smart is the new pretty

Tag: beauty blog

A Guide to Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Products

A Guide to Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Products

I adore Anastasia Beverly Hills; their highlighters and eyeshadows are some of the best I’ve ever tried. But Anastasia Beverly Hills is best known for its brow products. ABH is the reigning makeup brand for brows, in part because it was the first brand to […]

Almost Summer 

Almost Summer 

I’ve been super busy this month, so I haven’t posted in a while. But here’s a summery going-out look I did a few weeks ago. I can’t remember everything I used, but I know the lips were a sample of MAC’s Creme de Nude (which […]

Easy Contour and Highlight Routine

Easy Contour and Highlight Routine

Contouring is a makeup trend that it seems won’t disappear any time soon; I admit, I love the look of chiseled cheeks. Though contouring scared me at first, it’s become one of my favorite makeup techniques. I’m not huge on nose contouring, but I contour my cheeks regularly. Here is my easy contour and highlight routine: 

Highlight with concealer: I love using a light concealer to highlight under my eyes, down the bridge of my nose, and the center of my forehead. My favorite concealer is the Tarte Shape Tape, which comes in plenty of shades. I also love the Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer, and I’ve been enjoying the Wet n Wild Photo Focus Concealer.

Cream vs. Powder: There’s no right or wrong formula, and I often alternate between cream and powder. Some people even use both at the same time, for a dramatic and long-lasting look. I like a blended contour. A powder formula is nicely applied with a dense brush and blended with a fluffy brush, or you can apply it with a blush brush. I like to apply cream contour with a concealer brush, then blend with a buffer brush or a beauty sponge. The Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzers have a bendable formula, and there are several shades for different skin tones. I like the Milk Chocolate Soleil Bronzer. The Becca Lowlight Sculpting Perfector is my favorite cream contour product, and it is a beautiful neutral shade that can work on many skin tones. But find what works for you, and stick to it!

Order Matters: Apply cream contour on top of liquid foundation, before powder. Apply powder contour products after your foundation has been set with a powder. This ensures maximum blend-ability and a long-lasting makeup look.

Apply with a Light Hand: You can always add more contouring, but it’s always easier to start with a little product, blend, then add more. Over time, you’ll know how much to use. One way to get rid of excess product is to tap your brush on the side of the sink or compact before you apply it onto your face.

What are your favorite contouring products? I like contouring palettes, too, but only two products are necessary for a complete contouring look. Leave your comments below, subscribe and follow me on Bloglovin’ and Instagram!

Black Radiance Brilliant Effects Lip Gloss Review & Swatches

Black Radiance Brilliant Effects Lip Gloss Review & Swatches

I bought two Black Radiance lip glosses at Target a few months back, because I was looking for glittery lip glosses to send me into summer. While I should probably just break down and purchase the famous Jouer Lip Topper in Skinny Dip, I saw […]

(Almost) Summer 

(Almost) Summer 

Face:  MAC Fix + LA Girl Pro Coverage Foundation  NARS All Day Luminous Foundation  NYX blush in Taupe and Away We Glow highlight in Moon Glow  Sephora Collection bronzer  Milani blush in Luminoso  Wet n Wild Precious Petals and I’ll Have a Cosmo highlights  Anastasia […]

NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation Review

NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation Review

I’m just a girl on the hunt for her perfect foundation, and for the past few months my go-to has been the NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation.  NARS is one of my favorite luxury brands, and their products both high quality and sleek. I have enjoyed using this product regularly, so here is my NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation Review.

The NARS All Day Luminous foundation has a very thin consistency: it isn’t exactly a serum foundation, but it is thin like a serum. One or two pumps is enough for sheer coverage, but I can usually get a medium coverage with 4-5 pumps. I like how lightweight this foundation is: it feels like nothing, and it’s definitely a “your skin but better” product, so I’m sure that I will like it even more in the summer. The only problem is that it can get cakey with my BareMinerals pressed powder (for some reason, that foundation/powder combo doesn’t work) and it does seep into my fine lines and crease if I apply too much.

