Browsing Category

Base Makeup

Base Makeup

Luxury Base Edit

October 30, 2017

Best Luxury Foundations and Powders from La Mer, Tom Ford Beauty, Chanel, Sisley and La Prairie | The Beauty Look Book

This post has been months in the works as I’ve been testing some of the most luxurious makeup bases, foundations and powders on the market. Finding a good makeup base has always been important to me and but it can be so tricky to find the right combination for my skin type, skin tone and has just the right amount of coverage. Each season I’ve discovered new formulas that work extremely well. A large number of you have asked for reviews on other luxury bases that have cult-status including foundations, face tints, primers and powders. I’ve been putting many of these to the test for months now to see how they’ve held up in extremely humid weather. I’ve also been able to test these in more normal climates during travels outside of Florida too.

Best Luxury Foundations and Powders from La Mer, Tom Ford Beauty, Chanel, Sisley and La Prairie | The Beauty Look Book

________________________

Before I start reviewing the ones that are new to me, I will say that the Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation and Concealer ($85 for 1 fl oz) has been my favorite and I still think it’s one of the best ones. I’ve used it in San Diego, Dallas, New York City, San Francisco and all over Florida. The formula holds up really well on super humid days at the beach, pool, Orlando theme parks and on various trips. It has perfect buildable coverage that I can build to full without it ever looking cakey or fake. The original review + swatches here. They’re also swatched next to MAC Studio Fix Fluid foundations. I’m anywhere from NC25 to NC37.

Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation and Concealer Review | The Beauty Look Book

________________________

Onto the new ones I’ve been putting to the test. Up first is the Chanel Sublimage Le Teint in 40 Beige ($135 for 1 oz). This is described as a lightweight cream foundation that you can build from light to medium coverage. It has the signature ingredients of their Sublimage skincare line which I have used before and love. Due to the high prices I haven’t repurchased their Texture Fine cream although it’s among the best I’ve tried.

The Sublimage Le Teint comes in a jar with a brush. A little goes a long way and it gives my skin a naturally radiant smooth look. Pores completely vanish and skin is smoothed in a way I’ve never seen with any other cream foundation. The only issue is that it’s not designed for normal, oily or combination skin. I was dissuaded at multiple counters from buying it because the reps said it’s only for those with dry skin. They happily made me a sample though and after using them up I ordered it online. I do find it hydrating but it’s still not too rich. It’s pure love for me, but if you have oily skin though it may be too rich for you.

Worn below is the Chanel Sublimage Le Teint 40, no concealer, set with La Mer Translucent Loose Powder, NARS Audacious Lipstick in Barbara, Diorshow Brow Styler in Universal Brown, Tom Ford Terra Bronzer on the cheeks and Chanel Ombre Premiere in Ray.

Chanel Sublimage Le Teint 40 Beige Review and Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

________________________

Next is the La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer and Foundation with SPF15 ($225 for 1 fl oz for the foundation and .07 oz for the concealer). I featured it on my face in this post here before wearing Satin Nude. This foundation has been raved about by so many, I didn’t know if it was just hype or if it was really that good. I’ve been testing this since August and it’s truly one of the most luxurious bases I’ve tried. The foundation provides full but natural looking coverage. It does have a dewy finish that you absolutely need to set with a powder, but it lasts all day without getting oily or cakey. The concealer has a matte finish. It’s a little bit lighter in color than the liquid/cream but very opaque. This has caviar extracts infused which are designed to lift and firm the skin. I’ve used this on and off since August. I haven’t used it on a daily basis to notice any skincare benefits but they way it looks and makes my skin feel is just amazing. I’ve found that it can settle into fine lines if my skin isn’t prepped well or moisturized enough, but that can be the case with almost any base.

Worn below is the La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer under the eyes and Foundation all over. I didn’t use any powder to set. Cheeks have a bit of the Tom Ford Gold Dust Bronzer, lips are NARS Audacious Lipstick in Barbara.

La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer and Foundation Satin Nude | The Beauty Look Book

________________________

Sisley has been widely raved about from many of you and I’ve been truly impressed with everything I’ve tried from the line. I was sent the Double Tenseur Instant Long-Term Gel ($192 for 1 fl oz) which is a multi-tasking product which I’ve used as a primer but over moisturizer. It does indeed help foundation last longer but I’m not the biggest fan of gel formulas. Still this performs really well and I like the way it feels on the skin. In terms of primers I actually prefer the Instant Eclat Instant Glow Primer. ($90 for 1 fl oz) I ordered this sight unseen and it’s a sheer opal pearl liquid cream. I want to say there must be a less expensive dupe for this but the way it looks and feels on the skin is unlike others I’ve tried. I give this a huge thumbs up as a primer.

Two other items I’ve tried and loved are the Phyto-Cernes Eclat Eye Concealer in #2 ($107 for 15 ml) and the Super Soin Solaire Teinte Tinted Sunscreen Cream SPF 30 in #2 ($170 for 1.3 fl oz/40 ml). There are several different tinted creams or tinted moisturizers from Sisley. The one I tried is a tinted sunscreen which seemed perfect for me in the Florida sunshine and heat. It’s been a staple for natural looking coverage in a sunscreen. The concealer is quite peachy and opaque but it blends out to brighten the under eye and prevents me from looking tired in the morning. It lasts long and doesn’t cake or crease on me. I apply with fingers but it does come with a little brush.

Worn below is the Solaire Teinte Tinted Sunscreen Cream in 2 Golden, Phyto Cernes Eclat 2 under eyes, La Mer Loose Translucent Powder to set and NARS Audacious Lipstick in Barbara + Kevyn Aucoin Molton Liquid Lipstick in Rose Gold. Cheeks have a bit of Tom Ford Gold Dust Bronzer.

Sisley-Paris Instant Eclat Glow Primer, Phyto Cernes Eclat Concealer, Double Tenseur, Sunscreen Tint | The Beauty Look Book

Swatches of the liquid foundations I use along with the ones I’ve featured in this post:

Foundation swatches via The Beauty Look Book

________________________

Many of you have asked about the new La Mer pressed powders. I used to be the biggest fan of their original loose powder and when they reformulated I was so upset I didn’t even want to try the new one. I finally did try The Powder ($95 for 8 g)which  is translucent and it’s one of my favorites for a natural looking finish that doesn’t leave a white cast. They recently launched the Sheer Pressed Powder ($95 for 10 g) in a Translucent color and three shades. I tried both Light and Medium as I usually prefer tinted powders for the pressed format, but often times powders darken my foundation even if it looks like it’s an exact match. I can wear both, if they made more shades I would be in between but the finish is sheer enough that’s it’s forgiving. It’s an amazing setting powder and I can’t quite explain how it works, but it’s sheer, lightweight and mattes the face naturally. Even though it is sheer and I can’t detect coverage it does smooth out the skin in a natural way with a blurring effect. Even though the shade selection is very limited I recommend you still give it a try, the sheerness makes the color more forgiving. A less expensive alternative would be the MAC Next to Nothing Powder but the textures are different. I splurged on the Powder Brush ($80) – it’s really one of the most luxurious ones I’ve tried.

