Think Beautifully Everyday Rotating Header Image

Bare Escentuals


There is nothing like Christmas in the middle of the year, and when I shop the Bare Escentuals outlets, it definitely feels like Santa has come.

For today’s look, I wore Christmas Past (2009), otherwise known as The Surprise Kit.

This $54 kit (which I got at the outlet for $24, yay!) contains 9 full size items:

  • Secret Radiance AOFC
  • Spellbound Eyeshadow, infused with Hematite
  • Surreal Eyeshadow, infused with Hematite
  • Suspense Liner Shadow, infused with Hematite
  • Intrigue Blush, infused with Hematite
  • Doubled ended 100% natural lipgloss in Brilliance & Angel Food Cake
  • Soft Sweep Cheek Brush
  • Tapered Crease Defining Brush
  • Line Diffuser Brush

All of this goodness is in a pretty hard box, which is great for storage.

The infusion of Hematite adds sparkle and sheen without being over the top glittery and is a special treat for a holiday collection.

Today, I started with Benefit Primed & Poreless, one of my two go two primers right now.  I followed this with Benefit Bo-ing concealer.  On top of that was Josie Maran Argan Oil Matchmatcher foundation, a light coverage but highly moisturizing color shifting foundation.  I then primed my eyes with Two Faced Shadow Insurance.

Next, I used Secret Radiance to add a glow on my cheeks, forehead, and over the bridge of my nose.

I swept Spellbound, a whispery pink, lash to brow – patting more on the lid.

I followed with Surreal, a champagne bronze, patted over the lid.

Finally, I used the pointed liner brush in the Eyelining Tutorial kit instead of the diffuser brush, because it works better for me.  I applied the Suspense Liner Shadow, which I deepened with Frills (from the Beyond Gorgeous Kit).

Finally, I applied MAC mascara, because well – I’m obsessed with it right now.

I really love the Surprise Kit right now because you can go from soft to smoldering, from demure to damsel.  This kit is sold out everywhere (though outlets might still have a few) but there are singles available as well as full kits on ebay.

I hop you like it too!


Contents value – 5 stars.  This is a ridiculous deal at $54, but even better at $24.  It’s basically like paying for two eyeshadows and getting the rest for free.

Shadows – 5 stars.  It’s BE after all, and they are full size.  The Hematite infusion is just beautiful.

Radiance – 4 stars – this really doesn’t have color, which is great for a radiance.  I love the soft glow it gives, but I am disappointed that it doesn’t last longer on my skin.

I feel so…tarnished!

Do you see what happens when you read beauty blogs in your spare time? Yowzah!  It looks like the Buxom Babes are up to it again, developing new products so we just can’t say no (or wait for a sale).

Recently, I’ve fallen in love with Buxom (A Bare Escentuals Brand) Stay There Eyeshadows, a dry cream formula with high shine that “stays put”.  You are probably already aware of my obsession with Buxom lip glosses.  I might not have them all, but I love them and wear them every day (and night, much to the joy of my significant other).

Now, they creative team behind the brand has come up a new lip product:  Buxom Lip Tarnish Plumping & Moisturizing Lip Stains.  These will be available exclusively at Sephora (as all the Buxom line will be) and are initially priced at $18 with four color selections.  I would bet that in BE Buxom tradition, a smaller version will be available as a set for holiday gift giving.  These little beauties promise to treat your lips royally by tinting them, giving them shine, hydrating them, and well…plumping them.  It IS a Buxom lip product after all!


For pictures and details please see Makeup & Beauty Blog’s reivew.

Purple is where it’s at!

It’s no secret, I love purple!  Today’s look it a bit sparkly because I’m going out to dinner, and I was in my pjs today working from home.

  • Benefit Primed & Poreless Primer
  • BE Matte Foundation in Golden Fair
  • NARS Illuminizer in Orgasm. I just got this in a haul, and I love the way it’s true to the Orgasm color, but adds a nice rosy glow. I used it to highlight my cheekbones and around the eye socket.
  • BE Glee as blush
  • Two Face Shadow Insurance in Candlelit
  • BE Nude Beach patted all over lid and used to blend
  • BE Water Lily on outer 1/3 of lid
  • BE Midnight Diamond wetlined
  • Buxom Mascara (2 coats)
  • I needed a little more oomph so I added Myth in the crease, and patted more Water Lily in the middle of my lid
  • BE Pretty Amazing in Courage with Buxom Claire over it.

