Baked Blush

Recently I have tried two baked blushes that are both really nice.

Baked Blush is made differently than regular blush, and the formulation difference yields some fabulous results. Regular blush is composed of tinted powder that is then compressed. But baked blush is a liquid that is then baked dry. The color has a beautiful shimmer and is often more saturated than powder blush.

Both of my new blushes are from Milani – a relatively new company (2002) whose products you can find in the drugstore and big box stores like Target. Prices are comparable (usually a little less) than brands like Revlon and L’Oreal. In fact, the online prices for the baked blush from the Milani website are $8.00. Plus they ship free for orders over $25.

I’m quite fair – I’m not a natural blond, but I’m nearly as fair-skinned, especially in Winter. So I chose two blushes on the lighter side:  Luminoso and Dolce Pink.



Luminso on Left          Dolce Pink on Right

You can see that both colors are very luminous and shimmery. The pink seems much brighter in the pan than the peachy Luminoso, but goes on quite sheer.

milani swatches

The best comparison I can make is to Nars’ famous Orgasm blush.  I own this blush also, and wear it occasionally, but I find it a little harsh in some lights. But the comparison is still very apt.



You can see in the above photo that the Dolce Pink is a little rosier than Nars Orgasm and the Luminoso is peachier. But the radiance is there. And the Nars version costs $38, not $8. (By the way, the Nars blush is not nearly empty because I use it so much… it’s unfortunately because I dropped it.)

You can see in the side by side photo of the compacts the relative size of the Milani blushes. The Nars compact is 0.16 oz and the Milani compacts hold 0.12 oz, so there is definitely less product. But still a good deal.

The underside of the compact opens to a mirror and a small useless brush. I think if I were traveling and without a good brush, I would rather apply the blush with my fingers than use the one included.

But the product is well worth ignoring the dumb brush. Both of the Milani colors are velvety and apply easily and smoothly with a good quality blush brush.

Although the colors look very different in the container, once applied the difference is more subtle.



Here is the peachy Luminoso. I am wearing a bit more than I usually wear so you can clearly see the color. I’m wearing foundation but no powder, contour or highlighter. The Luminoso has a really nice glow.










Dolce Pink

And here is Dolce Pink. Just a little rosier than Luminoso. And the shimmer is a subtle rosy warm gold. I am wearing the same foundation and lipstick in both photos, so you can better evaluate the difference in blush color only. Dolce Pink is as lovely as Luminoso.









Both blushes are quite long-lasting, certainly enduring enough considering the low price. With a light hand they are beautiful sheer, but both are buildable and can become richly saturated without streaking. All blushes are Fragrance Free, as well Vegan and cruelty-free.

Milani makes great blushes. And these two are an inexpensive way to try the radiance of a baked blush.


PS – Bonus tip:  I often wear the Luminoso as eye shadow too – Its glow is very pretty on your eyes.


Skin Cleansers

When I was thirty or so, I had extremely sensitive skin. I learned the hard way (attending a big meeting with huge hives all over my face – and other body parts that didn’t show) that I could not use the hotel soap. I traveled with a bar of Dove.

As I have aged, my skin sensitivities seem to have calmed down. That’s the good news.

But now I need something a bit more moisturising.

Here’s a few facial cleansers that I’ve tried, and liked.

Aveeno Positively Radiant

positively radiantThis is a nice inexpensive drugstore brand that will cleanse your skin without drying it out. Light on fragrance. (about $8 for 6.7 oz). I don’t see any “radiant” effect – it’s supposed to have a soy extract for brightening.

Cetaphil – Daily Facial Cleanser or Gentle Skin Cleanser

cetaphilCetaphil is nothing new… and it’s gentle and antibacterial. You get a lot for your money (about $13 for 16 oz. – or cheaper) No fragrance to speak of. While it’s not paricularly drying, its gentle cleansing qualities don’t moisturize. Be sure to use a good moisturizer if you use this one.

Origins – Cheeks and Balances

cheeks&balancesThis is my absolute favorite. It’s significantly more expensive (at about $22 for 5 oz.), which is the very top of my price range. It lasts a long time though, because you need a tiny amount… it is really frothy. It’s deep cleaning and it smells terrific. I use this one (because of the price) only at night and only when  I have been wearing a ton of makeup – it really does the job to deep clean your skin. You need to follow up with a really good moisturizer, since your skin will be squeaky clean – which is not always a good thing.

L’Oreal Revitalift Cream Cleanser

revitaliftThis is my daily go-to cleanser. I especially like this in the morning, since I am not trying to remove makeup. It’s really moisturizing. It’s inexpensive (about $7 for 5 oz.) It smells okay, but keep your mouth closed when you wash your face, because it tastes awful.

Skin Cleansing Tips:

I read somewhere that Japanese women always wash their face twice. Once to remove makeup and once to clean their skin. According to the story, they learned this centuries ago from the geishas. I’m not sure whether the story is is true or not, but it makes sense. . Most of the good facial cleansers are really gentle and so a first wash to remove your makeup and a second to cleanse your skin is a pretty good idea. You only need a tiny amount of product for the second round.

Tip #2:  I have tried many different types of eye makeup remover. For me, there has never been anything to equal plain old baby oil. Baby oil gently dissolves your makeup and doesn’t irritate. I have been using it (with small breaks to try stuff that never worked as well) since I was 14, and I must say, I have minimal crow’s feet at age 66, so I think the baby oil may have contributed to my rather youthful eyes.

When I’m traveling, I don’t bring the baby oil, since it can be a mess if it should leak. So I travel with a small travel container (see below) of Abolene ($12 for 14 oz – and it lasts forever). Abolene is just jellied mineral oil. It doesn’t work as well as baby oil (since nothing does) but it does work and it’s safer for your suitcase.

containersThese are the small containers for traveling. They save a lot of money, because then you can buy economy sizes of some products and just take a little with you – like the facial cleansers above or hair gel or moisturizer. Buy the tiny ones.

What’s your favorite facial cleanser?

Over Forty…Way Over


Hi there.

I’m 66 and beautiful.

Sounds vain, I know, but believe me, it has taken all 66 years for me to think so.

Since I watched my mother use Pond’s Cold Cream and Coty lipstick in the 1950s, I’ve loved makeup. And just because I am now … well… very mature, it doesn’t mean I’m not still fascinated and enthralled.

I frequently check out beauty blogs and videos. And overwhelmingly, I find I’m being instructed by a teenager.

Don’t get me wrong – these teenagers are knowledgeable. Last year when I wanted to wear false eyelashes to a big party, I checked out Youtube to find the latest technique for false eyelash application. And a teen gave me terrific step-by-step instructions.

But – teenagers can’t really tell me what products work on ‘mature’ skin, or what concealer is good for age spots, or whether contouring is a good idea once you have a Medicare card in your wallet.

I buy a TON of product. I try everything. It’s my avocation, which is a much nicer word than obsession. And I think that there may be many mature but stylish women like me, who want to discuss makeup and skincare with women their own age.

So I’ve decided to share what I try – what I like and what is successful for me.

I hope you will join in the conversation and add your ideas.

Thanks, Nancy