Chanel relaunched their CC Cream Super Active Complete Correction with Broad Spectrum SPF 50 ($55 for 30 ml/1 fl oz, made in France) this month. There have been several launches of this product in the past and each time they release more shades. This round there are five shade options from 10 Beige to 50 Beige. They have revamped the formula and although I don’t have the original ingredients list or bottle to compare, this round has a similar natural semi-dewy looking finish but with a slightly less thick feel. It also seems to have a smoother finish on the skin this round.
For those not familiar with this product, the CC Cream is skincare and tint in one. It has SPF 50 which is what I’m most excited about. There’s no flashback with flash photography. It has a truly natural looking finish with some hydration without being greasy. I can blend easily with the fingers or a sponge and coverage is smooth and very easy to move around on the face. I haven’t had it long enough to notice the skincare benefits, but Chanel says that after 1 month use it is supposed to help reduce look of fine lines and wrinkles.
I’ve been testing it for around a week now. Even though there is a radiant quality to it and there is some noticeable moisture properties it held up remarkably well in Florida humid September weather. It lasted through lunch outdoors (in shade of course) without melting off the face. Andrew even commented that it looked natural like skin. With the Florida heat he’s taken more of an interest in seeing how my makeup lasts through the heat, sweat and sunshine so I have my own personal beauty critic commenting on my makeup each time we are outdoors for an extended period of time.
Compared to the Chanel Les Beiges Tint formula that launched earlier in the summer, the CC Cream has more coverage and a thicker feel. I’d say the Chanel CC Cream is very similar that of a traditional CC Cream in the sense that you can feel it on the face, it’s scented, it has a dewy finish, but it’s not greasy looking. I definitely need to set with a powder. My favorite setting powders in this post here. I tested the CC Cream with the Hourglass Loose Powder and Chanel Les Beiges Pressed Powder and it seemed to work with a variety of formulas.
Throughout the wear tests it held up nicely. It didn’t separate, ball up or streak. Color-wise the shade range is still very limited and I hope they will expand it. Once applied it does not oxidize. My shade is 40 Beige. Swatches below:
Swatch comparisons to some of the Les Beiges shades that I still have. I gifted away the lighter options to a friend:
My match is 40 Beige in the CC Cream, bare skin vs one layer of the CC Cream below. It evens out the skin, covers most of my freckles, even did a decent job at covering a healing pimple on my forehead. Also wearing some of the Brow Powder Duo and Rouge Coco Gloss in 119 on the right with the CC Cream (no powder added in the photo, although I highly recommend adding it).
Even though it’s categorized as skincare I still consider it a makeup base that I can use in place of foundation. It’s not quite like a tinted moisturizer because I feel like it’s more corrective to smooth and even out the skintone. Overall performs really well. Even though I can feel it on the skin (like I can with virtually every CC cream I’ve tested), it’s not heavy. I can build coverage without it feeling cakey or thick. If you can find a shade match I think it’s worth a try.
Have you tried previous versions of the CC Cream? What did you think? More Chanel newness coming on the blog. I have some of the Rouge Allure Velvet Extremes I’m testing now and will be reviewing. They just launched a new Hand Cream in Texture Riche which I’m dying to try but am waiting for the new Le Volume Mascara to launch on the 15th so I can order both at the same time.
You can find the Chanel CC Cream out now. The new version has the words “super active” on the packaging. Available at Chanel.com.
Chanel CC Cream provided courtesy of Chanel for review.
The latest from By Terry is her new Nude-Expert Duo Stick Foundation ($48 for 8.5 g/0.3 oz, made in Korea). I’ve been a really big fan of the By Terry foundation bases including her Cover-Expert and CC Cream. It’s been a while since I’ve played with stick foundations and I think this new formula is quite nice. The Nude-Expert Duo Stick currently comes in 10 shades with a twist up stick on one end and a small sponge applicator on the other. These are split formula creams, half is a semi-sheer highlighter and half is a foundation. They are on the compact side but there is actually a lot more than I expected based on the packaging. I’ve played around with these for a little over a week now. I’m happy to report that it holds up remarkably well in humid weather. More thoughts and review below. I’m thrilled to be able to share swatches of the entire lineup as well.
The formula is creamy, smooth and glides on the skin nicely. It is heavily scented with a scent I find hard to put my finger on. It’s not quite floral, but it almost smells like a sweet almond cake. The scent isn’t too strong though and it did not irritate my skin. Texture is semi-emollient in the sense it’s creamy but has a nice dry down so it’s not greasy. They are packaged in a similar size/format to the Glow-Expert Highlighters (my picks reviewed here).
