Friday, March 20, 2015

Ben Nye Luxury Powder Swatches & Review

Today I'm coming at you with a review of one of my holy grail products, the Ben Nye Luxury Powders!

These are extremely finely-milled setting powders that go on smooth and set to a beautiful matte finish. They come in 5 shades: Beige Suede, Buff, Cameo, Banana, and the newest addition, Rose Petal.

c/o twitter @kimkardashian

These powders have been the secret weapon of makeup artists for years. They gained popularity in the mainstream market when Kim Kardashian tweeted this picture of her contour and highlight. Her highlight shade is Ben Nye Banana Powder. Since then, contouring and highlighting has taken the beauty world by storm with many brands jumping on the bandwagon and releasing similar powders.

At first, I hesitated purchasing these because I was turned off by the packaging. They used to only come in sifter jars. Basically the same idea as a baby powder jar where you sprinkle the product in the tiny cap. It looked like a giant mess to me. If a product isn't easy to use, realistically I know I just won't use it. So when I saw that the Ben Nye Luxury Powders now came in a dome jar, I pulled the trigger and purchased three shades, Banana, Rose Petal and Cameo, from CRC Makeup.

Lets start with the most famous of the Ben Nye powders, Banana. It's similar to Bare Minerals Well rested, but more yellow in tone. This is marketed as being able to suit any skin tone. It is a color corrector that can fix redness as well as neutralize blue under eye circles. I use this as a finishing powder to set my under eye concealer. Since I have a more fair skin tone this wouldn't work for me as an overall setting powder, but it would be beautiful for more tanned/olive skin tones. Olive and tanned skin tones can also use this as a highlighter, as seen on Kim in the above photo, for a brightening candlelit glow.

This is the fairest of the Luxury Powders. It is described as being micro-milled to give you that silky smooth finish, as if you were grazing your skin with rose petals. It is also pink in tone, hence the rose name. I use this as an under-eye setting powder when I want to really light up that area. It's pink color makes it an excellent brightener. If you have a very fair skin tone you could use this as an all-over setting powder.


This is a beige toned powder with a slight hint of blush. This powder gives me a slight brightening effect when worn to set my concealer. I can also use it as an all-over setting powder to my foundation. It works on my skin right now because I'm very pale, but it won't work once my skin gets a little more color in the summer months. Like the Rose and Banana powders, it lays beautifully on the skin, especially under the eyes, without giving that dry, powdery look.

Here's a side by side shot of Rose Petal (left) and Cameo (right). As you can see Rose Petal has a more prominent pink tone while Cameo has just a hint of pink.

Final Thoughts

These are amazing powders that can be used for a wide variety of tasks. They lay smoothly on the skin and do a great job in keeping me matte. I apply them with a Real Techniques Setting Brush. It's the perfect size to pat a light dusting of powder exactly where I need it.

Even though the powders are colored, they all have a translucent quality so you don't necessarily see that color on your skin once blended. They produce a natural neutralizing or brightening effect.

Have you tried any of the Ben Nye powders? How do you use them?

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Friday, March 13, 2015

MAC Cinderella Collection Picks

I wanted to share a review of the items I purchased from the new MAC Cinderella collection. This is a limited edition collection, inspired by the beloved Disney princess, to coincide with the release of the new movie, which comes out today!. I've always loved Disney so I knew I wanted to check out this collection, Here's what I picked up:

Glass Slipper Lipglass

MAC describes this color as "light milky pink with pinkish pearl".  I was worried that the sparkle in the gloss was going to be too intense, but it is actually a fine micro-shimmer that gives a 3-D iridescent glow to the lips. The base of the lipglass is a lightly pigment soft pink. My favorite way to wear this on top of a pink lipstick to amp up the finish and shine.

Mystery Princess Beauty Powder

This is a cool-toned beige beauty powder intended for highlighting. It looks a bit metallic in the pan, but I've been wearing this as my cheek highlight all week and it is much more natural than it appears at first glance. It can be applied more densely with a tapered brush to get a more noticeable shimmery effect or more sheerly with a duo fiber brush to give a soft highlight. Both give a natural glow, it just depends on how noticeable you want it to be. The texture of the powder is smooth and blended out nicely on the skin.

Final Thoughts

The quality of the two items I purchased did not disappoint and the packaging is just adorable. I love that it is that beautiful powder blue that matches Cinderella's famous dress. I purchased these online the day they went on sale, 2/26. They went on sale in stores last Thursday, so I'm getting this up a little late. Of course, in typical MAC fashion, the online supply was depleted in just a few hours, but these are still available in stores. The collection is exclusive to MAC stores and Macy's counters. I'd recommend calling your local store to check their supply if you are lusting after a specific item from the collection.

Do you have your eye on any of the MAC Cinderella items?

Friday, March 6, 2015

Coming Up Roses

There's nothing more timeless and elegant that a bouquet of fresh cut roses. Aside from the beautiful smell, roses also posses many beauty-enhancing benefits. Rich in vitamins and antioxidants, they contain soothing and nourishing qualities that help moisturize dry skin. They've also been known to stimulate collagen production to help fight aging. It's no wonder I began to notice that many of my standout beauty favorites have incorporated Roses.

Here's a roundup of my favorite rose products that will instantly transport you to the garden:

Fresh Rose Hydrating Eye Gel Cream

This is a gel-based eye cream that provides an instant burst of hydration. It is described as being able to provide up to 30 hours of continuous moisture. I use this as my day eye cream as it has a very light texture that absorbs quickly. It's one of those products that is just a joy to apply. It smells so good and my skin feels refreshed and awake after applying.

Rosebud Salve

This lip balm has a cult following and I can see why. It's a simple, moisturizing balm that isn't too thin or too thick. It provides a burst of moisture and a light shine to the lips that stays with you for hours. I use this every morning as the first step in my makeup routine and then again at night before I go to bed. It is very affordable at only $6 per tin and of course, it has a lovely light rose scent.

Mario Badescu Facial Spray

This facial spray is formulated with aloe, herbs and rosewater. It's described as a pick me up for dehydrated, tight and uncomfortable skin. I use this in two ways: as my toner after washing my face and also here and there throughout the day to add some moisture back into my skin and wake it up. I wouldn't call it a setting spray as I don't think it extends the wear of my makeup, but it does leave a beautiful finish and takes down the powdery appearance making my skin look healthy.

Lush Rose Queen Bath Bomb 

You haven't experienced a great bath until you've tried a Lush Bath Bomb. Once you drop into the tub, sit back and relax as it bubbles and fizzes dispersing rose blossoms, petals and a beautiful rose fragrance throughout the tub, leaving you skin oh so soft. An added benefit, it turns your bathwater pink! Enjoy with a glass of Rosé and embrace the Lisa Vanderpump in you.

Jo Malone Red Roses Cologne

After enjoying the rose scents in a lot of my beauty products, I thought why not get a rose scented perfume? This one from Jo Malone is a clean and simple scent that truly smells like a soft bouquet of roses through all the notes. It is also very long-lasting compared to some of the other Jo Malone colognes I've tried. It's a very feminine and timeless scent.

Seems like everything's coming up roses in the beauty world these days. Have you been gravitating towards a specific scent lately?

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Jo Malone Red Roses Cologne
Fresh Rose Hydrating Eye Gel Cream
Rosebud Salve
Mario Badescu Facial Spray
Lush Rose Queen Bath Bomb