Shop With Me: Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks Blush Stick (Petal)

I know there are a lot of complaints about Sephora these days but I still love shopping there.  One of the biggest loves for me is getting to sample products I’m not sure of buying.  Several months ago I got a trio of Westman Atelier products to sample and was shocked at how much I enjoyed them.  The trio was Baby Cheeks Blush Stick in Petal, Face Trace Contour Stick in Biscuit, and Lit Up Glow Highlighter Stick in Lit.  The biggest reason I was excited to try these as a sample is that I always prefer powder products over cream.  So I certainly didn’t want to spend Westman Atelier-level money on cream products.  Before I get into the shopping part, let’s start off with swatches of the Westman Atelier Samples.

Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks Blush Stick

Westman Atelier Petal Baby Cheek Blush Stick Swatch Medium Dark Skin
Westman Atelier Petal Baby Cheek Blush Stick Swatch

Westman Atelier Face Trace Contour Stick

Westman Atelier Biscuit Face Trace Contour Stick Swatch Medium Dark Skin
Westman Atelier Biscuit Face Trace Contour Stick Swatch

Westman Atelier Lit Up Glow Highlighter Stick

Westman Atelier Lit Up Glow Highlighter Stick in Lit Swatch Medium Dark Skin
Westman Atelier Lit Up Glow Highlighter Stick in Lit Swatch

Long story short, I ended up enjoying 2 of the 3 items.  The highlighter doesn’t dry down and I just felt it was too sticky for my taste. Surprisingly, the biscuit contour did show up on me, but it is very subtle and took building. This is definitely a product that could use a shade expansion. It shocked me how much I liked the blush. It was easy to apply, didn’t disturb my foundation (remove coverage), and the color worked for me. So then I found myself on the verge of buying the blush stick during the Sephora VIB sale back in November.  I talked myself out of it, but I continued to not only think about it but also try to find a cheaper alternative.  Since I was already doing the research, I thought it would be fun to take you guys through similar products I discovered. 

Important note: I have not tried any of the other products featured on my face. My thoughts on color and consistency are based on swatching them in store. So keep in mind that I don’t have enough context to claim anything here is an actual dupe, they are all just cream blushes in the stick format.  

Continue reading “Shop With Me: Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks Blush Stick (Petal)”

5 Things I’d Like To See From Brands in 2023

Happy New Year! I thought it would be fun to kick this year off with what I want to see some of my favorite brands do this year. I think it will be fun to look back at the end of the year and see if anything I am hoping for actually happens. For some context on my background, I have a long history in retail both as a cashier and as a store manager; I’ve operated my own small business selling makeup bags and brush rolls; and I’m an experienced government buyer (sometimes called a contract specialist or purchasing agent). So while I’ve never worked for a beauty brand, I do have a strong understanding of retail, logistics, and supply chain operations. My point in telling you this is that I’m considering not just the consumer perspective, but I’m also attempting to consider what may be happening behind the scenes of these brands.

This blog uses affiliate links (marked with **).  I may earn a small commission when you purchase through links on my site.  Learn more here.

1. I’d Like To See Smashbox Release Powder Blush and Bronzer in Single Compacts

Smashbox has no problem formulating blushes and bronzers, they just always typically appear in palettes. I personally like single products over palettes although I know that palettes give the brand a larger profit margin. They did come out with a liquid blush (Halo Cream Cheek + Lip Tint**) in 2022 that is available as a single product, but they didn’t get much attention. The reviews for the Halo Cream Cheek Tint seem mixed, so the brand could still use a reliable blush in its lineup. They could maybe even resurrect the luminous blushes and sunlit bronzer from the now-defunct Becca. The Smashbox x Becca branded highlighter** and corrector** have remained bestsellers in their categories at Ulta and Sephora and have become bestsellers for Smashbox on their own website.** Since that seems to be working out so far, why not take it further? The wish for the sunlit bronzer to make an appearance from another brand is partly selfish, it is one of my favorite products. However, I stand by my thought that it would be a good product for the brand to release.

