Make a Wish: Benefit Dandelion Review

benefit_dandelion

You did that thing with dandelions when you were a kid, right? Snatch one out of the ground, make a wish and blow on it. Nature’s birthday candle or some shit. I don’t remember any of those wishes coming true, but as an adult, I’ve found a dandelion that actually does something. It’s Benefit’s Dandelion cheek color, and I love it.

Benefit calls it a pressed highlighting powder, but I mainly use it as a blush because I am a rebel. It’s a gorgeous pale pink with a little bit of shimmer. It’s not bright, but not so light that it doesn’t show up. I find it to be really flattering on light and light-medium skin tones as a blush and on medium skin as a subtle highlighter. It’s not the best color for dark skin, unless you only want a very, very subtle highlight.

I also think it is great for light skin with pink undertones and for people with rosacea on their cheeks. A bright pink blush on someone with pink undertones or rosacea can emphasize the pink/red tones, but Dandelion doesn’t have that effect because it is such a soft pink. Because it is meant to be a highlighter, it is subtle, so it’s also a good choice for someone who is wary about cheek color or likes a very natural look.

My only gripe with the product is that it fades more quickly than other powder cheek colors, but that’s nothing a little touchup can’t fix. And I have noticed a big difference with Dandelion’s staying power when I use a primer under my foundation and a setting spray on top. When I do that, I really don’t even need to touch up.

Benefit makes several boxed blushes/highlighters/bronzers, and I have liked all of them that I have tried. They used to have covers that completely came off, but now the covers are attached, which I like. I am prone to losing caps and covers, so if you are too (or if you like to have your blush with you for touchups), the cover is a good feature. All of the boxed products come with small square brushes, which I don’t recommend using, unless you are really in a pinch. The line of bristles is thin and the handle is short, so it’s easy to end up with a line of product on your face. You’re better off using a fluffy brush or contour brush, depending on what you product you are using and what effect you are going for.

The packing is cute and fits the image of the product, which is something Benefit excels at. There are many lines that have the same packaging for all of their products, but Benefit tends to customize the packaging for each product. If you like to use products that look good on your skin and are pretty to look at, this is a great line to check out.

Dandelion is $28 and can be purchased at Sephora. The product would probably last for 8-12 months, depending on how often you use it. If your wish is for a subtle, soft pink cheek color, give Dandelion a try.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

 

 

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Are You Blushing?

Want that “glow from within” look? Then you, my friend, should consider cream blush.

Cream blush, especially when layered between liquid foundation and powder, gives your cheeks a gorgeous, soft focus glow. I can’t think of anyone this wouldn’t be flattering on. Cream blush is great for dry or mature skin, and it also works on oily skin (as long as you set it with a powder blush).

Here’s how I do it:

After most of eye makeup is done, I put on a primer on my skin (if you aren’t oily and/or don’t have a problem with face makeup fading, you can skip this step). While the primer is setting in, I do my mascara. Foundation goes on next. I either use a sheer foundation, like a MAC or Make Up For Ever Face & Body foundation, or I use a medium coverage foundation, like Make Up For Ever HD Foundation. Sometimes I use a medium-heavy coverage foundation, like NARS Sheer Glow, and cut it with some Face & Body. Whatever you choose, as long as it is liquid, you’ll get the desired “glowing” result. I use my hands to apply the foundation, then I buff it into the skin. My absolute favorite brush for that is the Real Techniques Buffing Brush.

Next, I apply cream blush to the apples of my cheeks, using my fingers and blending slightly upward onto the cheekbones. I love Sonia Kashuk Creme Blushes, MAC Cremeblend Blushes and Make Up For Ever HD blushes.

If I have used a Face & Body only, I then go over the entire face with Benefit Hello Flawless powder foundation. I use my Buffing Brush to press the Hello Flawless onto the skin. I avoid buffing it at this point, especially over the cheeks, because I don’t want to move the cream blush. Cream blush is a slippery little fella, that’s just the nature of the product.

If I have used a fuller coverage foundation, I do the same step, but I use a powder instead of Hello Flawless. My current favorite powders are Make Up For Ever Super Matte Loose Powder , MAC Blot Powder and Rimmel Stay Matte Powder.

After that, I apply my contour (usually Benefit Hoola or NARS Laguna). Then comes the powder blush. I most often reach for Make Up For Ever Sculpting Blush, NARS Blush or MAC Powder Blush in a peach or pink shade. Adding that layer of powder blush amps up the cream blush and kind of seals it into place. I have oily skin, and I find that my cheek color really stays on when I do this. Not to mention, people always seem to compliment my “glowing” skin when I do this look.

Cream blush is ideal for dry winter skin, and a pretty, glowing look is perfect for Valentine’s Day. Give it a try!

