I’m exhausted, overwhelmed and lackluster, thanks to the rush of the holidays and well, life. I decided for my last day at work (for the year!), I wanted to look holiday ready and radiant, even if I didn’t feel it. I was really pleased with the results. So pleased, it actually lifted my spirits!
Maybelline Fit Foundation – The lightest Ivory shade made
Benefit -High Beam above my cheek bones
LORAC – Perfectly Lit in Luminous
Laura Geller- Banish and Brighten Concealer (my favorite!) EYES:
Urban Decay Primer Potion
BE Gold Medal High Shine Shadow
MAC Shroom Eye Shadow
Benefit Magic Ink Eye liner
Anastastia Brow Powder in Strawburn
Urban Decay Lash Primer
Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara
BE Natural Lip Gloss in Sprinkles
I bought everything listed with the exception of the Laura Geller Concealer, which was sent for review. I’ve been using it every day since!
This past weekend, I had the long-awaited pleasure of reconnecting with my good pal and brilliant beauty blogger, Kelly Gould (of Gouldylox Reviews). And believe me — just getting together was a feat in and of itself.
While we only live an hour and a half away from each other, it’s been a struggle matching up our schedules. The last time we were supposed to get together, my immune system flipped me the bird and cackled to herself because I had even thought about going out and having fun. But Sunday, the evil phlegm-thrower backed down and let me leave my house for the first time in a week (no joke) so I could spend my hard earned cash on makeup and jewelry.
So shop-til-you-drop time! Our mission was two-fold: Find a new foundation for each of us, and score a stylish fall jacket for Kelly. And of course, if there were other great deals to be had — even better.
On our quest, I learned quite a few things:
Even some of the newest foundations from expensive brands really suck.
I have a severe color identification deficit disorder.
Kelly is a supreme color master.
Wearing certain makeup colors during certain months only is not normal (Note: in my head, purple/pinks are for Jan. and Feb.).
My facial fuzz is overgrown and needs to be weed-wacked before more foundation gets stuck to it, enhancing my wooly-bear syndrome in front of unsuspecting Sephora employees.
Despite having an amazing camera in my Droid X, I forget to take pictures.
Upon beginning our foundation-finding foray, we set out to find a color that would better match my lightening skin (and yes, I used SPF all summer!). I had been using Estee Lauder Resilience Lift Extreme ($36.50), and I absolutely loved it, but as the intrepid beauty blogger you’ve all come to know and love, I couldn’t pass up trying out two much-hyped foundations: Lancome Teint Miracle ($37) and MAKE UP FOR EVER (MUFE) HD Invisible Cover Foundation ($40). Kelly, on the other hand, was determined to find a foundation at MAC that was a better match than the too-dark color she had been coaxed into purchasing by a well-meaning, but colorblind, sales rep.
Our first stop: the makeup mecca (Sephora). Since Kelly is a regular at the store to the point where she is Facebook friends with staff members, we were treated like royalty the moment we stepped inside. It was fantastically ridiculous, and I know what Lady Gaga must feel like (I love you all, my little makeup monsters!). Ahem. Inflated ego aside, when we explained my makeup mission, the helpful Sephora staff immediately ran into motion and challenged my face to a Foundation-Off.
In the left corner, we had Lancome Teint Miracle:
And in the right, we had MUFE HD.
Both were applied to my face (one on each half), which was primed with the MUFE HD Microperfecting Primer in green to minimize any redness. It’s so funny how you can immediately tell the difference between foundations after a side-by-side comparison. You know what else is funny? Not taking pics. I’m a dope.
Visual approximation of my skin with MUFE HD
Both colors the Sephora team selected blended in as if they were one with my skin (very Zen). However, it was immediately apparent that the MUFE HD was a heavier coverage and dried down to a more matte finish instantly. The Lancome side was a medium coverage, though it didn’t seem to be as “cakey” heavy, so it was deemed the winner of the round, as I prefer a more natural looking finish. But did it win out overall? Unfortunately, no.