The Nude-Expert Duo Stick is described as having a matte finish, but with the highlighter portion there is a satiny glow. There are two shades of highlighter in the entire lineup. The first five shades have a champagne pearl color, the second five shades have a sheer golden champagne color. Pigment/coverage wise I find it very natural for a stick. There is enough coverage to smooth out and even the skin but it still looks like skin. I’d rate it medium in coverage. I still need concealer for under the eyes and spots but for an everyday natural effortless base this is excellent. It smooths out my skin tone, blends evenly without any streaking, looks natural with a radiant matte finish. I think it would be suitable for a wide range of skin types.
Lasting power was really good on my skin. It truly does have a semi-matte finish. In terms of stick foundations, the Hourglass Vanish Seamless Foundation Stick has more opaque coverage. The Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Stick Foundation also is more opaque and thicker with a heavier feel. I haven’t replaced either in a while, right now I don’t have a good match in the Hourglass lineup (I’m a lot more tan than I was in San Diego!) and the Make Up For Ever one is one I feel like I should definitely replace but I haven’t had a chance to swatch and rematch myself.
Swatches of all the colors below. I think they’ve done an excellent job at formulating colors for light to fair skin tones, however there are definitely gaps for those with medium-tan, olive to deep skin tones. My best matches are either 7 Vanilla Beige and 9 Honey Beige right now. The MAC equivalent is NC35 or NC37 (which is what I wear in the Studio Fix Fluid Foundation Formula). I truly hope they will consider expanding the color lineup because I think it’s an excellent formula but limited on colors.
Current shade lineup:
1 Fair Beige
2 Neutral Beige
2.5 Nude Light
3 Cream Beige
4 Rosy Beige
5 Peach Beige
7 Vanilla Beige
9 Honey Beige
10 Golden Sand
15 Golden Brown
Swatches of each portion mixed together then applied on the arm. The shimmer side is sheer enough that it gives the foundation a hint of glow on the skin:
Just the highlighter side swatched, you can apply it by itself on the skin, but with any duo-split formula I usually find it’s best just to mix them:
Some more swatches and comparisons, first set is with the lightest colors compared to the Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Concealers in 1N, 1C, 2N, 2C and 2W. I think the color lineup for fair skins is pretty good. I know a number of my fair skin readers struggle to find something light enough in color, I hope you find a match here!
Bottom line, excellent formula and I’m happy to have a few colors that match my skin tone. The mix of glow and matte is really nice and easy to wear. It gives me enough coverage to even out the skin and texture feels lightweight enough to not feel heavy even in humid weather. I really hope they expand the color range – what they have now is limited! You can find the By Terry Nude-Expert Stick Duos out now. Available at Beautylish, Barneys New York, Bluemercury, Space NK and Revolve. Do you have a favorite stick foundation?
Foundation sticks provided courtesy of By Terry team for review.
By popular request I’m rounding up the best setting powders I’ve tried for normal/combination skin in pressed and loose formats. I did a roundup of my Favorite Setting Powders back several years ago and sometimes looking back I cannot believe how long I have been blogging! I have normal skin but live in South Florida where the humidity and heat can get very intense! The last time I did my roundup I was living in San Diego and around 1-2 shades lighter in skintone. Living in Florida you cannot escape the sunshine even with hats and good sunscreen. Since I’m deeper in skin tone I usually avoid translucent powders that are white or super pale in color because no matter how “translucent” they claim to be, a lot of times they still leave a slight white/powdery cast. There are exceptions of course and I’m always happy when I find translucent powders that have just even a slight tint.
As a beauty blogger I try and test a lot of powders on my face. My preferences change throughout seasons (sometimes it can get dry here in the winter) and as I travel. I’ve included thoughts on powders I’ve reached for frequently this past year.
Pressed Favorites in Rotation
For many years I actually used pressed powder foundations to set my makeup. So many think that layering powder foundation on top of powder will always result in a cakey heavy finish, but there are a lot of formulas that work if you apply with a brush!
Armani Luminous Silk Powder Foundation is in my Top 2 most repurchased powders. My match is Shade 4, the other shades up aren’t yellow enough or too dark and I’m really surprised this color has worked for me even though I’ve darkened with my Florida tan. This powder has super natural lightweight coverage. I use it as a setting powder because it has a more natural finish. It evens out the skin in a very subtle way, sets my makeup and is great for touch-ups.
Armani Neo Nude Compact Powder Foundation (reviewed here) is my favorite glowy setting powder. It smooths and illuminates skin in a beautiful way. I wore this during my Miami trip and was really surprised it didn’t look greasy even with the glow and a tiny bit of sweat. If you have super oily skin you might want to opt for a matte version though. For an all over finishing powder I can get away with three shades swatched here, I have Shade 4 shown above. This is currently exclusive to Nordstrom or Giorgio Armani Beauty. I love this texture so much I feel like I could buy a darker color as a contour/bronzer.
With both the Armani powders I would say they are definitely more powders, not really like a full coverage powder-foundation. Just wanted to note in case you were worried it would be too heavy for all over. Or if you’re looking for a fuller coverage powder I’d recommend trying different brands. I apply both with a brush.
