Saturday, 24 January 2015

A Thorough Review: NARS Amour

For the first time in a very very long time, I've worn the same blush for 21 days. Yes, that's probably not a big deal to anybody else but it definitely demonstrates that I really do have too much makeup. I've made it a personal challenge this year to Project Pan a handful of items in my stash and NARS Amour happens to be one of them. After sporting this blush for three weeks, I've definitely made up my mind about it and I'm here to share my thoughts about it with you.

This is the most pigmented blush in my collection. A light tap of a brush into the pan will give you enough blush for a subtle flush on the cheeks. Swirling your brush into the pan will most definitely produce clown cheeks. It's very easy to go overboard with this blush and I have to stamp off most of the blush on the back of my hand before going anywhere near my face. For this reason, I think this is not a blush for beginners. I recommend a very very light application and build until you receive the desired flush.

Amour is so unique in color and nearly indescribable. It appears to be a deep pink in the pan but when applied on the skin. becomes something much more. It becomes a wash of rosy pink with warm undertones and a hint of red. It is the closest blush I have come across that resembles a true flush. It's nearly exactly the same color that my cheeks turn when I blush. It appears as if you have been frolicking in the cold all day long. I've always been a fan of neutral and peachy blushes but I've really enjoyed wearing a "pinched cheek" look during January.

Matte. The sheen on the top of my cheeks in the above photo is MAC Soft and Gentle highlighter.

This blush performs like no other. When I wash my face at night, my blush looks freshly applied. It does not fade and it stays in place all day. It brings the term "long wearing" to a whole new level.

I have experimented with a few placements of this blush on the face and my favorite is to sweep it high on the cheeks and towards the ears to add definition and contour to the face. Although it also looks lovely on the apples of the cheeks. As I mentioned above, I like to remove most of the product off on the back of my hand before applying to the cheeks. I like to follow by blending it into the cheeks with a clean powder blush to really work it into the skin. My favorite way to wear Amour is on it's own with a pretty highlighter on the cheekbones I am sporting it in the above photo with Benefit Hoola Bronzer but I prefer the pale skin and pink cheeks.


All in all, I've really grown to adore this blush. It makes me sad that I had not given it a proper go after owning it for over a year but it makes me happy to discover great products I already own. NARS Amour is a well-loved blush by women of many different skin tones and I would recommend to anyone looking for a flushed/pregnant/just ran a mile/just came in from the cold- look.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, 19 January 2015

How to Re-Press Powder Products

Here is an easy step by step tutorial on how to re-press powder products such as face powders, blushes, eyeshadows or powder foundations. This can be used on broken powders or powders that have nearly been used up with a ring of product around the edge. Repressing powders is a savvy way to use up an entire product with minimal wastage.
Here's what you'll need:

  • Rubbing alcohol (I used 99% but 50-70% works as well, I purchased mine at the drugstore)
  • Paper towels
  • Spoon 
  • Knife (or other scraping utensil such as chopstick, end of makeup brush, etc)
  • Ziploc Bag
  • Bowl
  • Broken Powder (pressed face powder, powder foundation, eyeshadow, blush, etc)
STEP ONE: Dump the contents of the product into a ziploc bag. Use a knife (or chopstick, etc) to scrape out any remnants of product left in the pan.

STEP TWO: Close and seal up the bag. Use a spoon to mash the powder up until fine without any visible chunks. 

STEP THREE: Dump your powder into a bowl directly from the ziploc bag. 

STEP FOUR: Add one capful (or one teaspoon) of alcohol to the bowl. Begin to mix up the contents and slowly add more alcohol until the mixture becomes creamy and runny but not completely liquid. I started with one teaspoon of alcohol and adding another 1/2 teaspoon to get the right consistency. The amount of alcohol you add will differ between products depending on the amount of powder you have and how absorbent the product is. Continue to stir mixture until it becomes smooth without lumps.

STEP FIVE: Sterilize the pan by wiping it over with alcohol on a paper towel.

STEP SIX: Carefully pour mixture into the center of the compact. You may want to put a paper towel in under the compact in case of accidental spills. 

STEP SEVEN: Pick up the compact and drop it on a hard surface (table, counter, etc) 2-3 times. This helps to get out any air bubbles trapped in the mixture and also helps the product to spread out more evenly in the pan.

STEP EIGHT: Let the powder dry out over night and you will wake up with a repressed powder!

Optional: I did not press my powder because it was already in a very thin layer. However, if you want to press your powder to flatten it out in the pan, it is super easy. After powder has been drying for one hour, place a folded paper towel over the entire pan and smooth it down with something hard and flat (e.g. bottom of a shotglass, large spoon, etc). Remove the paper towel and you will be left with a smooth, flat surface. Let product dry overnight as stated above. 

Although this tutorial has eight steps, it literally took me about five minutes and I'm very happy that I can use up the rest of my Clarins Ever Matte Powder

Have you repressed your makeup? Please let me know in the comments below if you have any questions! 

