#MakeupMonday – In Praise of Coral Lip Colors

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Coral in soft and bold.
© Tricia Lee Pascoe
Makeup by Tania D. Russell

Coral Lip colors. Love them love them love them. Yes, that was three “love them”s in one post. Oh wait was that a fourth? Yes. That is how much I love Coral lip colors. Why? Because it’s not orange, it’s not red and it’s not pink. It incorporates all three and because of that it is a wonderfully wearable color that works with EVERY skin tone. Now admittedly, there is a red or a pink for every skin tone as well but there is not an orange for every skin tone. Orange – despite its current popularity – is a tricky color for most skin tones. And this is coming from someone who, clearly, loves straight up Orange. If you’ve been wanting to jump in on that trend but have found it hard to do so, slide on over to Coral. Likewise, sometimes you want a hit of color without a Red statement. Again, slide on over to Coral. Want something pretty and feminine but slightly less predictable than a pink? Coral is the answer. Here are some of my favorites… (Note: For purposes of classification “Soft” colors are more sheer and “Strong” colors are more pigmented.)


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CLINIQUE Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm – Heftiest Hibiscus
These Chubby Sticks (available for both eyes and lips) are easily the best color cosmetic product Clinique has put out in an age. The “Intense” Chubby Sticks are the perfect “in-between” formulation. Enough pigment for the color to show (the original chubby sticks are super sheer, barely there color), but still sheer enough for everyday wearability. Heftiest Hibiscus is a true Coral that can be worn by just about everyone.

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SMASHBOX Be Legendary Lipgloss – Melondrama
I have written numerous times about my love for Smashbox’s Lip Enhancing glosses and how deeply saddened I was when the color line was downsized. Well, they have now been reincarnated as the “Be Legendary” lip glosses and I could not be happier. “Melondrama” was one of my favorite of the Be Legendary lipstick colors when it came out a couple of years ago. The lipgloss version is a sheer, shimmery, peachy coral.

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Three Custom Color Specialists has been a favorite of pro makeup artists and those “in the know” for many years now. I have mentioned my love for their lip colors in past MTG articles. The “Light Brights” collection is just what the name suggests: bold colors in lighter, more sheer formulations. These are not sheer like a lip gloss, barely there sheer. These are bold hits of color that let your own lip show through for a remarkable punch of wearable color. I LOVE these lip colors. Danceteria is a perfect True Coral color. I wear this myself often and it has flattered every model/talent I have applied it to.

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BOBBI BROWN COSMETICS Lipgloss – Tangerine
Bobbi Brown has to be the master of taking color and making it safe for the masses. In this instance I do not mean safe as a put-down. Not all jobs allow for bright color but that should not mean a woman has to settle for a no-color nude all the time. Bobbi Brown Cosmetics lipgloss in Tangerine is a pretty, peachy coral that is soft and sophisticated. Honorable Mention: I also really love her new color “Nectar” which is a more pinky coral.

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TARTE COSMETICS Power Pigment – Tipsy
Tarte cheek stain in “Tipsy” has been one of the Number One Products in my kit since forever, so when they introduced the Power Pigment lip tint pencil version I was all over it immediately. I am very pleased to say that it does not disappoint. This is the same formula of just the right amount of orange and just the right amount of pink to create just the Perfect Coral that I love about the cheek stain, in a moisturizing and shiny lip formula. The stick format also makes it easy to carry and to apply. This is the perfect “throw it in your bag” product.

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DIOR Dior Addict Fluid Sticks – Mirage
If you have never tried them before, Dior lip colors are just…delicious. They are rich in color, creamy in texture, velvety in pigmentation. Yes they are expensive but yes they are worth it. Dior actually has quite a few Coral shades throughout their lip color collection, all of which that I have ever tried are gorgeous. The Fluid Sticks are a recent addition to the Dior Addict line. They are a lip lacquer product so they are lip gloss in feel but lipstick in color payoff. Mirage is a pinky-er (word?) Coral, slightly on the cool side. Honorable Mention: those wanting bolder color might want to check out “Artifice” which is a more in-your-face, near orange Coral.


