#MakeupMonday – Strobing – What It Is What it Ain’t

makeup to go blog strobing ellis faas glow up powder

Ellis Faas Cosmetics Glow Up Powder S501
Perfect for the Strobing Technique


So strobing.

Yet another “makeup trend” for folks to follow. And of course, as with any makeup trend, there are certain products that are “must haves” in order to achieve the look and then once you get one set of “must have” products another set comes along telling you that you “must have” those too.

In all likelihood, if you have a complete makeup kit either for yourself or for your use as an artist, you already own a number of things that can be used to Strobe, so let’s break down what it is, what it isn’t, how it works best, and what you do need in order to accomplish the look.

What Is Strobing?

Basically Strobing is using highlight to sculpt and emphasize bone structure. It’s the “softer side” of the (overworked) Contour craze that has been trending in makeup for a while now. What “Strobing” isn’t is new, in any way, shape or form. As with Contouring, artists have been doing this since forever. And as with a good Contour job, Strobing takes a deft hand because it can quickly go awry when done incorrectly. The point is to create subtle highlights, not to look like you’re oily or worse, covered in glitter. My favorite video demonstrating the technique doesn’t even call it Strobing. Here makeup artist extraordinare Ellis Faas demonstrates the technique as she’s introducing her Glow Up powder.

and obviously if you want a more extreme strobe, you can just apply more product. If you do that, however, you’ll need to be VERY precise in your application lest you end up looking like you hit the chicken shack full force.

If we’re using the term, I guess, I “strobed” this model. Again, I didn’t call it “strobing” but I wanted to bring out her bone structure without the use of Contour. Truth be told, I’m far more into this look than I am the heavy contour look. I think this look is lighter, fresher and more modern.

makeup to go blog strobing what it is

© K. Szatmari
Makeup by Tania D. Russell

What Products do I Need to Strobe?

So you like Strobing and want to add it to your technique arsenal? It’s as simple as reaching for your nearest Illuminator/Highlighter. That’s it. No special product required. Here are the illuminators/Highlighters I currently have in my rotation:

makeup to go blog strobing hourglass ambient lighting palette
1 ) Hourglass – Ambient Lighting Palette
I professed my love for this palette in a previous post and I still love it. I can use this highly versatile palette of subtle sheen anywhere on the face to create a pretty glow that is never overly sparkly. And with three colors in a palette, I always have the right shade for whomever I may be working on.

makeup to go blog strobing becca cosmetics shimmering skin perfector® powder
2 ) Becca Cosmetics – Shimmering Skin Perfector®
Like the Ambient Lighting powders, Becca Cosmetics Shimmering Skin Perfector® pressed powders are finely milled and apply like velvet. I would say these are a bit more shimmery than the Ambient Lights, particularly depending on what color you get. I tend to like Highlighters/Illuminators that are more nude-y so I can use them all over the face (and on a wider range of skintones). I have the Shimmering Skin Perfector® in Moonstone, which is a pale gold, and Topaz, which is a golden bronze. The latter I use on deeper complexions and the former I use on fairer complexions.

makeup to go blog strobing kevyn aucoin celestial lights powder
3 ) Kevyn Aucoin – The Celestial Powder
The Celestial Powder is almost difficult to describe. You remember in Old Hollywood how they allegedly used to put Vaseline™ on the lens in order to diffuse the image and give the actress a “glow”. The Celestial Powder is that glow in a compact. It’s a truly beautiful product. It is lightweight, almost suede-like in feel, and adds a subtle but present highlight to any area applied. If memory serves it only comes in one color – Candlelight – which as the name suggests gives the skin a beautiful candle lit glow.

Sadly I do not actually own Ellis Faas’ Glow Up powder, so I cannot speak to it. I already have too many products of this type to justify purchasing it. If anyone out there has the Glow Up powder, hit the Comments and let us all know how it is 🙂

PRO TIP: Any pro quality powder cosmetic can also be applied damp to intensify the color and effect. So if you want a more intense highlighting effect, simply apply with a slightly dampened brush. Be sure to let your product dry completely before closing it so it doesn’t warp or get moldy.

makeup to go blog strobing NARS cosmetics copacabana multiples
4 ) Nars – The Multiples – Copacabana
NARS is really doing the most with The Multiples nowadays. The Multiples is one of NARS oldest and most successful products in their brand, but now they have new Matte Multiples and all these bizarre colors, and this that and the third. Needless to say I’ll have to visit a boutique soon and see what all that is about. In the meantime as far as strobing needs are concerned, I would look no further than Copacabana which is a nude-y sheen-y color texture. It has long been my favorite Multiple by a mile (I love Malibu as well but it’s the wrong color for our purposes right now). A cream product can give you stronger “Strobing” action than most powders will, and in fact it can be layered with powder.

