Back to cult classic : Nars Laguna Bronzer

This article is the start of a new series on Le Beauty Journal, about cult classic makeup items, that are either really worth the hype, or maybe not so much. Because with new makeup and skincare launches almost every single day, I feel like it’s also interesting to revisit classic products that maybe are not talked about that much anymore.

I first discovered Nars Laguna Bronzer when I bought the gorgeous Nars Virtual Domination blush palette, because I’m a blush addict, and it had the bronzer in it. I still have the palette, and completely used up the bronzer. It is brilliant. Though I have to say, it was far less pigmented in the palette that it actually is on its own, which apparently, often happen with limited edition items. I decided to buy the original version because I missed it and love it even more, because a little goes a long way !

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Anyway, I LOVE this bronzer. It looks dark but really, applied with the right brush, it’s fabulous. It has a slight shimmer running through but it’s barely noticeable. I’m not big on shimmers so no worries, you won’t look like a disco ball, I promise !

Laguna gives an instant glow. It’s a very creamy powder which might sound weird but basically, it glides on the skin and does not ever look patchy. The color has quite a bit of red in it and I believe that’s why I enjoy it so much. You know when you naturally tan, how at first it can look a tiny bit red ? Not sunburned, but simply slightly red. Well, Nars Laguna has the power to replicate a real tan in my opinion. Not only that, it also provides a gorgeous sheen that makes you look like a bronzed goddess. I know.

It’s also great as eyeshadow, and instantly gives depth to the eyes, when applied and subtly blended in the crease. It’s so versatile, and really has my back when I feel a bit meh, or want to look like I actually have experienced sun… which to be honest, I don’t even remember how it feels like !

No brainer, game changer. Do you have a favorite bronzer ?

To powder or not to powder

Powders have always felt quite mysterious and chic to me. Though I don’t think I’ve ever seen my mum or a friend for that matter, actually use one. The first memory I have about powders is the Stay Matte from Rimmel, that I got at Monoprix, the equivalent of M&S in France I’d say. I used so much product on my brush and it was so damned matte that I simply decided to stay away from powders.

Back in the days, in high school for instance, some girls would wear powder foundation, but it was never the right shade nor the right finish because, well… it was before the internet and Youtube were really a thing so I guess it was harder to get good/personalized advices. If you’re wondering how old this sentence makes me feel, well, very…

I looked at powders thinking it looked lovely to have one in your bag, but I had no idea what I could do with it.

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Anyways, back to a few years ago. I had since discovered beauty blogs, and Youtube. At some point, everyone would talk about Hourglass illuminating powders, and because I had discovered online beauty content, I had also discovered the notion of glow. I’m realizing this as I’m writing : I don’t think glow was ever something I had in mind when I thought about makeup before that. I did enjoy blusher, but highlight and/or glow all over the face ? I did not even know what it was, and why I’d use a product to highlight some parts of my face or set my makeup with. I’m quite new to the concept of highlighting still. However when the Hourglass launched and took the internet/beauty world by storm, I suddenly became obsessed with the idea of giving this glow thing a try.

One night, after countless hours of looking at swatches online, reading reviews, trying to find less expensive dupes… I typed Net a Porter into my search bar, got on the Hourglass page, and ordered the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powder in Dim Light. First Net a Porter order, first time I had bought a makeup item that costed more than 20 euros, I kind of closed my eyes when I clicked on “approve the payment”…

I do not regret buying this powder at all, I believe it is one of the best I ever bought. Actually, let me tell you about my four favorites powders. That’s what you’re here for, isn’t it ?

If you don’t know how to use yours, or if you should or should not buy one, here’s why I think they’re useful : I use powders to mattify the T-zone, to set the makeup and light up the face and to bronze, sometimes contour-ish, and give it some GLOW !

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Matify –  Bourjois Healthy Balance Powder in the shade 53 – Beige Clair

This powder does what it says on the tin. It’s mattifying but keeps the natural glow of the skin. Let me explain : I use it on my T-zone or sometimes all over the face during summer. It looks quite natural and not cakey which I find really important. I like makeup that you can’t see, complexion wise. A lovely, glowy complexion’s my favorite makeup look, so matte powders could by definition, take away all the glow, and if the powder’s not fine enough, simply look too powdery. Not this one ! Also, it’s cheap (around 10 euros) !

