Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush 'Natural Beauty' & 'Exposed'

The Tarte Amazonian Clay Blushes ($25/5.6g) seemed to be all the rage on Youtube and on blogs a few months ago and I’m pretty much a sucker for all things overtly-hyped *guilty* so I placed an order for the two colors which I felt were reasonably unique amongst the range (eight blushes in total) and within my stash. Those two colors turned out to be the now notorious Exposed (matte rosy-nude) and Natural Beauty (muted strawberry red).

Tarte makes two pretty big claims with this one: a) the formula lasts up to 12-hours and b) the magic ingredient in it is the Amazonian Clay which somehow contributes to making these blushes work for all skin types because the clay "helps minimize pores and control oil and hydrates skin naturally". More can be read on Tarte's site.

Personally, I think the Amazonian Clay thing is slightly gimmicky but I will have to agree on the longevity of the formula; it indeed does last more than 10 hours. I applied Natural Beauty early morning last week around 8 AM and by the time I was home around 6:30 PM, it was STILL as vibrant as it was that morning. My skin is normal-combo but even my beloved NARS and Rouge Bunny Rouge blushes don't last all that long. I don't believe it has anything to do with the Amazonian Clay (=_=) but I believe there is something "staining" about the formula which contributes to its longevity. I'm not ingredient-savvy but I'll post the ingredients below for you to look at but I believe that's the "secret" to why the formula is ridiculously long-lasting. And the formula is velvety smooth and not blotchy at all. Very impressive.

Ingredients: Talc, zinc stearate, tricaprylin, polyethylene, caprylic/capric triglyceride, beeswax, PEG-150 distearate, lanolin, laureth-4, tocopherol, polysorbate 20, tetrasodium EDTA, potassium sorbate, chlorphenesin, ascorbyl palmitate, tin oxide, kaolin, mica, carmine. (+/-): Iron Oxides, titanium dioxide, ultramarines, manganese violet, bismuth oxychloride, red 6 and red 7 lake, red 27 lake, yellow 5 lake, yellow 6 lake, blue 1 lake. Made in USA.

Now for a little but on the individual shades!

Natural Beauty is described as simply a "red" by Tarte but personally, it's a bit more descriptive than that. I'd say it's more of a strawberry-red leaning more towards a red-pink. It does contain uber-fine shimmer which are undetectable once swatched or applied. Seriously, they're nonexistent. This is PERFECT for the summer with a little bit of bronzer or with some just-bitten lips to wake up your face.

Exposed is described as a "nude" from Tarte. I would definitely put this under the same category of other nude blushes similar to that of NARS' Madly/Douceur or Sleek Suede but if you look closely, you can detect Exposed being laced with some pink. I personally love working with nude blushes because they can double as bronzers but aren't as opaque like typical bronzers. Nude blushes also work beautifully with bolder makeup and pair AH-mazing with red lips! I'm compiling a post on bronzer-turn-blush-and-vice-versa real soon. But yes, nude blushes are a must-have because they can wake up your face and prevent starkness which is usual with bright lips or dark smokey eyes by adding some depth on the cheek without taking away from the bolder feature. If you're pale looking for a bronzer, Exposed may be PERFECT for that. For all that niftiness, I will admit I have a spot spot for Exposed and I can definitely see why it's a bestseller. It's perfect!

Here is a swatch on NC20-25 skin in natural light:

And if you're a depotter, you'll love that the pans are magnetic and you can easily pop the pan out via the tiny pinhole on the bottom. If I had one to recommend, I would highly recommend having Exposed in your collection, and with the summer months coming up both these blushes will work perfect with their color and wear (these will definitely hold up even in the humidity and heat). In fact, Dustin Hunter recently posted a tutorial using Exposed (and another Amazonian Clay blush in Tipsy which is very similar to Natural Beauty but slightly lighter and peachier so when I replicate the look, I'll be using Natural Beauty with a light hand). Enjoy!

Blog Update: Now

 Hey, everyone! Admittedly, I've been a terrible blogger over the last few days but in my defense, I was bombarded with a crazy load of essays and exams. But I'm starting to work on posts now and have the photography all set up so I'll be posting those shortly. 

And most importantly, I have a quick little update. is now and I decided to make that change and buy the domain name. Blogging has become my favorite past-time hobby so why not, right? :) 

Additionally, I can also be contacted now at and I'll be sure to update the contact tab with this. 


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Rouge Bunny Rouge Now Available In The U.S.

