Monday, March 24, 2014

My new go-tos and obsession with Bésame

Bésame merlot
So in my world wide search to find a lipstick that is so dark red it's almost black (with no purple undertones) I came across a brand in Portland called Bésame. And their whole product line has a vintage flair to it that of course I fell head over heels for. With them I found the color "Merlot" that is about as close as I have come to the holy grail. Until I'm able to try Melt Cosmetics 6six6, Merlot takes the lead.

...On a side note, I think I may venture into the creating of my own makeup line to satisfy these color urges and because I am so deeply impressed and inspired by brands like Portland Black Lipstick Company. I already have a name for it, but I'm going to keep that a surprise for now... 

Anyway, last weekend I made a quick trip to Southern California where I hung out with my twin, bleached my roots, and hunted down the Bésame shop in Burbank. I picked up the Crimson cheek and lip Rouge, as well as their foundation (which I think was way cheaper than 38 dollars at the shop...) and their limited edition Black Liquorice Lip that smells and tastes like black liquorice. Also pictured is the Violet Brightening face powder, and my Valentine's Day gift from my twin, the "You Suck" makeup bag! The Violet Brightening powder is a loose powder, that I'm slightly regretting purchasing as I realize I am absolutely rubbish when it comes to actively using anything I buy that is loose powder. Naturally though, when I purchased it in Portland, there wasn't a pressed version, and of course now there is..

Bésame Crimson cheek and lip Rouge
So my basic go-to routine now includes mostly Bésame products and lighter brows. I finally found a brow product that I don't feel like eventually oxidizes and turns green. Now, that whole obnoxious green thing may have been all in my head, but here's a list of products that I thought made them a little green: dipbrow pomade in "blonde," wet n wild brow/liner pencil in "taupe," and unfortunately Make Up Forever's aqua brow. The product that I have been using, I bought from the Pinup Clothing Boutique, also in Burbank, and it is the color "Blondie" by Brett Freedman. They had an even lighter color called "Blondest" but I felt like it fell into the green brow category, which was unfortunate.

Now here's a lil' list of all the products I'm wearing in this last photo:

  • Bésame "bisque" foundation. It has a delightful satin finish that you can set with powder if you are feeling the matte groove that has taken over.
  • Bésame Crimson cheek and lip Rouge, on both my lips and my cheeks. Maybe it is because I work for Benefit where the Benetint cheek and lipstain revolutionized the world (obviously,) but I find it ever so flattering when ones cheeks happen to have the same flush as ones lips.
  • Sephora brand liquid liner. Now this is a serious love affair that I have searched far and wide for, it ties with MAC's liquidlast liner for liquid liner's that have changed my life. It is by far the deepest black I have come across in liquid liner's, and, now this is important, it is the non waterproof version with the precision brush. Gets very precise and comes off easy. (pro-tip, precision brushes will be precise and non waterproof things will come off easy...)
  • Brett Freedman's Vanity Mark Brow pencil in Blondie.
  • Lash Curler I bought for two dollars at Daiso that is better than the Shiseido lash curler I bought (Shi is still a close second.)
  • The Maybelline waterproof colossal lash mascara that really was a game changer for me.
  • Classic BADgal lash by Benefit layered on top!
Seven products, not so bad! However that doesn't include all the moisturizers and sunblocks and eyecreams and whatnots that I certainly have on underneath it all. Benefit is coming out with a sunscreen that I am all too stoked on and so when that drops I will dedicate an entire post to my skin care routine.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Highlighters for Fair Skin

highlighers for fair skinSo, when I say I'm "fair," what I mean is I'm pale. Very pale. Having to mix white pigment into most foundations in order to make them work.

This post was inspired by an Instagram back and forth between one of the beautiful women I follow @cherryvixen89 and myself, where she posted a question asking about highlighters for the fairer flesh. And I proceeded to probably overwhelm her with my response, but hopefully it wasn't too overwhelming. 

I love highlighters. Since I've been employed with Benefit Cosmetics for almost three years now, this affinity has just grown. I came into this job with my favorite product, ever, being a pretty little highlighter called High Beam. So in honor  of Instagram and @cherryvixen89 and highlighter lovers everywhere, here is a post about my favorites!

highlighter swatchOn my arm(left side, with flash, right side without, and going left to right/top to bottom) I swarched Nars "Copacabana," Benefit Cosmetics "High Beam," also by Benefit (and a tie for my absolute favorite,) "Watts Up" (other tie for favorite,) Too Faced's "Candlelight Glow," one of my very first pieces of makeup ever, MAC mineralized skin finish in "Porcelain Pink," and last but not least, a forever favorite and now discontinued high-lighter, bronzer duo by Benefit "10." (Also pictured is Benefit's "One Hot Minute" loose powder bronzer)
highlighter swatch

Creamy liquid base:
Nars "Copacabana" is very similar in both texture and color to Benefit's "High Beam." Copacabana is a bit more of a liquid and High Beam a bit more of a gel with a slightly thicker texture. Both are great when you need a buffer to blend a cheek stain, my current favorite being Lollitint, into. Copacabana definitely dries more silver and High Beam more pink. 