La Mer The Powder and Sheer Pressed Powder Light and Medium Review

I have not tried the Soft Fluid Foundation or Concealer because when they launched I was not able to find a good match. I haven’t tried to look again since then – from what I recall most of the shades are not yellow enough for my skintone. Below is a color comparison of the powders. There’s a big gap between the La Mer Sheer Pressed Powder in Light and Medium. Other ones I use include the Charlotte Tilbury Flawless in #2, MAC Next to Nothing in Medium Plus and Armani Luminous Silk Compact #4.

La Mer Sheer Pressed Powder vs MAC Next to Nothing and Armani Luminous Silk Powder 4

________________________

A few of the extras rounded up below. When it comes to foundation I still find the beautyblender to be the best tool for application. It gives me smooth even coverage that I can control and is always streak-free. For powders a few of my favorite brushes.

Favorite Powder Brushes and Primers

I’m usually a no-primer kind of person as I don’t like extra layers of product on my face, but here are a few that I’ve tried recently that I like, especially for humid weather. I find the best all around primers I’ve tried are from Tarte and MAC, some other ones work better with corresponding branded foundations.

I know I’ve covered a lot in this roundup – I’ve reviewed a number of bases before but this edit has focused on ones I’d classify as high end / luxury formulas. Overall I’ve found these live up to expectations but my recommendation would depend on your personal preference for formula and your skin type. I was lucky to be able to find a good match in each formula I tried. I’ve put these to the test through extreme heat and humidity. There have been days over the summer and even until the end of September where the weather was so hot my skin started beading and dripping with sweat within 5 minutes of being outside. On those days nothing will really last well. However on days I’m indoors for the most of the time or out of the heat, I found each base lasted all day without sliding off or caking. My thoughts to sum up my testing:

  • Bases with best lasting power have been the Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation and Concealer and Sisley Tinted Sunscreen Cream.
  • Best full-coverage foundation that looks natural is Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation and Concealer.
  • Best for smoothing pores and giving the skin a radiant but not greasy glow is the Chanel Sublimage Le Teint, although this is probably best for normal to dry skin.
  • Most natural looking is the Sisley Tinted Sunscreen Cream, but color selection is very limited.
  • Best loose powder for me right now is the La Mer Loose Translucent hands down.
  • Do I think the La Mer Pressed Powder is worth it? Absolutely yes, but if I were to do it over again I would have picked either Translucent or just Light. Medium would have worked for me over the summer here, but I’ve been staying out of the sun for weeks now and have lost my tan. As amazing as it is, there are less expensive alternatives I really like such as the MAC Next to Nothing, Armani Luminous Silk and Laura Mercier Candleglow.
  • Would I recommend the La Mer Loose or Pressed Powder? The Loose for formula and finish, but it’s not really travel-friendly or easy to put in your purse for daytime touch ups.
  • What’s the best for oily skin? I would say the two bases I’d recommend for oily skin aren’t ones I’ve featured here, I’d recommend the NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint or Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion (both reviewed here).
  • Is the La Prairie worth the splurge? I’m conflicted on this as it’s one of the most expensive foundations on the market and while it’s amazing in every way, I think if you just need a good base you can definitely find one for less. That being said it does have skincare ingredients and also has a concealer built in, so you do get two in one. The packaging design is well made and easy to use. It’s travel friendly and I really have no complaints.

That wraps it up for my luxury base testing. I hope you found this helpful in the event you had your eye on any of these and wanted a comprehensive review. All this being said I don’t think you need to spend a lot of money on a foundation or powder. These days there are so many options you can definitely find one that works for less. With the ones I tested I feel lucky I didn’t find any disappointments as they are extremely expensive.

If you have any questions or need additional recommendations let me know in the comments. Otherwise I’d love to hear about your current foundation, powder or primer favs. It can be luxury or at any price point. Let me know what you’ve been loving!

Press samples featured include the Sisley-Paris Double Tenseur, La Prairie Skin Caviar, Tom Ford Waterproof, MAC Next to Nothing Pressed Powder, MAC 140S brush, NARS Audacious Lipstick in Barbara.

P.S. I’m running weekly giveaways until the end of the year! Check out the giveaway of the week here.

Base Makeup Dior Highlighters

Dior Makeup Holiday, Lip + Base Haul

October 13, 2017

Dior Haul, Holiday, Lip and Base | The Beauty Look BookI have a collective haul post today with some Dior bits. Over the past few months I’ve been using a lot of their base products and found some new favorites. Some mini collections have launched new products such as the Rouge Dior Liquid Lip and Metalizer for Eyes that I’ve been testing. So many of you have asked about the Rouge Dior Liquid Lip Stains and I picked out two (thoughts below). Holiday has also launched and I picked up three items from the collection to review today. So there’s a little bit of everything in today’s roundup post. I hauled these items from both Nordstrom and Sephora but you should be able to find most everything at all Dior counters now (I think holiday is still trickling in stores).

For holiday Dior has a mix of items with shimmers and mattes. The eyeshadow palettes look gorgeous in the formulas but colors aren’t really up my alley like they were in previous years so I limited my picks to three things:

  • Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer in Precious Rocks 001 is one of the smoothest shimmer highlighters I’ve tried. It’s so unique with an opalescent shimmer quality. To me it has a pinkish beige tinge and depending on how the light catches it, sometimes it will look more warm/gold but if you see it in person I think you’ll see it’s definitely more pink. On my olive medium tone skin this has a light opal pink finish. If you are fair this may look more peachy/deeper on you. When I first swatched it I thought it was going to be a near dupe for the regular Nude Air Luminizer in 002 but it’s not (comparisons below).
  • Diorific Matte Fluid Lip & Cheek Velvet Colour in Charm is something I had high hopes for since last year’s options were just perfect and festive for holiday. I picked up one shade in Charm which is different from last year’s Charm. This year is a nude pink but it dries down to a dusty finish. If you are lighter in complexion than me or darker I think it will look more flattering. On me it just makes me look a little dead. Drydown is nice for a matte, but it’s more of a satiny matte.
  • Diorific Vernis Nail Lacquer in Ruby is a metallic pink ruby red and the shimmer is smooth and free of brush strokes. It has some pink which gives it a more youthful effect compared to a traditional red.

Dior Holiday 2017 PicksDior Haul Swatches

Diorific Matte Fluid Lip & Cheek Velvet Colour Charm

Diorific Vernis Nail Lacquer in Ruby

Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer Precious Rocks Shimmering Sculpting Powder | The Beauty Look Book

Comparisons below to some older Dior Highlighters, turns out I had Glowing Gardens from a million years ago in my backup stash.

