Archive for category Foundation
We’re almost done with these posts folks, I promise; there’s only one more after this (and I’m hoping to make it really extra special!). Today we’re looking at the base products I’ve accumulated over the past few months, plus a blush I picked up because, ya know: PRETTY.
Probably my favourite acquisition out of the bunch is MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium Tan ($37CAD). I am SURE I’ve tried this stuff before, but I don’t remember liking it so much! Even though I’m all about that #dewyskinlife, I kept seeing how lovely this looked on Karen and thinking I should really give it another shot. Guys, if you haven’t tried this, this ain’t your regular flat matte powder! Especially on top of well-moisturized skin, this powder makes my skin GLOW without heading into greaseball territory, which you know can be difficult to achieve with oilier skin (like mine). What I especially appreciate is that I can actually layer skincare products (serum & sunscreen in the summer) as well as use a primer if I’m so inclined (see next item) prior to using this, and my skin doesn’t feel sticky with product and my base doesn’t slide off in the warmer weather – which always happens when I use a liquid foundation over more than say, one other product. Applied with the Real Techniques Buffing Brush I purchased, I don’t get that matte, dull look from this either – it really doesn’t look like powder, just like my skin is naturally great and healthy-looking. I think I’ve found my HG summer foundation!
Wearing the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish on top of the Laura Mercier primer, along with MAC’s Peony Petal blush and the MAC Orange Corrector/Maybelline Neutralizer combo under eyes – and the Lancome lippie of course!
In keeping with my constant quest for glowing skin, I picked up a travel size of Laura Mercier Foundation Primer – Radiance ($25CAD) shortly after Elena was born (I think it was our first trip to the mall together lol) because I desperately needed something to give my clearly overtired face a boost. Described as a ‘lightweight, water-based gel’ (except it contains castor seed and jojoba seed oil??? Calling it water-based implies it’s oil-free, but it’s not…sort of misleading, eh?), it’s supposed to ‘provide a sheer, healthy glow to skin while prepping skin for makeup’. The shade is fairly neutral, not warm nor cool, and ‘blurs imperfections and improves makeup wear’. So ok. This kind of product I normally wouldn’t go for because to me it’s just asking for trouble (aka shine) when you use a non-mattifying primer on oilier skin like mine. But in my baby-adled brain it made sense at the time, and happily it hasn’t been a decision I regret. It just requires me to use it in a certain way. I started off using this by combining it with my liquid foundation for that all-over-glow, but it’s a bit much and ends up making me look – not greasy, exactly, but sort of unkempt somehow? I dunno, all I know is that by the end of the day I’m like ‘Yikes, Latoya!’ However, if I use it strategically before foundation on my cheekbones, down the centre of my nose, and over and under my brow bones (AKA – step one of STROBING [so funny how highlighting has a ‘technical’ name now]), it gives a lovely ethereal look to the skin – a bit more subtle than straight highlight. Interestingly, I’ve read reviews that say this is really sparkly; as a person who doesn’t much care for sparkle on the face except for on eyes, I haven’t actually found that to be the case, so not sure what’s the deal there.
Anyway, I do like this, but I’m glad I just have the travel size, as I’d like to try the CoverFX Illuminating Primer next.
When Elena was still in the hospital, I put in an online order for MAC because, well, essentially I think I was losing my mind in there and needed something to boost me up lol. I got it in my head that I *needed* a purplish blush, but they’re quite hard to find (this was before Urban Decay released their new blushes – I’m still curious about Bittersweet). MAC Satin Blush in Peony Petal ($26CAD) looked like the closest I was gonna get to a purple-hued blush – it’s actually a bright blue pink, but it’s super-cool tones appealed to me – so into the online cart it went.
This was also a purchase I didn’t regret – more and more I find cool-toned makeup quite flattering on me, and this is no exception. In the winter months it gave me a beautiful chilly flush, and now in the summer it adds a very subtle hint of color that is hard to overdo (which is good as I am still more heavy-handed with blush than is probably good). Loving it!
Also in that order, I picked up MAC Studio Finish Skin Corrector in Orange ($15.50CAD) because I was desperate to find something to help with my dark circles, which were looking even worse than normal. This product is INTENSE guys, and you should NOT apply it straight from the pan and think your problems will be solved (no hate, but I watched this tutorial and it was what made me think I needed this concealer…I dunno how she made it work, but it is NOT that easy). I tried it and promptly put it to the back of my makeup drawer, thinking I just wasted $16.
However, I got reinvigorated to try it this week while writing this post, and I found some better advice that suggested mixing this with a yellow-toned concealer to create a ‘corrector’ shade, much like Bobbi Brown’s or the like. I just so happened to have a product like that (see Maybelline Neutralizer, below) so I applied the yellow-toned concealer first, then added the smallest dab of the orange and blended together for an awesome eye-brightening look! I’m actually super-pleased with the effect and I’m happy that I didn’t give up entirely – the results are well worth giving the Corrector a second chance.
Earlier in the year, before I had Elena but during the later part of my pregnancy in which I was experiencing some insomnia, I was on the hunt for something, anything to help with my dark circles (can you send a recurring theme here?!). After picking up Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Creaseless Concealer, I decided I needed a brightening powder to set it with, and came home with Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder ($29CAD). Truth be told, I don’t use it that much – I just don’t find it to be so brightening, and to use a separate setting powder just for under eyes is just more effort than I’m willing to put in. If this were a miracle product, I’d happily do so, but I honestly don’t find it does much of anything. Ah well.