Smashbox still relies heavily on its face primers and from what I can see, promoting those is where they spend most of the marketing budget. But I think if they took even a small slice of that budget and focused it on creating and promoting some single-color cosmetics, it could be a good move for them. I think that many consumers still like the idea of brand loyalty. I’m specifically thinking of the type of consumers that don’t read beauty blogs and hang out on beauty forums. Expanding the product line to have these types of basics could help foster that feeling in the less adventurous consumer that makes up a significant portion of beauty sales. Then even if people come to them for the primer, they may stay and buy more from the brand.

2. I’d Like To See MAC Revitalize The Sheertone Shimmer Blush Formula

Even with the huge emphasis on glowy skin, there are tons of makeup consumers that don’t want to use cream products (like me 😂). It is past time to capitalize on that market and give people an easy to use blush with a glow. MAC does still sell 3 Sheertone Shimmers**, but that isn’t nearly enough. I do have a swatch of the shade Peachtwist. You can see below how it compares in finish to burnt pepper (matte finish) and breath of plum (sheertone finish). Ambering Rose and Sweet as Cocoa were cult classic sheertone shimmers (especially for women of color) that unfortunately, MAC has discontinued. If the brand has no plans to bring back some of those fan favorites, they could at least release some new more modern shades. MAC’s blush line used to be much more extensive and I’d love to see it return to its previous more vast range.

MAC matte Blush Burnt Pepper, sheertone shimmer blush peachtwist, and Sheertone blush breath of plum swatches dark skin
L to R: MAC Burnt Pepper, Peachtwist, and breath of plum

MAC does have the baked mineralize blush finish (see swatches here), with some of those shades being the closest they currently have to a powder blush with a glowy finish. But that formula is also limited in number and some of the shades are a matte finish. The shades that do have a sheen like love joy and love thing don’t provide as much glow as some may be looking for these days.

MAC does still formulate and release new blush shades, however, they are always grouped into a limited edition collection. The limited edition shades have also been typically either matte or the Glow Play** formula. Consumers are loving the Glow Play formula, so they can play off that popularity and release a powder version of them. They could call it Glow Play Velvet and they could either tweak the existing formula into a baked version or use their existing baked formula (Mineralize Blush**) as a jumping off point. Since those formulas are already available and the packaging already exists, they don’t have to start from scratch. I’d also love to see an expansion to the existing Glow Play formula, but I feel like I’ve talked about that a ton in the past year already lol. I have two posts featuring the shades Groovy, Heat Index, and Rosy Does It if you want to know more about them.

3. I’d Like To See More Mini Size Foundation and Concealers Being Offered

As someone who regularly falls between shades, it would be nice to see more mini sizes being offered so I could save some money when I need to buy two shades. This is something that is happening more often but I’d like to see it from even more brands. It’d also be nice if the mini came in all the same shades as the full size, which doesn’t always happen. There are some brands that only pick select shades to make in mini sizes, which leaves a lot of people that can’t take advantage of the minis. The two items I featured above, bareMinerals Tinted Moisturizer** and NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer**, have both sizes available in every shade which I appreciate. And again, this is something that is becoming more common, but I’d like to see mini sizes of some of the top-selling foundations like MAC Studio Fix Fluid, Estee Lauder Double Wear, NARS Natural Radiant Longwear, Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation plus Concealer, and the Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24HR Foundations. It’d be nice to see mini sizes for the Too Faced Born This Way, Rare Beauty Liquid Touch, ABH Magic Touch, and MAC Pro Longwear concealers.

Continue reading “5 Things I’d Like To See From Brands in 2023”

5 Makeup Techniques That I Stopped Doing in 2022

When you are learning about makeup and how to apply it to yourself, you inevitably end up mimicking other people’s styles and techniques. However, once you get the basics down and begin to experiment with the “rules” in order to come up with your own style, there are some things you end up dropping. That’s what I wanted to talk with you about today. I have realized that these techniques don’t suit my personal style, don’t suit my skin type or face shape, or take more time than I’m willing to spend doing my makeup.

