When we say ‘face or base products’ in cosmetics, we automatically think of different kinds of foundation, maybe primers and setting products for those who use them. However, this category actually includes a larger, oft-forgotten collection of products, including those that you do not necessarily put all over your face. These are bronzer, blush, contour and highlight.Read More
Makeup for me has never been a way to cover up my insecurities. Sure I'm grateful for the fact that my imperfections are hidden, but that's just secondary to how empowered makeup makes me feel. All these colors and bases and pretty little things allow me to express myself - that is, they allow other people to see me the way I see myself.
How do I see myself? Well, I think I'm pretty even though my facial structure isn't traditionally beautiful. I've always thought of myself as an artsy person so I love expressing that through the color combinations I wear on my face. Is this how an insecure person with low self-esteem sounds? No. I hope the people who look down on us makeup lovers understand this one day!
Moving on! Today I'd like to tell you all about the Shiseido Face Color Enhancing Trio in RD1 Apple (P1,500+). This is the second Shiseido "blush" I've tried and I can tell you, it's really different! It's much less pigmented but it makes my skin glow gently. I say "blush" because it's more of a brightener and lifting powder than a color.
It's also not available in Japan. Momoko-san, Shiseido's trainer who recently visited the Philippines, actually got a few here since she won't be able to find it when she gets back!
This compact has three colors, a light pink, sheer tan, and peach highlighter. The powder is almost matte but it somehow gives the face a glow-from-within effect.
Do you need bronzers and highlighters in your life? Frankly, no. You'd look totally great without them. But if you want to take your skin to the next glowy level then yes, these skin-enhancing products would be a great addition to your kit! You need them if you feel like your foundation and setting powder are no longer enough to make your skin look amazing.
Highlighters/illuminators help your skin look fresh by reflecting light off your face with ultra-fine shimmer. They are normally skin-toned, although some have a peachy or pink tint to them. Bronzers on the other hand are used to simulate the look of lightly tanned skin and are often used for contouring as well. Some are pink/peach-ish, which makes them fabulous blushes in their own right.
Bronzers are also a great way to bring some golden warmth to your face - that's really useful when you're looking pale and tired!
That said, I thought I'd show off some of my current favorite bronzers and highlighters. ^_^ I have five bronzers and three highlighters here that are perfect for Asian skin and can work with different budgets. Would love to know which ones you're looking to try!
Bronzers are usually shimmery affairs, although every so often there's one that's almost matte. This kind of finish is more suited to those who want warmth on their skin but prefer to avoid extra shine on top of their oily face. If that's what you're after, the Stila Bronzing Powder in Sweet Treat (~P800) fits the bill!
Out next month, this bronzer creates a lovely warmth on the face without having too much shimmer in it. It has a couple of shimmery blocks in the grid, yes, but the rest are matte. The colors run the gamut of skin-enhancing shades - tan, brown, peach, and champagne. They're even pigmented enough that you can use them as eyeshadows if you wish.
But don't worry, this bronzer won't give you Snickers bar cheeks when you apply it. ;) It starts out very soft, then you can build it up until you get your desired intensity. It has a smooth, satiny texture which makes it easy to blend and layer.
When I announced Face Contour Week, many of you gals became excited about a tutorial. Hold your horses though - that'll be up on Friday! I need a bit of time to shoot it. ;) In the meantime, I decided to answer a question that was asked several times: what's the difference between bronzer and contour powder? Which one should you go for?
These two products are completely different, although some products that are labeled "bronzer" could be used for contouring. Bronzers usually come in coppery or shimmery tan shades and are meant to be applied on the cheekbones, bridge of the nose, forehead, and chin. It's a product that's designed to create a sun-kissed look - not really to contour, although if your bronzer is deep enough it can be used for that purpose.
Contour powders are usually matte, and can be used define or slightly alter our face shape. You can create a smaller, more angular face with contouring powders.
Now, I don't want you guys to go off thinking that Yves Rocher is exclusively a skincare brand. It does have a few nice makeup products, you know! I have an Yves Rocher Eyebrow Pencil as well as the Bronzer and Shimmer Powder Duo which I will talk about today.
