Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Review: NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in 'Mont Blanc'

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After my mom bought me my beloved Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation I honestly didn't think I would be looking into a new foundation for a while. But I was aimlessly wandering through my local JCP Sephora (which thankfully stocks NARS products) and I decided to ask for a sample of NARS Sheer Glow. She color-matched me & my skin matches 'Mont Blanc' perfectly. It's the lightest shade with pink undertones which is perfect for my pale skin with cool undertones. I tried it once or twice and I felt sort of luke-warm about it but once I tried applying it with a dampened beauty blender, I knew I could never look back.

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Coverage on this foundation is medium but can be applied with a light or heavy hand to achieve a light or full coverage so it's definitely build-able. I tend to use my beauty blender to buff in my foundation and then I go back and pat and blend in more where I need it most (my red patches or blemishes). Afterwards I dust a bit of Rimmel 'Stay Matte' powder over my foundation once it's set and it never turns cakey.

I've never loved a foundation so much that was 1) liquid & 2) not matte. Despite the title 'glow', it doesn't leave my oily-combination skin looking greasy. It provides enough of a 'glow' that my skin looks healthy and natural. Wear time is really great too, I normally have to touch up with a bit of powder mid day because I touch my face a lot but if you spritz some setting spray in the morning, this foundation will last you all day. I've also noticed that it doesn't sit poorly on dry patches, which is always a win in my book.

The color ranges from pale to pretty dark (20 shades) which is refreshing considering most foundations offer 2 light shades, maybe 2 dark shades and about 5 medium shades. On Sephora's website they only offer 15 of the 20 shades, so make sure you do your homework before purchasing.

The only downsides I've found about this foundation are that it 1) doesn't have a pump (but you can buy one here) and 2) that it costs $44USD.

BUT if you're in the market for a higher end foundation that is amazing & leaves a natural finish, I definitely recommend going to your local Sephora (if you have one) & getting color matched to take a sample of NARS Sheer Glow home.

You can buy it here & here.

See me wearing it here, here & here.


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Review: NARS 'Gina' Blush

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The NARS website describes 'Gina' as "a true tangerine".

I had been debating over whether I wanted 'Gina' or Stila's Convertible Color cream blush in 'Gladiola' for what seems like forever. I love the way NARS 'Luster' looks against my red hair & pale complexion so I thought an even more true matte orange would look equally as neat.

I'm so glad I ultimately decided on 'Gina'. Ryan offered to buy it for me from the NARS website since you can't buy it at Sephora online or in store (wth right?). I've yet to try a cream blush but my skin is pretty oily so I just imagine it sliding off and down my face. I loved the way 'Gladiola' looked on Esteé of essiebutton (she's wearing Gladiola in both the video & her blog post) but she doesn't have oily skin so I imagine cream blushes work better for her. If you haven't heard of essiebutton, do yourself a favor & watch her Youtube channel & follow her blog. She's hilarious & has a great relate-able presence on camera. Not to mention she's SO pretty & has impeccable taste. Even Ryan enjoys watching her videos with me & he hates everything. What more can I say? She's my favorite beauty blogger ever? Yes.

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But back to 'Gina'...

'Gina' is very pigmented but so soft and buttery that blending it is ridiculously simple. I've found this to be true with most NARS blushes and 'Gina' is no exception. Staying power is almost all day but my face is oily & tends to absorb my makeup so I normally reapply or do a touch up after around 5-6 hours depending on if I've used a setting spray.

Judging by what it looks like in pan, it looks like a soft terra-cotta peach but when it hits skin it's more pigmented than that and it doesn't have the pinky tinge that most peach blushes have.

As for what to wear it with, I like to pair it with a nude, peachy lip or a coral lip tint but most people are braver with lip color than I am, so I say do whatever makes ya happy. I also love to coordinate my clothing to my cheek color? Maybe that's common...or maybe it's weird. I don't care.

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this is what it looks like on my face

'Gina' retails for $29 USD and you can buy it here

Have you considered 'Gina' for yourself? Are there any blushes you've been really wanting to try as of late?


Friday, May 10, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me

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Yesterday was my birthday & I spent the beginning of the day in a pretty cruddy mood but as the day wore on I felt myself feeling less bleak about turning 25.

Ryan & I went to our local Bath & Body Works so I could pick up some hand soap and candles & had half-priced frappuccinos at Starbucks since they were having Happy Hour from 3-5. Then we came home & watched The Mindy Project on Hulu while we ate cake.

Oh! And my sister sent me these really funny videos of my family's dogs sending their birthday regards. She used a helium balloon app to make her voice sound so high.

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And these are the presents I got this year from Ry-Ry & Taylor. They'll indulge my sad & intense obsession with NARS products. I luv them:

Taylor got me the 'Boys Don't Cry' limited edition Pierre Hardy NARS blush, some cute strawberry soft foam hair rollers, & a Jonathan Adler box of matches.

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close up of 'Boys Don't Cry'

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Ryan got me 'Gina' & 'Sin' from the NARS website so I used a coupon code for a free 'Super Orgasm' mini. I haven't tried it yet since the glitter is a bit scary in the pan but I've seen Taylor wear it and it looked beautiful on her.

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from left to right: NARS 'Gina' // NARS 'Super Orgasm' mini // NARS 'Sin'

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And finally, this is what I bought myself... a 1oz bottle of Chloé.

I bought this from Sephora with a gift card & used the voucher inside for a full size bottle. It's a great deal since you're getting a bunch of samples & a voucher for a free full-size bottle of any of the 6 or 7 perfumes you sample inside. The 1oz bottle of Chloé is normally $65 but since I used the voucher it was only $50 for the sample box + voucher &&& I used a 10% off coupon along with my giftcard so I spent maybe $20 of my own money.

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I felt really spoiled this year & my NARS blushes make up what seems like half of my makeup collection now (I have a problem). I'm so thankful to have such sweet best friends that will buy me ridiculously priced little boxes of sparkly pigmented powder and put up with my neurosis on a regular basis. They're the best.

Anyways, here's to being 25!


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Patricia (Patsy) Taylor Carnes

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Today marks my late Grandmother's (aka Grand-ma-ma's ) birthday. She's been gone for nearly 8 years now & it's still hard to remember that she isn't a phone call away. I can't call her and chat about my love-life (always the first thing she asked about) or listen to her upbeat reflections on life. She was one of my best friends & I miss her so so much. My childhood was full of trips to Mississippi to visit my mother's parents. Their house was truthfully one of the few places I think I will ever consider "home" and I know that I would have been a completely different person without their guidance and support.

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My grandma was incredibly sweet and generous but had a definite spunk & spitfire that I believe runs rampant in Taylor/Carnes women. She was only 18 when she married my grandpa & spent the first months of their marriage feeding him the only things she knew how to cook: mayonnaise, boiled eggs, & lemon icebox pie. At some point I guess he protested that he was tired of eating the same things and that it would be nice if she "changed it up" so she did.. She dyed everything with food coloring (mostly green) and called it a day.

She also once tried to pluck my grandpa's beard with tweezers to help him avoid shaving every morning.

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She was a gifted cook & baker, an avid reader & a super talented seamstress. This blurb honestly doesn't do her justice since she was such a wonderful & kind & strong woman.

I love & miss her so very much!


**p.s. all photos of my grandmother were taken by my grandpa. He was an amazing photographer & artist.