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Base Makeup

Foundation + Concealer Reference Guide for Medium-Tan Skin

April 14, 2021

Foundation Shades for MAC NC35 Chanel B40 Dupes

By popular request I’ve put together a foundation + concealer guide with a comprehensive list of my current foundation and concealer shades. You can always refer to my BASE MAKEUP Category to see what foundations, concealers and powders I’ve reviewed too! A number of you asked for a list of all the shades I use or have reviewed in one single list for reference. This isn’t a complete list since a number of formulas have been discontinued or reformulated, but it’s a relatively current one.

I would describe my skin tone as medium to tan with golden tones. When I lived in San Diego I was around a MAC NC30 and now in Florida I am more often around a MAC NC35 or 40. Living in Florida I find that I tan very easily. I often purchase more than one foundation shade to mix, or switch as I darken with the sun.

For undertone, my natural undertone is more yellow/olive but the darker I get my skintone becomes more neutral/golden rather than warm. If there is more than one color undertone in a foundation brand, I’m usually the neutral option.

I’ve included links to all of the reviews and swatches I’ve done. You can see a lot more features in other makeup reviews and beauty breakdowns as well (but it might take a bit of searching).

FOUNDATIONS

Foundation Testing Fenty, Natasha Denona and Charlotte Tilbury

Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in Shades 6.5 or 7 (review here)

Armani Power Fabric Balm Foundation in Shade 6.5 (review and on the face here)

Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Foundation in 4.25 Natural Tan or 4.5 Warm Natural (swatches of all colors here)

By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra-Foundation in 400N or 400W (review here)

By Terry Nude-Expert Foundation Stick in 9 Honey Beige (review + swatches here)

Chanel CC Cream in B40 (review here)

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation B40 or BD41 (swatches here)

Chanel Les Beiges Les Beiges Water-Tresh Tint in Medium Plus (review here)

Chanel Les Beiges Sheer Healthy Glow Moisturizing Tint in Medium Plus (review here)

Chanel Sublimage L’Essence de Teint in B40 (review here)

Chanel Ultra Le Teint Velvet in B40 or B50 (review here)

Chantecaille Future Skin Cushion Foundation in Nude or Wheat (review here)

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation in 7.5 Neutral (review here)

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation in Shade 6.75 or 7 (on the face here and here)

Cle de Peau Beaute Radiant Fluid Foundation Matte in O40 (review here)

Cle de Peau Radiant Cushion Foundation in 030 (but this one runs a bit light on me however it’s the darkest shade they currently make, on the face here)

Dior Dreamskin Cushion Foundation in 030

EM Cosmetics Daydream Cushion Foundation in between shades Sweet Secret and Summer Hue (review here)

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation in 3W1 Tawny (review here)

Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Hydrating and Soft Matte in 235 (review here)

Kosas Tinted Face Oil in Shade 6 (review here)

La Mer Luminous Lifting Cushion Foundation in Shade 33 Warm Bisque (review)

La Prairie Skin Caviar Foundation in Satin Nude (I think this shade may have been discontinued, review here)

Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra Longwear Foundation in Buff 3N1 (review here)

Laura Mercier Flawless Lumiere in Latte 3N1.5 (review here)

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in Sand 3N1 (review here)

MAC Studio Fix Tech Foundation in NC30 or NC35 (review here)

MILK Makeup Flex Foundation Stick in Golden Sand

NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation in Vanuatu or Barcelona (review + swatches of all the colors here)

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in St. Moritz

Natasha Denona Foundation X+ in 42WY (on the skin here)

Pat McGrath Sublime Perfection Foundation in LM14 or M15 (review here)

Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate Soft Radiance Foundation in 6 Natural (review here)

Tom Ford Traceless Soft Matte in 6 Natural (review here)

Urban Decay Hydromaniac Glowy Tinted Hydrator in Shade 50 (review here)

Westman Atelier Vital Skin Foundation Stick in Shade 6 (review here)

YSL Touche Eclat All-In-One-Glow Foundation in B40

CONCEALERS

Armani Luminous Silk Concealer 6.5

Armani Luminous Silk Concealer in 6.5 (review here)

By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra-Concealer in 300 (review here)

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Liquid Concealer in Shade 6 or 7 (review here)

Cle de Peau Beaute Concealer in Buff (for an exact match, swatches here)

Cle de Peau Beaute Radiant Corrector for Eyes in Ocher (a bit lighter for brightening, swatches here)

Hourglass Vanish Airbrush Concealer in Beech

Kosas Revealer Super Creamy + Brightening Concealer in Shade 6 (review here)

Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra Longwear Concealer in 2N or 3N (swatches here)

Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Correct and Brighten Concealer in 3N (swatches here)

MAC Studio Fix 24-Hour Smooth Concealer in NC40 (this one runs light in color, swatches here)

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger (swatches here)

Pat McGrath Sublime Perfection Concealer in LM12 to M15 (review here)

YSL Touche Eclat Radiant Touch in Shade 3 or 4.5 (review here, applied in action here)

Foundation Concealer Guide for MAC NC35 Chanel B40

Linking my Top 10 below:

 

My top recommendations for each person depends on skin type and season, but if you want to know my personal favorites, my Top 3 most worn foundations are Armani Luminous Silk, Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion and Pat McGrath Sublime Perfection. I also wear a lot of Chanel. There are too many variables for concealer as everyone has different color preference for how light they want to go, how creamy they want it, opacity level, etc. Since I find most of my foundations do a good job at covering what I want, I don’t always wear concealer. The best brightening ones are from NARS and YSL in my opinion though.