The CoverFX Custom Color Drops in N60 ($44CAD) have been a polarizing product that has had many reviews for and against it. I’m not going to waste MORE words doing a full-on review because others have done it better, but my two cents is that it’s handy for adding to other skincare products without losing too much potency and coverage (like you would if you added your regular foundation to say, a moisturizer), which is ultimately what I bought it for. As mentioned, I don’t like layering too many products on my face in the summertime, so this is ideal to mix with my current SPF60 sunscreen – I get the coverage of a foundation (I only use a couple drops so it’s about a light-medium coverage, which is my preference), but since my SPF is higher I don’t feel my sun protection is compromised too much. Some people have also found the foundation lightened up too much when mixed – I bought mine online and had to guess at the shade, which is a bit dark on it’s own but perfect when mixed, so I lucked out! Win-win-win for me!
I grabbed Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer in Neutralizer on a whim when it was on sale while I was still in my ‘BANISH THE DARK CIRCLES‘ phase (not that I’m every really OUT of that phase…I just get to a point where I have TOO many products that I can’t justify even ONE more). They didn’t seem to have a dark enough shade for me so I figured the Neutralizer was the safe way to go. Alone, this is SUPER light on me – like Kim K. reverse racoon-eyes light [note though that I used this on all the girls during a wedding makeup I did last weekend and it was perfect for concealing any darkness on them (they were all fair-skinned)]. But as mentioned, mixed with the MAC Orange Corrector, this works kind of awesome to brighten my under eye.
Finally, just a quick mention of the Marc Jacobs O!Mega Bronze Perfect Tan ($59CAD) that I bought and later returned during the Sephora sale. It was a fabulous shade, but for my darker skin it was just not enough. However, if you’re lighter than me I definitely recommend checking this one out – it wasn’t too orange nor too brown, and the powder was silky smooth and lovely. Below are a few swatches of it against other bronzer shades I own for comparison purposes.
That seemed like a long-winded post for only a handful of products! Sheesh. I can’t keep my trap shut lol. Anyway, I feel slightly overloaded with base products right now, but as they’re something I use every day I don’t worry too much about using them up. That being said, I am on a base-product-hiatus for the time being!
Do you own any of these products? What kind of skin finish do you prefer: dewy, satin or matte??
Yikes! It’s been like, two weeks since I last posted…my bad! I find time gets away from me SO easily these days, and it’s not all baby planning. I’ve mentioned before all the extra-curriculars I’ve been partaking in, but (somewhat) happily, one of those has been wrapped up for the time being – my evening French classes have ended and I don’t plan to sign up for any more (I’m still taking lessons during work hours so hopefully that’ll keep me moving forward), so that’s one extra night a week I’ll have to do with as I please. Admittedly, this will probably involve a book and some tea most of the time, ha – I’ve been doing a TON of reading, like it’s going out of style. I just don’t know how much time I’ll have come mid-March (my guess is: ZERO) so I’m getting it all in now.
Nonetheless, rest assured that even if you don’t see me churning out a ton of posts, I’ve still got beauty on the brain! I scored a pretty large haul during the Sephora VIB sale (which I’ll be showing you soon), and I’m employing every trick in the book to really capitalize on the ‘pregnancy glow’ – I don’t really see it myself, but I must be
faking doing something right because I’ve been told several times that I’ve got it in spades. Hopefully its being said in a positive way and they’re not referring to me looking like a grease ball O_o I’m *fairly* certain that’s not the case, as I’ve got a new routine going that I’m really loving! Neither product is new, nor even really new to me, but I started using them together and it’s like a match made in heaven. The duo I’m referring to is Benefit’s The POREfessional and Clinique’s Stay Matte Oil-Free Makeup (in shade 19 Sand).
I’ve used both of these products on their own separately before, but wasn’t terribly wowed by either. Benefit’s primer seems much like every other, blurring the look of pores with a light, ‘cone-based formula; the Stay Matte formula from Clinique’s foundation range is a great choice for combination to oilier skin that requires little coverage (it’s quite sheer), but it doesn’t keep my skin from getting shiny throughout the day. However, the two together just seem to work. The Benefit primer slightly mattifies my skin (I apply it through the T-zone) and the foundation glides seamlessly on top and manages to leave my skin with only a healthy glow by the end of the day – and this is without applying powder on top!
This has been my go-to pairing for the last month or so – I’m always trying to achieve a ‘glow’ that doesn’t veer into disco-ball shine, and I’ve finally found the trick with these two products. If you’re looking for a completely matte finish, neither of these products, together or separately, will give you that look. But if you have skin like mine that tends to get a low-level shine factor by mid-day, you might want to check them out to keep the oilies at bay without sacrificing that ever-elusive healthy glow.
What’s your favourite primer + foundation combo?