Becca Be A Light Palette in Light-Medium has two finishing powders that work really well for my skin tone. The lighter one is more brightening but the darker one on the right is perfect to blur the skin and give a soft luminous glow. It’s not quite as glowy as the Armani but is pretty close. I like this because it has four colors for a perfect natural blush + contour look. Also available in a Medium-Deep option swatched here.
Charlotte Tilbury Air Brush Flawless Perfecting Powder #2 is my next most repurchased powder. Color selection is limited but I’ve always managed to pull off #2. This is the best medium-full coverage powder I’ve tried. Skin is instantly smoothed in the most beautiful way. It’s silky, smooth and never fails me. It’s matte so it will reduce the shine and keep makeup set without getting thick.
Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour in No 20 (shown) and 30 have been powders I’ve used since they launched back in 2013. I usually find No 20 is best for an all over setting powder. It has SPF 15 but doesn’t have any flash back with flash photography. It is scented which I know some people don’t like. Another downside is that there’s a huge gap between 20 and 30. I can use the deeper colors as a soft contour. The powder has natural sheer to medium coverage you can buff into the skin and not overdo. While there’s no shimmer it does have a soft brightening glowy look when I apply.
La Mer The Sheer Pressed Powder is one of the best pressed powders I’ve used. It’s very expensive and color selection is limited but it wears very well. I’ve used both Light and Medium. Up until right now I used Light (used it enough to hit pan and repurchase). I’m finally tan enough to wear Medium (shown above). It softly blurs fine lines, sets makeup, looks natural and stays put. There’s a translucent option too which I have not tried.
Pressed Powders from MAC
MAC gets it’s own category because they win hands down for best color range. I used the MAC Studio Fix Powder Foundation years ago and had a horrible allergic reaction to it. Many of their foundations caused my skin to flare up so I resisted using it for a long time. I decided to give the line another try after reading reviews from others who had similar reactions. In recent years some have suspected the ingredients changed because they could start using their foundations again. I have not tried the powder foundation again (I might eventually) but I’ve had HUGE success with their pressed powders. I should make it a mission to try all their powders.
Next to Nothing Pressed Powder is the next best thing to La Mer’s Sheer Pressed Powder. Color range is pretty good but Medium and Medium Plus are neutral borderline pink and I typically need something golden/olive. Still this one works really well for a natural setting powder, looks great, doesn’t oxidize and the price point is reasonable to me. Review and more swatches here.
Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium Plus and Medium Golden are my favorite mineral setting powders. I hit the base on Medium Plus and really like it. Coverage is heavier than a traditional powder and with mineral formulas they can sometimes feel heavy. I recommend applying with a buffing method.
Studio Waterweight Pressed Powder is one of the newer formulas. It’s very matte and with a sponge has full coverage. It sets and stays put for hours. There are two colors/portions with a warm/cool option that allows you to mix and customize your color. Coverage is smooth and really nice. It doesn’t feel heavy but upon application you can really see coverage.
Current Favorite Loose Setting Powders
From top to bottom:
Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder is a classic and her loose powders are the only ones used up entirely several times. I’ve always been more of a pressed powder person because it’s more convenient and less messy. Hers is one of the best. It’s white but truly translucent. Many years ago she also had this in tinted versions and my heart broke when it was discontinued. I love this applied with a puff or a brush. It’s a staple to set makeup without adding any color or coverage.
Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder is one of the newest launches I’ve tried (reviewed here). It has the lightest weight texture out of any powder I’ve tried. Blurs fine lines and smooths skin. Completely colorless when you apply. Suitable for all skin types.
La Mer The Powder is a loose beige powder with a very tiny bit of luminosity to it. Coverage is medium in the way it smooths the skin but on me it’s colorless once blended. I love this but think the original version was better. The new version comes in a hefty glass jar which isn’t travel friendly but very sturdy. It’s infused with their Miracle Broth but I didn’t see any changes in skin hydration or texture wise. I was really happy with my splurge but due to the price I don’t think I’ll repurchase.
Becca Hydra-Mist Set and Refresh Powder is a cooling powder that feels like water mist when it touches the skin. It reminds me of the Prescriptives Magic Powder without the pink iridescent sheen. The Becca option does have light reflecting particles but it’s not pink like the one from Px. It sets makeup nicely and is translucent on my skin. A little goes a long way – I also feel this is probably better suited for those with dry skin.
Marc Jacobs Coconut Fine-Line Perfecting Coconut Setting Powder is the most matte powder I’ve tried. It’s also light in color but translucent. It has five forms of coconut and cocoa butter which makes sense to me as it’s not weightless. It’s on the semi-heavy side in terms of how it feels on the skin, especially when compared to the Laura Mercier or Hourglass options. It’s not cakey or drying. It does make the skin look fully matte without adding color.
