NARS Foreplay: The Quintessential Blush Kit
With three blushes and a highlighter, prepare to complete your windblown, flushed cheeks, doe-eyed look for the imminent fall season. It includes Orgasm, the universal blush staple, and three shades that make Orgasm (so that you can blend and blend until you have your own unique pigment). With shades of peach, pink and gold and a super cheeky innuendo name, what’s not to love?
Michael Kors Gold Rose Edition: Smell Like a Better You
Every September, along with back-to-school’s vague sense of new beginnings comes a revamp of personal style. With non-New Years’ resolutions and new products galore, everyone can vow to be a little better this year…and smell a little better too. Michael Kors’ newly launched Gold (Rose Edition) perfume can help you do that. Sophisticated without being over the top, it’s fresh, elegant and definitely feminine. Ambitious girly girls: rejoice.
Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil: For Yearbook Superlative-Worthy Locks
This oh-so magical oil is a godsend for anyone who’s been plagued with dry locks, especially at summer’s end. With a lightweight formula and six essential oils, consider all fly-aways tamed, frizz banished and hair ready to shine for those back-to-school photo ops.
Sephora Lush Flush Lip & Cheek Stain: The Girls Want To Be Her, The Boys Want To Date Her
One of my personal favorite duos is this type of handy contraption: the sheer lip & cheek stain. A fabulous choice for any girl-on-the-go, whether you’re making your 10am meeting or just trying to get to Calc on time, this duo is build-able, blend-able and long-lasting. Use it to create that perfect “I look like I’m not wearing makeup but actually am so aha!” look with just-bitten lips and perfectly flushed cheeks.
Buxom Sculpted Lash Mascara: For Better Grades, Use Buxom
Whether it’s getting out of a speeding ticket or bumping that grade up to a C+, Buxom will be there for you when you break out the on-the-verge-of-tears-bet-your-lashes act. The “S” shaped brush is the unique kid of the class, in that foreign and mysterious way. If fanned-out lashes is your objective, opt for Buxom. Stat.
Benefit’s Boi-ing: For The Late Nights Spent “Studying”
Undereye circles go hand in hand with 101 classes, frat parties and Ramen in college. Chances are, no matter who or where you are, you’re going to need to keep a good undereye concealer on hand at all times. From touch-ups to industrial strength skincare warfare, Benefit’s got your back like a good roommate should.
Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow: Easy, Breezy, Beautiful 2012 Edition
Not all of us have the extra daylight hours to spare to plaster on Kim Kardashian makeup in the morning, smokey eye and all. MUFE’s Aqua Shadow allows us to embrace our inner kindergartener and color in the lines (or out) with their eyeshadow pencil. Smudge-able, build-able and blend-able, this pencil creates an effortless look that doesn’t fade or crease, allowing you to shuffle from class to social engagements while being all IDGAF about stopping at any mirrors you may pass by.
Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream: Pretty Little Lying Gossip Girl Skin
Get the skin as seen on TV. Emulate those 26-year-olds-playing-high-school-juniors with Garnier’s hyped BB Cream. It’s foundation with some extra pros and without the commitment of a heavy foundation, which works perfect for us millenial commitment-phobes. Sheer and long lasting, it’s lack of heavy/intense coverage will allow your young, you-won’t-get-this-back skin to shine (and by shine, I mean metaphorical shine…because we don’t like shiny skin in the beauty world).
EXTRA CREDIT: Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion (now in new packaging) — A must for any season!
Spring is quickly approaching and as we shed our bulky winter jackets, we’ll be shedding the unnecessaries of our makeup bags as well. So this time around, when doing spring cleaning (of your makeup bag, of course), keep your to-buy list simple but important. Here’s a few new purchases and new main staples that need to be established this season:
A classic matte pink pout goes a long way. It’s wearable enough for the every day, it’s chic enough without being overboard and best of all, a light, bright pink can be worn with most complexions. The best selections of pinks I’ve come across have all come from NARS. So, the next time you’re at Sephora, knock yourself out with trying out all the testers! Recommendations: Roman Holiday (FAVORITE), Schiap, Funny Face, Dolce Vita.
Nails, Nails, Nails!
Liven up any outfit with a color that you love as a nail color but wouldn’t love as a skirt for work. From new spring collections by Deborah Lippmann, Butter London and Essie, the options are endless. Try a seafoam green (from Deborah Lippmann) or a pale pink “Trout Pout” or a glittery oyster shade (from Butter London) or a bright go-get-em orange (from Essie). Other recommendations include: Baker Street (cobalt blue) or Haymarket (jade) by Nails Inc.
Everyday Eye Wear
Like the first one, the Naked2 Palette is being swiped off the shelves like crazy…and for good reason. The Naked2 is an improvement from the first (in my humble opinion) and has a set of warmer colors. This is a must in everyone’s spring makeup bag. Tip: Use either “Foxy” or “Bootycall” as your highlight colors to not only highlight the browbone but also the inner corners of your eyes for a brightening effect!
