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Base Makeup

New Base Testing from Hourglass, Armani and Kosas

April 10, 2019

Foundation Testing Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Liquid, Armani Power Fabric Balm, Kosas Tinted Face Oil Review

Finding a good makeup base is something I always get questions about and I have three newer formulas to review today. It’s taken me a while to try some of them because I’ve had several allergic reactions to product this year. Testing a number of things on my face on any given week can be tricky so I had to wait for skin to recover and retest just the foundations to check it all out. The good news is that none of these foundations caused my allergic reaction. If you have sensitive skin check the ingredients and do a patch test first. For those curious I was allergic to some of the Dr. Bronner liquid soaps that I used to wash my sponges in and a couple sunscreens I put on my face (more on the sunscreens later because I have a dedicated roundup for those). The three I’m reviewing today include:

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Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Liquid Foundation

Hourglass Vanish Seamless Foundation Liquid in Nude Review

Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Liquid Foundation ($56) launched earlier this year. So many of you have loved the Vanish Seamless Foundation Stick and were excited about the liquid version. It has very mixed reviews online and I also have mixed feelings. The Vanish Seamless Finish Liquid is an opaque full coverage foundation with a velvety matte finish. I feel any time a foundation is a full matte + full coverage it’s not forgiving because you need an exact match and often times it can emphasize imperfections. This is not an easy foundation to wear but it is workable if you can find a good match. The trick to applying is to use very little and buff with their Vanish Foundation Brush. Most of the time I really prefer sponges but with this one even a damp sponge will pick up too much product. Color matching was tricky for me because a lot of the shades run really yellow/olive. I consider myself yellow/golden but many of the shades are too yellow for me. My best match is Nude which you can see below blends and darkens slightly to give a perfect match right now.

It’s described as a base that doesn’t need primer, but I 100% think it needs one. It works well with the Hourglass Veil Primer and less than 1 full pump is enough to dot my face and apply all over. Once buffed and blended with their brush it covers my skin entirely. Most of my sun spots and freckles aren’t visible. It looks seamless but matte. Setting with a power is essential and the best one to use with this is their lightweight Veil Translucent Loose Setting Powder. Since it’s opaque and matte adding some other matte powders can make it look too matte.

For me it lasted all day without budging – I did need to use a primer and buff with the brush. Without a primer or applied with a sponge it started to look very cakey within a few hours.

Bare skin vs. Vanish Seamless Liquid Foundation in Nude (no concealer or powder). A few other makeup products added including the Hourglass Arch Brow Gel in Soft Brunette, L’Oreal Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara, Confession Lipstick in I Woke Up, Tee by Reformation.

Hourglass Vanish Seamless Foundation Liquid in Nude Review

Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Liquid Foundation Nude

Swatches of a few shades, plus Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion in Buff (to show how yellow the Hourglass colors run):

Hourglass Vanish Seamless Liquid Foundation Swatches in Warm Ivory, Nude, Sand and Beige

Ingredients from Sephora:

Water, Dimethicone, Isododecane, Isoamyl Laurate, Caprylyl Methicone, Mica, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Hdi/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Peg/Ppg-18/18 Dimethicone, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Quaternium-90 Bentonite, C10-18 Triglycerides, Acacia Decurrens Flower Wax, Caprylyl Glycol, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Wax, Hexylene Glycol, Jojoba Esters, Polyglycerin-3, Propylene Carbonate, Quartz, Silica, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Gluconate, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Iron Oxides (Ci 77891, Ci 77492, Ci 77491), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77499).

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Kosas Tinted Face Oil

Kosas Tinted Face Oil Review Shade 6

The Kosas Tinted Face Oil ($42) has received a lot of attention from you! It’s very fluid as it is an oil so I apply straight to a sponge. Applying on the back of my hand or fingers results in a very runny drippy mess. I didn’t know what to expect from an oil as a foundation, especially living in humid Florida and having combination skin I was pretty skeptical about this. My match is Shade 6. It has surprisingly decent coverage given how sheer and fluid it is. It’s not as sheer as the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer, but the Kosas is still sheer-medium. Once on the skin it will look very dewy. I have to set with a powder otherwise it’s too dewy. I like to use this on no-makeup makeup days or for the beach when I need just a little coverage. Most days I feel like I need and want coverage so for me this is not an everyday kind of product. Being an oil it’s not really budge-proof and it will require touch ups if you’re outdoors. On me it will last for hours without issue if I’m indoors for most of the day. I do need to set with a powder and a couple of touch ups are necessary. I can layer concealer on top for more coverage and it does make the skin look very nice and fresh, but I need powder otherwise it’s really too dewy for my preference.

