, and a little TLC goes a long way), the manual is straight-forward, candid and quite charming. Ji covers every nail topic you might think of, starting at the history and allure of well-groomed nails, the basic at-home manicure and pedicure, selecting and caring for polish, caring for your skin, troubleshooting minor and major nail horrors (the idea that one's toe nail would fall off from excessive running again reinforces my long-held belief that it is not the sport for me), what to look for in a professional nail service and finally the nail-biters anonymous 12 week program to restoring some dignity to long abused tips. You get the sense that she has really poured her heart out into this book and not held anything back. The book is personal and friendly in tone, like she's your big sister telling you how it really is. It's also illuminating that there are no "proprietary secrets" behind the famed rescue manicure, only cleanliness and good sense.

As far as I'm concerned, this book really is the definitive resource on nail care. We've all read those one-page articles in magazines about at-home manicures, but those quick tips are nothing compared to Ji's exhaustive instructions. You might think Geezus Louisus, how complicated can it possibly be? But you only know the half of it, sister This book would be perfect for the nail aficionado in your life or, for that matter, any woman who is interested in how she presents her hands to the world. Definitely a must-read.

And, just for kicks, here is your daily dose of drool-worthy product lust, a collection of 47 of Ji's favorite custom designed polishes: the Rescue Beauty Lounge Nail Polish Library ($750!!!). For the woman who truly has everything.

 

Holiday Lush (It's a good thing)

When I say "holiday lush," what probably comes to mind is the unfortunate guy at the company Christmas party who stands just a little too close for comfort. But what should come to mind are the deliciously intoxicating holiday products at our favorite hippie bath store: Lush.

Being economical and taking up a lot of space, Lush bath bombs and bubble bars are perfect, perfect for stocking a stuffing. Just pick your poison from their large selection of holiday-themed bath, body, and shower treats and you are ready to go. Here are a few that I wouldn't mind finding...

Almond-scented, unbelievably creamy Snowflake Soap ($7) is a fan favorite of Lush-lovers everywhere. So beloved, in fact, that they were compelled to make a hand cream with the same scent! Definitely true love.
You may try to avoid Christmas kisses from Great-Aunt Heloise, but you won't want to hide from the Christmas Kisses Bubble Bar ($7). Infused with extracts of clove, cinnamon leaf, sweet orange, lime, benzoin and patchouli, this heady mix of spices will warm you up from the outside in. (Which, if you live anywhere near me right now, sounds pretty good).
And who would not love to pull "Frothy The Snowman" Bubble Bar ($6) out of their stocking? Seriously, how cute is he? Frothy not only ups the cute quotient in your bathroom by a thousand degrees, he also produces oodles of licorice and vanilla-scented foam for luxurious lolling-about in the tub. He may be my new best bud.
Oh my gosh, there are so many more lovely little Lush bombs to check out, I can't even begin to write about all of them. But if these three don't do it for you, check out the cult-fav Chocolate Santa Bath Bomb ($7), the guilt-free sweetie Marzibain Bubble Bar ($6), or the manic-y Christmas Morning Bubble Bar ($6). Love, love, double love! But if you are looking to more formally gift rather than stuff a stocking, Lush has you covered with a selection of delightful pre-wrapped gifts in price ranges to fit most budgets.

The sure-to-please Christmas Candy Box Set ($32) comes complete with sweet treats in the form of shower gel, bubble bar, bath bomb, and lip balm that even the Scroogiest among us will love.

For the bath lover on a budget, check out the Best Wishes Gift Box ($20). Including both Christmas Kisses and Marzibain mentioned above plus an additional Mr. Butterball bath bomb, the Best Wishes Box covers all sweet and spicy cravings.

For the true rock star on your holiday list, check out the Stardust Gift Box ($50). This pink and sparkly collection features eight celestial-themed Lush favorites inspired by Neil Gaiman's graphic novel (now a major motion picture!).

There is so much to choose from, any (and all!) of the above will be appreciated by whomever you choose to share them with. And if you are not lucky enough to have a Lush store in the neighborhood, there is free shipping on orders over $99 from now through December 24th (noon PST). My address is available upon request for any generous fans. :)

 

This Just In: Free Overnight Shipping Today Only on Total Beauty!

