NARS Under Cover Summer 2016 Dual Intensity Blush in Liberation

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When I saw swatches of the NARS Summer 2016 Dual Intensity Blush in Liberation, I knew that I had to have it. First of all, look at the absolutely adorable box. The Limited Edition packaging is decorated by contemporary artist Konstantine Kakanias and the fun, bright artwork transforms a simple cardstock throwaway into a special, stashable little keepsake. Open the box and out slides a square, sleek black compact wrapped in NARS' signature grabby rubberized coating and emblazoned with the brand logo in crisp white.


I have seen so many pictures and YouTube videos of this product but media didn't fully prepare me for the unique quality of this formula. I lifted the magnetized lid and inside I found the obligatory full sized mirror and in the pans below it, two glowing, almost radiant powder cakes. The surface is pressed with raised lines that break at different angles to create a geometric pattern. Honestly, it took me a while to touch these. I tend to buy new makeup then admire it and keep it as a pet for a while before I dig in to it.

Hey, I never claimed to not be weird.

Anyway, NARS says that the Dual Intensity formula is a "unique, Translucent Prismatic Technology which allows for multidimensional effects." I say that it is a silky to the touch, light as an angel's wing powder that applies and blends smoothly, flawlessly into the skin to deliver fully customizable to my own complexion colour. While the Dual Intensity formula can be used wet or dry, I get the perfect flush using it dry with a soft, somewhat dense synthetic brush. Versatile, the two shades can be used in concert to softly sculpt and blush the cheeks, individually or swirled together to blend my own, unique shade.


Why, hello swatches. These are a little heavy to show my gentle readers just how beautiful the colours are, how the blush, on the skin looks almost like liquid silk. While this can technically be called a shimmer, it is more a lit from within luminosity. The deeper bronzy rose looks more brown in this swatch but blended and sheered out, it is a warm, sunkissed flush. The pink is gentle, innocent with a touch of edge. The finish is that perfect, comes-from-under-the-skin flush.

I get all day, touch up free wear from this blush. Applied in the morning, it looks amazingly fresh when I go to remove it that night. Naturally, YMMV, depending on your skin type, method of application and the makeup you wear under it. I am extremely pleased with my first foray into the Land of NARS Dual Intensity and I am ready to return and experience more. I have my eyeballs on the companion shade to this one and I'm hoping that when I'm ready to purchase it, it will still be in stock.

I purchased this blush from Sephora. It is also available from NordstromLord & Taylor and anywhere else you can buy NARS cosmetics.

Have you tried this blush or any of the NARS Dual Intensity items? Any particular favorites I need to take a closer look at?

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It Takes Just a Few Drops and a Few Minutes to Lock Down My Summer Makeup with Luminess Air

//products sent for consideration//

Luminess Air airbrush makeup helps me lock down my Summer makeup look and beat the heat and humidity with weightless, comfortable, long wearing, nearly flawless coverage. I recently received some new products from the Mystic Finish Foundation and Airbrush Essentials Collections and have had a chance to put them through their paces. I continue to be a little mind blown about how easy, quick and pretty airbrush makeup can be! I love how little product is needed to achieve my desired finish and how it wears, all day long even through an Arizona Summer day.


The process is simple enough. After cleansing and basic day skin care I grab my Luminess Air compressor and stylus and get started.

First thing; lock it down. A little Fotoset Primer gently pressed into my skin helps smooth surface irregularities and pores and prepares my skin for a long lasting, heat resistant makeup. Next, I release a few drops of Primer/Moisturizer into my stylus cup and whisk it across my skin, followed by Luminess Porcelain to smooth and further perfect my complexion. I don't always need coverage, if it is that kind of skin day, I can stop here, do my under eyes, apply a little powder and move on with the rest of my makeup application.

If I'm a bit red or blotchy, six drops or so of Eraser helps make it all disappear. I'm still working on getting the perfect amount and application of X-Out on my under eye area. I either apply too much and end up in trouble or it goes on uneven or too little and I don't get the coverage I need. I don't know where my disconnect is with this product... I can say, if I do get it on right, it provides some of the best dark circle correction I have yet to achieve. I'll keep after it.

