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Make Up For Ever

Lips

Neutral Lip Testing from NARS, Bite Beauty, Hourglass + More

July 26, 2017

Nude Lip Haul from Sephora | The Beauty Look Book

I’m a neutral lip addict and have a roundup review of some new formulas and color out right now. All of these picks are from Sephora as it seems like that’s where most of the new launches are at for the moment. Sephora stores are actually where quite a few of my readers have run into me – in multiple cities and not always my hometown stores lol. Many thanks to each of you who have been so kind to introduce yourself and say hello – I’ve been really touched with how nice you all are in person.

So for the new stuff – many of you have been asking about the new Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquified Lip and NARS Powermatte Lip Pigments. I’ve put some shades from each formula to the test. I also have some new Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Glosses swatched, Make Up For Ever Artist Liquid Matte Lipsticks reviewed (not new, but new to me) and a first impressions of the Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim High Intensity Lipstick. There are also quite a few comparison swatches in this post for reference. It’s a little bit of a lot for the lips.

Up first are the new Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquified Lipsticks. My DMs and emails have been literally flooded with review requests. Since I really loved the Amuse Bouche Lipstick formula this was an easy yes for me. I went to multiple stores to track these down because one didn’t have all the colors. And one of these is an online exclusive for VIB Rouge.

These aren’t like the normal liquid lipsticks on the market which dry down to a matte finish. These are essentially lipsticks in a liquid form but with a creamy finish. In my opinion this is what all liquid lipsticks should look and feel like, but I know not everyone will agree with me. Cava is the VIB Rouge Online Exclusive shade and with one swipe on the arm I knew immediately this would not be a wearable one for me. On my tan/medium skin it looks like a lilac. I do think it will suit fair skins better so I did not swatch this on my lips and instead am saving this for a friend. Caramelized is a beige with warm tones, Whip is the perfect nude pink, Chutney is a medium rose.

The formula is opaque and creamy. There’s a beveled sponge tip applicator which allows for precise application at the tip and the angled end covers/fills your entire lip area. Lasting power is quite impressive. There is color transfer to cups if you drink but it still stays put really well for hours. Formula has a nice nourishing feel – since it’s opaque it is a bit thick, but you can easily blend it out since a little goes a long way. Most of the colors in the line ran dark. I picked the lightest options and then it jumped to fairly dark or deep. To me they have a fall vibe but I guess since fall is going to be here soon these have arrived right on time.

I think the best color is Whip.

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquified Lip | The Beauty Look Book

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquified Lipstick | The Beauty Look Book

Below all four shades I bought swatched, compared to the Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Honeycomb, Pepper and Sake. I normally can’t wear super cool-toned colors on the lips because of my yellow skintone, Sake is about as cool as I go unless it’s a darker plum. The Liquified Lipstick has more opaque coverage compared to the Lipstick version.

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquified Lip | The Beauty Look Book

Next is are two of my favorite lip gloss formulas. I’ve already featured the Marc Jacobs Enamored Hi-Shine Lip Lacquer in Skin Deep here in May but wanted to feature it again. It’s the perfect neutral-cool toned nude that has medium sheer pigment. On me it goes on a bit mauvey because of my tan and pigmented lips. If I were lighter it would be more on the neutral side. About a year ago Anastasia Beverly Hills launched some mini lip gloss sets with colors exclusive to that set. Set I purchased reviewed here. The other set has been repromoted this year at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale now. Earlier this summer she finally launched most of them individually in full size. I bought three Lip Glosses from Sephora in Toffee, Amber and Caramel as they are my favorites. For quick reference I’ve swatched a couple other neutrals from her line. Her packaging has changed slightly but the applicators are the same.

Descriptions of the following: Marc Jacobs Skin Deep is a neutral nude pink. It has medium coverage with a glossy sheen. The Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Glosses have full opaque coverage and a flat sponge tip applicator. Toffee is a neutral beige, Amber is a light peachy cream, Caramel is a medium warm pink, Kristen is a neutral pink-brown, Vintage is similar but more pink/rose. The Anastasia Lip Glosses are perfect – I wish she had more wearable conservative neutrals but for now these are perfect.

Marc Jacobs Skin Deep and Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss | The Beauty Look Book

Marc Jacobs Skin Deep and Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss | The Beauty Look Book

Marc Jacobs Skin Deep and Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss swatched | The Beauty Look Book

Next is the Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim High Intensity Lipstick. These are refillable and my local Sephora had a small handful of shades. The colors on display pretty much all looked the same and they were all neutrals. I swatched them on my hand and every single one looked perfect. Texture is creamy with a natural shine and it had impressive coverage. I limited myself to 1 in I Woke Up which is a perfect medium rose pink. Everything about this is perfect from color, formula, finish, feel and lasting power yet it has one major drawback for me: I find it overpriced for the size. I’m not one to pass up a lipstick because of price (ie Tom Ford, Louboutin, Cle de Peau, Surratt etc.) These lipsticks are supposed to be refillable with the refills priced at $22 which seems a bit more reasonable. But when you see these in person, they are SUPER tiny. The upside is that if you buy one or a few you will most likely use it up entirely before it goes bad. I feel conflicted about these – I actually find the packaging sleek and pretty. It’s something you have to see and feel in person to see how nice they are. The formula and coverage is excellent. I just can’t help but feel the price can’t really be justified for the size. These are 0.03 oz for $34 while Tom Ford Lips and Boys are 0.07 oz for $35.

Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim Lipstick I Woke Up | The Beauty Look Book

Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim Lipstick I Woke Up | The Beauty Look Book

Swatch comparisons next to some of the GIRL Lipstylo, Bite Beauty Meringue and Chanel Le Crayon in Beige Rose.

Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim Lipstick I Woke Up | The Beauty Look Book

Last are the mattes. In general matte liquid lips do not do so well on my lips. I have full lips and the matte dry down tends to emphasize lip lines and make my lips look very dry. I have still put quite a few to the test – I can make them work by adding a balm like the Dior Addict Lip Glow Pomade or Reviver Balms underneath or by dabbing a tiny bit of gloss on top. Some of the colors from these lines are so perfect – I wish they were made in other formulas. The Make Up For Ever Artist Liquid Matte Lipsticks have been raved about by so many people. For me the lighter shades 101 and 103 are a miss because they’re too pale for me, but deeper ones like 109 work better. The formula is a true matte and it’s super opaque. You only need a thin layer to get full coverage. I dab a tiny bit and blend with the fingers. These dry down to a full matte which I’m not a fan of – still the formula didn’t dry out my lips even if it made them look dry and they do stay put once you apply them.

The NARS Powermatte Lip Pigments were sent to me for review. I have all the colors and if you’re interested in a separate review let me know in the comments. For this post I tested the colors I knew I would wear on a regular basis. These are liquid matte lipsticks with a thinner formula which makes them easier for me to work with. Still they dry down to a velvety matte finish which I don’t like so to test these I had to apply the Dior Addict Lip Glow Balms underneath to make them work. The colors of the Powermatte Lip Pigments are so good – American Woman and Walk This Way are the best colors pinks I’ve tested in a long time. They’re not quite neutral but at the same time aren’t super bright. Just What I Needed is a perfect mauve neutral. I’m a huge fan of the Velvet Lip Glide because they’re more forgiving and don’t dry down to a full matte. I wish that NARS expanded that color range instead of this formula, but I’m happy that I can make it work with a bit of balm underneath. Lasting power even on top of a balm is really good – like most liquid lipsticks it will stay put for a long time. They don’t dry out the lips.

Make Up For Ever Artist Liquid Matte Lipstick and NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment | The Beauty Look Book

Make Up For Ever Artist Liquid Matte Lipstick and NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment swatch | The Beauty Look Book

Make Up For Ever Artist Liquid Matte Lipstick and NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment swatches | The Beauty Look Book

That wraps up my neutral lip testing and buys from Sephora. I hope you found this review helpful. To sum up all this testing, I’m still a lip gloss person at heart. My favorite lip gloss formula for opaque coverage is the Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss. Marc Jacobs has the best shine and smooth finish for a cushiony non-sticky feel. The next best opaque liquid lipgloss is the Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquified Lipstick. If you’re in search of a more traditional matte finish go with the new NARS Powermatte Lip Pigments.

I personally would give the Make Up For Ever Liquid Lipsticks a miss because I really don’t like the super matte dry down. These are ultra matte even with a balm underneath. I’m still undecided on the Hourglass lipsticks. If I were to rate them just on performance, quality and color, I’d 100% give it an A+. The price is what is holding me back from giving it a huge thumbs up – but product-wise it’s excellent.

All this being said, fall is usually a huge season for lip launches. I don’t know what’s in store for the upcoming season, but if you’re unsure about any of these there should be no rush. It appears that all are permanent, at least for now until the brand decides to reformulate something or discontinue a product. They will be around for a while. If you want to know what one new lip formula I think you should buy from this round up it would be to try one of the new Bite Liquid Lipsticks. If those really aren’t your thing I’d say wait a month or so to see what fall has in store for us.

Have you tried any of these formulas or colors yet? What did you think? You can find all of these now at Sephora. The NARS Powermatte Pigments were sent for review. All others 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 naturallyย  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

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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

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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

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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 areย  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.