La Prairie Cellular Treatment Loose Powder in Translucent 2 was one of my biggest splurges. I ordered this sight unseen based on online reviews. The color I picked is too dark for my skin unless I’m tan (like right now). The tub is HUGE and it also comes with a travel size. I really wanted to order Translucent 1 for a long time but didn’t want to splurge especially with less expensive alternatives. It’s an excellent ultra fine powder but sometimes it looks dry on my skin. If I use a hydrating foundation, spray my base with a good mist or tinted moisturizer the powder looks good. If I apply this over a matte finish foundation it ends up looking a little dry. It has coverage on me even though it’s “translucent.” Definitely not lightweight but it does a good job at keeping oil away throughout the day. I absolutely have to use a brush. Using the puff results in a very powdery looking face.
My favorite makeup brushes and puffs
My favorite tools and puffs:
Laura Mercier Velour Puff is a classic no-fuss option. I wash it in the sink with liquid soap. You can air dry it, but I sometimes put it in the dryer. It’s 3# in diameter.
Cle de Peau Puff is an equally soft and fluffy powder puff. It’s slightly smaller in size compared to the Laura Mercier option.
Laura Mercier Bronzer Brush is one of her newly redesigned brushes. So many brands have revamped their tools brushes the past couple of years. I often use bronzer brushes for setting powder because they’re bigger and fluffy. This one is super soft and picks up powders well. It picks up just the right amount of color to apply product evenly on the face.
Hourglass Veil Powder Brush – super soft and fluffy with two sides. The larger is good for all over and the smaller side is nice for setting the under eye area.
MAC 140S is one of the best large powder brushes I’ve used. It is dense so I think it’s best used for pressed powder, but it’s versatile and I think you can really use any powder brush however you like!
The Laura Mercier Candleglow is a pressed powder I still consider a wonderful option for a soft glowing diffused finish. In high humidity it can get a bit glowy looking for everyday. It’s an excellent option for night (for me). I find myself gravitating towards more matte options these days.
I have also tried the Kat Von D Lockit and Cover FX Loose Powders, both are good, but I prefer the other options. For those with deep skin tones and feel that ALL white/translucent powders leave a cast, checkout Cover FX’s Perfect Setting Powder because they have a deep translucent option!
By Terry has a loose powder called the Hyaluronic Hydra-Powder that is highly rated, it’s translucent but the color is white. It does disappear on my skin but I feel leaves a very slight white cast and I think it is better suited for dry skin. Mine is normal. It also feels a little too powdery on my skin. I also might be the only person on the planet that didn’t love this.
Many years ago mineral powders were all the rage. They might still be today but I haven’t kept track of them. With the exception of the ones from MAC, most other mineral powders tend to be too heavy for what I’m looking for. They end up darkening and looking cakey on my skin type.
Depending on humidity levels sometimes there’s nothing that will 100% last all day. If there’s humidity and you have sweat, you’re going to have to touch up at some point. But that doesn’t mean your entire face will slide off. Finding a good setting powder to make your base last is a plus, but what you wear underneath (moisturizer and foundation) is also going to impact how long your makeup will last throughout the day.
This Sephora video on the Difference Between Setting and Finishing Powder was interesting to watch. I personally feel like using 1 powder to set and finish works for me, but it was interesting to see their artist’s take on the difference and how to use them. I do sometimes layer powders like the Hourglass or Becca Be a Light on top of my set base.
My top three picks would be pressed options as I find them easier to use for touch up and for travel. Right now I would narrow down my picks to the Charlotte Tilbury, Armani Luminous Silk Powder Foundation and a two-way tie between La Mer and MAC Next to Nothing. Favorite loose powders are Laura Mercier and Hourglass right now. I also still love the MAC Patrick Starrr Patrick’s Powder but it was limited-edition. If you’re in the market for a good powder I hope this guide helps you pick a few to try! What are your favorite setting powders?
Press samples include the MAC Next to Nothing, Laura Mercier brushes, Hourglass Veil Powder + Brush, Chanel Precision Powder Brush and Becca Be A Light Palette.
Today I have a review and swatches of all the shades in the Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Weightless Foundation ($46 for 1 fl oz/30 ml). It’s been a while since I’ve tried Bobbi Brown foundations. I remember using her original Foundation Stick and Oil Free Foundation many years ago. I loved her color range and the fact that she had so many yellow-based tones which were perfect for me. She reformulated her foundations a number of times and there was an ingredient that caused me to have an allergic reaction in many of them. Over the years there have been quite a few new base launches and I simply felt overwhelmed by all the options. The Bobbi Brown team sent the newest base for me to try. Her Skin Long-Wear Weightless Foundation has SPF 15 and is a full-coverage natural matte base that still allows skin to breathe. It comes in 30 shades and the shade range is quite impressive. I have swatches of all the colors to share today along with thoughts on testing this base.
