please me

On August 9, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

My initial lipstick acquisition phases centered around reds and oranges, then deep red wine shades, so, for someone who has a lot of lipstick, pink is relatively underrepresented. Or, it was.

We’ve done some catching up, pink and I.

One of the most recommended shades was MAC Please Me, a matte mid-tone rose pink. This is right on the border of being too pale for me, that region of the spectrum of yellow-based pink that makes me look ill/green, from which I have to go either brighter (toward neon) or darker to find a shade that doesn’t jar.

It’s surely partly a mental block of my own as well, I concede. I don’t wear pale pinks, so I always think they look off. That said, paired with a slightly darker liner (this lipstick is better with a liner, anyway, not opaque enough on its own), I can totally work with this.

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Look who put on eyeliner! That’s Bobbi Brown gel liner.

I’m willing to experiment to push the boundaries of how pale I can go before things get weird. Ideally I will at the same time shift those boundaries, expanding the realm of color open to me. [Of course the entire realm of color is open to me…but I am not open to it.]

Rimmel Exaggerate lip liner in Pure with MAC Please Me in the center, Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation (still loving) with Rouge Bunny Rouge Impalpable Finishing Powder (also really like, though I’m going back and forth between that and the Charlotte Tilbury pressed powder, with is fantastic). Chanel Cream Blush in Affinite, which you can’t exactly see but which you would notice if it weren’t there. Played about with my Lorac Pro palette, even! Eyeshadow! And the brow perfection going on is MAC Pro Longwear Brow Set in Bold Brunette, pretty emphatically not my shade, several shades darker than my real brow color, but just the thing when I want to get the brows really dark but still natural. Officially I prefer Benefit Gimme Brow in Light/Medium for going just a teeny bit darker and grooming into place.

Barry M Nail Jelly in Satsuma.

x

 

spring pinks

On April 18, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

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Bobbi Brown Pink Coral (wearing here), Japonesque #3 (wearing here), Tom Ford Love Lust (wearing here)

Here are a few of the blushes I’m reaching for so far this spring. The Bobbi Brown blush I’ve mentioned before, it’s the brightest and the only non-shimmery blush in this crowd. The Japonesque blush is just a fraction darker, with some fine, subtle gold shimmer, and the Tom Ford blush is more muted and peachy with a comparable amount of gold shimmer, a sophisticated cousin of the Japonesque shade. With Love Lust I’m more likely to do a (subtle) 80s diva streak up the cheekbone rather than a pop on the apples of the cheeks. Milani blush in Luminoso is a great drugstore alternative, about $10 and with a similar effect on the cheeks in terms of the quality of the shimmer (high, fine). Though more distinctly coral/peach the shade is quite sheer (I can see this as a positive, easier not to put too much on in one go). I mention it here anyway because I reach for it under the same circumstances and for the same reasons I would reach for any of these pinks.

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Clockwise from the top: Tom Ford Love Lust, Milani Luminoso, Japonesque #3, Bobbi Brown Pink Coral

One of these blushes is often virtually the only makeup I use for the day, with perhaps a little highlighter and tinted lip balm (maybe some bronzer, mascara…OK, OK. Virtually).  If I only have time to do one thing, though, that thing is always adding a bit of blush. Blush, for me, gives the maximum payoff for the minimum effort, an instant infusion of life into the face.

These are great blushes at any time of year, really. Like any that suit you. A good pink blush will see you through all weather.

in the pink

On January 13, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

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I have three very specific and very different ideas about what color I want to wear on my cheeks this winter.

The first*, the acquisition of which has been on my mind for some time, is this coral-leaning pink, Bobbi Brown’s aptly named Pink Coral. There are a number of peachy pink blushes out there but this one stands out to me. It stays nearer to the pink camp, trespassing only slightly into peach/coral territory, and has for me that instant, visceral appeal that certain colors have for whatever reason. It’s hard to imagine a skintone this would not suit, it is so near to the embodiment of ‘the pink of health’. This shade walks that line between bright and pastel, vibrant but not in the way of neon or bubblegum. Other blushes I categorize as pink look dim, almost mauve in comparison. It also comes highly recommended by Guardian beauty editor Sali Hughes, the most sensible and appealing beauty editor around as far as I can see. How pleasant, in the bleak midwinter, to forego the dark autumn palette and go straight to summer pink.

*The second and third [ideas] are a true red and a deep berry, respectively, about which more later.

I once came across the advice (can’t recall where now, rubbish memory) to select a blush color that approximates the shade you actually blush, or the color your cheeks go in the cold, which is particular to you. I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed myself blushing but in the cold my cheeks turn a faintly rosy red. Mostly red. [Isn’t it a shame that beyond a certain threshold the red is not confined to the cheeks and simply splotches over the entire face?] If going for a natural look I think this is excellent advice, though I think most people could look well in a range of shades, each having its own effect. I don’t naturally blush pink…but you don’t know that. I don’t blush orange, either, and my lips aren’t ever burgundy by their powers alone. Natural isn’t always the goal.

It is this kind of thinking that helps one justify getting several blushes in one season. All quite different, you see!

And it was impossible to justify the above without justifying in tandem the acquisition of the NARS yachiyo kabuki brush, which is, as you see, a thing of beauty. The handle is hand-spun with black wisteria (!), and the hairs are densely packed in the kabuki style yet gently tapered for a soft diffusion of color. I cannot count the number of favorable reviews I have seen on this brush, which has been on my wishlist for years. I wish I’d gotten it sooner as it excels as promised at the sheer, uniform application of highly pigmented powders (otherwise quite scary, those powders).  This is the kind of brush that will do most of the work for you.**

**Look into good brushes, which need not mean expensive though in some cases I find it does not mean cheap. A few discerning brush purchases make for an excellent investment (and a bad brush is waste of time and money both). Tasks that used to be tiresome and difficult become suddenly pleasurable and simple.

Then I went out in search of something else entirely and came home with this little gem, MAC’s Huggable lipcolor in Love Beam, an emollient, high-shine formula that performs beautifully and is very much in the same pink coral vein (which I attribute not to conscious matching but to a phase of affinity to this kind of shade). It seems silly to say when I have so many lip products but I really have nothing else like this color. Must look into pink more, I see. Pink (really red but also pink by association) is opposite green on the color wheel and sets off green and hazel eyes especially.

So many brands are coming out with these lipstick/nourishing treatment hybrids now and the formulas are getting better and better. This means uniform depositing of pigment, uniform fading (no issues with patchiness), pleasant sensation on the lips (a bit tacky, this formula has something of a lipgloss about it). I’m wearing both this and the blush with the chunky knit scarf, though I find you really have to whack blush on for it is show well in photos so it’s not a great showcase. I’ll point it out in future shots. I certainly anticipate getting a lot of wear out if it.