After prep is done (these steps take mere moments!) it's time for foundation. I received a bottle of Mystic Foundation in MF-1 Porcelain. Hallelujah! Shade match! It's a teensy bit light for this time of year but by the time I fluff on a touch of bronzer, contour and blush, it's great. Porcelain matches my Winter Pale perfectly. I decided to skip bronzer for this picture, to show the shade, as it comes out of the airbrush. Six to eight drops in the cup, a minute or two wafting it across my skin in easy, circular motions and the result is a smooth, even, near flawless finish. I like to set my makeup with powder, otherwise my skin tends to eat it, primer or no. Luminess Pro Translucent Powder in T-1 works just fine. I like the powder but I'm not wild about the attached brush packaging. I'm going to decant it into a clean sifter jar and just use my usual powder brush.

I know that this sounds like a lot of steps but once you get the hang of it, Luminess Airbrush Makeup is so quick and easy, this routine takes just a few minutes and the finish, as I said earlier, lasts beautifully through a long, hot Summer day. Oh! And allergy sufferers rejoice. Tissues are no match for the staying power of this makeup. As long as I don't rub too hard, I don't end the day with a nekkid beak like I can, with other foundations.


I really like how this makeup looks, feels and performs. Yes, I'm still trying to get the hang of the X-Out under eye corrector (I can be a little slow on the upchuck, sometimes) but the rest of it is fast and easy as pie. Have I ever mentioned that airbrush makeup is also a lot of fun? Well, it is. There are, in addition to face products, airbrush eye and cheek colours as well as highlighter. I can do the highlighter okay but the blush or trying to airbrush eye colour? Yeah... Nope. I am severely lacking the necessary talent and end up back at my sink, washing my face. It's fine, tho. I'm perfectly happy enjoying the face basics. It works for me.

Gentle reader, have you tried Luminess Air Airbrush makeup? What do you think of it? Are you as fond of it as I am? Thinking of trying it? Please do tell.

Connect socially with Luminess Air via FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

//products sent for consideration//

Fashion Flash is Live!

The lovely Marcia of Beauty Info Zone is hosting this week's Fashion Flash. Pop over, check out all of the lovely bloggers and catch up on the latest for beauties of a certain age.

StriVectin Hair Color Care Hair Care | My Notes and a Giveaway!

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What happens when one of the leaders in science based, efficacious skin care decides to branch out to hair care? You get StriVectin Hair. Hair care products that harness the power of StriVectin's famous complexion beautifying formulas to do for your tresses what they do for your skin.

I was offered the chance to try this new hair care for myself and I got to choose the formula that I felt would best suit my hair. Since I have dry, highlighted and blondified hair, I chose their Color Care line. Four products to cleanse, condition, treat and protect colour treated hair. Let's take a gander at the goodies, shall we?


There are four products in the StriVectin Color Care line. ShampooConditionerColor Care Vibrancy Booster and Color Care UV Protective Spray. Used in concert, these products will help your colour treated hair look and feel softer, silkier and look a little brighter and fresher. I can live with that!


StriVectin Hair Color Care Shampoo is sulfate free and formulated with StriVectin's famous NIA-114 Technology and Chromalast Protein Complex to cleanse gently, nourish hair and guard against colour fade. This rich, creamy shampoo has a lovely, soft fresh/floral fragrance and a cushioning lather that cleanses thoroughly, rinses clean but doesn't leave my hair feeling stripped or with that yukky "dry when wet" feeling I dislike so strongly.

In a consumer use evaluation after one application: 
- 93% agree the shampoo gently cleanses hair and scalp while preserving color 
- 90% agree shampoo helps remove impurities and buildup 
- 93% agree hair color looks vibrant and brilliant

Water, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Cocamide MEA, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Dimethicone, Acrylates Copolymer, Fragrance, Polyglyceryl-3 Laurate, Myristyl Nicotinate, Hydrolyzed Sweet Almond Protein, Cynara Scolymus (Artichoke) Leaf Extract, Glycol Distearate, Amodimethicone, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Laurdimonium Hydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Keratin, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Propanediol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Divinyldimethicone/Dimethicone Copolymer, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Benzyl Alcohol, PEG-150 Distearate, Disodium EDTA, Polysilicone-15, Polyquaternium-7, BHT, Laureth-23, Laureth-4, Cetrimonium Chloride, Trideceth-12, Dimethiconol, Decyl Glucoside, Lauryl Glucoside, C12-13 Pareth-23, C12-13 Pareth-3, Chitosan, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Potassium Hydroxide, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Citral, Geraniol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Hydroxycitronellal, Limonene, Linalool.

StriVectin Hair Color Care Conditioner is a thick, rich treat for thirsty strands. Smooth over every inch of the hair to hydrate, protect and improve with NA-114, Chromalast Protein, Beetroot Extract and Honey. This conditioner has good slip for pre and post rinse comb out and smells as lovely as the shampoo.