Bare skin on the right. On the left added brows and mascara with Chanel Rouge Coco Flash in Jour but the skin has just the tinted oil on it, no concealer or powder.

Ingredients from their website:

Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Octyldodecanol, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Silica, Kaolin, Mica, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Extract, Tocopherol, Limnanthen Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Camellia Oleifera (Tea) Seed Oil, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Seed Oil, May Contain [+/-] Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, 77499, 77491, 77492)

Kosas Tinted Face Oil in Shade 6

Some swatches of shades 5, 6 and 7:

Kosas Tinted Face Oil 5, 6 and 7

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Armani Power Fabric Foundation Balm

Armani Power Fabric Balm Foundation review in 6.5

The Armani Power Fabric Foundation Balm ($64) came highly recommended by several friends. I would like to test it more but I’ve received so many questions I thought I’d give you my first impressions. Initial thoughts are that it is very good, but I think other formulas are better. It’s a solid balm foundation that has a semi-velvety matte finish. Coverage is very good. On me it’s nearly full coverage but still manages to look like skin. I ordered the color 6.5 which is a pretty good match, it pulls a little more on the neutral side versus the Luminous Silk or Power Fabric Liquid 6.5 (both are more golden). I would have preferred it to be a little more golden but it works one blended. Pros are that it makes the skin look really nice, even and smooth with good coverage. I applied with the sponge applicator it comes with and it doesn’t absorb too much product. It looks like skin but a lot better. The downsides for me are that it can emphasize dry patches or texture and after 5-6 hours or so it separates if I don’t set with a good powder. I need to experiment with different primers but with either the Tatcha Dewy Skin Cream or Drunk Elephant Polypeptide Moisturizer it looks good on the skin. I really do like the way it looks, covers and blends. All that said I prefer the liquid Power Fabric Foundation a lot more in terms of coverage and lasting power – on me it just looks better. First impressions are that it’s worth checking out. It’s a nice solid formula foundation and photographs well. I just prefer their Luminous Silk and Power Fabric Liquid for lasting power and finish and color.

Two close ups wearing the Balm Foundation on the face, no powder or concealer. On the lips is By Terry Lip Expert Shine in Bare Flirt.

Armani Power Fabric Balm Foundation in 6.5

Swatch comparisons:

Armani Luminous Silk, Power Fabric Foundation swatches 6 and 6.5 and 7

Ingredients from Nordstrom:

Cyclohexasiloxane, Phenyl Trimethicone, Isohexadecane, Polyethylene, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Aluminum Calcium Sodium Silicate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Arachidyl Propionate, Acrylates Crosspolymer, Lauroyl Lysine, Aluminum Hydroxide, Parfum/Fragrance, Perlite, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Benzyl Salicylate, Hexyl Cinnamal, Benzyl Alcohol, Limonene, Linalool, [+/- May Contain Ci 77891/Titanium Dioxide, Mica, Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499/Iron Oxides].

Quick note on the Power Fabric Concealer. I reviewed it in a roundup earlier but I’m still really loving it! I use Shade 6.5 and it has good coverage and an easy to blend texture. It’s described as a full matte finish concealer but to me it’s not really a full matte and I find it more of a natural middle of the road finish (I consider the Cle de Peau Concealer to be a true full matte). Definitely give it a swatch at the counter as the dry down feel will vary depending on your skin type. If you need something creamy I think the best one is still the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer.

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I hope you found this foundation roundup helpful! I ended up liking the one from Hourglass the best out of the three formulas but the shade range makes it challenging for me to find a good match since it pulls very yellow and colors oxidize/darken. Nude works for me now and I’m hoping Beige will work as spring/summer progresses and I tan. I try to stay covered as much as I can but there’s no avoiding the sun in Florida! The Kosas Tinted Face Oil is a nice product that gives the face that fresh dewy glow but if you have oily skin it will most likely make you look too dewy. I’m still undecided about the Armani Power Fabric Balm. I really want to 100% love it and think it’s a good one, but it did emphasize some dry patches and I feel like the Power Fabric Liquid is better in terms of how it blends and sits on my skin.