It’s been a dedicated effort, but I finally have some makeup items nearing empty – a whole handful of them! You other beauty fiends know just what I’m talking about, and how hard this is to do when you have SO MANY PRETTIES to use! I’m feeling pretty good about my progress, so I thought I’d share with you some gratuitous near-‘pan’ p0rn in case you need inspiration of your own :)
I’ve been using the Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation together with the Burberry Fresh Glow Luminizer to freshen up the matte look the Hourglass imparts – the two pair together quite well. I get a LOT of views on the Hourglass foundation post, so I just want to reiterate how great it is! I can skip powder entirely when I use this, and the coverage is medium without looking or feeling too heavy. I do prefer a dewier finish which is the only drawback for me (though I’d still probably still repurchase this, because all other facets are so good), which is where the Fresh Glow comes in. If you’re looking for a foundation for oilier skin with a satin-matte finish, this is 100% for you! I’ve had the foundation for a long time now (2 years) and it’s near it’s end ~tear~
The MAC blush here (Mineralize in Early Morning) is a bit of a cheat, because I dropped it a couple years ago and most of it was wasted. Nevertheless, it’s a beautiful shade so I kept it and used the dregs anyway. I’ll probably let it go soon but I’m just not ready to yet.
I’m STILL working on MAC’s Arena eyeshadow, which I showed you had hit pan last year. I’ve been using it almost every day but it just won’t die! LOL I do still love it, but it’s best for the summer months when my skin is more tanned – I love it as a subtle brow highlight then. Other times of the year it doesn’t get worn as much, but I’m making progress now because I’m SO CLOSE.
The Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Discrete is also a couple years old, and while I liked the neutral shade as it was quite wearable, I’m over it now! Its got maybe 3-4 uses left so I’m gonna make it happen TOOT SWEET. The Buxom lipgloss (here in April), is also on it’s last legs, and I’m not a fan of the frosty sparkly thing at all now, so it’ll be kicked to the curb regardless in the next couple weeks.
This two deluxe samples have had highs and lows in my beauty life. I love the nude tone of the Buxom Lip Stick (this is Sydney) but it’s very matte and looks terrible if you’re lips aren’t in perfect shape (which mine weren’t for most of the winter). My lips are doing much better now so I’m chugging through it – I really don’t like ‘mini’s’! The Burberry lippie is in Cameo Pink, and it’s a pretty soft coral shade that’s just a touch too light for my skin tone. If I apply it with a light hand, or pair it with another lip product, it fares pretty well. Got it down to the nub finally!
If you’ve been counting guys, that’s 8 makeup products that’ll be good to go very soon!! SO EXCITED. I’m really trying to whittle down my stash and make way for new stuff, without feeling overwhelmed by the selection I already have. Which has been a goal of mine for forever, I know. But I keep trying! I’ve gotten major spring fever this year and gave a ton of stuff away to family and friends, mostly PR samples or gift items, as I’m getting a lot better at buying shades and products that I really want and that work. I usually have a huge bag full of items up for swap, but there’s nothing left now :)
Do you have any beauty goals right now? On average how often do you finish makeup items?
It’s interesting how different people’s opinions can be. Last week, I read Tracy’s post on this very same product, and she stated that she far prefers powder foundation to liquid. In my case, in general I prefer liquid foundation to powder! See, I think what I like about liquid foundation is that it typically leaves skin looking a bit more moist and glowing, whereas I always imagined powder foundation to leave you looking matte and sort of dull. I like the idea of a powder base, because Hello, how easy it is to use? But overall I choose liquid every single time.
However, I think I’ve found THE product to meet all my needs. Make Up For Ever’s new Pro Finish Powder Foundation ($42CAD) – can be used dry like traditional powder foundations for a matte, full coverage look, or…can be used wet, for a more satin finish with sheer coverage! Yay!! And it actually does what it claims! Double-yay!!
The color that received is the same shade that I wear in MUFE’s HD Foundation – 153, which makes total sense (and isn’t always the case – Clinique numbering and naming system does not follow ANY pattern whatsoever – you can be a Sand in one formula and not be a Sand in another…drives me absolutely batty!). I would still test it in-store to be sure, but if you don’t have that option, choosing the same color as your HD shade is a good bet.
The case comes with a sponge and your typical flip-up storage for said sponge; however, ingeniously they’ve included air holes in the bottom of the casing to let your sponge air out after using – so handy!
There are some nourishing ingredients in the formula to help keep your skin hydrated and comfortable while you wear it. Tracy found that by the end of the day her drier skin felt *slightly* tight; however, my skin is normal to oily and I experienced absolutely no dryness – and also next to no oiliness! It kept my skin’s oils totally controlled without being too matte and flat-looking, which I found impressive. Pretty cool I’d say!
Below are shots of my skin in natural light – on the left side I wore it dry, and on the right – wet.
Do you notice how on the side where I applied the foundation dry, it takes on a slightly more yellow tone? I think that’s merely because the product is being applied more densely, rather than with some transparency when applied wet. Nonetheless, I prefer the powder applied wet as it seems to meld into my skin more and look more natural. It still looked good dry, and if I needed more coverage I’d use it that way. But I tend to be a sheer to light coverage gal when it comes to foundation, so wet is ideal for me.
Here’s a full-face shot:
You can see that on the left side there is more coverage than the right. I like having the option of customized coverage, and I suppose you could even alternate between the two at once if you had some problem areas that required more concealment. It really does a great job! Check it out with flash:
If you’re in the market for a foundation, and your preference is a powder – or if you’re interested in trying something different – I’d highly recommend the Pro Finish powder. It feels lightweight (even when applied dry) and the stay power is great even without a primer. And the way it controls shine really is something else! Right now this is only available online at Sephora, but will be in-stores February 2013.