After determining the Lancome was our better bet, we removed the MUFE and applied the Lancome to the entire face, lest I look like I have a cakey, dry skin disorder on only one half of my face. Then, I decided to continue shopping while wearing it to see how it held up after time. Unfortunately, before we even left the store, I saw that it was already settling right into my forehead lines, and my dry skin was starting to look “chalky,” as Kelly so eloquently put it. Ten minutes later and the foundation was clinging to every possible dry flake (oh and my fuzzy facial hair) to the point that it looked like my skin was begging for a drink of water.
Visual approximation of my skin with Lancome Teint Miracle
As you can imagine, this is not the look I’m going for.
So you know the old adage, if it ain’t broke…? Time for me to heed that advice and return to the Estee Lauder counter to pick up the right shade of their foundation, which I love to bits and pieces for its medium coverage, smmmooooth application and natural finish (I swear it’s the hyaluronic acid that makes it stand shoulders above others).
As for Kelly? Well, she wasn’t finding much luck in the MAC department (“chalky” seemed to be the problem of the day), so she decided to test out the Estee Lauder herself and left with a 10-day sample supply. I’m hoping she comments here so we can find out how she feels about it!
Alas, I’ll spare you the remaining details of our adventure, though it included a search for similar colors of purple lip gloss (colorblind fail) and an attempt to figure out why a trench coat’s belt seemed 30 times too long (trend recognition fail). But tell me — have you ever tried a Foundation-Off? Which foundation is rocking your world right now?
Get an inside look at the latest celebrity beauty news:
Emma Stone, star of the new teen movie “Easy A,” kept her skin flawless and acne-free on set with the new breakout-busting tool, Tända Clear. Developed to treat acne with LED light therapy, Tända Clear is designed to kill the P.acnes bacteria that cause mild to moderate inflammatory acne.
Similar to this device is the Claro acne clearing device which is designed using the same IPL technology used by dermatologists worldwide. It uses intense pulsed light to treat mild to moderate acne quickly and naturally.*
How do the celebs on “Dancing with the Stars” score perfectly when it comes to their complexions? The show’s makeup artist, Melanie Mills, credits Smart Cover products to help conceal imperfections on the dazzling dancers, including Bristol Palin, Audrina Patridge and “The Situation.”
Christina Aguilera and Cher are set to turn back time this November with the launch of their musical movie “Burlesque.” But also taking center stage in the film is Sebastian Professional Re-Shaper Hairspray, the signature spray used on set. Spritz and set your own locks while getting a FREE ticket to the flick by purchasing a limited edition Sebastian “Burlesque”-inspired gift set ($30), available in select salons nationwide Oct. 1.
Megan Fox and her tumbling tresses stole the show on the red carpet at the “Passion Play” premier during the Toronto International Film Festival. Her hair secret? Lisa Chiccine hair care products, according to Fox’s stylist Creighton Bowman. Try Lisa Chiccine Thickening Volume Foam ($26) for a natural looking boost with plenty of va-va-voom.
Photos: Sony Pictures; Tanda; Kevan Brooks/AdMedia via PicApp; Smart Cover; Sebastian; UPI /Christine Chew via PicApp
Smart Cover make-up is more than just cover-up — it is a concealing system. A crafty collection of crèmes and sticks, Smart Cover is the perfect combination to turn your face into a clear palette.
I love how the process starts with a Moisture Primer Lotion, which preps your skin for the Concealing Crème and creates an invisible layer of moisture. The next step is the concealing crème, which covers everything — and I mean EVERYTHING. No blemish, mark, spot, wrinkle, or even tattoo is a match for this crème. This cover-up can be used anywhere on your body to cover bruises and those dreaded stretch marks.
My favorite Smart Cover products are the beauty sticks. The Vitamin Beauty Stick provides much needed moisture and nutrients for the sensitive skin around your eyes and lips. The Smart Cover Stick is the best under eye cover-up I have ever used. I have always struggled to find a product to cover the circles under my eyes and this stick did the job flawlessly. It really brightened up my whole face.
Check out how these products worked on covering up Kristin’s tattoo (although the color didn’t quite match exactly).
Smart Cover concealers are waterproof and smudge resistant. It is a real heavy-duty make-up system that lasts long and really covers. You can snag your own Smart Cover-Up Kit for $29.75 at the Smart Cover website.