Beauty Beauty Favorites Roundup

Best Beauty Discoveries 2016

December 29, 2016

Best makeup discoveries in 2016 Tom Ford Chanel Anastasia NARS MAC

I can hardly believe another year has flown by! Thank you to each and every one of you who followed me along on my beauty journey this past year. Today I have a round up of my 2016 favorites in makeup (skincare to follow in a separate post). As a long-time nail polish junkie I was surprised to find this past year was pretty light on the nail polish features and reviews – I remember in past years going through tons of nail wheels and bottles of polish remover. Perhaps by now I simply have collected all the possible colors? 2016’s focus seemed to be all about lips and highlighters for me. As always I’d love to hear what your favorite makeup discoveries were for the year! I picked out items that were new in 2016 (they’re listed in alphabetical order by brand):

Lips

Face and Cheeks

Eyes

Nails

  • Chanel Le Vernis in Organdi (review here) was my most-worn color this year
  • Louboutin had the best colors and formulas for me this year, I loved Miss Mars and the Hawaii Kawai Trio minis were so fun to shoot, there were three Red Nail Extensions that I was able to play with back in May to swatch for you, months later I ended up buying Jazzy Doll and Edgypopi

What were your makeup favorites this past year? They can be new launches, rediscoveries or new-to-you products! I love reading about your favorites so please feel free to share in the comments below. Several of you have asked that I bring back the monthly roundups on a regular basis, some have asked for a hits and misses roundup as well. I’ll be starting a monthly review series in the new year!

Sephora

Sephora Beauty Haul + Sephora VIB 20% Off Sale Info

November 11, 2016
The Beauty Look Book Sephora Sale Haul - Holiday 2016

I have my huge Sephora sale haul post for those who wanted to know what I bought during the VIB Rouge sale last week. For those who have VIB Member Status the 20% off Sephora Sale starts today 11/11 and runs through 11/14/2016 with code 20VIB if you’re shopping online at Sephora.com. You can use the code multiple times online and there are no product or brand exclusions. Up first are staples I stocked up on:

The Beauty Look Book Sephora Sale Haul - Holiday 2016

Left to right:

  • Glamglow Supercleanse Daily Clearing Cleanser is something I bought in the 1 oz travel size, I have the full size but it’s nice to have a mini on hand for travel or mini trips, original review here in case you want more details
  • First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Polish is one of the most gentle face scrubs I’ve used, in recent years I’ve stopped using most scrubs because I have very sensitive skin, this one is a good one!
  • Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant in Vanilla Coconut is pretty much the only brand of deodorant I use, I don’t sweat a lot so I can’t say how well this holds up for those who do sweat a lot, but it lasts all day, isn’t irritating, smells great and aluminum-free, sometimes on days I’m in a rush it’s all I wear and I get compliments from random strangers saying “you smell really good, what are you wearing?”
  • Sephora Collection The Cleanse Daily Brush Cleaner is one of my favorite quick-clean kind of sprays, it won’t clean brushes 100% but it’s great for powder shadow or blush brushes (anything powder like bronzer, highlighter etc.) – also available n a mini size
  • Make Up For Ever Mist and Fix is one of the best makeup setting sprays I’ve tried although I have to say that I have not tried that many, ones I have tried are just ok, but this one is great, it sets makeup, makes powder look less powdery without messing up your makeup, helps extend wear, has no scent, and is also availble in a mini size
  • Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt has been featured here before and a single tub will last a long time, I use it 1x per week to every other week now and am getting close to finishing another one so I stocked up, review here and here in case you’re curious
  • Sephora Collection Soft Touch Cotton Pads are great basic cotton pads that won’t leave fibers in your eyes, I stocked up on 3 packs because apparently my husband has been using mine although he doesn’t use toner or need/use makeup remover so I’m not sure what he’s using them for, either way they are inexpensive even without the discount and don’t disintegrate
  • YSL L’Homme Deodorant is a restock for my husband and it’s one of his favorite deodorants of all time, he has sensitive under arms but this one works for him – I bought it because the Sephora sales rep told me it was “the best” he tried and that I would not regret buying it, he was right! My husband loves the smell and I love the smell, it lasts all day on him and is non-irritating, he wants me to tell you that he thinks it will make a good stocking stuffer for guys, lol
Next are some sets that I found interesting and ordered online because of overwhelmingly positive customer reviews. One is being returned.
The Beauty Look Book Sephora Sale Haul - Holiday 2016

Shown above:

  • Peter Thomas Roth masks have been raved about by so many I decided to finally try the Mask-A-Holic 5 Piece Kit ($75 for a $230 value), there is also the Mask Vault ($225 for a $352 value) but the 5 piece set seemed like a much better value/deal – if you’ve tried them let me know what you think or if you have favorites!
  • Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil 7 Piece Body Butter Collection is something I bought for stocking stuffers, I tried Gingerbread Vanilla and had a friend over and asked her to take a whiff to make sure it just wasn’t me, these are very strong in scent and very very sweet, if you like sweet or vanilla you’ll love these, me and my friend found them too strong so it’s going back, I don’t think my friends will like these
  • Elizabeth and James Find Your Nirvana Set has four 0.10 oz/ 3 mL Eau de Parfum mini rollerballs in Nirvana Black, Nirvana White, Nirvana Bourbon and Nirvana Rose, it’s a great way to try all four or keep one in a clutch
  • Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Trans-Foam Clay Trio has a lot of positive reviews, they are clay masks that are supposed to transform into a foaming cleanser when you add water, I haven’t tried it yet but have high hopes!
  • Skin Inc. Prep + Peel Set is something I bought to try the peel described as “non-abrasive” – will keep you posted as I try these, I may wait until after Thanksgiving to try these just in case I have an allergic reaction to anything
Elizabeth and James launched two candles in Nirvana Black and Nirvana White, both are online only (at least for the moment). They also have a couple sets with the candle like the House of Nirvana Black Gift Set. I haven’t burned it yet but it smells amazing from just opening the box. The Nirvana Black is my favorite and I think having this as a home scent will be incredible. The Find Your Nirvana Set minis shown next to candle for scale.
The Beauty Look Book Sephora Sale Haul Elizabeth and James - Holiday 2016

