Best Bets: July 2012


Nude is a challenge…makeup-wise. We all don’t look like J Lo with her perennially sunkissed glow, her flawlessly executed smoky eyes and overly glossed, nude lips. In fact, I personally stay away from nude lipstick, since I look like a lipless apparition who mixed my lipstick up with my concealer if it’s not the right shade or texture. Napoleon Perdis’ Nude Bar Collection makes nude fun. Well, nude is always fun -if you pick up what I am putting down- but the line’s Luminous Lip Veil gloss is milky and creamy but not sticky. Cafe Au Lait (super pale) is my rec for darker skin tones, while Pretty In Peach will do just fine for fair-skinned ladies. The swirly Off Duty Tinted Moisturizer allows you to, in NP’s words, cheat a healthy glow. It primes, it conceals and it moisturizers. We were tempted to ask if it does laundry, too.

Lipstick-wise, Nude Bar’s are also milky creamy in texture. If you are a porcelain-skinned beauty, AVOID! If you have a little glow or sun-kissed skin (be it faux or real), the proceed with caution. Iris has a faint pinky pallor, while Demeter is a wee bit more beige. Gamelia has a taupey tone. The latter looks best on darker-skinned lovelies.

Perhaps our favorite of the collection is the Double Agent Nude Lip Palette, which encourages you to embrace your inner Bond girl, bikini, big hair and all. Part cream lipstick, part setting powder, it reminds me of a lip compact Revlon (or was it L’Oreal?) put out in the early ’90s. It was eye shadow-like color topped with a gloss. I loved it (and didn’t know any better at the time!) This product is similar, only you do the revearse. I swiped two coats of the silky, pinky nude lip color, dusted with the similarly hued setting powder and the result was a peachadelic.

Make Up For Ever has launched it’s new eye shadow primer – Eye Prime Long Wear Eyelid Primer is its official name. It looks like any old concealer in the tube, with a doe-foot wand applicator, but as someone with oily skin -even on the eyelids!!!- who needs a primer to make shadow and especially liquid black liner to adhere and stay put, this is another miracle on par with Urban Decay Primer Potion. I put this colorless puppy to the smear test on the hottest day of the summer so far (June 20) and my black liquid liner was in the same spot at 8pm as when I applied it at 7am. No migration upward. It stayed put. Midday touchups and smeared, raccoon eyes are a thing of the past.

It Cosmetics by Jamie Kern‘s Bye Bye Pores Airbrush Bronzer could pair well with the above-referenced Nude Bar lippies. A poreless finish HD microbronzer, it takes the mistakes out of bronzing. You won’t look like a basketball or Lindsay Lohan, thankfully. But a light touch is the golden rule when bronzing your skin, ladies. In addition to giving you as much or as little color as you desire, it absorbs oil and shine, which are common summer issues, and buffs away pores. But please, for the love of all that is holy, do not overdo it. Everything, especially bronzing, in moderation.

Another fun summer trick is Milani Hair clip in hair extensions. No, it’s not a makeup product, but I’ve been pairing my makeup with these extensions. They clip in, are made from real hair, are trimmable and customizable. I was able to have a fake hot pink streak for several days, with no commitment or damage to my real follicles. I teamed the fuchsia with the pink glosses below, since I was in a pinky mood

Candy is an indulgence, but not when you swipe jane iredale Pure Gloss on your lips. Mint + ginger flavor, combined with blinding shine? Amaze-balls! Girlish pink Pink Candy and Cotton Candy are sweet without being too “young” while Cherry Sparkle works like a stain when you want to wear nothing else but, say, a bikini, gloss and sunglasses. With liquid lipstick-like coverage and a minty fresh tingle, I fell in love with one swipe from this squeeze tube, which includes a doe-footed wand.

What’s more delightfully decadent than whipped cream or a gourmet marshmallow? Not much. Our friends at Revlon have managed to capture the fluffy, air-whipped feeling of a marshmallow with Colorstay Whipped Crème Makeup. As is customary, it’s available an array of shades while it’s texture is like a moisturizer, without being heavy. Coverage + moisture + 24-hour staying power? What a dream – a fluffy, cloud-like dream, mind you- and it’s available at any drugstore.

We’re in the thick of summer and all its haze and humidity, but we’re already looking forward to fall with Merle Norman‘s metallic collection, which lands in August. The Oh My Goldness palette mixes brown neutrals with sparkly golds. I love that this sunset-style eyes trend continues and this palette is perfecto for Indian summer. I cover my lid in Au Natural (tan), then highlight the brow in Sparks Fly (oh-so-pretty champagne) mixed with Let’s Toast (a rosed and coppered gold) and finish it off with Chocolate Sun (do I need to describe? No!) along the lash line. I am left with smoky brown sunset-style eyes! Pop some of Let’s Toast in the inner corner and bat the lashes all night long. On a whim, I layered Let’s Toast OVER liquid black liner for a warm, softer, sunset look. My friend even asked what new shadow I was testing for Beauty News so she could grab one. Happy accidents of the makeupping kind.

Good things come in threes – even in a single product. Swirl products – like the NP Off Duty tinted moisturizer we’ve Best Bet’ted this month- feature a double-helix. Cindy Crawford’s Meaningful Beauty Creme de Serum is actually a triple threat and a Beauty News Best Bet. It protects (thanks, orange swirl!), it minimizes fine lines (thanks, white swirl) and the clear gel offers a hint of dewy glow. Summer is all about stripping down (ahem!) and streamlining (lighter bags!) and I’ve been using this model-approved swirly whirl daily. As a bonus, it smells light, fresh and flowery, but not all synthetic and chemically. Air kisses, Cindy!

I’m not gonna lie. I’m a sucker for packaging. It’s what gets me in the door, so to speak. Urban Decay upgraded its must-own eye shadows, formerly packaged to look like subway tokens. The same rich, buildable formula and beauty-with-an-edge names are in tact, but the circular discs are a little bit more chic. Nice work to Wende Zomnir, a beauty girl-crush if there ever was one, and her crew for the redesign.

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