Glossier Cloud Paint Review and Swatches (All 4 Colors: Beam, Puff, Haze, and Dusk)

Glossier Cloud Paint swatches (from left to right: Beam, Puff, Haze, Dusk)
Glossier Cloud Paint swatches (from left to right: Beam, Puff, Haze, Dusk)

I wrote about two Glossier Cloud Paint blushes a while back, and liked them so much I bought the other two colors available. They have quickly become my favorite blush formula, and I use them almost every day. They’re liquid blushes in a squeeze tube shaped like a tube of paint. The finish is similar to a blush stain, without actually staining your skin. They wear for me nicely for about 10 hours.

The trickiest part about the Cloud Paints is managing how much comes out of the tube, because you don’t need much. My technique involves keeping my finger over the tube’s hole and lightly squeezing the tube. Then I use a pin-sized amount, split between two fingertips, and apply one cheek at a time, blending quickly with my fingerpads. I prefer a fairly subtle application, but you can build them up to your desired intensity.

Glossier Cloud Paint swatch in Haze and Puff
Glossier Cloud Paint in Haze on the left, and Puff on the right

Haze is a berry shade that I think will be perfect for winter. It’s the darkest of the bunch but it’s become a surprise favorite, especially with berry, plum, or burgundy lipstick.  Beam is described as a cool pink shade, but on my yellow undertones it’s a fairly warm coral pink. For a cooler pink I recommend Benefit’s Posie Tint, which is similar but much cooler-toned and a true blush stain.

On the left: Cloud Paint in Beam; on the right: Cloud Paint in Dusk
On the left: Cloud Paint in Beam; on the right: Cloud Paint in Dusk

Now that I’ve been using them regularly for months, my favorite is the still one I was most drawn to from the beginning – the peachy orange shade Beam. Dusk is a nice brownish pink that works well as a blush-contour and goes well with both neutral and red lipsticks. I wear all four regularly, depending on my outfit, eye makeup, and lipstick choices.

Mixing Cloud Paints (from left to right: Beam + Puff, Beam + Dusk, Beam + Haze)

You can even get artistic and mix blush shades on the back of your hand for a custom color. Overall, I highly recommend this blush if you’re on the market for a liquid or cream blush. With winter coming, I like to use an all-cream base (with liquid or cream foundation, blush, and highlighter) for maximum dewiness in dry conditions. They cost $18, or two blushes for $30.

If you are a first-time Glossier shopper, you can use this code for a discount on your blushes (or whatever else calls out to you):



Glossier Cloud Paint & Generation G Review and Swatches (In-Depth Brand Review pt. 2)

Products: Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint in Light, Stretch Concealer in Light, Boy Brow in Blonde, Cloud Paint in Beam, Haloscope in Quartz, and Generation G in Leo

After my success with my first set of Glossier purchases, I placed another order. I purchased two shades of the new Cloud Paint blush, Beam (a coral-peach) and Dusk (a brownish nude), as well as the Generation G lipstick in Leo, a warm brown nude.

If you want to read my first review of the other Glossier products I’ve tried (the cleanser, skin tint, concealer, highlighter, brow gel, and lip balms), you can check it out here:

Swatches of Generation G and Cloud Paint

Glossier Generation G in Leo, Cloud Paint in Dusk, and Beam (swatched
From left to right: two swatches each of Generation G in Leo, Cloud Paint in Dusk, and Cloud Paint in Beam (swatched heavily on the left and blended out on the right)

As you can see, Leo and Dusk are similar browny nude shades, and they work well together for a monochromatic 90s inspired look. Beam is a very flattering orangey peach shade.

Cloud Paint Seamless Cheek Color ($18)

Here’s Glossier’s description of Cloud Paint:

With Cloud Paint, we set out to make blush the high point of your routine. The pillowy, gel-cream formula is designed to be the most user-friendly cheek color in existence. If you can finger paint, you can Cloud Paint—simply dab it onto cheeks wherever you please. It’s seamless, sheer, and buildable (i.e. it’s hard to accidentally apply too much). Inspired by gradient pink NYC sunsets, the shades are optimized to work across a wide range of skin tones for a healthy, flushed-from-within glow.