Quick take is that this is an excellent full-coverage base. I was very relieved to find it did not irritate my skin, clog pores or streak. I’m even more impressed they were able to guess my shades from online photos! I received full sizes of Natural 4, Natural Tan 4.25, Warm Natural 4.5 and Golden Natural 4.75. The one I’ve been testing is Natural Tan 4.25. This is one of the few foundations I’ve tried that does not oxidize at all. I usually pick something that looks a tiny bit lighter because most foundations warm up or darken as they set. This one stays 100% true to color. The sun and warmth has arrived back in Florida and I’ve already started to get my tan back. I suspect I will be going up a shade soon.
The foundation is formulated with Marine Sugar Cane and mineral powders to help combat shine. It also has Vitamin E, C and Shea Butter to add hydration. Formula to me seems almost gel-like. It blends in seamlessly into the skin with their Full Coverage Face Brush or a beautyblender. I find it rare that bases blend in this seamlessly with a brush. This one has impressive application. A little goes a long way. To me I feel like it has a gel-like feel because it is just the slightest bit thick and if you don’t blend quickly or add too much it does not feel weightless. I hesitate saying this because it it isn’t thick at all, just in comparison to some other bases I’ve tested recently in this post, I don’t feel like the Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Weightless Foundation is weightless in feel. Still it is natural, it’s not heavy and has impressive lasting power. On me it has a slightly semi-dewy-looking finish so I recommend setting with powder.
The foundation is described as full coverage. I would say it’s medium full, but not 100% opaque. It did cover enough that I did not need any concealer and most of my freckles were covered well. I liked that it was crease-free on me around my smile lines. It’s recommended you use this with their cult-favorite Vitamin Enriched Face Base and Full Coverage Face Brush. This is my first time testing both and I was really impressed. The Vitamin Enriched Face Base is something I’ve used in place of moisturizer and it has a smoothing and hydrating effect on the skin. I resisted trying this for a long time because the word “enriched” made me think it was going to way too rich or heavy for me. I couldn’t have been more wrong. It’s quite lovely! The brush is very soft without any poking feel – it does feel like synthetic material and blends and buffs the foundation into the skin flawlessly.
My bare skin vs an application of the shade Natural Tan 4.25 (no concealer or powder). Also added in the after picture is Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss in Tendresse, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Incandescent Electra Blush. Photos were taken with a flash, even though the Skin Long-Wear Foundation has SPF 15 I didn’t see any flash back.
Overall thoughts: I had a positive experience with this base. It does look like skin even though it has rich coverage. I’m not sure I’d describe it as “weightless” but it’s not heavy. Lasting power is really good and was crease free on me. I do 100% recommend you set with a powder. I suspect it will work with a wide range of skin types although if you’re looking for a matte finish this may not be the base for you. A little goes a long way – it’s not a base I would layer on generously as it can get a bit sticky feeling if you layer too much. The brush is excellent but I still prefer my damp beautyblender method of application. Best parts include the fact that it did not oxidize and that it did not crease on me. Also a huge plus that they seem to have removed the ingredients that irritated my skin.
If you can get to a Bobbi Brown counter I highly recommend giving this a try. If you have to order online I hope these swatches helped you. Also give her Skin Long-Wear Foundation website page a look as she has some of the best face swatches I’ve seen to give you a better sense of what your best match might be.
By popular request I have a roundup review of some natural glowy bases that look like skin but better. Even though the full coverage matte finish base has been very much on trend, fresh looking skin is still very much in! I’m rounding up some of the new ones I’ve tested alongside favorites from NARS, Sunday Riley, Sisley, Make Up For Ever and Erborian. I’ve included a few glow primers and bases in this post that go along with a few of the brands I’ve mentioned. At the end I’ll do my best to give you the bottom line of what I recommend depending on your skin type and what you’re looking for. Face swatches of a few of the bases and also side-by-side arm swatches at the bottom of this post.
Up first is the Sunday Riley The Influencer Clean Long Wear Foundation ($42 for 1.08 oz/32 ml). This is a very natural looking foundation that looks like fresh skin. On me it blurs out all my pores, smooths the skin, looks fresh and radiant. There is a noticeable glow so I absolutely recommend setting with a powder. It lasts all day on me but it’s not transfer resistant – if you touch your face some will come off a little. I personally love this one. My match right now is 190, but I ordered 3 shades sight unseen in 180, 190 and 200.
Why I love this one: It blends in seamlessly into the skin, even on bare skin. I find it works best if I apply with a beautyblender sponge but fingers work as well. I took a quick look at the customer reviews at Sephora and it appears to be hit or miss. I feel like those who find it a miss either couldn’t find a good color match, are most likely using a moisturizer/primer that is not compatible with this formula or do not like the ingredients. It has silicones and dimethicone very high on the list. After wearing this for around 4 days I find that I really love the wear and look.
Coverage is sheer to medium. I personally need to add concealer and powder for sure, but below you can see the base worn on it’s own to get a sense of how much I was able to build. It covers redness and also evens out the skin in a natural looking way. Two pumps cover my entire face.
