Review, Swatches & Dupes: MAKE Matte Finish Blush in Cinnabar

Someday soon I’ll have to do a monochrome look– nothing but reds from brow to chin. I’ve got a vault full of appropriate lipsticks from the orange to the wine. And my stash of red eye makeup is nothing if not respectable– I tend to favor that sickly sorceress look in the winter. What I didn’t realize till I started planning this post: I also own more red blushes than peaches or pinks. They even outnumber my signature purples!

I guess it makes sense. I’m a fan of rich pigment in my color cosmetics and hey– maybe I like a fairytale narrative guiding my hand when I stipple. Red cheeks are for princesses charmed in old-growth forests, a color palette of snow and blood.

Speaking of palettes– art historically inspired beauty brand MAKE has been on my radar for a while, ever since Carina started killing it with their eye and lip palettes. Based in New York, they’re known for high-concept capsule collections distilled from, say, the watercolor hues of English Romanticism or the baked-clay colors of a technicolor desert. Basically, MAKE is smart, deliciously pretentious, with a strong point of view– a bluestocking’s beauty brand. They also a earmark portion of their proceeds for We See Beauty, a non-profit that supports “women-owned, worker-led cooperatives”. (You can find find MAKE  at a number of retailers, online and in meatspace. But if you want to maximize the amount of makeup money to go to WSB, consider buying from We See Beauty’s virtual storefront!)

I’ve been lusting after their palettes for a while now, especially after seeing what Carina could do with three different shades of tonal white. But I thought I’d ease myself into MAKE with a smaller purchase. So here’s their Matte Finish Blush in Cinnabar, an “intense crimson with a red undertone”.


Availability: $25 on We See Beauty, Barneys New York, or Nasty Gal 

Quantity: 0.16 oz

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Review, Swatches & FOTD: LORAC Mint Edition Collection

I snagged this retro-inspired value pack during a LORAC event on Hautelook. I mean, a) it was cheap, b) I needed more one-and-done palettes with eye and cheek products– for, you know, travel and stuff and c) I’ve got a fondness for all things vaguely vintage that feels somewhat perverse and at times #problematic. Whatever. The flash sale’s since expired, and it looks like Ulta’s sold out. But you can still get this bundle for about 58.33% off on the LORAC website! Supposedly that’s part of the brand’s VIP sale, which I believe has been going on since roughly the Tokugawa. But a deal’s a deal!

Silver and Mint Wristlet Bag, Eye/Cheek Palette, and Lips With Benefits Gloss in Christian

Silver and Mint Wristlet Bag, Eye/Cheek Palette, and Lips With Benefits Gloss in Christian

Availability: $15 on LORAC

Quantity: 0.25 oz of eyeshadow, 0.11 oz of blush and 0.19 fl oz of lip gloss Continue reading

Sale Alert! Nyx at Ulta

Nyx products are going for 40% off this week at Ulta! Technically the sale also includes Revlon, Physicians Formula, and Almay. I’m sure they all have very decent products– pretty sure I owned some Almay Wake Up Liquid Makeup during early undergrad that I pretty much liked? But Nyx is my favorite drugstore brand– very possibly in the running for my favorite anything brand for makeup. So I’m going to fixate on the goddess of night, and her entourage of mythologically named lipsticks. The sale ends next Saturday, September 4.

Sale prices doing include Nyx Kits over $14.99, but there are plenty of other goodies you can pick up, including the widely touted Butter Lipsticks and the neon and pastel Macaron Lippies for those more adventurously inclined. (I’ve had middling luck with smooth coverage when it comes to Earl Grey and Lavender— but the cost of entry’s so low now I might experiment with a couple other colors anyway.)

My picks are below. But first I wanted to show you this– the most perfectly named powder blush of all time. I think I may need this because I’m supposed to give my undergrads a Very Brief Intro to Marx tomorrow. Too bad it wouldn’t arrive in time for the hour of my need.

Nyx Powder Blush in "Bourgeois Pig".

Nyx Powder Blush in “Bourgeois Pig”.

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Review, Swatches & Dupes: Darling Girl Soft Focus Blush in The Magic Lamp

I’ve had an unusually unproductive week (and I feel like my ground state is pretty unproductive anyway)– highlights included a cocktail, a head cold, and two extremely long, extremely dense statutes from the Gracchan age. But what better way to bounce back than with some indie blush?