Benefit Cheekies) Glossier Cloud Paint
Benefit Cheekies (now discontinued) and Glossier Cloud Paint

When I first saw the Cloud Paints, I was reminded of my very first fancy beauty purchase, a Benefit Cheekies cream blush I bought way back in 2004 – a peach shade I lusted after for a solid year before buying. Then, of course, I barely used it and forced myself to throw it out last year, after a decade of languishing in my collection. I loved the paint style packaging, but the product was too powdery and hard to blend out. Luckily Cloud Paint has a much easier formula, that’s more of a sheer gel-cream that you can blend with your fingers.

Cloud Paint available in four shades: Dusk (brownish nude), Puff (light, cool pink), Haze (berry flush), and Beam (coral-peach). I decided on Beam, which was closest to my Benefit Cheekies blush, and Dusk, as I’ve been drawn to nude blushes lately, in the vein of Nars Douceur, Tarte Exposed, and Colourpop Aphrodisiac.

Cloud Paint in Beam

Cloud Paint blush in Beam, on my left cheek topped with Haloscope in Quartz
Cloud Paint blush in Beam topped with Haloscope in Quartz

On my left cheek I wore Beam, which is a beautiful light orangey coral-peach. It’s very natural on my complexion, which I would describe as warm-toned fair skin with yellow-peach undertones.

Cloud Paint in Dusk

Cloud Paint in Dusk, a dusty brown nude
Cloud Paint in Dusk topped with Haloscope in Quartz

On my right cheek, I wore Dusk. It’s a beautiful warm brown with a tinge of pink. If you want a similar but less expensive shade, check out Colourpop Aphrodisiac, another browny nude. This shade can be used for light contouring, or layered underneath Beam lower on the cheek.  For comparison, here they are next to each other:

On the left: Cloud Paint in Beam; on the right: Cloud Paint in Dusk
On the left: Cloud Paint in Beam; on the right: Cloud Paint in Dusk

As you can see, Dusk is darker and has a bit more impact, but they are both very natural shades. The packaging is very enjoyable to use, but I wish the opening was a little smaller – it’s too easy to dispense too much product. I recommend squeezing it out with your finger firmly over the hole to control how much comes out. It’s best applied and blended with clean fingers over bare moisturized skin, or a liquid or cream base product.

Generation G Sheer Matte Lipstick ($18)

Here’s Glossier’s description of Generation G lipstick:

Generation G is a new kind of lip color that gives the look and finish of just-blotted lipstick, without the blot. We’ve created a short list of the six most important shades, with dialed-down pigment loads for a casual look: Zip, Leo, Crush, and Jam, along with the super subtle Cake and Like, which give some oomph to lighter lip tones. They’re lipsticks that adapt to you, not the other way around, so they’ll appear a bit different on everyone as your natural lip color shows through. The effect? Diffused, matte goodness—just swipe it on.


There are six shades available: Cake (subtle peachy nude), Like (light powdery pink), Crush (hot raspberry pink), Jam, (deep berry magenta), Zip (poppy red), and Leo (warm cocoa brown). When they first released Generation G, I held off on getting it for a two reasons – I heard that it was too drying, and that there were packaging issues. When Glossier released its newest shades, Leo and Zip, they announced they re-formulated all of the shades to be less drying, and adjusted the packaging to be more secure.

Generation G in Leo

Glossier Generation G in Leo swatch
Glossier Generation G in Leo (one coat)

Leo is a sheer matte stain in a browny nude shade, similar to Revlon’s classic Toast of New York. Brown lipstick is a challenging trend, but one I’ve been attempting over the last year. Leo is my third brown lipstick, along with Toast of New York and Colourpop Grunge. It’s the easiest to wear of the three because of the sheer finish. I think it would work well across many skin tones, especially people with warmer-toned complexions.

Glossier Generation G in Leo, a warm brownish-orange nude
Glossier Generation G in Leo (and some peachy Colourpop eye products I will review at a later date)


Overall I enjoy the formula, but it comes with a few drawbacks. It’s not very long-lasting (2-3 hours or so), and it’s not moisturizing (so I like to layer Balm Dot Com on top, which cuts down further on the product duration). It’s a fairly small lipstick for the price, about the size of a cigarette. The packaging is white and plastic, and seems sturdy so far. If you’re looking for a sheer matte finish it’s a great option, but if you have very dry lips, it may not be the best for you.