Hope you found this helpful! You can find these at a variety of retailers but I mainly shop at Nordstrom and Sephora. Let me know if you have any questions or want additional details!

Base Makeup

Spring Foundation + Concealer Edit

April 6, 2021

Spring Foundation Edit Review

I have a Spring Foundation + Concealer Edit for you today! I’ve put together a roundup of some foundations and concealers I’ve been testing this spring. There are a few newer launches I’ve been really excited about and if you’ve been curious about any of the formulas I hope you find this helpful!

Spring Foundation Review MAC, Chanel, Dior, Westman Atelier, By Terry and more

Chantecaille Future Skin Cushion

Chantecaille Future Skin Cushion Review Nude and Wheat

The Chantecaille Future Skin Cushion ($128) is one of the best cushion foundations I have ever tried. It gives that skin-but-better kind of glow with enough coverage to even out the complexion in a natural way. I tested two shades: Nude is a medium color with neutral undertones and Wheat is a deeper medium beige with more golden undertones. I’ve found I can wear either shade right now. I tan easily so Wheat will be my go-to summer shade and right now Nude is a nice match.

The cushion comes with a refill (which I love!). The formula is water-based and melts into the skin beautifully! I feels lightweight and fresh on the skin and once it sets I find it has good lasting power.

Chantecaille Future Skin Cushion

Below wearing the Chantecaille Future Skin Cushion in Nude + Lip Chic in Clover, Tee by ATM

Chantecaille Future Skin Cushion in Nude

Chanel Sublimage L’Essence de Teint

Chanel Sublimage L’Essence de Teint B40

I was a huge fan of the Sublimage Le Teint Cream and was really eager to try the new Chanel Sublimage L’Essence de Teint. I ordered shade B40 which is a good match. The main difference between the two is the original is a cream (heavier in texture, more opaque) and the new launch is a serum (lighter in texture, more fluid). It’s a medium to full coverage formula on me and has a glowy finish. Formula is very hydrating and smooth. It comes with a brush which is excellent! Smooth and well made.

Lasting power is pretty good with a powder. It does get a bit glowy within a few hours and need a touch up, but it performs well on me. Wearing it below with the Rouge Coco Flash in Easy. I would normally set with powder but for all the face photos in this post I wanted to show you more of what it looks like on the skin.

Chanel Sublimage L’Essence de Teint B40

A few of you asked whether I’d recommend the new Sublimage vs the Les Beiges Foundation vs the Tint vs CC Cream. I think they’re all a little different:

MAC Studio Fix Tech Cream-to-Powder Foundation

MAC Studio Fix Tech Cream-to-Powder Foundation NC35

I featured the MAC Studio Fix Tech Cream-to-Powder Foundation in a recent roundup but wanted to highlight it again. It’s one of the best solid cream to powder foundations I’ve tried! It’s truly long-wearing and has an easy to blend texture even though it’s full coverage. I’m somewhere in between NC30 and NC35. Wearing it below with the MAC Lipglass in Beaux.

Westman Atelier Vital Stick

Westman Atelier Vital Stick Foundation Shade 6

I finally ordered the Westman Atelier Vital Stick Foundation Shade VI since the brand is now available at Sephora. I ordered Shade 6 sight unseen and was thrilled to find it a perfect match! There are so many mixed reviews but really love it. Texture is creamy (not waxy as some felt) and it is truly easy to blend. Coverage looks medium natural and buildable. I am really happy with the lasting power, color, coverage and texture! The only complaint I have is that I find it very pricey for the amount you get, but I really love it.

Westman Atelier Vital Stick Foundation Shade 6

Dior Forever Natural Nude

Dior Forever Natural Nude Foundation

I had such high hopes for the Dior Forever Natural Nude Foundation. This is described as a lightweight base with 24-hours of fresh wear. It does have a lightweight texture with medium coverage and a radiant finish but the colors darkened on my skin significantly within a few minutes. I ordered my usual shades in the 3 range, 3N (more neutral) and 3W (yellow) and 3W worked a bit better for me as it’s a bit lighter and more yellow. Wear was inconsistent for me – some days it looked fresh and radiant for hours while other days it separated and became greasy looking within a few hours. The main deal breaker for me is that it irritated my skin and left tiny little red bumps on my face. For me unfortunately it was a miss.

Swatches below side by side for reference:

Foundation Swatches MAC NC30 NC35 Chanel B40 Westman Atelier 6

Concealer

I still love my go-to concealers including the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion, Pat McGrath and Cle de Peau for brightening and spot concealing, but have been trying a few different formulas.

YSL Touche Eclat

YSL Touche Eclat Radiant Touch Concealer

I started using the YSL Touche Eclat again and forgot how much I love this for brightening. It has finish that blends into the skin beautifully and I alternate between Shade 3 and 4.5 to brighten. Reposting the swatches from my last post below.