Thanks for reading. 

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Mindfulness: Project Pan 2015

This year I made a resolution to use up some products in my collection (Check out my beauty resolutions for 2015 here). After doing some research, I discovered a project that some beauty bloggers are participating in called Project Pan. The purpose of Project Pan is to choose items already found in your makeup collection and give yourself a certain amount of time to either hit pan on those items or use them up entirely. Generally during this project, you can restrict yourself from buying any new products or a "low buy" where you only re-purchase things you run out of or restrict yourself to a certain number of purchases per month/time period.

Project Pan 2015 Rules:

1) My project pan will start from Jan 1, 2015 until March 21, 2015 with the possibility of extension.
2) I will not make any beauty purchases during this time period (unless I need a new mascara, etc).
3) I will attempt to use up products entirely and/or hit pan on powder products in set time span.

Why I am starting Project Pan:

1) I have accumulated a lot of new products in the past year and I want to get to know my own collection. Hopefully using up the products I currently own will prevent me from buying similar shades or products.

2) I have yet hit to pan on any color products in my collection. That includes eye shadows, blushes and bronzers. I've also never used up an entire lipstick (and I have too many as it is).

3) Makeup is an investment and I want to feel like I am getting my money's worth.

4) Using up an entire product will help me appreciate exactly how long it takes to use something up. I hope this will make me think twice before making future purchases.

5) I need to stop buying new things until I use up older items in my collection.

Project Pan Items:

Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation- This foundation made my 2014 favorites and I'm nearly at the end of the bottle. Since starting Accutane, my skin has been extremely dry and this foundation is not moisturizing enough more my flaky skin. I plan to finish it up and move on to other foundations in my stash.

NARS Translucent Crystal Pressed Powder- A fantastic powder that I've been attempting to finish up for months. I'm confident that I can finish this off by March.

NARS Amour Blush- I am feeling very ambitious on this one but I am hoping to hit pan on this NARS blush by March. I chose this blush because it is matte rosy blush which looks really pretty this time of year. I'm beginning to think this is going to be difficult to pan because it is extremely pigmented and I only use a small amount of product with each application.

Elizabeth Arden Blonde Eyeshadow- I have too many single eyeshadows in my collection that don't get enough use. I own enough shimmery beige shadows as it is, so I look forward to using this up entirely.

Estee Lauder Wild Truffle Eyeshadow- A matte taupe eyeshadow that I rarely use and would like to use up. I paid nearly $30 for this eyeshadow and I would like to feel like I didn't waste my money.

MAC Mystery Eyeshadow- My oldest eyeshadow in my collection. I've literally had it for years. I've already made a pretty big dent in it and I think I could use it up if I put my mind to it.

Clarins Rouge Eclat Lipstick in Nude Rose- An easy everyday pink color that is already half used up. This was my first high end lipstick purchase and it's time to finish it before it goes bad.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Pencil in Demolition- An eyeliner that I've had for over a year that seems to be drying up. It's a basic black-brown that I'm confident I can finish by spring.

So there is my personal challenge for the next three months. I will be posting updates to let you know how I do with it and keep myself accountable to completing my Project Pan. I think this is a fun way to save some money and use up some makeup products along the way. I challenge YOU to join me in the challenge!

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

New Beginnings: Beauty Resolutions 2015

Happy New Year ladies and gents! Once again, I have a list of resolutions to keep me going well into 2015. This year I am focusing less on accumulating new products and more on enjoying the products that are currently in my stash. Expensive products do not always get the attention they deserve and I hope to get my money's worth by completely using up some products this year.

1. Use up products in my makeup collection before allowing myself to purchase new things. Project Pan has officially started where I will focus on using up a handful of products this year.

2. Continue on Accutane to clear up skin for sister's wedding in June.

3. Start doing free lance makeup and build my own makeup kit in the process.

4. Start taking care of my feet and keep them well-pedicured.

5. Continue to write about my love of makeup here on Newfound Beauty Blog.

6. Get more involved in social media and become more interactive with my readers. 

7. Whiten my teeth.

What are your beauty resolutions this year? Are you hoping to expand your makeup collection in 2015 or like me, are you trying to use up some bits in your over-flowing makeup bag? Please join me in the coming months as I try to hit pan on some current products in my collection, updates and posts to follow next week!

Thanks for reading and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Cream of the Crop: Best Makeup of 2014

Happy New Year Everyone! Here are my absolute favorite makeup items that graced my makeup bag in the past year. I've developed a new and more minimalist philosophy in the past year whereby I only keep things that I really really love and my favorite products are things that I use heavily. I'll skip my usual ramble and get right down to the nitty gritty- the cream of the crop for 2014:


FOUNDATION: My most loved and most worn foundation of the year has to be Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation. It's a light-medium buildable coverage foundation with a very skin-like satin finish which also photographs well. It applies well with a brush or fingers. 

Find my review here.