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STILA COSMETICS Color Balm Lipstick – Avery and Valentina
Color Balm lipsticks entered the cosmetics landscape within the last couple of years and became an instant “hit” due to their ease of use and wearability. They combine the best of a lipstick (full color) and the best of a lip balm (moisturizing, feels good on the lips) for a winning combo. Amongst my favorite Color Balms are Stila’s Color Balm Lipsticks. I love all of them but in keeping with our Coral theme, “Avery” and “Valentina’ fit the bill. These both fit my definition of “strong” in the sense of they are full pigment lip colors however strong does not have to mean Loud. “Avery” is a soft pinky Coral. This would be pretty on really fair skin tones where a bright Coral might be too overpowering, or if you are a darker skin tone like myself you can play with a high-contrast lip color by going with something this fair and pastel-ish. “Valentina” is for the bold. Stila describes it as “orange poppy” which to me equals Coral. It is my favorite of all of Stila’s Color Balm Lipsticks.

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REVLON Super Lustrous Lipsticks – Coralberry
“Coralberry” is an absolute classic and for less than $10 you cannot go wrong. Like “Fire and Ice” and “Cherries in the Snow” it is guaranteed at least one female relative in your family owned this back in “the day”. While it has a distinctively retro feel to it, its peachy pinky Coral-ness is modern enough to make “Coralberry” one of Revlon’s most popular selling colors to this day. (Sidenote: I have “Coralberry”, “Fire and Ice”, and “Cherries in the Snow” in my kit. Always have, always will. They are fantastic lip colors.)

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REVLON Colorburst Matte Balm – Audacious
If you haven’t guessed, it is my opinion that Revlon makes fantastic lip color products. They are easily some of the best you can buy at the drugstore level. What is awesome about Revlon is that even though they have been around forever, they are constantly introducing new products into their color line (without discontinuing the classics!). If you want to jump on the modern trend of Matte lipcolors, Revlon has you covered. “Audacious” is a matte balm, so where matte colors can tend to feel dry, this formulation feels moisturizing on the lips. As a bonus, the pencil style applicator makes applying a bold pop of color a breeze.

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OCC MAKEUP Lip Tar Matte – Grandma
FACT: As a makeup artist, “Grandma” by Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics is one of two lip colors I probably use more than any other lip colors I own (the other is “Trick”, also by OCC Makeup). I do not necessarily use it straight (sometimes but not always), like many makeup artists what I love about the OCC Makeup Lip Tars is their versatility and blend-ability with other lip colors. “Grandma” is a pastel-y pinky Coral in the same vein as Revlon’s “Coralberry”. It has that same retro type feel (hence the name). However “Grandma” is a full frontal hit of color, not at all for the faint of heart. OCC Lip Tars were amongst the first wave of highly pigmented bold, loud color lip colors that are now quite popular. Not interested in wearing it straight? If you have a pink that you want to “Coral-ize”, a red you want a little less Red or a sheer color you want to add some “umph” to, try mixing in a little “Grandma”. Honorable Mention: “Queen”. When “Grandma” first came out it was a little bit more of a bolder, orange-y reddish Coral. “Queen” is the closest you can get to that original “Grandma” color. It is great for those on whom a pastel-y color does not work, or for those who want a TADDOW! Coral color.

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HOURGLASS COSMETICS Femme Rouge Velvet Crème Lipstick – Muse
Hourglass is one of my favorite new cosmetics brands in fact look for a story on them coming soon. Their Velvet Creme Lipsticks are just that; velvety, creamy, lushly pigmented and gorgeous. “Muse” is a True Coral. What I impressed me about this product is not only is the color gorgeous but it truly feels different from a traditional lipstick. It is feather-weight and truly moisturizing. Lots of lipsticks say they are moisturizing but I still find myself reaching for that lip balm to wear underneath. This really did not feel like I was wearing lipstick, so if you are like me and hate the feel of lipstick give the Hourglass a try. And if you really, really hate lipstick, “Muse” comes in other formulations as well 😉