 

Kosas Tinted Face Oil and Hourglass Vanish Seamless Foundation Liquid provided for review.

 

Base Makeup Laura Mercier

Laura Mercier Flawless Lumiere Radiance Perfecting Foundation + Translucent Loose Glow Review

March 25, 2019

Laura Mercier Flawless Lumiere Radiance Perfecting Foundation Review

I’ve been working my way through some new foundation launches and today I have a review of the new Laura Mercier Flawless Lumiere Radiance Perfecting Foundation ($48 for 1 oz/30 ml) along with her Translucent Loose Setting Powder in Glow ($39 for 1 oz/29 g). The new foundation is probably my favorite that I’ve tested this year. Both the powder and foundation are crazy good for a flawless luminous finish and I find both are still suitable for normal/combination skin even with the luminous finish. The powder launched last year but I never did a dedicated review (you can see it on the face in this post with a full makeup look). Several of you have been asking for more swatches so I have it in today’s post for you!

Laura Mercier Flawless Lumiere Radiance Perfecting Foundation review

Laura Mercier Flawless Lumiere in Latte 3N1.5

To date my favorite Laura Mercier foundation has been her Flawless Fusion Ultra Longwear Foundation. Looking back at the archives I’ve been using this for almost 2 years now and it’s one of my favorites for humid Florida weather. It’s natural full coverage with a matte finish. Finding a good matte finish is hard for me because my skin tends to look better in something with a little glow. The Flawless Fusion is long wearing, matte but not flat, and the color range is pretty good. The new Flawless Lumiere Radiance Perfecting Foundation by comparison is a lot more luminous. Coverage is medium but buildable to full for me. It definitely has a more hydrating luminous feel to it but isn’t too dewy and has no greasy feeling. For me her Tinted Moisturizers simply don’t work well in Florida humidity (it’s too dewy and too luminous). The Flawless Lumiere has a natural finish with a lot more coverage compared to her Tinted Moisturizer.

Shade options come in C for cool, N for neutral or W for warm. I’m normally in the W range for yellow tones but some of the options are a little too yellow and I find N works best for me. On shade matching the Laura Mercier team sent me my normal shade Buff 3N1 and one lighter color Cashew 2N1 as press samples. One was too dark and one was too light so I went to the counter to shade match myself.

For shades across different formulas I found that the new Flawless Lumiere runs a bit darker than the Flawless Fusion. In the matte Flawless Fusion I wear Buff 3N1, but in the Flawless Lumiere I wear a lighter shade Latte 3N1.5 – by this naming convention it would seem like 1.5 should be darker than 1, but in both formulas if you swatch them side by side for some reason you’ll find 3N1.5 slightly lighter and more yellow/gold than 3N1. At the store I did a couple more side by side comparisons between formulas and it seems most of them run darker in the luminous formula but I’m not sure if this is the case across the entire shade range. I could have also gone with one of the W colors like 2W1.5 in Bisque, but it was just a tad too light.

Swatches of the Flawless Fusion Foundation, Flawless Lumiere and Flawless Concealer (all colors of concealer swatched here):

Laura Mercier Foundation swatches Buff

For application I find the Laura Mercier bases work best with her primers. In general I try to match the brands foundations with their primers because they’re often formulated to be compatible with each other. Laura Mercier has a wide range to suit different skin types. My favorites are her Radiance and Primer Protect with SPF 30.

They also sent their new Flawless Finish Sponge which I was really excited to try. It has a really nice bouncy squishy feel but I found the shape really awkward to work with. It has a shape designed to help you work with the contours of your face or get foundation into detail areas. No matter how I held it I found it hard to apply. I really hands down just prefer the classic beautyblender.

Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powders

A look at her three of her loose powders. OG Laura Mercier fans will remember she used to have tinted loose powders I used to use Beige and her Stardust. She also had some lovely mineral loose shimmers which I was sad to see discontinued. I’ve loved her powders for years. Her Translucent Loose Setting Powder comes in two colors, clear and deep. I use the white/lighter option and it doesn’t leave a white cast. Last year she added two shades of Translucent Loose Setting Powder Glow in Translucent and Translucent Medium Deep. These can be used any way you want. I tried it all over as a setting powder and found it too glowy for all over the face or even under the eyes. As a highlighter it adds a luminous sheen much like a liquid luminizer but in powder form. The lighter option has a soft yellow gold champagne pearl and deeper is a soft bronze. I love both with the Glow Powder Brush.