Makeup picks where I went for minis and stocking stuffers:
The Beauty Look Book Sephora Sale Haul Minis - Holiday 2016

Shown above:

Last but not least, I did buy the Laura Mercier Iconics Holiday Box Set. I went back and forth debating whether to buy it as there are a number of other Advent Calendar/Box Beauty Sets that are tempting this year. At the $170 retail price the 12 items in the box average to about $14.17 per item. With the 20% off the set price is $136 which makes each item about $11.33 (not including sales tax). The presentation is gorgeous and even though the box appears to be cardboard it’s very well made. I said I would review this earlier but after looking at it and seeing as I have already tried 8 of the 12 items I am going to save this as a gift for a very special someone although I don’t want to say who because it’s supposed to be a surprise. Everything is individually wrapped but if you want to see real life photographs I can carefully open the box to photograph for this post. Here’s the stock image as a place holder for now.

Hope you enjoyed this haul post! To recap, if you have VIB Member Status you can save 20% off purchases starting today 11/11 and through 11/14/2016 at Sephora. Use code 20VIB at checkout if you’re shopping online at Sephora.com
P.S. I am expecting my Tom Ford Winter Soleil Eye and Cheek Palettes to arrive today so I hope to photograph, test and swatch everything for my VIB readers before the sale ends even if it will be a first impressions kind of post.

Are you hauling anything during the sale this weekend? Or did you already shop last weekend for the VIB Rouge?
Base Makeup Sephora

Color Correcting for Beginners

March 17, 2016

Last week I stopped by Sephora at South Coast Plaza for a Correct and Conceal Mini Makeover to learn more about the color correcting trend happening right now. I was curious to see if there was anything that could cover dark spots and redness better than a full coverage concealer or foundation. I had a session with artist Dre who was one of the most knowledgeable artists I’ve ever worked with. She was very thorough in explaining color correcting, going through all the options and application techniques, gave me awesome skin prep recommendations and I could not have had a more fun experience. If you’re like me you and consider yourself a novice or beginner when it comes to color correction you might be intimidated by the whole concept. I’ll share my makeover experience, what was used, what I bought and some thoughts on the product testing process. I hope this will help give you some tips and ideas of what to try on yourself. If you have a Sephora near you I highly recommend you call them to schedule a mini-makeover. They can be as quick as 15 minutes and I think you will be impressed with how much you learn – I learned a lot. Scheduling one in advance is probably best to make sure they have someone on site to sit down with you although they can accommodate walk ins sometimes and they are free of charge!

First a quick run through of the mini-makeover I had at Sephora. She started by assessing my skin type and skin concerns. I mentioned I had super sensitive skin and told her about a few products I had allergic reactions to. Personal concerns for my skin were to improve texture, cover dark spots from scars that were healing, under-eye darkness and redness in general. I also mentioned that I liked a streamlined easy approach to applying base face makeup so she picked out her four favorite color correcting products for my skin type that would be easy to use and incorporate along with some skincare items for me to try for calming and radiance.

For a bit of background on Color Correcting it’s not a new trend but it has been very popular right now. The concept of color correcting is that you can use certain colors to counter or diffuse others. Green will correct red, peach will help with dark spots and undereye circles, pink and purple will counter dullness and brighten the skintone. I initially thought using a full coverage concealer or foundation would be sufficient but I often find it leaves the face looking a bit flat and sometimes those dark spots still show through. This is where color correcting can help. Here’s a look at the Sephora Beauty Studio in store – it varies per store but most have a station with mirrors, makeup remover and tools for artists to apply product on your face.

A run through of all the products she used on me from start to finish:

Step 1: Prep the skin

She started by having me remove my makeup with the Ole Henriksen The Clean Truth Cleansing Cloths which are super gentle and non-irritating for my sensitive skin. This one cleans, balances and hydrates in one step which is convenient for on-the-go makeup removal. Next she used the First Aid Beauty Radiance Pads to help with surface texture. She followed with the Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum and Ole Henriksen Nurture Me since I mentioned my face was prone to irritation and flare ups. Skin felt smooth, nicely hydrated and calmed down.