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LIMECRIME Velvetines – Suedeberry
Like the original OCC Lip Tars, Lime Crime built its name on over-the-top, bold, pigmented lipsticks in unusual colors. As the line has expanded, more wearable but still boldly pigmented colors and formulations have been added into the mix. One of the best additions to the line, in my opinion, are the Velvetines which go on liquid and dry to a completely matte finish. “Suedeberry” is one of my favorite of the Velvetines. It is a bold True Coral in a matte finish. When you are dealing with bold color, not only is matte more modern but it is also a bit more flattering (exception being if you have a lot of dry lines around the mouth area, but there are ways to work around that…). Once set, these do not move or transfer and they are long-wearing. Perfect for a night out when demure is not the goal. Special Note: I absolutely ADORE this color on African American skin tones.

#MakeupMonday – Favorite Lip Glosses 2012

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Two years ago, early in Makeup to Go!’s existence…

I wrote a piece about what I felt were the “top lip glosses” at that time. Funny how time flies because a lot of those lip glosses are no longer on the market. This is both the ecstasy and the agony of being a makeup fanatic; there is new product out all of the time BUT you never know when one of your ultimate favorites will be discontinued. A lot can happen in two years so let us now take a look at what happened to some of my faves and what are my favorite lip glosses 2012.

Honorable Mention:

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– Three Custom Color
I am not sure why I did not mention them in the first article so I am mentioning them now: Three Custom Color – or 3CC as they’re also known – makes fantastic lip products. They do make individual lip gloss wands, but most makeup artists, myself included, worship their lip gloss palettes. I have had the “Century of Red” palette in my kit since forever and I have recently added the “Perfectly Pink” palette (pictured) as well.

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5 )
Then: Cargo Lipgloss Tins
Now: NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss

I discovered these particular NYX lip glosses a while ago and what I love is they are nice little knock-offs of the Smashbox Lip Enhancing glosses. They are not quite as thick in texture hence they do not last quite as long as the Smashbox, but they have a good texture and a good amount of wear, and they come in a great selection of colors including some “wild” colors, some nice reds, and some **great** basics (nude, apricot, rose, cocoa, etc). What is great about these is they are really cheap (in price, not in quality). Like cheap-y cheap. And I never recommend cheap cosmetics because usually cheap cosmetics are terrible but these are cheap and great. Can’t beat that!

What Happened to Cargo? Pretty much the same as I mentioned in the first article, they discontinued the lip gloss duo tins in favor of lip gloss quad tins, and they changed all the color combinations, discontinuing many of their best colors.

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4 )
Then: Tarte Double Ended Lipgloss Wands
Now: Smashbox Lip Enhancing Lip Gloss

Yep, Smashbox has dropped down a bit on my list. This is NOT AT ALL due to a lapse in quality, oh no. This is strictly because they have dramatically cut the options of this product. The Lip Enhancing Lip Gloss used to come in three formulations (Sheer, True and Full) with a variety of colors in each formulation. Now Smashbox has cut it down to 17 colors in total, many of which are shimmery. The new lip gloss that Smashbox is offering – the Reflection High Shine glosses – is also shimmery. Smashbox seems to be going through a shimmery phase but unfortunately I am not a fan of shimmery glosses. If you are, yay for you Smashbox has lots of very nice shimmery colors right now. For me, not so much. As if this were not all painful enough, my FAVORITE of the Lip Enhancing Lip Gloss colors – “Debut”, a perfect creamy rose color – has been discontinued. Quel Dommage! (Pictured in the photo is “Tease” – a sheer raspberry)

What happened to Tarte? They have many other fantastic lip color products, but they discontinued the double-end lip gloss wands entirely.