On the left: no makeup; on the right: Glossier Skin Tint and Stretch Concealer in Light, Boy Brow in Blonde, Haloscope in Quartz, Cloud Paint in Beam and Dusk, and Generation G in Leo (two coats)


If you are interested in trying Glossier, you can use this link for 20% off:

The 7 Best Nude Lipsticks for Warm-Toned Pale Skin

The term “nude lipstick” is one of the vaguest phrases imaginable. Nude lipstick can obviously mean any number of shades, depending on your skintone, and that makes the search for the perfect nude lipstick very challenging. This shade can also referred to as “my lips but better” (MLBB) lipstick, though the phrase nude lipstick usually conveys a paler, slightly more washed out tone. Here are my favorite nude lipsticks in just about every form imaginable – lip pencils, lipsticks, and lip balms.

nude lipsticks for pale skin
From left to right: Clinique Chubby Stick in Curviest Caramel, Bite lipstick in Honeycomb, Buxom lip stick in Sydney, Urban Decay lip pencil in Naked, Urban Decay lipstick in Naked, and Fresh lip balms in Honey and Petal

Because nude lipstick can mean a lot of things, let’s get specific. I would describe myself as having fair, warm-toned skin with peachy yellow undertones and freckles. I have surface redness around my nose, but I don’t have cool-toned skin; it’s much more yellow-toned than pink-toned. I haven’t been shade-tested at MAC before, but I’m about NC10-15. In these pictures I’m wearing Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint in Light, and Glossier Stretch Concealer in Light under my eyes. For reference, here’s a picture of me without any lip product on:


As you can see, I don’t have very pigmented lips. They are naturally a pale, peachy pink shade that can look warm or cool-toned depending on the hour of the day. My favorite nude lipsticks all mimic this peachy shade. Take a look at these shades in action:


From left to right: Clinique Chubby Stick in Curviest Caramel, Bite lipstick in Honeycomb, and Buxom Full-On lip stick in Sydney
From left to right: Clinique Chubby Stick in Curviest Caramel, Bite Amuse Bouche lipstick in Honeycomb, and Buxom Full-On lip stick in Sydney


Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Curviest Caramel

This shade is a balm stick, which is a lip balm in pencil form. It’s a very pretty sheer, peachy nude that wears very comfortably and doesn’t require a mirror to apply. However, it doesn’t last very long on my lips, maybe an hour or two at max.

Bite Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Honeycomb

This lipstick is paler, less pink and more peach-toned than the Clinique balm. It has a comfortable, demi-matte finish that wears well for three to four hours.

Buxom Full-On Lip Stick in Sydney

This lipstick comes in pencil form, so it works as both a lip pencil and lipstick. This is the palest nude shade I own, and it’s the closest to my natural lip color. Because it’s so light, it’s great for balancing out a heavier smokey eye. It lasts for about three hours.

From left to right: Urban Decay lip liner in Naked, Urban Decay Revolution lipstick in Naked, Fresh Sugar lip treatments in Honey and Petal
From left to right: Urban Decay lip liner in Naked, Urban Decay Revolution lipstick in Naked, Fresh Sugar lip treatments in Honey and Petal

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Lip Liner in Naked

Urban Decay makes my favorite lip liner, a very creamy, long-lasting formula. This shade is very peachy and matte when worn on its own, and as a liner it adds definition and lasting power to the other shades. It lasts about

Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Naked

Until I took these pictures I had no idea how different the lip liner and lipstick shades were. They have the same name, but the lipstick is much pinker-toned than the lip pencil. (Important note: the Revolution formula is now discontinued, but there is a shade with the same name in the new Vice formula). I would describe this shade as a light coral nude in a creamy satin finish. It lasts about two to three hours on my lips.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Honey

This lip balm is one of my favorites, with a major caveat – they work best in cold weather. The bullets have metal casings and are prone to melting in the summer heat, or even from being in a pants pocket, so take care. But these are my winter/spring favorites, and I have a set of minis in almost every shade. Honey is the warmest toned shade, a nice sheer nude browny peach.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Petal

As you can see, Petal is slightly pinker-toned nude lip balm. Like Honey, this shade has SPF15 and lasts for about two hours.

