Thursday, April 9, 2015

Latest Loves: Nars Reformulated Blush Formula, New Order & Miss Liberty

It’s been two years, or so, since I’ve last written.   The absence has been due to work, and upheaval of lifestyle, due to choices I've made.  I still love makeup, or at least some of it.

For the past year, I've been enjoying the new NARS blush formula, which they've been slowly reformulating.   They don't cause tiny bumps on my cheeks, which are either clogged pores, or bumps that arise from sensitivities.  Some people can slap anything on their faces and come out unscathed.  With repeated wear, most blushes cause bumps on my cheeks.  I get major bumps from Kevyn Aucoin powder blushes, Hourglass blushes, Dior blushes, etc. The bumps from NARS blushes were minor, but now they're non-existent.    NARS blushes have always struck a happy medium on me--not too soft and silicone/oily-feeling, not too heavy or airy.  

I can’t stop loving two NARS blushes, which I reach for when I want to wear blush.   The first is New Order, and the other is Miss Liberty, two colors which I actually wear higher on the cheek area.  My standard blush application is under or along the cheek bone, in a muted, medium-depth shade.  These days it’s called contouring.

Both New Order and Miss Liberty are glittery, but a lot of the glitter is easy to tap off the brush.  They don’t give my face an unnatural sheen, and add a dash of  light, sheer, brightening color.  I don’t wear foundation, rarely wear eye makeup when I wear blush, so the blushes just match my style.   I have no idea how these blushes would look on a fully made up face. I appreciate that New Order appears lilac.  It isn't a dolly, lavender-pink.  The blushes color my light, neutral-olive skin tone (with some yellow and red I've been told).   

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Fake Clean

“The quality of skincare products just keeps getting worse, and the prices just keep getting higher.”   

The woman who spoke was more than twice my age, with many more years of product consumerism behind her.  I usually take such denouncements with a grain of salt, but personal experiences are valid, and she got me thinking about the state of foaming cleansers today.

In an effort to cut down on cleansing costs this past year, I used many tubes and bottles of foaming cleansers from Asian and U.S. pharmacies.  Most of them didn't clean well.   I also ventured into higher-end foams, besides my usual favorites, and paid for overpriced, low-quality bubbles.

If one were to go by breadth of advertisements alone, people want cleansers that don’t dry them out.  I'm not sure that's the truth, but for those of us who  produce oil, are active, and don’t double cleanse with makeup remover, the options are bad and few.

(Maybe people are slathering on drying treatments which have nothing to do with their cleanser?)

Even with the best of foaming cleansers, I always wash my face twice.  It’s when I have to reach for the tube a third or fourth time that I feel the product is a dud--and there were an incredible number of dudsFrom a foaming cleanser by Lancome, to that nasty, reformulated Estee Lauder Perfectly Clean stuff, to Purpose cleanser, to Pond's foam, to Sofina Beaute's, to Hada Labo’s, I hated them all.  I could fill a page up with names, but won’t bother.

Here in NYC, most  "deep" cleansing foams contain salycylic acid, which is also a problem.  My mother used to warn against all acids, but she needn't have worried, since I can only use salycylic acid sparingly on zits.

There are cleansers with hyaluronic acid that I also avoid; cleansers for "sensitive" skin that are weak; and fruits in my cleanser  I could care less about.  Moreover, there are foams that take too long to rinse off,  and instant ones that are too diluted.

Lastly, some cleansers feel as if they rinse off completely, but in reality just mattify.  I call them the “fake cleans” because they're very, very good at faking it.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Little Sister

My youngest sister purchased cosmetics while traveling through East Asia for the first time.  I’ve never written about her, although I’ve featured my sister B.  Now the little one is somewhere in the Middle East, and my mother fears all her girls will be raped and slaughtered--there, in New York City, or somewhere she hadn’t foreseen.   

But back to makeup.  I had asked her to purchase a few items during the sojourn, but she showed up with a bit more.  I’ll get to the souvenirs shortly, just not before getting to something else.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

My Blue Crayfish Gave Birth

I'm thrilled to be part of this earlier-than-expected event!  Now I can also post pictures of children and pets. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Paul & Joe Glossy Lip Color, Flamingo 04

Paul & Joe Glossy Lip Color in Flamingo (04) is described as an "invitingly juicy coral".  I usually stay away from bright, coral lip colors because most turn too warm or pink.  Flamingo leans orange on me, but those with pale or dull lips may find it pinker--and brighter.

Glossy Lip Color is a highly pigmented gloss with medium shine.  It's not a shiny, opaque lipstick as it's name may suggest.  The gel-like formula is thin, and lasts around three hours, after which a light stain may remain.  I relish how the formula is not in the least bit sticky, tacky, or gummy, and is moisturizing enough to land in peripheral, balm territory.  Besides Flamingo (04), I also like Bougainvillea (09), a fuchsia that's far more gentle-looking on my lips than in the tube.  (I don't own the latter yet, but have tried it on.)

The curved, applicator end of Paul & Joe Glossy Lip Color is streamlined but floppy, just short of adequate for a quick swipe of gloss.  Floppier applicators are more useful for those who apply gloss over lipstick.  However, the packaging design as a whole is nice: light in weight, distinct, compact.  I'd certainly have liked if the lovely product cost $25USD and under, rather than $29, but so it goes.  And it does.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Problem with Face Oils

Like  last year , there will be times when I won’t be posting makeup tales because other stories will be on my mind.  It doesn't mean I'll stop noting or wanting.  This rhythm of mine will continue for a long time I hope, because it moves me the way it did when I was a teen.  I've changed little since then. 

My skin is still as oily as ever, although its surface now becomes drier during the winter months.  I also like the same type of skin care products, but am looking for replacements, since my favorites by Awake, a brand I reverted to after testing others, are no longer available in the U.S.  My makeup preferences are consistent too. I love the real, no-makeup look, but adore colorful eyeshadow and shiny lips.

What’s different now is that I’ve tired of lip crayons.  I love my RMK colors, but don't want a large collection of crayons or chubby sticks, or whatever else they're called.  It seems easier sometimes to use a classic lipstick bullet with rounded head, or a gloss with a proper wand, brush, or tip. 

I’m more sick of the marketing hype surrounding face oil, especially now that it’s touted as panacea for all skin types.  People who never needed to go to the facialist for extractions are doing so now because of oils.  They haven't suffered breakouts, but complain that excessive oil use over time led to under-the-skin bumps.   

Oils never moisturized my face as nicely as  lotions or creams.  They worked best as sealants, which were excessive and harmful on my skin.  I'm fond of truths and perspectives, and a face oil is just one of many skin care options out there.