golden bronze

On March 21, 2016 by theseventhsphinx

Though my taste is all over the place, were it necessary I would find no difficulty in choosing a favorite style of makeup; the archetype of the golden goddess wins it for me. There is some competition from Old Hollywood Glam and Classic Pinup, from Ethereal Futuro-Avant Garde and Effortlessly Chic Parisienne…but the Golden Goddess, healthy and glowing, aligned with other personally powerful figures like the Amazon and the Pioneer, has a voice that speaks to me with purity and directness, nothing lost in translation and everything just as I would have put it myself. How could I not want to aspire to such a radiant state?

Here are a few products I’m enjoying at the moment for a minimal version of this kind of bronzed, glowing look (manifestations span the range from a touch of bronzer and highlighter to dripping gold, we are working steadily toward the far end of the spectrum).

theseventhsphinx golden bronze

Becca blush in Wild Honey, MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Soft & Gentle, Tom Ford Cream Color in Spice, MAC False Lashes. Brushes: Morphe E4, Japonesque fan, NARS Yachiyo, Morphe M441.

I was a bit late to the party with Becca’s Wild Honey blush but (despite the hype, which is just as likely to turn me off as get me interested) I really do enjoy it. A bronzer and blusher in one, essentially. There is an extremely fine shimmer that doesn’t read explicitly on the skin but imparts a pretty sheen. For a clearer punch of glow I layer on MAC’s Soft & Gentle, which I cannot imagine finishing in this lifetime. Love to use this with Japonesque’s fan brush, a brush with relatively few bristles of a good stiffness (contrast with the jumbo fan brushes from Morphe or EcoTools with fluffy, tapered bristles, great for bronzer but not accurate/small enough for highlighter, or the e.l.f. fan brush, which is too flimsy and yielding for me).

A few indulgent purchases represented here! Having missed out on the previous limited edition cream shadows from Tom Ford I hustled to pick up one of the new shades just added to the permanent range. I pat this on with my finger and sheer it out with a tapered blending brush. This did crease on me after 4 hours or so the first time I wore it (solo, with nothing else on the lid), so I like to set with eyeshadow. Everything creases on me, basically, so I don’t hold this against it in the least, the ease with which I was able to get a smooth, uniform application…money well spent. [For the record the Charlotte Tilbury cream shadows last longer on me, will have to have a cream shadow smackdown later.]

Another treat to self: the NARS yachiyo brush is my favorite blush brush, full stop. It’s known for being excellent at a sheer application of highly pigmented brushes, but I use it for all blushes, and happily with highlighters and bronzers as well. The Morphe E4 angled blush brush I picked up recently and have been liking for blushes with friendly pigmentation levels. In this case I used it to apply the blush as a bronzer (and I used the yachiyo to apply the blush as a blush…if that makes any sense). I love those looks that are effectively one color in varying concentrations on the face. Reminds me of the great Kate Moss look by Charlotte Tilbury on Lisa Eldridge’s channel, wherein she uses the Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate palette to sculpt the cheeks, jaw, and forehead, and a nearly identical cream color on the eyes. Such great information in this video. It’s a shame that her own videos aren’t as informative as this guest one created so long before she developed her own channel.

MAC False Lashes mascara I like so much more than I anticipated. It’s funny because I recently decided (after doggedly working through a deluxe sample) that I can’t stand Benefit’s They’re Real mascara. False Lash, ostensibly supposed to look like false lashes, provides a nice, separated natural look, and They’re Real, ostensibly supposed to cause some confusion as to the authenticity of the lashes, looks clumpy and rubbish and not at all like fake lashes. What is the opposite of separated in lash-speak?

But, you know, what does it matter to anyone but me? I have decent lashes and don’t usually like a clumpy or super voluminous look, so I’m not the target audience.

Lashes are so personal. Faces are so personal.

Picked up a few things from Morphe, which will show you soon enough.

x

sun kissed

On February 24, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

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I am a long-time fan of Michael Kors as a designer, his sleek mono and duochrome ready to wear collections are (often, at least) clean and sophisticated; sporty, basic separates glammed up with chic tailoring,  luxe fabrics, and an elegant neutral color palette. I was curious to see his new makeup line and, though I find it a bit concept-heavy with the whole ‘sporty sexy glam’ thing (each piece in the collection is categorized for one of these three aspects of a woman who is all of these things, and this is the woman Michael Kors’ designs for), the line is what I would expect – sleek, chic, just a little bit gaudy.

His clothing designs are recognizable, his makeup and accessories are even more so – he is resoundingly known for gold statement jewelry and generously bronzed skin. Between the bronzed skin and the active, sportswear-style designs he is for me a quintessentially American designer. Wherever possible the pieces in the makeup line feature this square of gold made to look like a historic building plaque (a bit of cheeky ego there), and, as with his collections, gold is the recurring theme (remember how we love gold packaging?). As sun kissed, golden skin is his trademark I was particularly interested to try his bronzer, which does not disappoint. I found a deal on the darkest shade, Beam, a dark, shimmery copper that serves as a bronzer and highlight in one.

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This has a subtle shimmer, not something to cause concern unless you are absolutely against it. Many like matte bronzers because they look natural (provided one has chosen a suitable color) and can double as a contour powder and, while I have matte bronzers of my own, I reach more often for this. Looking actually natural (as opposed to looking made up to look natural) is a certain kind of look I only sometimes want.

I’ve been using it with this large Real Techniques powder brush, which is not the best of that range (not the softest) but which is large, densely bristled, and inexpensive (any fat, broad brush will do). It works a treat for bashing on large areas of color, and I find that the powder is finely milled enough and the color close enough to my skin tone that I don’t have to worry about being at all precise. This I like. So I dab in, maybe tap off the excess, maybe not (maybe having powdered beforehand, maybe not, which just changes the intensity a little), bash it on such that the curve of the brush tip lines up roughly with the curve of my cheekbone, swish any product left around my temples and maybe the bridge of my nose, and done. It’s not too obvious but I suddenly look healthier, with a bit of a glow going on. Sun kissed. Which is such a beautiful, apt phrase. Looking as if I have been given numerous kisses from my benevolent lover, the sun.

I like that this has a pink-red rather than an orange undertone, which gives a more realistic sun embraced effect (I turn pink when sunburned, which is the logical extreme of sun kissed, not orange). The other colors are pleasing as well. The compact is large, making it unsuitable for travel but great for using a really big brush (undoubtedly the most satisfying way). If you are in the market for a bronzer, this is a lovely one.