Sunny Turns 28, Mostly Sunny Turns 6-month Old. A big Thank-you and a BIG Dior, Guerlain, & NARS Giveaway (300+ Euros in Value)!

Hey everyone!

Today is my birthday, and Mostly Sunny is turning 6-month-old in a couple of days too, so I reckoned it’d be a good reason to celebrate! I’m going to keep my blabber short, but I’d like to thank all of you for being there for me! It’s been a fantastic journey, and I could never have done it without you. That’s why I’m throwing a big giveaway to say thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

The giveaway will have three winners, and anyone can participate! Do you want to see what I have in stock for you (I’ll state this point-blank here. This giveaway is NOT sponsored in any sense. I bought everything with my own money)?

The three sets of prizes include #1 On the Beach, #2 By the Pool , and #3 Eternal Spring (yes I am geeky enough to give prize sets names…). I have reviewed most items here (the review for Guerlain Shine Automatique will be up this week), and I like them so much that I want to share them with you!

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Swatch, Review, & Comparison: Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Blissful

Hey everyone, happy Saturday! It’s pretty cold but very sunny here, so I’m happily blogging in the sun! What are your plans? Do you have anything exciting coming up this weekend?

Today I’m going to share my Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Blissful with you. I swear these Blushes have some kind of addictive substance, because here is my third one…

Blissful is described as a “warm peach,” but on me it is also a bit coral and a bit pink. I suspect this color will show up rather differently on different people, though I’ll have to say it looks pretty good from all the swatch pictures I’ve seen. It is matte, which makes it perfect for every day. Especially if you want to add a highlighter or even a shimmery bronzer afterwards, a matte blush is the foolproof choice. Like the other matte one I own (Exposed), it doesn’t just lie flat on your cheeks because it’s matte. Instead, it gives this glow that can’t be mistaken to be shine.

The texture is very fine, but not as soft and powdery as Peaceful and Exposed are. The good thing is it’s harder to kick so much product loose with the brush, but at the same time it takes a little building up. I am personally fine with it. Between a blush that is so insanely pigmented and one that I can build up, I prefer one that I can build up. Believe me, building blush up is easier than having to tone it down once you have overdosed on it! I have recently switched to a duo-fiber blush brush (Bdellium 965, which will be reviewed shortly), and of course this could be the thing that makes the difference. However, even when I was swatching with my finger, I had the idea that the blush is a bit more solid.

Now onto the swatch:

Here is the comparison between Blissful and Peaceful, another “peachy” blush:

As you can see, they are significantly different. If you already own Peaceful, don’t worry because Blissful is not even close to being similar!

Here is how it looks on my face. I tried my best to take a picture that will give you an idea how it looks, but it is very hard to capture blushes with a camera so bear with me (I wore Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick on the top of my cheekbones, so that’s where the shimmer comes from):

This lasts better on me than Exposed (Exposed is exactly the color of my cheeks, so I don’t see very well when it fades/disappears), but the 12-hour claim Tarte makes still falls short a little. All Tarte blushes fade on me towards the end of the day, though they don’t really disappear. They don’t oxidize or change color on me either, which is a big plus!

Now that I have accumulated a bit more experience with Tarte blushes, I can say that their fortes lie in strong pigmentation, fine texture, and a good range of shade selection especially when it comes to matte blushes. I have the impression that a good matte blush is harder to come by nowadays, so if you’re looking for one like that, remember to give Tarte a chance!

What do you think? Have you tried Tarte any blushes? What are your favorite blushes?

Sunny xx

Swatch & Review: Cargo BeachBlush in Cable Beach (Makes Me Dream about a Vacation in Côte d’Azur)!

Hello everybody! Is Tuesday a little easier? It’s still freezing in Belgium, but I got to see a good friend for some last-minute sales-shopping and dinner today, so all is well here!

Today I’m showing you the last of the three products I got in my Beautybay order (the other two are reviewed here and here), namely Cargo BeachBlush in Cable Beach. Cargo calls it “the perfect marriage of blush and bronzer.” Now, I simply can’t pass on something that sounds so attractive can I?

Cable Beach comes in a standard Cargo tin. I have reviewed Cargo blush packaging when I reviewed Rome, so I am not going to repeat myself here. Cable Beach looks a lot pinker on the Cargo website, but as you will be able to see in my swatch pictures, it is more of a peach/coral rather than a straight pink on me. All BeachBlushes contain four stripes of colors that are supposed to work together harmoniously to give your cheeks a healthy flush and sun-kissed glow.