There you have it! Let me know in the comments: which is your favorite shade?



Colourpop: In-Depth Brand Review (Featuring Super Shock Shadows, Lippie Stix, Lippie Pencils, Ultra Satin Lips, Highlighters, Brow Pencil, and Blush)

My complete Colourpop collection: Lip Primer, Lippie Stix in Frida, I Heart This, and Grunge, Ultra Satin Lip in Echo Park, Lip Pencils in Frida and Grunge, Brow Pencil in Blondie, Pearlized Highlighters in Fanny Pack and Monster, Super Shock Cheek in Aphrodisiac, Super Shock Shadows in Mixed Tape, Liberty and I Heart This

I placed my first Colourpop order around Christmas of last year. I had very exciting New Year’s Eve plans – a black tie wedding on the central coast of California. I knew exactly what I was going to wear: my grandmother’s 1960s floor-length black gown with rhinestone straps. And with that dress came a specific beauty vision – silver eyeshadow, black liquid liner wings, shimmery white highlighter, and glossy drink-proof red lipstick. So (of course) I needed new makeup. For the lipstick I went with Rimmel Provocalips in Play with Fire (a great drugstore true red). For the highlighter and eyeshadow I turned to Colourpop, a newish online-only retailer.


Left to right: Echo Park, I Heart This, Grunge (x2), Frida (x2), I Heart This, Liberty, Mixed Tape, Blondie, Aphrodisiac, Monster, and Fanny Pack

Super Shock Shadows ($5)

Colourpop has a new pressed powder eyeshadow, but the Super Shock Shadow is their original formula. It’s cream-t0-powder with a unique putty-like texture. They wear best layered on top of eye primer, and applied with your fingers. If you want to use a brush, synthetic works best. I have three shades in three finishes: I Heart This (silver taupe in a glitter finish), Liberty (silver in an ultra-metallic finish), and Mixed Tape (grey-taupe with a pearlized finish).

Colourpop shadows in Mixed Tape, I Heart This, and Liberty
Super Shock Shadows in Mixed Tape (upper lid), I Heart This (center of upper lid), and Liberty (lower lash line)


I’ve gotten the most use out of Mixed Tape, which I love to wear with a shimmery champagne powder shadow layered on top. I usually use I Heart This dotted in the center of a smokey eye to add glittery dimension. My favorite shade of the three is Liberty, the highly metallic silver shade I wore to the NYE wedding.

Brow Pencil ($5)

Colourpop brow pencil in Blondie
On the top: no products. On the bottom: Colourpop brow pencil in Blondie

I’ve used Anastasia Brow Wiz in the past, but I finished it in only a couple months, which is way too quickly for a $21 pencil. Colourpop brow pencils have a similar waxy formula, but with less sturdy packaging; the spoolie on one end broke off after a few weeks. That said, I have extra loose spoolies from Sephora, so it’s not a major issue. Blondie is a taupe shade that’s slightly warmer toned than I’d prefer. It does a good job of filling in patchy areas, and sometimes I use it along with Glossier Boy Brow in Blonde for extra definition.

Pearlized Highlighters and Super Shock Cheeks ($8)

I have two shades of Colourpop highlighters: Fanny Pack (pearlized white) and Monster (a light pink duochrome). Fanny Pack is definitely my most-used shade. It might look ashy on darker skin tones, but I love the non-color glow on my pale skin. Monster is a unique highlighter shade that’s gotten more popular over the last year. It’s similar to the Anastasia Beverly Hills shade Pink Heart in the Moonchild palette, or the Kat Von D shade Opal in the Alchemist palette, although those are powder formulas. This is a cream formula, which unfortunately does not wear well as eyeshadow (I’ve tried).

On the left: Fanny Pack, on the right: Monster, on both cheeks: Aphrodisiac blush

I have one shade of the Colourpop Super Shock Cheek blush, Aphrodisiac. I was aiming for a similar shade to Nars Douceur, which was strangely discontinued a few years back (though I’ve since heard you can buy a refill on their website). Aphrodisiac is a warm nude shade that works well as a dual blush and contour. I find it applies best with a finger along the hollow of my cheek and then blended upwards.