Photos: Chelsea Pech/BeautyXpose
Disclaimer: Products furnished complimentary for review purposes
There aren’t many beauty items I consider must-haves for each and every day, but, as I’ve mentioned before, I (usually) don’t leave home without foundation. When I’m putting something on my face every day, I want to make sure it’s something I can feel good about.
My first impression after pumping the first dot of the product onto my fingers was that this foundation is astonishingly similar to the Almay Pure Blends formulation. It spreads like a tinted moisturizer, but it works for me because I always look for lighter coverage, especially as we segue into the warmer spring and summer months.
However, over the past few weeks I have noticed the ingredients in the Almay foundation are separating, which doesn’t happen with the Daniel Chinchilla formula. The one thing that caught me off guard with this foundation is that it does not come in the standard shades that I’m used to. I’m normally a buff beige girl, but for this product I’m using a shade called N4 Christy.
If there’s any confusion about what shade you should purchase, Daniel Chinchilla offers an email consultation with an artist. The Beauty Perfecting Mineral Fluid can be purchased online for $22 here.
Photos: Daniel Chinchilla; Pamela King/BeautyXpose
Disclaimer: Product furnished complimentary for review purposes
Looking for ways to look your best — naturally? Look no further. Through reviews of all-natural and organic products and investigations into cosmetic ingredients, our Natural Beauty column will help you make more informed decisions about your beauty purchases.
Ever since I began my quest to find the best all-natural and organic cosmetics, I have jumped from product to product, always looking for something newer, better, safer. My last foray into the makeup aisle was no exception. I went to the store armed with information from Skin Deep, the Environmental Working Group‘s cosmetic safety database, about some brands of mascara and foundation, my basic makeup needs. Since coming across this database two years ago, my beauty purchasing habits have been forever altered. Skin Deep ranks cosmetics on a scale from one to 10, one being no hazard and 10 being very hazardous, based on the ingredients in the product and any health impacts to which those ingredients could be linked. I try to buy products that are rated as low as possible, preferably three or lower.
As a result of my research, I planned to buy products from the Almay Pure Blends line. The mascara and foundation tubes boast that they are 97 percent natural, and the foundation is rated three out of 10 on Skin Deep, which indicates a moderate hazard. However, some of the ingredients, such as sodium borate, have been linked to cancer and reproductive toxicity.
As far as quality goes, they are decent. For me, they get the job done, but I can see how the products might not hold up to other customers’ expectations. The foundation formula is a little thin, but it leaves my face looking fresh and dewy. I would describe it as more of a tinted moisturizer, so it’s probably not ideal for those looking for more substantial coverage. I usually set it with some loose powder for a more matte finish.
The mascara can get a little clumpy if I coat it on too thick, but I found that it comes off easily (when I want it to) rather than leaving dark circles under my eyes for days. I wouldn’t say these products are outstanding as far as performance goes, but I do feel pretty good about putting them on my face.
The Almay Pure Blends line also includes eye shadow, loose powder, lip gloss and blush. Find out more at the Almay website.
After dropping numerous hints in person and on her blog, Gouldylox Reviews, Kelly Gould was finally blessed with getting her most coveted beauty gift from her husband (Santa Lox). Read on to find out if Kelly’s new TEMPTU AIRbrush Makeup System lived up to her great expectations!
Having a blog is fun. I get to meet fun people and do things I may not always get to do. Turns out, it is a great tool for dropping holiday hints to my husband. And unless he had to wear a helmet as a child*, there was no way he could have missed the fact that I wanted a TEMPTU airbrush for the holidays. Especially since my banter about it bordered on obsessive.
I was craving airbrushed foundation and it is going to be a BIG TREND this year. Those two facts smushed together mean I NEED an airbrush. Which is where the whole having a blog-your-husband-reads-thing comes in handy during the holidays.
TEMPTU AIR Pod Foundation
I was thrilled to unwrap the TEMPTU airbrush for Christmas. TEMPTU certainly isn’t the only airbrush on the market. But it is the only really accessible airbrush I have seen. It’s accessible because it is sold through Sephora, which in many towns is second only to Starbucks. They have a ton of foundation choices, a few blushes, bronzers and highlighters to choose from. Plus it claims to give you a flawless face, and I need that.