In the swatch pictures, you can see the four shades swatched separately, all of them together, and all of them together sheered out.

The darkest stripe is a warm berry/plum. I know it looks very dark in the tin, but it has very weak pigmentation. I had to swipe my finger on this stripe numerous time and build it up like crazy for it to show up a little in swatch pictures. Luckily this is the only problematic stripe of the four, otherwise this whole blush would be a dud!

The second stripe is a lovely pinky peach with golden shimmer. The pigmentation is much more decent compared with the first one.

The third one is the best pigmented of all. It is a golden, rosy coral.

The fourth one is a slightly muted peachy tan color. It also has golden shimmer. The color pay-off isn’t as good as the previous two but it is decent.

All swiped together, this blush gives a bronzy peachy coral glow. It is true that it is the a marriage of blush and bronzer, because it gives the flush a blush can give as well as the glow/healthy sheen a bronzer can. As with my experience with Rome, Cargo blushes are not insanely pigmented from the first swipe. However, you can easily build them up. I actually think this is one of their fortes, especially if you don’t have an awful lot of experience with blushes. This shade is shimmery, but the shimmer is very fine and not over the top. Even with my skin at its palest moment (about now), this shade adds a healthy glow without the obvious “bronzed” look (check my FOTD here, or click on the Cable Beach tag for more to come). I can only assume how much better it will look when I am more tanned. It makes me dream about a vacation in Côte d’Azur!

Cargo BeachBlushes cost 28 dollars/19.80 euros on Beautybay. With the generous amount of 9 grams, it is a pretty good deal!

Bottom line: I like the idea of the “perfect marriage of blush and bronzer,” and Cable Beach lives up to this claim. Except for one stripe that is weak in pigmentation, the blush works well as a whole. I think it will look very good on girls with medium skin tone, particularly those who are warm-toned!

Tell me, have you tried Cargo BeachBlushes? Would you be tempted to? What makes you dream about summer?

Sunny xx

Swatch & Review: Cargo Blush in Rome

Have you ever been to Rome? I haven’t. After living in Europe for more than 3 years, I am a bit ashamed to say I haven’t visited Italy! In my imagination however, Rome is where Princess Ann meets Joe Bradley (put your hands in the air if you find Gregory Peck irresistible), Russel Crowe takes revenge on the evil emperor in the grand Colosseum, and Julia Roberts dosing her plate of spaghetti with a generous amount of Parmesan… Oooo Rome!

OK, I’m here to tell you about my Cargo blush named Rome instead of traveling. Cargo blush in Rome is one of the three things I got in my Beautybay order. I have heard good things about Cargo blushes, and since I wanted to try a coral blush, Rome found its way into my shopping cart. I have to admit up front that I am not the biggest fan of their packaging. The box it comes in looks a bit cheap for some reason (I guess I just prefer the classy and minimalist black-and-white boxes from MAC and Bobbi Brown), and out of the two blushes I ordered I do have a little problem opening one of the tins. Also, since the tins look all the same, unless you flip them over you wouldn’t know which one it is. I personally prefer the plastic see-through parts that a lot of blushes have, or Tarte’s compacts with different colors.

Now that we’ve got the only pitfall out of the way however, I can start telling you good things about Rome!

Rome is described as a “soft tangerine” by the Cargo website, but it is nowhere as tame as the website would like you to believe (the color I see on my screen is extremely muted compared with the real thing)! In pan Rome is a pretty bright coral. You can see a golden sheen and shimmer, but that only really comes out when you swatch it. Swatched on my NC30 warm-toned Asian skin, it is almost a peachy coral. It is undoubtedly warm-toned, and the golden shimmer adds even more warmness. When I swatched it on the back of my hand, I was a bit disappointed to be honest. I had expect it to be a bit more pigmented, but I had to build it up a little so that it would look the way it does in my swatch pictures.

As you can see, there is quite a bit of shimmer, but it is very fine. I have the impression that it looks more peachy in swatches than actually on my face. Texture-wise it is definitely the finest I have tried, very beautiful and not at all powdery. Compared with Tarte blushes which could be powdery in swatches (but not so when worn), Cargo is by far more finely-milled.