I’ve been playing around with Erborian Korean Skin products for several months now. I discovered the CC Creme and BB Creme back in December while in Miami. Over the years so many of you have asked for CC Creme and BB Creme recommendations and I never have any to give because I actually don’t like those formulas. I find them often too thick, too pink in undertone and tacky-feeling on my combination skin. The ones from Erborian are the first ones I’ve ever truly liked.
The Erborian CC Creme is a white colored cream that adjusts to match your skintone once you blend. It can be used as a color-correcting primer but I find I can use it on it’s own. I use the Regular Shade (there are only 2 at the moment). It gives the skin a fresh dewy glow and evens out the skin and adds brightness. It is hydrating but not thick or heavy.
The Erborian BB Creme in Dore is something they call having a baby skin effect. To me it does give the softness of baby skin but with an added glow. There are three shades with this and even though it does seem to have medium coverage the color is quite forgiving when you blend it out. I absolutely feel application with a good sponge is essential with this one, otherwise it can look blotchy or streaky. It’s not a high maintenance application product, but with any base I feel less is more. You can get an even application with a sponge, use a little then layer if you need more.
The Glow Creme is something I’ve been using on and off as a primer or a highlighter on top of bases. I like it a lot but it’s not 100% love because it has a pinkish undertone which I don’t always want. I feel this is best for dry skin, if you have oily skin this may make you look too shiny. The blurring effect is minimal, I find the glow adds radiance and combats dull/sallow looking skin.
The Pink Perfect Creme completely blew me away. I resisted as I do not like anything pink for my face as I’m olive/yellow/golden. This is a great blurring primer that smooths the skin with a semi matte finish. The pink adds a very subtle glow to the skin. It helps minimize my pores, but as you can see from the bare skin photo my pores are on the small side. It is very lightweight in finish.
All the Erborian products are scented, but it’s not overpowering and it did not irritate my skin.
On the face wearing the CC Creme which is just a tiny bit too dark for me right now. The BB Creme in Dore is a perfect match once blended out even though when swatched it looks pink/peach. Wearing the same eye and lip makeup as listed above. Both photos I just have the base on, no powder or concealer.
YSL, NARS and Make Up For Ever
Next are some other natural glowy bases that look like skin from YSL, NARS and Make Up For Ever. The YSL Touche Eclat All-In-One Glow is a great radiant base for normal to dry skin. Although I’m more combination, this winter/spring we’ve had incredibly dry weather here so this has been perfect for me. I use Shade B40, you can see the full review + what it looks like on the face in this post here.
The NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint is the best natural base with a soft velvety matte tint. It doesn’t look overly matte, it’s what I want in a tinted moisturizer look but without the glow or dewy feel. I am often in between shades Groenland and St. Moritz, right now I’m St. Moritz exactly. Coverage is very natural looking like skin and easy to build. This is probably my favorite natural looking base for everyday.
The NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer was one of my favorites when I lived in San Diego. There the climate is mild year round and this gives the skin beautiful coverage and hydration without looking shiny, heavy or sliding off. In South Florida this is too dewy for most of the year as we have humid climate. I still use this on and off. I’m in the same shades as the other lines and alternate between Groenland and St. Moritz.
I wanted to briefly mention that the Radiance Primer is excellent for NARS bases. I often think you should use the same brand of primer and foundation – they’re designed to work with the products they formulate within the line. The color of this one is soft and peachy which I love. It blends out to a clear finish but having that subtle radiance makes a difference on me.
Make Up For Ever has some great bases. Their Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation and Stick Foundation are holy grails in my book. I was really excited to try the new Ultra HD Perfector and found my best match was Shade 7. I like but don’t love this. It’s great for a fresh dewy look if you don’t need a lot of coverage or color. It definitely looks like my skin but better. I don’t love it because it’s a little too sheer and a little too hydrating for my taste. It does last on me without sliding off. I set with a powder to tone down the dew. I think it can work great as a first layer of base and then add a fuller coverage base on areas.
Last but not least are some loves from Sisley. I’ve been so impressed with everything I’ve tried from the line. I wanted to mention three things. The Instant Eclat Instant Glow Primer is my favorite glow base out of all the ones I’ve ever tried. It comes with a hefty price tag but I bought this and find it’s 100% worth the splurge. I love that the color isn’t too pink or iridescent. It adds a very soft glow to the skin. I do find that the Charlotte Tilbury Brightening Youth Glow or Wonder Glow can do similar things, just with a different color or level of shimmer at a cheaper price. But the Sisley is the best.
The Double Tenseur is another popular primer. It smooths out the skin and helps foundation apply and adhere better to the face without feeling silicone-like, thick or heavy. I love that it’s clear so I don’t have to worry about my face changing color or looking too white. It looks like second skin and smooths the surface of your skin.