makeup to go blog strobing all over shimmer liquid stila cosmetics
5 ) Stila Cosmetics – All Over Shimmer Liquid
A liquid will potentially give you the most strobing action of any product type. You can apply lightly for a subtle sheen, or you can go for it and kick up the bright lights. Use With Caution! Stila’s All Over Shimmer has long been favorite of mine for giving pronounced highlighting action without being sparkly. It used to be available in a truly nude color (#1), but unfortunately that color is no longer. Of the available options, I’d recommend Kitten.

makeup to go blog strobing moonbeam highbeam benefit cosmetics
Honorable Mention: Benefit Cosmetics Moonbeam and HighbeamMoonbeam is an iridescent apricot color, and Highbeam is an iridescent pearl color. They are a little bit more glittery than the All Over Shimmer liquid, and they can also be either applied for subtle sheen or for all out shine.

makeup to go blog strobing becca cosmetics shimmering skin perfector® liquid
Honorable Mention 2: Nowadays I actually use Becca Cosmetics liquid version of their Shimmering Skin Perfector®. It’s a more subtle sheen (less sparkly), but also buildable and Pearl is a perfect nude-y white sheen color.

PRO TIP: I would not use a liquid highlighter/illuminator around the eyes. I’m sure people have, but I cannot imagine what that would feel like if you accidentally got some in your eyes. I’ll stick to powders around the eyes. Do not say I did not warn you.

makeup to go blog strobing ben nye lumiere powder
5 ) Ben Nye – Lumiere Powder

If you are tired of playing games and want intense sheen and highlight, this is the product for you. This is a theatrical makeup, so it’s meant to withstand lights and read from off stage. AKA – it’s strong: Proceed with caution. That said, this has been one of my favorite products which I’ve kept in my Kit for years and years.

How Do I Strobe?

I don’t make tutorial videos (yet… we’ll see in the future), but I would say the video I posted from Ellis Faas is a good outline. The areas you’ll want to highlight are;

– Brow Bone
– Inner eye corners
– **tops of the cheekbone**
– **center of the nose**
– and possibly the cupids bow of the lips (use a light hand as that highlight sometimes just looks sweaty)

Ms. Faas also did the center of the lower eyelid in order to further accentuate the Orbital Bone, and I like to do the center of the forehead (as long as there is no breakout or whathaveyou) and right above the brows to further accentuate the temples.

You’ll note both of the brushes she used were rather small. This is important so as to maintain control of your product instead of your product going all over and controlling you. I recommend brushes such as;

makeup to go blog strobing bdellium tools maestro 939 brush
Bdellium Tools – Maestro 939 Angled Detailer which is a small, angled detail brush for precise application on the nose, cheeks, etc.

and

makeup to go blog strobing bdellium tools maestro 780 brush
Bdellium Tools – Maestro 780 Pencil for the inner eye corners. “Pencil” brushes are short, dense hair brushes that allow for clean application of product in that difficult inner eye area. I also like Pencils for smokey eyes so I get smokey eyes not Out Of Control raccoon eyes.

Bare in mind also that different products are better for different skin types and conditions. If you have really perfect skin without a lot of texture, you can use pretty much whatever you want, as strongly as you want. However if you have acne, wrinkles, enlarged pores, or any other type of skin texture issue, shimmer will accentuate the texture so less is more. For more mature skin I love the Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Powder. For skin with a lot of texture, I like the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector® Liquid or the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders.

Have you tried the Strobing phenomenon? How did it go? Let us know in Comments, or better yet, send in a picture!

—-
Have you signed up for the Makeup to Go Blog newsletter yet? Join the fun for exclusive content, contests, and other assorted fabulosity! Makeup to Go Blog Newsletter – “Speaking of Makeup”

#MakeupWerks – Bisous Magazine Metallics Editorial

You speak, I listen. Amongst the requests I get most often for the blog is to see more of my work. As most freelancers I am all about shameless self promotion so I am happy to oblige! ;). Let’s start with a breakdown of my Bisous Magazine Metallics Editorial, currently in the Spring 2014 edition.

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco makeup lessons tania d russell its okay to metal beauty editorial bisous magazine metallics editorial

© K. Szatmari / KSZPhotos
Makeup only by Tania D. Russell
Spring 2014 Bisous Magazine
click the dots for product info


This editorial is in the current (Spring 2014) edition of Bisous Magazine (click to go to the magazine). Clearly the theme for this shoot was metallics makeup. I wanted to keep the makeup looking like metal rather than going in a glittery direction so I used a lot of product in non-traditional ways. You can click around the photos for some examples of what I used and where. For the skin, I also wanted to maintain a creamy, “molten” texture. I worked primarily with liquids/creams to maintain the texture and not let the skin get matte but I also did not want the skin to fly into a shiny direction. From there Kate worked her magic by desaturating the skin/hair tones so that the focus stayed on the makeup. Hair was done by the amazing Caile Noble (represented by Jed Root). Funny Side Note: We could not book a manicurist for this shoot so guess who whipped out her trusty Black nail polish. This Girl! LOL!