You can set with a regular powder brush or puff. I have found myself reaching for her Powder Brush and Powder Puff frequently. I also love the Cle de Peau puff which I find slightly fluffier and softer in finish. For those curious about other setting powders I’ve done a few roundups of the best ones I’ve tested. My most recent Best Pressed and Loose Powder review is here.

Swatches, I also added her Face Illuminator to show how soft the shimmer is in the loose powder compared to her highlighters. With the Glow Powders there’s no flash back in flash photography, it gives the skin a soft glow.

Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powders swatches

Before and after application of Flawless Lumiere Foundation in Latte, set with her Translucent Loose Setting Powder, and full natural makeup look, wearing:

Laura Mercier Flawless Lumiere Radiance Perfecting Foundation application, before and after

Laura Mercier Foundation Review, Flawless Lumiere in Latte

Laura Mercier Flawless Lumiere in Latte 3N1.5

Overall a solid thumbs up for the new Laura Mercier Flawless Lumiere Radiance Perfecting Foundation. It’s a winner and I’m happy I was able to find a shade match. Lasting power is very good, I do need a touch up on warmer days mid-day, but it lasts long on my skin and I love how natural it looks. It gives that glow from within kind of finish and has good medium buildable coverage – enough to cancel redness and dark under eye circles on puffy eye days.

I have a few extras that I’m giving away! ONE winner will be picked within 48 hours and emailed to win: 1 Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder (winner can pick color), 1 Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder Glow, 1 Powder Puff, 1 Glow Powder Brush, 4 Caviar Eye Sticks in Copper, Rosegold, Beam and Rush. Open internationally to 18 years and older. Enter through the widget below. Giveaway will run through March 27th, 2019, 11:59 PM EST. Note the first option is MANDATORY to qualify for this giveaway (you must subscribe to my newsletter). Not sponsored or affiliated.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

You can find the Laura Mercier Flawless Lumiere Radiance Perfecting Foundation out now. Available at Laura Mercier, Nordstrom, Sephora, Bloomingdale’sSaks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and all other Laura Mercier counters.

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All Laura Mercier items featured are press samples except the foundation in Latte which was purchased by me.

 

Base Makeup

Concealer Roundup: Cle de Peau Beaute, MAC, First Aid Beauty, Cover FX + Sisley

November 8, 2018

Concealer Roundup Cle de Peau, Cover FX, MAC and Sisley

I have a concealer roundup today on some newer formulas I’ve been testing from a number of brands. Today I’m covering concealers from Cle de Peau Beaute, MAC, First Aid Beauty, Cover FX, Sisley plus another look at Charlotte Tilbury. There are so many different types of concealers on the market and each formula has a different purpose. Finding one that works for you truly depends on where you want to use it, how much coverage you want and also your skin type. Your moisturizer and foundation routine are also important in finding formulas that are right for you depending on whether or not they contain silicone, if they’re oil-free or not, etc. I’ll be giving you my thoughts on each formula and how I think they work the best. At the end I’ll give my recommendations by coverage/type.

I do want to mention briefly that I appreciate the discussions these days about expanding shade ranges and inclusion. Many brands still have a long way to go including some of the ones I’m featuring today. I know readers who are very fair or very deep have challenges finding options they can wear when color ranges are so limited. I think bringing awareness to brands about color gaps will help them learn more about where they need to expand. We’ve seen some brands take the feedback to heart and expand their ranges!

First is a look at the First Aid Beauty Hello Fab Bendy Avocado Concealer ($22 for 0.17 oz/4.8 g). This is one of the few I feel rivals my favorite NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. In general I like a creamy concealer that has a medium coverage. I don’t usually do spot cover-ups – usually under the eyes or around the nose/mouth where I have redness. For the most part my foundation does most of the covering I need. The First Aid Beauty Hello Fab concealer has a luminous finish that is weightless and glides onto the skin. I like that it’s been compatible with all the foundations I’ve tried. It doesn’t drag, cake or crease. It blends in well with the skin. I like Shade 3 the best for brightening. It comes with a soft flexible sponge tip applicator which I like the best. Available in 7 shades at Sephora and First Aid Beauty.