Step 2: Base

Dre’s theory of using color correcting was to use apply in steps and use it with your current foundation routine. She started by applying the Algenist Reveal Concentrated Color Correcting Drops in Blue to help brighten the overall skintone as a base which did indeed brighten the skin without looking scary blue. Blue helps to neutralize sallow skin. She followed with the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick in 128 mentioning one’s foundation will do a lot of the color correcting as a starting point to neutralize uneven skintone or dark spots.

Step 3: Color Correct

At this point even with a fuller coverage foundation on my skin you can still see dark circles under the eyes and dark spots from acne scars that are healing still show through. Rather than layer on the foundation color correcting helps add coverage without caking on product. I was skeptical but was really impressed with how literally all the dark spots disappeared with a green color corrector and undereye circles disappeared with a peach/melon corrector. She applied the Sephora Collection Bright Futures Color Correctors in Green and Melon. The key here was to apply and let set so that colors don’t get muddied when you blend them wet. For the green she dotted on spots and then blended with a detailed concealer brush in a cross hatch method to help blend and cover naturally. For the melon she applied directly under my eyes in a downward swiping motion and blended with the sponge tip applicator.

Step 4: Conceal, Set and Finish

Once the color correctors have properly set (takes maybe 3 minutes at most, as long as you don’t pile on the creams) finish by taking concealer or foundation and pat it on top. She used the Sephora Collection Pro Foundation Brush #47 which is a more affordable similar version of the Marc Jacobs Beauty Sculpting Foundation Brush to roll and dab on the foundation over the corrected spots gently and then blend everything out gently with a beautyblender. You don’t want to take a sponge or brush and press too hard on the face or else it will drag and mix colors to make it look muddy. The final step she used was to set with a loose powder. She showed me the difference between the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Powder and also the Besame Brightening Face Powder in Violet (both applied with a puff). She said the Laura Mercier is her favorite (it’s one of mine too) but if I wanted to try something new she recommended the Violet to brighten the skin, for fairer skins she recommended the Pink (which I already own).

Step 5: Add color and makeup

She added a bit of blush and bronzer on my skin so my face wouldn’t look flat from all the base makeup, but I asked her to keep it minimal so I could see how the correctors and foundations performed through the afternoon. We skipped everything else and I was impressed that my makeup lasted well into the late evening without any touchups needed. Her skincare recommendations and application made it so nothing budged or creased or faded. Once I use up some of my moisturizers I will need to buy some of the items she used on me.

I have never been so impressed with a makeup session as I have been with my visit to Sephora. Dre taught me so many things – I really appreciated her taking the time to go through application tips and recommending products specific to my needs. My brother tagged along to help me take photos and afterwards I asked him if he thought my face looked ok. He said yes, it looked natural and he couldn’t tell that there were any weird colors. So it passed the brother test ๐Ÿ™‚ In discussing the different color corrector options, I asked her why she recommended the Sephora Collection Color Correctors over the ones from Urban Decay Correcting Fluids or YSL Touche Eclat Neutralizers or even the ones that come in cream compacts. She said it was a matter of preference – the cream palettes can definitely multi-task with all the options for color correction and concealer, but to keep things simple she said the Sephora Collection correctors were her favorite for consistency, texture and coverage. (I bought one each of the Urban Decay and YSL to test against the Sephora Collection and I’ll say right now she was right.)

Next up is a run through review of everything I bought and tried along with a mini tutorial of how I’ve been recreating the color correcting look to diffuse dark spots and dark circles. Here are the items she used on me during the makeover. I bought all the items she tried with the exception of the Violet powder because I already own the Pink although I’m seriously considering going back to the store to pick it up this weekend.

Left to right are:

  • Micro Mini Correct Four by beautyblender – there are some new beautyblender options, for the color correcting trend they launched a set of four in different colors, I really like these for blending under the eyes or in the creases of the nose, it’s nice to have different colors on hand to match the correctors so you don’t have to worry about mixing colors together 
  • Algenist Reveal Concentrated Color Correcting Drops in Blue – you can use these alone or mixed in with foundation to help color correct the skin. I’ve been using this as a base, almost like a primer to help counter my sallow undertones with my olive yellow skin. It brightens the skin without looking too blue. You can even mix it in with moisturizer to blend all over to make it a bit more sheer. I really like the way this performs. 
  • Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation in 128 (looks dark but blends out to a slightly lighter finish, that being said I am getting lighter right now so I will probably have to purchase a different shade soon to mix) is one of the most amazing foundation sticks I have ever tried (it rivals Tom Ford’s) – I’ll have a separate review in the upcoming weeks once I’ve given it a thorough test drive but it offers medium to full buildable coverage that looks amazing
  • Sephora Collection Bright Future Color Correctors in Green and Melon – After testing this compared to YSL and Urban Decay, I have to say that my favorites for texture and consistency on my face are the Sephora Collection ones, they don’t crease or emphasize fine lines and they have enough coverage and pigment to truly neutralize my face issues, the Urban Decay Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid in Peach has a similar coverage to the Sephora ones and looks great on the skin but if I don’t have enough primer under my eyes it emphasizes all the fine lines that I don’t want to show up, the YSL by comparison is a lot more sheer in finish and I need more coverage
    • A quick side note, during my make over I mentioned my favorite under eye concealer of the moment was the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer and that I liked the ones with peachy tones (mainly R32) to warm up and brighten under eyes, Dre did mention that this was also one of her favorites to use, but she showed me the Sephora Collection in Melon for me to try something new
  • Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay In Place Flawless Wear Concealer in Warm Light Medium – she used this to highlight my face and I was so impressed with the coverage and texture I had to try it out – it offers smooth flawless coverage and really does stay in place without caking or creasing through out the day
  • Besame Brightening Face Powder in Vanilla Rose (she used Violet on me in store)
  • Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Powder – I already own this and have repurchased numerous times, it’s one of my favorite loose setting powders, if you haven’t tried it I will say you need to
A simple step by step mini tutorial showing before and after. I took the tips learned at my appointment to recreate a flawless base at home. I hoped to take an after show last week but the store lighting wasn’t ideal. In the first shot I did prep my skin with a thin layer of foundation, but as you can see dark spots and dark circles are still highly visible:

