So Long Matte Face: Rules for Radiant Cheeks

You’re probably tired of me talking about adding radiance to the skin, but it’s so key in getting a healthy look that I can’t stress the point enough. Even if you’re oily matte is not your friend, the look adds years and it’s so 90′s. Getting your daily dose of radiance is as easy as sweeping on a little blush with a hint of glow that will have all eyes on your beautifully lit cheeks.

First though, I want to illustrate exactly what I’m talking about when I say radiance.

Matte vs. Radiance.

Jennifer Aniston was the poster girl for the 90′s matte makeup trend. When the skin’s natural finish is overshadowed by matte makeup, it looks flat and dull.

Jim Smeal, Wire Image

And here’s Jen now sporting the modern look of luminous skin. The difference is made with the weight and finish of the makeup, she’s still getting great coverage but with something that highlights her skin instead of covering it up. She’s 9 years older in the second pic, but looks younger and fresher.

Kristian Dowling, Wire Image

Makes sense now seeing it that way right? Good, now let’s see some radiant cheek colors.

The Supernatural You Make Me Blush from Philosophy is a bronzy blushy combo that dances along the cheekbones to softly highlight them using a light-yet-well-pigmented mineral formula. In the light, you can see the soft gold tone in the shades that give the skin some serious dimension.

happy/healthy is the color pictured

Laura Mercier’s Mineral Cheek Powder also uses minerals to jazz up the complexion. It’s the nature of minerals to add depth to the skin, and to never look chalky or harsh. It’s a formula that serves up a light dose of initial color that can be built up as much as you’d like. This shade (Coral) looks really orangey in the pot, but it took several layers to look this dark against my fair skin. Translation: it’s hard to over-do it.

Makeup Artist Christopher Drummond uses finely milled mica in his Sateen Blush collection for the most radiant look out of the bunch. I got 2 compliments the first time I wore it, which never happens with blush. Build the color on slowly and apply it in natural light, you’ll probably use a lot less blush than you normally do because of how great your skin will look using the slightest amount.

Alluring Apricot is the shade shown
Just remember, weight is key when finding a radiant blush. Something that has a sheen and a heavy weight to it will translate into a frosted 80′s mess. Minerals are always a good option, and so is choosing a color that isn’t too light which can also look a little frosty because the sheen will show up more than the color – another big no-no. 
Beautifully accentuated cheekbones are always in style, so give them the punch of radiant color they deserve.

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Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Collection Spring/Summer 2010

Spring must have sprung because Estee Lauder’s Bronze Goddess Collection has officially been released. This year Lauder introduces a (limited edition) line of makeup, fragrance, and skincare that will transform you into a tropical beach babe.

Here’s a shot of me wearing the collection.

Oh wait, that’s actually not me at all, but it sure does show the magic of their Liquid EyeShadow in the sizzling blue Aqua Flash shade. Ultra Violet is pretty eye-catching too and both nicely compliment the remaining two universally flattering shades; Sand Shimmer, and Molten Bronze. These 4 tubes have sponge-tip applicators (like a lip gloss) that you dab on your lids and either pat in with your fingers or blend it with a brush. I like the unique texture of the shadows which feels like a weightless mousse that settles nicely into the lids- even mature, dry lids because of the light formula. They don’t cake, crease, or smudge and they wear a really long time.

Here’s a shot I took that shows the colors well.

Here’s another shot where the writing isn’t visible so you can see the shades a little better.

The brunette bombshell above is sporting their Coral Look which consists of these products below. You can find the full color lineup of what was used for the look HERE.

Exotic Orchid is their other look, bright and pinky with a shot of bronze which uses these products shown below.

It’s a fun collection and a look that’s tropical, exotic, and eye-popping so you can kick-start spring with some splashy color.

But it wouldn’t be a Bronze Goddess collection without something to get us all bronzy would it? Their well-loved sunless tanning  formula comes in a base of gelée, milk, or a lotion that will get you that deep, even, safe tan.  I use the Milk, which is colorless, but the tinted gelée for the body has a little bronzer to it so you can see exactly where it’s going for a fool-proof application with zero streaking.

Within the past few months I’ve become a bronzer junkie. I don’t know why I wasn’t bronzing before (I always bronze everyone else) but now I rarely leave the house without a light dusting of the sunny powder. Their eye-catching  Exotic Bronzing Blush, combines the two so you can balance out rosy with bronzy- a big trend right now. I’ll be using their Bronzing Gel with a little moisturizer on my neck which is way lighter than my face. It’s a perfect bronzy shade that isn’t too dark on its own, but you can cut it with moisturizer to lighten it up for natural looking color.