Lip Primer, Lippie Stix, Lip Pencils ($5) and Ultra Satin Lips ($6)

Underneath all my Colourpop lip shades I like to use the Lip Primer. It’s a similar to MAC Prep and Prime Lip, but at a much better price ($5 vs. $17.50). It’s a clear waxy formula that helps the colors last longer and apply more easily.

Colourpop Lippie Stix and Pencil in Frida
Lippie Stix and Pencil in Frida

Frida is beautiful coral pink in a satin formula. It’s bright and colorful but still flattering.

Colourpop Lippie Stix and Pencil in Grunge
Lippie Stix and Pencil in Grunge

Grunge is a brown plum in a matte formula. The lip pencil is a bit patchy, which is common for darker shades, but it’s still workable. I wear the lipstick most often without liner, dabbed on top of balm. That turns it into a more wearable, natural nude shade.

Colourpop Lippie Stix in I Heart This
Lippie Stix in I Heart This

I Heart This is a bright fuchsia pink in a matte formula. I got this shade by accident when I placed my first order. It’s the upside of Colourpop choosing the same name for a eyeshadow and a lipstick. However, Colourpop’s customer service was very nice and sent out the correct eyeshadow out quickly at no added cost. Because this shade was a happy accident, I don’t have the matching lip pencil so my application is a little messier.

Ultra Satin Lip in Echo Park

Echo Park is a peachy nude. This is the one shade I have in the Ultra Satin Lip formula,  a liquid lipstick that doesn’t dry down completely. Because of that, it’s much less drying than their Ultra Matte Lip formula, but one downside is the shade does transfer onto coffee cups, cheeks, cats, etc. It’s a lovely muted coral-nude shade that wears very comfortably.

Overall Thoughts

I think Colourpop is a great option for drugstore-priced makeup, with a few packaging-related caveats. The eyeshadow packaging is very bulky, and the shades are impossible to depot, because the cream formula dries out if it’s left uncapped. The eyeshadows also have a shelf life of only one year. I’ve had these shades for 14 months and they’re still going strong, but I don’t expect them to last too much longer. The white packaging gets dirty easily, and the silver holographic decals rub off. But packaging is not a major priority for me, so I think the trade-offs are worth it for the friendly price point.

Overall I definitely enjoy these products, so if you’re looking for a reasonably priced makeup, check out Colourpop.

Glossier: In-Depth Brand Review (featuring Milky Jelly Cleanser, Skin Tint, Stretch Concealer, Boy Brow, Haloscope and Balm Dot Com)

glossier makeup review
An all-Glossier look featuring Skin Tint and Stretch Concealer in Light, Haloscope in Quartz, Boy Brow in Blonde, and Balm Dot Com in Cherry

When one of my favorite beauty blogs, Into the Gloss, started a makeup brand two years ago, I felt twin, ambivalent feelings – lust for the perfectly-branded products, and worry that it was all hype. So I waited, read reviews, used up other products, thought it over, and finally placed a large order this summer. The products arrived with stickers and a baby pink bubble-wrap pouch that works as a dopp kit for a weekend-long trip. Over the last few months I’ve been road-testing the products, and to my delight, they’re really great.

My full stash: Milky Jelly cleanser, Skin Tint and Concealer in Light, Haloscope in Quartz, Boy Brow in Blonde, and Balm Dot Com in Coconut, Rose, and Cherry

Milky Jelly Cleanser ($18 for 6 fl oz)

Milky Jelly Cleanser is a rose-scented gentle cleanser with a very pleasant, squishy texture. Think micellar water in a jelly texture. I enjoy the cleanser, but this is the one item I don’t plan on re-purchasing. Instead, I’ll refill the well-designed bottle with a cheaper alternative, Cerave Hydrating Cleanser ($7 for 12 oz).

Perfecting Skin Tint in Light ($26)

Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint in Light review
Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint in Light, unblended on the left, blended on the right

I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect base makeup for years (seriously – I wrote about the “Foundation Quest” three years ago). After I wrote that post, I took a couple years off foundation entirely, sticking to sunscreen only and focusing on skincare. I still like the no-foundation look, but Glossier’s skin tint is great option if you want to subtly cover redness while letting freckles peek through.