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3 )
Then: Korres Lip Butter
Now: 100% Pure Lip Gloss

I still like Korres Lip Butters and Lip Butter Glazes quite a bit but these days I am going to have to give the nod to 100% Pure Lip Glosses. A ) I think they are better glosses. The butters are pretty but they are more like lip balms. B ) 100% Pure is committed to being a vegan, naturally derived, cruelty-free line. Korres USA is under a licensing agreement with Johnson and Johnson so while most of their products are naturally derived, I do not honestly know how natural Korres is or if they are cruelty-free with regards to their testing policies.

With 100% Pure, I know what I am getting. Their lipglosses are fruit pigmented and vegan and gorgeous. They have great texture, great scent, wear well, feel great and come in super pretty colors. I particularly love the “Raspberry Sorbet” gloss tube and “Shimmery Cocoa Berry” and “Pink Caramel” gloss wands.

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2 )
Then: Nars Lipgloss
Now: Stila Lip Glaze

Stila’s Lip Glaze pens have been around for a little bit now. I think I got into them when I went to the Warehouse Sale a couple of years ago, and they have been a fixture in my kit ever since. When I want a light, sheer hit of color and gloss these are amongst my Go To-s. The weight and texture are very light, the amount of gloss is very flattering, they are just very pretty. Another big plus is that they come in a variety of shades that all skin tones can wear. Stila changes/adds new colors regularly but as of right now they still have “Watermelon” “Apricot” and “Blackberry” which are three of my favorites.

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Steeeellllllaaaaaaa!!!!! (Nars Cosmetics Lip Gloss in “Stella”)

1 )
Then: Smashbox Lip Enhancing Gloss
Now: Nars Lipgloss

I remember it being a difficult to choose between Smashbox and Nars for the top spot when I wrote the original lip gloss article. If memory serves, my heart chose Nars but my mind chose Smashbox basically because I felt Smashbox was more accessible to more women. That may be true but I should definitely have followed my first mind. Nars is just phenomenal. What is more, they do not just randomly drop great products for seemingly no reason (Well, almost. They did drop all of their best Artist Palettes on me a few years ago but I digress…). They introduce new colors and formulations regularly, but in Nars world that does not mean the existing great colors have to be dropped. This pushes them to the head of the class by a mile for me. For makeup artists new is fun but for every ten new products if you are lucky one might prove to be a classic. Once you have found a classic you never want your kit to be without it. Consistency is key and I need products that I know are going to be fabulous every time I use them. All this said – yes Nars is pricey. If you can afford to get a few of the glosses, do so, you will not be disappointed. If you cannot afford to go whole hog, save up and get a couple. You are worth the occasional splurge and again, you will not be disappointed. I do not even have a particular color recommendation for Nars lip glosses. Pick whatever color strikes your fancy, it will be amazing.

#MakeupMonday – Like Gilt Groupe? You’ll Love Beauty Story

beauty story private sales

I’m sure by now you’ve heard of Gilt Groupe which offers private sales to it’s membership. I was introduced to Gilt Groupe via a stylist friend and at that time you had to be either invited or referred (UPDATED– see below), but once you were in they really did have excellent sale prices. Well what about us beauty mavens? Enter Beauty Story private sales service.

I discovered Beauty Story when my beloved Three Custom Color had a sale there. Like Gilt Groupe, Beauty Story offers private, exclusive sales to its members often at serious discounts. Unlike Gilt Groupe, membership in Beauty Story is – at least for now – open. What I particularly like about Beauty Story is that in addition to doing partnerships with some relatively well known brands (if memory serves there was a Smashbox sale a while back as well) they also feature some of the more indie/difficult to get brands like Paul and Joe and Nvey. If you are wondering about price, even though I get a professional discount on Three Custom, it was still worth it for me to buy via Beauty Group’s sale.

Sign up with Beauty Story now and start shopping and saving!

(Disclaimer – Nope, they are not paying me. They do not know me and they do not even know I’m doing this little story on them. I just really like the service and thought I’d tell my readers about them…)

EDIT:Gilt Groupe wrote and informed moi that they do have a code for those who want to sign up but do not have a referral/invitation. Please see the comments section. Thanks for letting us know, Gilt Groupe! 🙂

UPDATE: Not sure when exactly it happened, but we noticed that Beauty Story disappeared and is apparently no more. I found a post online dated August, 2011 that their list was bought by Beyond the Rack. Too bad! Beauty Story was a good idea!

