Friday, June 20, 2008

summer lovin' part I: cheeks

The first day of summer has finally arrived! It's the season for outdoor concerts, afternoons spent at sidewalk cafés sipping chilled Vouvray, fruit-flavored popsicles, and long walks with cute boys (or girls). Since no one likes the look or feel of cakey foundation mixed with humidity and summer sweat (ahem, I mean "glow"), it's time to strip back your beauty routine and opt for sheer, lightweight products. I like bronzed skin as much as the next girl, but when it comes to low maintenance make-up, nothing beats fruity and floral-inspired cheek colors in romantic shades of peach, rose and plum. Here are a few of my summer favorites:

Benefit Benetint: This is the ultimate sheer rose stain. Blendable and long-lasting, this product delivers a delicate flush. And since it works on lips, as well as cheeks, it cuts another extra product out of your beauty routine. The color is completely buildable, allowing you to achieve a light glow or a deep rosy finish. In the mood for something lighter? Benefit recently introduced a follow up to their successful stain with Posietint, a sheer pink wash.

Benefit Dandelion, Georgia, Thrrrob and 10: Benefit really knows how to do low-key cheek color. All four of these powder blushes are great, perk-me-up colors, but on your cheeks the effect is subtle and natural. Dandelion is a pale pink that is excellent on fair skin. Georgia is a true peach that can make me look wide awake without nearly enough sleep in my schedule. Thrrrob, the most recent addition to the Benefit line of blushes, creates a rosy plum flush, mimicking a just-kissed-a-boy glow. 10 combines a stripe of Dandelion and a stripe of the bronzing powder Hoola. Swipe the brush across the pan to pick up both colors, then apply to cheeks, depositing Dandelion across the apples and Hoola underneath your cheekbones. The effect is a cheery pink cheek with a little extra summer glow. All of these blushes come packaged in adorable cardboard cases with their own applicator brushes. Plus, they house a ton of product, so you'll be able to get a couple of summers out of these little guys.

Rosie Jane Cheek Gloss in Rose: I randomly stumbled upon this product while visiting family in Nantucket (this isn't nearly as posh as it sounds). The Rosie Jane display was tucked in the corner of Beauty By The Sea, and as soon as I wandered over to poke through the products, the sales associate was buzzing in my ear. Apparently, this was her favorite line in the store, and she was incredibly excited to see me interested, as other customers had been walking by the display without a second glance. She immediately directed my attention towards her favorite product, this dewy gloss for cheeks. This bright rose gel blush can be tapped onto cheeks with fingertips, creating a flush that reminds me of the lip stain that only cherry popsicles can achieve.

Tarte Cheekstain in Tipsy: Similar in consistency to the Rosie Jane Cheek Gloss, Tarte's Cheek Stain comes in a popsicle-like push-up tube, which can be dabbed directly onto cheeks and blended with fingers. Tipsy is a brilliant peachy pink, which wakes up tired skin better than a morning Mimosa. It has a pop of white shimmer, but not so much that you look like you're going to a disco. Additionally, the apricot scent is light and sumptuous, enough so that my mouth waters every time I use this product.

DuWop Blush Therapy in Hug: Blush Therapy is a cream blush, but instead of feeling heavy and thick, it's light and blendable. It actually feels more like a gel blush, so I'm not exactly sure why DuWop chose to classify this as a cream. However, it lacks the stickiness that plagues a lot of gel blushes. Hug is the exact shade that my face turns whenever I'm embarrassed (I much prefer achieving this color on purpose, as opposed to having all the blood rush to my face). With a blend of essential oils built into the cap (I know, bizarre), Blush Therapy delivers a cooling sensation when applied to the skin.

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