Skip to main content

making faces :: spring flings [part 4]

having already looked at nails and eyes and lips that radiate spring, it seems only right to give countenance to the cheeks. after all, nothing in beauty is more emblematic of spring than a radiant, flower-petal complexion plumped with the dew of youth and innocence? for those of us who may have squandered our dew and innocence a while back, the gods of beauty have provided us with a way to fake it nicely. here are a few of my choice tools of deception...

deep throat
nars :: deep throat :: i'll forgive you if the name doesn't exactly conjure up images of sweetness and girlish innocence, but trust me, this is a lifesaver when it comes to wanting to look healthy and natural and like you haven't spent the ten of the last twelve hours proving that you could out-drink a room of seventeen year old boys. it's a natural coral-pink that's very difficult to overdo, which is important if your motor skills are a bit compromised by the previous evening's indulgences.

personally, i find this shade works much better for me than "orgasm", nars' ubiquitous peach with gold shimmer and a hint of pink blush that everyone now seeks to imitate. on me, "orgasm" shows a bit too orange, whereas "deep throat" seems like the colour i  blush naturally, assuming i blushed with a really healthy, radiant sheen.

dainty
mac :: dainty :: this is one of mac's mineral blushes, meaning that it has a natural gleam to it that all mineral products have. it also means that if you wanted to make it more dramatic, you could apply it damp, although this isn't the kind of shade i picture being used for dramatic effect [and, in fact, mac mineral blushes have plenty of colour payoff even without added tricks]. mac blushes are underrated in general and their mineral ones give a lovely wash of colour that can be built up without looking gaudy or can be blended out for a subtle effect. about the only issue i have with the formula is the wear time, which is shorter than most blushes, but it's still decent enough that i keep going back to some of my favourites, this one in particular.

"dainty" is a yellow-pink that will warm cool complexions a little without looking forced. [of course, it's a great natural alternative for warmer complexions as well!] i find that this is a great option for me when i'm tired, or when my skin looks dull, as often happens at the end of winter. it's a great colour to achieve that perfect "english rose" pink and white complexion if you're a pale lady, plus that kiss of sunlight yellow constantly makes it look like you're glowing from within.

TWO MORE AFTER THE BREAK...



bella bamba
benefit :: bella bamba :: this is almost a little bold for a spring-time look, but it can be blended quite soft and its distinctive sheen make it less bold in use than it might first appear. i originally reviewed it here and my opinion of it continues to be high. i love its gorgeous bright coral-pink base colour, i love its white-pink sheen that looks especially beautiful for an evening out, because of how it catches the light. i love the delicate apricot scent that greets me every time i open its cute little box. i don't necessarily love shelling out $36cad for a blush, but these little boxes pack a lot of powder that in turn packs a lot of punch, so they tend to last a long time.

for spring, this actually works very well as a "statement cheek", one that can be paired with a subdued eye and lip to give a nice, fresh and youthful look, like you've been out enjoying the fresh air. which is great if your three hour "lunch meeting" was actually a ten minute phone call followed by a two and a half hour stroll along the harbour front. you can just claim that that healthy, vitamin d-enriched glow is just the blush and no one will be the wiser.

south of france
edward bess :: south of france :: since i got this a few months ago, i seriously have to stop myself from wearing it every day. on me, it functions as both a highlighter and a blush, which gives me the option of using it on its own for a subtle cool rosy effect or combined with another blush just to give my skin that absolutely perfect finish. i've already raved about this sleek wonder for the skin, but it seems like i just can't say enough about the enviable lustre it brings to my face. its fine shimmer blends over the skin to create a sort of soft aura and smoothes over any imperfections to make you look like a movie star.

in the season of allergies, this is a godsend, because it's wonderful for disguising that mottled colouring that we can develop when our body is forced to adjust to the change in seasons. it may not do anything to make you feel more wonderful, but no one else has to know.