The Sisley Tinted Sunscreen Cream is one of the best tinted creams I’ve ever tried. It cost a small fortune but I was really happy with the purchase. The only downside is the shade selection is extremely limited. In the swatch you’ll see below Golden 2 looks light, but once I apply it, it will adjust to my skin tone without oxidizing. I know this sounds like a contradiction, but it warms up without darkening.
Swatches of the bases I mentioned alongside a few others:
Swatches of the glow primers alongside some other options. Note that once you blend these most of the colors sheer out a lot on the skin. The Bobbi Brown Golden Glow Extra Balm reviewed here.
That rounds up my Natural Bases That Look Like Skin But Better post! I hope this helped you in case you were wondering about some of the new launches. Finding one that works for you is going to depend on your skin tone, skin type and coverage needs.
If you need more coverage products, you can read some of my other base reviews by clicking the Base Makeup tag. A few full coverage formulas I love include the Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion, Tom Ford Waterproof, NARS Natural Radiant (many reviewed here). My favorite setting powders in this post here.
You can find the products listed at retailers below:
Erborian, Make Up For Ever, Sunday Riley The Influencer can be found at Sephora
If you are shopping at Sephora, don’t forget to use your promo code:
Rouge Members: receive 15% off 4/20 through 4/23, use code YAYROUGE
VIB Members: receive 15% off 4/20 through 4/23, use code YAYVIB
BI Members: receive 10% off 4/20 through 4/23, use code YAYINSIDER
I’m doing one last giveaway this month. One person will receive one $100 eGift card to their choice of Nordstrom or Sephora. Open internationally but you must be 18 years or older. To enter for a chance to win use the widget below.
The Cover FX Power Play Foundation recently launched in 40 shades with an impressive color range! These run at $44 each for 1.18 oz/35 ml. I’ve always been really impressed with the color range and options that Cover FX has but most of their base formulas have been a little too opaque for my preference. The new Cover FX Power Play Foundation is what I wanted the Marc Jacobs Shameless formula to be (the Marc Jacobs was too difficult for me to work with). This new formula has buildable full coverage, a matte finish and is great for combination to oily skin. It is very opaque and a little will go a long way – since it is opaque I found it best to apply with a damp beauty blender in a dabbing and blending motion.
These come in square shaped squeeze bottles. It’s easy to dispense although I find I do need to give the bottle a very thorough shake upside down. Application and coverage is full but you can blend it out with a sponge. Lasting power is pretty impressive but you absolutely need to set with a powder. (I like their Perfect Setting Powder in Light Medium or the Laura Mercier Loose Translucent Powder.) In terms of application I do think you need to wear a good primer with it. “Good” in the sense that you find a formula that is compatible with this base. I’ll have a post on primers soon. I usually don’t write about them because finding the right one really depends on your skincare and foundation. Some formulas like oil-based vs. oil-free vs. ones with silicone vs. silicone-free don’t mix well together. Finding the right combination depends on so much like your skin type, skin care and foundation formulas. For the Cover FX Power Play I’ve found their Illuminating Primer or the Tatcha Silk Canvas work the best for me.
Color range is very wide with options for a lot of skin tones. I’m in between shades but since moving to Florida I’ve found I’m almost always in between shades. I tan very easily and my skin tone can change or shift on a weekly basis. I try to stay covered and always wear sunscreen but living in South Florida there is no avoiding the sun. I received G10, G20, G30, G40 and G+40 as press samples. G40 was the closest match but a tiny bit too light. I went to my local Sephora and tried G50, G+50 and N50. I opted for G50 which you’ll see in the swatches below is kind of a bit jump from the 40s. I mix G40 and G50 (the ones with the G+ are more olive while the G is more golden).
For those who aren’t my skin tone, they have a pretty good guide online Sephora and their website. I have found in their other formulas I’ve usually been in the 30-40 range. It has been a while since I last checked their foundations but the Power Play seems to run a tiny bit lighter.
First, find your undertone (underlying skin tone):
– P = Pink (a rosy, cooler hue)
– N = Neutral (equal parts of pink and golden)
– G = Golden (a yellow, warmer hue)
– G+ = Golden Olive (warmer and more olive than G shades)
Next, find your shade range (Light to Deep)
– 0-20: Fair
– 25-40: Light
– 50-60: Medium
– 70-85: Medium Deep
– 90-100: Deep
– 110-125: Extra Deep
Bare skin on the left vs. G40 and G50 mixed and applied on the right (just the foundation, no concealer or powder added), on the right also wearing Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquified Lip in Whip. As you can see below the foundation by itself has no flashback and it has a modern-matte finish. It’s matte but not flat looking, yay! Coverage is pretty full – you can still see some of my freckles and sun spots show through but the base by itself covers them really well. Skin is evened out and redness is covered with the Power Play.
