MAC’s new Patternmaker Collection was finally released last Thursday with Nordstrom’s anniversary sale!

Consisting of Circularity, Pattern Pink, Smoke Ring and Darkspot, together with Star Violet and Shimmermoss, the 6 Cool Eyes Palette ($35) looks *really* pretty even in person. All the colors are new except for Star Violet and Shimmermoss which are both exisiting veluxe pearl colors. Circelearite, is a light beige with silver sparkles in a lustre formula; Patter pink is a frosty rich baby pink; Smoked Ring is a veluxe deep purple with silver specks and Dark Spot is another veluxe pearl gunmetal grey with silver pearlized pigments. I was very tempted to get it but when I swiped the shades onto my hand, I was very disppointed. The only shades that show up pigmented were Star Violet, Shimmermoss and Darkspot. Smoke Ring, despite looking gorgeous on the pan, barely showed up and Circularity and Pattern Pink are pretty but not unique enough.



The 6 Warm Eyes Palette ($35) contains Shroom, Swimming, Shadowy Lady, Equibeige, Unsquare and Rich Symbol. The first three shades are all repromotes. Aqua Beige is a frosty soft khaki beige with silver speckles; Rich Symbol is a frosty penny Brown with gold pearlized pigments and Unsquare is a veluxe rich brown with red undertones. Like the cool palette, the colors are very pretty and coordinate very well with one another. All of them are shimmery except Unsquare and Shadowy Lady. As for the pigmentation, they all showed up well except the Unsquare and Shadowy Lady. I already own 3 of the colors in this palette so I ended up passing on it.



The Powder Blush ($17) looked kind of boring in the pan despite the pretty packaging. Over Print is a blushed up coral and Flush Naked is a mid-tone coral peach. They are both matte and out of the two, Flush Naked is definitely the prettier one. I can totally see Flush Naked working on light to medium skintones but Over Print looks a little too dark and bright.



The Iridescent Powders ($20) are so much prettier than the blushes! There are two of them – Free Form and Belightful. Free Form is a golden peach and Belightful is a gilded peach bronze. They are both very shimmery and highly pigmented. I highly suggest them as highlighters!

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It has been absolutely sizzling here in Chi-town for the past few days so I wanted to do an entry on sunscreens and clear up some of the misconceptions about them.

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Here are a couple of ways to find the right color for your blush:

1. According to Bobbi Brown, the perfect shade of blush should match the color of your cheeks when your skin is flushed or when you are working out. In other words, pick a rosy or peachy shade

2. Noelle Wong claims that the perfect blush color is the one that matches the pink/red that shows on your fingertips (palms up). Simply compare the color of your fingertips to the different shades at make up counters and pick the one that matches the most.

Color Recommendations
Pale Skin: Light pinks and corals are the way to go. Steer clear of anything dark or bright to avoid looking like a clown.

Yellow-toned: Warm pinks, plums and roses will flatter a yellow complexion. Stay away from brown shades that can bring your skin’s natural vibrancy down.

Dark Skin: Warm, tropical tones look hot on dark skin – think warm, terracotta shades, deep plums, and brown pinks or peaches. Avoid light colors at all cost because they will look ashy or may not show up on your skin.

Rule of Thumb
Remember the darker your skintone, the darker your blush color should be.

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Blackheads, whiteheads… people shudder at the thought of them yet half of the people out there prolly have them. If you are one of the few lucky ones who do not, congratulations and good job on keeping your skin free of blackheads and whiteheads! As for those who are less fortunate, don’t fret! Read on for a couple of solutions on how to treat/prevent them.

What Are They
Before we start, let’s first get a better understanding of what blackheads and whiteheads are. Basically, they are comedones – sebaceous follicles which are clogged with sebum/oil, dead skin cells, and possibly small hairs and bacteria. The only difference between a whitehead and a blackhead is that a blackhead is an “open” comedo with a visible dark head caused by oxidation while a whitehead is a “closed” comedo with a whitish or skin coloured protruding plug caused by cellular debris at the follicle opening.

Solutions
Here are a few things you can do to treat/prevent blackheads and whiteheads:

1. BHA (Beta hydroxy acid)
Unlike AHAs, BHAs are lipid soluble meaning they can dissolve dead skin cells not only on the surface but also in the pore. This makes blackheads easier to extract and helps to prevent new ones. BHAs work best at concentrations of 1% to 2% at an optimal pH of 3, diminishing in effectiveness as the pH increases beyond 4.

2. Benzoyl peroxide
BP has an anti-bacterial effect and may also decrease the chemical reaction that changes the lining of the hair follicle. This may help reduce the plugging that causes comedones. Benzoyl peroxide may be used for a mild case of comedones or to help prevent formation of others.

3. Tretinoin (Retin-A, Avita, Renova)
Tretinoin is a derivative of vitamin A and works by increasing cell turnover and reducing the “stickiness” of the sloughed cells. It causes expulsion of the plugged material and converts closed comedones into open comedones. The material in these newly converted open comedones can be easily extruded. Tretinoin can be irritating though so please use with care.

4. Extraction
This can by done on open comedones either at a beauty salon or at home. This process is performed using a device called a comedone extractor which is a small, metal, circular instrument that is centered on the comedone and pushes down the surrounding skin, causing the plug to extrude. To help make extraction easier, steam your face with a facial steamer or a pot of hot water for 10-15 minutes to loosen embedded blackheads.

*Credits to About.com