I’ve already reviewed a couple of purple powders— they’re rapidly becoming one of my things. This third one, Darling Girl’s The Magic Lamp, is from the brand’s Soft Focus range, meant to “blend into skin with no visible texture”, with a finish “somewhere between a matte and a satin”. Darling Girl describes it as a “mid-tone lavender with reddish undertones”.


Availability: $5.90 for a full size or $2.50 for a petit from Darling Girl Cosmetics

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FOTD: Urban Fantasy


Eyes: Too Faced Shadow Insurance in Candelight, Too Faced Brow Envy, Benefit High Brow Glow, theBalm Pressed Eyeshadow in in Snobby and Seductive from the NUDE ‘tide Eyeshadow Palette, Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Jilted and Urban from the Electric Pressed Pigment Palette, Urban Decay Ink for Eyes in Perversion, Tarina Tarantino Eye Dream Hyperliner in Broken Doll, Nyx Jumbo Eye Pencil in Oyster, Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Waterproof Mascara

Face: Skin79 Oriental Gold BB Cream Plus,  Nyx Concealer Jar in Green, CoverGirl and Olay Simply Ageless Eye Concealer, Nyx Powder Blush in Taupe, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light and Incandescent Light from the Ambient Lighting Palette, Smashbox Photo Set Pressed Powder in Light

Lips: Nyx Extra Creamy Round Lipstick in Aphrodite

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Sale Alert! TheBalm on Hautelook

Makeup and skincare from vintage-inspired beauty line theBalm is going for 50% off on Hautelook right now! They share my taste for corny puns– it’s amazing how many things sound like “balm” if you believe in yourself and try!). The vaguely utopic retro imagery also speaks to me. Basically I like them a lot.

Their shadyLady range isn’t available, nor is the newly released Balmsai palette. But you can get almost all their other goodies, including the cult hit Mary Lou-manizer highlighter. At least till Tuesday!

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My picks below!

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Review, Swatches & Dupes: Darling Girl Cosmetics Inner Glow Blush in Living Dead Gurl

I’ve been on a purple blush kick lately. Just broke out my sample of Fyrinnae Royalty a few days ago, and I’ve got another little jar of violet dust on my review queue for sometime later, this week or next. But for now, I think I’ve found it– a new Holy Grail shade! Here’s Darling Girl Cosmetics’ creepily-yet-campily named Living Dead Gurl.

Darling Girl Cosmetics is an indie beauty brand with a dizzying array of face products– in powder, cream, and gel, with finishes from shimmer to matte. They’ve got something like seven purples in their repertoire, so I foresee a lot of darling little purchases in my future. 

My favorite new Schrodinger’s Shade (forgive my punning) belongs to the Inner Glow range, which said to “impart a soft halo of color onto your cheeks” with a powder that “subtly reflects light and casts a luminous glow”. Living Dead Gurl is described as a “pinky purple with golden green iridescence”. It’s a kind of soft, candied lavender that layers well, laced with gilt-green microshimmer.

Availability: $5.90 for a full size or $2.50 for a petit from Darling Girl Cosmetics

Quantity: 10 grams for a full size or 3 grams for a petit

The little jar for Darling Girl Cosmetics Inner Glow Blushes

The little jar for Darling Girl Cosmetics Inner Glow Blushes

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Review: Fyrinnae Powder Blush in Royalty

I’m thinking about adopting a more conservative day-to-day makeup look, since I’ll be teaching undergrads for the first time this term– don’t wanna scare all the baby historians with red-rimmed eyes and sea-witch lips. I’m thinking taupes for the eyes, and dark, muted matte red lipstick. I vaguely remember reading something about how wearing lipstick with a high degree of “luminosity contrast” (with respect to, like, the rest of your face, I guess) makes people see you as more authoritative. That is my pedagogical reason for not just wearing a nude lip.

But if I’m going to be expanding my repertoire of nude eye looks on teaching days, I’ll have to compensate by breaking out the weird colors every weekend. To that end, I give you– purple blush! This is Royalty, one of Fyrinnae’s loose powder blushes, in a “vibrant violet”. Worn with a stroke of pearly highlighter– I favor NARS Copacabana— it looks wonderfully ethereal, and a little scary. I think avenging angel, or the goddess Persephone.


Availability: $6.50 for a full size or $1.75 for a sample from Fyrinnae

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