Below are the tools I recommend using, but you can shop your stash and find what works:

A look at packaging and different applicators for each kind of color corrector that I’ve been testing out ranging from droppers, sponge tips, squeeze tubes and click brush applicators:

Side by side swatches of the color correctors and some concealers:

A look at the Sephora Collection Bright Future Color Correctors, note there is also Orange/Deep and Lavender available online but when I was in store they didn’t have those colors yet:

In case you missed the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer post, here are all the shades swatched:

I hope you enjoyed this overview on color correcting! If you’re a novice like me I hope the rundown of my makeover, all the options I tried and swatches help make the color correcting concept seem less confusing or intimidating. I went into my appointment thinking that there wasn’t going to be much that could be done for my dark spots but I went in with an open mind and learned so much. Sometimes makeovers can be a daunting process especially if you get a pushy artist or one who just doesn’t listen to your needs or who doesn’t care preferences. I really recommend trying to book an appointment at your local Sephora – I am already planning on going back for a second appointment hopefully in the next couple of months because my experience was that good. If you’re in the area of South Coast Plaza try to book one with Dre – she’s awesome. If you can’t make it into the store, there is an online survey on the Sephora Color Correcting Makeup page to guide you and help narrow down the picks according your specific concerns and skin type.

Have you tried color correcting recently or is it something you’ve always done for your base makeup routine? Please let me know what you’ve tried and your thoughts. I always learn new tips and tricks from you and would love to hear about what you have been testing or if you have any favorites.
This post was created in partnership with Sephora. As always all opinions my own. Most products picked out and purchased by me, press samples include the Besame Powder and Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealers.

Uncategorized

The Makeup Show LA March 19-20, 2016 – Event Preview

March 14, 2016

The Makeup Show Los Angeles 2016 is happening this weekend March 19th – 20th at the California Market Center and I’m thrilled to be able to share a sneak preview of some items that will be available at the show! For those new to The Makeup Show is a pro-beauty event open only to those in the beauty and fashion industry including makeup artists, hairstylists, estheticians, cosmetologists, agents, models, stylists, photographers, industry insiders and anyone that works or studies in under the umbrella of beauty and fashion. It typically happens once a year in Los Angeles – they travel nationwide to other cities like New York City, Dallas, Chicago and Orlando.

Tickets are available for purchase online or at the door (they are cheaper if you buy ahead of time online). There are 1 day or 2 day passes available. Since this is an event for professionals you will need to show some credentials at check in (full listing of qualified credentials on the ticket page).

There will be approximately 60 different booths including individual beauty brands, beauty retailers and educators attending such as Make Up For Ever, MustaeV, Hakuhodo, OCC, RCMA, Beautylish, Urban Decay, Sephora Pro (full list of exhibitors here). To see last year’s feature check out this post here on The Makeup Show 2015.

For the preview items sent by The Makeup Show team, full listing is as follows:

A closer look at the color items below starting with the face products. I first tried the Bรฉsame Brightening Face Powders last week in store at Sephora. I tried Violet which is a color corrector for light-medium skintones designed to correct yellow and red (it’s brightening). I was thoroughly impressed by the finish – it’s truly transparent yet brightening and left no white or purple cast on the skin. (I did decide to wait on purchasing it though.) I received Vanilla Rose from The Makeup Show which or light-medium tones, color corrects green and blue tones in the skin. It has a transparent finish as well with a subtle finish. Overall I prefer the effect of the Violet on my face for all over but Vanilla Rose is good for setting the undereye area for me.

Next up is the Scott Barnes Multi Media Liquid Makeup. This is a bi-phase liquid that separates once it settles much like the Armani Glow Foundation. I received the shade Cafe Au Lait which is too dark and too peach for my skintone so it was hard for me to tell how it really performed with such a mis-match. I hope to check out the other colors in person at the show. If I find a match I will be sure to let you know.

