Splurge or Save? NARS Luster vs ELF Peachy Keen vs MAC Margin

(Left to Right – MAC Margin, NARS Luster, ELF Peachy Keen)

All three of these blushes are a gorgeous golden apricot colour. A colour that I tend to wear throughout the year as it’s one of my favourites, but best suited to Spring and Summer. Luster, Peachy Keen and Margin are all very similar and it’s probably isn’t worth buying all three however there are some differences, and not just the price tag.

NARS Luster is the most expensive, £21.50. It’s also soft like silk, and it’s one of the denser, creamier blushes I’ve ever used. It’s remarkably versatile, a sheer wash of colour that can built up to suit both paler and darker skintones. It’s also just that tad more pigmented than MAC.

MAC Margin was my first ever blush from MAC – it has a soft spot in my heart and I love it so much I’ve hit the pan twice. NARS Luster is a relatively new purchase for me, so time will tell which one I prefer, but the £17.50 pricetag is cheaper, and the packaging is sturdy. Ever dropped a NARS Blush and seen it smash into a million pieces on your tiled bathroom floor? Heartbreaking! There’s no difference between Margin and Luster on the cheeks.

ELF Peachy Keen is the bargain of the bunch, £3.75 but ELF often run promotions so you could get it even cheaper. The colour pay-off isn’t as good as the other two, you really have to build it up for mid to deeper complexions but you also run the risk of it becoming chalky. Peachy Keen is probably best left to those on the paler end of the spectrum.

ELF Peachy Keen net weight is 4.75g, NARS Luster is 4.8g and MAC Margin’s net weight is a purse friendlier 6g.


MAC Face and Body Review & Swatches

(MAC Face and Body in Shade C1)

MAC face and body is a water based foundation that provides sheer, lightweight and long lasting coverage. The majority of foundations are 30ml. This foundation is 120ml and costs £26.50, which is a total bargain. You’re getting FOUR times the normal amount of foundation in your average bottle.

The coverage is really really light, but incredibly buildable. I like using concealer first on the areas I need coverage and then topping up with a light coverage of Face and Body to even out the rest of my skintone. I’ll add another layer if needed once the first has set. You’ll barely notice that you’re wearing foundation as it’s so lightweight.

Typically I will get 6 hours wear out of this before it starts to fade. It’ll last longer with a bit of powder/setting spray. C1 can at times look a little too orange for my pale skintone, but after blending, blending and more blending it works well for me. The finish is mostly matte, but with a hint of a glow. No glitter, no shimmer, just enough dewy goodness to keep it from looking flat.

This foundation is quite runny, and that can make it difficult to work with. If I was a really sheer coverage, applying it with my fingers will do it justice. I tend to find your typical flat fouantion brush leaves me with streaks, so a rounded brush, or a stippling brush. My favourite is the MAC Duo Fibre Face Brush (187), simply swirling and patting the product onto my face until it’s blended.

It’s by far my favourite, most loved foundation. I don’t use it very often, mostly in the Summer, but everytime I do use it I’m reminded of how brilliant it is.

MAC Ladyblush Cremeblend Blush Review & Swatches

MAC Ladyblush Cremeblend Blush Review and swatchesMAC Ladyblush Cremeblend Blush Review and swatchesMAC Ladyblush Cremeblend Blush Review and swatches

I’m currently having a love affair with cream blushers, especially Stila’s Convertible Colours. They last all day on my cheeks, and can be applied sheer or built up for a pop of colour. So I though it was time to try a different brand’s cream blush to compare. I choose one of MAC’s Cremeblend blushes, in Ladyblush.

Ladyblush is a warm neutral colour that leans a little bit peachy. Perfect if you want to go for a dramatic eye, or bold lip colour but don’t want your blush to draw any attention away from all the drama. The Cremeblend formula is really creamy, smooth and buttery and applies like a dream. Like most cream blushes, it applies sheer but it’s buildable and blends out beautifully. MAC cream blushes stay creamy, which I love as cream to powder formulas tend to turn matte and I prefer the dewy glow a cream blush can give you.