Watts Up by Benefit. Cream to powder stick. A soft champagne color. Gorgeous on almost all skintones, so easy to use. Has a blendy sponge on one side if you don't feel like blending with your fingers, because that's crazy... 

Generally, when I'm doing a full face of makeup on someone and I want to add a bit of highlight, I find powder to be the easiest to work with. You just sorta throw it on le face with a brush and you don't have to really worry about the application. Whereas with a more liquid base, you sorta have to press it on so as not to smudge off the face you just made. 


Too Faced Candlelight Glow
Two Faced, "candlelight glow" is radiant. It has a bit of a gold finish, one side is white and one side is pink, but it is nowhere near to a rosey blush. This was basically everything I was looking for. I wanted a damn powder highlighter that didn't have a bronzer attached. 

"Porcelain Pink" skinfinish by MAC was honestly one of the first makeup purchased I ever made, outside of lipsticks. I was led to this product, about ten years ago (yikes) by someone I ghost-followed on livejournal, who is still one of my favorite bloggers Keiko, who I still stalk, ten years later, on if you aren't already following her, I suggest it. She's pretty famous now, but still sweet and humble. Anyway! I think the product she used was called "petticoat"(maybe?) and as I've always been more of a highlighter gal than a bronzey gal, I gravitated towards porcelain pink instead. Now, she is very very subtle, a very very soft pink that is a wonderful first piece of face makeup! It definitely has a warmer tone to it, in my professional opinion. 

Benefit Cosmetics 10And last but not least, Benefit Cosmetic's now discontinued "10." Powder soft silvery pink on one side, and a VERY VERY light bronzer on the other. To quote Benefit, "a highlighter and bronzer in one sexy swoop!" 
Lilly Munster

Next on my blog to do list is a post on bronzers and how to contour fairer skin without looking dirty! However I always just want to find a bronzer that is grey so that I may have Lilly Munster cheekbones! 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

With love, from Portland: Portland Black Lipstick Company

On Saturday evening I returned from a week and half vacation to the beautiful city of Portland, Oregon. I stayed with my wonderful cousin Ayla, and was supposed to be in Spokane, Washington for part of the trip to visit with my friend and her new baby. Unfortunately, even though I specifically said she had better have her baby by the time I got there(jokes,) she was still quite pregnant during my visit. (She did actually end up having a little girl on the 27th of February, and I am pleased as punch to report that, despite my sadness at just missing her.) So poor Ayla had to put up with me for ten whole days. Luckily she is one of my best friends so hopefully she didn't want to murder me in the night too much..

portland black lipstick companyAnyway, a lot of my trip I spent just sorta exploring the city, which was gorgeous. Everyone kept saying I had come at a terrible time, which was probably true, because it was winter. Now, don't get me wrong, it was pretty damn cold, but I love gloomy weather. Truth be told, living in San Francisco, my favorite times are when it is foggy out. Don't get me wrong, the days in Portland when it was sunny, I was probably in better spirits, but there is something that will always be romantic to me about weather that is a touch melodramatic.

For this post, I would like to talk about the scavenger hunt I went on to find a certain brand of lipstick that I assumed would be easy to find, Portland Black Lipstick Company. During my hunt, I managed to track down three shops that carried this amazing lipstick: Yo Vintage, which has most of them, Blush Beauty Bar, which mainly carrier their reds, and Wells and Verne, which had a few of the staples.

Words cannot describe how amazing these lipsticks are. They are so pigmented it is out of this world. I found about this brand a year or two ago from one of my friends (it was either my twin Ashley or my old coworker Tiara,) and my wonderful twin was the one who reminded me to look for them while I was visiting.

portland black lipstick company
It was a pretty hilarious thing to do, to search a city for lipstick, but it was so very, very worth it. The colors I ended up taking home with me: the classic Black, which is the most pigmented black I have come across to date. Difficult Island, the color of a bright piece of turquoise with a touch of glitter. Lux et Voluptas, which is a soft pink with a gold shimmer that seems to radiate off of it. Artificial Amethyst,  a metallic dark purple with a bit of glitter to it. I also bought Gilded Lilly(a gold, as I've been searching for a gold lipstick my whole life) and Indigo Bridge, a dark metallic blue with a bit of glitter, similar to that of Artificial Amethyst, in my humble opinion, these last two I have yet to test out.

The black I have pictured first was straight from the tube, a Chapstick style design, my only complaint about these amazing creations, as it makes application a little tricky. But to be honest, I like a bit of a challenge, and I think for anything that is this amazing, a person should have to work a little harder for.

The second picture of the black is five hours of wear without any touch ups, and after eating dinner and pie.
Portland Black Lipstick Company

These lipsticks are all natural, and as each of the three owners of the three shops I found them at, "made in the kitchen of the house of the woman who makes them." Two thumbs way, way up for this fantastic company and their amazing product.

artificial amethyst

lux et voluptas
difficult island

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Blonde hair, red lips. Charcoal eyes and Monroe hips.  Lots of opinions, lover of the macabre.