Happy Hump Day!

Feeling TARTEy!

Today, I decided to go for an all (well, mostly) Tarte look, using the 8th Wonder of the World Collection from QVC.

  • Mally Poreless Perfection Primer
  • Monistat Anti Chafing Gel on the nose (hey!  It’s cheap and it’s a GREAT silicone primer!)  In fact, the active ingredient, Dimethicone, is the primary ingredient in most silicone based primers.  I swatched L’oreal, BE and Smashbox primers on my hand, along with Monistat.  They are ALL clear silicone primers and all function the same way, more or less.  I will say that the Mally primer is not the best for mineral makeup, but works wonders for cream powders or liquid makeup.  I find that the BE primers and also another fave, the Benefit Primed & Poreless work wonderfully for BE foundation.
  • Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation in Light
  • UDPP in Eden
  • MAC Painterly Paint Pot as base
  • Tarte Shimmering Sand patted on lid and sweeped over lid
  • Tarte Shimmering Plum in the outer 1/3 of eye
  • Tarte Shimming Cocoa in crease
  • Tarte Emphasize Eyes eyeliner in Golden Plum
  • Tarte Amazonian Clay blush in Glisten
  • Tarte Pure optic Moisturizing Lip Gloss in Golden Pink
  • Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara

This is definately a great collection, and I can’t wait for the next Auto Delivery in June!

The Making of a VIB – part 1

The past year, no really, the past six or seven months, I’ve become something of a makeup hoarder.  It all started with a small collection of mini Bare Escentuals eyeshadows I purchased about 7 years ago, but still own.  Those things are next to IMPOSSIBLE to use up!

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I have struggled with makeup my entire life; it wasn’t until recently that I realized that there are tools out there that actually work for me, and could work for you too.

So – using that as a backdrop, I’m about to embark ona series of posts about my mounting makeup collection in 2011.

What is a VIB you ask?  A Very Important Beauty of course!  That is the term that Sephora uses to categorize its frequesnt shoppers who exceed a ridiculous certain level of purchases in any calendar year.  IN this case, it’s $350.  Given that it’s only May, and that I’m telling you I’m a VIB, you can imagine how much product I’ve gone gaga over.  But that’s another story.

So here is part 1:

Dateline, November 2010.  Sephora was having a deal that if I purchased  a certain amount, I’d get a free Bare Escentuals Mineral Veil.  Ok so since I’m a sucker for a steal, deal, or sale, I bought just the bare minimum that was on my watch list:

Stila Smudge Pot in Brown.  There is a story behind this purchase like many others but…

Smashbox Wish for the Perfect Pencil  - a holiday set of 4 mini waterproof eyeliner pencils

Detect a pattern?  well my biggest struggle with makeup my entire life was getting it to STAY ON MY FACE!  Primarily, I have a serious issue with eyeliner.  For me, personally, if I don’t use the right eyeliner, I end up looking like which is just NOT attractive in any way.  So i sort of gave up, because by noon, my makeup would be smudged, budged and otherwise bothered.  Who knew why, it just way.  I also struggled to find a an eye primer that didn’t irritate my crazy allergy sensitive eyes.  So I didn’t use one.
I did a bit of research, and found that there were RAVE reviews on the Smudge Pots as well as the Smashbox liners.  So off I went to click and buy.
These two products were GREAT!  They really were the foray in to a happy makeup life for me, because for ONCE when I wore them, FINALLY they didn’t budge.  They stayed put.  They didn’t move.  I could put eyeshadow on top of them and it )mostly) looked good an hour later.
I still use the Smashbox pencils from time to time, and they are great, small, and travel friendly.
I have abandoned the smudge pot – thought I”m not sure why, so I’ll need to revist that to review it.  Stay tuned!

A Cable Car in Sydney

Today, I was totally and completely exhausted.  Normally when I have no sleep I say f*%$ it and don’t do my makeup but I was just feeling blah and decided to pick myself up.

The lighting was a bit tricky this morning in my house, but I think yo uget the idea.  Please ignore the grease puddle on my nose; I”m not sure how to get rid of this yet.

So, I started with:
Mally Poreless Perfection Primer

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer

Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation in Light

BE Prime Time for Eyes

BE Sydeny patted on lid and buffed on browbone

BE Cable Car in crease

BE Buxom Stay There in Collie over Sydney on upper lid.

