HOLDING ONTO THAT SUMMER GLOW: BRONZER

For us ghostly-pale ladies, bronzer is a very tricky proposition. So many things can go wrong. The color can be too dark, or too orange, the texture can be too cakey, or too flaky. It’s a scary thought, really.

I’ve basically avoided bronzer in the past for fear of looking like an oompa loompa, but I just didn’t realize that all my skin needs is a light, healthy flush of color. You know how good your skin looks after a brisk walk or a, ahem, romp in the hay? That’s the kind of color I’m talking about.

While it’s amazing to get that look naturally, makeup is perhaps the easiest way to fake it (or fake anything, really!). My favorite bronzer is designed for all skin tones, and I’ll admit, I was skeptical at first. Until I tried it.

Called Phyto-Touche Illusion d’Été by Sisley Paris, it’s described as “an ultra-gentle bronzing gel-powder which glides on easily, giving a natural sun-kissed complexion to pale skin tones and illuminating tanned skin… Suitable for all skin types and tones. Phyto-Touche Illusion d’Été can be used all year round for a sun-kissed ‘nude’ effect.”

I was initially intrigued by the fact that it’s a “gel-powder” (what the heck is a gel-powder anyway?!) and that it claimed to work on pale skin, too. And when I tried it, I was pleasantly surprised that a light application gives my skin a healthy, but natural looking glow. I put it on after my BB cream and any needed concealer, and before blush, and my skin looks even and dewy, without being greasy or shiny. The hint of color is perfect for my pale skin.

I’m more than happy to hold on to the last bit of that summer glow in any way that I can as fall has already arrived. I’m thrilled to trade shorts and sundresses for sweaters and scarves, but don’t want to look like Casper, even if Halloween *is* quickly approaching.

xo A

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HOLDING ONTO THAT SUMMER GLOW: BRONZER

TRYING TO LOVE YOU: FACE OILS

I don’t tend to jump on beauty bandwagons unless I reeeeally feel like something will suit me, because nothing is worse than spending lots of money on a beauty product that’s trendy and hating it. Then you’ve shelled out money for something that will just sit in your arsenal, unused and unloved. No bueno.

I thought I’d be a great contender for a face oil given that my skin (especially in the winter) can get suuuuper dry. Like, flake off all over the place dry (sorry for THAT visual). So I tried a face oil for some extra moisture instead of my usual lotion moisturizer/BB cream.

I tried one of the most expensive on the market and was woefully disappointed. By Sisley, the Black Rose Precious Face Oil had so much promise. It claims to “visibly smooth wrinkles and fine lines, and revitalize the skin for a radiant complexion.”

At $235 for .84 oz, this stuff is EXPENSIVE. (Note that I received it for free, so I thankfully did not shell out the dough for it and likely would not.) But the bottle is absolutely gorgeous and the oil smells amazing, so I was eager to try it.

It’s entirely possible that I’m just the wrong candidate for the stuff given that I’m 25, so anti-aging oils may not be necessary for me. Thankfully, I have no wrinkles or fine lines. But all skin could use some revitalizing and radiance, right?

I applied very little (like, less than five drops) to my clean, bare face. All it did was make me feel extra greasy and it made me break out. I am still prone to breakouts, but this was disappointing. After a few uses (and a few new zits), I found no real benefit. Bummer.

I’ll try again in the colder months as I am always prone to pesky dryness, but for now, the gorgeous purple bottle will sit on my vanity, untouched and unloved.

xo A

TRYING TO LOVE YOU: FACE OILS

BLUSHIN’ BABE

I’ll admit that up until a few months ago, one of the items you’d never find in my makeup arsenal was blush. I was actually afraid of it — I thought I’d look like a clown because I’m so pale, I didn’t know how to apply it, I didn’t know what color to choose or what kind was best (cream? powder? so many choices!) so I just avoided it altogether.

I also felt like because my skin has naturally pink undertones (and I tend to blush on my own A LOT thanks to never-ending shyness and social anxiety) so I figured, why make my cheeks even redder than they are already?!

But I can admit when I’m wrong and in this case, I was so wrong. A makeup artist convinced me that blush is a crucial part of the makeup process and now I see how right she was.

First things first, there are so many shades of blush and many of them look great on all skin tones (really, I swear!) and the great thing about blush is, you can control how much color you get. If all you want is a little swath of color, a light brushstroke is all you need. For a more dramatic look, you can build up the color quite easily.

This Marie Claire tutorial shows the best placement for blush in an easy-to-follow image, seen here.

The two blushes I use most often are Milani Cosmetics‘ Baked Blush in Luminoso (a luminous peachy pink) and Sisley‘s Phyto-Blush Eclat in Peach. The Milani offers a brighter pop of color for days when I want (or need) a brighter look, and Sisley is great for a light, healthy flush of color. Milani is inexpensive at $8.95 and can be found at major drugstores. Sisley’s is much more expensive, clocking in at $88.

Now that I’ve jumped on the blush bandwagon, I cannot believe I ever went a day without it. I seriously won’t leave the house without blush on and am embarrassed I was so afraid of it for so long. I look like a zombie without some blush! It’s the perfect topper to give skin a warm, beautiful glow, no matter the season or reason.

xo A

BLUSHIN’ BABE

National Lipstick Day

Happy National Lipstick Day, ladies!

Admittedly, I have a very hard time finding lipstick that I like. My lips are very small, and aside from that, my skin is very fair, so I run the risk of looking like a clown in certain (read: most) colors. I also am constantly drinking liquids (water, coffee, and, if I’m lucky, a fabulous cocktail), constantly talking, laughing, and eating, and I need my lip color to go the distance. I like low-maintenance beauty — who wants to be constantly running to the ladies room to check on your makeup?!

I have three go-to lip colors that range from nude/every day (read: perfect for important meetings or job interviews), a peachy rose, and a sheer red.

The nude was actually gifted to me on my wedding day by my makeup artist — the fabulous Jeanette at Glo Beauty Bar. Leave it to a makeup artist to pick the most perfect shade imaginable. I am so addicted to this lip color that I woe the day it runs out, because it’s only sold at Glo. I’ll just have to make a trip there to pick up another. Here is me on my wedding day with the great lipstick and lip gloss Jeanette gave me.

My next favorite lip color is actually more of a tinted lip balm. It’s called benebalm by Benefit, and it’s perfect for just enough color to make your lips pop without being too garish. It’s super hydrating, and the color is light enough that it can be buildable over itself or a different lipstick. It comes in a fun red and pink polka dot case that looks just as cute on my vanity as it does on my lips!

My third favorite is the Phyto-Lip Shine in Sheer Cherry by Sisley Paris. It’s definitely pricey at $52 and not quite long-lasting (you’ll be reapplying for sure), but the color is so gorgeous and works so well with my skin tone.

Definitely break out your favorite shade today in honor of #NationalLipstickDay and get ready to pucker up. Smooches!

xo A

National Lipstick Day