This is how it looks on me. In person it is a lot more visible, and a lot more coral than peach. I used my MAC 168, and it didn’t kick too much powder loose. It is not crazy pigmented, but it is very buildable, and I quickly reached the desired intensity. The shimmer is definitely not non-existent. Compared with Tarte Peaceful for example, whose shimmer is hardly noticeable on cheeks, Rome is definitely a shimmery one. However, the shimmer translates into a lovely glow-from-within without emphasizing my pores. I think this is a shade that will work even better when I am more tanned (though I’m in love with it already), and it will work very well with bronzers too. The greatest part? I wore it for 12 hours, and by the end of the day it was hanging onto my cheeks tenaciously! It didn’t even fade a single bit, which is something Tarte 12-Hour Amazonian Clay Blushes claim to do but fall short a little (I still love them. They are more pigmented than my Cargo ones, but by the end of the day they do tend to fade a little).

Cargo blushes cost 26 dollars (I think they very recently raised the price by one dollar), but it contains a whooping 8.9 grams. Compared with blushes in the same price range (NARS blushes cost 27 dollars and contain 4.54 grams, Tarte blushes cost 25 dollars and contain 5.67 grams), I consider this a steal! For my European/worldwide readers, the great news is that you can get Cargo products at a reasonable price from Beautybay.com. This is one of the rare sites that can do currency conversion right, instead of making consumers pay 25 euros for something that costs 25 dollars, so make sure you take a look!

Bottom line: I highly recommend Cargo blushes. If your skin tone is light-to-medium or darker, and you are warm-toned, definitely put this one on your wish list for spring and summer! It reminds me of sunny weather and makes me long for Rome!

How about you? Are you a coral fan? Have you tried Cargo? Are you also already dreaming about warmer weather?

Sunny xx

Swatch & Review: MAC Cremeblend Blush in Tea Petal

The MAC Cremeblend Blush collection came out in March 2011, and I got Tea Petal in summer. Prior to this I didn’t really own any blushes, cream or powder. I have light-to-medium skin tone (around MAC NC30), and there is a natural pink tint in my cheeks. Therefore, I was happy doing only my eye makeup because that’s what makes the biggest difference for me. However, when my best friend HM went with me to the department store for my Bobbi Brown makeover, she spotted this at the MAC counter and pointed it out for me. Being a rookie in the blush department, I was naturally a little skeptical. I mean, it is the darkest of all 6 colors, and wouldn’t a cream be all greasy on me? However, the SA has already noticed us and HM was already asking questions, so I thought I’d better roll with it and let her try that on my cheeks anyways. As it turned out, Tea Petal is so amazingly natural on me that I decided to make it my first blush!

As you can see, Tea Petal is a brick red in pan. MAC describes it as a “mid-tone reddish brown (the website actually made a spelling mistake of putting “redish” instead of “reddish” *slaps MAC on the back of the hand*), but to me it’s more red than brown. As you can see, it sweats a little in pan despite the fact that I have kept it in a dark and cool drawer. However, as far as I can tell it has not affected usage. The texture is creamy, but not sticky or wet. It actually feels very comfortable on my cheeks, especially now when the weather is colder and drier. Since the cremeblend blushes are supposed to be more neutral and natural, even this darkest shade is hard to overdo. It is true that it is very pigmented, but it blends out very smoothly and evenly. If you want it to be more intense, you can always build it up. I have been using my fingers, but duo-fiber brushes apparently work very well stippling it on cheeks. It does fade by the end of the day (though I never wear a lot of it to begin with so maybe that’s why), but it doesn’t oxidize bad on me.

My only tiny problem with this blush is that it is not one of those “cream-to-powder” cream blush. It stays creamy on my cheeks, which is not a problem for me personally. However, if I try to highlight the top of my cheekbones for example, too much highlighting powder sticks to the cream and it is impossible to blend it out afterwards. I have tried to use a very light hand, but the same thing happened. I was told that my MAC 168 is not the best for the highlighting job, but I can actually highlight when I wear a powder blush. I guess I’ll either have to invest in a duo-fiber brush soon and try again, or invest in a liquid highlighter instead. Either way, at the moment when I wear Tea Petal I skip trying to highlight the top of my cheekbones. It’s not really a real-breaker, but I have to mention it so that you guys know what you’re looking at!

If you want to see Tea Petal in action (or any product I have mentioned for that matter), please click on its tag to see all the FOTDs that feature this blush.

Bottom line: I would recommend Tea Petal to people who are looking for a cream blush, particularly those with drier skin and medium skin tone (I don’t know how well it will show on darker beauties, and if you are lighter-skinned you might have to pay more attention when it comes to blending it out).

How about you? Where do you stand on cream blushes? Are you a fan or do you avoid them? Do let me know!

Sunny xx