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Thank God For My Cousins: Sonia Kashuk Brushes & Products Review

Sonia Kashuk, Target
A line worth checking out.

There are a lot of makeup lines out there and new products are constantly released.  I would very much like to try them all.  If I wanted to do just that all day (and I do!) I probably wouldn’t be able to do anything else. So until I am the position to do nothing but try new products all day–at which point I probably will have died and gone to heaven–I rely on recommendations from friends, family, clients, fellow bloggers, other makeup artists, and beauty publications.

Whenever I do a woman’s makeup, I ask her what she normally uses.  I don’t do this to tear apart, judge, or to suggest other products.  Rather, I ask about her favorites so I can try them. If someone really raves about an eyeliner, or I hear a bunch of people praise a certain bronzer, you can be damn sure I’m going to get it.

I first heard of the Sonia Kashuk line about five years ago. My cousin, Brooke, got me a Sonia brush kit for my birthday. Brooke had tried a Sonia brush before and liked it and thought I would too. She was right, as Virogs often are. The brushes came in a white travel case and to this day, the blush brush that came in that kit is my favorite. It’s super soft, distributes color evenly and doesn’t shed.  The Sonia brushes, if they are taken care of properly, last for a while.

My cousin Maria lives in New York City, and she is the one who got me into the Sonia products.  She finds these amazing products at Space.NK http://www.spacenk.com/home.do and sends them to me.  How great is she?!?!

Below is a list and review of the Sonia products I currently have:

Beautifying Blush in Lilly:  This is one of the most used powder blushes in my kit.  It’s a warm pinky peach that looks amazing on medium and olive skin tones. As long as there is a primer underneath, it lasts for a while. It’s well pigmented, but not to the point where it’s too much.  It’s very buildable, so you can choose how intense you want the color to be.

Beautifying Blush in Flamingo: This powder blush is a cool pink shade that really brings a pop of color to the cheeks. I reach for it often when I am doing a purple eye makeup look, as it balances out the look and doesn’t clash with the purples.  See “Lilly” description for pigment and length of wear.

Creme Blush in Rosey: I think the shade name is a little deceiving.  I’d call it “Peachy”, or maybe “Peachy-Rosey”, but who am I to judge? This blush is easy to blend (it doesn’t grab onto the skin then dry and not budge, like some cream blushes) and it gives a gorgeous flush to the cheeks. I’ve found this shade to be flattering on several skintones.  Like many cream blushes, it can fade quicker than powders, but I’ve found that layering it really helps.

Lip Palette in Shimmering Sorbet: This lip palette includes five colors–shimmery apricot, light toffee brown, mid-tone pink, coral and berry. The apricot and pink are on the sheer side and the brown, coral, and berry are more pigmented. This palette has a great color selection and the formulas do not feel sticky. They do tend to dry out my lips a little, but that might just be me. As far as length of wear, they fall somewhere in the middle–they don’t come right off, but they’re  not especially long-lasting either.

Eye Shadow Quad in Smoke in Your Eyes: This is my most used eye shadow quad. It contains a dark gray, a cream, a mid-tone gray and a chocolate brown. The brown is absolutely gorgeous and flattering on many eye color/skintone combos. The two grays are great for a smoky effect. The cream works well as base or a highlight.  The shadows are well pigmented and as long as you use a primer underneath (which I do with all shadows, no exceptions) they last all day.

Eye Shadow Quad in Born to Be Wild: This quad contains four beautiful colors–a vibrant purple, a gold rose, a dark blue and a light, frosty blue.  The purple is perfect for brown eyes, and I love the gold rose on blue eyes.  If you want to wear all four colors at the same time, one combination I like (especially for blue-eyed girls) is the gold rose on the lid, dark blue at upper lashline, light blue at lower lashline, and purple at outer third of lower lashline.  The pigment and length of wear is the same as the Smoke In Your Eyes quad.

Eye Shadow Duo in Stormy Night: The two shadows, a silver gray and green gray, are shimmery and high impact. The colors look great when worn together or alone. If you’re nervous to use metallics, try lining close to your lashline with a gray or black pencil liner first, then trace over the liner with an angled brush dipped in one of the shadows. Pigment and length of wear is the same as eye quads.

Enhance Eye Shadow in Fleshy: The name grosses me out a little, but the shadow is great.  This is a must have for those with light to medium light skin. It’s close to the color of those shades of skin, so it’s great as a base.  And if you are a very natural one shadow girl who just wants the lids to look more even, this is a good choice for you.  Pigment and length of wear is the same as the other shadows.

Sonia Kashuk is a solid makeup line, and I’ve liked or loved every product I’ve tried. The blushes and the eyeshadow quads are amazing, and everything is relatively inexpensive. The line is available at Target and SpaceNK.

Have a beautiful day 🙂