Do you prefer powder or liquid foundation? What kind of coverage do you like in a foundation?
Heads up guys – there’s another Make Up For Ever event going on at Sephora this weekend! With fall just around the corner, its a perfect time to get matched for a new foundation and MUFE has your HD shade – I guarantee you can find one to suit your skintone perfectly (there are like, 26 shades, so if you can’t – I’ll eat my hat!)!
They’re also offering a free gift with a purchase of the foundation, so if you’ve been thinking about it, now’s the perfect time! And while you’re there – check out some of their other fabulous products, like their liquid liners, eyeshadows (pencil, powder, and cream), blush, lipsticks…so many goodies to choose from! :)
G’day to everyone!! I have been MIA for a while, longer than usual anyway – I have a backlog of photos of products to post, but I can’t seem to get inspired to write anything about them! Not that they aren’t all great in their different ways, but I guess I’m starting to feel like I’m just pumping out product reviews and not enough substance, you know? I need some time to do some more FOTD’s with underused products – now THAT was fun :)
I’m also doing an overhaul of my makeup stash and letting go of even more products that I just don’t use. I’ve been obsessing over my wishlist far too much and it’s getting to the point where I’m almost turned off the whole thing (as in, the buy buy buy! cycle). I updated my swap list on MUA and have been engaged in several different exchanges, trying to acquire things that I’ve been lemming but are core color products of a brand – I want to save most of my purchases for seasonal items or ‘big-ticket’ purchases that aren’t so easily swapped for. I’m thinking about doing a blog sale as well, though I don’t know how exciting some of the products may be…thoughts!?
In the meantime, I thought I’d do a ‘Summer Favorites’ rundown, versus my favorite of the month, because there hasn’t been just one thing I’ve been loving in July, but there have been a handful of things I keep returning to over and over!
Even though I love brights in the summer – vivid tropical hues that I never wear the rest of the year – I rarely have opportunities to wear them (I sometimes get ~crazy~ at work but overall I try to keep it appropriate). Often, my palette includes more natural, glowing hues that highlight my tanned skin and healthy glow, rather than being in-your-face. It’s one of the few times of the year where wearing less usually works to your advantage, and I like to capitalize on that!
I managed to snag Urban Decay’s ‘Lucky’ 24/7 Eyeliner Pencil in a swap last year, and although I loved how it looked, I didn’t wear it too often. However, this year in my effort to spread the love throughout my stash, I started playing with it more, and I think I’ve found my go-to makeup look: this, smudged over black eyeliner on both top and bottom lashes, enhances my eyes subtly but with a kind of bad-ass twist. It’s been a staple in my summer routine many days now, and I absolutely LOVE it. The metallic nature of this liner and the warm coppery hue, toned down a bit by the black, gives a depth to my makeup that is just perfect.
On days when I’m aiming to look even more natural, or to give a subtle glow to my look, I opt for MAC’s Melon Pigment, also another swap find (yay to being economical!), a peachy-gold metallic. On fair-medium skin, I hear the peach tones help it look particularly striking, especially on blue-eyed gals. On my skintone, it looks more golden than peach, and is fairly subtle – though it can be built up if need be, or applied wet. With just this and a whole lot of black mascara, I can create a wide-open eye that catches the light just so. I haven’t tried it yet, but I think I could even use this as a highlight on my cheekbones (though this probably only works for darker skinned gals).
The Milani Sunset Beach bronzer is one of the most inexpensive items in my stash, yet I wear this every day – the brownish tone is a slightly warm but overall neutral hue that works fabulously as a contour shade just under the cheekbone. It’s not too orange or muddy, and it’s got a great pigmentation that’s not heavy but just right to work well in layers if needed. If I’m in a hurry, buffing this on my temples, bridge of the nose, and just under the jawline as well gives me a great warmth and really makes me look polished with very little effort.
Obviously you’ve already heard all about my love of Chanel’s Inattendu polish – it’s just the perfect nude, especially for summer, when the warmer tones flatter skin so nicely. And because I wear SO many brights this time of year, it acts as the perfect counter-point. You really can’t go wrong!
MAC’s Lychee Luxe Lipglass is a glorious coral-pink shade with golden shimmer, and is so pretty on that I forgive it’s sticky texture. I can wear this with a variety of looks, either bold eyes or more natural, with golds and brights and jewel-tones, and it works for each one of them. On my somewhat pigmented lips and with my darker skin, it looks warm and juicy, giving my lips just enough color without ever being overwhelming or stealing the show. While I have decided not to buy any more MAC Lipglasses because of the texture problem mentioned, I’ll be genuinely sad to see this one go – and it’s only got about 1/3 left!
While all of these shades work perfectly for day or night, I’ve generally been wearing only loose powder to lightly even out my skintone during the day. When I’m headed to an event or out for the evening however, I like to look a bit more pulled together, and I’ve been using Make Up For Ever’s Face & Body foundation* in #18 ($40CAD) – a super lightweight foundation that covers imperfections without feeling heavy or like you’re wearing much of anything. As it’s water-based, its quite thin and is perfect for the hot, makeup-melting days of summer. It can also be built up to give extra coverage where needed – and can be used on the body as well (I love me some multi-purpose products!). #18 (for medium skin with olive undertones) is a very good match for my summer-tanned skin, and is warm, not ashy, which is great. I’m thinking about mixing a bit of this with my Hourglass Immaculate foundation when the cooler months arrive, as it leans a touch light and grey on me, and I think the two formulations will mix fairly well.
