Here are a few of the products that I've been loving the last couple of months...
1. Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer - I wear this in Light2 / Alaska. I've heard that Nars amongst other brands lean yellow in terms of the tint of their face products. For me, this is a plus as I'm distinctly yellow/warm toned. The Nars Tinted Moisturizer provides light coverage and has a slight, pleasant floral scent on application. It has geared towards those with drier skins and I find this to be true in terms of its feel on application. During the cooler times of the year, it feels like I'm putting on a light moisturizer. In the summer, I find this to have a slightly greasy feel, but that's because my skin during the warmer months always feels slightly clammy. (Yuck, I know! ) This has SPF 30 which is fantastic as this means that I don't need to use a sunscreen under this. My normal/dry skin finds this enough and I don't use a moisturizer under this either. I do use a primer though. Right now I'm using MAC's Prep + Prime Skin Smoothing Balm (limited edition).
2. Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base - This is a new love for me. Some may know this product by its former name Bronze Universal. Having tested it myself, I'm not sure how universal this really is. Swatched on the back of my hand, it has a golden /orange cast. On the face, it can be subtle and realistic (depending on application). I think paler ladies would have to be very careful with this to make sure they don't end up with an orange face. I have seen some fantastic tutorials on YouTube for paler (and cool toned) ladies using this, namely by Essie Button. I use either Sigma F82 or a foundation brush to apply this just below my cheekbones and along the hairline, making certain that I take the color down the underside of my jaw and very lightly down my neck. This product is expensive $48 but you get a lot of product so by weight I imagine its actually more cost effective than other products. Due to the level of pigmentation, you only need a small amount for each use - I think this will last me for years...!
3. Caudalie Divine Oil - The scent of this is ...divine! I'm completely inept in describing scents so I won't even try. The Sephora description tells me it's a combination Bulgarian rose, Moroccan rose, vanilla, pink pepper, grapefruit, cedar and white musk. It feels completely luxurious and a treat when you're putting this on. When I bought this, it was only available in one size, 3.4 FL Oz / 100 ml for $48. You can now buy this at Sephora at $18 for 1 Oz. I find it takes about 8-10 spritzes of this to cover my body so I can imagine going through a 3.4 Fl oz bottle of this in about 5 months. For me, totally worth it!
4. Caudalie Beauty Elixir - I bought this as many beauty gurus from Europe were absolutely raving about it. This is a multi-use product that can basically used anytime - mostly before moisturizing, and to freshen up makeup. I personally use it when I've been out and about for a few hours and I want to freshen up my makeup. I've also used it when I've used thought my face looked a little too done and powdery. Caution - this beauty water does have a strong herbal minty scent (from essential oils, I believe). I found this scent completely offputting at first, but determined to use this, I managed to overcome the scent and now I find it quite refreshing. Invigorating, even.
5. Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Bronze Powder (limited edition)- This is part of the Elizabeth Arden Summer 2012 collection called Rose Aurora. I have this bronzer in two colors - Soft Radiance (the lightest color) and Warm Radiance (the medium color). Firstly, the packaging is absolutely gorgeous. Soft Radiance is a lovely, warm, very subtle color. Warm Radiance is its slightly darker sister. Both warm up the skin and have a subtle shimmer which is not obvious on the skin.
6. Jemma Kidd Makeup School Dewy Glow All Over Radiance Creme in Rose Gold. This is a very recent purchase for me so I've only had a chance to use this a couple of times. So far I've found this to have a finely milled texture and gives a very subtle, natural glow. This also comes in another color, Iced Gold, which would work better for cooler, paler skins.
7. MAC Pro Longwear Bronzing Powder in Nude on Board. This is one of MAC's limited edition bronzers from their Hey Sailor collection. This was an impulse buy that has completely started a love/obsession of bronzers. This product made me realize how complementary golden/yellow toned items are on my skintone and made me re-think a lot of the items that I was using. As you can see, I've hit pan on this from about 3 months of almost everyday use. Thankfully, I've got several back-ups of this!
8 + 9. Revlon Lip Butters in Peach Parfait and Pink Truffle - These are both great everyday colors. Pink Truffle is gorgeous neutral pinky brown that goes with pretty much any makeup look. Peach Parfait is a pinky coral with gold glitter. I love this color as it just perks up my face. My pet peeve with Peach Parfait is the gold glitter which gives it a slightly grittier texture. This color reminds me of the famous Nars Orgasm but in a lip color.
10. Stila Lip Glaze in Kitten - I use this almost daily! As someone who dabbles regularly in buying drugstore lip colors (a hit and miss operation) this is great for warming up and giving a golden tone to any lipstick.
11 + 12. Revlon Colorburst lipgloss in Peony and Sunset Peach - These colors are sooo gorgeous. The have a good amount of pigmentation and I can imagine both of these colors being complementary on so many different types of skintones.
13. NARS Blush in Madly - This blush doesn't look like much in the pan - it's a nude with peachy tones and subtle silver shimmer. It looks fantastic with just about any look - including the bronzed look I've been loving this summer. It also works with a lot of different highlighters (important to me given my love of highlighters). I've used this blush successfully with Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight, Elizabeth Arden Rose Aurora, and Benefit One Hot Minute.
14. Philosophy Turbo Booster C powder - this is vitamin C in powder form. You add this powder to moisturizers (being careful to not mix this with retinol products) for brighter and more even toned skin. (It's also meant to protect your skin from environmental damage which is one of the causes of premature aging.) I don't know whether I'm just swallowing up the placebo effect of the hype but I honestly think this works. My skin has looked more radiant and even toned since I started using this. There are some down sides to this product, namely, its messy and can be annoying to mix with moisturizer. I use this by adding a pea sized amount of moisturizer on the back of my hand and then spooning out this powder with the mixing spoon provided with it. You get a 0.25 for $35 - pricey but you do need only a teeny tiny spoonful of this. I've had mine for about 4-5 months and still have half the bottle to go.
Let me know if you have any questions for me and share your favorite products of the moment.