Glow – Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light

This, even though it’s the first luxurious powder I ever bought, I liked but would not repurchase. Not because it’s bad. In my opinion, this powder is simply gorgeous. Super fine, lovely luminous finish, lasted me ages… I would not because I don’t regularly reach for it to finish off my makeup look. It’s the kind of powder that you’d use to set your makeup, so on your entire face, or to set concealer under the eyes without taking away luminosity, or you could if you’re quite fair, use it as a light contour/bronzer. But the powder I tend to get the most use out of is generally bronzer. I did love it but I simply don’t need a powder like that. I like quite dewy finish, that I get from my base, and to set I’d use something like Chanel Les Beiges, or a light bronzer. Which reminds me, I’d love to try their bronzer !

Bronzer – Nars Laguna

Especially great for summer, because it’s a tad too dark for me. I actually love it in winter because it gives some more than welcomed warmth to my face, without looking orange or too powdery. I choose to apply it with a Kiko Stippling brush, which is perfect to distribute a subtle amount of product. It has a slight shimmer running through it, not really noticeable at all. What’s noticeable however, is the satiny finish. This stuff’s glowy.

Bronze & Glow – Chanel Les Beiges – Healthy Glow Sheer Powder in shade 30 and 40

This is probably my favorite powder ever. It is extremely fine, the colors are perfect, not too warm, not too cold, and the concept is easy : giving glow. Which it absolutely does, without making the actual powder noticeable on the skin. If you had to buy one powder, and like subtle glow from within, try this one !

I had it in the shade 30, which probably suits me better than the 40 I now own, and I completely used it up. 30 was perfect because, I could simply use it to set my makeup, and add a touch of warmth to my face. In that case, I’m quite light-handed. OR, I could go to town with it, and really add almost a sun-kissed effect to my skin, if applied with a big brush, on my cheekbones, forehead, bridge of the nose and neck. The shade 40’s good to really bronze-up the face with, but to just add a healthy glow, it might be too dark if you’re quite fair. Still, I use it all the time as you can see !

So there you have it, I hope it was useful.

Do you use powders ? What are your favorites ?

The blush I used to hate…

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Blush is the one beauty product I enjoy using the most I think. But more on why in a upcoming article. Today, I’d like to talk to you about how I bought a super hyped up product because of its cult aspect, why I regretted it and why I’d do it again.

I got it and tried it a few times, and hated it.

I bought Nars Orgasm because, when I first discovered the brand, so many people recommended it. Nars is such a cult brand, and they have so many products, blush seemed like the perfect entry point to discover what Nars is all about. After benchmarking like crazy, I decided to go with the one that might be the most talked about : Orgasm.

Potentially the one Sarah Jessica Parker wore when she was playing Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and The City which is a show I still love. Also THE blush that is supposed to make you look like you’ve just had an orgasm hence the name. I mean, who has shimmery cheeks after sex ? Anyways, the hype worked, I decided to buy it.

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I swatched it in a shop and realized it was full of shimmer. But like glittery shimmers. And to be honest I hate that. I don’t want to look like a disco ball, I love the no makeup makeup kind of look. But it was at the beginning of my love of beauty, and I really really wanted to give it a try, to have it on my bathroom shelf.

I got it and tried it a few times, and hated it.

A few weeks ago, as I was clearing out my beauty products, I could not help but wonder why I was not able to get rid of this blush. It somehow had developed a sentimental value. I guess because it’s one of the first expensive, cult, cool makeup item I got.

So I forced myself to try it again. I used the Real Techniques Powder Blue Soft Finishing Brush, which is extremely soft, but also diffuses the powder pigments in the best way.

And I loved it. I mean, LOVED it.

Its lasting power is insane, probably the best out of all the blushers I own. It’s easy to apply, blendable, and it creates the most gorgeous sheen on the cheek bone.

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It’s still really shimmery don’t get me wrong, but it’s basically a highlighter and blusher all in one which is great.

The color is so pretty, it’s a reddish pink with a golden hue which maybe does not sound appealing but with this dull winter light, it gives life to my tired face. I would not wear it in spring or summer because of the shimmers that would probably end up all over my sweaty face, but at this time of year it is exactly what I want.

Mine as you’ll be able to see is shattered – because it fell on the floor numerous times – but it’s now well loved which is all that matters.