Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush Review – Beautiful Colors, Easy Depotting 

I have a review today on this chilly Saturday!  I have recently obtained 3 Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blushes.  The first one was Fearless, a pinky coral blush I obtained in a swap (brand new!) on an Ipsy group on Facebook (hey thanks, friend!).  The next one I got  was Dollface, which I bought for a complete steal on eBay.  At that point I knew that these blushes worked incredibly well on my super fair, combination, acne prone skin, so I did something I rarely do and splurged on the full priced limited edition shade, Celebrated (I usually do not buy limited edition shades because I get so mad when I cannot repurchase them).

From the Sephora website:

What it is:
A long-wearing, solar-baked blush that lasts up to 12 hours.

What it does:
Infused with natural clay harvested from the banks of the Amazon River and naturally baked by the sun, this nutrient-rich blush benefits all skin types for a fade-free flawless finish that lasts an amazing 12 hours. Inspired by tarte’s bestselling shades of cheek stains and lip tints, the colors range from soft to vivid to suit a wide variety of skintones. For oily skin types, Amazonian clay minimizes oil in and around pores to balance skin and keep product in place. Those with dry skin will benefit from the clay’s nourishing and hydrating properties, which naturally restore skin’s moisture. Combination skin types can rely on its ability to zero in on skin concerns and deliver benefits to restore complexion harmony. The result: Blush that wears better, longer, and truer.

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
– Parabens
– Sulfates
– Phthalates

What else you need to know:
This product is free of petrochemicals, synthetic fragrances, GMOs, and triclosan.

Ok, WOW, those are some crazy claims.  Here’s my take…I don’t think anything can be really moisturizing and oil controlling at the same time.  I have 3 matte shades and I find them, well, mattifying.  I get shiny throughout the day and if I touch up with these (which is not necessary as the color really does stay all day), it does take down oil and shine!  I would say these are great for normal to oily skin.  If you’re super dry, you may find that you would want to stick to liquid or cream blushes, of course.  I don’t think they have found the magical moisturizing powder formula (is there such a thing?).  As for ingredients harvested from the Amazon and dried in the sun…really?  I’m just not even touching that.  For Pete’s sake, Tarte.  I do find it interesting that there are lots of non-natural ingredients in here, but we’re supposed to buy the product based on what’s *not* in the product.  Wow, that’s some marketing!  But hey, I’m glad it doesn’t contain hand sanitizer ingredients!  LOL!

Ok, let’s get to something about this product that I LOVE, the packaging.  First of all, the compacts match the product inside.  If you’re in a hurry, you don’t need to fumble around, just grab what you’re looking for based on color.

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(Tarte Fearless, Celebrated, Dollface)

Now, here’s what I love even more.  As an ex-makeup artist, I got used to using palettes.  I have most of my powder products in palettes as it’s just easier for me.  These blushes are actually made for popping out of the compact easily and popping into palettes if you want to, without having to de-pot them with heat or sharp objects and possibly ruining your product!  There is a hole in the back of the compact to push a pin through, but I have found that you can just tap the compact into your hand with a little force and the pan will come out…be careful, you don’t want to drop and break the precious!  The AMAZING thing they have thought of is the big magnet in the compact so you can *put the pan back in* any time you want to travel with the blush in the compact.  So, for example I’m going out of town next week and will take just one of these with me and will pop it out of my palette and into the compact and away I will go.

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OMG seriously?!  THANK YOU, TARTE!

When I’m not traveling, I can have them all in my Z-palette (I love the lavender one).

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(Top row: Tarte Dollface, Tarte Fearless, Tarte Celebrated, MAC Pink Swoon, Bottom Row: MAC Full of Joy, MAC Well Dressed, MAC Unconventional, La Femme Misty Plum, La Femme Scarlet)

And now, photos of me wearing each Tarte blush!  I have found these particular shades to work well on my NW10 skin, apply easily, blend out well, and wear well for 8+ hours, though I usually don’t wear my makeup for 12 hours.