Here are some swatches of all the products above (left to right – MAC Lychee Luxe, MAC Melon, UD Lucky, Milani Sunset Beach, MUFE #18):
Honourable mentions go to MAC’s Arena eyeshadow (I’m plugging that shade hard, aren’t I?) and some of my other fave polish shades – Essie’s Bikini So Teeny (can’t get enough), MAC’s Mischievous Mint (the bottle is half-empty – seriously!), China Glaze’s Pink Plumeria (look for an upcoming ‘combo’ post with this shade), and Deb Lippmann’s Daytripper (check it out below!).
My mother keeps telling me I should be showcasing my polishes with color-contrasting objects, and I just happened to buy this especially pretty pale aqua throw pillows, sooo…
Pretty, huh? Initially when picked this up, I was disappointed when I tried it on – it’s more of a jelly texture, which is great, but not what I was expecting. And in artificial light, the shade fell a bit flat. However, the next day, I totally turned the other cheek – I couldn’t get enough of how lovely it was! It’s extremely shiny on it’s own, and so juicy – the jelly texture actually really makes it more than your regular coral polish, it just too this ol’ gal a little longer to see it ;P
What are some of your favorite summer items and looks?? Do share, I’d love to get some more ideas!
*Product provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.
Oh dear. It’s been quite, busy shall we say, behind the scenes at Beauty Obsessed (lol). I don’t know if it’s the Spring air or what, but I feel like I’ve gone completely mental and bought everything that’s landed in my path these days! I cringe at the thought of this month’s upcoming low-buy update…I’m preparing you now, so please don’t lambaste me when the time comes! :P
Despite the fact that I’ve been shopping like crazy, there are still a few things on my lemmings list that my grabby fingers have yet to get a hold of – but only a few. Originally, the Yves Saint Laurent Glossy Stains were #1 on my Desperate-Need list, but as noted yesterday I swiped the shade #7 Corail Aquatique even though there were no testers yet available (obviously I could not wait!). I also had Kate Somerville’s Quench Oil-Free Hydrating Serum on the list, but picked that up on the last day of the 15% off deal (it’s regularly $78CAD so that saved me a fair bit!). So, what’s left? Well, take a look below:
1) Stila Sheer Color Tinted Moisturizer Oil-Free SPF20 $44/NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 $49/Bobbi Brown Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer SPF15 $50
I’m tossed up between the three of these – each have their merits and drawbacks – but I really am trying to get better at testing things out first, so I got samples of Stila’s and NARS’ so we’ll see how each reacts to my skin. I’ve been using Stila’s all week and so far so good – it feels like and light and hasn’t irritated my skin – and the sample of NARS’ is darker to suit me (hopefully) for down South. I’ll pick up a sample of Bobbi’s when I get back if I can as well. I desperately need a foundation for my tanned skin so hopefully one of these will be a winner!
2) Zoya Beach & Surf Collection
Oh MAN this collection looks amazing! Kimber (coral pink with gold shimmer), Arizona (medium yellow-orange), Zuza (aqua with shimmer), and Wednesday (medium aqua cream) are all calling my name. I usually have trouble finding bright Summer shades I like, but this season seems to be full of them!
3) Estee Lauder Pure Color Blush $32
I haven’t tried any particular shades on, but when I saw these at Mills a couple weeks ago, every single shade looked absolutely amazing! I’m trying very hard to hold off on buying any blush for a few months at least, so this may need to wait and be a birthday gift to myself at the end of May :)
4) Sephora Professionnel Natural Smudge Brush #11 $23
I’m not entirely sure I need this…but I want it! LOL And that’s reason enough, right? Sometimes I wonder if I should be investing in a few more brushes which would help me utilize my makeup better. I usually just smudge with my finger, which works fine, but I bet this would work great and be less messy!
5) NARS Lipstick in Heat Wave $30
I was at the counter this week and had read that this was a great orange-red shade, perfect for the season. I swatched it an instantly fell for the creamy feel, semi-matte finish, and uber-flattering shade on my skintone. I can already tell I’m going to give in to this one – I’ve been bitten by the lipstick bug lately and this one will be a great addition to my budding collection!
Much to my chagrin, I was also eagerly awaiting the new MAC Tres Cheek and Extra Dimension collections (while berating myself for being more than mildly interested in yet ANOTHER MAC release) – I mean, c’mon – a collection just about blush?! – but I went to the store bright and early yesterday and found that the Tres Cheek blush were almost all pretty basic, and the Extra Dimension dupe for Lauder’s Modern Mercury Gelee, Superb, was just meh. I mean, they were all nice, but nothing stand-out, you know? I’d rather buy a blush that’s like nothing I own (from another brand!), and when I do buy a highlighter, I want it to be totally gorgeous and covet-worthy. I have to admit I was pleased that I managed to resist :)
I’m fairly certain each and every one of these babies will be coming home with me in the near future, but for now at least I know that starting today, for a whole week I’ll be unable to spend money on cosmetics – hooray for my wallet!! Instead, I’ll be soaking up the rays, where makeup and beauty will be far from my mind (well…maybe :P). I have a few scheduled posts to keep you guys busy until I return, but until then – have a lovely weekend and week and I’ll be back soon!!