Diorskin Nude Air Luminizers | The Beauty Look Book

Additional pink highlighter comparison swatches to Laura Mercier Face Illuminator in Devotion, By Terry Compact Expert in #3, Diorskin Nude Air Glowing Gardens 001 in Glowing Pink (discontinued), Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer 001, 002 and 004.

Diorskin Nude Air Luminizers | The Beauty Look Book

__________________________

I’ve been a long-time fan of the Dior Airflash Foundation but anyone who has tried it knows it’s one that takes a bit of time to apply. I tried some other foundations and concealers from the line and love everything I’ve bought. My base picks and testing include:

  • Diorskin Forever Perfect Foundation in 21 and 31 – this isn’t a new formula but for some reason it escaped my radar for a long time. I’ve featured it in my summer base edit here. I matched myself and in store 30 was perfect. When I got home I applied it and found it oxidized a full shade darker and looked very pink. I went back and found that 21 and 31 have a more yellow undertone and since I tan easily (and loose my tan just as easily) I decided on both to mix the colors. The formula is medium but buildable to full coverage and looks natural. It holds up well in the humidity here and I love the way it covers everything up evenly.
  • Diorskin Forever Perfect Cushion Foundation in 21 and 30 – this was a newer launch last month in the US and is one of the best in-between cushions for coverage. Most cushions I’ve tried are either very sheer or very opaque. This is a good in the middle option. Colors are very limited though – I wish they would expand the line! I was lucky to find two matches. Again I picked out two shades 21 and 30 (since they don’t have a 31).
  • Diorskin Forever Undercover Concealer in 30 and 31 – is also a new launch, I can’t remember the last time I tried a Dior concealer so I can’t compare this to others, but this has impressive coverage with smooth creamy texture. It is similar to NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer but the Dior isn’t quite as creamy or emollient and it has a slightly more matte finish. I use this both under the eyes and on spots. 30 is more neutral and 31 is more yellow.

Diorskin Forever Perfect Cushion Foundation, Diorskin Forever Perfect Foundation and Diorskin Forever Undercover Concealer | The Beauty Look Book

Diorskin Forever Perfect Cushion Foundation, Diorskin Forever Perfect Foundation and Diorskin Forever Undercover Concealer swatches | The Beauty Look Book

Additional misc items below, I saved the worst for last. Sorry to be harsh but these weren’t up my alley. I had such high hopes for these too!

  • Rouge Dior Liquid Lip Stain in Vibrant Metal and Delicate Satin – I am a huge fan of the Rouge Dior Brilliant Lipshine & Care Couture Colour so I thought I’d like these. There are a few finishes: Satin, Matte and Metal. I knew I wouldn’t like the mattes so I tried the other two. The Vibrant Metal shade looks so pretty in the tube and swatched on the hand but on my lips it’s like I straight up applied this hideous copper orange foil onto my face. Delicate Satin is a more wearable color and I actually like it for a warm neutral rose pink brown. I just find the formula too airy and mousse-like, it has that silicone powdery feel which I don’t like on the lips. It also wears off really easily. I suspect that matte ones wear better but since I really don’t like mattes on my lips because they make them look like raisins I passed.
  • Metalizer Eyes & Lips Cream Shadow in Platine Fusion – is a metallic cream shadow that you can use on the lips or eyes. I felt these were best suited for eyes. It has a very fluid texture in a squeeze tube that doesn’t retain its shape well. The color is swatched in the top swatch photo and you can see the color is very standard and basic. I will say that it does have great lasting power – once you put it on it doesn’t budge, but I’m just not the biggest fan of the finish (it is sheer but buildable) and the packaging style just wasn’t my cup of tea.

Dior Metalizer Eyes & Lips Cream Shadow in Platine Fusion, Rouge Dior Liquid Lip Stain in Vibrant Metal and Delicate Satin | The Beauty Look Book

Rouge Dior Liquid Lip Stain in Vibrant Metal and Delicate Satin | The Beauty Look Book

Dior Haul | The Beauty Look Book

One last look wearing the following items:

Dior Holiday Precious Rocks Highlighter and Rouge Dior Liquid in Delicate Satin | The Beauty Look Book

You can find the Dior items online and in store now. I bought holiday items from Nordstrom and some other items from Sephora. So far I’ve only seen Dior Holiday online at Nordstrom, Dior.com and Neiman Marcus but it should be up on other sites soon!

Have you tried the Dior foundations or concealers yet? If not what’s your current favorite? If you picked up anything from holiday let me know!

Base Makeup Chanel

Chanel Les Beiges Collection Summer 2017

July 28, 2017

Chanel Les Beiges Collection Summer 2017 | The Beauty Look Book

The Chanel Les Beiges Collection this year brings us a some new products including a new foundation formula, new brush, two new cheek colors, a natural eyeshadow palette and some repromotes. I have four items I’ve been testing this month thanks to the Chanel team and am happy to report the collection exceeded my expectations. There have been mixed reviews about this year’s launch, after testing this I do think it’s going to be a hit or miss for you depending on how natural or pigmented you like your makeup. For me it’s a hit. In today’s review:

The Les Beiges Gel Touch Healthy Glow Tint is an interesting base. If you like BB creams or dewy sheer bases you will love this one. I had expected this to be a cushion – but it’s not really cushion like. It has a soft flexible mesh top where you press a sponge into to absorb product. There was some excess that had oozed out around the edges when I opened and I swatched with my fingers and barely saw any coverage. Quick tip is to use the sponge – it’s amazing what a difference there is in application when you apply it with the sponge. I’ve been a long-time fan of the original Les Beiges Healthy Glow Colour Powder in 20 as a setting powder but subsequent Les Beiges launches have often let me down – the newer bases and tints have been tricky to work with sometimes.

Chanel Les Beiges Gel Touch Healthy Glow Tint 30 and 40 | The Beauty Look Book

The Gel Tint compact is smaller around in size compared to other Les Beiges compacts, but it’s also taller.

Chanel Les Beiges Gel Touch Healthy Glow Tint 30 and 40 | The Beauty Look Book

Swatches of 30 and 40:

Chanel Les Beiges Gel Touch Healthy Glow Tint 30 and 40 | The Beauty Look Book

Comparison swatches to the Dior Dreamskin Cushion in 30 (which looks dark but actually matches once blended out), Saturday Skin All Aglow Sunscreen Perfection Cushion in 5 Honey and 6 Goldie, Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion in 25.

Chanel Les Beiges Gel Touch Healthy Glow Tint 30 and 40 vs Dior Saturday Skin Sulwhasoo | The Beauty Look Book

Coverage is sheer but still noticeable. There’s enough coverage to cover redness, even out skintone and see color on the skin. Shade-wise I wish there were more yellow-toned options. 30 looks a bit light and pink on my skin but it does adjust and darken on me – my skin is weird these days, some foundations darken quite a bit after they dry down. 40 is the right undertone but it matches when I have a tan. As mentioned in a few recent posts, if I’m out of the sun for even 2-3 days I lose my tan very quickly. Since there is sun everywhere in Florida it’s impossible to avoid the sun – so my skintone changes frequently. Long story short – I can wear either 30 or 40.

