Reese Witherspoon and Kirsten Dunst kindly remind us that shimmer now belongs on eyelids—not cheeks

Reese Witherspoon How Do You Know premiere

You know what’s weird? Practically every single powder blush around these days has shimmer in it.

I don’t know who to blame here. Surely it wasn’t like that in the 1990s? I’m thinking probably it was an early 2000s thing—a decade I am now looking back at with not-so-fond memories of other style transgressions like head-to-toe pink, Juicy Couture tracksuits and my favourite, visible thong underwear.

Anyway, I, for one, am over it. Yes, even my NARS blush in Orgasm (the cultiest of cult beauty products), which by now almost every woman in North America likely owns. (You know I otherwise love you longtime, NARS—right?)

But sorry—this shimmer on the cheeks thing is Dunzo.

I am going to show you an example of what I mean in a sec, but let’s talk about happy things first! Because actually, shimmer is more relevant than ever for the eyelids, which Reese Witherspoon is demonstrating so very well today.

Let’s take a closer look:

Reese Witherspoon How Do You Know premiere close up Reese Witherspoon and Kirsten Dunst kindly remind us that shimmer now belongs on eyelids—not cheeks

Is that not the best eye makeup job you’ve seen in a very long time? (Okay, maybe not that long—Gucci Westman’s blue-green Oscar de la Renta eyeshadow in the vid I posted last week was pretty damn impressive, remember?)

Anyway, you can really see the shimmer up close—and unlike the infantile pastel shimmers of the last decade, this is Grown-Up Shimmer. Rich grey-greens and purples and coppers.

I’m thinking the makeup artist used a palette here, as that’s the best way, when you are using multiple colours, to make sure they are all complimentary. Here’s one from Chanel that looks kind of similar:

Chanel Ombres Perlees de Chanel eyeshadow palette Reese Witherspoon and Kirsten Dunst kindly remind us that shimmer now belongs on eyelids—not cheeks

What is also important—and makes this VERY wearable and VERY sexy—is that all the colours and shimmer are grounded by the black liner and black mascara. Gucci mentioned this last week, in fact.

And that’s a perfect segue into Kirsten Dunst’s eyeshadow job:

Kirsten Dunst Somewhere premiere Reese Witherspoon and Kirsten Dunst kindly remind us that shimmer now belongs on eyelids—not cheeks

As you can see, there is black mascara happening but not a lot of liner (if any?), so the whole look is a bit more ethereal than Reese’s. Still very pretty, in my opinion, but you could def sex it up with liner—just sayin’.

As for the shadow, I think the silvery grey is so unexpected and pretty, especially with Kirsten’s fair skin and blonde hair. What I would use to get this look is YSL’s Ombre Solo shadow in #10, a greyish lavender:

YLS Ombre Solo Eyeshadow in 10 Reese Witherspoon and Kirsten Dunst kindly remind us that shimmer now belongs on eyelids—not cheeks

and Thierry Mugler’s Ombre Stellaire in Mercury for the shimmer:

thierrymugler ombrestellaire Reese Witherspoon and Kirsten Dunst kindly remind us that shimmer now belongs on eyelids—not cheeks

Just be careful with the application: while I actually love that Kirsten broke “the rules” and applied it all the way up to the brows, that might not work on all eye shapes (i.e. if you have too much “lid” it could look weird).

And now that you’re with me on all of this eye shimmer business (I hope?), please also notice that both Reese and Kirsten and wearing MATTE blush. Dewy, yes (Kirsten especially could definitely use some blotting sheets), but there is no visible sparkle or anything like that. Which is what you want. (You do! Trust me.)

Now I am going to show you an example of why shimmer does not look so amazing on the cheeks. Here is Kristen Bell:

Kristen Bell Burlesque premiere UK Reese Witherspoon and Kirsten Dunst kindly remind us that shimmer now belongs on eyelids—not cheeks

AMIRITE? That just aged her, like 20 years. (Girl is only 30, yo.)