YSL Touche Eclat Glow Tint B40 and Concealer Shade 3 and 4.5

By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra-Concealer

By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra-Concealer 300

My newest try is the By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra-Concealer which is lightweight concealer that is 87% skincare based. This has medium coverage with a blendable texture. I was really impressed with the coverage even though it has mostly skincare (versus makeup). It evens out the under eyes and brightens nicely with a smooth and silky feel. Finish is what they call a lumi-matte – not quite matte, not quite dewy. I really like that it doesn’t emphasize fine lines, it’s creamy but not as creamy as the ones from Laura Mercier or NARS. For me this is best as an under eye brightener rather than applying on other areas of the face. As usual I always need to set with a little bit of powder to make it last.

I found Shade 300 to be a perfect match for what I needed. For reference I use her Hyaluronic Hydra-Foundation in 400N.

Swatches below next to a few others I have from NARS as I know a lot of you wear Macadamia or Ginger. Thought this would be helpful if you have similar skintone to me!

Concealer Swatches By Terry, NARS Macadamia, Ginger, YSL Touche Eclat 3 and 4.5

Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Correct and Brighten Concealer Duo

Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Correct and Brighten Concealer Duo vs Flawless Fusion

Last but not least is another look at the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Correct and Brighten Concealer Duo. This is a super convenient product with one side for brightening under the eye and a more pigmented side for spot concealing. I reviewed this in my Makeup Favorites For a Flawless Glow post but had a few more shades to swatch and compare for you. I wear the 3N color in this formula and also the Flawless Fusion Concealer (this one is creamier).

  • N code is for neutral tones
  • W is for warmer tones
  • C is for cool tones

Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Correct and Brighten Concealer Duo swatches 2 and 3 family

I know I covered a lot in this roundup! If you want to know which one is the best, I would recommend product based on your skin type or what coverage/finish you’re looking for. I have normal combination skin but it changes by season. Right now I’m very normal-to-dry as we’re in the dry season in Florida. My favorites right now:

I hope you found my Spring Foundation + Concealer Edit helpful! Let me know if you’ve tried any of these and what you thought.

Shop the Post:

 

Press samples include the By Terry Concealers, Chantecaille Future Skin Cushion in Nude.

Base Makeup Nordstrom

Makeup Favorites for a Natural Flawless Glow

January 22, 2021

Glowing Makeup Favorites from Nordstrom

Some of the most frequently asked questions I get are “what do you recommend for the best glow foundation?” and “what are you wearing that makes your skin glow?” I love a base that looks glowing but natural – like my skin but a bit better. Based on the messages and comments I’ve received from you, it looks like many of you do too! I thought I’d do an updated roundup of my glowy makeup favorites! I’ve partnered with Nordstrom to share my top picks.

I’ve included my top picks for foundation, concealer, liquid highlighter and glow powders. For me I love layering product for a natural look. I’ll usually apply a light-to-medium coverage base all over and then add product as needed to help correct things like dark circles, dull skin, scars or acne.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette Volume II

Best Glow Foundations

Best Glow Foundations Chanel, Armani, Laura Mercier

I have three favorite glow foundations and to me they are all suitable for a wide range of skin types. My most-used base is the Armani Luminous Silk Foundation (I wear shades 6.5 or 7) for a natural long-wear medium buildable coverage foundation with a subtle glow. I always set with a powder to make sure it stays locked in place.

I also highly recommend the Laura Mercier Flawless Lumiere Radiance-Perfecting Foundation (I wear Latte 3N1.5). This has a tiny bit more radiance and is easier to build coverage compared to the Armani. Although it has a dewy finish as long as you set with a powder this too also has long lasting power and stays put looking fresh for hours. I like that they have different undertones for each shade category making it easier to find a match whether you’re warm, neutral or cool.

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation (I wear B40 or BD41) is another favorite for medium dewy coverage. It has enough pigment to cover dark under eye circles for me (although mine are moderate in color) and also covers sun spots. It is fragranced though so if you’re sensitive to fragranced products I would do a patch test first. Out of all the bases I wear this is the one that gets me the most compliments!

On low maintenance days or good skin days I really love the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer (I wear 3N1 Sand) for the best all-around sheer coverage base with moisture. It has sheer coverage and evens out the skin in the most natural way.

Below wearing the Laura Mercier Flawless Lumiere Foundation

Laura Mercier Flawless Lumiere Foundation Latte 3N1.5

Best Way To Add a Natural Highlight

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter Primer and Highlighter

For that lit from within kind of glow I can’t rave enough about the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter Primer and Highlighter. I like this because you can add glow to the foundations you already have and you can also control how much glow you want. It’s a versatile product you can wear under foundation as a glowy base, over foundation as a highlighter, under the eyes where you want to brighten. I usually apply under the eyes or on the cheek bones (similar placement to where you would put a concealer to brighten). I blend with a beautyblender sponge and it gives the skin more dimension and life. I’ve worn a number of different colors depending on what look I’m going for. Right now I like 3 for brightness and 4.5 for a closer match to my skin tone.

I also like the Armani Fluid Sheers and Chanel Les Beiges Sheer Healthy Glow Highlighting Fluid to mix in with foundation for added shimmer.