What’s on your lemmings list these days? Have you tried any of the products above and can vouch for their awesomeness? Do you have any tinted moisturizer recommendations for an oilier skin type?
Well…I’m pretty much sucking at this whole low-buy thing. You’d think, a gal who could give up buying cosmetics altogether during Lent last year could do a silly low-buy that consequently enables her to ALSO buy up to 5 nail polish a month and 3 LE items per season? Er, no. Seems I can’t. I am simply struggling to finish enough products in order to justify the amount I’ve purchased!! I tell you, it’s becoming impossible. There are just too many awesome products out there, it’s *sooo* not my fault!~Boo Hoo~ Enough with the whining I guess…you want to see the damage, I take it? Check out what I bought/swapped for in the last month (reviews for products will be eventually forthcoming):
1) Olay Foaming Face Wash Sensitive Skin (bought)
2) Neutrogena Moisture Oil Free Sensitive Skin (bought)
4) Milani Liquif’Eye Metallic Eye Liner Pencil in Aqua (bought)
6) Laura Mercier Full-Blown Volume Mascara (bought)
6) MAC Refined Golden bronzer (swapped for*)
7) MAC Pigment in Melon (swapped for*)
8) Bobbi Brown Shimmerbrick in Nectar (swapped for*)
9) Estee Lauder Illuminating Powder Gelee in Shimmering Sands (LE) (bought)
10) Zoya Cho (bought)
11) Nfu-Oh #51 (bought)
12) Nfu-Oh Aqua Base (bought)
*For the swapped items, I exchanged for my MAC Soft Ochre Paint Pot, MAC Electra and Strike a Pose eyeshadows, Urban Decay Zero 24/7 eyeliner, the Fyrinnae Shinkirou eyeshadow, and a Marc Jacobs perfume and a handful of perfume samples. So that totals to 5 makeup items.
OK. So I am at a surplus with my polish allowance – all good. I’m already down one for my Summer LE quota (which I can already forsee is going to be a HUGE problem with all the amazing items coming out!!!). Otherwise I picked up 2 skincare products and 7 makeup items. Hmmm…let’s see how I did in the *purge* category.Last month I was kickin’ butt at using up my makeup, but this month hasn’t been so successful. I did get rid of a couple of straggler products overall, but still…I’m disappointed. Take a look:
Suddenly, this was finished this weekend – I had no idea I was on my last pump, but I am SO happy about it! Shave gel = useless product.
Live Clean Moisturizing Body Wash
I used this to soak my feet in after realizing I wasn’t a fan of the generic soap-scent. Worked well in that area, at least! It foamed up really nicely.
Redken Real Control Crema Care (50mL)
This is a great styling lotion if you’re looking for a travel product – it holds and softens hair at the same time, but it’s a bit sticky feeling. I wouldn’t buy the full size version.
butter London Nail Foundation ($20CAD)
I enjoyed this for the first couple months, loving how *flawless* it made my bare nails look, and how it helped eliminate VNL, but it didn’t adhere my polish any better than any other base coat, and it got thick fast. I added thinner to no avail. For that price tag – bye bye!
I know a lot of people have issues with the Clarifying Lotion. I don’t dislike it, but I’m not necessarily a fan, and if you have sensitive skin it can be a pretty harsh exfoliant. I’d recommend the mild version for most skins, which I may try some day. For now, I’m glad this is gone. I got it for free, so you know I *had* to use it.
Ole Henriksen Truth To Go Wipes ($10CAD)
I have yet to have luck with any wipes which don’t seem to harm my skin in some way. The first time I used these, I loved how soft they made my face feel (and still with that lovely orange-y scent, yum!). But then the next day my face seemed to be extra-reactive, and I think these may have been the culprit. There were only 10 wipes, so I just used them on the nights when I was just TOO lazy to wash my face. All done now :)
Fresh Soy Face Cleanser (50mL) ($17.50CAD)
Travel size of this cleanser. I bought it to check it out, and when I realized it wasn’t much of anything, I used it to travel with. However, I’ve been slowly running out of cleansers and I am trying to use them all up before buying more, so I started using this in the shower daily. It’s pretty fragrant so I worry about the effect it has on my skin – seems OK but I’m always suspicious. I wouldn’t buy this again.
Josie Maran Argan Oil (15mL) ($18CAD)
I sadly can’t get behind the hype of this product; it didn’t do anything amazing for my skin, and I was SO prepared for it to! I might be great in the warmer months for a nighttime product, but during the Winter days and nights, it was both greasy and yet not quite moisturizing enough some how. Fail.
I finished a foundation!! I can’t remember the last time I did that :) I’ve spoken of this one before – I really liked it; the color match was superb, the coverage just right (sheer to medium) and it didn’t irritate my skin in the least. I could use this on the sensitive skin around my mouth and it never caused any problems, and actually hydrated it a bit. I can’t use this in the Summer because it’s a bit too much for my oily skin, but in the cold Winter month it was just what the doctor ordered. I’d even potentially buy this again next year!