Let’s discuss:

Are you with me on this non-shimmery cheeks movement?
Or have I committed blasphemy against your beloved NARS Orgasm and other sparkly blushes?
Do you agree that the 2000s are starting to look like one big embarrassing decade? Yikes.

36 Comments

Beauty Reductionista
Wednesday, December 15/2010 at 2:24 pm

Oh, no. And here I was, enjoying my TheBalm’s Hot Mama blush way too much. I think shimmery cheeks can still add a little something in person, though perhaps not on camera. Great post and a timely alert! As for the shimmer blush craze, I totally blame NARS’ Orgasm for it.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, December 17/2010 at 5:30 pm

It’s totally NARS Orgasm’s fault! I think still acceptable for night but I don’t like to see sparkly cheeks anymore for day.

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Marina(Makeup4All)
Wednesday, December 15/2010 at 2:32 pm

I am SO happy that I am not the only one who doesn’t like shimmer blushes. Now I like cream blushes. But if we are talking about the powder blushes, Lancome’s Blush Subtil in Aplum and Cedar Rose are amazing. The colours are great and they look natural!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, December 17/2010 at 5:32 pm

Co-sign on that my friend re: cream blushes – LOVE. I’m going to look up whether I have those Lancome shades. I know they used to make an awesome cream blush too but can’t remember what shade it was, I gave it away to a friend and she still raves about it.

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Liza
Wednesday, December 15/2010 at 5:46 pm

Holy he**, poor Kristin Bell (Oops. Didn’t mean to make that rhyme.)

Oh, lord – that poor girl needs to fire her makeup artist, pronto. That is a whole lotta fail all on one face. That image will haunt my dreams.

Where do you find these terrible terrible pics? And do we know if Sigourney Weaver has gotten a new artist since you called her current (terrible) one on the carpet?

BTW- looks like Kristen Bell’s makeup artist is named Mai Quynh.
http://www.maiquynh.com/mai_quynh.html
Her red carpet makeup executions are pretty distinctive. Do you think this is her work?

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, December 17/2010 at 6:36 pm

I have my sources :-) That pic of KB was just screaming for a BeautyEditor.ca dissection.

Wouldn’t be surprised if that makeup artist was responsible because look at the weird metallic finish on the lips!

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emily
Sunday, December 19/2010 at 9:32 am

i just looked at that make up artists portfolio, and her red carpet work is really good, so :/

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, December 23/2010 at 10:39 am

You know what? That was mean – I take that back. Was looking at the first image and not loving the metallic lips… but from what I can see the other work is quite pretty.

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Kat
Wednesday, December 15/2010 at 6:54 pm

I think the issue with shimmery blush is that the shimmer is “uncontrolled”.. A little shimmery light on the cheeks is fine, just not ALL OVER the cheeks. The shimmer is supposed to direct the light on those areas you want to bring out, and I’m guessing Kristen didn’t actually wish to have a triangle drawn on her face like that. :P A friend of mine that works at MAC gave me one of their Mineralize Skinfinish shimmery…finition blush thing. It’s not a blush, not a pressed powder, but for a minute there I was in loooove with it.. it gave my skin a pink/golden glow I could simply not resist! And then I actually saw myself in natural light, and I realized I looked like I’d dipped my face in fairy powder.. :P

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, December 17/2010 at 6:57 pm

You’re right – if the shimmer was just at the tops of the cheekbones it would be better… but I think most people don’t use it that way. (And with blush I think having the colour on the apples of the cheeks is so pretty)

Haha re fairy powder… I’ve done that too.

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Melissa
Wednesday, December 15/2010 at 10:55 pm

im looking for a good matte blush, anyone know some?

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, December 18/2010 at 12:08 pm

Right now I am loving cream ones from YSL and Elizabeth Arden (plus a Giorgio Armani one that was limited-edition, won’t be avail again until next year).

