Tagged: NARS

The Perfect Palette Tag

Perfect Palette

There’s a great tag floating around Youtube called The Perfect Palette Tag, and it is a topic around makeup palettes – your favorites (or non-favorite) why.  I’ve really been enjoying seeing what palettes people chose – here’s mine:

1. Best packaging – Laura Mercier Artist Palette 2 ($48)

LM Artist Palette

There are so many factors that can make up “best” packaging – aesthetics, function, practicality, or something else entirely??  I chose to focus on function and practicality (as I tend to do).  What I like about this palette (besides the colors, which are really great):

  • Padded – I don’t need to worry about it breaking if I pack it in my makeup bag for traveling
  • Made of shiny faux leather – easy to wipe and clean
  • Magnetic closure that overlaps to the side of the palette – secure clasp won’t let the palette open accidentally
  • Large mirror on the inside

This palette is sold out online at Sephora.com, BUT I’ve seen it in stock at various Sephora stores, so check out your local store.

2. Best color payoff – Urban Decay Smoked Eyeshadow Palette ($49)

UD Smoked

This palette is amazing, and if you don’t have it, you should seriously consider owning it if you like smokey eye looks.  It does a smokey or smokier neutral eye so easily.  The only shadow you need to supplement this is a lighter blending shade (my favorites are Burberry Sheer Shadow in Almond, MAC Quarry, Soft Brown, or Kid).  Pigmentation is fantastic, and I have yet to experience any fallout.

3. Most versatile – Urban Decay Naked 2 Eyeshadow Palette ($52)

UD Naked 2

No surprise, one of the Urban Decay Naked palettes had to come up in this tag.  My favorite is Naked 2, because you can do anything from an extremely natural, no-makeup makeup look to an intense smokey eye – without the glitter from Naked 1.  I haven’t purchased Naked 3 yet – I know I’ll cave and get it at some point, but the rosy nude look isn’t my thing.. have you tried Naked 3?

4. Best for traveling – Maybelline Stylish Smokes Quad in Natural Smokes (~$6) or Urban Decay Naked 2  ($52)

Maybelline UD Naked2

I think the BEST palette from the drugstore is Maybelline Stylish Smokes Quad in Natural Smokes (which has a different layout now) – you can go super natural or smokey – all in a lightweight compact.  Thus, it’s my favorite for traveling light (very light), but if I were traveling and I wanted more options yet still have the same versatility, gotta go back to my answer for Question 3, which is Naked 2.

5. Biggest regret(s) – Laura Mercier Eye and Cheek Palette and limited edition color holiday quads 

LM Eye & Cheek

I routinely purge my makeup collection of items I don’t like, but for reasons unknown to myself I have yet to get rid of the Laura Mercier Eye and Cheek Palette.  I got this with the intention of having it be my go-to travel palette, but it just doesn’t do anything for me.  Did I get a dud?  The eyeshadows aren’t super pigmented, and the blushes are meh.  I think I’ll finally get rid of this one.

High end

Other regrets are color limited edition holiday quads, namely Tom Ford Emerald Lust, YSL Boreal Palette in Arctic Night, Guerlain Ombre Eclat 4 Couleurs in Velours D’Or.  These colors just totally suck me in, but I NEVER use them, and they end up gathering dust.  Maybe I’ll bust them out for holiday parties… but most likely not.

6. Least used – Make Up For Ever, theBalm Nude ‘tude ($36), Stila In the Light ($39)

Least Used

These are all great palettes (I mean, I made the MUFE palette myself!), but I just never use them.

7. Most Used / Most Loved / Which palette would you want with you if you were on a deserted island?


I think the original purpose of this question was to tease out your one Holy Grail palette, but I decided to focus on the deserted island part.  The sequence I would choose to focus on would be firstly flawless skin, then blush/bronzer, then eyes, then lips.  If I were trapped on a deserted island and I needed some makeup products to survive, I would  firstly want some sort of base, like the Make Up For Ever Concealer Palette ($38) or various colors of the Shiseido Sun Protection Compact Foundation SPF 34 PA+++ ($27) in pan form in a Z Palette, because 1) I still want flawless looking skin even on a deserted island, and 2) I’d want  SPF with coverage because I don’t want suns spots.  And because why not.

NARS Danmari

But if I needed to choose color products, I’d choose  the NARS Danmari Blush Palette, complete with a bronzer, highlight, and various blush shades.  Since that was limited edition, I’d go with something like NARS Blush and Bronzer Duo in Deep Throat and Laguna ($41).


If I HAD to choose an eye palette, I’d pick NARS And God Created The Woman ($59), since it’s smaller than the size of my hand and has staple NARS shades: Alhambra, Bellisima, Kalahari, Galapagos, Coconut Grove, and Night Clubbing.  It’s decently versatile and would go AMAZINGLY well with the tan I’ll get on that deserted island!

