Summer is actually over here in the Pacific region, the monsoons are supposed to be checking in any day now. I’m actually dreading those first three weeks of August that always seem to bring in heavy, torrential onslaughts of rain…wreaking havoc, making floods rise, while keeping people indoors and children away from school. However it’s been alternatively sunny this mid July, with random showers or downpours here and there, the heat still has not left us, global warming is rubbing it in, the continuous rains are usually in by June but they’re not here yet. I find it kind of late in the game that I’ve suddenly fallen head first (literally) into an area of beauty that’s never interested me, and given that the idea of actual fake tanning was a juggernaut of a commitment to make… (waiting to naturally be fair again is blech, plus unnaturally adjusting my personal pigment scares me a bit) makeup was the answer for now.
CLOCKWISE: MAC (Ltd. Edition) Pro Longwear Bronzing Powder in Soft Sand, Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder in 00, Makeup Factory (BGC HighStreet) Mineral Compact Powder in #6, and Diorskin Nude TAN BB Creme in 002 (Ltd. Edition S/S 2013)
I’ve only dabbled in contouring, never fully with bronzing which carefully sculpts plus adjusts your complexion as a whole. I was scared of the earthy stuff, but it intrigued me no end to see my mother hit pan on her bronzer compacts time and time again…she hates blush but loves her bronzers. Plus the numerous anecdotes of makeup noobs committing to only use bronzer, lip tint, mascara and nothing else while still raking in compliments really had me stumped. Makeup minimalists more often than not use a bronzer. I’ve always appreciated the compliments on how naturally fair I am, but I was bored with that. I had to get the “white edge” off and get a bit of joie d’ vivre rubbed into my face, to get that you just had to look like the sun-kissed child who’d been to accumulating destinations. I discovered that bronzer was able to do exactly that for women like me. In a span of about two months I’ve collected three bronzers (one was an unexpected gift) plus made use of a mineral powder that was too dark for me in the same way, that makes four. They’re my new favorites. I was suddenly appreciating and enjoying the possibilities my fairness presented for the first time, for when you are fair you can choose to go dark and in increments that please you, and that’s exactly what I’ve been up to. To present these to you I slapped on my most recently purchased truly matte foundation (more on that some other day hehe) so they’d glide on more seamlessly. Read more to see why I like these four products and how I randomly use them, please note this won’t be a complete lesson on contouring but some tips will be mentioned.
So my first MAC blush isn’t your garden variety flush sort of blush. It’s neither pink nor peach. In fact, it’s a 90s earthy color and *oh-my-gasp* it’s shimmery (signboards go up “Julia, you bought a bronzer”). I’m still arguing in my head as to whether MAC Sheertone Shimmer Trace Gold is a blush, bronzer, highlighter or all these lovely things rolled into one simple, subtle, but swoon-worthy product. I love that even if this is dubbed a Sheertone Shimmer it doesn’t mean having glitter vomit on your face.
I’ll admit Trace Gold’s loveliness was quite hard to photograph on myself during the day, but I promise you in person it is noticeable and does make a difference. It defines cheekbones or cheeks wherever you apply it and the sheen gives the illusion of highlight AND contour in just one product and that hint of color when properly placed is GORJ. Read more to get the full post and see me wearing my new MAC Trace Gold blush!
Since quite a handful of you asked regarding the brush I used in my last video post, voila, here it is :). I first spotted this brush via Charlotte’s post on her blog Lipglossiping (one of the UK’s top beauty blogs) and when she used the word “mahoosive” to describe it I couldn’t help but laugh. The timing of her post was perfect because I was looking for a more affordable alternative to the only buffing brush I already own which almost EVERY model/TVC talent I worked on (guys included) asked about…both guys and girls would come to me for retouches sometimes only because they liked the soothing feel of that Ellana brush on their face! This Ecotools one though not as dense, performs just as softly on the skin for a better price.
“Create a natural-looking, sun-kissed glow with this beauty editor favorite! Our widely-acclaimed bronzer brush features soft, cruelty-free taklon bristles, a recycled aluminum ferrule and heavy bamboo handle. This brush is packaged in our zip-top, reusable pouch.“
The lovely thing about buffing brushes, which is a popular method now, is that you conserve more foundation because it diffuses and buffs out minimal product evenly all over the face, you get the most out of a tiny bit of product and the brush doesn’t drink it up. The Ecotools bronzer brush is absolutely massive I agree which makes it so ideal for buffing in a base, just like my reviewed Ellana XL Buffing brush (local, Php800 with shipping) which is slightly smaller but the bristles are more densely packed (which I like). That Ellana one is almost exact super more affordable dupe of the NARS #19 bronzer brush which costs about $50. I was hoping this Ecotools one would be as dense as my Ellana one but I’m not irritated that it isn’t only by a fraction. This glides smoothly and softly all over the face, they’d be better kept though if you used brush guards which I believe are sold locally by Suesh Makeup Tools in Greenhills. Note though, this would also be FAN-TAS-TIK as a mineral powder brush or general setting powder brush and what it was originally named for of course, all over bronzing.
Anyway, I got this at almost a third of the price of the Ellana one at about Php300.00 ($7 US) EACH, free shipping off Ebay from this link. I found the pricing so worth it and since I believe in Ecotools (their retractable kabuki is in my personal kit) I decided to buy 3 in one go to take advantage of the free shipping offered by the Hong Kong ebay seller I found online, can you imagine…Php900+ for THREE of these? That’s practically the price of only one Ellana XL Buffing brush (but I think that Ellana one is a step up in density and quality). I needed more of these because on shoots when there are so many models I’d like to have a brush to use for light, medium, and dark shades of foundation that I can rotate, also so they don’t get disappointed by the fact that I’m only using one brush I repeatedly clean on the spot for all of them. I suddenly remembered what my Yaya (nanny) used to tell me which I found ridiculous when I was young “1,2,3 means I love you” LOL. To see how I use this brush go to my last blog post here and watch my video day makeup tutorial.