I think the Gel Touch Cushion is better suited for normal to dry skin, but even in the hot humid weather I’ve found it stayed put all day and didn’t slide off in the humidity. You do need to set with a powder – when testing this I set with the Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour Powder in 20 and it helped to tone down the glow but still keep the skin looking radiant and glowy.

Next up are the two Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour Sticks in 23 (sheer warm pink) and 24 (sheer apricot). Both have a very natural sheen to them and I believe 23 and 24 are new shades. I tried these when they launched a few years ago and found the pigment lacking once you blended them out on the skin. The pigment in this years’ has improved significantly – but they are still very natural looking. They have a satiny almost velvet finish so they’re not like regular creams. I found they lasted and stayed put all day.

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour Stick Blush | The Beauty Look Book Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour Stick Blush | The Beauty Look Book

Last but not least is the Healthy Glow Natural Eyeshadow Palette. Reviews on this have been all over the place in terms of reviewing the pigment. I found all the colors performed well with good pigment – they are all sheer to medium for a soft natural eye though. If you’re looking for high impact rich pigment this is not the palette for you. For me it’s a great fool-proof everyday kind of palette. If you have dry lids or us a matte primer the shadows most likely won’t show up as well as they are very soft – try using a more emollient base and the colors will show up better. I used the Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Stick in Rose Gold to prep my lids.

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Natural Eyeshadow Palette Review Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

In the palette you have a sheer beige base, a soft cool brown, a soft warm brown, a satiny charcoal brown and a shimmering champagne. Everything is soft with a diffused look to them. For the person who wants natural definition to their eyes this is just perfect.

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Natural Eyeshadow Palette Review Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Natural Eyeshadow Palette Review Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

It has a similar vibe to the Dior Eye Reviver Palette which I found way too sheer and natural for me. It also reminded me a bit of the Urban Decay Naked2 Basics so I swatched them side by side.

Dior Eye Reviver vs Chanel Les Beiges Natural Eyeshadow Palette vs Urban Decay Naked2 Basics | The Beauty Look Book

A beauty look with just the Les Beiges Gel Touch Healthy Glow Tint in 30 on the left side. On the right look:

Chanel Les Beiges

Chanel Les Beiges Collection Summer 2017 | The Beauty Look Book

Bottom line I like the collection a lot more than I expected. For me the winner is the Natural Eyeshadow Palette – it’s great for everyday when you just need a little color or a fool-proof conservative palette to add definition without looking like you have a lot of makeup on. I really like this year’s launch of the Blush Sticks – the pigment is a lot better than it was a few years ago but they still look natural. For a cream they stay put for a good amount of time but that being said they’re still creams so if you’re going to be outdoors in humid weather for an extended period of time they’re not going to be budge-proof. The Gel Touch Tint is going to be hit or miss for you depending on skin tone and skin type. I think if you like moisturizing dewy bases you’ll love this. I like it more than I expected and I found a few color matches although I would prefer it to have more of a yellow/olive undertone. I did just buy the Dior Forever Perfect Cushion in 21 and Forever Undercover Concealer in 30 and 31 and I’m testing some bases from Sisley-Paris so you may want to stay tuned for those reviews.

You can find the Chanel Les Beiges collection now online at Chanel.com and at all Chanel counters. P.S. The new brushes have launched as well along with some new nail and lip colors! I’ll be reviewing some of the brushes soon – I’m currently putting them to the test.

Have you tried anything from this year’s Les Beiges collection?

Press samples include the Chanel Les Beiges Gel Tint in 30, Les Beiges Blush Sticks in 23 and 24, Les Beiges Eyeshadow Palette and Le Rouge Crayon in Beige Rose. All other items purchased by me.

 

Base Makeup Beauty Favorites

Summer Foundation and Base Edit

July 7, 2017

Best Summer Foundations for Warm Weather | The Beauty Look Book

By popular request I have a roundup of foundations and bases I’ve been testing since I’ve moved to Florida where the weather is warm, sunny and humidity levels are very noticeable. By comparison, San Diego is very dry although to me it always felt moderate and what I considered normal. We live in the Tampa Bay area and so far the humidity isn’t quite as bad as I had expected. I’m saying this because in December we drove to Key West which is extremely wet and humid feeling – so humid the air feels like you’re walking around in a sauna. Also a few years ago we took almost a month to travel throughout Europe through Italy and the Mediterranean in late June. It was so scorching hot and humid during out travels I completely gave up wearing makeup on most of the days after trying and failing. That being said, yes Florida is humid and hot and finding a makeup base that stays put, doesn’t budge and that won’t slide off has been a challenge.

To date I haven’t found any makeup base or combination of products can truly 100% last or stand up to serious humidity especially if I sweat. I’m the type of person who doesn’t break a sweat easily but since moving to Florida I start sweating if I’m outside for 5 minutes and there’s no wind or breeze. I’m rounding up what I’ve tested by formula and coverage and note what I’ve found wears the best. Even though it’s humid here the reality is that both Andrew and I are rarely outside for long consecutive hours unless we’re at the beach or a park doing touristy things. Also even on those occasions we can take a break from the heat while in the car with the AC or take a stop at a coffee shop or restaurant.

Up first are the more natural looking foundations with sheer to medium coverage. The most requested reviews I get are for BB Creams and CC creams and I am sad to say that those are products I really do not like. Most feel thick on my skin or look pink in undertone. As one with really yellow/olive skin I can’t do bases that have pink so unfortunately I will probably not review any. Also a quick note on shades – many of you have commented over the years that you’re the same shade as me. Since moving to Tampa I’ve tanned quite a bit – it’s something I can’t avoid. I also lose my tan quickly so my color changes on a weekly basis. Because of this annoying fact I have to mix colors a lot – more than I ever have.