#MakeupMonday – Liquid Eyeliner


Makeup by Tania D. Rusell / © N. Horne for Teen Prom

Liquid Eyeliner is emerging as a trend for Fall 2010 makeup. Truth be told, however, the timeless look of liquid eyeliner is never out of style. Just one sweep of the brush can transform a look from casual to dressy giving your eyes instant pop. A lot of women have trouble with liquid eyeliner and it’s true, it’s not easy. However, it’s makeup not neuro-surgery and with a little practice you, too, can become a liquid eyeliner master.

There are specific characteristics too look for when choosing a liquid eyeliner because there are definitely good and bad liners out there. First of all, for purposes of definition, I am calling anything NOT a pencil, a liquid eyeliner. The 3 formulations I am including in this recap – liquid, gel and cake – are all applied similarly and all give a similar final result. Whereas good pencils are meant to be soft so that they can give you a blended, more “smokey” line, a liquid-type formulation gives that precise line that is very difficult to emulate with a pencil. Further, liquids are all formulated to be long lasting, whereas the softness that makes a pencil good also makes not as long lasting. When choosing a liquid liner you want a product that goes on smoothly, has a fine brush, and does not flake. All of the products below – from atelier to drugstore – fit the bill. As far as applying your liner, it is always easier to get a smooth even line if you gently pull your eyelid taut by gently pulling the outer corner of your eye. Balance the ball of your hand on your cheekbone for leverage, and do not try to rush. Let your liner sit for a moment before moving on to your next makeup step so you are sure it’s all dry and set and you should be good to go. Also – sanitation is important with liquid liners as they are a prime way to get eye infections. Resist the temptation to borrow a friend’s liner. When using a liquid liner, be sure to wipe the applicator off with a tissue before re-inserting into the tube. With gels and cakes, wipe off the top layer with a tissue before each use. If you are a professional using a liquid liner as part of your kit don’t try to get away with using the applicator in the product, that’s just asking for serious trouble. Pour some product out onto a palette and apply with a brush. If the product has a felt applicator spray with 70% alcohol and let dry before re-inserting into the tube (or better yet, use it on the client and then give it to them). With gels and cakes, spray with alcohol as normal after using.

Urban Decay Liquid Liner liquid eyeliner
Urban Decay Liquid Liner – Urban Decay makes some of my favorite liners overall, both pencil and liquid. Their liquid liners go on extremely smoothly which is important to get a clean application, and highly colored liners oftentimes have problems in that regard. These do not, and they also last a good long time. These have a teeny tiny, fine line brush built into the cap which may pose a challenge for some but once you get the hang you, too, will fall in love with this product. (if you don’t fall in love with the applicator cap, you can always do as the Pros do and just pour some product out and use a real eyeliner brush.)

Lorac Cosmetics Front Of The Line PRO Liquid Eyeliner
Lorac Front Of The Line – They seem to have reformulated this product as it is now called Front Of The Line PRO, but whatever the name, this is my favorite black liquid liner. It’s a really for real Black and it really does not move. Now, that’s both good and bad because you have to be precise and there’s little margin for error, but again once you get the hang of it, this is a GREAT liner. I also noticed that the old Front Of The Line formula is on clearance which is an opportunity to try this great product and a discounted price.

100 Percent Pure Black Tea Pigment Gel Eyeliner liquid eyeliner
100% Pure Black Tea Pigmented Gel Liner – I just wrote about this product recently in my review of the 100% Pure product line, but this product is so nice I have to mention it twice. This is a gel formula liner, and gels are great because they are in between a pencil and a liquid. They go on and you have a moment to smudge or play with them, but then one they set they’re set. You can apply a gel liner with an angled precision brush and get a fine, sharp line that will rival any liquid. The 100% Pure gel liners come in a nice assortment of colors, go on smoothly and evenly, and last a REALLY long time. And did I mention they use natural fruit pigments and are gluten free AND vegan? Yeah, GREAT product. I have all of the colors in my kit, but my favorite is definitely the Silver Star which is one of those great “not Black” colors. It gives great definition without the harshness that black sometimes has. It’s also a great color for blue eyes.