First Aid Beauty Hello Fab Concealer Review | The Beauty Look Book

First Aid Beauty Hello Fab Bendy Avocado Concealer swatches

MAC Studio Fix 24 Hour Liquid Concealer ($22 for 7 ml) is another great option that’s multi-purpose. It has medium to full coverage on me. It’s creamy and blends in easily with the skin. I can use it to brighten or spot conceal and it does last on me all day without budging. It has more coverage compared to the First Aid Beauty and NARS options with a slightly more opaque feel. It comes in 33 shades in both warm and cool undertones. I found the colors ran a little bit lighter than the other MAC concealers I’ve tried. I use NC35 in the Pro Longwear Concealer (full coverage and thick). In the Studio Fix 24 Hour version I found NC38 and 40 to be a better match. I haven’t tested it for a full 24 hours but it did last all day on me. Under the eyes it can pull a bit heavy especially if you have dry skin in which case I’d recommend you just make sure your under eye is primed with a good serum or opt for something more creamy or emollient like the First Aid Beauty or NARS options. Available at MAC, Nordstrom, Ulta Beauty.

MAC Studio Fix 24-Hour Liquid Concealer review and swatches

MAC Studio Fix 24-Hour Liquid Concealer swatches

Cle de Peau Beaute is a brand I try to stay away from because I’m always afraid I’ll fall in love with something but don’t want to because of the high price points. The quality cannot be beat in many of their products. Their Concealer was a go-to for a long time for opaque full coverage. I used to use the colors Beige and Almond. Since moving to Florida I have darkened and am more tan so Ocher is the color I use now. They reformulated the Concealer with SPF 25 ($70 for 5g/0.17 oz) and I found it to perform the same as the original. It’s very opaque and a little goes a long way. Since it is very opaque if you’re using it under eyes I find the best way for me to apply is by warming up a little on the finger then dabbing it under the eyes and blend. A number of you asked for a review on the Radiant Corrector for Eyes ($65 for 2.2 ml/0.08 oz). This is easier to use under the eyes for me. It comes in a click applicator with brush. It has enough coverage and pigment to cover some darkness. It is more emollient and creamier so it does not have a flat matte finish like the stick. Even though I consider myself a die-hard NARS fan I find myself reaching for this one a lot for under the eyes. Color-wise the Concealer Stick in Ocher has always been slightly too olive for me but it does work once blended. The Radiant Corrector for Eyes in Ocher has a little bit more gold which is perfect for me right now. I also did look at Almond which on my tan skin looked a little pink. When it comes to under eyes I don’t need an exact match – sometimes having a little peach or pink can really help to counter darkness. I could have gone either way, but picked Ocher since I tan really easily. Both are available at multiple retailers, I usually purchase my items direct from Cle de Peau, Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus.

Cle de Peau Concealer and Radiant Corrector for Eyes Ocher

I re-swatched all the Cle de Peau stick concealers below from a sampler card I got as a GWP. I only have 1 swatch for the Radiant Corrector in Ocher which is the one I bought.

Cle de Peau Concealer Swatches

Sisley Stylo Lumiere Radiance Booster Pen ($65 each) comes in 4 shades and is a highlighting pen I like to use in place of concealer under the eyes. This really does give the complexion a brightened radiant look and to me performs better than the cult classic YSL Touche Eclat. Coverage is medium and natural. I simply twist click the product into the sponge and apply directly on the face in a few dots under the eyes – usually 3 per eye. Then I blend with fingers and set with powder. It stays put on me all day long. I use Shade 3 and really wish it came in more color options for others – the formula is really good! Available at Sisley-Paris, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Beautylish.

Sisley Stylo Lumiere Concealer review

Sisley Stylo Lumiere Concealer review swatches

Cover FX Power Play Concealer ($30 for 10 ml) is a full coverage concealer. It’s one of the best full-coverage concealers I’ve tried for spot coverage. They also say you can use to highlight and contour – I’ve tried both and for me the coverage is really opaque and intense so using it for either works only if my base is slightly dewy. If I use a tinted moisturizer or glowy base I can add the Power Play on top to add more coverage, highlight or correct under the eyes. If I use a full coverage base underneath this concealer can be prone to dragging because it does have a semi-matte finish. The good things about this formula: it has smooth full coverage, comes in a wide shade range, stays put and doesn’t crease. They have a useful chart to help you find your shades. I use G40 and G50 mixed in the Power Play foundation (reviewed here). I found the colors G Medium 1 or 2 worked best for me.