I love the neutal but nice pop this look gives and will probably do a variation on it tomorrow!

Next up:  Another look with shadows that are still unopened plus a big ass haul from and my Sephora obsession this month

Super Secret Smart Savvy Sale!

Holy moley! It's that time of year I guess.  Did you know, ebates is having a bday special!
Places like Sephora and Philosophy and are 12% cash back right now!  That's right, your own personal sale!

If you don't know what ebates is all about, just check it out.  No risk to read, right/
You can stack that with a 20% sale is having or use a Sephora coupon if you have one.  Get bare escentuals, tarte, philosophy, more!

With all the newness at Sephora, why not save a few smackers and order it online.


I like you! I really really do!

Not be outdone by the ULTA gift, Bare Escentuals has a great “LIKE US” contest right now on Facebook.  They’re giving away 1000 sets of the Naturally Luminous 30 day trial set, which includes:

I have been using the cleanser and the Moisturizer for Dry Skin, and so far I love the way it feels.  I entered too, because I haven’t tried the eye treatment or the Combo Skin moisturizer!

ULTA is the Ultimate!

So, I get about a zillion emails everyday, and several are from makeup companies with the latest trends.

Today, I received this from ULTA, as a part of their 21 Days fo Beauty campaign:



I already use the skincare from Bare Escentuals, and LOVE it, but I’m tempted to order a backup stash, to get my free lippie!  PS if you sign up for the emails you periodically get discounts, and mine came with a $10 off coupon.

Please pass the Periwinkle!

When I was younger, my favorite color in the crayon box was Periwinkle.  It’s the subtle purple, mixed with blue that just gets me.

Know that I’m a grown up (ok well sort of) my crayon box has turned in to a makeup box!

As luck would have it, one of my favorite brands – Bare Escentuals, was hosting an artistry event, in conjunction with a Master Class taught by my new friend, Bravon Pascua.


A Bare Escentuals Master Class was a new experience for me, and I went, fresh faced, eager, and full of cold medicine.  Unfortunately, my immune system’s timing was not the same as the event’s timing but I wasn’t going to miss this sucker.  For those of you who don’t know, a Master Class is where you get to sit down with an expert, in this case THE expert, and learn new tips and tricks of the trade as well as the latest in color trends.

In our one hour session, Bravon and fellow attendee turned model Michelle showed us some of the latest trends in color, as well as his favorite tips and tricks for applying makeup.  Yay!  Since I’m really a re-beginner when it comes to makeup, but have become totally and completely obsessed, I jumped at the chance to attend.

Lucky for you, I took notes!  And pictures!

So here goes…the products linked are the ones Bravon used in this demo.

Michelle before

1.  Always prep your skin.  After cleansing, you should always use SOME form of moisturizer, even if you have oily skin.  The Bare Minerals Purely Nourishing Moisturizer is great for every day.  Bravon suggests that you warm the moisturizer in your hand a bit before applying it, because body temperature product will absorb faster.  Otherwise, you’ll be waiting for 10 minutes for it to soak in, and who has that time in the morning?

2.  Using a facial primer will help your makeup stick, as well as helping it last all day; this is especially true of mineral makeups.  Similarly to the moisturizer, use 2 pumps of the Prime

Time foundation primer, and warm it in your hand before applying.  There are three formulas:  Original, Oil Free and Brightening.

3.  An eye primer is essential for making colors last, and stay put.  BE makes several:  Original, Brightening, and Brightening Pearl.  Each one has a slightly different effect.  You can apply the primer with your finger or a brush, but once you apply it, let it set for 2-3 minutes; that way, it becomes tacky but not sticky, and the minerals can adhere better.

4.  For Foundation, always remember that less is more!  First of all, make sure you match your color based on your undertones.  Bravon used the Matte formula.  Tap about 1/8 of a tsp in to the lid to start.  Start small and build coverage because there is nothing worse than looking like a powder hound!   Tools are very important.  Bravon used the Heavenly Face Brush, which was originally designed for blush, but works fabulously for foundation!  I already have this brush from an older kit, and I’ll start using it more now.  Swirl your brush fairly aggressively, since you shouldn’t see any in the lid.  All the minerals should be in the bristles.  Tap off any excess and get to buffing!   Mineral makeup really comes to life about 10 minutes after you apply it, since it works with your body temperature and natural oils in your skin, so don’t apply to much in one go.