One of the reasons I love Lauder is because they value tradition. They keep products they know are well-loved even if they aren’t mainstream anymore. Bronze Goddess is another tradition I look forward to getting year after year. It’s timeless, it’s sexy, and it never disappoints.

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess

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NARS Orgasm Illuminator

From what I hear, everyone is going crazy over Orgasm Illuminator, the latest spin-off of NARS Cosmetics best selling Orgasm blush. Molly Sims wore it recently to the ‘Unforgettable Evening’ event to benefit EIF’s Women’s Cancer Research Fund.

I like showing the photo as an example of what it looks like on the skin because an illuminator it isn’t a product that you want to see directly on the face like a liner or shadow, it just enhances the skin making it look better. Where her skin looks more sunny and luminous is where it was applied. You can pat a little on the tops of cheekbones, on the brow bones, over the cupid’s bow of the lip, and the middle of the chin. If you aren’t oily, a little down the bridge of the nose and forehead like Sims is wearing, also helps to light up the face.

Highlighters are a makeup artist’s best friend. Once you understand how to use one, you’ll see a lift and glow to your skin so healthy and youthful you’ll be addicted too. It’s a look you can not create using foundation alone and a worthwhile accessory product to have on hand.

$29, Sold exclusively at Sephora and

NARS Orgasm Illuminator

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Stila Yumberry Crush Lip & Cheek Stain

Yumberry Crush Lip & Cheek Stain is a new addition to Stila’s girly and innovative lineup. It’s not a ‘stain’ in the traditional sense, or I wouldn’t be reviewing it. Most stains out there are packaged in nail polish bottles and tinted bright red. They do stain the skin and the color lasts for hours but the problem is the bright reddish color looks stark on the face and flatters almost nobody. It’s always the same formula too, a watery liquid that sets before you have a chance to blend it in leaving you with red streaky lines on your cheeks that’s hard to conceal and impossible to blend in. Sounds great right?

Yumberry’s less harsh approach to a stain allows for better blending and wearability. Stila added in a slight creme shimmer so it blends easier than its counterparts and it doesn’t look so stark on the skin. It’s also the first lip & cheek stain that I can reasonably use on both. It gave my cheeks a pinky glow that didn’t dull or wear off, and a hint of color to my lips that felt comfortable and moisturizing. I just added lip balm when I needed it, but the color was spot on with what I usually wear- a shade slightly deeper than the color of my lips.

Yumberry is the only color available in the formula, but it was created to be a one-size-fits-most like their ubiquitous Kitten shadow. It would best flatter fair to medium olive skin tones, but deeper skin tones could use it as a long lasting base shande and add more intense color over top.

Stila Yumberry Crush Lip & Cheek Stain

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CARGO Cosmetics blu_ray Blush and High Definition Lip Gloss

CARGO’s slick blu_ray line is makeup meant for hi-def photography and it doesn’t just blend into the skin, it almost becomes skin morphing so completely as though there’s no barrier between the color and the skin. Tiny particles of photochromatic pigment scatter and adjust all lighting to look completely natural. Their blu_ray Blush/Highlighter comes in two universally flattering Pink and Peach shades that add a hint of color when used as a blush, or highlight cheekbones when used with a deeper shade.

The same technology is used in their High Definition Lip Gloss. There’s no stickiness to the formula, just a smooth glide that coats your lips with shimmer-free tinted shine. Put the enclosed Timestrip in the slotted cap so it can begin to track how long the gloss has been opened. At the end of 9 months the strip will turn red letting you know that the gloss has reached its point of expiration.

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Three Custom Color Specialists Créme to Powder Blush

If you’ve used créme blush and haven’t loved it, it’s only because you haven’t used the right one. I’m obsessed with créme blushes; the ease of application and long wearability make them the easiest part of my routine.

Three Custom’s créme to powder version is a good fit for novices since the texture isn’t a gel or super creamy, so it stays exactly where you want it and dries perfectly into the skin without streaking. You’ll find the right color to suit your skin in their complete line-up of 12 shades from pinks to apricots to plums, they have all possibilities covered.

12 Shades, $23,

Three Custom Color Specialists Créme to Powder Blush

During the month of October, support Bright Pink, a non-profit that helps women who are high risk for breast and ovarian cancer by purchasing their gorgeous Bright Pink gloss (23.50). 20% of the purchase will go directly to the charity.

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