PRIMER: A lovely primer to add luminosity and life to the skin is the L'Oreal Magic Lumi Light Infusing Primer. It gives the skin a gorgeous and healthy glow that helps to blur imperfections on the complexion. It's also multi-purpose to be used under foundation, mixed in foundation or tapped over the face to highlight the high points of the face. It performs like a high end product for a drugstore price.

Find my review here.

CONCEALER (Blemishes/Imperfections): The Maybelline FitMe Concealer  is a more recent addition to my makeup bag in the past month but has quickly grow to be a favorite. It's a creamy and blendable concealer with fantastic coverage that does not look dry or flaky over blemishes. 

CONCEALER (Under Eye Circles): This product must have been made for shift-workers and tired mothers. The Clarins Instant Concealer is a hydrating concealer which gives under eye bags a run for their money. For the constantly sleep deprived like myself, this concealer looks exactly like skin without creasing or highlighting crepey texture around the delicate eye area. 

PRESSED POWDER: NARS Translucent Crystal Powder has been my favorite powder to set my makeup without making it look flat or cakey. It adds a healthy sheen to the face and makes base products last all day. 


BRONZER: Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Bronzer is my absolute favorite bronzer. It gives the look of real sun-tanned skin. I use it on a daily basis to add some color to my pale complexion. A beautiful luxury item with a huge amount of product in it (21g!).

Read about it here.

BLUSH: This blush made it to the top of the list for the simple fact that it is highly pigmented, long lasting and under $5 CAD. Essence Silky Touch Blush is super affordable and performs amazingly. It has a buttery smooth consistency that applies evenly on the skin. My shade is Babydoll, a neutral dusty rose that looks good with most makeup looks. 

Read about it here.

HIGHLIGHTER: Another drugstore product that has wowed me this year is the Wet N Wild Reserve Your Cabana Bronzer. Although it's marketed as a bronzer, it's a light champagne gold highlighter that looks gorgeous on top of the cheek bones. As it doesn't contain glitter, it imparts a pretty golden sheen that is subtle enough to be worn on a daily basis without looking over the top. 


MASCARA: I no longer waste my money on high end mascaras as I've found the one at the drugstore. Covergirl Lashblast Volume is a fantastic mascara that provides a hefty amount of volume to the lashes while separating the lashes to make them look full and doll-like. It layers well and lasts all day without flaking or smudging. 

EYELINER: My most loved eye liner of the year was the Elizabeth Arden Smoky Eyes Pencil in Espresso. A dark chocolate brown eyeliner that can be worn as a defined line or smudged out for a sultry smokey look. The formula glides on smoothly and lasts all day. 

EYE SHADOW PENCIL: Lise Watier 24hrs Glam Eyeshadow in Bronze Glam is a great weapon to have in the makeup bag for early mornings and makeup on the run. This is my favorite swipe-and-go product to create a wash of colors on the lids that lasts all day while creating a polished look. Unfortunately, this product was limited edition in the Fall 2014 collection.

EYE SHADOW PALETTE: My most used palette was easily the Charlotte Tibury The Sophisticate Quad. It contains matte eye shadows in a range of neutral colors that I find use for on the daily. There is not one dud in the palette and the creamy formula of the powders blend easily together. 

Read about it here.

BROW PRODUCT: The Anastasia Brow Whiz is a cult favorite for a reason. The shade Taupe is perfect for my light blonde eyebrows without making me look like Oscar the Grouch. The brow whiz is the most natural looking brow product I have come across. 

Read about it here.


NUDE LIPSTICK: Although this was like picking a favorite child, I have to say that Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G. Lipstick in Penelope Pink came out on top. A gorgeous peachy nude with a touch of brown.

See me wearing it here.

PINK LIPSTICK: Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Turn On is my favorite pink ever. It is a very flattering plummy rose with a touch of warmth. It's versatile used as a light stain patted into the lips or full-on for a complexion-brightening pink lip. 

See my review here.

NATURAL LIPSTICK: MAC Kinda Sexy Lipstick is a unique and beautiful lipstick that everybody should own. I think it would look great on a variety of skintones, especially those who lean warm in tone. It's a gorgeous matte deep pinky-brown nude and happens to be one of my favorite lipsticks of the year. 

LIP LINER: The best lip liner of them all is Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Lip Liner in Pillow Talk. The perfect liner that mimics the natural color of lips and looks great under most of the lipsticks in my collection. It glides on smooth and provides a long lasting base for lip products. I love that it doesn't leave those unattractive lines around the lips as my lipstick fades. 

LIP GLOSS: My favorite formula of lip gloss comes from the drugstore. The Maybelline Gloss Elixirs feel smooth and hydrating on the lips and dry down to a pretty stain after a few hours of wear. This formula is better than any high end lip glosses I have tried. 

So there sums up my favorite products of 2014! It's been a great year for beauty and I look forward to  blogging in 2015. Please let me know if there are any beauty questions or techniques you would like me to post about this year. Thank you again to everyone who has supported NFBB and I wish you all a happy, healthy new year!

Thanks for reading.