From Rouge Bunny Rouge:
"We are happy to announce our cooperation with Beautyhabit, the Modern Lux Apothecary, making our collection available in the U.S. Beautyhabit's international collection of sought after products are the result of years of research and include now our painstakingly selected product range. To celebrate our launch Beautyhabit has an enchanting offer." 
...which means that Rouge Bunny Rouge is not just exclusive to any longer! You can check Beautyhabit's Rouge Bunny Rouge selection here:

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Top 10 Spring Nail Polishes

I've been on a polish kick lately and while painting my nails the other day I thought I'd compile a list of some of my favorite Spring colors! My polish color selection during this time of year is a mixture of Fall and Summer colors; so neither complete brights nor complete dark-vampy shades either. During this time of year I love reds, shimmers, pinks, pretty pastels, neutrals and even glitters. Here are some of my favorites I always reach for, all of which look great on both hands and toes.

Click to enlarge! 
(And while working on this post, I realized how hard it is to be a nail blogger. I clearly need to get a nail wheel for swatches so please excuse my n0obtastic swatches).

First up is Zoya's 'Pandora' ($8) which is described as a "a medium pink-beige nude with blue and mauve undertones and a hint of pearly silver shimmer." Can I just add how gorgeous the formula is?! When I just want clean fool-proof nails, this is the polish I reach for. The formula is the perfect consistency that one coat does the job.

OPI's 'Catch Me in Your Net' ($8) is a sea green/teal with gold and green shimmer. This color is vibrant and gorgeous, aaaand it looks superb on the toes. The formula is slightly semi-opaque and the swatch below is with 2 coats.

OPI's 'I'm Not Really a Waitress' ($8) is what I'd describe as a deep shimmery red. It's synonymous with OPI and is their bestseller for a reason. This reminds me of a Snow White-red and is probably my favorite polish in general. The formula is perfect and one coat does the job. I love this on the toes but especially love it on my hands. I can see this working for every skin tone because of the undertones. A favorite!

The highly coveted OPI's 'Mad as a Hatter' ($8) from the Alice in Wonderland collection is a complex and a sophisticated glitter polish. This is a unique glitter polish which does not look obnoxious or "adorable" and I'd describe this as sheer black with gold, green, purple, red and blue (almost a rainbow of colors!) micro-glitter. The glitter is dense enough that this becomes opaque in 2-3 coats. I love this accent deep pastels or as a top coat for bland colors.

Butter London's 'All Hail the Queen' ($14) is described as an "opaque, holographic beige' but I think it's more a light taupe with SUPER-refined pink-gold holographic glitter. A gorgeous shade with a fantastic formula. The swatch below is with 2 coats.

Orly's 'Space Cadet' ($8) from the Cosmix FX collection is GORGEOUS. It's one of my favorite duo-chromes and I'd describe this as a green, purple and gold/orange multi-chrome with possibly a teal/blue base. I think you can detect the blue-ness in the picture on the top-right corner (or am I seeing things?) and the swatches below are with 3 coats, so the formula is slightly thin. Regardless, it is BEAUTIFUL and totally unique in my collection.

Chanel's 'Graphite' ($26) is a new purchase and has already become a favorite. I just love silvers and refined-glitter polishes and this fits the bill perfectly. This is described as a "light charcoal foil glitter warmed up with small gold flakes", and is overall very dimensional. Not only is Graphite a beautiful color but the formula is great too because the swatch below is with one coat.

Essie's 'Sew Psyched' ($8) is another FAVORITE of mine. I love odd shades of green and this is described as a "a cashmere-soft sage pewter" which I interpret to be a grey-green (ahem). I absolutely LOVE this color and find it to be perfect for every season, but especially during the months of Fall. The other reason I love this-- the formula! This has the best formula out of any of these polishes here because it's opaque with just one coat and the finish is SUPERB. Take a look for yourself (hopefully my camera catches the creamy goodness of this polish) because it almost looks like I added a Seche Vite-esque topcoat on top but nope, that is the polish in a single coat. Gorgeous, right?

Essie's 'Super Bossa Nova' ($8) is a fun pink I love for both hands and toes. This is described as an "upbeat bright fuchsia" and I spot some flecks of purple/blue ultra-fine shimmer in this when looked at under sunlight. The formula is not creamy-opaque but builds to the intensity below with 2 coats.

And last up is Dior's 'Rose Dauphine' ($23), also known as Dauphine Pink or Pink Icing and I would describe this as a soft baby pink with ultra-fine pink/red/gold shimmer in it. This is perfect when you want subtle and clean hands. I also like the color of OPI's Sweetheart but hate the sheer and gooey formula of that so prefer this over that. The formula is not streaky but still sheer and the swatch below is done in 3 coats. I especially love the brush on the Dior polishes which has a "rounded" tip and for those that do not like to flood their cuticles/like the "gap" will love the Dior polishes.

I'll be sure to add another top 10 when the summer months roll around, too! *\o/*