Shown below from left to right:

  • MAC Next to Nothing Face Color is the sheerest base I’ll do. It really has a super natural tint but adheres well to the skin. I fluctuate between Medium and Medium Plus. The shades run on the pink side but since the formula is so sheer it’s really forgiving. Review and swatches of all shades here.
  • Bobbi Brown Nude Finish Tinted Moisturizer with SPF15 is more like a natural foundation. It’s sheer like a tinted moisturizer but gives better coverage than most that I’ve tried. It does contain Octinoxate 7.5% and Titanium Dioxide 3% so if those cause problems for your skin you may want to skip. I had no issues with this formula for my skin. If I were still in San Diego I would probably use this more regularly – since it has a mild moisturizing quality it can get a little bit dewy. I bought mine at Nordstrom but Bobbi Brown Online has more shades available.
  • NARS Charlotte Gainsbourg Hydrating Glow Tint is one that really surprised me. It’s hydrating but not too rich or heavy. It makes the skin glow naturally  Review and swatches of all shades here. It was limited-edition so may be hard to track down.
  • NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint with SPF 30 is one you’ll see me wearing a lot in beauty looks or lip swatches. This one has Octinoxate 7.5% and Octisalate 3% – it’s one that doesn’t irritate my skin and has a natural looking finish that isn’t too matte, just naturally velvety. I wear St. Moritz now but on my lighter wear Groenland or mix the two.
  • Diorskin Forever Foundation SPF 35 is one of the best foundation bases I’ve ever tried. The only downside is finding a match can be a bit tricky. I tested 30 and 31 first – in store I had one on each side and they both matched perfectly. When I got home and tested again I found they sometimes darkened about a 1/2 shade. 31 is more yellow while 30 is more pink so I kept 31. I went back to find the next shade down which is 21 (even though there are a lot of shades in between). 21 is the most yellow. If you’re normally my skintone go with either 21 or 25. I use both 21 and 31 mixed together to get my perfect match. For me it’s 100% worth it because this looks naturally flawless on the skin and gives me exactly the coverage I want. It also stays put the best for me. It has 3% Octinoxate and 1.75% Titanium Dioxide.

Sheer to Medium Foundations | The Beauty Look Book

Sheer to Medium Foundations | The Beauty Look Book

______________________________

Next up medium to full coverage foundations which is what I usually prefer. Most people, friends and family included don’t realize that I’m almost always wearing a full coverage foundation until they see me with bare skin and see all my freckles. I was active in outdoor sports while in high school and even though that was YEARS ago I still got a lot of freckles and sun spots from being outside a lot. I have tried a number of whitening/brightening treatments over the years which has helped with acne scars and dark spots but I still have a lot of freckles.

Shown left to right:

  • Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation and Concealer is hands down my most-worn foundation base. It offers medium to full buildable coverage and I love everything about it. For me Tom Ford Beauty has the best foundation shades to match my skin tone. It blends easily and covers my skin exactly how I like it without getting cakey. It lasts an impressive amount of time without sliding, creasing or budging. Review + swatches here.
  • Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation is the newest one I’ve tried. I got an early sneak peek at some of the shades and given my challenge finding a match in the Candleglow version I was skeptical about this one. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how good a formula is for a base – if there’s no decent match, it’s going to be a no-go. I was lucky to find my match to either Buff or Dusk. Right now Dusk is the better match because it’s more olive. On a few occasions I have found I need to mix in a bit of Macadamia to lighten it just a slight amount. I am extremely impressed with this formula. You do need to blend quickly as it dries and sets in a short amount of time. Once it sets it gives a flawless finish that looks matte but not flat. This is one of the few true matte finishes I’ve tried that I like the look of. I’ve found it pretty budge-proof – this is one I wore this on the 4th of July. I applied a fresh face of makeup in the early evening before we headed downtown to scope out some firework locations. I had this on from 4:00 pm until around midnight. That evening the air wasn’t too and we were thrilled that it actually stopped raining by the time we found parking and walked a mile to downtown. After looking around the Channelside area we decided downtown was not for us so we walked back to our car and drove to Hyde Park Village for dinner. After we then walked another mile to Bayshore Boulevard to watch the fireworks. All this rambling is to explain how this formula held up. The humidity was probably the highest I’ve felt here to date – this one held up remarkably well although I did get very glowy looking, it did not slide off or budge.
  • Giorgio Armani Power Fabric is another long-lasting full coverage foundation that works well in this heat. Before I had to mix 4 and 6. Right now I’m probably 6.5 which is more golden, but I can make 6 work. If you can find a shade match this an exceptionally good one for lasting power.
  • Hourglass Vanish Seamless Foundation Stick is one of my top picks for foundation sticks in this humidity. While in San Diego in my winter skintone I wore Warm Ivory. I’ve since moved up to Nude but only use this on areas I need extra coverage. It does warm up/darken a little. Right now I could probably use the next shade up but since I don’t use this all over my face I haven’t bought it yet.

Medium to Full Coverage Foundations | The Beauty Look Book

Medium to Full Coverage Foundation Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

______________________________

Next are cushions. I’ve always been interested in cushions but testers usually look pretty gross and also finding the right shade can be a challenge. Korean brands tend to run pink (at least the ones I’ve tried) but I’ve had luck with a few in the past. The best thing about the cushions is that they usually come with a refill pack so you’re getting 1 plus a backup. Right now there are 3 cushions I really like:

  • Dior Capture Totale Dreamskin Cushion is one I featured in my sunscreen story. It has SPF 50 and isn’t really a foundation but actually a skincare product. I can use this alone or as a base for other foundations. I think the swatches can be a bit misleading because you have to put this on your skin to see how it matches. 30 looks way too dark for me but because it’s sheer it blends in seamlessly with my skin.
  • Saturday Skin All Algow Sunscreen Perfecting Cushion Compact with SPF 50 is probably the best cushion I’ve tried. I ordered two shades online sight unseen. 05 Honey is my match as this darkens just a tiny bit on my skin. Color selection is pretty limited – so far I’ve only been able to find 4 total, 3 are available at Nordstrom and all 4 are available at Urban Outfitters. It offers medium to full coverage but pulls more towards the full size. It gives the skin a very natural looking glow without being too dewy. It also stays put and doesn’t budge. Active Ingredients are Octocrylene 2%, Octyle Methoxycinnamate 7%, Octyle Saliclate 4.8%, Titanium Dioxide 9%, Zinc Oxide 2%.
  • Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion has full coverage with limited shades. I bought the Brightening Version while in New York in 25 and 33 and after testing them at home was so disappointed to find they are simply too pink for my skin. I ordered the Perfecting Cushion in 25 to try instead which has fuller coverage and a better match. This darkens about one full shade on my skin. The formula is a bit on the heavy side for my preference but still holds up well in warm weather. I don’t hate this but don’t love it – I suspect it’s due to the fact that I don’t have a 100% shade match but I can make Shade 25 Deep Beige work for me.

Cushions Dior Dreamskin Cushion, Saturday Skin All Alglow Cushion, Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion | The Beauty Look Book

Cushions Dior Dreamskin Cushion, Saturday Skin All Alglow Cushion, Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

______________________________

Next are a few miscellaneous items I love for powders, concealers and a couple tools. I own a lot of loose powders but in general prefer pressed ones because they’re not as messy and easier for touch ups.

