smart is the new pretty

Tag: luxury makeup

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 […]

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 […]

Best Bronzers for Summer 2017

Best Bronzers for Summer 2017

I love bronzer, because it gives warmth and dimension to my fair skin. I wear bronzer most every day; it’s even more integral to my routine than blush. A matte bronzer can be used for all-over glow or contour and a bronzer with shimmer can add a beautiful glow. Here are some old and new favorite bronzers, which I consider the best bronzers for summer 2017. IMG_5993

Cover FX Bronzer in Sunkissed: A recent addition to my collection, Cover FX has stolen my heart as a day-to-day bronzer. I can pack this bronzer on, and somehow it always looks like a natural tan. That’s not to say it isn’t pigmented: whether I apply a little or a lot, it always seems to look perfect. I use the lightest shade, which is perfect on my fair skin. However, the bronzer formula comes in multiple shades, so select whichever shade is best for you.

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Too Faced Snow Bunny Bronzer: I adore this bronzer; it is probably my first bronzer obsession. This bronzer gives my skin a luminous, warm glow. I love the slight pink undertone and the subtle shimmer in this bronzer. I often wear it instead of blush or to warm up my complexion.

Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Bronzer: This bronzer, the lightest of Too Faced’s Chocolate Soleil line, is perfect for a pair girl like me. This bronzer is a warm neutral: it isn’t too cool toned, but it never looks orange. In addition, the texture, scent, and packaging are divine. This is a versatile bronzer that looks just as good applied as contour or as a bronzer shade. I have also used the Chocolate Soleil, which is beautiful (but a little dark for my skin). I feel confident saying that any of the colors in this bronzer collection would be beautiful, it just depends on your coloring.

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Colourpop Topaz Highlight & Bronzer Duo: Okay, so I admit this bronzer might be a little too orange for my skin (which is still winter-white). This bronzer has quite a warm undertone, so I have to be light-handed when I apply it to my fair skin. But the formula is my beautiful. It is so bendable, pigmented, and smooth. I hope Colourpop comes out with a whole range of bronzers!

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Milani Baked Bronzer in Dolce: This bronzer has a powdery formula, but it blends smoothly and looks beautiful on my fair skin. Even though it looks like it might be shimmery in the pan, it looks matte (perhaps satin) on the skin. This bronzer gives me a very natural-looking color, and I love how easy it is to apply. Plus, it’s affordable! This is a great choice whether or not you are on a budget.

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Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer: I use this bronzer all the time, because it is basically summer in a compact. This buttery bronzer, which has a warm neutral color similar to that of Too Faced’s Chocolate Soleil, smells like summer. More specifically, it smells a little like a Pina Colada. I can wear the Butter Bronzer whether I am tan or fair, and it blends and melts smoothly into my skin. Another great bronzer for any budget.

Benefit Hoola Bronzer: This is undoubtedly the best bronzer/contour crossover shade. The Hoola bronzer is a powdery bronzer in a neutral shade. This matte bronzer can be used to add a natural tan (never orange) color to the skin, or it can be used for a natural-looking contour. There is a reason that this bronzer is a cult classic! I prefer Hoola as a contour shade, but I think I would like Hoola Lite as an all-over bronzer.

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Clearly, I’m a bronzer junkie. I love how versatile bronzer can be. In addition to being used as a contour shade, bronzer can also be used in lieu of blush or as eyeshadow.

 

What are your favorite bronzers? Be sure to subscribe via Bloglovin’ and follow me on Instagram!

 

Tarte Pro Glow to Go Palette (Review & Swatches)

Tarte Pro Glow to Go Palette (Review & Swatches)

The Tarte Pro Glow to Go Palette was a gift from my sister, and it’s been rocking my world. This little palette is perfect for me, because it is travel sized (but has a really nice mirror) and has perfect shades for fair skin tones. It […]

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 […]

Clinique Sweet Pots Sugar Scrub and Lip Balm Review

Clinique Sweet Pots Sugar Scrub and Lip Balm Review

I’m a huge fan of the lip exfoliating trend. Three years ago, I couldn’t have told you what a lip scrub was. Did they even exist? Who cares: they’re the perfect fix for a chapped lip girl like me. I’ve sampled a few different lip exfoliation products, most recently the Clinique Sweet Pots Sugar Scrub and Lip Balm.

The Clinique Sweet pots are dual sided: it’s a two-in-one product. There is a scrub side and a lip balm side. The lip balm is slightly tinted, though only slightly (I find that the Black Honey lip balm is not quite as pigmented as the actual Black Honey lipstick, even though it’s similar in texture).