I do not think this will work for you if you have super dry skin or use a super matte foundation. I do think dry skin can be adjusted by making sure you are well moisturized and primed, but if you have a lot of fine lines or creases this may emphasize them. Your best bet is to go to a Sephora or Ulta and try in person. I do think the Cover FX line is great for the variety of undertones they have. I struggle to find yellow/golden colors and they have the G range which is great for me. They also have the G+ range which is more olive than I can wear, but great for those who are truly olive.

For spot coverage this is a win. For under eyes/highlighting I have other favorites as this one is very opaque and I prefer more creamy/sheer for those areas.

Cover FX Power Play Concealer medium shades

Cover FX Power Play Concealer medium shades

Last but not least I wanted to give the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away another look since it’s newer and thought it would be helpful to put in the roundup. I still really like this for a full coverage concealer and for me it does work under the eyes. I find it compatible with the Charlotte Tilbury foundations which are natural in finish. A large number of you have messaged me on social that you had challenges with this formula to which I have a few thoughts. One is a little goes a very long way – you just need a tiny bit! Two is the applicator can be problematic when applying and blending. I use the applicator to dot on areas I want to apply then blend with a separate sponge. Three is that since it’s so opaque and full coverage it probably will not be good under the eyes if you have dry skin. I’d recommend priming the area with a nice emollient serum or any of her glow products. My full review here.

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Concealer 6

Concealer Swatches NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away, MAC Studio Fix 24 hour wear

Based on all the new product testing I think there are some nice options for concealing whether you’re looking for a spot concealer or under eye brightener. Thoughts on which formulas I think are best:

  • For under the eyes my top picks are the First Aid Beauty, Sisley Stylo Lumiere and Cle de Peau Radiant Corrector for Eyes
  • For spot concealing I think the Cle de Peau, Cover FX and Charlotte Tilbury are the best
  • Best versatile formulas are the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer and MAC 24-Hour
  • Best highlighting formula is the NARS and First Aid Beauty formulas
  • Favorite formula is still the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer

That wraps up my concealer roundup review! I hope you found this helpful. I didn’t mention about setting but I always set everything with a powder to make it last. My favorite powders in this post here. If you’ve tried any of these let me know in the comments what worked or what didn’t!

Update: I’ve been getting a lot of questions about other formulas. These aren’t all the ones I’ve tried, this roundup just covers the newer more recent launches. A few other reviews you may find helpful:

Press samples include the MAC 24-Hour Concealer, Cover FX Power Play, Sisley Stylo Lumiere and First Aid Beauty Hello Fab.

 

Base Makeup Charlotte Tilbury Eye Makeup

New Charlotte Tilbury Magic Powder, Magic Away Concealer + Stars In Your Eyes Palette

October 14, 2018

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Concealer, Magic Powder and Stars in Your Eyes Palette Review

Today I’m covering a few new launches from Charlotte Tilbury including her Genius Magic Powder ($45), Magic Away Concealer ($32) and swatches of the new Stars In Your Eyes Palette ($75). I’ve been the biggest fan of her Airbrush Flawless Finish Pressed Powder in #2 for years now. It’s one I still swear by today and I was really excited to put her new face products to the test. I hauled everything from Nordstrom and two of the three products I hauled are hits.

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Concealer, Magic Powder and Stars in Your Eyes Palette Review

Magic Powder + Magic Away Concealer

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Concealer, Magic Powder Review

Up first is a look at her new face products. The Magic Powder is a loose powder for under the eyes and all over the face. It’s a soft light-diffusing powder to blur the skin. I find that the Airbrush Flawless Pressed and Magic Powder Loose colors don’t match with the same numbers. #2 in the pressed is a perfect match for me while #2 in the loose is significantly lighter in color but it does have a translucent feel to me. The powder itself has a really nice matte effect without looking flat or cakey even though the color is pale. The jar seems well made and has a twist lid inside so you can keep powder from flying around when you store it. The only downside is the smell – it has a very strong plastic smell which I thought was the packaging, which could be the culprit. But if it is, it is also in the powder and it’s pretty bad. The good news is that once it’s on the face and sets, the smell dissipates after a while. Still it’s a scent I don’t think any makeup product should have. A quick look at the product description says it’s made of veggie powder and natural oils to absorb oil and condition the skin at the same time. This could be the reason it smells. For now I’m going to stick with the pressed version and other brands of loose powders. My favorites rounded up and reviewed here.