From MustaeV is the Lustrous Cream Base which is subtle shimmering opal cream product. It has a similar concept to MAC’s Strobe Cream but the MustaeV has a more emollient moisturizing formula. The finish is also a bit more transparent in finish so the glow cast is more subtle on the skin. You can use the MustaeV as a base under foundation, mix it in with foundation for a glow effect or use on top to highlight any area you want a glow. If you’re interested in a full review let me know.

Swatches on bare skin, note the items are swatched heavily to show the color. When applied on the face with blending the Cream Base and Powder both disappear into a translucent finish.

For lips The Makeup Show as quite a few bold and super edgy colors. From OCC are two grey lip color items. The Cosmetic Colour Pencil in Sebastian is a grey taupe. It’s for both lips and eyes, I can see myself wearing it on the eyes. On the lips – I just don’t pull off grey well. There’s a new Lip Tar in Indrid which is an opalescent violet pink shimmer. The pigment and finish is excellent. The color is not something I would ever wear. For both of these shades I didn’t swatch the entire lip – part of the center isn’t touched up so you can see a bit of my natural lip color underneath.

From Make Up For Ever there are three items in the Lip Fever Passion Pink Collection including Artist Lip Balm #920 Flushed Cherry, Artist Lip Blush #921 Exalted Rosewood and Artist Acrylip #922 Electric Fuchsia. You can find all three at Sephora now. I received the Acrylip #922 which is a high pigment liquid lipstick. It’s a lightweight formula that covers the lips entirely and has a glossy finish. At this time I do not know if more colors in these formulas are coming out – I hope they do because as far as a liquid lipstick goes, I am really liking the shiny finish (most liquid lipsticks are either too opaque or matte which makes them look so flat).
The last color for preview is the Bรฉsame Sweetheart Glaze in Caramel which is a glossy nude. It’s described as a luminous lip protectant with moisturizing ingredients. It has a medium to strong vanilla scent and offers medium smooth coverage which I find really good. Often times cream nudes can settle into lip lines but this one does not. It does have a moisturizing finish – if a gloss formula does not have any moisture-added properties my lips are dried out by the next day – with this one, no peeling or dried out  lips so I give this one a thumbs up.

Kat Von D Beauty always launches new items at The Makeup Show. Last year this time the Shade + Light Eye Contour Palette made it’s debut (I still don’t own it but I think I need it in my life). For those who like the concept but want something non-neutral there are four Shade + Light Eye Contour Quads launching. I have a preview of plum which features all matte shades. The colors are in the plum and pink color family which make for a softly contoured eye look. The texture is very powdery with a lot of kick-up but finish is really good. It’s like skin but better with no powdery finish on the eyes – it’s like the product melts into the skin. I played with this a few ways and found that the synthetic brushes were the best tools for application. The Shade + Light Double Ended Contour Brush is excellent in quality and super soft. It applies matte shades very well and blends colors to create a nice gradient. 
Also new is from Kat Von D Beauty is the Lock-It Color Correcting Eyeshadow Primer. I was sent Fair but I suspect the next shade up in Light would be more ideal for my skintone. There are a lot of mixed reviews on this one. I’m in the batch that likes it – I smudge it on the lids direct from the tube and blend with a finger. It evens out the lid nicely without looking cakey or flat and truly did make the matte eyeshadows from the Shade + Light Eye Quad last all day long without fading or budging. I have yet to try it with other eyeshadow formulas but first impressions are overwhelmingly positive.

A quick eye look I took a few days ago. This is shown around 5-6 hours after initial application. Colors looked pretty much the same as when I first applied – do note I did a very subtle wash of all four colors layered together.

Last but not least is the Pur Cosmetics Eye Polish in Caviar. This is described as an all-in-one primer and shadow product. It comes with a silicone applicator which I wasn’t able to master. I did try applying this with other detail brushes and found it to be an extremely glitzy highly metallic black gold. I think it will take some practice to figure out the layering and blending – but I will say that the lasting power is quite impressive. I do like a good shimmer eyeshadow but I found this one to be more glitzy than the Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Shadows so for me would be better suited for going out versus everyday.

To recap, the event in Los Angeles is happening this weekend March 19-20th at the California Market Center. All the event details, location, hours, exhibitors, special speaker events are on their website www.themakeupshow.com/la. You can purchase tickets ahead of time online here or also at the door (they are cheaper if you purchase online). Follow them on Instagram @themakeupshow to get more sneak peeks of what’s launching at the event.

I hope you enjoyed this preview! Full recap of the event to follow after
this weekend. If you’re planning to attend please let me know in the
comments! Or if you’ve attended one – would love to hear about your
experience and thoughts too.

Items provided courtesy of The Makeup Show team as a preview for the LA 2016 Event.