Tarte Celebrated:

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Celebrated is the softest of the softest nudes.  This is the blush I reach for when I want my blush soft and “foolproof.”  It’s listed as a pink nude, but it goes peachy on me.  I adore this like I cannot even tell you.  It is one of the most pale-friendly blushes I’ve ever found.

Tarte Dollface:

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Dollface is a very cool toned blue based pink. It looks beautiful on pale skin, but has enough color to look great on medium skin as well.  It blends out beautifully and can be worn with a number of lip colors.  I rocked it with red lipstick yesterday and it looked oh so retro.

Tarte Fearless:

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Fearless is a coral pink that is more pink than orange, which means I can actually wear it.  Fearless is everything I wanted MAC Fleur Power to be, which was too deep and too orange for my fair, pink skin. This is a super fun spring and summer color!

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In summary – will Tarte overcome my beloved MAC as my favorite blush?  Hmm, Tarte blushes are $29 and MAC pro blush pans are $17, so probably not.  However, the packaging is superior in being able to re-use the compacts (although you can Back To MAC the compacts at MAC if you do not want them).  I would say the quality is similar, so it is just up to you as to what you want out of your blush, as well as finding your perfect color!  For me, finding pale girl friendly blushes is really difficult – I have been putting that palette together for a looooooong time.

What are your favorite blushes?  Do you wear powder blushes, liquid, cream?  Have you tried Tarte?  Let me know in the comments!

NYX Ombre Blush Review – Mauve Me

When I fist saw the NYX Ombre Blushes, I got pretty excited!  My first thought was that these may be an affordable version of an earlier limited edition MAC offering. 

From the NYX website:

“Treat your cheeks to a radiant flush of color with our Ombré Blush, a new gradient blush inspired by the ombré trend. This must-have formula features two silky colors blended into one perfectly coordinated shade combo. (It’s like they were meant for each other.)”

My excitement turned to doubt when I saw the INTENSE color selection.  I have incredibly fair skin and realized that most of the shades were going to be “too rich for my blood.”  One shade stood out as a possibility that might work for me, though, and that was “Mauve Me.”  I thought, “Well, at $10 for an enormous blush, let’s give it a shot,” and ordered it from Ulta.  I’m SO glad I did, because this particular shade of mauve is my jam!  Check it out:

  
I love that ombre fade!  There’s a nice mirror inside, as well. 

  
The compact is nice and sleek.  

Here’s how it looks on my skin (around a MAC NW10, for reference):

  
(Worn with MAC “Syrup” lipstick.)

  
(Worn with Kat Von D “Lovecraft” lipstick.)

I have been using my MAC 116 blush brush and sweeping from the light color into the deep color in the pan, then applying the blush in a swirling motion on my cheeks.  The color is a lovely satin (very lightly shimmery, NOT frosty yet not matte), a healthy glowy type finish that I tend to get from MAC Mineralize blushes.  Not bad!  I’m not wearing any highlighter in this photo.  

NYX Ombre Blushes come in 8 shades and retail for $10.00 USD.  Have you tried them? 

Kat Von D Shade + Light Two Tone Blush in Morticia + Gomez

So, a few days ago, I gasped and said, “OMG!” My husband was like, “What?”  I showed him the new Kat Von D Shade + Light Blushes and pointed to one in the most beautiful mulberry and rose tones and said, “THIS one is called Morticia and Gomez.”  His eyes widened and he said, “YOU NEED THAT.  Matter of fact, it’s an early Valentine’s Day present; I’m getting it for you!”  I was waiting for him to exclaim “Cara mia!” and grab my arm and start kissing it, but I digress…

Today, this bad boy showed up on my doorstep.   

 

The packaging is lovely, of course, even the box (look for the hidden stars). 

  
The compact is huge and holds a ton of product.  It’s about the size of my MAC Sculpt and Shape Duo – impressive!

