my beauty favorites

My Beauty Favorites: Highlights

My Beauty Favorites: Highlights | Writing Between Pauses

When highlighting first emerged as a trend, I was rightfully reticent. After all, as an oily skinned person, I spent my entire teenage and adult life trying to look less shiny. So as matte-matte-matte skin disappeared and full-face glam became the norm, highlighting was a natural step forward. As makeup gurus contour their faces to perfection, highlighting is just a natural part of that. 

But still, it was a hard trend to hope on. I don't typically contour--and I definitely don't use cream contours. If I'm going out for the evening, I might use bronzer alongside blush, but that's about it. However, once I started using highlighter, I realized that I really, really like it... and that you don't necessarily have to do a full contour for it to look good. 

Highlighting brings attention, and dimension, to the high points of your face. Think your cheekbones, the tip of your nose, and your cupid's bow. By applying highlight to these places, you can make them more pronounced--and create cheekbones where you might not have great ones. I have a pretty round face with prominent, and full, cheeks, so highlighting my cheekbones is a daily must now. 

I narrowed down my highlighters to my four favorites. As a note, I definitely prefer a more subtle highlight--I don't like going crazy or playing with a lot of colors--but these are not the only highlights I use! 

1. Dirty Little Secret Baked Highlighter in Bellini

I received this highlight in last month's ipsy bag (review here) and, as I posted on Instagram recently, it's rapidly become my favorite highlight. It is a more cool-toned pale pink color and applies beautifully with a fan brush. It's pigmented enough that you could also use it as a blush or even an eyeshadow. For a daily, subtle glow, this one is perfect. (I'm also partial to the Bellisima color from DLS!) 

2. Ulta Beauty Duo Chrome Illuminator

I originally received this highlight from the 12 Days of Beauty Advent Calendar from Ulta. (You can read my full review here!) As I wrote then, I was unsure of what color this highlight actually was, as it's not labeled on the packaging. However, I think it is closest to either Mermaid or Fairy (although it looks like Fairy is no longer available). It is a duo chrome, which means it is not sparkly like some highlights, but shifts between white, pink, and lavender, with a hint of blue. It is absolutely not an everyday look, but for events, it can make a huge difference. 

3. Ulta Beauty Rainbow Highlighter

Rainbow highlights aren't everyone's cup of tea, but they sure are popular. There are rainbow highlighters available from not just Ulta Beauty, but tons of indie brands as well was Wet'n'Wild, TooFaced, Maybelline, Essence, and more. Again, this is not necessarily an everyday look, but can look great in photos or for more fun events. As well, you can use the separate rows on their own, or as eyeshadows. I personally love using the yellow and gold lines as solo highlights, as well as to highlight my inner corner. 

4. Ulta Beauty Liquid Illuminator in Northern Lights

Have you tried adding a few drops of liquid highlighter to your foundation? At first, I thought this did nothing... but let me say, once I started doing it, I was surprised at how it turned out! If you are looking for a lovely, subtle glowy look, add a few drops of this liquid illuminator (Northern Lights is a very light, pearly pink shade) to your foundation and it will change your entire look. 

My Beauty Favorites: Blushes

My Beauty Favorites: Blushes | Writing Between Pauses

It feels like I didn't really start caring about blush until a few years ago. When I was in high school, I don't think anyone I know used blush. In the early 2000s, bronzer was a big deal; I remember my friends covering essentially their whole faces in bronzer. I never rocked that look (I'm way too pale), so I mostly just wore foundation, powder, and that was it. I took all the color out of my face with foundation... and didn't add any back in!  

yikes reaction

The first blush I can remember buying, at least in the last 5 years, was Wet'n'Wild's Pearlescent Pearl (a very dead-on dupe for NARS Orgasm, if you're looking!) and while I love that blush, it's not one of my current favorites.

You see... blush is now one of my favorite items to buy, one of my favorite beauty items to put on, and something that I'm a little obsessed with. Most days, I wear foundation or concealer, powder, and blush, maybe some mascara if I'm feeling fancy. So most days, blush is the thing that really makes a huge difference in my look. 

So after a very taxing decision process, I picked out my top 3 favorite blushes. (And I'll also include my 2 favorite brushes for applying blush!) 

Blush Image 2

1. Pixi by Petra in Peach Honey

I received this blush in my first Ipsy bag and when I first reviewed it, I thought it was more of a highlighter than a blush. However, after applying it one day and getting to work, I realized the truth: my bathroom lighting just sucks! It's definitely a more subtle blush and being peachier than what I usually wear, it definitely falls into the category of being outside of my go-to. However, it has such a nice, natural effect that I think it's one of those blushes that looks good on everyone. 

2. Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Paaarty

I (and almost everyone else) received this blush in the 2017 Sephora birthday gift. (If you chose the skincare gift, don't worry, you can purchase it solo.) I love this blush, even though the name is actually one of the worst ever; I never remember the correct number of "a"s. It is a perfect pink color: very traditional, very cute, and very perfect on nearly every skintone. 

3. Ulta Beauty Blush in Rose

I debated including this blush, even though it is my current "I wear this every single day" color because, well, I couldn't find it on Ulta's website! The problem sometimes with free gifts is that they don't always have everything for sale. However, this is the same shade as the Ulta Beauty Blush in Sweet Pea here; so if you want to buy it, that's a great option. This shade is a dusty, slightly mauve-y pink. I wear mauve lips almost every single day, so if I'm going for a monochromatic look, this is what I reach for. It's super pigmented, super blendable, and absolutely lovely. 

Bonus: My Favorite Brushes

I used to use my fingers to apply blush, then I would sweep it out with my powder brush (yikes). Now, I have two dedicated blush brushes (three actually, but that's neither here nor there) that I love using, depending on the formula and look I'm going for. 

1. Crown C141 Small Chisel Brush: this brush is great for blushes that are a little less pigmented and you need to concentrate to a specific area. (I also love this brush for packing on mattifying powder!) I use it specifically with my Pixi by Petra blush. 

2. F.A.R.A.H. 30F: this brush is angled, so it gives you a great sweeping look. If you're using a highly pigmented blush, this is the one you want to go for; being softer and fluffier, it blends out blush much easier.