NARS Satin Lipstick (Banned Red and Tolede)

NARS Satin Lipstick Banned Red swatch medium dark skin
NARS Banned Red

NARS promises that their iconic lipstick will be lightweight, long lasting, and resistant to bleeding/feathering. I do think that Banned Red (pictured above) does have a decent wear time for a satin lipstick. I can get a good 4 hours of wear through drinking and a light snack before it needs to be touched up. Unfortunately for me, I do not agree that it is resistant to feathering. I have some very fine lines along my top lip that this formula creeps into. On the upside, I don’t think anyone else would notice the feathering, but it does bother me. They also say that it will leave your lips feeling hydrated, which I also don’t experience. I do think that this formula is comfortable to wear, but I don’t feel that it offers my lips any nourishment.

Continue reading “NARS Satin Lipstick (Banned Red and Tolede)”

NARS Matte Bronzing Powder Swatch (Samoa)

NARS Matte Bronzing Powder Samoa bronzer swatch dark skin

I clearly have a bronzer problem. In May, I talked about the new release of bronzers from NARS in one of my window shopping posts. I claimed I wasn’t going to buy the matte version. Well, that was true. At the time, I ended up getting the satiny version in the shade Punta Cana**. But right before Christmas, I finally broke down and decided to try the matte version in the shade Samoa**.

NARS Matte Bronzing Powder Samoa bronzer swatch medium dark skin
NARS Matte Bronzing Powder in Somoa

Despite typically preferring a satin finish, I like this matte formula better than their traditional finish. It is definitely a matte powder, but it gives a healthy look to the skin. The most comparable bronzer that I’ve tried is the Bobbi Brown bronzing powder (swatches here). They remind me a lot of each other, but the NARS formula is denser likely due to the oils in the ingredients.

NARS Matte Bronzing Powder Punta Cana and Samoa bronzer swatches medium dark skin
NARS Bronzing Powder Punta Cana (left) and NARS Matte Bronzing Powder Samoa (right)

NARS Matte Bronzing Powder – Samoa, $38.00** (left swatch)

NARS Matte Bronzing Powder Samoa and Punta Cana Bronzer Swatches medium dark skin
L to R: NARS Samoa (matte) and Punta Cana

Pictured above is Samoa (matte formula) and Punta Cana (regular formula) swatched. I thought it would be helpful to see the two side by side so you can see how the finish differs. Hopefully, this is helpful if you are trying to decide between the two. The colors look similar in a swatch but Punta Cana applies deeper and more neutral than Samoa on me. Punta Cana is much more like it looks in the pan than it looks in the swatch.

If you’re curious to see how Punta Cana compares to other brands, I posted a round-up of my bronzers over the summer.


What’s your favorite bronzer finish, matte or satin? Let me know in the comments below.


If you enjoyed this post, please consider sticking around and checking out more of my content. 

  • 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. 
  • Shop My Stash:  Join me as I share swatches of my products and occasionally search for alternatives to new releases. 

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Palette: The Beauty Bible for Women of Colour

Don’t let the title scare you away; regardless of skin tone, the information in this book can be helpful. The publishing of this book is a necessary addition to the few makeup guides still available in print. I found out about The Beauty Bible for Women of Colour by Funmi Fetto from Vikeejeah on Youtube. Vikeejeah and four other YouTube Creators collaborated to all cover three products mentioned in the book. Kelsee Briana Jai, one of the collaborators, created a playlist of all five videos for easy viewing.

Palette The Beauty Bible for Women of Colour Book Review and Swatches

I do want to mention that some of the write-ups in the book are more helpful than others. Some anecdotal parts aren’t that helpful in terms of how a product works, but I haven’t noticed any items that I felt wouldn’t be workable for deep skin tones. Overall, I have enjoyed reading through this book and am excited to check out some products I haven’t tried before.

I thought it would be fun to showcase some of the products covered in the book that I have tried. The book does cover skincare and hair care, but I’ll only be focusing on the makeup portion.

Palette: The Beauty Bible for Women of Colour Book Review and swatches of featured products

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

Foundations

Two of the foundations in the book that I have used are the Estee Lauder Doublewear** and Nars Natural Radiant Longwear** foundations. I already have a review of the Estee Lauder doublewear foundation, so if you want more details from a dry skin perspective, you can check that review out.

As for the Nars Natural Radiant Longwear**, it is still fairly new to me, so I’m still getting a feel for it. You can tell in the swatches below how matte the Estee Lauder is in comparison to the NARS’ Radiant finish. The one issue I have had with the NARS formula was that it accentuated texture really badly until I got my shade right. It looks much better on me now that I’ve switched to the shade Tahoe instead of Huahine and Syracuse. You can see me wearing the NARS Natural Radiant Longwear in the shade Tahoe in my profile picture (on the sidebar, at the bottom of the page on mobile, and on my about me page).