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter swatches

My favorite way to apply the Hollywood Flawless Filter in Shade 4.5 (you can blend with a brush or sponge)

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter Primer and Highlighter 4.5

Best Powder Glow

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette Volume II

I’ve been a fan of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder for a long time! I think they’re versatile to use as a finishing powder or a soft highlight. For my medium olive skin, Dim Light works as an all over setting powder (even though it has a pink tone) and Radiant Light works as a very soft candlelight warm soft bronzer (to warm up the complexion).

The palettes come with me on almost every trip I’ve been on. The original Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette has been a good one to use as a soft diffusing powder. Original has Dim Light, Incandescent Light, Radiant Light. I recently bought the newer Ambient Lighting Palette Volume II which has Soft Light, Radiant Light, Golden Bronze Light – it’s a deeper option which I really love. I think it’s going to be a more versatile option for me since I tan easily.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette Original vs Volume II

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette Original vs Volume II swatches

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette Volume II

Powders are soft and melt into the skin. I also love the Armani Neo-Nude Powders for a good glow. Sometimes it can be a bit too glowy so I recommend applying with a light hand or layering with your regular matte powder.

Concealer

Best Concealers Cle de Peau, Laura Mercier, NARS and Kosas

Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Stick Duo 3N

For concealer I love a good creamy formula that I can use under the eyes and blend easily. I usually try to pick a color close to my skin tone so it’s not too contrasted. Although I have olive golden skin, I often like pink or peach ones under the eyes to counter dark circles. My top picks include:

Best Concealers Cle de Peau, Laura Mercier, NARS and Kosas

Concealer Swatches Cle de Peau, NARS, Laura Mercier

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Volume II Look

Wearing:

Best Glow Foundations Nordstrom

I hope you found this roundup helpful! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments. Or if you want to share your favorites for a glowing makeup look I’d love to hear about them too!

You can find all of my picks at Nordstrom.

 

 

Many thanks to Nordstrom for partnering to sponsor this post. As always all opinions are my own.

Base Makeup

Summer Base Edit: Tom Ford, La Mer, By Terry + More

July 22, 2020

Summer Base Edit 2020

Today I have a new summer base edit! I’ve been putting quite a few new foundations and tinted moisturizer formulas to the test. I have my thoughts on all the formulas for you today. Side by side swatches included at the end along with a summary of my hits and misses.

For those new to my blog a quick overview on my skin type and skin tone. I have medium-tan skin with a golden undertone. Since I live in Florida I tan easily with the intense sunshine and so I fluctuate between shades frequently. My MAC equivalent is usually NC35 or NC37. For Chanel I’m typically B40 and sometimes B50. I have normal combination skin. I prefer medium to full coverage.

I’m covering thoughts on 8 formulas today. Thoughts on each one by brand and formula below.

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Tom Ford

Tom Ford foundations used to be my favorites for the color and quality. I still find some hits with the new launches but the color shades and options aren’t consistent across formula which makes it tricky to find the right match. I’m usually Natural 6.0 or Sable 6.5.

Tom Ford Soleil Glow Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15

Tom Ford Soleil Glow Tinted Moisturizer in Dune 5.7

Tom Ford Soleil Glow Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15 ($70, at Nordstrom) in Dune 5.7 – I have mixed feelings about this formula. This is a very sheer barely there tint. It currently does not come in my usual shade, the closest ones are Dune 5.7, Cool Dune 6.2 and Tawny 7.0. I opted for Dune (ordered sight unseen) because in some formulas it’s a good match. This one is too light for me but does adjust/oxidizes a bit. Once blended disappears into a glow, like basic moisturizer. Alone it’s too dewy so I have to set with powder which counters any glow it has. Formula has minimal hydration to me, just feels dewy and balmy. Lasting power is decent. You can see this one on my face here. I just don’t think it’s worth the price given the limited shade options and sheer coverage. It’s good but not amazing to me.

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Tom Ford Soleil Glow Flawless Glow Foundation SPF 30

Tom Ford Flawless Glow Foundation in Natural 6.0

Tom Ford Soleil Glow Flawless Glow Foundation SPF 30 ($88, from Nordstrom) in Natural 6.0 is a formula I’ve reviewed before. It’s not new but I wanted to highlight it again as I think it’s one of the best sheer-to-medium glow formulas I’ve tried. It has medium coverage and looks very natural on the skin. It comes with a dropper and is very fluid in texture so it’s lightweight and not heavy. You can see it worn here and on the face here.

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Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate Soft Radiance Cushion

Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate Soft Radiance Cushion in Sable 6.5

Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate Soft Radiance Cushion SPF 45 ($132, available at Nordstrom) in Sable 6.5 is one of the formulas that comes in a limited range of colors. The deepest one available is Sable which I ordered and it pulls a bit lighter than most other formulas in the same color which I attribute to the sunscreen ingredient. It has beautiful coverage with a nice light reflecting glow. It is dewy so I need to set it with powder to make it work for me. Above I’m wearing just the foundation (no powder or concealer although I do have some gloss and eye makeup on). You can buy the refills for this separately at $88. I think the formula is great but the color range is terrible.