Staying power isn’t as great as the Stila Convertible Colours, but it’s still really good. It’ll last most of the day, and it’s so easy to touch-up. Just dab and blend with your fingers when you’re on the go.

I’m not blown away, but if there’s a colour I see that I simply must have then I wouldn’t be afraid to spend the cash. I’d prefer it if MAC’s Cremeblend blushes lasted longer.

MAC Fix+ Review

MAC Fix+ ReviewMAC Fix+ Review

MAC Fix + is a mix of vitamins and minerals spritzer infused with green tea, chamomile & cucumber. A few months ago, after finishing my first bottle I didn’t think I’d be repurchasing, but another two bottles later I can safely say this product has sneaked it’s way into my everyday routine.

Despite the name, I don’t really feel as though MAC Fix + actually helps to prolong the wear of your makeup, or “fixes” it to your face. Personally I use if after applying powder to set my makeup. The spray works to refresh, and eradicate that powdery/cakey look if sometimes I’m a little heavy handed. I also spray it on to my makeup brushes if I want to apply my eyeshadows “wet” rather than actually dipping the bush into water. And of course, if we actually had any hot weather here in Not-So-Sunny-South-Wales, it’d be a great pick me up after a few hours out in the sunshine. (It feels weird talking about Summer, when Winter is very nearly upon us)

For £13.50, it’s not nearly as expensive as other beauty sprays, and if you’re still not sure about splashing cash you can get a travel-sized version.

MAC Hue Lipstick Review & Swatches

(I’m wearing Bourjois Healthy Mix, MAC The Perfect Cheek blush, and MAC Hue)

MAC Hue is probably one of the most talked about lippies ever. It’s a pale, nude pink that leans towards the warmer side. The glaze formula means it has a creamy finish and subtle sheen. A decent amount of coverage, you’ll either love it or hate it. Although it’s definately worth a swatch if you’re passing a MAC counter.

Worn best with either a smokey eye, or natural daytime look, Hue can be built up if you need a pinkier lip. One downside is the buttery, creamy Glaze formula – they tend to wear off quicker than other MAC formulas, however if you’re a fan it’s not going to be a major problem.

I’m not entirely convinced that this shade suits me. It’s too “nudey” and barely noticeable. It doesn’t really look like I’m wearing any lipstick. Maybe I’m just so used to seeing brighter colours on my lips.

MAC Legendary Powder Blush Review & Swatches

I’ve already swatched and reviewed MAC The Perfect Cheek which was the first blush I picked up from the recent Marilyn Monroe collection, and now I have Legendary to show you.

Described as a “pale, soft coral” I couldn’t agree more. The Satin finish means there’s a slight sheen, a glow, but no shimmer or frostiness. Overall a very lovely and natural finish. It feels so effortless to apply – it required very little blending and looked great on my pale-ish skin. I would imagine that once again this shade would need building up on darker skintones.

For me Legendary is the “grown-up” coral blush I’ve been looking for. Lots of corals are bright, or shimmery and work beautifully during the Summer months, but this one is glowy and works nicely in the colder months without looking like I’m trying too hard.

MAC The Perfect Cheek Review & Swatches

So I managed to grab a couple of goodies from the Marilyn Collection by MAC. This is the first of the two blushes I picked up. The Perfect Cheek is a repromote, this time with the lovely Marilyn packaging. Described as a “natural pink beige,” it comes in the matte formula and is so easy to wear because it looks natural and will pretty much work with any other makeup you’re using that day. The Perfect Cheek could easily be MAC Blushbaby’s paler cousin. Beautiful.

This blush looks amazing on my pale, but warm skintone (I’m a C1 in MAC lingo….) and it really somehow makes my blue eyes pop. I detect something mauvey about the colour, although it really could be just the beige, which makes it perfect for Autumn. I pair it with MAC Pink Rebel if I fancy adding a little highlighter/shimmer to this matte blush. It applies just the right pigmentation for my skintone, but would imagine darker ladies would need to build up this blush if they want more than just a subtle glow.