Check out my favorite videos on Youtube for this tag so far:

What are your favorite/least favorite palettes??

Top 10 Summer Beauty Essentials

Since moving from Texas to San Francisco, I find myself outside much more (since it’s not 100+ degrees), and I’ve come to find some beauty items indispensable.  Below are my top 10 summer beauty essentials:
summer beauty essentials_1

1. Face SPF: COOLA Unscented Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 – It’s been incredibly sunny here in San Francisco, and it needs to be said that wearing SPF is THE key preventative measure for anti-aging.  I first heard about COOLA on Youtube, and it was exactly the sunscreen I had been looking.  It’s made with physical sunscreens (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) with organic ingredients, unscented, slightly tinted, and provides at least SPF 30.  I use it over my day moisturizer (which in itself has SPF 15), and it does not feel heavy at all for my oily skin.  It also doubles as a makeup primer since it leaves a great matte, slightly tinted finish (VERY similar to Benefit The POREefessional).

2. Body SPF: COOLA Sunscreen Spray SPF 35  – Who would have thought I would get sunburned just walking around San Francisco??  I’m not one to burn easily, but since that happened I’ve been trying to be judicious about applying sunscreen to my shoulders and arms.  I originally bought this to use for outdoor activities, but since I don’t have an SPF lotion at the moment, I’ve really been enjoying this.  I got the pina colada scent, and it smells like I’m on vacation.  Non-sticky.

3. Tinted Moisturizer OR Powder Foundation: Jouer Matte Moisture Tint SPF 15 or Laura Mercier Mineral Powder SPF 15 – I am trying out the Jouer Matte Moisture Tint in Nude (for color reference, I am MAC NC25, Chanel B30, NARS Sheer Glow in Pubjab), and I think it’s ok.  It’s definitely not shiny upon application, but it does need to be set with a setting powder since it can slide around on my oily skin.  Surprisingly, I’ve been reaching more for the Laura Mercier Mineral Powder in Natural Beige – the coverage is buildable and does not look cakey.  I like applying it with the Bobbi Brown Bronzer brush, which at $52 IS an expensive brush, but it is my FAVORITE face powder AND bronzer brush of all time.  And I have a lot of brushes.

summer beauty essentials_2

4. Powder Touchup with SPF: Shiseido Sun Protection Compact SPF 34 PA+++ – SPF is one of those things that should be reapplied, and since face makeup wears off when you are outside sweating, why not do both at the same time?  I bought the shade SP70 (the darkest shade available) a few years ago when I was SUPER tan, so I’m using it now as a bronzer on the perimeters of my face, on my cheeks, and a bit on my nose – just where the sun normally hits.  I need to pick up SP30 to use for the center of my face since it’ll be a better match for my norma skin tone.  I like the use the Eco Tools Retractable Kabuki Brush with this on the go.

5. Bronzer: NARS Bronzing Powder in Laguna – Despite having ~20 bronzers, I still reach for this the most for a subtle bronzed, sun-kissed glow.  No better time than the summer to apply liberally.

6. Bright blush: Dior Rosy Glow in 001 PetalMAC Blush in Style (or any peach shimmering blush) – Any bright pink or peach blush will do, actually.  It really livens the complexion and complements a bronzed skin nicely.  I’ve been reaching for these two recently as you can see from my blush collection, I should really rotate this more often.

summer beauty essentials_3

7. Setting Spray: Skindinavia Makeup Finishing Spray – A makeup setting spray is A MUST to help your makeup last longer and also to give you that dewy glow.  I spritz this liberally as the last step before I step out the door.  The Urban Decay ones are great as well (and also made by Skindinavia).

8. Smudgeproof or Waterproof Mascara: Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Frame Plus – In the summer, I’m all about simple, fresh makeup.  As you can see from the items above, I think the core to this is a glowy, healthy base.  Mascara will be generally the only eye makeup I wear, if I’m wearing eye makeup at all.  I’ve gone back to the Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Frame Plus after finishing some other mascaras.

9. Bright nail polishes – I’m really drawn to bright, warm colors for the summer.  Nothing beats a vibrant, warn-toned polish with tanned skin.  My current favorites are (from L to R): Butter London Trout Pout, Chanel 617 Holiday, Dior Riviera, and Le Metier de Beaute Red Hot Tango.  Wet n Wild Megalast Nail Color in Heatwave looks like it would be a great cheaper alternative since it falls in this color category, and it has good reviews on wear.

10. Tinted Lip Balm with SPF: Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15 – Again, with the SPF – it’s important to protect your lips!  A light tint of color is nice too, and I really like these Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatments in Rose, and Honey.  It’s easy to throw these on without a mirror, and they are decently moisturizing.  I want to try the Coral and Petal colors next.

What are your summer beauty essentials?