Best Pressed Powders, Concealers and Tools | The Beauty Look Book

For pressed powders:

  • Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Skin Perfecting Micro-Powder has one of the longest product names I think I’ve ever seen but it’s seriously THE best pressed powder I’ve tried. I saw this applied in action on my BFF at a Charlotte Tilbury event. Her foundation/base had completely worn off already and she told the artist she didn’t really want to try the foundation. The artist applied #1 on her skin and it was literally transformed into a smooth flawless canvas in front of my eyes. My shade is #2 and although I think she could add more options this one has been my go-to for at least a couple years now.
  • Armani Luminous Silk Compact Dual-Use Powder is another great setting powder. This one has more color options compared to the Charlotte Tilbury. It offers medium natural coverage and comes with a dual-sided sponge so you can either apply it for sheer or more full coverage. I use a powder brush to set my liquid foundation with this one for the most part. The sponge is something I use for touch ups. Even though I’ve darkened quite a bit I’ve still found Shade #4 to work perfectly for me.
  • MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium Plus is one of the few mineral powders I actually like. I tried so many when mineral powders were in – so many just looked too heavy on the skin, even after buffing it in. This one offers medium coverage and I use a brush to set my foundation. It gives an airbrushed finish but it’s not completely weightless in feel. It is a very natural looking product though and holds up well with the heat/humidity.

For concealers, I really don’t find myself using concealer a lot anymore. I simply don’t need it with good coverage foundations but my 3 most-used ones:

Concealer Swatches Cle de Peau Beaute, MUFE, NARS | The Beauty Look Book

Tools, an updated brush tool series coming up soon on the blog, but for now my two must-haves:

  • beautyblender is the best foundation application tool I’ve used. I’ve tried a number of the different colors and while technically they should all perform the same, I don’t find they do. The best ones for me are the original beautyblender (bright pink), bubble and nude. Review from a few years ago in this post here.
  • MAC Brush 140 S Synthetic Full Fan Brush is probably the best powder brush I own. It launched with the MAC Next to Nothing collection and has the perfect density and softness to pick up powder and apply it in a sweeping motion all over the face.

I wasn’t able to face swatch and photograph all the foundations, but here’s a look at two and also what my bare face looks like. With the Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Foundation in Dusk I’m just wearing the foundation (no powder to set). It was taken with a low flash and I didn’t get any white cast or flashback. Lipstick is MAC Faux.

Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation and Concealer photographs the best in my experience. This was also taken with a flash and I’m facing a sliding glass door so some natural light is on my face. Lipstick worn here is Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk (you can also see it on me when I was a shade lighter here).

Foundation Face Swatches Tom Ford and Laura Mercier | The Beauty Look Book

I hope this roundup was helpful for you! A few notes on other formulas I tested, previous favorites and why I don’t use them as much now:

  • The Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer worked better for me when I was in San Diego. Right now it’s really too dewy for my skin type. It’s still a great product for sheer coverage.
  • The Make Up For Ever Ultra HD is still an amazing line for the liquid and stick foundation. I used my shades up the first month I arrived here (this was back in March). Since I’ve gotten darker I haven’t had a chance to investigate other shades to find what my current match is.
  • The Becca Aqua Luminous Foundation is too luminous for me right now. Earlier in the spring or even when I was here in December it worked perfectly. Right now it’s a no-go just because I have normal/combo skin.
  • I will be testing the new Diorskin Forever and Chanel Les Beiges cushions. Will keep you posted. I have tried the Lancome Cushion but it’s really heavy in coverage – too heavy for me.
  • MAC Studio Fix Fluid is one of the most full coverage foundations I’ve tried, I do like the formula but it’s a bit too opaque for me on its own. I can wear it and find it has impressive lasting power in this heat but I need to mix it with a Strobe Cream or something along those lines to sheer it out for my coverage preference.

Some final thoughts and favorites:

  • Best foundation for me is anything from Tom Ford, but right now my favorite formula is definitely the Waterproof Foundation/Concealer. I used to use Bisque. Now I alternate between Natural (more neutral) and Sable (more olive/yellow).
  • Longest lasting matte base is the new Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion. If you have normal to dry skin definitely make sure your skin is well moisturized or add a hydrating primer. Reason for this is it’s medium to full coverage and matte formulas can emphasize lines. For me this one went on flawlessly without a primer but my skin is a bit more combination with the heat/humidity.
  • My most-used concealer is from NARS.
  • Best sheer/natural looking foundation is the NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint.
  • Best new discoveries this year for me are the Diorskin Forever Foundation and Saturday Skin All Aglow Cushion.
  • I really can’t pick 1 favorite powder (sorry!) – it’s tie between the Charlotte Tilbury and Armani. If you want a flawless truly airbrushed look go with the Charlotte Tilbury. However shades are  limited as there are only 3 so the next best option is Armani. The Armani has sheerer coverage with a brush.
  • For other touch ups and this heat I swear by the Tatcha Japanese Blotting Papers. While my in-laws were visiting we went to Orlando. All of us were sweating with the heat, humidity and thunder showers. I kinda forced them to use these – even my husband didn’t want to use it, he looked at the little square and said “there’s no way that’s going to help.” I gave them 2 each and assured them it really would help and after they tried it I was really happy to find that they did feel a lot better after using them.

Finding a good base in truly humid weather is going to be a challenge and results will definitely vary depending where you are located. Even within the Tampa Bay area humidity levels vary depending on how close I am to the coast. We live in one of the canal areas and while we aren’t directly on the bay we can see if from our house. Temperatures just a few miles inland in certain areas fluctuate and since the weather changes by the hour here so there are some times and places where it’s so hot literally nothing will truly stay put.

For those who are looking for a new base to try I hope this gave you some good ideas. If you have any you swear by let me know in the comments!

Press samples featured include the Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion, MAC Next to Nothing, Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer, MAC Brush 140S Brush. All others purchased by me.

Base Makeup Beauty Tools MAC

MAC Next to Nothing Face Colour and Pressed Powder

April 30, 2017

MAC Next to Nothing Review and Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

MAC recently launched a new line of base products for a natural look with new formulas of foundation, powder and two brushes in their Next to Nothing collection. The items are designed for a natural skin-like effect to give a radiant look to the face. I’ve found that over the years MAC base and powder formulas have been hit or miss for me. I have super sensitive skin and tried their Studio Fix Powder Foundation when I was in high school and it caused severe allergic reactions on my skin. To this day I approach their powders and foundations with caution only doing a patch test first. I can safely use their primers, skincare and some foundations without any issues and was thrilled to find that the Next to Nothing line works well for my super sensitive skin.

In the collection we have:

Next to Nothing Face Colour comes in 9 shades from Light to Dark Deep, my shade is either Medium or Medium Plus. This is a super sheer tinted cream foundation that allows the skin to breathe. It’s sheer but has enough pigment to even out the skin slightly. This is what I wanted the Make Up For Ever Waterblend Foundation to be (which broke me out and felt too sticky for my skin, I suspect I had an allergic reaction to the fragrance). The effect of the MAC Next to Nothing is similar to that of the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer (which I’ve re-discovered and love) but the MAC is less dewy and not as moisturizing. If you need coverage this will probably not be the foundation for you, although you can definitely use this as a good base and then take a higher coverage foundation and layer on top for a more lightweight feel. There’s no detectable scent, it comes in a glass bottle with a pump, it’s easy to blend, it’s lightweight and lasts all day. Shades do run on the pinkish side but since the formula is sheer I was lucky that they worked on my yellow olive skin.