Base Makeup

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer

January 10, 2016

Make Up For Ever just launched a new product to their Ultra HD range called the Ultra HD Concealer ($27 each for 7 ml/0.23 oz). These are designed to conceal the under eye area described as “invisible, luminous and comfortable” and are made to correct and conceal dark circles while blurring fine lines and wrinkles. Make Up For Ever kindly sent over the shades for me to test out. They do not disappoint. According to Make Up For Ever these contain:
  • Lamellar structure pigments that reflect and diffuse light, erasing under eye shadows and blurring imperfections
  • An anti-dark circle complex comprised of green algae and amino acids to help conceal and correct cobined with a radiance booster comprised of an Asian berry extract that helps stimulate collagen production to brighten and smooth skin
  • A 3D elastomer gel to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines

There are 10 colors in total that are split into two color families R (peach) and Y (yellow):

Color Correct: neutralize dark circles with a peach shade:
R20: Light Skintones
R22: Light to Medium Skintones
R30: Medium Skintones
R32: Medium to Tan Skintones
R40: Tan Skintones 

Conceal: brighten and awaken undereye area:
Y21: Light Skintones
Y23: Light to Medium Skintones
Y31: Medium Skintones
Y33: Medium to Tan Skintones
Y41: Tan Skintones 

Onto my testing and thoughts. These come in a thin squeeze tube without any sponge tip applicator. They are really easy to apply on the face, you can use a brush or sponge to blend, but I like to dab two tiny dots of product under each eye straight from the tube and then blend with the fingers.

On the nails, Louboutin Miss Loubi

On colors, I’m yellow and olive in undertone and in general often have a hard time finding a good match for under eye concealers. Most are either too pink, too light, or too dark. I know many like to go one shade lighter for under the eye to brighten and counter dark circles, but often times that “1 shade lighter” is just too light. An exact match is ideal, but many tend to warm up and oxidize slightly making colors too dark for me. I’m not one who likes to mix colors. Last year I was lucky to discover quite a few new formulas and color matches. Concealer roundup from last fall in this post here (with lots of swatches from Surratt, Urban Decay, YSL, Charlotte Tilbury and more).

For the under eye area I have been using the Charlotte Tilbury Retoucher #3, Bare Minerals Bareskin Concealer in Medium Golden and Urban Decay Naked Skin in Medium Neutral. My other favorite NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger is still too light for me at the moment but I adore the formula.

The Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer has made the cut to join my top picks. It’s an incredible concealer for under eyes. It’s described as invisible because once you blend it into the skin it doesn’t look like you have makeup on, but at the same time it really does conceal and cover up dark circles. My initial thoughts were that I would find a match in the Y family. Y33 is a pretty good match, but I actually like the ones with peach tones because it brightens the face and neutralizes dark circles better. I can get away with either R30 or R32. These add just the right amount of brightness under the eye without too much contrast. They do warm up but don’t oxidize as much as the ones from Urban Decay.

I don’t have under eye wrinkles yet but some full coverage foundations or cream concealers can emphasize fine lines. The Ultra HD concealer blends in with the skin for a smooth looking blurred skin look. Lasting power is quite good – it lasts all day without budging, creasing, or fading. I do set with a powder though (some favorites in this post here).

I’ve been a fan of the Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealers as well, alternating between colors 7 and 8. These are a lot thicker in texture – many find it too thick for under the eye (I found it was ok, but yes it can feel a little thick). The Ultra HD Concealer is thinner in texture but still very creamy and very concentrated. You get less than half the product with the new Ultra HD formula but a tiny bit goes a long long way.

Swatches plus two sets of comparisons:

My best matches in the Ultra HD Invisible Cover Concealer range are Y33, R30 and R32. Swatch comparisons to some other concealer shades I use (or have used when I have been lighter) and a few foundation swatches to help. As you can see below there is a lot less product with the Ultra HD Line (7 ml/0.23 fl oz) compared to the Full Cover Concealer (15 ml/0.5 fl oz). The Ultra HD is more concentrated though so a little bit goes a longer way compared to the Full Cover formula.

Two sets of swatches comparison below with prices and product sizing included for reference to save you time from having to look it all up (prices as of 1/10/2016):
The entire Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer ($27 each for 7 ml/0.23 oz) lineup compared to:

Bottom line, definitely worth checking out if you’re searching for an under eye concealer. The colors do seem to be limited but what impressed me was the fact that they included several that I think will work for super fair skintones. I know a few of my fellow beauty lovers have fair skin and find it challenging to find something light enough for their skintones. For tan to deep skin tones, you might be able to try either of the two darkest colors, but for now I suspect Charlotte Tilbury, MAC and NARS will still be the best bet for having a wider color selection available for those with deeper skintones. I feel lucky to have found 3 that work for my under eye area. I give this a huge thumbs up.

The Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealers ($27 each) are available now at Sephora and Make Up For Ever. Have you checked these out yet? If yes, please share what color(s) you picked out and your foundation or concealer shades in other lines to help others who can’t swatch in person to find their match ๐Ÿ™‚

The Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealers and Foundation were provided as courtesy press samples for review. All opinions my own.