Three Custom Color Specialists Opaline Creme Eye Definers liquid eyeliner
Three Custom Color Specialists Opaline Creme Eye Definer – I don’t feel like I talk about Three Custom Color often enough which is odd considering how many of their products are in my kit. I recently discovered a cream eyeliner product from them and I love. Like any good cream/gel formulation these can go smudgy or sharp and then set to a non-budging finish. The Three Custom (or 3CC as they are affectionately known) cream liner also has a slight slight shimmer to it which is really flattering, particularly at night. It’s not enough to look “sparkly” (which is usually a bad look), it’s just enough to pick up light and make the eyes “pop”. I particularly love Aurora which is another of those great “not Black” colors.

Benefit Cosmetics Babe Cake Eyeliner liquid eyeliner
Benefit Babe Cake – Back in the day of old Hollywood, before there were liquid liners and long before gel liners, there were Cake eyeliners. Cakes are no longer as popular in the mainstream now that the newer formulations have taken over, but they are still great. I consider cake liners to be “Advanced Makeup” because you have total control over the product to do whatever you want with it. I really like it for when I want to do thick, prominent, “50’s Prison Movie” – type liner. But it can also do very very fine lines easily, just by using a different brush. One benefit (no pun intended) to cake liner is that it’s a more sanitary formulation because it’s a powder that activates with water, but then dries back to a powder after use. If you are prone to pink eye and have had problems with liquids in the past, cakes may be a good option for you.

Drugstore Divas, do not dispair. While less expensive liquid eyeliners have historically been pretty bad (not enough pigmentation, skippy/non-smooth formula, flakes and wears off quickly, etc.) a number of companies have heard your cries and are answering the call…

Rimmel Professional Liquid Liner liquid eyeliner
Rimmel Professional Liquid Eyeliner – Rimmel has a well earned rep for being one of the better drugstore lines and their Liquid Eyeliner is further proof as to why. They call it a “professional” eyeliner and it really does rival any of the top end brands. Comes in Black and a pretty Silver color. Downside – I hear Rimmel may test on animals although I’ve yet to confirm this.

Jemma Kidd Cosmetics I-Tech Liquid Eyeliner
Jemma Kidd I-Tech Liquid Liner – If you’re a color-technic kinda gal who has been frustrated with the lack of options for GOOD colored liquid liners in the drugstore brands, be frustrated no more. These are not as pigmented as say, Makeup For Ever Aqua Liners, but they are nicely pigmented and have a smooth formulation for an even application and they come in truly fun colors (as well as good ole Black).

Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner liquid eyeliner
Maybelline Eye Studio™ Lasting Drama™ Gel Eyeliner – A student of mine recently bought these and was showing them off in her kit to me. I was dubious to say the least. Drugstore brands are pretty notorious for having things that look good in the packaging and then don’t deliver when you apply them. Maybelline is clearly trying to bust that image as this product recently won an Allure Magazine Best of Beauty™ nod. I tried it myself and it really is great. This is the first really good low-cost gel liner option I’ve encountered. Even the brush that comes with it is good.

Iman Luxury Liquid Eye Liner liquid eyeliner
Iman Luxury Liquid Eyeliner – And for us divas of color, Iman has a very nice selection of liquid eyeliners. Again, with lower-cost brands the issue is always pigmentation because low pigment products just won’t show on darker complexions. Iman’s products never have this problem. The liquid eyeliners come in a nice array of colors (my fave is ‘Sapphire’) and apply evenly and wear nicely.