MAC Next to Nothing Review and Swatches | The Beauty Look Book MAC Next to Nothing Face Colour Review and Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

The #141 Synthetic Face Fan Brush is an odd shaped brush designed for the foundation. It performs well and gives the face a streak-free foundation application. It’s soft without being pokey but I’m still very much a sponge person when it comes to foundation application. That being said it’s a very good brush, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed if you try it.

Next to Nothing Powder/Pressed comes in 9 color options. I received 3 as press samples but none of them were a match so I ordered two more sight unseen in Medium Plus and Medium Dark since I’ve been getting darker since moving to Florida. My Mineralize Skinfinish Natural shade is Medium Plus and in the Next to Nothing Powder I can wear either Medium Plus or Medium Dark. Right now I’m in between shades. This is a finely milled powder that has a lightweight finish. It is very soft to the touch with an almost creamy feel. On the skin it has a more natural looking finish compared to the Mineralize Skinfinish Powder. Next to Nothing also feels just like the name implies next to nothing. There is a very tiny bit of fine pearl in the powder so it blurs the skin. For me I feel like the shades swatch a little bit on the lighter side, they look lighter in my swatches compared to what I see in the pan, but they will adjust slightly on the skin as it warms up. They do not oxidize in color on me though. I really love this powder.

MAC Next to Nothing Powder Review and Swatches | The Beauty Look Book MAC Next to Nothing Powder Review and Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

Compared to some of my other favorites Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Powder #2, Armani Powder Foundation #4, and MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium Plus. If you asked me to pick one favorite, I would not be able to. I would say the sheerest is MAC Next to Nothing, Armani Luminous Silk Powder Foundation is what I use to set with a brush, MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural feels a bit thicker compared to other powders due to the mineral finish. The Charlotte Tilbury has the fullest coverage for me.

Pressed Powder Charlotte Tilbury, Armani, MAC | The Beauty Look Book

#140 Synthetic Full Fan Brush is THE best thing in this collection and probably the best powder brush I’ve ever tried. I’m a huge fan of flatter powder brushes because I find they are easier to dust my entire face compared to a round brush. Flat brushes can be tricky for me though – some are too dense or too floppy. This one has the perfect density, shape, size and feel. I’m going to need to order a couple more – I like to have multiples for powders on hand for blending and application.

Overall as a sensitive skin person I’m thrilled to find that both the powder and foundation worked for me and did not cause any allergic reactions. I’m typically a medium to full coverage kind of girl for base products but my skin has improved over the years so I can get away with less coverage these days. Also with the heat in Florida I feel the need to find lighter weight products that will allow my skin to breathe. It’s only the start of spring and I know it will get warmer in the upcoming months. This will be one I use frequently even if I will still need to layer.

Have you tried these yet? If you’re a natural or sheer base kind of beauty lover, what other brands/formulas do you love? You can find the MAC Next to Nothing Collection available now. Online at MAC, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s and soon at Ulta Beauty.

 

MAC products provided as press samples for review. Two MAC powders purchased by me.

Base Makeup NARS

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer vs Radiant Creamy Concealer

February 17, 2017

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer vs Radiant Creamy Concealer | The Beauty Look Book

NARS launched a new concealer called the Soft Matte Complete Concealer ($30 for 0.21 oz) and being the fan that I am of their bases I knew I had to try it. To date the Radiant Creamy Concealer ($30 for 0.22 oz) has been one of my favorites for under the eye and around the nose to help with redness and create a more brighter more awake look. Since I tan easily and also because I use a different shade under the eyes versus spot concealing, I rotate between three shades. I used to mix Custard and Ginger together for my best match. Then NARS added another color in between which is Macadamia with slight peachy tones. This one is perfect for me as I actually prefer something with the tiniest bit of peach for under eyes. The warmth helps brighten the eye are for me. For the Soft Matte Complete Concealer, I ordered the same three shades. The colors are pretty close between formulas for the ones I bought, not identical but pretty close.

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer vs Radiant Creamy Concealer | The Beauty Look Book

The Soft Matte Complete Concealer offers full-coverage finish with a soft matte look. It’s oil free, light weight yet ultra pigmented so a little goes a long way. It feels creamy and soft to the touch, almost like it has just the slightest bit of bounce. I tried it under the eyes and on a few spots using the finger to dab and blend. Under the eyes it was like an instant eye lift with a blurring effect. It didn’t cake or darken and lasted all day (I did set with powder). For spots it didn’t cover them 100%, but I would say that it still did a really good job at covering them to about 85% of the way. For the corners around the nose it works well to reduce redness.

Color-wise these look a bit dark in the pot. Also side by side I thought they all looked the same in the container. Even when swatched on the back of my hand and arm I thought they were all going to be too dark but they actually work better than I expected on the face. I love that it blends effortlessly on the skin and even though the coverage is near full it still manages to look natural on the skin. I will say that I have normal combo skin – since it’s matte and opaque I do think if you have dry under eyes it could emphasize dry patches. In this case I would just make sure you have a good primer to hydrate the eye area (I like the Marc Jacobs Coconut Primer for dry skin days).

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer vs Radiant Creamy Concealer | The Beauty Look Book

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer

3 shades of the matte formula swatched on the face, under eye area and along jawline, on the lips is Kat Von D Beauty Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Ludwig:

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer | The Beauty Look Book

Custard was too light for me, but I put Macadamia on one side and Ginger on the other, both look like they’re a good match, right now I have a slight preference for Macdamia:

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer | The Beauty Look Book

The Radiant Creamy Concealer has been a long-time go-to for me. I tend to prefer something with a tiny bit of radiance because I find it blends better on my skin type and also looks more natural. Matte often looks too opaque, too matte and therefore a bit fake on the skin. For years the Radiant Creamy Concealer was one of the few I could use under the eyes no matter what condition my skin was in regardless of season and weather. I still love it.

If I had to pick one, I would say Radiant Creamy wins because of the packaging and also because I like something a bit more creamy. I’m not the biggest fan of pots because they tend to get messy. I also really don’t like matte finishes because I find they don’t work the best with my skin – they tend to emphasize pores, imperfections and look cakey. However for a matte formula the new Soft Matte Complete Concealer is seriously impressive and I do think it’s worth owning even if you have the other formulas. I found it easy to blend, but that being said if you need something with a bit more slip to blend easier, go with (or stick with) the Radiant Creamy Concealer formula.

I didn’t swatch the Radiant Creamy one on the face as it blends out slightly sheerer so it’s a bit more forgiving color-wise. When I use any of the shades, Custard, Macadamia or Ginger, it blends to match the skin really well – it looks so natural you can barely tell there’s anything on the face. I do have side by sides of the corresponding shades in both formulas. You can see the difference in finish. Colors are pretty close but I feel the Radiant Creamy formula has slightly more yellow undertones.