I do think the liquid pump Shade and Illuminate Foundation is just as good with a better color range, slightly more opaque coverage with a more consistent color. I opted for Natural 6.0 which I found slightly darker than other formulas with the way it dries down, but it works for me with my tan. You can see the Shade and Illuminate Liquid Pump version in Natural on my face here. If you find formulas usually oxidize on your skin you may want to try half a shade lighter than your usual color.

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Tom Ford Traceless Soft Matte Foundation

Tom Ford Traceless Soft Matte Foundation in Natural 6

Tom Ford Traceless Soft Matte Foundation ($88, from Sephora) in Natural 6.0 – I couldn’t have been more excited to see this one launch! I ordered it immediately in Natural 6.0 and Sable 6.5 from Sephora. This is one of the best formulas I’ve tried, although I don’t think I would call it a true matte. It’s more of a classic soft finish with medium to full coverage. Application is best with a sponge to press and blend into the skin. Texture is very fluid but fairly opaque. Blends in seamlessly and has perfect coverage and excellent lasting power. I used it over the Kate Somerville DeliKate Recovery Cream (review + promo code here) alone without any primer and it performed exceptionally well. Natural is a good match for me right now. Sable pulls a little more olive/warm but I wanted a darker shade to mix since I tan easily.

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By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra-Foundation

By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra-Foundation in 400W and 400N

By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra-Foundation in 400W and 400N

By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra-Foundation SPF 30 ($59, available at By Terry) in 400W – This is my second favorite launch I’ve tried. I don’t have a By Terry counter near me so I ordered 400W and 400N sight unseen based on the shade chart. It looks lighter in the bottle but has a good dry-down and adjusts slightly once it sets. This is a fluid lightweight dropper style foundation. It’s hydrating but has a beautiful soft dry down with a natural glow. I love how light it feels on the skin and it offers natural coverage. There are 5 color options and each color option is available in Cool, Neutral or Warm. I do hope they expand the color range. I’ve been testing some of the Tinted Powders recently and like 300 for my skin. Review on this one soon. P.S. If you’ve had your eye on anything from the line the By Terry website is having a really good summer sale right now!

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La Mer Radiant Skintint

La Mer New Radiant SkinTint Light Medium and Medium

La Mer Radiant Skintint with SPF 30 ($95 at Sephora) in Light-Medium and Medium (above wearing Light-Medium) – I had high hopes for this but it was a huge miss for me for the formula and color range. I initially ordered Medium 42 which I found slightly too dark. It felt fairly thick and heavy on the skin which I expected based on the description. It also darkened on my skin once it set. I was determined to make it work but decided to try Light-Medium 32 since I used to love the Lifting Cushion in Shade 33 Warm Bisque.

Here’s the 411: Light-Medium is very pink/peach and once it dries turns orange/pink on my skin. Medium has the right undertone but darkens slightly so doesn’t match my neck. Coverage is sheer to medium. Texture is thick. Once it sets it looks like a greasy mess on my face. It feels very thick and uncomfortable – especially if I go outdoors at all. I think it would probably work better for those with super dry skin.

For a skin tint with similar coverage, I prefer the Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Moisturizing Tint or the CC Cream (which is thick since it’s a CC Cream, but works much better for my skin in the way it sets and lasts).

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Dior Forever Summer Skin

Dior Forever Summer Skin in Light

Dior Forever Summer Skin in Light

Dior Forever Summer Skin ($52, available at Dior.com) in 002 Light – my friend Rachel of @BeautyProfessor put this on my radar for summer during one of our chats. It’s super limited and so far I’ve only been able to find it at Dior.com. Colors run VERY dark. It’s been a long time since I’ve worn Dior for foundation but am usually in the 30 range. I initially ordered Medium 003 which I expected to work but it was much to dark. They had an ok return policy so I returned it and ordered the Light 002 which works much better.

It still looks really dark in the tube but it’s semi sheer and blends out nicely. Light works for my skin tone and gives the complexion a healthy glow – like the Chanel Les Beiges but with a more fluid texture. I suspect they made these darker in color to give the skin a more bronzed sunkissed glow, but I still think they should have offered this in a wider shade range. Coverage is sheer enough to be forgiving if you don’t have an exact match. I feel lucky to have found a color that works for me but if you’re on the light or fair side I think these will be too dark.

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Lunasol Glowing Watery Oil Liquid

Lunasol Glowing Watery Oil in 3 Medium

Lunasol Glowing Watery Oil Liquid* ($55 via Beautygypsy Recommends) in 03 Medium – one of my beauty friends Wafaa of @BeautyGypsy has a shopping site Beauty Gypsy Recommends where she offers custom purchases of a wide range of hard to find Asian beauty brands and products. She was kind enough to send me an amazing care package of foundations and sunscreens to try – and she picked them out all on her own! The Lunasol Glowing Watery Oil Liquid was first on my list to try and it BLEW MY MIND. It’s what I wanted the Kosas Face Oil to be, but this one from Lunasol is so much better. It’s a tinted fluid that offers beautiful medium coverage, it doesn’t even feel like an oil! Coverage is so flawless and naturally glowy without being to heavy.