While on a TV shoot recently, I stopped into the 5th Ave Sephora and was lucky enough to chat with the TEMPTU rep. She color matched me and told me that she was hopeful more colors and other products would be released in 2010. That makes me happy, because it is really my only complaint with TEMPTU; four blushes do not a blush palette make for me. However, I do love the soft peach blush. It’s gorgeous. And when coupled (tripled?) with the champagne highlighter and bronzer, I am able to almost sculpt some nice cheekbones. I think this is where practice will eventually make perfect.
I love the foundation. It’s not matte, it’s not dewy, it’s somewhere in-between. I prefer a light to medium amount of coverage and like how it looks. It takes me about one minute to put on the foundation and another two minutes to do the blush. It would take less if the design of the pods wasn’t so rounded and slippery. While I don’t look flawless, I think I could look flawless if was willing to go a little heavier on the coverage. But I also like my skin to show through a bit, so I guess I am left to compromise.
Results using TEMPTU
While the overall price of the unit may deter some users, I am having a hard time using the other products I need to test because I am having so much fun playing with the airbrush. My only complaint (besides lack of blush colors)? The foundation has an extended dry down time. I often find myself stippling my foundation with a liquid foundation brush to makes sure my inexperienced airbrush hand covered everything evenly and to help speed the dry down. All in all, I LOVE this. Thanks Loxy!
Have you thought about picking this up? Love the airbrushed look but are on the fence? Tell me in the comments!
*Mr. Lox did wear a helmet as a child. I am not trying to be disparaging to people who did wear helmets as children (my co-worker did as well and you know I love you.). I really just wanted to work in that he wore a helmet. He is proud of this fact and often asks why I haven’t figured out a way to incorporate this into a blog post. Ta Da, Loxy! In reality, he has a eye tumor and getting hit in the head with a ball was a constant fear of his Mom. Lucky for both of them, he was terrible at sports** and balls being thrown at him was unlikely since he didn’t play sports. However, that fact was not considered when his helmet wearing was determined. To be continued….
**Proofreader’s note: Mr. Lox is not good at “throwing or catching” sports. He is an avid cyclist and paddle-er. He also enjoys hiking and getting ready to cycle. He is also very manly, despite proofreading a beauty blog daily.
I was given the TEMPTU airbrush by my husband and my Mom scored me some foundation. I then purchased the other color products.
How would you react if your daily tinted moisturizer (or foundation, concealer, etc.) was suddenly kidnapped, and you had to show your bare face for 24 hours? I would like to say I would not care, that I am not shallow enough to let this bother me. However, I found out this weekend that I am in fact vain, shallow and quite attached to my tinted moisturizer, when I came home from a Target run to find it kidnapped.
As is my habit, I forgot my cell phone when I went on a small Target run. Four hours later (I just can’t help walking around Target for hours), I came home to find a text message on my phone from a friend/ex-boyfriend that read, “Hi. I borrowed your concealer.”
Confused and slightly disturbed, I checked my makeup bag. My concealer was there, but my beloved tinted moisturizer was gone. Seems he doesn’t know his makeup, which I guess makes me feel a bit better about what happened next. Through some questioning, I found out that he had come to my apartment to have my roommate cover a hickey he had acquired the night before. Since my roommate isn’t as vain as I am, she doesn’t wear much makeup, and thus used mine.
Although a little disturbed why someone over 12 had a hickey or why my ex-boyfriend felt the need to use my makeup to cover it up, I wasn’t really annoyed. That is until I found out that he had in fact taken my makeup with him (didn’t want it to sweat off) and wouldn’t be able to return it to me that day. Upon learning this, I yelled, “Why did he think it was okay to steal my makeup? I am a vain person and I need that now!” (Obscenities excluded).
A few days removed from the incident, I feel a tad ashamed of being so vain, but it was like stealing a security blanket from a small child. How would you feel if your daily makeup routine was altered? Did I over-react? You tell me.
Cover FX has added the ultimate “concealed weapon” to its arsenal of foundations and cover up products — Conceal FX. Now available at Sephora, Sephora.com and select Nordstrom stores in the U.S., Conceal FX offers the perfect opaque camouflage for disguising flaws ranging from everyday blemishes to vivid tattoos.