In my opinion, the NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation is a less-is-more product. I like it best when I apply 2-3 pumps and no powder on top, on more natural makeup days. I also use it to mix with other foundations: for some reason the NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation makes full coverage foundation more natural looking on the skin.

My favorite aspects of this NARS foundation are its lightweight feel, its beautiful packaging, and the fact that one bottle lasts forever. Because it is difficult to build the coverage without creasing, it isn’t my holy grail foundation. I also had some trouble finding a perfect shade match. I have the shade “Goji” but it is a little bit too light on me. Nonetheless, this foundation is a beautiful luxury item that I will definitely continue to use (even if I don’t repurchase).

NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation

What is your favorite high-end foundation? Have you tried any NARS foundations? Be sure to follow me on Bloglovin’ and Instagram, and comment down below!

Bobbi Brown Lipstick Review & Swatches

Bobbi Brown Lipstick Review & Swatches

Bobbi Brown is one of the makeup queens of the century: her luxury products and feature-enhancing techniques defined my beauty routine as a young woman. Bobbi Brown makes makeup for every skin tone and skin type, and her lipsticks are no exception. For Christmas, my […]

Wet n Wild Highlighters Review and Swatches

Wet n Wild Highlighters Review and Swatches

The Wet n Wild highlighters are probably the most sought-after drugstore highlighters. These highlighters, particularly the Precious Petals highlight, put Wet n Wild back on the map for me. A brand that formally represented the super-cheap makeup of my childhood suddenly became one of the the […]

Which Maybelline Concealer is Best?

Which Maybelline Concealer is Best?

Many drugstore brands manufacture concealers, but Maybelline seems to dominate the drugstore concealer playing field. The Fit Me and Age Rewind concealers are popular among internet beauty obsessives, and I have to say, I’m on the Maybelline concealer bandwagon. I’ve sampled three of their formulas: Fit Me, Age Rewind, and Better Skin, but which Maybelline concealer is best?

Maybelline Concealer Swatches
left to right: Age Rewind, Better Skin, Fit Me

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer: This concealer is popular in the beauty community, which means it will probably show up in your Instagram feed or on Youtube if you consume enough makeup media. However, I have to say it isn’t my number one. It is creamy and medium coverage, but it will crease if you don’t set it. My eyes are sensitive, and sometimes if they are irritated from allergies or rubbing, this concealer will irritate them even more. I also don’t love the shade selection. I have the shade “Light,” but it isn’t as brightening as I like my concealer to be. I like that the Fit Me has shades for fair to deep skin tones, but only 7 options seems inadequate to cover the wide range of skin tones that exist in the world.

Maybelline Better Skin Concealer: This was just meh for me: not bad, but not great. I found it to be drying, especially if you didn’t blend it in quickly. It could occasionally get cake on me, and I didn’t notice any skin-improving effects (despite the product’s claims). It wasn’t bad, but I wouldn’t repurchase this concealer.

And the winner is . . . 

Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer: As far as drugstore concealers go, this is the best I’ve tried to date. It is creamy, and I like the colors (though I admit the shade selection caters to light skin tones). The product dispenser is a no-fuss twist top, and I appreciate how easy it is to use this concealer. I find the Maybelline Age Rewind to be more comfortable than the other Maybelline concealers. The Maybelline Age Rewind concealer gets a lot of press, and with good reason. It is a medium coverage concealer with a great formula and an affordable price.

 

What are your favorite drugstore concealers? Which Maybelline concealer do you prefer? Be sure to comment and follow me on Bloglovin’ and Instagram!

My Blush Stash

My Blush Stash

For a girl who doesn’t love blush, I sure have a lot of blushes. While I’m not excited by blush the way I am by, say, highlighter or lipstick. However, I wear blush most every day. I love nude blushes, particularly blush-bronzer crossover shades. But […]