In a consumer test based on in-use evaluation, after just one application: 
- 93% agree hair looks shinier, more radiant, and has a healthy luster 
- 93% agree hair feels strengthened and fortified 
- 93% agree hair color looks vibrant and healthy 
- 87% agree hair is in a better and in healthier conditioner than it was before

Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Cetyl Alcohol, Hydrogenated Ethylhexyl Olivate, Amodimethicone, Fragrance, Cetyl Esters, Isododecane, Myristyl Nicotinate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Beta Vulgaris (Beet Root) Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Cynara Scolymus (Artichoke) Leaf Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, Stearamine Oxide, Panthenol, Hydrogenated Olive Oil Unsaponifiables, Ethylhexylglycerin, Glycerin, Jojoba Esters, Hydrolyzed Corn Starch, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Hydrolyzed Sweet Almond Protein, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Honey, Propanediol, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Polysorbate 60, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Benzyl Alcohol, Tetrasodium EDTA, Trideceth-12, Polysilicone-15, C11-15 Pareth-7, BHT, Cetrimonium Chloride, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-di-t-butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Laureth-9, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Benzoic Acid, Sorbic Acid, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Citral, Geraniol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Hydroxycitronellal, Limonene, Linalool.


StriVectin Hair Color Care Vibrancy Booster is formulated with NA-114 and Revitaglaze Complex improve the condition of the hair while increasing vibrancy, shine and silky smoothness. I like to mix this and the Color Care Conditioner together to give my hair a one-two punch all in one go.

Based on consumer in-use evaluation, after just one application: 
- 93% agree hair looks illuminated and hair color is revived 
- 93% agree hair color feels boosted and enhanced 
- 93% agree hair looks vibrant 
- 90% agree hair looks like it has a brilliant and reflective shine

Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Methyl Gluceth-20, Glycerin, Polysorbate 20, Fragrance, Myristyl Nicotinate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Beta Vulgaris (Beet Root Extract), Hydrolyzed Adansonia Digitata Seed Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane Extract), Tamarindus Indica Seed Gum, Caprylyl Glycol, Hydrolyzed Corn Starch, Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Polyquaternium-7, Sodium PCA, Hexylene Glycol, Sodium Hydroxide, Lactic Acid, Malic Acid, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citral, Geraniol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Hydroxycitronellal, Limonene, Linalool.

The StriVectin Hair Color Care UV Protective Spray is a product about which I've read good things. Unfortunately, as this product contains chemical sunscreen, it is in my No Fly Zone. That is good for one gentle reader, tho. Because it's giveaway time!

The prize is a brand new, unopened, full sized bottle of Color Care UV Protective Spray with a retail value of $29.00. If you have entered any of my past giveaways, you know that I'm prone to tossing a little something surprise! into the package so you never know...


Obligatory rules and gobbledeegook:

The rules for this little giveaway are simple and the usual I post. Please enter only by using the Rafflecopter widget. The more entries you log, the better your chances to win! This giveaway will run from the time this post goes live until 7/15/16 at 11:59 PM MST. This giveaway is open internationally, anywhere I can legally send a package. The winner will be determined by random draw through the widget. I will e-mail the winner at the e-mail address provided when entry is made so be sure that you enter it correctly. Once I e-mail the winner, they will have forty-eight hours to respond and provide their contact info, otherwise a new winner will be drawn. All entrants must be 18 or older or have the permission of a parent or legal guardian to give me their information. This is my sandbox. All calls are mine, alone and are final; no arguments, no dramz. Any nonsense, I summarily disqualify the entrant and draw another. I hate to be a hardass but experience has taught me that it is necessary.

Okay, enough of that shit. Let's get back to the fun stuff! Enter the giveaway! Now! Don't forget to let the Rafflecopter widget load, before you proceed.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


If you would like to invest in and enjoy this excellent hair care it can be found at StriVectinSephoraNordstromUlta Beauty and other retailers that carry StriVectin. Don't forget to use EBATES and get paid to shop! Not yet a member? Sign up through my link and receive a $10.00 gift card!

Have you tried StriVectin Hair Care? What do you think of it? Please do tell.

//products reviewed and included in this giveaway were provided by StriVectin// affiliate links are in use. when you shop and make a purchase through trusted advertisers and affiliates I earn a small commission that is invested in supporting this blog. thank you//