THIS JUST IN:
For today only you can get free overnight shipping for purchases made from Total Beauty! Even better, they have a handy-dandy Holiday Beauty 2008 "It" List for help selecting that perfect gift (in the perfect price range) for even the most finicky person on your list. With select products from Clinique, MAC, Estee Lauder, Aveda, Prescriptives, Origins, Bobbi Brown and many more, these aren't second-rate or bargain basement items, but holiday collections worth getting your paws on.

And if you are still stuck selecting a gift, there is even an easy seven-question quiz to help you hone your choices. So get that last-minute shopping started today, without even leaving your house!

 

Montagne Jeunesse: Take 2

My previous review for the Montagne Jeunesse Dead Sea Salt Mud Pac was overall positive but I had some concerns about the strong smell. Since then, I've had the opportunity to try out a few more of their products.

The Cream & Honey Skin Polisher has a delicious, sweet scent of almond and vanilla. The texture is similar to slightly thinned yoghurt with added small jojoba beads. The technique here is to spend a bit more time (2-3 minutes) gently massaging the masque into the face. This exposes the skin to the gentle exfoliation provided by the beads. After this part, the masque is left on so that the cocoa and shea butters deeply moisturize. My skin definitely felt very well hydrated after this treatment, but shortly thereafter I developed 2 blemishes on my chin. I can't definitively attribute it 100% to the masque, but it did make me wonder. I'm not totally ready to write it off though, as it is a good product for tired and dry winter skin. Plus, it smells amazing.
If you are in the mood for some silliness, then Cherry Tonic is the answer. Unlike the others, this one is not a cream masque, but a thin fabric soaked with a toning solution. Yes, just like the picture, it actually does have cherries printed on it. Yes, as you can imagine, it does look a little silly. But the fresh and invigorating scent (produced with extracts of cherry and aloe vera) is nothing to joke about. This one is a quick, 5-minute fix that is an easy pick me up in the morning or before heading out to a big event. Because it is a fabric treatment, it is easily removed and does not require the thorough rinsing needed by the others. My concern about this one is that it might be somewhat drying for winter skin. It definitely left my face with a brightened and renewed appearance, but it might be best left for summertime or for those with more oily skin.
My new favorite is definitely the Fruit Smoothie masque. Made with crushed raspberry and mango, it smells delicious in the package and on your face. Similar to the package, the masque is light peach in color when applied, but dries to a dense white after 5-10 minutes. As with all of these sorts of products, I prefer to use them pre-shower so that it's easier to completely wash every bit off without soaking my hair, shirt, the sink area, nearby cats, etc. Fruit Smoothie does an excellent job of brightening the skin, leaving a healthy, beautiful glow. I was able to get two uses out of the package, which was also a bonus. I'll definitely be re-purchasing this one in the future. Montagne Jeunesse has such an extensive range of facial masques and treatments at such an affordable price ($2-3) that they are hard to ignore. Their slightly punchy packaging and overall spirit is compelling and fun. Even though they are based in the U.K., their products are widely available around the world and in the U.S. While they are certainly fun to use alone in one's bathroom, I can imagine all kinds of fun scenarios for sleep-overs, bridal showers and any other group gathering.

I highly recommend giving Montagne Jeunesse a whirl. It might take 2 or 3 tries to find your favorite, but hey, it's still cheaper than a spa facial.

Images courtesy of montagnejeunesse.com

 

Let's Hear It for the Boys

Unlike us ladies, most men seem to be only minimally interested in the vast array of personal grooming products on the market. There are notable exceptions, of course, but my J. is even more extreme in his stubborn disinterest than most. Nevertheless, I can't help but wanting to find a blog-worthy holiday gift for his stocking.

Turns out that there are a lot of men's products available. Ranging from shaving kits to skin care to fragrance, there is such a variety available that the task was more challenging than anticipated. Ultimately I settled on this (I can post this because he never reads my blog, can you imagine?!):

Anthony Logistics for Men Perfect Shave Kit ($50). This gift set caught my attention because it contains several products I thought he might enjoy trying: a facial cleanser, shave oil, shave cream, and after-shave balm. Shaving is actually a pretty drying process for the face in particular, so my hope is that the oil, cream, and balm provide some healthy moisturization. The kit also comes with a shave towel and is packed in a reusable travel bag. The travel bag is supposedly shaped to fit in a shoe compartment in a standard garment bag. So that's pretty neat, huh?
Of course, there are many other options as well, such as Sephora Scent Sampler Bestsellers for Him ($50) -- People are raving about these scent samplers and with good reason! Each sampler contains ten deluxe samples of best-selling fragrances to try. But that's not all! The kit also comes with a voucher which can be redeemed for a larger size of whichever scent is determined to be the recipient's favorite.

