Blush is all you need. Here are 6 to try!

Blush is everything.

Putting blush on just makes you feel happy! Your face isn't done without a nice sweep of princess pink or glowing coral on your cheeks. I'd even say that you could skip foundation and all that nonsense — but put your brows on, those are vital — and just put on some blush. Boom. Instant radiant babe from outer space.

Powder is my favorite because it's just easy, but there are upsides to every formula, from liquids to solids. I think all colors look great. My mantra with makeup is always that you can pull anything off, and I think red blush is just as wearable as a shimmery peach, if you have the right touch.

I like to apply blush on the apples of the cheeks or on the cheekbones, and then sort of diffuse it in the other direction. On the apples, you get a more youthful and innocent look, but I think it's easier to overdo there because people apply it too far down. On the cheekbones, blush makes you look more sophisticated and sculpted.

A few you might like, listed in order of swatch from left of both photos (I swatched each twice, heavy and then blended):

E.L.F. Studio Blush in Pink Passion: The $3 marvel. Crazy pigmentation, soft as butter and in a shade with a major whimsical effect. Like you're a wind-kissed woodland fairy.

NARS Deep Throat: Everyone wants to talk about Orgasm, but Deep Throat is like Orgasm's cool, less flashy sis. But you know, everyone has their favorite Olsen. This is my go-to shade.

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Natural Beauty: I bought this when I first got really into YouTube and became obsessed with Essiebutton. She calls this the "Snow White blush." I think it can go quite vixen! But don't let the bright red scare you: this gives you a perfect, realistic flush.

City Color Be Matte in Fresh Melon: I got this in an Ipsy bag and am wildly impressed by the quality. I agree with "Fresh" because it wakes up your complexion, but I'm not sure about "Melon," since this shade says grapefruit to me more than it does cantaloupe.

NYX Rouge Cream Blush in Hot Pink: Not one to mess around with if you don't know what you're doing! This color is intense and stains, stains, stains, so you need to put it on with a stippling brush and blot off the excess before you start blending it into your cheeks. Done wrong, you look like you slathered on Pepto Bismol. Done right, you look like you just went for a brisk walk. Or some other cardio.

Tarte Cheek Stain in True Love: This swatched weirdly brown in the photo, but it's not. It's a nice, blendable blue-toned pink.

And here I am wearing the City Color offering with minimal makeup. I swear I own more than one shirt, but this seems to be my swatching outfit!

What's your favorite blush?


ModCloth Uniquely You challenge

ModCloth invited me to participate in its Uniquely You campaign. The challenge is to style an outfit on Wanelo using ModCloth items, with the winning blogger's post being featured. I'm game because I've lusted after quite a few pieces on its website, and the company is based in Pittsburgh.

This week, the challenge is to build an outfit around the Dinner Party Darling Dress in black using up to seven items sold by ModCloth. I wasn't sure which way I was going to go until I saw these amazing booties, which screamed my name and then smothered me with air kisses. Everything tumbled together perfectly after that!

I chose a multi-strand necklace with a pendant and pearls. A solid top is perfect for displaying jewelry. Since it's still so chilly, I'm drawn to extra layers, so I'd wrap this mint scarf around my shoulders as a shawl. To finish, I love this red quilted satchel, and the bracelet is a great conversation piece.

How'd I do? I know the dress is supposed to be the focus of the outfit, but those BOOTS, though! Would you have skipped any of these pieces in favor of something else? I really love to wear stuff that doesn't obviously go together but works overall, and this is something I could see myself wearing.


What Men Say ... about their taste in women

Voyage of the Mee Mee

My husband would leave me for Martha Stewart.

We have this running gag where we'll be watching TV, and he'll covet whatever is being shown or discussed. "I want a windmill." "I want a missile." "I want a Corvette."

Then I'll put on an overly sweet, patronizing voice and say, "OK, little Eric, I'll buy it for you."

Which is where Martha Stewart comes in. Maybe he wouldn't leave me, because when I pointed out that becoming Martha Stewart's sugarbaby would mean the end of our marriage, he said, "No, you would come with me!" So in one of my husband's ideal life scenarios, we would become Martha Stewart's sugarbabies, because what's better than a woman who could cook, clean, knit you a Fair Isle sweater and buy you a private island?

His brother, Nathan, has his sights set on a more age-appropriate sugarmama. He asked me where he could send a love letter to Jennifer Lawrence to ensure it would reach her, because he wants to marry her. If not Jennifer Lawrence, he'd pick a Winter Olympian, because he's Canadian now and an athlete is the perfect evolutionary specimen. See, he's a scientist. Everything returns to science and basic human needs for him, which is why when I asked whether I should feel weird about the fact his brother doesn't get me spontaneous gifts, he said, "No way. Eric is a provider. He brings you chickens!"

My friend who is gay has stereotypically heterosexual taste in women. He loves Kate Upton. He had the nerve to tell me that Kate Upton is the new Marilyn Monroe, that he's certain years from now I'll have an "iconic picture" of Kate Upton on my wall, where Marilyn is now. Sorry, but that bitch ain't Marilyn, and she's not going anywhere near my walls.

And my straight friend has remarked favorably about my age-inappropriate grays, saying the more I have, the more I'll look like Helena Bonham Carter.


My so-called regression

I rewatched My So-Called Life while marooned on our recliner with some upper respiratory pestilence. The timing was perfect. In so many ways, I've been feeling 15.

My So-Called Life

The show's cheeseball earnestness and angsty narration are irresistible. Who couldn't relate to Angela Chase, having a solo dance party in her oversized jammies to "Blister In The Sun"? She dyed her hair red because it was holding her back. She loved everyone she wasn't supposed to love because she could see into their, like, hearts. I love her and her horribly whiny self-awareness, like when she became fixated on Jordan Catalano's frayed collar and built this whole story around it, and how she thought that in between kisses, the meaningless comments they'd say to each other were so meaningful. I wanted to cheer when she risked suspension by handing out Xeroxed copies of her class's censored poetry magazine, against the advice of her square parents. (I can't deal with how square her parents are. They are beyond square. I hate Patty.)

I had a Rayanne Graff in my life when I was Angela's age. A wild, vivacious girlfriend who was maybe a bad influence on me, but who wasn't full of shit like everyone else was. We met when we were the last kids waiting for our rides home, and she pointed to the Green Day stickers on her messenger bag when I asked her what her favorite band was.

Of course, I had a Jordan Catalano. There were plenty of Jordan-esque doomed romances from afar during that time, but one towered shaggy head and shoulders above the rest.

I've been living in Angela's world for a few days, and it's made me frame the way I've been feeling. Adolescent is the perfect adjective to pair with the rawness and fear that have lodged themselves in my brain. The tide of a bad anxiety episode is in, and it's brought garbage and seaweed, dead whales and abandoned ships. This sense of not belonging anywhere makes me feel 15. Googling information on nose jobs and chin reductions does, too. So does fighting with my mom and pissing my friends off with my pity parade.

I've been feeling like a freak. Everything hurts too much. I wrote this poem once about reincarnation, how if there is such a thing, I'm on my first go-round. I have to be. Everything is too vivid, too mind-blowing to me. I'm asking "why" on repeat and the answers don't satisfy me. Nothing should be so intense to anyone whose soul knows what's what.

So that's how I've been feeling. Like Angela Chase. Maybe it's time to dye my hair red. I already own plenty of plaid.