It has SPF 25 and has a unique dropper dispenser at the top to control how much you pour out. Wafaa picked Medium 03 for me as we are both similar in skin tone. This one is just a tad bit to light for me and I plan on ordering Dark 04 from her website. I can make it work with a bit of bronzer but am really curious to see if the darker color will be a better match because the formula is SO good. * QUICK UPDATE ON ORDERS – I just heard from Wafaa that Beauty Gypsy Recommends is currently not taking orders until end of August. She’s working on updating her site with a note so in case you have not been able to check out on her Shopify that may be why. I’d recommend contacting her if you have any questions, she’s really friendly and helpful!

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Swatches below side by side of all the new shades/formulas I tried. Both photos have the same colors, just different lighting out doors.

Medium Skintone Foundation Swatches

With different flash/lighting:

Medium Skintone Foundation Swatches Tom Ford, La Mer, By Terry, Dior

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My Foundation Tools

Best Foundation Brushes and Sponge

With any foundation I feel like a sponge is the best way to go for smooth seamless application. Beautyblenders are the best sponges I’ve tried (and I’ve tried to find a dupe but cannot). The motion of pressing and blending the liquid into the skin with a sponge always gives me a better even coat of foundation even if it does soak up a lot of product. Brushes tend to apply too much product or look streaky. However I do have a few brushes I do use quite frequently for blending.

  • Zoeva 135 Petite Face Definer Brush* is a versatile brush you can use for cream contour or detail foundation. I use this to blend foundation in the nose creases or under the eyes. You can also use to blend concealer or set powder under the eye area as well.
  • Zoeva 104 Buffer Brush* is the best dense flat top liquid blending brush I’ve tried. It’s synthetic but ultra soft and smooth. It blends product into the skin in a seamless streak-free finish and is easy to clean.
  • Hourglass Vanish Foundation Brush is a classic, also synthetic but ultra smooth and soft. Works on fluid and cream stick foundations.
  • Tom Ford #01 Foundation Brush has held up for so long I literally cannot believe it. I bought it as part of a set back in 2012 (I checked my order history) and it has not shed one single bit. It’s one of the best ones I’ve tried.
  • Tom Ford #02 Cream Foundation Brush was also part of the set, but available individually. It’s versatile for cream, fluids, cream blushes, cream bronzer etc.
  • Chanel 2-in-1 Foundation Brush* is another favorite for an angled dense smooth foundation brush. Quick note the one I have is the last variation from 2017. I believe they just revamped the brushes this summer but it looks the same based on online photos. I have a planned order soon and will update this post once I have the current version.
  • beautyblender Nude is the one sponge I repurchase over and over again, it’s the best one I’ve tried.

Summer Base Edit

Summer Base Edit overview: Out of all the new bases I tried, my Top 2 favorites are the By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra-Foundation and Tom Ford Traceless Soft Matte. The Dior Summer Skin comes in close third but I’m docking points because of the super limited shade range. Much to my disappointment the La Mer was the worst for me.

For other base essentials I don’t use a lot of concealer these days but my absolute favorites are NARS Radiant Creamy (best for under eyes or brightening), Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion (also versatile for brightening + under eyes), Pat McGrath Skin Fetish (best full coverage concealer) and formulas from Cle de Peau.

I will have an updated powder roundup to follow soon. I’m testing a few new launches and wanted to include those in the review! If you want to see which other foundations I’ve reviewed you can always click on my BASE MAKEUP tag or search by formula name in the search bar.

What is your go-to summer base right now? Are you wearing makeup? Sticking with your tried and true? Let me know in the comments! I hope this review helps you in case you’re curious about any new formulas and foundations. Especially since I suspect most of us cannot test anything in store right now.

 

 

Press samples/gifting indicated with a *. Most items featured here were purchased by me.

Armani Base Makeup

Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, Hydrating Primer + Concealer Review

April 23, 2020

Armani Luminous Silk Collection

One of my favorite tried and true foundation formulas is the Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. It’s one of the best formulas for that natural flawless glow and one I’ve repurchased many times over. I’m so excited to partner with Sephora to give you a closer look two new additions to the Luminous Silk lineup. This year marks the 20th anniversary for the foundation and they’ve added their new Luminous Silk Concealer and Luminous Silk Hydrating Primer. You can find all three available now at Sephora, just in time for the Spring Savings Event (use code SPRINGSAVE):

  • Rouge members save 20% off 4/17 to 5/1
  • VIB members save 15% off 4/21 to 4/29
  • Insiders save 10% off 4/23 to 4/27

Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, Hydrating Primer and Concealer 6.5

Luminous Silk Hydrating Primer

Armani Luminous Silk Hydrating Primer

The Luminous Silk Hydrating Primer is an ultra smooth silky primer. It has a soft peach pink tint but blends into a transparent finish on the skin. A little goes a long way and it glides on easily. Although the foundation is so good I can often wear it on its own, I do find the primer noticeably grips the foundation for smoother longer wear. It’s hydrating but lightweight.

Armani Luminous Silk Hydrating Primer

Best Naturally Glowy Base: Luminous Silk Foundation

Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in 6.5

I’ve featured the Luminous Silk Foundation here countless times – it’s one I wear on a weekly basis for that natural radiant glow. It’s a great everyday foundation with medium buildable coverage. I love that it comes with a pump dispenser and it’s easy to blend with fingers, a brush or a sponge. I alternate between shades 6.5 and 7 depending on how tan I am. They’ve recently added 10 new shades for different undertones and the color range now includes 40 colors. I like this formula because it looks like my skin but better. It evens out the skin, leaves a smooth finish, doesn’t crease or transfer, looks natural. Even in humid warm weather it lasts long on me when set with a powder.

Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in 6.5

Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in 6.5

Luminous Silk Concealer

Armani Luminous Silk Concealer 6.5

As a lover of the Armani bases, I was really excited to try the new Luminous Silk Concealer. I found 6.5 to be the best match for my needs. It’s a multi-purpose concealer with caffeine to reduce puffiness around the eyes. You can use it for brightening or spot concealing. It’s quite opaque but very easy to blend with fingers or a sponge. It has medium to full coverage with a natural dewy finish and satiny dry down. I would recommend going with the same shade of concealer as your foundation.

Armani Luminous Silk Concealer 6.5

Armani Luminous Silk Foundation Review 6.5

Armani Luminous Silk Foundation Concealer and Primer

Armani Luminous Silk Foundation Concealer and Primer

I love how long the formula lasts on my skin. I do set with a loose or pressed powder to keep everything in place. (I really love the Neo Nude Powder.) I hope you found this Luminous Silk review helpful! I highly recommend the foundation for any skin type. It works for a wide range of climate conditions as well for me and I’ve worn it for years.

You can shop my Armani favorites from Sephora below. Have you tried the Armani Luminous Silk or any of the other foundation formulas? What did you think?

 

 

Many thanks to Sephora for partnering to sponsor this post. As always all opinions are my own.

Base Makeup Pat McGrath Labs

Pat McGrath Skin Fetish Sublime Perfection Concealer System

March 13, 2020

Pat Mcgrath Skin Fetish Sublime Perfection Concealer Review

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you are all well and safe. I chatted with some loved ones yesterday and my heart goes out to everyone during this time. Some have been impacted by having to work from home while others are still going into the office with everything continuing as usual. We are ok here in Florida so far and I truly hope everyone stays safe. We had planned some travel overseas in April, but as soon as news broke of the virus spreading we cancelled them.

So many of you have e-mailed me over the years telling me this blog has been a good distraction from things going on in their life. I hope during this time it will continue to be a helpful resource for all things beauty-related! I have a new product review to share today – Pat McGrath launched her Skin Fetish Sublime Perfection Concealer System and in today’s post I’m covering a review on three products:

Pat McGrath Labs Concealer

Skin Fetish Sublime Perfection Concealer

Pat Mcgrath Skin Fetish Sublime Perfection Concealer LM14

The Skin Fetish Sublime Perfection Concealer is one of the best concealers I’ve tried. It’s creamy, easy to blend, opaque, dries down perfectly without looking or feeling dry. As popular as the opaque matte concealers are among beauty lovers, I need something with a bit of creaminess so it doesn’t cake/dry/crack under my eye. This one from Pat McGrath is like the NARS Creamy Concealer in the sense that it’s very easy to blend and use for highlighting. The main difference is that the Pat McGrath has a lot more coverage and is slightly less dewy/creamy in finish.

I was sent a selection of colors in a press kit but ended up purchasing 4 additional shades to try out. I featured the concealer in LM13 in my February Favorites and also found LM12 to be excellent for under eye brightening.

My foundation match right now is Light Medium 14 as my winter/early spring color. Medium 15 is my most-of-the-year match when I have a tan. You can read the Skin Fetish Sublime Perfection Foundation review with swatches here.

Since I am normally darker in skin tone with the sun I went to my local store to swatch and purchase LM14 and M15. LM14 in the concealer and foundation are exact matches. For under eye I prefer something slightly lighter so I still think LM12 and LM13 are best for my needs.

You can see LM13 in my previous post here, but in this post I’m featuring LM14 which is still a really good for under eye and spot concealing.

Pat Mcgrath Skin Fetish Sublime Perfection Concealer LM14

Pat Mcgrath Skin Fetish Sublime Perfection Concealer LM14 blended

Swatches:

Pat Mcgrath Skin Fetish Sublime Perfection Concealer swatches

Swatch comparisons to Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Concealers in 2N, 3N and 3W I wear along with the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer shades I rotate between Macadamia, Ginger and Praline:

Concealer Swatches Laura Mercier, NARS and Pat McGrath

Sublime Perfection Concealer Brush

Pat McGrath Labs Concealer Brush

There is a small blending brush called the Skin Fetish Sublime Perfection Concealer Brush. It has synthetic material and is angled to blend and blur product. Since it’s very dense and on the small side it’s best for precision blending like right under the eye line or in creases between the nose. I found using my fingers or a sponge easier to cover bigger areas on the face. I think it’s well made and performs well, but don’t find it essential.

Skin Fetish Sublime Perfection Blurring Under Eye Powder

Pat McGrath Labs Sublime Perfection Blurring Under Eye Powder

I always set my foundation and concealer with a pressed or loose powder. I’ve tried a number of under eye setting powders and usually find them too powdery or dry for my under eye. The Skin Fetish Sublime Perfection Blurring Under Eye Powder from Pat McGrath has changed the game for me, it’s perfect! It’s a finely milled pressed domed powder with a very soft texture. I can use either the Light or Medium for setting and I think the three colors will cover a wide range of skin tones. It has an ultra sheer finish, so no color is added for me. It works to set and hold the concealer under the eye so it doesn’t move. Blurring effect is noticeable but moderate for me.

