Make Me Blush

Something about Spring always makes me crave a good blush. The reappearance of lawns after months of nothing but snow as far as the eye can see, the sunnier days and the fresh green buds on all the trees makes me long for a youthful glow. Luckily, there are many options – new formulas and old standbys alike – to get me ready for this most optimistic of seasons.

My all-time favorite blush is relatively new, but has amazing staying power and looks stunningly pretty. Tarte Amazonian Clay Long-Wear Blush in Dollface is the best things to happen to cheeks since Nars Orgasm. The soft pink powder is gorgeous, giving my pale complexion a cheerful wash of color that literally lasts until I wipe it off at night. Plus, it contains Amazonian clay, the hot new cosmetic ingredient that is great for skin and, let’s face it, just sounds cool. The blush comes in an array of colors, but Dollface was by far my favorite; it makes me look flushed, not wind-burned.

Nars Orgasm is of course a classic, a nice medium pink powder blush that looks good on virtually everyone. It goes on fairly sheer and you can layer it for your desired level of color. I personally don’t think it has the same staying power as Tarte’s offering, but it’s a classic for a reason.

If you’re more of a cheek stain kind of girl, Benefit Benetint is another cult favorite, and nothing beats it when it comes to a getting a nice rosy glow. The red liquid is great for lips, too. Unlike other stains that I’ve tried, I find this one easy to apply – you actually have a few seconds to rub it in before it dries, so you don’t end up with an obvious streak across your face instead of the intended wash of color. Benefit also has a pink version, Posietint, for days when you’re feeling less bold. In fact, you can buy a trio of sample sized Benefit complexion enhancers – Benetint, Posietint and the light pink highlighter High Beam – for $15. It’s a great way to add a little variety to your makeup routine.

My favorite way to wear blush is with clean skin, a swipe of mascara, and a clear or light pink lip gloss. It looks incredibly fresh, like you just came inside from a refreshing Spring stroll. And who couldn’t use a breath of fresh Spring air?

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White Lies

Confess. You’ve done it. You’ve stayed up late on a school night. You only got a few hours of shut-eye before an early day at the office. Maybe you drank too much at karaoke night. Or perhaps you were just way too into Twilight to put it down and go to bed. Either way, there’s been a time or two when you woke up looking, well, tired.

Lately I’ve been noticing how pronounced the dark circles under my eyes have become. Overly tired is certainly not a youthful look. No matter how cute an outfit may be, it is definitely overshadowed by purple smudges below bloodshot eyes. So, my mission as of late has been to find a way to look well rested.

Just a little white lie.

Turns out, the trick to this white lie is white liner. Flipping through January magazines, all the beauty looks I liked had one thing in common – bright-eyed models, sporting white liner. It is surprisingly subtle, and instantly makes eyes look brighter and more awake. I bought a cheap Wet N Wild pencil last weekend, and am now officially hooked.

To give yourself some extra help in the no-I’m-not-hungover-and-sleep-deprived department, use your white liner in conjunction with these other eye-brightening tricks, and you’ll be looking more lively in no time.

1. Curl your lashes, curl your lashes, curl your lashes. I know I say it all the time, but it makes a huge difference. Your eyes will look twice as wide, I swear.

2. Dab on some concealer. A little on the yellow side is good for under eyes, as it helps counteract the blue tones. I like L’Oreal True Match Concealer. And be careful not to apply too much – nobody wants that streaky concealer ring around their eyes.

3. Use a highlighter. A light reflecting highlighter on your cheek and brow bones brightens your complexion and makes your eyes look about 1000 times more awake. Right now I can’t get enough of Benefit High Beam. Try the travel size for $10 (available at sephora.com).

Oh, Sephora…

Sephora is a beauty junkie’s ultimate fix: a limitless supply of products and tools all gathered into one store. I love ordering myself a big ol’ box full of treats from www.sephora.com; it is not unusual to find me gleefully tearing open a package filled with lip glosses, eyeliners, body lotions and various other beauty tools. This past week I ordered myself a variety of new products to try, and yesterday I came home to find them neatly packaged along with two perfume samples and a slew of haircare samples designed to keep my hair from frizzing. Sephora’s selection and service are what got me hooked initially, but the generous samples (you can pick three free with every order, and deluxe samples are often available with new promotions) and free shipping (with 50 dollar orders) have made me a loyal Sephora customer for years.

Of my latest beauty purchases, one product already stands out as worth mentioning: Benefit’s “Hello Flawless!” powder makeup. It comes in a cute mirrored case, with both a powder brush and an applicator sponge included. I found that the velvety powder did almost nothing for me when I used the brush, but when applied with the sponge my skin looked, well, flawless. It’s very smooth and natural looking, and I would certainly recommend it to anyone that  likes coverage but isn’t a fan of thicker liquid foundations.

A word of caution to fair skinned ladies: I chose the lightest shade available, and it’s still bordering on being too dark. It’ll work for me in the summer months, but come winter (and pasty skin), I’ll have to go with something lighter.