Estee Lauder double wear shade 5w2 rich caramel and nars natural radiant longwear shade tahoe swatches on medium dark skin
L to R: Estee Lauder Double Wear 5W2 and NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Tahoe
Continue reading “Palette: The Beauty Bible for Women of Colour”

Setting Powders That Work for My Dry Skin

Setting powders can be tricky for those of us with dry skin. Here are three powders that set my foundation for longevity without accentuating dryness or creating dryness where there was none.

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

Best for Luminosity: Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder** (shades 4 and 5)

I like to pair the Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder** with one of my favorite foundations, the Clinique Beyond Perfecting 2-in-1 Foundation. Because the Clinique foundation has a satin finish that feels tacky on the skin, I like to set it without taking away the satin finish. So by using this as a setting powder, I get the longevity and dried down feeling, but the glow of the powder keeps my skin from looking dry or looking matte.

Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder Shades 4 and 5 swatches on medium dark skin
Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder Shades 4 and 5
Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder Shades 4 and 5 Swatches on medium dark skin
Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder Shades 4 and 5

This powder is designed to catch the light, so keep that in mind when you are considering the shades. Shade 4 is the best shade for my skin tone (Estee Lauder 4W4/5W1, MAC C8, NARS Tahoe) and shade 5 is a little dark for me. I mainly use shade 5 when I have a foundation that is a little too light for me. I do know that shade 5 works for people who can wear NARS Macao, MAC NW43, MAC NC47, Lancome 460, Fenty 385, and Fenty 390. This isn’t to say it won’t work for any other deeper or lighter skin tones, this will just hopefully give a reference point.

Overall, this is my preferred setting powder but it can also be used as a finishing powder. If a foundation is accentuating my texture, I find that layering this powder on top improves the way it looks. Laura Mercier claims that this powder has a “diffused, soft-focus finish” and I guess that is the benefit that helps with the look of texture.

The Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder retails for $39.00 on the Laura Mercier website**.

Update, January 21, 2022: Unfortunately, it seems that the brand has discontinued shades 2, 4, and 6 in this line. Shade 5 is still carried and is in stock. While shades 1 and 3 are currently out of stock they will be restocked at some point. When I contacted the brand in November 2021, they confirmed that shade 4 has been discontinued. So that leads me to believe at least for the time being that the whole line has not been discontinued.

Continue reading “Setting Powders That Work for My Dry Skin”

Top 3 Drugstore Blushes under $10

These are my personal favorite blushes from the drugstore.  In my opinion, these blushes are great, not just good for the price.

e.l.f. Primer Infused Blush in Always Rosy, $6.00** 

Top 3 Drugstore Blushes under $10 e.l.f primer infused blush always rosy swatch on medium dark skin
e.l.f. always rosy blush

This blush actually is listed as a bestseller on e.l.f.’s website.  They have also recently added 3 more for a total of seven shades.

e.l.f primer infused blush always rosy swatch on medium dark skin Top 3 Drugstore Blushes under $10
e.l.f primer infused blush -n always rosy

The e.l.f. always rosy blush has a beautiful formula.  I don’t really think there is a noticeable difference in performance and wear time due to it being primer infused.  The texture of the powder is definitely smoother than other blushes I’ve tried, but I just don’t notice that it made a difference overall.  I found it easy to pick up with any brush and easy to blend.  I immediately felt like this reminded me of a more pink version of the Mac blush in the shade Mocha.  I feel like Mac Mocha has more red to it than this shade.

Continue reading “Top 3 Drugstore Blushes under $10”

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Cheeky Bronze

MAC mineralize skinfinish cheeky bronze highlighter
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Cheeky Bronze

This MAC highlighter comes in 5 shades and falls under the Mineralize Skinfinish name.  They also have 15 shades of Skinfinish Natural powders** of which 12 are all over face powders and 1 is a bronzer.  The two are often mixed up, so I just wanted to point out that I’m featuring the highlighter formula rather than the face powders. If looking for Skinfinish natural powders, I have a post featuring medium deep and dark that you can check that out by clicking here.

MAC describes Cheeky bronze** as a soft coral with a golden shimmer.

MAC mineralize skinfinish cheeky bronze highlighter swatch on medium dark skin
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Cheeky Bronze

It is hard to see the golden shimmer in the picture but it is definitely noticeable if you look at yourself closely in the mirror. I do like the quality of this formula and I think it sits nicely on my skin despite my dryness and texture.

As with most makeup items, from a comfortable distance,  it looks much like other highlighters.  On me, this shade is very similar to the Patrick Starrr Holiday 2018 highlighter (Baby It’s Gold Outside).  Cheeky bronze has more color to it and you can see how coral it is in a comparison swatch, but that goes away once blended out on the face.  At least on my Estee Lauder 4W4/MAC C8 skin tone, when I wore one on each side of my face, I could barely tell the difference.

You can purchase this shade and the other 4 permanent shades of this formula from the MAC Cosmetics website for $38.00**.

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Disclaimer:  I purchased all products featured with my own money.  This site receives a minimal commission from participating in the WordAds program and using affiliate links.  For my full disclosure policy, click here.