 
The product comes with an insert that shows you different ways you can blush and contour with the colors.  

  
And of course, the name just gets to me.  (Not all of the names are happy or sweet – that goes with the dark/light theme of the Shade + Light line).

  
I swatched these shades very heavily on a moisturized arm, to really show the shades.  Also keep in mind that I’m around a MAC N10-NW10, so this won’t look as deep on deeper skin tones.  The third swatch is the colors mixed together.  

  
STUN. NING.  I may just have to do a monochromatic look using that deep shade on the eyes as well! I looooove the look of both shades swirled together.  

I’m so ready to see more Kat Von D spring launches!  Be sure to check out the rest of these blushes on Sephora – with names like “Sid + Nancy” and “Mickey and Mallory,” they certainly are a nod to pop culture, as well as being gorgeous.  

And now…my husband and I last Halloween!  

  

Don’t we all want a love like Morticia and Gomez? 

Makeup of the Day – with Guerlain Meteorites

You guys.  I really need to get out the Guerlain Meteorites more often, right?  I look like I used a beauty filter on my camera or something…except I didn’t!  

  
What I used:

Kat Von D Lock-It Featherweight Primer (this sadly was too rich for my combination skin), MAC Studio Fix Fluid in NW10, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly, NYX HD Concealer in Porcelain around the nose and to spot conceal, MAC Invisible Set Powder to set concealer, NYX HD blush in Taupe to Contour, Smashbox Baby Pink blush (Wondervision Mega Palette), Guerlain Meteorites in Clair all over to brighten, MAC Mineralized Skinfinish in Lightscapade on cheekbones

EYES:  Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Duo in Ebony (light side) with angled brush set with ELF Clear Brow Gel, Bobbi Brown Cream Eyeshadow in Bone, Smashbox shadows in Beige, Fawn, and Blue (Wondervision Mega Palette), L’Oreal Infallible Gel Liner in Black with MAC 210 Precise Liner Brush, Covergirl Clump Crusher Mascara

LIPS:  NARS Rikugien satin lip pencil (Sephora 2015 birthday gift)

What are you wearing today? 

Makeup of the Day 

Going to keep this short since we’re about to make dinner!   Today, I paired Urban Decay Naked2 Basics eye shadows with La Femme blush in Flamingo Pink and Wet N Wild Fergie Creme Lipstick in Penthouse Sweet.


What are you wearing this weekend?

Goth Night!

Last night was our local goth night!  I turned on my Spotify Joy Division radio station and had a blast doing this makeup look – too bad I had allergies the whole time and borked up my stupid eyeliner before I could even get done.  It was glorious…while it lasted.  😉

My amazing raven necklace is available on Etsy here.

MAKEUP

FACE:  Tarte Clean Slate Poreless Primer, MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation NW10, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly under eyes, NYX HD Concealer in Porcelain to spot conceal/around nose, face set with Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Powder in Translucent, contour with NYX HD Blush in Taupe, blush is NARS Sin, highlight is MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Lightscapade

EYES:  Wet N Wild Fergie Eyeshadow Primer in For my Primas, MAC Vanilla shadow as brow bone highlight, MAC Mineralize eyeshadow in Cinderfella on lid with damp brush, Urban Decay Mushroom in crease with Cinderfella blended in, L’Oreal Infallible Gel Liner with MAC 210 liner brush, MAC Mineralize eyeshadow in Cinderfella patted on top, Ardell 110 lashes with Covergirl Clump Crusher mascara, Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo in Ebony with ELF Clear Brow Gel (this eye look was all great until the itching and eye watering began…)

LIPS:  MAC Burgundy Lip Pencil with L’Oreal Endless Lipcolor in Sangria

SHOES

I even busted out some very special shoes, the John Fluevog Esoteric Temptations Odette!