Ole Henricksen Men's Kit ($70) -- This colorful collection contains "highly effective, no fuss products tailored to meet the modern man's skincare needs." Complete with a facial cleanser, hair wash, facial scrub and a moisturizer, it is all a low-maintenance man would need to class up his morning routine.
Lastly, if you were looking for a cheaper option to add some sophistication to your favorite man's shower, try L'Oreal Vive Pro for Men Absolute Clean Hair & Body Wash ($5). Not only would it perfectly fit into a stocking, but it is a 3-in-1 shampoo, conditioner, and body wash, further stream-lining the showering process for a busy (or disinterested) guy.

 

Weekly Total Beauty Web Tour 12/10/08

Total Beauty Web Tour

Viva Woman found Moroccan rhassoul clay great for facial cleansing!

The Jet Set Girls are giving away a White + Warren Cashmere Ombre Scarf worth $195!

Indian Girl tells us how to embrace the dark lip trend and is giving away Julie Hewett Lipstick in Sin Noir to help you do just that ! Enter Today !

Monique at Beauty Girl Musings reviews Bioelements Quick Refiner. Find out what she thinks of this liquid-gel exfoliator!

Beauty411 shares the details of the lovely Dior Black and White Ball Collection. One of the prettiest holiday collections of the season!

Top Blushes by Marta-Talking Makeup!

Alison of The Advice Sisters wrote about a soap that not only cleans YOU, but also help to clean up land mines -- a cause close to the heart of a special princess, and lots of glittery "eye candy," too!

Girl-Woman-Beauty-Brains-Blog weighs in on the best of the best mascaras.

Beauty Anonymous shares Chanel Spring 2009 Makeup Collection.

Beauty Secrets Revealed shares an Essential Oil Recipe For Healthy And Strong Nails.

Makeup Files has you covered this holiday season. Save money with the 5 Beauty Gifts under $15 or, go for broke with the 5 Extravagant Beauty Gifts over $50. That'll help cross some names off your gift list!

Frappelattes smells and gives her two "scents" on Armani Code for Women. (It smells delicious!)

Beauty Junkies Unite checks out beauty newcomer, on10 Cosmetics and finds something yummy in the process!

A little behind on your holiday shopping? eye4style has you covered with this giveaway of two $50 gift cards to AZJeans.com!

This week Fabulous Over Forty has a beauty gift to fit any Beauty on a Budget.

The Makeup Divas are having another fabulous giveaway. So head on over and enter to win the first edition of Beautyfix !

Win a pair of KEEN shoes on A Mom in Red High Heels. You'll love the comfort, quality and styles.

The Beauty Couch turned up some handy hints for using cream blush inspired by the tarte Mini Cheek Stain Set.

 

Lucky Scoop: Win a TAG Heuer Watch!

Have you checked out Lucky Style Spotter? It is an online community (brought to you by Lucky magazine) focused on fashion and style. They also have contests and right now, they are offering one of four TAG Heuer watches (worth $1,150 - $4,500). To enter, simply upload a picture of yourself wearing an outfit that represents one of the following styles:
sporty stylist
uptown classic
downtown chic
funky fashionista
Essentially, think of an outfit that is just screaming out for that watch. So raid the closet and good luck!

 

Too Faced Glamour Gloss Lives Up to Its Claim to Fame!

Being relatively unfamiliar with much of the Too Faced line, I decided to try Glamour Gloss ($18) after it was recommended by the glamourista a while back. Its claim to fame is that it "wears like a lipstick and looks like a gloss."

The first thing that it interesting about Glamour Gloss is the applicator. It is not a wand like other glosses, but is a little fuzzy thing that essentially mimics the shape of a typical lipstick. Twisting the tube pushes the gloss up so that it can be applied. Once there is some product available, the gloss swipes on just like a lipstick with a few quick strokes.