A Pre-Summer Flush
Since it’s a little too early to be rocking a back-from-Santorini tan, let’s start small. Lay off the tanning bed and sprays for a while and just wear a healthy glow. Play around with a combo of bronzer and highlight colors or just wear a sheer layer of bronzer daily. Smashbox Fusion Soft Lights can be buffed into the skin and worn all over cheeks and eyes and gives off the perfect light glow. LORAC makes a bronzer/highlighter duo that makes it an essential staple in everyone’s spring makeup bag. This 2-in-1 is made without parabens and synthetic dyes — yet allows you to contour, bronze and highlight your little heart out. If you want an extra boost of sunshine, try Benefit’s Sun Beam. It’s a liquid bronze highlighter (think if High Beam was in bronzer form) that allows you to brighten up cheekbones and browbones for a sunkissed effect.
While I’ve been seeing a multitude of warm neutrals, bronzes and olive greens for the autumn season, NARS’ Delphes Eyeshadow Trio works with cooler colors for true goddess appeal.
The limited edition eyeshadow trio comes with: “a sparkling sheer peach, matte dove grey, and frosted sage.” Inspired by the earth goddess herself, the palette can be used for a more sophisticated look. If warm, autumnal colors do not fare well with your skin tone, this is the perfect trio for you.
You’re probably thinking, “What am I going to do with pink, grey and green? And how do I avoid looking crazy?”
Here’s some tips to keep in mind:
- Use the peach shade as a brow highlight because of the shimmer (be wary of glitter chunks)
- Use the grey shade to blend because it’s sheer and build-able
- Use the green shade closest to the lashline because it’s the most pigmented
NARS brings to the table their good reputation of crease-proof eyeshadow that lasts all day. And the Delphes Trio is no different. Wear colors individually or blend all three for the Grecian goddess look. Just add a messy updo.
$45 at Sephora
So we’re officially in the double digits of August (how depressing, I know) and hopefully all you ladies are at your peak tan-wise. (And if not, we can fix that seamlessly, don’t worry.)
Here’s a run-down of the 7 essentials you need in your makeup bag that will get you through labor day. The list encompasses products that will complement your tan and combat those sauna-like end-of-summer days.
1) An oil-free primer. If you decide to layer on that foundation during the summer months, make sure you’re using an oil-free (and/or water based primer). The last thing you need is a heavy primer that’ll clog your pores! Try LORAC’s aquaPRIME foundation primer — it’s silicone & paraben free.
2) An illuminator. Brighten up your complexion in one fell swoop with an illuminator that highlights and makes skin glow (even more!). Try NARS Orgasm Illuminator for a peachy/pink/golden flush.
3) Waterproof mascara. Does this even need an explanation? L’OREAL makes a good one and it’s easy on your wallet too!
4) An eyeshadow that complements your tan. I find that I tend to stray away from things like the smokey eye in the summer and opt for shimmery golds, peaches and pinks. The shimmer and the light colors brighten up your eyes and make you look awake — not to mention simply complement a golden tan! NARS makes a great duo called “Hula Hula”.
5) A good bronzer. For those playing catch up or have been stuck indoors a lot this summer (like myself) — a solid bronzer has never done anyone wrong. MAC Bronzing Powder gives you the glow with no sign of any orange. It has a light shimmer to it! What’s not to love?
6) Waterproof liquid eyeliner. People were going batshit crazy when Make Up Forever came out with their Aqua Liner for summer. And honestly, it makes the “tried and true” list because of its staying power and great definition. Definitely worth the investment.
7) Makeup setting spray. Another worthy investment: Urban Decay’s All Nighter spray. 3 simple spritzes after makeup has been applied and dried keeps you good for at least 12 hours — not matter what the weather conditions are.
Looking for a great day-to-night eyeshadow for summer? Consider the search over. Hula Hula by NARS is the ultimate go-to summer shade. The colors can be worn alone but look simply amazing together (light shimmery pink with gold flecks + light, “hazelnut” gold with gold flecks = winning).
The shadow goes on smooth and proves to be crease-proof, while the colors and the little gold flecks reflect the light perfectly. My favorite part about this eyeshadow duo: it looks absolutely gorgeous against tan skin! If you’re more fair-skinned, add more of the pink to the mix. If you’re more tan, pile on the gold! I think it’s perfectly wear-able wherever your going: work, the beach, the bar, etc.
But….be wary if you fear glitter. That’s the one considerable con of this product (if you’re not big on glitter, that is). Hula hula is chock full o’ glitter and it’s gonna get everywhere, which is a great thing if you’re down with that look! If not, tap the brush before applying to rid the glitter or just pass completely.
Again, don’t forget to prime your eyes before applying (see my review for Urban Decay’s life-changing eyeshadow primer here).
Pros: goes on super smooth, shimmery, blendable, buildable, looks great with a tan (on every skin tone)
Con: glittery (this could also be a pro, depending)
$33 at Sephora
NARS Orgasm Illuminator
Cheeky title + cult favorite color = pure greatness
Can be used as an all-over highlighter or used like a cream blush. Peachy & pink-ish & gold makes your skin glow. Can be worn under or over foundation. Super pretty for night makeup (with a smoky eye? YES).
Pros: consistency of a light moisturizer so can be used anywhere, adds a glow/flush/shimmer to your cheeks
Cons: not for people who don’t dig the shimmer, works better on some skin tones than others (personally I think it looks best on people with super fair skin/features (on the apples of the cheeks) or on people with dark (mocha+) complexions worn as an all over shimmer)
$29 at Sephora