Best Bets: June 2014

Of course they’re real! Benefit’s latest innovation is the They’re Real Push-Up Gel Liner Pen. Usually, a gel liner comes in pot form, applied with a standalone brush, taking much more than a minute to master. Despite the not-exactly-easy application, the velvet-y, no-pull, budge-proof formula is the best thing about gel liners. Since the pot package lacks the precision of a pen, I often went with a wet pen or wet ink well liner – hi, Rimmel Exaggerate, I love you, even though I sometimes use my blow dryer on the lightest setting to quickly dry the wet liner!

Now our friends and innovators at Benefit has solved that problem with their new click pen gel liner. We know, I was like “That sounds about as realistic as Jenna Jameson’s boobies.” But then I used it and I had Adele-style cat eyes all night long — even through a warm Sunday afternoon, where I was outside at a baseball game. The Accu-Flex tip has a tiny groove and it really does hug the lash line and lets you to be as precise with your line as a surgeon is with a scalpel. The pen tip even pushes lashes out of the way so you can get closer to your targeted area. You, my friend, are in control! The click pen technology also allows you to manage the amount product. Don’t be scared of mod cat eyes or of “the flick” any longer.

Quick! What comes to your mind when you think pink eye makeup?! Pink eye aka conjunctivitis, right? Are you like me, thinking that pink is a shade best reserved for lips and cheeks? Do you subscribe to the idea that any highly pigmented or deep and hot shades of pink do not belong above the bridge of the nose? A wash of palest pink shimmer is nice with a smoky eye or a bright pink buffed out works well, but a hot pink liner? What the…

…then I played with Dior Addict’s It-Line liquid liner. Yes, it’s hot pink. I decided to try accenting my thick black liquid liner with a little dash of pink. The next day, I used it to ever-so-delicately line my lower lashline. It took a few tries until I got it right. The verdict? It’s fun for playful summer days outside, not the office!

New season + New Products = New Tools. That’s my mantra for the Summer of 2014, which has kicked into high gear. And right now, I am feeling Japonesque’s floral handle artisan brushes from their Color Collection. The lacquered, Lucite-like handles are paired with the silkiest of fibers. The full, thick Face Brush tickled my skin as I applied light layer of powder foundation – MAC Studio Fix NW 20, if you are curious.

The domed and firm Eye Shadow Crease Brush let me smoke out slates and blacks shadow shades for a softer, slightly more summery look.

The firm Foundation Brush was the perfect tool to apply…

…my new Cate McNabb Cream Foundation in Cream Cool Ivory. I’ve been totally wowed by this new brand and have used these column inches to espouse the virtues of the products (gel liner, eye shadow primer) that have landed on my desk and face the past few weeks. The divine, breathable formula of this cream foundation gave me a soft, airbrushed look, which I prefer in the summer. It was like I wasn’t wearing any product at all. It most definitely offers a Photoshop effect when paired with the Japonesque brush. #YayTeam.

The summer is the season of the music festival, be it a rock ‘n’ roll, indie rock, country or heavy metal event. Too Faced has designed two adorbs tin palettes for both country gals and rock chicks and even though I have always shown and discussed my predilection for RAWK, both sets suit my peepers well.

The Nashville Nudes Eye Shadow Collection boasts nine nude shades and infinite options that allow you to indulge your inner Taylor Swift, if that’s your thing. I mixed Dolly (a matte chocolate, likely named after Miss Parton) with Paper Roses (bright pink) and Y’All (pink champagne shimmer), which I buffed out for a pink-washed smoky eye. Oh, and I created a low-maintenance but maaaaaajorly edgy eye look with by smudging the sparkling sapphire Bluebird on my lower and upper lash lines, but only after using the iridescent and champagne-y All American Girl as a lid wash.

The Rock Candy Eye Collection was probably created with me in mind, since heavy metal and hard rock are my business, as music publicist is my day job. Darker hues populate the pan palettes and I dove right in to play with them. I gravitated immediately towards Heavy Metal (midnight blue sparkle) and Glam Rock (shimmery silver), as well as Punk, a dirty, satiny emerald.

Both are available at Ulta as of June 1.

Not gonna lie. I was skeptical when I decided to add Skindinavia’s The Makeup Primer Spray to my morning routine. Yet ANOTHER primer? Another step? Another minute added to the regimen? Can’t scientists figure out a way to make the products themselves with formulas that allow them to just…stay put? Well, after using it three AMs in a row, I am glad that I opted to include it. The silicone-free spray, which I spritzed twice in both “X” and “T” formations, made my skin appear matte and totally poreless. I have small pores to begin with, but the spray zapped any shine, giving me a super smooth canvas to work with. I will be totally honest. I was expecting it to do nothing, at all, so to say it beyond exceeded my expectations is an understatement.

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