In terms of appearance and wear, it is somewhat of a lipstick-lipgloss hybrid. I would describe it as a not-very-glossy gloss. The texture is silky, not sticky at all, which is a big bonus in my book. Despite this, it does manage to have reasonable staying power. So I suppose that's what they mean by "wears like a lipstick." Ok, I'll buy that. Some glosses can (and do!) dry out the lips, but Glamour Gloss manages to provide some hydration (with the help of jojoba oil and vitamin E) and not exacerbate dryness.

The shade I sampled, Girls on Film, is a pinky nude beige that would be quite flattering for many. Thus far, Glamour Gloss seems to be aiming for the neutral shades exclusively, but I hope that they will branch out in the future because I'd love to try some other shades with this formulation. Overall, I'm a convert to the cult of Glamour Gloss. It is fun, versatile, easy to use and looks great. What's not to love?

Glamour Gloss can be purchased from Too Faced directly, Sephora, or discounted in limited shades at beautycrunch.

 

Cream Blush Tips and Tricks (inspired by Tarte Mini Cheek Stain Set)

Continuing on my love for tarte, I recently purchased the Très Cheek Limited Edition Mini Cheek Stain Set ($25) for a friend's birthday. It is a compact trio of three mini cheek stains in a reusable purple and gold pouch. Shades include: Posh (a soft plum), Fierce (a light strawberry red) and Chic (a golden coral peach). These little golden tubes are perfect for tossing into a gym bag for easy touch-ups. And the pouch is just so cute.
While professing to love the gift, my friend admitted to being a bit unsure of what to do with these little gems. It's not an unfair concern as cream blush can be easy or difficult to apply, depending on your level of comfort using it.

Here are the steps to achieving a perfect cream blush flush:

Cream blush is difficult, if not impossible, to apply using makeup applicators or sponges, so fingers it is. I recommend washing them prior to touching your face for general hygienic reasons.

Put a small amount of cream blush on the finger tips to warm prior to applying to the face. This will make it easier to blend and provide more of a sheer look.

Start by looking straight into the mirror and placing your finger on your cheekbone right under the outer edge of your eye's iris. That's where you should be applying color.

Lightly press your fingertips over the apples of your cheeks and cheekbones, blending the blush very carefully until it's completely absorbed into the skin.

Repeat if necessary. It's better to build up blush color little by little than to try to correct an overload.

Prevent "mirror blindness" by stepping back from time to time to gauge how things are looking.

If you went a little crazy with the blush, blend a bit of translucent powder over the area to tone things down. Alternatively, use a piece of tissue to gently blot off some color.

Lastly, if you are looking for an example, check out some photos of Reese Witherspoon. This Oscar-winning, high-paid Avon spokeswoman loves herself some blush. She is rarely seen without a picture-perfect glow. See for yourself...


Update! Here are a few more resources for blush par excellence:
Allure How-To Video
Allure Insider's Guide to Blush

 

In love with on10

I first mentioned on10 brand in passing a while back. But after spending some time getting familiar with the offerings, I am totally smitten. With most products in the $9-16 range, they are probably the cheapest individual items available at Sephora (where they are exclusively sold, it turns out). Most of the many, many balms contain a basic blend of organic extra virgin olive oil, organic coconut oil, cocoa butter, beeswax, rosemary and Vitamin E for moisturizing and SPF 15 (yay!) for sun protection. But the real magic is in the flavoring and smell, which is inspired by some familiar flavors of classic candy and beverages. The execution of the flavors is uncanny and downright mouthwatering in some cases.

These essential stocking stuffers offer such a wide variety that there is undoubtedly something for everyone on your list. Here are a few that caught my eye:
The Schweppes Sparkling Pink Grapefruit Lip Balm ($10) smells like a freshly squeezed pink grapefruit and comes in a snappy little case!

Although it only shows three, the Dr. Pepper Good for Life! Set ($28) actually includes nine assorted lip balms inspired by the classic taste of Dr. Pepper in an adorable, reusable purse.

If you are like me and have a secret (or not so secret) love of orange soda, you won't want to pass Schweppes Sparkling Orange Lip Balm ($9). As far as I can tell, it doesn't actually look sparkling or orange when applied, but the orange soda experience is unmistakable.
If you prefer a "no fingers" approach to applying lip balm, then the Schweppes Club Soda Lip Moisture Stick ($10) is for you. This has a bright, fresh smell for waking up your nose as well as moisturizing your lips. And who wouldn't love that sexy packaging?