KITTEH

And just for fun, here’s my kitty up on the table today where he’s not supposed to be, contemplating the consequences of eating my freshly cut roses from the garden.  Sorry this is blurry, but I grabbed this photo fast as I knew he was about to run!


Did you do anything fun this weekend?

Makeup of the Day

Finally felt like wearing a little slap today!  Going to keep this short and just post a pic and a list of what I used.  Happy Monday!

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FACE:  Tarte Clean Slate Poreless Primer, Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation in Porcelain with MAC 190 brush, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly under eyes, NYX HD Concealer in Porcelain to spot conceal, Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Powder tapped on with MAC 134 brush to set, MAC Mineralize Blush in Gentle with MAC 116 blush brush, MAC Lightscapade as highlight with Sigma F25 tapered face brush, NYX HD Blush in Taupe as contour with MAC 168 angled contour brush, ELF Mist and Set sprayed lightly to make the whole look a tad less matte

EYES:  Wet N Wild Fergie eyeshadow primer, Urban Decay Naked eyeshadow palette (I seriously used about 6 colors?), L’Oreal Infallible Super Slim liquid liner, Anastasia Brow Powder in Ebony with Anastasia #7 brow brush, Covergirl Clump Crusher Mascara.  (I used about 6 different eye brushes, most are Sigma and MAC…no clue what all the numbers are but I shall point out that the Sigma pencil brush is awesome!)

LIPS:  NARS Rikugyen lip pencil (Sephora gives this pencil in the NARS duo for your birthday)

What are you wearing today?

My NYX Memorial Day Sale Goodies <3

At the end of May, I posted about NYX’s annual Memorial Day sale.  I took this opportunity to grab a few things I had really been wanting, but had not yet trekked across town to Ulta to get (especially considering our Ulta is not always well stocked and it is 20 minutes away).  It took quite a while to get my order, because this is a huge sale and it takes a while each year for them to process that many orders – but the savings are worth the wait!  I got all this for a whopping $20.00 USD:

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NYX Wicked Lippie in 01 Betrayal, NYX Primal Colors pressed Pigment Hot Black, NYX HD Blush in Taupe, NYX HD Concealer in Porcelain

Let’s take a look!  First up, the thing I’m most excited about, the HD Blush in Taupe.  I have been contouring for years with MAC’s Sculpt Powder in Bone Beige.  It is light and sheer enough for my porcelain skin, but it has a bit too much redness in it for my skin tone.  I make it work because it’s in a duo with a favorite highlighter (MAC Shape Powder in Emphasize).  I have been wanting to try a more taupe colored contouring product, though, because let’s face it…shadows are not brown.  I am pleased to say, this blush fits the bill for that purpose (there’s a photo at the end of this post of me wearing it.).  Plus, the compact is very slim and takes up very little room in my kit and has a cute bow on the the clasp:

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NYX HD Blush in Taupe

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Would you look at that?  It’s not orange!  Hallelujah and praise the makeup gods!

Next up, the product I’m almost as excited about, because pale concealers at drug store prices are a bit of a unicorn…the NYX HD Concealer in Porcelain:

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NYX HD Concealer in Porcelain

I’m also wearing this in the photo at the end of the post.  This is a great high coverage concealer that works wonderfully for concealing imperfections on the face.  It’s too thick and dry for using under my eyes; however, your mileage may vary.  I’m using NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer for that.  The NYX HD Concealer shade Porcelain is a lovely pale shade with a slight pink undertone that works great with my MAC Studio Fix Fluid shade in NW10.  It’s a keeper!