5.  Concealer - Bravon really likes Original Bisque, but you can use any Bisque that matches your skin tone, or Well Rested.  I love well rested for red areas.  There aren’t any rules to applying bisque.  you can do it before your makeup or after your makeup, but use the Maximum Coverage concealer Brush (the little one).  Apply it very gently, and don’t rub it in.   Blend the edges in to the foundation.  If you’re having one of those days, or if you need some extra TLC, a really cool trick is to take some PTFE and some Bisque and make a little paste.  Apply this to your tough spots with your finger or a brush.  Voila!

Press and Roll baby!

Another great trick for areas that need additional coverage, like freckles, or rosacea spots. but you don’t want to use a concealer on, is the Press and Roll technique.  First, with the Maximum Coverage Face Brush (the big one), take ONE side of the brush and swirl it in your foundation.  with the minerals side DOWN press in to your skin, and ROLL it side to side, applying the foundation.  Blend out with the opposite, clean side of the brush.  You can also use bisque with this trick.  It simply applies a bit heavier application of coverage, which si great for discolored areas and dark circles.

6.  Warm up your skin / contour – Because of the SPF in BE foundations is due to the Titanium Dioxide (which, by the way is how they make white paint **BRIGHT** white), you can sometimes look a wee bit chalky.  This is normal, but you should use some color to warm yourself up, and maybe contour a bit.  All Over Face Colors (AOFC) are great but can be scary.  I have had a jar of warmth for a million years because I think I use too much and get freaked out.  A TINY bit goes a LONG way!  Just brush a touch over your forehead, down your nose, contour your cheeks.

7.  If your eyes look a little pink after you apply your color, use the Heavenly Liner Blender Brush to apply Well Rested ( a yellow eye shadow / multi tasker) under your lower lash line to take the red out.

8.  Eyes – One of the things I love about BE is that you can use ANY color ANY where.  In this case, Bravon used Coffee Bean Liner Shadow as a deep crease defining color.  Other great browns are Cashmere or faux mink.  Use the double ended precision eye brush or another bullet tipped brush to apply the color precisely.  Don’t worry if it looks really dark – by applying the darkest color first, you can blend it out more easily as you apply the contour and base shadow colors.  Following the natural contour of the crease, apply Coffee Bean, and blend out with the Crease Defining Brush (aka the Windshield wiper brush).

Now, Bravon applied High Shine Glisten.  he patted this on Michelle’s eyelid just below the crease color.  This is a neutral golden undertone which softens the dark Coffee Bean.

Next, add a pop of color with Chameleon, a bright, green blue wonder, was swept over the eyelid up in to the crease.

Line the eyes with the liner of your choice starting from the center, using short feathery strokes outward.  Stay as close to the lashline as you can, and then blend it out with the Heavenly Liner Blending Brush.

Highlight the browbone using Trophy Wife, and blend out and above the brows.

Add Snowflake over the entire lid to soften the look.

8.  Don’t forget your brows!  The Brow Minerals are special and adhere to the hairs of the brow instead of your skin.  Follow the natural contour of your brow and fill in.  blend it out, and seal in with brow gel.

9.  Lips – Line the lips with Natural lipliner and fill in to blend.  Add French Pastry lip color using a brush in the center of the lips.  This seasons trend is to keep a heavy lipline, and fill in the center with a lighter color, so to be trendy you should keep the line.  Add some 100% Natural Lipgloss in Chiffon for a shine.

10.  Cheeks – using the Angled Face Brush, add blush (in this case Joyous Jennifer) to the top of the cheekbones.  Use a pressing motion instead of blending, to highlight the cheeks.  Blend up and high on the cheekbones with the full coverage conceal brush (big one).  Apply Flawless Radiance to the apples of the cheeks and blending on to cheek bones to tone down the blush, and add a luminous glow.

11.  Apply mascara by pushing up and out.

12.  Finishing touches – apply mineral veil in a light patting motion to add that final touch to set the makeup.

ta da!  I’m sorry to say I didn’t get the final “AFTER” shot of Michelle because I was too busy getting my own makeover, but – hopefully someone did and can share!

Editors Note:  Join the Facebook Community to see more great pics of Bravon’s work


Next up:  My Makeover with a Trophy Wife!