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Powder vs Flawless Pressed Shade 2

Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Pressed Powder, Magic Powder, Magic Away Concealer, Magic Foundation swatches

The Magic Away Liquid Concealer is a hit! I ordered two shades 6 and 7 sight unseen based on the fact that I mix the Magic Foundation in 6 and 7. Both concealer shades work for me, 6 is a good brightening color but 7 is an exact match for my tan skin right now. It’s a smooth finish, full coverage concealer with a sponge tip applicator. I actually prefer tube or wand applicators but this one works to blend out the product right on the face without having to use another sponge. I’ve been a die-hard fan of the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer for under eyes because I need something that is a little bit dewy. This comes in very close second. The Charlotte Tilbury has full perfect coverage, stays put, blends easily and does remove the subtle darkness I have under my eyes some mornings. Shade 6 applied below:

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Concealer 6

Left is applied heavily straight from the tube, you can apply as much or as little as you want. I did a heavy face swatch so you could see the color and texture. Right side is completely blended out with a sponge. Also wearing a mix of Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation in 6+7 mixed all over the face, Diorshow Brow Styler in Universal Brown and NARS Velvet Lip Glide in Swing on the lips. Top from Madewell.

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Concealer 6

I’ve swatched the concealer below next to the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard, Macadamia and Ginger. I’ve also included one of the new MAC Studio Fix 24 Hour Wear Concealers in NC35, NC38 and NC40 (reviewing these soon, but I find this formula runs a tad bit lighter than the foundations).

Concealer Swatches NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away, MAC Studio Fix 24 hour wear

Stars in Your Eyes Palette

The Stars in Your Eyes Palette is new for the season and it is one of the most beautiful warm palettes I’ve tried. I still don’t consider myself as really loving the red/warm eye shadow trend that’s been going on for a while, but this one is very wearable, doesn’t look too warm on my skin and has excellent color payoff. There is a mix of matte and shimmers. I think it’s a significant improvement compared to last years which I bought and still use but find high maintenance because it takes me a lot of layering to get the pigment I want. This year’s is perfect in every way for me.

Charlotte Tilbury Stars in Your Eyes Palette Review

This one has four sets of color-themed trios designed to Prime, Enhance and Smoke, but you can mix and match any of the combinations.

  • Love Eyes has a matte cream, shimmery rose gold, matte warm rose
  • Power Eyes has a shimmery soft gold, pale champagne shimmer, shimmery bronze
  • Happy Eyes has a rosy shimmer, warm soft brown matte, deeper soft brown matte
  • Confident Eyes has a shimmery mauve, shimmery plum and matte plum purple

Charlotte Tilbury Stars in Your Eyes Palette swatches

Below wearing a mix of Stars in Your Eyes Palette Love Eyes and Happy Eyes, First Love Chic to Cheek Blush and NARS Velvet Lip Glide in Swing, same base as mentioned above:

Charlotte Tilbury Stars in Your Eyes Palette Review

As much as I love the pretty rose gold packaging it makes photographing product difficult. Colors will look slightly different in photos depending on what you see in the reflection, so I’ve included two photos, one with flash, one without.

Charlotte Tilbury Stars in Your Eyes Palette Review

Charlotte Tilbury Stars in Your Eyes Palette Review + Swatches

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Concealer, Magic Powder and Stars in Your Eyes Palette Review

Overall I highly recommend the Magic Away Concealer. I think it’s worth a look if you want a full coverage, smooth creamy concealer. It doesn’t cake or crease on me under the eyes and it also has enough pigment that you can use it to cover spots like sun spots or dark circles. I find it has better coverage than her other formulas. The Stars in Your Eyes Palette was a pleasant hit given last year’s formula was just ok for me. I’m thrilled that even though it’s warm toned it’s not too red or warm and easy to wear. The Magic Powder was something I had such high hopes for. The shades are a bit odd to me because the numbers don’t match in different formulas and the smell is so bad, but as a product it works on my face just fine. For now if you’re in the market for a new loose powder I’d say my top picks are the Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder and Laura Mercier Translucent Loose (both compared here).