Clinique All About Eyes Concealer in Medium Honey ($20CAD)
– This used to seem like the perfect shade for me…but lately I found it to be a bit grey, for whatever reason. So it was a good thing that it was nearing it’s end. It’s pretty old too, probably 4 years+, and the sides are cracking so that I’d get concealer on my fingers when I squeezed too hard. How annoying. Time to go!
– I know some people really enjoy this mascara, and the first time I used it I LOVED how long it made my lashes look – but it quickly got dry and super-clumpy, and I never felt like I had enough product on the brush since it comes in the package with the brush separate from the mascara tube to begin with. I dunno. It got old quick, literally :P
Buxom Mascara in Blackest Black (sample)
– I received this back during the Sephora opening, and only started using it about two months ago. Could be because it was older, but it just never gave enough *oomph* for me. It was absolutely AMAZING for getting every lash and for not clumping, ever, but it almost somehow faded throughout the day and my lashes seemed to get more and more puny as the hours wore on. I’m not into the au naturale look with lashes so this is not for me. And NOT Buxom by any means!
– I got this in a gratis or through a school or something…and it’s SO not for me! Not only am I not a huge lipstick wearer, I don’t wear ANY of these shades, and I get irritated having to use a lip brush every time I want to apply it. No thanks man! I had this in a drawer at work just collecting dust – it’s time it kicked the bucket.
– I think I picked up the Annabelle liner looking for a recreation of MAC’s Spice liner, which I heard a lot about. Whether or not they’re dupes, I dunno…I barely used this because a) I just don’t use liner, and b) it was a muddy color on my lips. Boo. I’ve had this for like, 10 years – why am I keeping this kind of crap! BEGONE.
The Smashbox lip pencil, well…it’s sheer, and its a lip pencil. Not. For. Me. TOSS.
MAC Gleam Lipstick ($17.50CAD)
– I went through this kick a few years back where I wanted that pale nude-lavender lip look (see my post with Keri Hilson’s look) and this was the shade I picked up thinking it could help create it. Uh, no. This is like a pale silvery-beige-purple sheer lippie that makes me look dead. I tried mixing it with other shades to make it work, and I could, but good gosh – I don’t want to have to work so darn hard! It’s going, I can’t deal with it any longer. And it looks ugly in the tube. I hate when my makeup gets ugly-looking. GET OUT OF MY LIFE.
MAC Venetian Lustreglass ($17.50CAD)
– A couple years ago I had my makeup done at MAC for a Christmas party, and this was part of the look. It looks fantastic then, and then…never again. It’s too much of a blue-based red, and because it’s more on the sheer side, it looked weak as well. I am the most proud of this getting tossed – I mixed this with every friggin’ lippie I could to get rid of it, and hallelujah – success!! I could probably get a couple more uses out of it, but NO. NO, I REFUSE. I AM DONE WITH YOU.
So….yea. Getting a bit angry there, sorry! It’s just that those items that were long overdue to get the boot and it was driving me insane that they were hanging around forever. I hardly have any of those kinds of items left now though, sa-weet! …Except that means that I have very few products that are going to get used up any time soon, which means…very little allowable purchases for awhile (supposedly – hopefully I get some willpower this coming month). DANG.
Anyway, lets do the tally:
Limited Edition (Summer) – 1 of 3
Acquired – 9 (2 skincare, 7 makeup)
Got Rid Of – 22 (7 skincare, 1 hair, 14 makeup)
Skin- and haircare don’t even really warrant discussing – I think I’m always going to have more going out than coming in (although…how is that even possible? Hmm…eventually it’ll be one to one I guess) – but on the makeup side, I managed to achieve my use 2, buy 1 guideline by the skin of my teeth. I’m going to be up-front – I pretty much ransacked my stash to see if there were any items I didn’t want or even like and got rid of them just so I could ring in on the level. I know I need to strap down and really take this more seriously; the whole point of engaging in this challenge was to use and appreciate what I have…and lately I feel like I’m just chasing after the next thing and the next, and barely even registering what I’ve gotten. Which is a terrible habit to get into, and more than anything else I want to stop that cycle.
Next month, I PROMISE to do better! And hold me to it – there’s no point in engaging in another 9 months of this if I’m just going to continue on the same way I always have. My arse needs a good kick sometimes!
How do you keep your purchases in check? What are your suggestions on how to truly slow down and appreciate what you already have, and resist the siren call of new products?