Many thanks to all of the fabulous cosmetics lines I used for this shoot:

KOH GEN DO Maifanshi Moisture Foundation
KOH GEN DO Maifanshi Liquid Treatment Concealer
KOH GEN DO Maifanshi Face Powder
BECCA COSMETICS Shimmering Skin Perfector
LORAC Pro Eyeshadow Palette
ELLIS FAAS Ellis Eyes Lights
STILA COSMETICS Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eyeshadow
URBAN DECAY Eyeshadows
NARS Eyeliner and Lipcolor
GIVENCHY Magic Kohl Eyeliner
DOLCE GABBANA Glam Liner Intense Liquid Eyeliner
PAUL AND JOE Lipstick
OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE COSMETICS Nail Lacquer
– A few other “secret products” I didn’t list in the magazine. LOL
and good ol’ MAYBELLINE GREAT LASH Mascara cos that’s my favorite!

Tania D. Russell is a career media makeup artist based in Los Angeles and working throughout the West Coast. Her clients include WalMart, BCBGeneration, Toyota and Pottery Barn Teen and her work has been seen in publications such as Elle Sweden, Marie Claire UK, InStyle Magazine, TeenProm and Runner’s World. You can see her media makeup website at Makeupwerks.com , which she promises to update at some point this Millennia…

#MakeupMonday – In Praise of Coral Lip Colors

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco makeup lessons tania d russell tricia lee pascoe sarah coral lip colors

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.)

Soft

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco makeup lessons tania d russell clinique chubby stick intense moisturizing lip balm heftiest hibiscus coral lip colors
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.

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco makeup lessons tania d russell smashbox be legendary lipgloss melondrama coral lip colors
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.

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco makeup lessons tania d russell three custom colors light brights danceteria coral lip colors
THREE CUSTOM COLOR SPECIALISTS Light Brights – Danceteria
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.

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco makeup lessons tania d russell bobbi brown cosmetics lipgloss tangerine coral lip colors
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.

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco makeup lessons tania d russell tarte cosmetics power pigment tipsy coral lip colors
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.

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco makeup lessons tania d russell dior addict fluid stick mirage coral lip colors
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.

Strong

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco makeup lessons tania d russell stila cosmetics color balm avery coral lip colors
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.

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco makeup lessons tania d russell revlon coralberry lipstick coral lip colors
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.)

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco makeup lessons tania d russell revlon matte lip balm audacious coral lip color
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.

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco makeup lessons tania d russell obsessive compulsive cosmetics grandma coral lip colors
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.

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco makeup lessons tania d russell hourglass cosmetics velvet lipstick muse coral lip colors
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 😉

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco makeup lessons tania d russell limecrime velvetines suedeberry coral lip colors
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.

Sale Alert: Stila Warehouse Sale Summer 2012 Edition

20120717-095921.jpg stila warehouse sale summer 2012

Stila has announced that their Warehouse Sale is upcoming July 28th. This is not one of their online “warehouse” sales. This is the big mamma jamma Stila Warehouse Sale Summer 2012, in an actual warehouse in Downtown LA where you walk in with cash (or credit card) in hand and you walk out with product in hand at incredible prices. I have come to think of the Warehouse Sale as being a Holiday season event, but actually I do think the first one I (unsuccessfully) went to might have been in the Summer…I do not know if this means there will be another Warehouse Sale this winter or if this is your one shot at greatness for 2012 (the physical Warehouse Sale has historically been a once-a-year event).

In any event Stila fanatics from all over will start lining up in the wee hours to catch these amazing deals. By the afternoon the line is crazy long, your wait will be long (hours) and if you do get in most of the real goodies will be sold out (what happened to me that first unsuccessful trip). In my opinion the best way to be a part of the event is to embrace it with a spirit of adventure, grab some buddies and lawn chairs and line up at 6am, and get while the gettin is good!

(sorry for any type-os…this post is being sent remotely from my iPad)

#MakeupMonday – Favorite Lip Glosses 2012

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco makeup lessons favorite lip glosses 2012

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:


makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco makeup lessons three custom color perfectly pink palette favorite lip glosses 2012
– 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.


makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco makeup lessons nyx cosmetics mega shine lip gloss favorite lip glosses 2012
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.


makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco makeup lessons smashbox lip enhancing lip gloss favorite lip glosses 2012
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.


makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco makeup lessons 100 percent pure lip gloss favorite lip glosses 2012
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.


makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco makeup lessons stila cosmetics lip glaze favorite lip glosses 2012
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.


makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco makeup lessons nars cosmetics lip gloss favorite lip glosses 2012

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.