Lastly, for the true lip balm fiends (or tootsie roll fiends, as the case may be), there is the Life of the Party Tootsie Roll Lip Balm Set ($38). Personally I also love tootsie rolls, both original and in all of the bizarre "fruit" flavors, so this collection looks pretty yummy. It contains 9 tins of tootsie-inspired flavors with duplicates of the chocolate, cherry and vanilla for sharing (or not) with friends.

I could seriously go on and on about all the various on10 products available because there are just so many from which to choose. It is kind of overwhelming, but in a tasty, delicious way.

 

Weekly Total Beauty Web Tour 12/1/08

Total Beauty Web Tour
Get the straight talk from Girl-Woman-Beauty-Brains-Blog by winning a $90 Karmin flat iron this week, as well as learning how to flat iron your tresses.

MAC dazzles Beauty Junkies Unite with the new Little Darlings Pigment collections and wins over a new fan!

Beauty Anonymous introduces you to the blossoming pink of Jill Stuart Spring 2009 Makeup Collection.

Viva Woman has received a tip that drinking milk can help you stay slim and trim. Do you believe it?

A Mom in Red High Heels has an exclusive discount for Pashmina International! Save big and make pashminas your signature gift this Christmas!

Planning a vacation for the holidays? Trisha over at Makeup Files shows you how to pack your makeup for any kind of trip.

Beauty411 shares a Holiday Gift Guide featuring 10 Beauty Gifts for Under $20. Don't miss it!

The Makeup Divas review Nars Holiday 2008 Collection.

Beauty 365 reviews trendy NYC threading salon, Thread!

eye4style has added a very "simple" step to her nightly skincare routine!

Indian Girl reviews her new favorite perfume : Pearls by Carol's Daughter

MissWhoever You Arehas got why Marc Jacobs is posing nudein Harper's Bazaar.

Monique at Beauty Girl Musings shares the advice on how to update your makeup for the season in part two of her interview with Max Factor makeup artist, Jake Bailey.

I Heart Heels has an EXCLUSIVE interview with celeb stylist (think Kate Bosworth, Orlando Bloom!) Cher Coulter.

Fabulous Over Forty discusses what you should have in your desk, to be ready for those after work office parties!

The Beauty Couch finds new inspiration (and a great product) in an unexpected place.

 

Glamorous Gifts 2008, Part 2: Holiday Sets from Bare Minerals

Looking for the perfect gift for the person who loves mineral makeup? These exclusive gift sets from Bare Minerals are gift-giving gold. The Bare Pleasures 9 piece gift set ($48 and exclusive to Sephora) contains a nice mix of soft softer and dramatic shades for endless creative expression.

Nine colors not enough? Then try the Ultimate Indulgence Collection ($75 and exclusive to Nordstrom). This one features 14 eye shadows, 1 liner shadow, 4 all-over face colors and 1 Mineral Veil with "subtle and bold shades in textures that range from sheer glow to vibrant shimmer to velvety opacity can be layered together for endless originality." This would keep me busy for an entire holiday vacation!

 

Makeup Bag Disoveries

It sounds incredibly simple, but sometimes the fastest way to inspiration is through the bottom of the makeup bag. Inevitably, the commonly used stuff is on top and the lesser used products will fall to the bottom where they can be forgotten for weeks, months, or even decades in the case of one unnamed friend of mine (not that it's a good idea or anything). Raiding the bottom of your makeup bag for "new" finds is an excellent way to save money as well!

At any rate, after sorting through my stash in preparation for the move, I re-discovered this little gem: Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free Mineral Blush ($12). It was purchased in Pink Glow at the beginning of summer to be used as a basic pink blush, but shortly thereafter I fell in love with Sonic Chic and thus abandoned it. But what a mistake that was! Coming in at roughly half the price of the MAC mineral blush, this drug-store product provides excellent pigmentation and long-lasting color. It blends easily for that perfectly flushed look and the marbleizing provides some subtle variability and dimension in the color. This could easily be worn alone for a minimal makeup look or glammed up with a dramatic eye or dark lips.

My only complaint is that I wish the packaging were less bulky and more sleek as it does tend to be a bit unwieldy to carry around. The mirror (on the underside of the blush) is nice but not necessary and eliminating it would likely reduce the size. Pink Glow is one of six shades to choose from in this line and I recommend checking one or more of them out. PF often has great 2-for-1 sales at Ulta and other drugstore makeup outlets, so keep your peepers peeled.

 

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