It's gonna get sappy up in here.
2016 is the year that I stop avoiding beauty products that I'm not sure about and tackle them head on. I guess I should stop making big statements about 2016 since we're already well into February but, I've been putting in work — FOR YOU.
For whatever reason, I've been salivating over red blushes for the past couple of months and I always go back to reds by NARS. My favorite is a dark red called Seduction and it's so beautiful, it seriously makes my head spin. NARS describes it as a sangria, but I say it's more of a cranberry. Whatever it is, it means business.
Death, right? But how do you even wear a shade like that? I've seen more dramatic bright orange-reds pulled off beautifully in the summer months, but you can get away with anything in the summer because everyone is too drunk to care. Winter is when you really have to have your shit on lock because everyone is cold and angry and will let you know if you look a mess.
So there's no better time to take a risk with a product than when all my readers are chilly and cranky and won't have no problem clocking me in the comments, right? Sure. Since I'm working with red tones, maybe I can work in some sort of Valentine's Day angle. I don't know dude. Okay I'll stop procrastinating and just get to it.
NARS blushes are known for their incredibly smooth consistency. They're a dream to apply because they take to your face like butter or — yeah, we'll go with butter — you get what I mean. I'm not crazy about powder products of any sort, even though that's the standard formula for blushes, shadows, and the like, but these are so finely milled that it doesn't even feel like working with powder.
Seduction is crazy pigmented. The color is already dark and dramatic enough, but the pigmentation paired with the ultra smooth formula make working with this particular blush kind of an art. I'm not going to sit here and complain about a beautiful product with heavy pigmentation and smooth application but that being said — use a light hand.
I first set my blush brush into the pan twice and swiped it across the apple of my cheek. BAM.
Like I said, light hand.
SO — I took that off and started again.
I cleaned off my brush so I was really starting fresh, and then went back at it. I dipped back into the pan, swirled the brush around, tapped off the excess, and just barely, lightly, brushed it across my cheeks. You really just have to barely graze your skin when applying. Your cheek hears Seduction is coming to town and gets itself ready to really cling on to as much of it as possible.
Once I had enough color on my face, I took the rest of the blush off of the brush to blend it. This worked because the clean brush helped me see exactly where and how the color was blending out, instead of laying down more while trying to soften what was already there.
Seduction is worlds away from what I wear on the regular, both in color and formula, but I really like the finished product.
Like bright orangey-reds can play up a freshly in-from-the-beach vibe, this looks like you just stepped out of the cold winter winds. I like that it looks like naturally flushed cheeks. You could have just built a snowman or had an orgasm, who knows.
I hate categorizing products for day and night because, you know, do whatever the fuck you want. This would probably be more for night. Smoldery eye, big lashes, and low lighting would really work for Seduction. Or running around in the chilly autumn weather. You get what I mean.
But I wasn't done there.
Remember in my hooded lids article when I said I was into red tones for the eye? Clearly nothing has changed.
I loathe eye shadow on myself, personally, but I looove how this looks on the lids.
I applied it the same way I like to apply shadow. Since I have these stupid hooded lids, I don't usually work a lot of different colors onto my lid, plus, I genuinely like a monochrome eye. Give me a clean pop of matte blue on a lid and we're in business. Maybe I'll highlight the inner corner, but that's only because I'll add a highlight to anything, given the chance.
So. I'll usually pack the color onto my mobile lid, the part of the eye that sinks back to my face when I open my eye, and blend it up into the crease and maybe a little above, depending. I smoked it out a little bit for the sake of the photos, which I wouldn't usually do, or maybe I would! This color has got me feeling all crazy. Regardless, I think it looks so good. What do you think?
I LOVE IT.
There's one more thing that I wanted to try out with this blush, and it's just how I like my beauty tricks: impractical.
Applying a pigment of the exact same color on top of a lipstick is an easy way to give it a really beautiful, eye-catching finish. That being said, you can't really eat and you have to be really careful when drinking, so maybe just wear this to a cocktail party. And stick to shots.
I applied one of the few red lipsticks that I have, which already has a semi-matte finish, but stays tacky enough for the blush to cling.
Then, I worked some blush onto the pad of my ring finger and worked it over the lip. This took away any residual shine, deepened the color, and added an almost velvety finish to it.
Of course it's gorgeous, but it's impossible to do anything while wearing it. All of the best beauty looks are.
Do you wear red blush? How do you pull it off? What are some beauty products that you're scared of? Tell me in the comments and we'll get through it together.
Tynan is conquering his fears on Twitter @TynanBuck.