Saturday, December 19, 2009

Pretty In Pink's BEST OF 2009 LIST!!! PART ONE.

All right guys, are you ready? I'm going to talk about my favorites in different categories that were released this year. These are products I had the pleasure to try out and found them keepers and HG for life.

Face Products

1 &2 Make Up For Ever All Mat Primer and Duo Mat Powder Foundation I have been using the Make Up For Ever HD foundation for a long time, but I never realized how amazing their matte face products are. I'm in love with both the primer and the powder. They have amazing setting powers, and it keeps my HD make up looking fresh and beautiful all day. I hardly need to touch up, ever. Except during the very hottest days of summer. Now that we're into the drier season, I don't need to touch up at all.

3 Laura Mercier's Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer. I've been shying away from full on make up days as I enter a busy busy year in my life this fall. For days when I simply do not have time, this has been perfect. It stays on, it provides a tiny bit of coverage, and keeps my face luminous without making me look oily or like a disco ball. It's pricy for what it is, but it does come with a ton of product (1.7 oz for $42).

4 Make Up For Ever HD Foundation I've been using this since last year, but it remains a fond favorite. It provides tons of coverage, and a little goes a long way. It applies evenly with my hands to warm it up, and it requires very little work to achieve a flawless but natural look. People say that can't even tell I have make up on when I wear this alone.

5 MAC Mineral Skin Finish in Refined This is a lovely product that is the perfect highlighter. It provides very little pigmentation, and in fact applied with the 188 or 187, just gives me the right candlelight glow. Compared to other MSFs we've had from MAC and compared to the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick powders, this is a gem and much more subtle and suitable for daily use.

Cheek Products

I'm known among my friends to be absolutely blush obsessed, and here are my favorite releases this year.

1 Dior Harmonie Blush in Coral Riviera and Rose Brazilia The perfect blush. No really. It lends life and warmth to the skin, and both colors have their own beautiful qualities. I've done a more complete review here.

2 Benefit SugarRush Powder Oh my gosh, not only does this work great as a cheek powder to highlight and to give a luminous pink-peach flush, it's also a great all over powder, and the lavender part works great as a color for the lids on a "me but better" day where I just want to give my eyes a bit of glow but very little color. It is perfect. I got this late in the year but it is becoming a favorite favorite.

3 Bobbi Brown's Illuminating Bronzer in Maui and Antigua I love this powder a lot. It's great for easy days, and it's effortless, especially with Bobbi's brush. There's not much to say about it except that it gives me color and glow all in one and makes me feel like it's summer still.

4 MAC Blush in Blushbaby This is not a new release, but rather a new discovery for me. It is just this amazing my-cheeks-but-better look. It has little to no shimmer, and it is finely milled and stays on forever, and looks like a kind of dusty pink that's so natural and perfect on all skin types.

5 NARS Orgasm Every year Orgasm is still a favorite. There's not much to say about it except that it's a universally flattering gorgeous blush and I love, love love it.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Review: Benefit Sugarbomb

This is my first foray into Benefit powders. I've heard both good things and bad things about them, and I have been wanting to try the luminizing ones (such as Dandelion or Georgia) out for a while. However, when Sugarbomb came out, I thought I'd try it for review purposes so that people could read a review about a new product. Everyone's written about Dandelion and Georgia, so I'll save these two for another time.

First of all, the packaging. It's sleek, it's small. I like it well enough, but it's not outstanding. It seems durable and it's very portable AND it packs tons of products in. In fact, you may have to work with it a bit with a brush before it'll show up. Speaking of brushes, I am not a huge fan of this one. It's streaky and kind of rough.

The product itself is filed into the bronzer category on Sephora, which I think is inaccurate. On my NC35 skin, it does more like what Dior's Diamond powders do (such as Rose Diamond). It's an even more finely milled powder than the Dior, and shows up as this amazing pink/peach highlighter. On my skin it shows up as the barest peach-pink, but it lends such a soft and pretty glow. I think it's really good for people with my skin tone or lighter as a natural my-face-but-better day make up as a bare hint of blush. Otherwise it's good as a lightly shimmering all over powder/highlighter, or as a way to diffuse your blush and blend out your blush and give your skin a healthy glow.

Comparing this to Dior's Diamond powders or Bobbi Brown's Shimmer Bricks... I think this is the best of them all. Seriously. I'm not a die hard fan of shimmering powders, since I have pretty big pores and they really accentuate pores, but this is the most finely milled shimmer I've seen in a while, beating even Dior's powders for a subtle and soft glow rather than a disco-ball face. I love it!

I would use this with a kabuki brush or with a fluffy but dense bronzer or blush brush (ie. MAC 169 or Bobbi Brown's bronzer brush). Review of all of the above brushes here.

To sum it up...

The Pros:
- Amazing glow. I've gotten compliments!
- Is buildable to being a light blush on light-to-medium skintones.
- Portable packaging, lots of product packed in for the price.
- Very finely milled.
- This is a pretty universal shade, I think.

The Cons:
- The brush is useless to me.
- Can be considered too sheer for many people, including me for a blush.

The final verdict: A-
Great product, but I would probably like Benefit's actual blush powders instead of just these sheer powders better. I have several highlighting powders. Good value for price. Get it if you are looking for a great highligher or all over powder that's subtle and pink.