Next up, NYX Primal Colors pressed pigment in Hot Black:

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NYX Primal Colors pressed pigment in Hot Black

When I went to use this product today, I used it as an eyeliner with an angled eyeliner brush.  It performed extremely well, but I did have some fallout as I was applying, getting some black powder on my cheeks.  I sometimes forget this is an issue with pigments, whether they are pressed or not.  I would say use this product where you do your eyes first, then the rest of your makeup.  The great thing is, this is blaaaaaaaaaaaaaack.  Like, black like my soul black (hahahaha!!!).  It works great as liner and you could also use it to set pencil or gel liner.  I have not tried it as eyeshadow yet, but hey, goth night is coming up…oh hey, maybe I’ll wear it to the Voltaire show tomorrow!  (I am wearing it as liner in the photo at the bottom of this post, blended with Urban Decay Mushroom eyeshadow.)

All in all, I have to say that while NYX can be a hit or miss brand for me, I love everything I got in this order.  (I am also wearing the Photo Loving Primer underneath my foundation today – a long time favorite!)  I am wearing the concealer, blush for contour, and black pigment here.  I like that the contour is subtle, but I can go heavier for an evening look if I want to.  The only thing I haven’t tried yet is the purple lipstick, but the photos I’ve seen online are (wait for it) Wicked.

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Also shown:  Urban Decay Smoked eyeshadow palette, MAC Azalea Blossom Blush Ombre, Maybelline Lilac Flush lipstick with L’Oreal Extraordinaire Lip Color in Purple Prelude

What are your favorite NYX Products?  Have you tried any of the new stuff for 2015?

Sephora Birthday Goodies! 

So, every year I grab an item or two from Sephora around my birthday to treat myself and to get their yearly birthday freebie.  This year, it’s this awesome NARS duo of lip crayons:


Sephora Beauty Insider birthday gift, NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella and Satin Lip Pencil in Rkugen

Cannot wait to try this!  They look interesting.

I ordered myself two rather luxe items.  First, I ordered something I’ve been wanting to try for ages, but I’ve been waiting to use up another product (took me a year to use up my MAC Mineralize Concealer).  The object of lust is NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantillty, and oh my gosh…it appears to PERFECTLY match my ridiculously pale skin tone.  If it covers and wears well like the reviews say, I’m thinking this is worth the $29.00 for the color match alone!

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly

Next is something I have lusted after since before it was released (thanks, YouTube), the Urban Decay Afterglow 8-Hour Powder Blush in the shade Bitter Sweet.


Urban Decay Afterglow 8-Hour Powder Blush in Bitter Sweet

Dat packaging tho…


AHHHH GAHD!  Can we talk about purple?  Let’s just talk about purple.  Purple is my favorite color and you can easily find purple eye shadows and lipsticks.  Blushes?  Not really.  You can find the rare lavender, but they usually end up reading as pink on the skin.  I can’t tell you how excited I am that UD is bringing back the COLOR with this blush line.  Check out the other shades and you’ll see what I mean…not everything is nudes!

SO EXCITE.

Anyway, Sephora was having a deal with a coupon code where you could get 3 deluxe samples, so I jumped on that.  Here’s what I got:

Deluxe samples of Fresh Sugar Lip Scrub, Jack Black lip balm, and Dolce and Gabbana Passion Eyes curling mascara

How awesome is that?  I usually make my own lip scrub with sugar and coconut oil, so having one from Fresh is always awesome when they have these samples (it’s a very nice product).  The Jack Black lip balm has SPF 25, so that’s going right in my purse!  I have tried the Dolce and Gabanna Passion Eyes mascara, but not this curling version (I liked it, just not $30 worth, LOL).

Sephora also always offers 3 free samples so I got this Urban Decay card sample of the blush trio in Naked Flushed:


Urban Decay Naked Flushed sample card

I also received a Christian Dior Diorshow mascara sample and a sample of the Kat Von D Lock-It Featherweight Primer (I’m excited to try this, since it’s a water based primer):

Samples of Christian Dior Diorshow mascara and Kat Von D Lock-It Featherweight Primer

All in all, I would say with all the deluxe samples that this order was a great value for the money and made my birthday feel rather special!  I cannot wait to share how these things work for me with all of you!

What do you guys do for your birthday?  Anything special?