I think there are some good recs of matte powder ones in the comments above and below…the powder one I use is from Jane Iredale but it’s not amazing amazing.

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Sophie
Thursday, December 16/2010 at 1:38 am

Holy Hannah, what’s with the shimmer all the way up to the hairline on Kristen Bell? She’s OD’d on the contouring/highlighting thing. I do like the lip colour she’s got on though. I was in Sephora today and put on some Smashbox “Soft Lights” and loved the colour, but when I got home I realized my palm was COVERED in little sparkles. Not a good look with the sweatshirt and jeans I had on.

Anyway, I think if this minimalist-makeup and dewy skin look is sticking around, we’re going to have to kiss shimmery skin goodbye. Any reco’s?

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Sophie
Thursday, December 16/2010 at 1:11 pm

Just realized I have one… ELF’s Studio Blush in Tickled Pink is cheap AND sparkle-free.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, December 23/2010 at 10:43 am

Sophie are you looking for recommendations for non-shimmery foundations or blushes? (or both?) Some thoughts from the other commenters above and below re: matte blushes (I like the creams myself)… re: foundations, I think there are a lot of choices, I’d just recommend getting something that says “Natural skin finish” or something like that on the label. Avoid anything that says illuminating as that’s code for sparkle.

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katie
Thursday, December 16/2010 at 3:53 pm

Bobbi Brown. Not a bit of shimmer in her blushes (except, of course, for her shimmer blushes).

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Alyssa
Thursday, December 16/2010 at 7:09 pm

No no no! I refuse to give up my shimmery blushes! Yes matte has it’s place but there’s nothing like a little Nara orgasm to give you that glow! Yes bronzer should be matte (especially if you have acne) though. I think the problem with Kristen bell’s blush is the placement and too much? And maybe even the shade for her skin tone. Had it maybe been applied with a lighter hand it would look different. Oh by the way I was flipping through I think us weekly? And they had a whole spread on beautiful Natalie portman ( as it is black swan premiere week) and two of the pictures I recognized from this blog :) can she ever not look impeccable?!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, December 23/2010 at 10:44 am

Yes, I think application is half the problem here with poor Kristen. Every time I look at that photo I’m amazed at how much the makeup aged her. Too bad – she’s normally so fresh and pretty.

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Anya
Thursday, December 16/2010 at 9:42 pm

I think shimmery blushes look really good in person but if one is getting photographed (especially with very bright lights and flash), I would go with a matte (probably cream) blush. I’m a big fan of La Prairie cream blush.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, December 23/2010 at 10:45 am

Ahhh La Prairie! Aren’t they, like, one of the most expensive brands in the world? They sent me some matte blush, I should get around to trying it. I wish it was cream!

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Alyssa
Friday, December 17/2010 at 3:22 pm

Stumbled upon revlin matte blush so we’ll see if I like it :)

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Jane
Saturday, December 18/2010 at 8:35 am

I too, am SO OVAH the shimmer blushes. My NARS Orgasm is at the back of make up drawer & shimmer is to blame. I have been using Lancome Miel Glacee which, while there is a little shimmer in the pan, it doesn’t really translate to the skin. I also LOVE Lancome Cedar Rose- gorgeous. I just re-purchased Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Pale Pink after not having it for years and just LOVE it. Unless I want my pores to look bigger & oilier, I am retiring the shimmer. Post-40 eyes have to be careful with shimmer too, but I do love that Chanel palette you posted…may have to investigate.

Reese- gorgeous! Kirsten Dunst- OK…if you are under 25. I just cannot dig baby blue from lash to brow on a grown up. Kristen Bell- I covered her cheeks with my fingers & she looks so pretty! The cheeks are just a disast.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, December 23/2010 at 10:47 am

Lancome Cedar Rose has a lot of fans, I’m noticing! I have got to find that.