It’s been a long while since I’ve had to buy a foundation – as a haphazard user, I tend to have a bottle for well over a year (I just finished my NARS Sheer Glow, which I purchased back in January 2011). Buying foundation usually isn’t exciting for me, but once you get down to the dregs of anything, the thought of getting something new is a thrill. When I was in Sephora a couple weeks ago returning the Boscia cream I’d picked up (quick boo-hiss on that – it made my skin burn!!), I saw that the new ‘Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation’ by Hourglass (which I had drooled over after seeing it on several model’s faces from previous runway shows) had been released. First, I have to comment – it’s sort of an oxy-moron, isn’t it – ‘liquid powder’?? Now owning the product, I know what they mean, but I suspect that might be a bit confusing to consumers. Anyway, so I saw this gleaming at the store and I just had to swatch it and check it out. I rarely try anything via swatch and want it instantly, but this was an exception. It smoothed onto my skin leaving the most natural veil of color and a subtle luminosity that was kind of entrancing. Designed for combination/oily skin, with anti-aging properties, and free of pretty much all baddie ingredients (see box below for the exhaustive list), it just seemed too good to be true. I was in the market for a new foundation, but when I looked at the price – $64CAD!! – I balked and gently put it back in it’s place and slunk away. As I tend to do in Sephora, I wandered around some more just admiring the pretty things, when I happened to glance at my hand again. The foundation had settled and had turned into a subtle, velvety finish. I was so surprized at the change, and at how lovely it made my skin look, that I huffed it back to the kiosk and picked up a bottle in Warm Beige – the darkest shade there (unfortunately). Before I could exert any sense, I bought it.I think pictures will show you more than I can describe. Behold:
You can notice two things in the photos: that the foundation is a touch light and beige for my skintone, and that it makes my skin look FLAWLESS. While I’m disappointed about the shade – which will be even more disheartening once I’ve gone down South and have got a major tan going on – I really love the coverage and I love the matte yet luminous look it gives. I can warm it up a bit as you can see with bronzer so the shade blends better, so for now it works. The formulation is lovely – quite thin so it doesn’t feel heavy in the least, but gives great, even coverage quickly. There are so many things to love about the foundation that I still wanted to review it, even though I’m not getting the best out of it due to the shade restrictions. I highly recommend trying it out (or at least getting a sample) if you’re able. The technology is superb and it seems like a perfect foundation to wear going into the warmer months.
Aside from the shade, what are your thoughts on ‘Immaculate’? Do you think you’ll give it a look? What kind of finish do you prefer on a foundation?
A couple weeks ago I received Make Up For Ever’s HD Complexion Starter Kit ($89CAD), and I have been giving it the good ol’ college try over the Holidays to see how it performed. Each product in the kit is designed to create a ‘soft focus’ effect, so that imperfections are concealed and blurred so they’re less visible. You may remember that I reviewed the Wild and Chic Best Of Make Up For Ever set back in November, which included the HD Microfinish Powder and the HD Microperfecting Primer – both are in the Complexion Starter kit, along with a great Kabuki brush, and your matching HD Invisible Cover Foundation shade, which you choose yourself. As I have never tried the HD foundation, I was unsure which shade to choose. I sent a photo of myself to the MUFE color experts, and they chose my shade, #155 (a medium beige), based on that. Happily, the shade matches (that’s what I call impressive!). Excitingly, they’ve also launched an interactive shade finder tool so that you can find your perfect shade in a similar fashion: www.hd.makeupforeverusa.com/shadefinder. This was created due to the fact that so many women are afraid to buy foundation online for the first time because they don’t know what shade they are – been there, SO done that! I’ve read conflicting reviews online about the HD Foundation, so I was a bit apprehensive initially. While some people swear by it, others seemed to swear…at it, truth be told. Being the good little beauty addict that I am, I made sure to read all about how to use it before moving ahead, as I find sometimes *but not always!* poor reviews can be due to incorrect use of a product (“It said to leave it on for 10 minutes, so I left it on for 30 and it burnt my face! This product SUX!!”). The recommended process is to start with a dime-size dollop of primer, smoothing it gently all over your face with your fingers or a sponge in a downward motion. Once it sets (in a few minutes), apply the HD foundation, again with fingers or a brush – only a small amount is needed to cover the entire face. Lastly, apply a small amount of the HD powder all-over with the kabuki brush. Of course, you can use any of these products separately but obviously will get the best effect with all three. I tried very hard to take photos of my face wearing this foundation, but unfortunately once again, my photography skills (and my camera’s abilities) fell short and it just wouldn’t showcase the foundation and the coverage properly. Also, as my skin is relatively clear of blemishes or other marks that needs coverage, it’s hard to display it’s effectiveness well.
Barring these shortcomings, here are my thoughts: After reading several reviews in which people complained it made their skin look oily, I thought the culprit could be using too much product – as it’s clearly specified that only a small amount is necessary. I personally found that it did NOT make my skin oily at all, and in fact made the two dry patches I have on my forehead a touch dry, if anything. Additionally, using the HD primer, which nourishes and moisturizes, helped to balance my skin so that the foundation wore better – which helped smooth over rough patches and create a better canvas for foundation. The difference maker of the three products though, is still the HD powder (and now the kabuki brush – oh my goodness this brush is AWESOME!) – instantly my skin looks flawless – poreless and smooth. I know some people are nervous about this product, but I still find it’s very effective and has become a staple in my every day routine. And I haven’t had ANY mishaps with visible whiteness showing up in photos!Ultimately, I feel that these products can yield wonderful results – if you’re willing to take the time to use them properly. Not that it takes more time, necessarily, but just learning how to use them and then adhering to the process makes for an infinitely better experience. Of course, if you don’t want to have to fuss and just want to throw on a foundation and go, then this might not be the system for you – and that’s perfectly legitimate. But if you’re looking for a flawless finish, I definitely recommend at least trying this regime out – I think it’s worth a chance!
Have you tried any of the MUFE HD products? What are your own feelings on them – love ’em or hate ’em? Are you willing to spend a bit of time in order to look your best?
*The products in this post were provided to me by the PR company/brand.