The Yves Rocher Bronzer and Shimmer Powder Duo (P680) is a lovely combination of matte contouring powder and a shimmery, apricot bronze shade. You can use them separately - shimmer as highlight and the matte powder to shape your cheekbones - but you can also use them together as a bronzer.
I really like the texture and color payoff, although I do wish that it would stay on longer. As it is it's something you have to retouch if you will be out all day.
I miss going to thrift shops (ukay-ukay). I used to visit once or even twice a week but these days my schedule rarely permits it. Nonetheless, I made time to go to one of my favorite haunts a few weeks ago. I only wore sunscreen and the In2It Waterproof Blush Set (P375), just to test out the latter.
To give you a backgrounder: it was HOT. Not just normal hot but really hot. On top of that the humidity was crazy, and it was even worse inside the ukay store. I came out after an hour or so, waited for a cab for around 15 minutes, and finally went home, sweaty, with two kilos of thrifted goodies.
So did the blush stay on? Yes. Yes it did. It was as vibrant as I applied it and stayed color true. Aside from the reliable lasting power, it also looked very natural, unlike other similarly-priced blushes that seem to just sit on top of the cheeks!
What I love about the product
- Stays on for at least five hours with no fading. It's waterproof (meaning it doesn't melt upon contact with water, even if you rub it) so it can withstand sweat and occasional splashes of rain. It's also great for oily skin.
- Impressive shade selection that's designed to flatter Pinay skin. There are four shades, but you actually get three different colors in one pan.
Foundations even out the skin and soften blemishes, but they don't always give the illumination that our face needs. They usually have a matte or satiny finish so you may need another product to sort of finish off your face in a literal halo of light. Illuminators do this for you by having light-reflecting ingredients that create this subtle haze of light around your skin.
Sounds too complicated? It's actually easy to get illuminated! It's only difficult when you're using the wrong product - by wrong I mean too shimmery, too pigmented, too obvious. I love the Guerlain Meteorites for that instant ethereal glow but for a warmer finish, I prefer to use the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Compact in Bronze (P2,300).
Shimmer bomb? As the name suggests, the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick is shimmery in the pan. However, when it goes on your face, the fine shimmer diffuses and isn't really detectable unless you look closely. It's more shimmery than the Guerlain Meteories (which is more on the pearly side) but less pigmented than the NARS Laguna Bronzer.
Pigmentation and finish. At first, I was trying to get it to work like a bronzer by contouring my cheeks and the sides of my face with it.
I love my MAC blush in Harmony for contouring, but these days I am looking for something a little more softer for everyday. MAC Harmony is awesome but it can be difficult to work with if you're hurrying since it's quite pigmented - I end up spending longer blending out the edges.
That's why I wanted to get the NARS Laguna Bronzer. I went to the NARS store in Rustans to check it out but I hesitated because of the P1,750 price tag. I knew it was worth it since the two NARS products I own happen to be the best I have, but I don't know, I haven't mentally prepared myself to spend P1,750 that day! So I decided to sleep on it.
Good thing I saw this in a blog sale. I immediately snapped it up!
What I love about the product
- Smooth, fine-milled and pigmented, but it manages to melt on skin instead of just sitting on top looking like makeup
- Incredibly long lasting. It stays on all day with minimal fading (at least on my combination skin)
I won't mince words with you: the Revlon Beyond Naturals Blush & Bronzer isn't a stellar product. I'd say it's so-so. Its only wow factor is how beautiful this blush looks on me! Unfortunately I don't have a picture to prove it so you'd have to go on my word, haha.
What I love about this product
- Looks natural on my face. The plum blush looks like my actual flush while the bronzer is a subtle shade close to my skin that makes it perfect for contouring.
- I get that "glowing-from-within" cheeks.
- Covenient. It saves me time blending and picking up two different products for contouring/blushing.
- Generous amount of product in the big compact.
What I don't like about the product
- The powder is hard, so you may have to scrape with your brush.
- Texture is a bit coarse.