The concealer is made with rich colorants, light-diffusing mineral pigments and lightweight emollients, resulting in long-lasting coverage. According to Cover FX, potent ingredients such as Ceramides Plus, Comfort Complex, MultiPeptide Complex and Vitamins F.A.C.E. add treatment-like benefits, including wrinkle reduction, skin rejuvenation, skin firming and anti-oxidant protection.
When testing the product, Conceal FX glides on smoothly, while offering truly opaque coverage. Unlike a stick or other thicker-consistency concealers, Conceal FX feels light to the touch, and once on, it doesn’t dry out or feel heavy and cakey; it simply blends in with your foundation (we used it with Natural FX). The concealer is also water-resistant, so a little sweat won’t ruin your newly-flawless face.
A very small amount (about the size of a rice grain) will cover an area the size of a golf ball, so while the tube is small (15 ml/0.5 oz) and a bit pricey ($25), it should last a very long time. Less is definitely more in this case; be sure to apply sparingly in areas with deeper creases (like crow’s feet), or else you may end up with “spider-webs” filled with the product.
The concealer comes in six shades, and you may want to err on choosing a color that’s a bit lighter than the name of your foundation if you use another brand. If you’re a Cover FX junkie (like us), then this handy chart should help you find the perfect Conceal FX shade:
Whether the goal is to hide evidence of a late night out or a bit too much fun in the sun, with Conceal FX, the result is long-lasting coverage and a flawless-looking appearance.
Cover FX, one of our favorite foundation makers (aptly coined “The Foundation Authority”), has done it again – this time with a foundation…for your foundation. We’re talking about a primer, of course. But the brand’s new BritePrep FX is more than just a primer for smooth foundation application – it’s also an instant and long-term skin brightener, a wrinkle disguiser, a multi-vitamin and a great sun protector.
Just call it the Swiss Army knife of primers.
President and Co-creator Lee Graff gives her take on the primer’s numerous benefits. “Briteprep FX represents the next step forward in primer technology. Not only does foundation makeup wear better with Briteprep FX, but skin takes on a new radiance from ingredients that lighten uneven pigmentation, add luminosity and protect from the sun.”
How does a single primer product pack such a powerful punch? Here’s a quick breakdown:
Skin Brightener – Dermaveil-Brite technology, a blend of mineral silica microsponges and pearlized minerals, instantly enhances skin’s glow. Arbutin Complex, a concentrate of BioActive BearBerry Extract and ODA White, offers long-term improvements in skin’s tone, texture and pigmentation.
Sun Protection – A powerful, water-resistant SPF 50 protects against UVA and UVB rays. Teprenone protects against cell and DNA breakdown during UV exposure.
Multi-Vitamin – F.A.C.E multivitamins (F- Fatty Acid Omega 3 lipids; A- Anti-Age active; C- Clarifying and proCollagen; E- Emollient Anti-oxidant) help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, boost collagen production and protect with anti-oxidants
Wrinkle Disguiser – Dermaveil-Brite also serves as a breathable skin-smoothing veil that blurs the appearance of lines and pores for a flawless-appearing texture. Peptide Complex helps repair the visible signs of photo-aging and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
We used BritePrep FX underneath Natural FX and Mineral FX and witnessed the results first-hand. Upon application, the power of Dermaveil-Brite was instantly evident. Skin looked luminescent – but without appearing “shimmery” the way highlighting cosmetics can appear. It was also clear how much easier it was to blend on both the water-based and mineral foundations after using the primer – and we thought the foundations applied smoothly and easily before! The foundation just seemed to go farther – a little bit went a long way. Best of all, it felt weightless throughout the day.
As for long-term brightening and wrinkle-reducing effect, only time will tell. But we’re ecstatic with the initial results, so anything else is like adding an extra corkscrew or toothpick to this Swiss Army knife.
Experience it for yourself! BritePrep FX ($45/30 ml.) is available at Sephora and other select retailers.
Photo Credit: Swiss Army Knife – Christian Kitazume; other photos courtesy of Cover FX