No makeup on the left, Skin Tint in Light on the right

Skin tint is lighter than every foundation, BB cream and tinted moisturizer I’ve tried. It is very sheer, with a dewy finish. If you are looking for a light-coverage base, it’s a wonderful option. I find that it’s best applied with fingers.

Stretch Concealer in Light ($18)

Glossier Stretch Concealer in Light, unblended swatch on the left, blended out on the right

Stretch Concealer comes in a small screw-off jar, similar to RMS Un-Cover. It has a creamy texture and light coverage.

Glossier Skin Tint and Concealer
Skin Tint in Light on the left, Skin Tint plus Stretch Concealer in Light on the right

Some people might dislike a sheer concealer, but I find it works well under the eyes. It doesn’t entirely erase dark circles, which looks more natural to me than opaque coverage.

Boy Brow in Blonde ($16)

Glossier Boy Brow Blonde
No makeup on top, Boy Brow in Blonde on bottom

I’ve tried a lot of brow products over the years – brow powder (fades quickly), brow pomade (fussy application, a brush that requires cleaning), brow pencil (hard to make it look natural), and brow gel (the shade I got, Anastasia Beverly Hills in Caramel, was oddly glittery). Boy Brow is a brow gel with a waxy, pomade texture. This shade, blonde, is a nice neutral taupe. It is by far the simplest and fastest way I’ve found to tidy up and define my eyebrows.

Haloscope in Quartz ($22)

Glossier Skin Tint and Concealer in Light, Haloscope in Quartz, Boy Brow in Blonde, and Balm Dot Com in Cherry
Glossier Haloscope in Quartz on cheekbone

Haloscope is Glossier’s highlighter, and it comes in three shades, Quartz (champagne), Topaz (light bronze), and Moonstone (white/blue opal). I have Quartz, which I like for a very natural glow. It comes in a chubby twist-up stick, with a shimmery outer ring and a solid oil core. The stick allows for easy application, blended out with finger tips. This is not an over-the-top metallic highlighter, but rather imparts a dewy glow with very fine shimmer. If your skin is sensitive to coconut oil, you may want to find another product, but it hasn’t bothered or clogged my skin.

Balm Dot Com in Coconut, Rose, and Cherry ($12)

Balm Dot Com in Coconut, Rose, and Cherry
Balm Dot Com in Coconut, Rose, and Cherry

Balm Dot Com is a petroleum-based lip balm with lanolin, similar to Aquaphor. They work as great lip balms, but I also like them as cuticle creams. The balm comes in an unscented version as well as four flavors (Mint, Rose, Coconut, Cherry). Coconut and Mint are clear, Rose is slightly pink-tinted, and Cherry has a subtle rosy tint, similar to Benetint.

skin tint, concealer, boy brow, haloscope, and balm
Before and After: no makeup on the left, Skin Tint and Concealer in Light, Boy Brow in Blonde, Haloscope in Quartz, and Balm in Cherry on the right

If you are interested in trying Glossier, you can use this link for 20% off:

Update: I’ve since purchased and reviewed the Glossier Cloud Paint blushes and the Generation G lip colors. If you’d like to read that, check it out here: 

Water Towers

My newsletter experiment over the last few months has been a lot of fun. If you’re interested, you can sign up anytime here:

Here is the poem and sketch from this week’s newsletter:




Water Towers

There’s only enough
power to deliver
water to six floors
in Lower Manhattan.
Taller buildings need
pumps that suck up
water to a spout at
the top of the tank.
Gravity does the rest.
Remember, remember
it’s just artificial pressure.

New York Harbor

I’ve had a lot of fun with my illustrated poetry newsletter, Echo Echo. I just sent out my fifth letter, which you can read below. If you like it, sign up for more here:


New York Harbor

I sit in the lunch room listening
as I look out on the New York harbor.
Colleagues plotting, parents visiting,
small talks, coffee chats, walks for more napkins.

I went to Ellis Island in sixth grade
and I remember vaulted tile ceilings,
filled with cattle lines bustling, processing
each being with chalk, ink, paper, and rods.

The next year the towers fell, and I, a selfish,
oblivious preteen, was sad we wouldn’t
have our eighth grade graduation cruise
in the glittering New York Harbor.