Clinique Sugar Scrub Pots and Lip Balm

I love how moisturizing and thick the balm is, and that it looks pretty and glossy (perfect for daytime wear). The lip scrub has fine particles, which is really nice; I like how fine sugar pieces exfoliate more than thick pieces. However, the formula itself isn’t quite as nice as I would like. I used to use an Arbonne lip scrub that I preferred. Part of the issue is that the Clinique Sweet Pots are slightly pigmented, including the scrub side. I find that they leave a little color around my lips, which can sometimes look messy.

I got my lip scrubs in a sale set, but I probably wouldn’t buy them if they were sold individually; $19.50 is a little steep for a product that is good but not great.

What are your favorite lip scrubs? I’m always looking to try more! Be sure to follow me on Bloglovin’ and Instagram.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Stick Foundation Review

Anastasia Beverly Hills Stick Foundation Review

The Anastasia Beverly Hills Stick Foundation was a major release for the brand that grew out of a monopoly on the perfect eyebrow. While bigger brands, such as Bobbi Brown, Tarte, or M.A.C. offer multiple foundation options, ABH just has one stick foundation. Stick foundations have been […]

Anastasia Beverly Hills Cream Contour Kit Review

Anastasia Beverly Hills Cream Contour Kit Review

Anastasia Beverly Hills is one of the most coveted brands on the market. After taking the beauty world by storm with innovative brow products, which arguably started a trend, Anastasia preceded to release a series of amazing lipsticks and palettes. Among these palettes are their […]

e.l.f. HD Undereye Setting Powder versus Laura Mercier Translucent Powder

e.l.f. HD Undereye Setting Powder versus Laura Mercier Translucent Powder

A smooth, crease-free under-eye area is the makeup lover’s dream. I’m not sure that completely crease-free concealer beneath the eye is possible, but hey, we can always strive for perfection. A common technique to perfect & protect concealer for bright eyes all day long is to set the concealer beneath the eyes with powder. You can do this with the same pressed powder that you use all over your face, but there are some products on the market made specifically to set the under-eye area.

Laura Mercier’s Translucent Loose Powder ($23-$38) is one of the brand’s best-sellers. I wanted to try the powder, so when I noticed that it was available as a reward at Sephora, I redeemed my Beauty Insider points to get a mini-version of the powder in a Laura Mercier sample set. My initial instinct was to try to use it to set my under-eye concealer, but I have tried it all over my face as well. I’ve been a fan of the e.l.f. HD Undereye Setting Powder for months. The powder is fine and soft, and it lightly sets my concealer and brightens my eyes on those days when I need a little more than coffee to wake me up. As an added bonus, it only costs $3. Granted, the container is tiny, but it lasts for a few months because it is only used to cover the little bit of skin beneath your eyes.

When I bought the Translucent Loose Powder by Laura Mercier, I thought it was going to blow me out of the water. But to be quite honest, it didn’t live up to expectations. Unlike the e.l.f. HD powder, the Laura Mercier Translucent Powder isn’t just made for setting the under-eyes. Even though I picked it up with the intent of using it under my eyes, I tried it on my whole face, too. This was a disaster. I applied it as I normally apply powders, with a large fluffy brush. It felt heavy on my face, so it wasn’t very comfortable, and I’m pretty darn sure it was the cause of a breakout. It didn’t look bad, but it didn’t feel good, and my skin wasn’t very happy afterwards.

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I decided to directly compare the e.l.f. HD Undereye Setting Powder with the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Powder. I applied one to my left eye and the other to the right. The Laura Mercier Translucent powder felt heavier, and it creased more. I took photos of both eyes to see how they looked, and the Laura Mercier Translucent powder wasn’t 100% translucent. While the e.l.f. powder was invisible, the Laura Mercier powder gave my concealer a yellowish tinge, particularly visible in up-close photos (and not cute). The e.l.f. powder was much more comfortable. It felt light on my eyes, and it worked even better than the Laura Mercier powder.

Even though the Laura Mercier Translucent Powder is a luxury item and the e.l.f. High Definition Undereye Setting Powder is a drugstore find, the latter feels more luxurious. The e.l.f. powder is fine and light, whereas the Laura Mercier powder feels heavy and thick. The e.l.f. powder looked better beneath my eyes, and I ultimately prefer it to the Laura Mercier powder.