Swatch comparisons to the Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Weightless Foundation in Natural 4, Natural 4.25, Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation in 3W1 Tawny, MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation in NC25, NC30, NC35 and NC37. I would say my closest MAC matches right now are NC25 and NC37 mixed (see, I’m always mixing!). On me the MAC liquid foundation in this particular formula oxidizes on my skin. I’m not sure what color I am in the Studio Fix powder foundation but I know the shades run slightly different among formulas. It’s been at least 5-6 years since I tried it (original powder-foundation formula gave me a severe allergic reaction). The Bobbi Brown is one of the few formulas that does not oxidize on me at all. My best match is Natural Tan 4.25 (review soon).
Bottom line: a great base for combination to oily skin. It has a matte finish but definitely not a flat matte. Finish is very opaque but you can blend it easily. For me application looks best if I apply with a damp beauty blender and blend/apply quickly. Lasting power is good on my skin type and I have high hopes it’s going to be one that holds up in Florida humidity. I didn’t see any flashback and there was no irritation on my skin. Full ingredient listed online at Sephora. But I’ve copied/pasted them below:
The latest from Charlotte Tilbury is her new Hollywood Flawless Filter ($44 each for 1 fl oz/30 ml). It’s a complexion booster which you can use in a variety of ways for a radiant glow. I’m a huge fan of glowing skin and love mixing in liquid luminizers with foundation, applying as a base or layering it on top. I already own quite a number of glow bases but the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter is one of the best ones I’ve used. It’s very pigmented but is easy to blend. It melts into the skin and layers well with liquid foundation. For me it has the perfect amount of glow to be noticeable without looking harsh. Texture is just perfect for my combination skin to last all day without getting too dewy looking.
There are seven shades total and each one has a really pretty glow to them. Her website has shade recommendations according to her Light Wonder and Magic Foundation shades. I’d recommend sticking with the shade recs there. I’ve always been in between colors for her foundation varying between 5 (a bit too peachy), 6 (a bit too olive) and 7 (perfect undertone but a bit too deep). I usually mix 7 with 6. The Flawless Filters come with a sponge tip applicator. With this you can wear:
As a primer under foundation
Mixed in with foundation
Or on top of foundation
I like it mixed in or on top. To mix I simply swipe on a few stripes on the face and dot in foundation on the forehead, cheeks and chin. I then blend out with a beautyblender sponge. The other way I’ve applied it is on top of blended foundation like you’d apply a brightening concealer or highlighter. Then blend with a sponge. Many of you have mentioned liquid highlighters tend to disrupt the foundation underneath. This one stays put and blends in with the base without wiping it away.
My best matches in the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter is Shade 4 or Shade 5. I’ve experimented with both and there’s a pretty big gap. I’m on the lighter side right now so 4 works best. I’ve also found Shade 2 or 3 work to lighten some foundation shades that are a bit too deep for me because they’re my summer color. I did try to use the deeper options as a contour and for my skintone they are really too warm to use. The nice thing about this product is you don’t need an exact match as it’s intended to add glow to the complexion not cover up the skin like foundation.
Swatches of all 7 shades below:
Swatches next to the Wonder Glow and Brightening Youth Glow. Both of these are a lot sheerer in color and thinner in texture. The Wonder Glow has a beautiful golden yellow undertone which I have loved for years. The Brightening Youth Glow is more opalescent with a pearly glow. It’s also sheer and similar in concept to MAC Strobe Cream. The main difference is formula and color. MAC has more of an iridescent sheen and comes in different flashes of color. The Charlotte Tilbury is more of a natural flesh-toned shimmer. Applying all over does some slight color correcting in the brightening sense but in a very sheer natural way.
Swatches of Hollywood Flawless Filter 4, 5 and 6 next to Magic Foundations 5, 6 and 7:
Bottom line love. I love these mixed in with foundation or layered on top. I’ve tried this with a variety of bases including the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation, Dior Fiorever Foundation, Dior Forever Undercover, YSL Touche Eclat Glow, La Prairie Skin Caviar and found it compatible with all the formulas I tried. I like that the Flawless Filter has no detectable scent, has a dewy finish that doesn’t get greasy and has a beautiful glow. Quick note that a little goes a long way. The formula is very opaque and if you find you look too dewy or glowy then you’ve applied too much. I found there was a slight learning curve to getting just the right amount of glow. I think less is definitely more with this unless you want a real intense shimmer. I do wish there were a few more shades options. To me 1 and 2 look really similar but if you’re on the fair end of the color spectrum I suspect you will see more of a difference. I see a pretty big gap between 4 and 5 but I should be able to make them work with mixing for me once I get my tan back.
Overall I highly recommend these and think it’s definitely worth a look. They truly make the skin glow in a radiant way where you can control how much glow you have. You can definitely get a similar effect with other liquid luminizers but I feel like this formula works best for my skintype. So many other liquid highlighters tend to be a lot more shimmery or get dewy-looking very quick. This one has the right balance for me.