Monday, July 14, 2014

Contouring Options For Neutral, Fair to Light Medium Skin Tones

Contouring is something that I have long struggled with. Finding a contour placement I liked - not to mention the right color match, was more work than I had anticipated. I loved the effect it gave other people, but on me…There was something I was not doing right. No matter what I tried or how much I  would blend, I seemed to end up with two dark stripes that didn't blend properly with my blush or bronzer that day. 

Over time I found that placement is an individual preference, something I had to play with. But there were color options that could help me personally like the results.

Fair to light medium skin tones might find cooler browns or grays too garish in contrast to their skin color. For this reason, bronzers and even some neutral blushes or mauve-leaning blushes are often used to replace sculpting/contouring powders on the market.

Below are some of the contouring options I currently own. 

For reference I am a neutral, fair to light medium skin tone. My closest foundation matches by color are Bobbi Brown Cool Beige, NARS SG Ceylan and my closest match in MAC is NC15 though I don't tend to buy their foundation.

L-R NARS Contour Blush "Olympia", Bobbi Brown Illumninating Bronzing Powder "Telluride", NYX "Taupe" Blush, MAC "Sculpt" (below NYX Taupe), and Kevin Aucoin "The Sculpting Powder" in Medium

L-R Nars Olympia, Bobbi Brown Telluride

Top Left: NYX Taupe, Bottom Left: MAC Sculpt Right: Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder (Medium)

Swatches L-R: NYX Taupe, MAC Sculpt, KA Sculpting Powder, NARS Olympia, BB Telluride

I find the KA powder a little too dark so I have to use it sparingly and blend it out very well -or use it as a bronzer. MAC Sculpt is a touch warmer than I like for a contour, almost leaning peachy when I blend it out. I have just purchased NARS Olympia so I can't review it fully. But I like the idea of using it in conjunction with my current favorite contour BB Telluride, to blend out. It might be too light for me to use as a contour, and if that's the case I may use it as blush. It's a beautiful neutral rose beige. Keep in mind that while Telluride and Olympia look "rosy"or mauve in the swatch above, that is mainly in comparison to the other powders which are more warm/neutral. Also, the arm I swatched the powders on is a shade paler and cooler than the color of my face. On my face, Olympia and Telluride read more natural in tone.

What is your favorite product for contouring, and what is your skin tone? Any secret weapons or brushes that take the guesswork out of it for you? I may do a separate post on brushes I like in the future...

Sunday, July 1, 2012

NEW BLOG SALE!!! August-September 2013

Blog Sale RELAUNCHED! New Items as of 8/29/2013.  

NOTE: ONLY requests sent to will be read

Comments at the blog will not be considered requests!


SOLD Suqqu Matsukasa 03 palette (swatched twice. Comes in original box)

Dolce and Gabbana Blush "Rosebud" (Used three times. Includes original box, applicators+Plastic cover) *Color appears more vibrant in picture than in real life. It's a peachy pink.

SOLD. Hourglass Ambient Light Powder "Dim" Used 5 times. Still Domed.

 Missha BB Cream "Cho Bo Yang" Shade 1-Natural Beige.  Used twice.

SOLD MAC Lipstick "Viva Glam Nikki" (Satin). Used twice.

SOLD NARS Lipstick: "Vendanges"(applies more sheer than it looks in tube). Used twice.

SOLD MAC Bombshell Lipstick. Used app. 4-5 times.

SOLD MAC Mattene Lipstick- "Delectable". Used 3-4 times.

Sue Devitt Eye Intensifier Pencil "Ava". Sharpened twice at most.

PIGMENT by MAC - Teal (new Jar; 95% left)

Guidelines for Blog Sale:

  • You must have a Paypal Account
  • US Only Please, tho I may make exceptions for people I know well from the boards/blogs.
  • No refunds or exchanges
  • I will be as careful as possible in packaging items and provide you with a delivery confirmation; once the item leaves my hands, I cannot be responsible for the way the postal service handles mail. If any damage occurs in shipping, you agree that I am not responsible.
  • All items come as pictured.Please ask any questions you have about the product before you buy. Once the item has been shipped, it is yours.
  • I will delete products as they are bought, or mark them pending/sold.
  • First come, first served- if you're paying the price as listed
  • You are welcome to make alternative price offers at my email address, not in comments-but I am not guaranteeing that I will consider all offers. If someone offers full price right after you, and before I have accepted your offer in writing, you will lose the item and I will sell it to the person willing to pay the listed price. That said, if I have accepted your offer or already promised you the item before getting a better offer, I will honor that.
  • I will not hold the items for more than a couple of days. If you do not respond to an email or invoice sent to you/or if you do not pay within a couple of days the next person to request the items you wanted will have first dibs. If you do not reply promptly, you risk losing the item. My goal is to get these items to new homes asap.


    ONLY requests sent to will be read
    Comments at the blog will not be considered as requests!