1. Using 3 or More Eyeshadows In Every Look

Makeup techniques I stopped doing in 2022: Applying 3 or more eyeshadows in every look
Photo by Domineves Anthony on

The only exception to this one is when I am testing a new eyeshadow product. It is important to know how shadows layer, blend and build when I’m reviewing a product for this blog but not as much for personal use. I have found that eyeshadow is most flattering on me when I only use 1 or 2 shades. I feel like I look my best in one-and-done eyeshadow looks, but occasionally I’ll use a blending shade to blend out the edges. My rationale for this is my slightly hooded eyelids. Taking one color from the lash line and blending it out makes it appear as though I have more lid space than I actually do. It makes my eyes look brighter and that’s ultimately what I’m going for. If I’m not careful, deepening the outer-v can start to make my hood look heavier than it is. And on a day-to-day basis, I don’t want to have to be careful, I prefer to get my eyes done quickly and get going. I even started limiting how many dark eyeshadow shades I purchase because they just don’t get enough use from me.

2. Wearing Eyeliner

Makeup techniques I stopped doing in 2022: Wearing eyeliner
Photo by Aggeliki Siomou on

This mostly has to do with the application, I just can’t be bothered to take the time to do eyeliner 😂. My eyelids have a natural puffiness to them right at the base of my lashes, so it makes lining incredibly difficult. There are some products I’ve been able to work with like the MAC Technakohl Liner, Stila Smudge Stick, and the L’oreal Laquer Liner, but it still doesn’t feel worth the time to me. I find that wearing mascara gives me enough lash line definition to be happy and it’s easier for me to work with.

3. Applying Undereye Concealer After Foundation

Makeup techniques I stopped doing in 2022: Applying under eye concealer after foundation
Photo by George Milton on

A lot of people I see do their makeup on YouTube applying foundation first and then under-eye concealer. I’m the opposite and now exclusively apply my under-eye concealer first. I always get a better blend and if the concealer is slightly too light, adding the foundation second keeps me from looking like I have raccoon eyes.

4. Using A Beauty Blender

Makeup techniques I stopped doing in 2022: Using a Beautyblender
Photo by cottonbro studio on

I love the finish of using a beauty blender, but I feel like it dries my face out. As someone with dry skin, I can not afford to do anything drying if I can help it. I also prefer the experience of using brushes over sponges.

5. Setting My Entire Face With Powder

Makeup techniques I stopped doing in 2022: Setting my entire face with powder
Photo by Ron Lach on

If I am wearing a matte foundation I skip powder altogether, but there are some foundations that need setting because they feel tacky on my skin. But instead of setting my entire face I just set the areas where I’m going to apply bronzer and blush. This keeps my driest areas from looking too dry and textured.

There is nothing groundbreaking or special about not doing these techniques, I just thought I’d share in case you needed a push to stop doing something that may be annoying you.

Are there any techniques that you’re using because you’re “supposed to” and not because you like them? Let’s talk about it in the comments section below.

If you enjoyed this post, please give it a like down below.  If you’d like to check out more of my content, here are some places to start. 

  • Brands A-Z: Check out this index if you want to know what products I have posted about in the past.
  • MAC Cosmetics:  I likely have some swatches you’ve been searching for if you love Mac as much as I do. 
  • The Wanderlust List:  Join me as I search for alternatives to new releases.

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Makeup So Good That I Want To Buy More

UPDATE October 2022:  Looking for me? Military life has us moving again, as it does. So while I won’t be posting, if you have questions you can always leave a comment on any post or email me at

Dior 689 Mitzah, NARS Liberte, Pat McGrath Belle of the Ball Swatches
Dior 689 Mitzah, NARS Liberte, Pat McGrath Belle of the Ball (LE)

If you watch beauty videos on YouTube you may have seen this concept popping up where people are highlighting makeup that was so good they needed more. I thought I’d run with that idea but instead talk about a few things that I’m not going to buy more of despite really enjoying them. I’m no stranger to buying multiple colors of the same formula and as you’ll see in the last two, I already own multiples. I’m just trying to buy makeup differently moving forward.