I would have to agree re: shimmer and baby blue around the eyes – not so good for mature skin. Paler colours in general are not a good idea for eye crinkles, they just emphasize them.

I like “disast” – am adopting!

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Mai Quynh
Saturday, December 18/2010 at 11:56 am

I do work with Kristen Bell, but not every time she has an event, and definitely not in this picture.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, December 23/2010 at 10:50 am

Good to know – thanks for confirming, Mai! (And sorry for being mean re: the shimmer, I should know that Google is always watching!) Your work is quite lovely so many apologies :-)

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Gimped
Sunday, December 19/2010 at 12:07 am

I am a BIG fan of Benefit’s Sugarbomb, which does have some shimmer in it. But I noticed within the last few weeks that it’s definitely NOT a winter blush. My moment wasn’t as bad as Kristen Bell’s … but it was close. So I switched to a more matte colour: Benefit’s Dandelion. Very subtle, and buildable if you want to be a bit more bold with it.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, December 23/2010 at 10:50 am

Thanks Gimped – our resident Benefit expert! :-)

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Emily
Monday, December 20/2010 at 3:26 pm

Stila’s convertible color in peony is gorgeous.
I also have a becca cosmetics creme blush in blossom – which is AMAZ.
No sparkles (I hate sparkle blush and sparkle bronzer – holy cheesiness)!

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Sharron Clemons
Tuesday, December 21/2010 at 3:18 pm

Stila’s convertible color in peony is gorgeous. I also have a becca cosmetics creme blush in blossom – which is AMAZ. No sparkles (I hate sparkle blush and sparkle bronzer – holy cheesiness)!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, December 23/2010 at 9:48 am

I JUST got sent a sample of the Stila convertible colour that so many have raved about! It’s a more browny-pink shade, wouldn’t have been my 1st choice but we’ll see… at least it doesn’t have sparkles!

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Chelsea C
Friday, February 18/2011 at 1:32 pm

I guess I missed this blog. I had a question the other day about matte blushes vs. shimmery blushes. You have once again answered my query. There is a time and place for shimmery blushes and there is also a technique involved (i.e. too much MAC Mineralize Skinfinish is not a good thing). I also love my Nars Orgasm; however, I have been questioning its “cultness” lately. I have noticed that the trend seems to be more matte on the cheeks and less shimmer. And just on the apple of the cheeks. This look does appear more youthful. I was looking into the Tarte Cheek Stains the other day. Very pretty. Has anyone tried these and any color suggestions. I have dark hair and eyes with olive complexion. TA TA 4 Now!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, February 18/2011 at 4:34 pm

I have a few Tarte Cheek Stains! But I will be 100% honest, although I love the line I don’t reach for them very often. They’re not bad but I just find the colour doesn’t last all day like some of the other ones I have. (I like the ones from Revolution Organics and Vapour Beauty, for example, if you are after a natural line.) Another problem is that they’re sort of a solid gel type of texture and it tends to come off in little globs when you apply it, which is annoying.

I have a bunch of limited edition shades which I don’t think are available anymore, but also True Love – which is my favourite out of all of them anyway. It’s kind of a bright-ish pink but I think could work on most skin tones (then again, I do have a thing for bright blush). Just looking at the colour options on the website I think another one that could be nice with your warm colouring would be Natural Beauty.

I would def check out Revolution and Vapour though, as they seem to be a slightly creamier texture and longer-lasting. I hope that helps!

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Irene
Saturday, February 26/2011 at 6:53 pm

Am I the only one who thinks that wearing gloss actually makes you look older, too? Or at least it applies to me :(

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, June 26/2011 at 2:36 pm

Oh really? Gloss should make your lips look fuller… and fuller = younger. But I don’t like shimmery or iridescent glosses.

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Courtney
Friday, June 17/2011 at 2:51 pm

Shimmer only belongs on your cheeks if you’re under 19 and have perfect skin with NO pores to speak of.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, June 26/2011 at 2:36 pm

Agree!

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