    Info to Include with your request:

    When you email me with a request, please list the items you want as well as your full name and address AND the email associated with your paypal account. You are responsible for giving me a correct shipping address with your request. If an item is lost/stolen because you gave me the wrong address, please do not ask me for a refund. (there are no returns or exchanges).

    Please also let me know in the same email, if the address listed in your paypal info is different
    than your desired shipping address. I will reply to you promptly to let you know if anyone
    else has already sent a request/bought the item


    Shipping and handling/packaging. One item will be 4$ and more than one item will be $5.00 total (includes standard first class mail with delivery confirmation and packaging material, as well as pp fees). International delivery will likely be twice the amount ($8)
    • (SOLD) Suqqu Matsukasa 03 palette (swatched twice. Comes in original box) $45
    • Dolce and Gabbana Blush "Rosebud" (Used three times. Includes original box, applicators+Plastic cover) $28.00
    • (SOLD) Hourglass Ambient Light Powder "Dim" Used 5 times. Still Domed. $25.00
    • (SOLD) MAC Viva Glam Nikki  9$ 
    • (SOLD MAC Bombshell $7.50 
    • (SOLD) NARS Vendanges $7.50
    • (SOLD) MAC Delectable $7.50
    • MAC Pigment "Teal" (new-size jar) 95% left. 12$
    • Sue Devitt "Ava" 8$
    • Missha BB Cream 13$

    Sunday, December 6, 2009

    Pale lips and bronzy cheeks...

    Why is it that whenever I go to a makeup counter, I am always looking for that "perfect nude" lipstick..despite the fact that every nude lipstick in my 30+ years of life has either bored me to death or made me look as if I was at death's door?

    Why is it that despite my pale olivey-yellow acne prone complexion, I always take the time to admire the shimmery bronze-y blushes that only accentuate large pores? I always want to do a deep dark gray smoky eye, even though dark grays muddy my complexion. Inexplicably, so many of us are drawn to products that might be "trendy" at the moment, but completely clash with our own unique, individual features. I see far too many women trying to be "edgy" or fashionable in their bright neon tangerine lipstick, or chalky, uneven pasty pink lipgloss. And don't get me started on the spider lashes I have been spotting lately. I have yet to see anyone who actually looked good wearing any of that.

    I so admire women who don't like to get stuck in a rut, behind the times when it comes to style and fashion...My mom (and best friend) is always trying to see what's new and what she can try next to "update" her look. But she doesn't try to be someone she's not. And I think it's rubbed off on me; that's why I have always been ready to accept the "limits" of my own features/looks. Don't get me wrong. I will do dramatic eyeshadows and colors. I am bold with eyeshadows and lipsticks...probably bolder than I should be at times.
    Makeup washes off, and the only way you learn/know what's good on you is by testing it out.

    Test it all good lighting I might add. It's important.

    At some point you'll figure out what the limits are. The bottom line is...refuse to cross the line into fashion victim. I think style is about letting the best you come through...not the best label, not the best "current color trend"...the best you.

    Hope you all had a great weekend :) I will update soon with some favorite things...

    Sunday, November 29, 2009

    An introduction...and The Beauty Review Bandwagon (rant)

    Sorry this is a long one, I promise they won't be as long in the future!

    Hello out there! I was sitting here for the longest time thinking about how to begin this first blog and introduce you to what may be coming in future posts. I'll start with an intro to the blog: I am in my mid 30s ; took a break from makeup for 10 years, rediscovering in January of 2009. I have a very dull/monotonous day job and I was in a "funk" so to speak...seeking an outlet, a new hobby. Boards, blogs and youtube tutorials re-introduced me to makeup as an artform and creative outlet, and here I sit writing to you all with my very own blog. It's been an interesting year...where I have learned a lot about the workings of the internet message boards and tutorials...controversies and trends.

    I know there are *many* blogs out there now, and you may all think, what could possibly be the benefit of yet another one, coming from someone like me, who doesn't claim to be an expert of any kind? I am not offering an expert advice column. I won't be selling you stuff or accepting gifts or even having contests and giveaways (uh oh did I just lose all of you? lol). This isn't going to be my side business...I already (co-)own a business (non-beauty related) and wouldn't have the energy or time to start something on the internet. This is just my corner of the web to discuss the looks, trends, products that inspire me, make a real difference for me/enhance my life, and even to discuss the "beauty industry" on the web. I may even be critiquing some "themes" in selling makeup *gasp*! So if you have a problem with rants/ warned.

    And with that, I will begin with a post I put up for discussion on one particular beauty board on the net, that drew up some heated discussions. Please do tell me what you think.


    Lately it seems like a bunch of you-tubers and beauty bloggers will all decide to review the same product around the time at least 10 others have already reviewed it. How many reviews saying the same thing do we really need to see? Honestly, if peeps had something *new* to add to the conversation that's one thing....but to just say what everyone else has already said? Why?