#MakeupMonday – Best Blushes for Darker Toned Beauties

Iman Cosmetics Blushes in Peace and Allure

Iman Cosmetics Blushes in Peace and Allure

I did a job recently where I had to do makeup on an African American female model who was about Phylicia Rashād’s (mom Huxtable from ‘The Cosby Show’) complexion. Both Phylicia and this model are a rich brown color, but still more fair than myself. To my dismay, I did NOT have a blush that really, really worked on her. Well, I had one, but it’s shimmery and I needed matte/satin products for this shoot (pharmaceutical ad). When searching for colors for darker skin tones either for yourself or for your kit, the issue isn’t needing a darker color necessarily (although that’s obviously sometimes the case), the issue is needing higher pigmentation. You’re dealing with skin that already has it’s own measure of pigmentation so in order for color to show it needs to have a measure of potency. This led me to search for blushes for darker complexions, and let me tell you – it was a search. I thought I’d find some info online since there are always so many “Best Of” lists – nope. Searched some magazines – nope. I had to pull out the Do It Yourself kit and actually get in the car and hit the pavement to find the best blushes for darker toned beauties. Here’s what I found;

Three Custom Color – 3CC, if you aren’t familiar, is a makeup artists’ brand. It was founded by two working makeup artists and I don’t know any makeup artists who don’t have at least one of their products in their kit. I start with them because they have too many beautiful colors to even name. Seriously, depending on your skin tone or the skin tone of your client you WILL find a perfect shade for you in this line. They have two formulations, the very sheer Watercolours for Cheeks and the Cream to Powder blushes. I’m pretty sure folks in NYC can visit their Studio to purchase in person, the rest of us can order online.

Il Makiage – Another “underground” brand founded by a makeup artist with a massive makeup artist following, Il Makiage has weathered a few storms over the last few years and I’m glad to see they are still alive and kicking. They also have a multitude of beautiful colors for all skin tones. My favorites for the more richly hued beauties are;
2191 Mountain Beach (dusty coral), 2188 Indian Coral (rich coral), 2171 Bird of Paradise (rich terracotta), 2190 Mocha (pinky brown), 2208 Toucan (rich dusty rose), 2179 Current (serious pink… looks like too much but beautiful color on the skin), and my two favorites 2169 Aubergine (true Aubergine), and 2196 Raspberry

“But Tania, I don’t have time to try to track down these exotic pro brands”… I understand. Here’s the best of the mainstream;

Bobbi BrownPoppy (Deep Red), Cranberry (Deep Brownish Red), and the Pot Rouge cream blush in Chocolate Cherry.

Lancome – Yep, Lancome. They make a couple of great cream blushes that I use pretty often now. Chic Cassis (rich Plum/Aubergine color) and Retro Rogue (rich Currant-y red).

Nars – their selection of powder blushes isn’t great for darker tones but they have two amazing creme blushes; Turkish Red (coral red), and the mighty Montenegro (a rich, beautiful Mahagony).

Many of the organic/naturally derived brands have been slow in developing colors for all shades of people, however Korres has stepped up to the plate with two great blushes; 32- Purple Brown, and 22 – Purple. Both lean more towards a plum-y hue, and both are very pretty and wearable.

Last but not least for you Drugstore Divas, there are a few good options available in mass-market retailers

NYX – Other things in the line I would not be able to recommend, but their blushes are actually quite good. The blushes I’ve used are well pigmented and last for a good while. My color selects are Powders: Desert Rose (rosey pink), Cocoa (pinky brown), Copper and Pecan (brown with a reddish tinge) and Cream: Diva a dark, rich red with brown undertones.

Iman – Now available at select Targets and JCPenny, Iman gives you department store brand quality in a mass market store at a mass market price (about $11 each for the blushes). All four are great Peace (Plum), Sable (red tinged Brown), Allure (duo of Plum-y blush and a highlighter), and Posh (duo of a rose-y pink blush and a highlighter). There’s also a color on the website that I didn’t see in the store called Sunlit Copper. I already had a lot of Iman products in my kit, so during the shoot when I needed better blushes I bought Peace and Sable and I was good to go.