now, a word for those of you who don't think it's worth bothering with blush. i was one of you. i too felt that i was just fine with my pale complexion and didn't need to force myself to paint my cheeks like a clown or mindlessly mimic the look of outdoorsy cheerleader types. what i didn't get was that blush is actually one of the things that makes the most difference. like mascara, it does a lot of work for very little credit. for one thing, its colour and placement changes how your face is shaped in the eyes of others. it can create shadow to make your cheekbones look more prominent. it can make cheeks appear fuller and younger. it can make it look like light is constantly hitting you at just the right angle.

but what's more important is that people are way more conscious of skin than they like to admit. sure, everyone says it's someone's eyes they look at first, or some other part, but the truth is that we're hard-wired to admire a fine complexion at the most basic level. skin and hair are the cues our ancient brain uses to identify a healthy mate, capable of producing hearty offspring. even those of us who aren't given to breeding think this way, whether we're aware of it or not. all of us. even the ones who say they worship the pale, sickly faces of dracula and his kin can't escape this, because the look they really like isn't patchy and spotted with acne, no matter how fair it is. what they're really looking for is someone with the luminous radiance of a pearl in the moonlight, which comes from good health or good makeup. so even though cheek colours might not have the range of eye shadows or the pronounced effect of lip colour, remember that it's more likely to give you that je ne sais quoi that comes from pleasing the lizard brain we all possess.

so now that we've looked at some of my perennial spring favourites, the only thing left to do is show you some of them in action. coming soon...

Comments

Biba said…
Great picks! I love Dainty and Bella Bamba and I would love to have Nars too :)

I'm a bit addicted to blushes...
Kate MacDonald said…
You should definitely pick up Deep Throat. It's my perfect go-to blush. I never thought of myself as addicted, but I have noticed that my blush drawer (actually a half a drawer), is overflowing...

as long as you're here, why not read more?

i'm definitely someone altogether different

about a hundred years ago, i remember having a partner who told me that, rather than writing the sort of ambiance-oriented crap [he didn't say crap, i'm saying it] that i was naturally driven to write, i should just compose something like the harry potter books. this wasn't out of any sense of challenging me to do new things but because of the desperate hope that my love of writing could be parlayed into something profitable.

my reaction at the time was "i just can't". and that was honestly how i felt because i didn't believe that that kind of story was in me. for the record, i still don't think that anything like the potter-hogwarts universe is in me. i'm not a fan of fantasy literature generally speaking and i feel like there's a richer experience to be examined in looking at our experience as regular humans being part of the rational, limited, everyday world and at the same time being able to feel connected to something that, for lack of a…

making faces :: best [bright winter] face forward

a few years ago, i wrote quite a bit about sci/art colour analysis. i haven't followed up on it more recently because there's only so much a girl can say about three-dimensional colour and what the "hallmarks" of each loose category are without getting super repetitive. i am planning on updating a few of the posts that i made, particularly the "lip for all seasons" posts [springsummer, autumn, winter], as those are out of date and not so useful. the posts on colour analysis continue to be very popular despite being years old, so i figure it's worth following up.

during my journey of colour self-discovery, i determined that i was probably a bright winter, which means i look best in colours that are highly saturated first of all [and sharply contrasting second of all], and which lean cooler and darker. not for me the soft smoky eyes and muted lips, nor the bubbly, light-as-air pastels. as i proved to myself wearing different looks, trying to embrace th…

making faces :: a lip for all seasons [summer edition]

this may seem like an odd time to think about summer, but not to think about coolness. it can be hard to wrap your head around the idea that summer is considered "cool" in colour analysis terms and, in my opinion, reads as the coolest of the cool, because everything in it is touched with the same chilly grey. winter may have the coldest colours, but its palette is so vivid that it distracts the eye. everything in summer is fresh and misty, like the morning sky before the sun breaks through. in my original post on the season, i compared it to monet's paintings of waterlilies at his garden in giverny and, if i do say so, i think that's an apt characterisation.

finding lip colours touched with summer grey and blue is, as you might expect, kind of tricky. the cosmetic world seems obsessed with bringing warmth, which doesn't recognise that some complexions don't support it well. [also, different complexions support different kinds of warmth, but that's another…