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer vs Radiant Creamy Concealer | The Beauty Look Book

Bottom line a solid win. Macadamia is the best match for me, but if I need a bit of brightening I can mix in some of the Custard to lighten or brighten certain areas. Since I tan easily I suspect Ginger will be a match within the next few months and as I’m often in between shades I don’t mind owning multiple colors so I can mix them as I transition between colors. I don’t know how I feel about the pot style. I’ve avoided this type of packaging for years and a quick look at my concealer stash shows that they are literally all either wands or twist/click up pens. I also don’t like that NARS does that matte almost velvety finish packaging on their face products because it gets dirty so easily. If you get any bit of concealer or cream product on it, it’s pretty much stuck there forever (I’ve tried getting it off, but it’s near impossible). It’s not a deal breaker though and that’s just me being picky.

You can find both the Soft Matte Complete Concealer and Radiant Creamy Concealer at all counters now. I bought the new Soft Matte Complete Concealer from Sephora. It’s also available at NARS, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Barneys New York and all other NARS counters.

Have you tried this one yet? What did you think? If not, what are your current go-to concealers?

P.S. I’m also testing out concealer formulas from Too Faced, Tarte and will compare them to Kat Von D in the next couple of weeks.

Save

Save

Base Makeup

Giorgio Armani Power Fabric Foundation

February 2, 2017

Armani Power Fabric Foundation Review | The Beauty Look Book

Giorgio Armani Beauty launched a new full coverage foundation this month called Power Fabric ($64 for 30 ml/1.0 fl oz). It comes in 20 shades, contains SPF25 and is designed to offer full matte coverage with a velvety texture. Some of you may remember my experience with Maestro Glow so with the new Power Fabric I was a bit nervous to put this on my face. I have extremely sensitive skin that is prone to irritation with certain ingredients, in particular scented face products. I have had good experiences with other Armani formulas over the years including Lasting Silk, Maestro, Crema Nuda and a few other formulas. Luminous Silk always looked amazing on my skin but I often found it too rich for my normal/combo skin type but it didn’t irritate me. Given the fact that most of the Armani formulas I’ve tried worked well with my skin, I decided to try the new Power Fabric with an open mind and am glad to report that after a full week of testing I have no break outs, no irritation and no signs of tiny little bumps occured. For any foundation that I am allergic to, bump and redness surface pretty quickly, usually within 1 day.

Armani Power Fabric Foundation | The Beauty Look Book

I received samples of the Power Fabric which was a nice unexpected surprise, but all four colors were too light. Shade 4 was 90% close but just a tad too light. I went to my local counter to investigate and left with Shade 5 and 6. They had no testers so I took a guess based on what the bottles looked like even though the packaging has frosted glass. My perfect color is a mix of Shade 4 and 6, Shade 5 isn’t really in between as you might expect but rather a more pink version of Shade 4.

Application is really easy. I can apply smoothly with fingers, a sponge or a brush. I’ve been using the Hourglass Vanish Foundation Brush to buff it into the skin and it blends to a streak-free finish with hardly any effort. Coverage is full and matte without looking flat or powdery. Something many of you may not know is that I have quite a lot of freckles. I’ve found it amusing to see faux freckle tutorials and videos surface these days because I’ve always tried to cover up my freckles. I did a lot of swimming and outdoor sports in my high school days and even though it was many many years ago, I was exposed to a lot of sun. Even with sunscreen I got a lot of freckles and sun spots. The foundation covers up any uneven areas and does a pretty good job at covering darker spots. I don’t need concealer with this foundation although if you have dark under eye circles you will probably still need a dab underneath the eyes.

I love the packaging style – I think all foundations that aren’t in squeeze tubes should come with pumps. Swatches of the shades I have. 2, 3, 3.5 and 4 were sent for review. 5 and 6 purchased by me.

Armani Power Fabric Foundation Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

Before and after application. For reference all photos are taken in natural light indoors. I do use a flash on the camera sometimes. Below on the left is my bare skin. Foundation colors shown worn include the Armani Power Fabric Shades 4 and 6 mixed together – I pump out 1 pump of each color on the back of my hand, mix with a brush and apply to the face. A little goes a long way – but you can build coverage easily without it looking cakey. Foundation brush shown is the Hourglass Vanish Foundation Brush. Last photo on the right is just with foundation applied – no concealer or powder was used to set or finish.

Armani Power Fabric Foundation 4 and 6 mixed | The Beauty Look Book

Comparison swatches:

  • Becca Aqua Luminous Foundation in Light and Beige – I used to be Beige but am lighter now so use the Light shade (Beige reviewed in this post here), this formula is a lot sheerer with a natural dewy finish
  • MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundations in NC25, NC30, NC35 and NC37 – so many of you asked me what my MAC shade was I tried to find a match, since I tan easily my skin tone can be all over the place, NC25 is just the slightest bit too light but is the closest color for me right now, NC30 is really olive on my skin, NC35 is too dark right now and NC37 is best for me when I’m just the slightest bit darker, coverage with this formula is more opaque and thicker in feel/finish compared to the Armani

Armani Power Fabric Foundation Comparisons | The Beauty Look Book

Comparison swatches set 2:

Armani Power Fabric Foundation Comparisons | The Beauty Look Book

Based on comments from some readers – many of you suspected that I had an allergic reaction to the Maestro Glow because of the high alcohol content. I took a look at the ingredients of the Power Fabric which also contains alcohol but it’s a bit lower on the list so perhaps the lower dose is why I can wear this one without any irritation.

Ingredients of the Armani Power Fabric Foundation:

Armani Power Fabric Foundation Ingredients | The Beauty Look Book

Armani Power Fabric Foundation | The Beauty Look Book

I’m in between shades and would have preferred to find an exact match with 1 color, but I really like the way it performed. A note on the shades – when you apply it does look a bit lighter than what you see because of the SPF. Let it sit for a minute and it will adjust but not so much that it oxidizes. Finding a shade can be tricky though. It’s been years since I’ve used Armani foundations so I don’t know what shade I am in others like Luminous Silk etc. I’m in between colors but right now I’m unfortunately in between colors for most brands of foundations. I’ve been out of the sun for a while now and have completely lost my tan – no tan lines anywhere now so I’m probably at the lightest I will get. The relatively cold weather (cold for Southern California) and rain has forced me to spend more time indoors compared to what I am used to. I suspect that will change once the weather warms up though.

If you have sensitive skin like me and are more savvy at understanding ingredients – I hope the box helps. If you have tried this would love to hear your thoughts. I really like it and love how much coverage it gives the skin without looking cakey. It truly lasts all day with minimal touch ups needed – I usually need a little dab of powder on the nose mid-day. Formula-wise I give it a solid thumbs up.

You can find the Armani Power Fabric Foundation at counters now. Available online at Giorgio Armani, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Sephora and all other Armani retailers.

Power Fabric shades 2, 3, 3.5 and 4 provided as press samples. Shades 5 and 6 purchased by me.

Save

Save