This blog uses affiliate links (marked with **).  I may earn a small commission when you purchase through links on my site.  Learn more here.

Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette (689 Mitzah), $62**

Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette 689 Mitzah Swatches on Medium Dark Skin
Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette 689 Mitzah

I have posted a full review with swatches if you want my full thoughts on this palette. I have owed several Dior 5 Couleurs over the years and I’m never disappointed. Every time I wear Mitzah, I’m impressed by how smooth they are on my eyelids, while still having enough shine to stand out. Lately, I have been reading and watching reviews of the 579 Jungle version because I love green eyeshadow but as with most colors, all greens don’t work for me.

$ 0.00
$ 62.00
Dior 5 Couleurs Couture Eyeshadow Palette 579 Jungle 0.24 oz / 7 g**

While I do think that the two greens in this palette would work out great, I really think I’d mostly only use the 1 green shimmer shade and the rest of the palette would be a waste for me. In the reviews I’ve watched, the dark green matte does seem to show as green, so that was good to find out, but I hardly ever use shades that dark. Buying this palette would just take time away from enjoying the Mitzah palette.

The Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palettes can be purchased for $62.00 at** and**

Continue reading “Makeup So Good That I Want To Buy More”

On Wednesdays We Window Shop (August 3, 2022)

Ulta Forever Fabulous Sale August 3 -4, 2022 plus my thoughts on new beauty releases: MAC Powder Kiss Velvet Blur Slim Stick, Smashbox Halo Cream Cheek Lip Tint, Benefit Gimmer Brow Volumizing Fiber Eyebrow Pencil.

If you follow the beauty industry closely, then you know that new releases are happening all the time.  So let’s discuss what new products are on my radar right now.

This blog uses affiliate links (marked with **).  When you purchase through links on my site, I may earn a small commission.  Learn more here.

Mac Powder Kiss Velvet Blur Slim Stick, $27.00**: To me, this formula from MAC sounds a lot like the Powder Kiss bullet lipsticks that they already have. The promo images for the Slim Stick do look a little less matte than the promo images for the bullet lipstick, but they are both described as a weightless moisture-matte. So I guess the big difference between the two other than shape and size is the 12-hour wear claim on the Powder Kiss Velvet Blur Slim Stick. You know I love MAC, so I am always excited about new releases, but I do not like the blurred lip look on myself. I also wasn’t crazy about the scent and taste of the original Powder Kiss lipsticks, so I won’t be trying these out.

Smashbox Halo Cream Cheek + Lip Tint, $28.00**: If you’ve been around you probably know that I don’t like liquid products, but this new release from Smashbox has me excited for the brand. Smashbox doesn’t get much hype but to me, they are a solid brand. So I think it is exciting to see them release a product that is more on trend. I personally love that the shade range sits on the deeper end of the blush spectrum and that the shades seem saturated. It can be hard to find these types of shades on the market. I do think the shade range is missing some lighter shades but the brand does say it is sheer to medium coverage so maybe there’s some wiggle room.

Continue reading “On Wednesdays We Window Shop (August 3, 2022)”

Would-Be Favorites: Petty Complaints, Beautiful Products (Pat McGrath Blushing Delights and Armani Melting Color Balm)

Ok, I have a confession. I don’t really think that the complaints that I have with these two products are petty. It was just really hard to figure out how to title this post. As I was thinking about it, I do think some people would call them petty complaints. The Pat McGrath Blushing Delights Palette and the Armani Beauty Color Melting Balm in Warm Plum are two products that I think I would have considered favorites if I wasn’t a beauty blogger. As a reviewer, I pay more attention to small details and analyze products more than I think a “normal” consumer would. If I never wrote a review and never read the brand’s claims (for Armani), I truly think these two items would be favorites.

Pat McGrath Blushing Delights Palette Review and Armani Melting Color Balm 60 Warm Plum
Continue reading “Would-Be Favorites: Petty Complaints, Beautiful Products (Pat McGrath Blushing Delights and Armani Melting Color Balm)”