    I think that's why I am becoming skeptical of product reviews from anyone...even trusted sources for tips/tricks etc. If everyone starts hyping something I start to think "they must be getting free product for good reviews". Seriously, take the case of Sigma brushes. I have nothing against them, and in fact I have ordered from them before and just did again. It's just one example lately....I am not trying to accuse anyone of anything. I am not saying that "gurus" are lying. I am just saying that the redundancy is making me skeptical and turning me off to product reviews in general... I am skipping blogs and vids and such because of it.

    I do appreciate all the effort and time that so many put into reviews/tuts/blogs and I usually love watching them. I am just starting to feel like sometimes things are over-promoted...overly starts to feel like a never ending infocommercial when you see the same review 30 times from 30 different people. I know some have said "I don't have to review anything I don't why would I lie?"....that's not my issue and I am not accusing anyone of doing anything malicious. All I ask is before doing a review, do a search on youtube or google...or just check out your fellow bloggers/youtubers to see what they have been up to...Just check on how many other people have already done that review-and said basically the same thing- recently.

    I think it's obvious that some bloggers and "gurus" are sent a lot of stuff for free...I mean where do you buy OCC liptars or Sigma brushes? They were new products/brands that needed to get word of mouth going, so they sent freebies to people. And there's nothing wrong with people accepting that IMO as long as they are honest about it...As some have said they don't "have to" review a product or hype it if they hate it.

    Example: It's especially funny when a bunch of them get something before it's even available to the public and act as though they paid their own money for it. I do think it makes a difference as to whether you think something is "worth getting" for the quality...when you have to pay for it with hard earned cash. I am far less critical about a product I receive as a gift than I am about something that cost me a lot and ended up being mediocre, at best. And sure I am going to be enthused by someone sending me a gift for free..I might get so excited I would write a great review before really using that gift for very long.

    There are some gurus/bloggers who deal with/promote an online retailer that sends them stuff quick and for free, but take months to send a product to the cash-paying customer (if they ever send it at all)...I see several gurus touting an online retailer that has terrible customer history according to posts I have come across on Specktra. Some of them just aren't dealing with the same "reality" that the cash paying public has to deal with...jmo

    I also  love how some are bent out of shape about having to reveal what they get for free...The reaction by and large seems to be "It's so stupid because you all know by now that I am honest with you always"...welllll

    #1 Nope, don't know them personally, and a review IS different when you have to pay your hard earned cash
    #2 If you're honest, you shouldn't have a problem telling us when it's free

    Again, I don't think there is anything wrong with reviewing products that were sent for free. It's the hype that seems to come along with that trend that bothers me. With the example of the 88 palette or the OCC liptars or even Sigma brushes...they aren't available in stores. So we go on the word of "gurus" and bloggers who have been sent the products to "try out". I respect and understand that we all have different tastes/expectations and what you might like I may not...really I do get that. But say ONE gave it a good review. And then 10 or 20 other reviewers did too...and some of them suggest these products are the best thing since sliced bread...It becomes like "wow that must be really amazing stuff, I've GOT to try it". That's where the hype really grabs at people and gets them to purchase stuff/try stuff that ends up being....less than great in some eyes. It's not that anyone was "lying" but the power of hype, without criticism really misleads people.

    But maybe, just maybe, a product isn't "perfect" in every way. Maybe a brush or two they got has shed several hairs...for example. Maybe the pigmentation or texture was off on some items...and not others. Maybe there was a funny scent. Maybe the company didn't package the items well and they were bent on arrival and had to be reordered. What if that information was left out of a review because "overall" a guru liked the products or the people who sold them. What if they just don't want to hurt the feelings of these new entrepreneurs who are so excited and so kind to ship their products for free? Now that's where it gets tricky for me. The hype gets passed on and some of the truth doesn't get passed along with it. That's all I want: the whole truth. I swear that some of the reviews online of Sigma brushes are scripted LOL! They all say the same thing....the same way...Sooo strange. Again, I think the biggest issue is just people repeating glowing reviews that have already been done 44 times before, and not adding any new info....I think the people with the wider audiences are usually the first to do the reviews and that's great. But why are there 20 copycats after the fact? I have to think it's probably because they're trying to get free stuff.

    I have sensed a sort of "entitlement" from attitide of "well just skip it then"...As if I didn't think of that already? There was a time when I liked watching vids and now I don't because of the redundancy of those types of infomercials. I hope it isn't wrong to say I wish things were different so I can watch/enjoy vids again.

    Ok phew. Just getting that off my chest. Trust me I am not one to rant THIS much too often, and I don't take this hobby so seriously. It's just the one thing that I really wanted to speak out about. With that out of the way, I can assure you that in the future this is gonna be a FUN place lol.

    You don't have to agree with me, but please do try to respectfully disagree ;)