You can find the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Concealer, Powder and Stars in Your Eyes Palette at Nordstrom. Also available online at Charlotte Tilbury.

Have you tried any of these yet? What did you think?

 

Base Makeup Chanel

Chanel CC Cream SPF 50 Review + Swatches

September 13, 2018

Chanel CC Cream Super Active Complete Correction Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Review

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.

Chanel CC Cream Super Active Complete Correction Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Review 10 Beige through 50 Beige

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.

Chanel CC Cream 40 Beige Review | The Beauty Look Book

On the nails is Le Vernis in Organdi (reviewed here), Rouge Coco Gloss is 119 (newer formula replaced the Glossimer, swatches + review here)

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.

Chanel CC Cream Review 2018 Version

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:

Chanel CC Cream swatches | The Beauty Look Book

Swatch comparisons to some of the Les Beiges shades that I still have. I gifted away the lighter options to a friend:

Chanel CC Cream vs Les Beiges 2018 swatches

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).

Bare skin (left) vs. CC Cream 40 Beige (right)

Chanel CC Cream 40 Beige, Bare Skin vs. Base

Chanel CC Cream 40 Beige review and swatches

Ingredients of this year’s version:

Chanel CC Cream Ingredients 2018

Makeup bag below is by The Daily Edited, Large Black Cosmetic Case (size/scale compared to some of their other makeup cases in this post here too)

Chanel CC Cream Review

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.

Base Makeup By Terry

By Terry Nude-Expert Duo Stick Foundation Review + Swatches

August 13, 2018

By Terry Nude-Expert Foundation 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.

By Terry Nude-Expert Duo Stick Foundation review and swatches | The Beauty Look Book

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).

By Terry Nude-Expert Duo Stick Foundation review | The Beauty Look Book

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.

By Terry Nude-Expert Duo Stick Foundation review and swatches | The Beauty Look Book

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

 

By Terry Nude-Expert Duo Stick Foundation | The Beauty Look Book

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:

By Terry Nude-Expert Duo Stick Foundation swatches | The Beauty Look Book

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:

By Terry Nude-Expert shimmer side swatches

By Terry Nude-Expert Duo Stick Foundation | The Beauty Look Book

Below wearing:

By Terry Nude-Expert Duo in Honey Beige 9 | The Beauty Look Book

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!

By Terry Nude-Expert Foundation Stick Shades 1, 2, 2.5, 3 and 4 vs Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Concealers

Second set is lined up next to the three Stylo-Expert Click Sticks I bought last year in 4.5, 5 and 8:

By Terry Nude Expert Foundation swatches vs Stylo-Expert Click Sticks

One last look at all the colors:

By Terry Nude-Expert Duo Stick Foundation | The Beauty Look Book

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.

 

Base Makeup Beauty Favorites

Best Pressed and Loose Setting Powders

July 30, 2018

Best Setting Powders Laura Mercier, MAC, Armani, Chanel, La Mer

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

Best Pressed Setting Powders Armani, Becca, Charlotte Tilbury, Chanel Les Beiges and La Mer

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 Next to Nothing Pressed Powder, Mineralize Skinfinish Natural and Studio Waterweight Pressed Powder

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

Best Loose Setting Powders from Laura Mercier, Hourglass, La Mer, Becca, Marc Jacobs and La Prairie

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

Best Makeup Brushes and Puffs for Setting Powders

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.
  • Laura Mercier Powder Brush is a flat large brush, it can double as a bronzer brush as well.
  • 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!
  • Chanel Precision Powder Brush is a nice option for smaller areas or for touch ups. Many of you were surprised to learn their brushes were redesigned. You can see a more detailed post about it here.

Additional ones I’ve tried worth mentioning plus some more thoughts:

  • I still find the ones from my previous roundup excellent, especially the NARS Light Reflecting Pressed and Loose Powders but I have explored other options since moving to Florida.
  • 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.
  • MAC’s Patrick Starrr Set Powder is among my favorites but it was limited-edition. I suspect it might be similar to one of the regular MAC Set Powders but I haven’t checked in person to confirm.
  • 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.
  • I still find the La Mer Powder Brush and Wayne Goss Brushes to be excellent for powders. I still use them on a regular basis but the ones above are what I’ve been reaching for lately.
  • 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.

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