If you’re looking for a good setting powder for under the eye this is an excellent option. I am minimalist when it comes to my base though so I could probably skip and just use my regular setting powders.

Pat McGrath Labs Sublime Perfection Blurring Under Eye Powder Medium

Pat McGrath Labs Sublime Perfection Blurring Under Eye Powder Swatches

Pat McGrath Labs Concealer System

Full look wearing:

 

Pat McGrath Labs Concealer LM14, LUST Gloss Dare to Bare, BlitzTrance Skinsane

Overall an excellent concealer system complete with everything you need to conceal + set! I think it’s a great versatile formula for both under eye, highlighting and spot concealing. These are very opaque but formula is easy to blend with long lasting power. I give it a solid A+.

You can find the Pat McGrath Concealer System available now at Pat McGrath and Sephora.

Pat McGrath Skin Fetish Sublime Perfection Concealer System provided for review, however shades LM11, LM13, LM14 and M15 purchased by me.

Base Makeup

Fall Foundation Testing: Chanel, Pat McGrath, Charlotte Tilbury, Natasha Denona + more

September 27, 2019

Foundation Roundup Chanel, Pat McGrath, Charlotte Tilbury

I have a fall foundation roundup today on new formulas I’ve put to the test recently! I’ve already reviewed a few new base formulas from Chanel, Pat McGrath and Laura Mercier but I have three new ones in today’s post for Fenty, Natasha Denona and Charlotte Tilbury. I thought I’d round them all up and do a comparison to help you decide which one might be the best for you.

First here’s a look at my bare skin vs. foundation applied all over, more details on each formula below:

Foundation Testing Fenty, Natasha Denona and Charlotte Tilbury

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Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Hydrating Longwear Foundation

Fenty Pro Filt'r Hydrating Foundation Review

The foundation I was most excited about was the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Hydrating Longwear Foundation. It’s described as a hydrating formula but I did not find it hydrating or smooth in application. I’ve tested it with a number of moisturizers and primers (including the Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Primer). On my face it sits on my skin and doesn’t sink in like I’d expect a moisturizing base to. It doesn’t blend easily, it feels thick even with a sponge or sheer application. The pros are that it does have good coverage that looks natural and it photographs well. I also love the packaging. With a lot of blending I can make it work. My match is 235 in this one and it’s pretty close to the regular matte formula. The hydrating formula doesn’t oxidize as much as the matte one does. The main reason why I don’t love this is that it feels thick on my skin and it’s not thick in a hydrating way, just thick.

Lasting power is good, I think the color range is great, packaging is gorgeous and functional.

Pro Filt’r Hydrating Longwear Foundation in 235 applied all over the Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Primer, no powder or concealer:

Fenty Pro Filt'r Hydrating Foundation Review 235

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Natasha Denona Foundation X+

Natasha Denona Foundation X+ Review

Natasha Denona improved her foundation into the Foundation X+ ($45 for 30 ml/1.01 fl oz). I actually liked the original but found it a little on the thick side, it didn’t feel too thick on the skin but the new one is more lightweight. The newer version is medium to full coverage and has skincare ingredients infused. The Foundation X+ is more lightweight with good coverage and looks like second skin. You can easily control coverage and it’s long-wearing on my skin. It comes in 20 shades, I’m the 42WY right now. I personally wouldn’t really call it full coverage, but it’s more medium to full. I can still see some sun spots and a little redness on my skin through the base.

Wearing 42 WY below ( warm yellow undertone)

Natasha Denona Foundation X+ Review 42WY

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Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Longwear Foundation

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation Review

The Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Longwear Foundation was another base formula I was really excited about because I’m obsessed with the pressed powder (it’s my holy grail!). The foundation is a full coverage base that has a velvety matte finish. On the skin it does give it an airbrushed look and it’s very opaque. The texture is fluid and blends easily. It is lightweight in feel although I don’t really agree with the product description as being weightless – I can still feel it on my skin although it’s not heavy.

It is the best foundation formula in her line although I do think finding the right shade can be tricky. Colors oxidize quite a bit once they set. I think the online stock swatches do a good job at showing how much colors darken which they call “optimized.” Even at the counter the sales associate struggled to recommend the right shade for me. We settled on 7 Neutral and 8 Warm as the best possible matches. I highly recommend you try the colors in person because the number sequence jumps around especially with the different undertones. Right now 7 Neutral works the best for me. I also had a sample of 7.5 Neutral which is lighter than 7 Neutral.

As far as matte finish foundations go I still prefer the Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion the best for a natural looking matte that gives medium to full coverage and lasts all day.

Wearing 7 Neutral below all over, no concealer or powder. It covered all of my red pimples and sun spots completely. It has a velvety matte finish that isn’t too matte or dry looking, I definitely still recommend setting with powder.

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation Review 7N

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Chanel Ultra Le Teint Velvet Foundation

New Chanel Ultra Le Teint Velvet base

I reviewed the new Chanel Ultra Le Teint Velvet Foundation here. This is a lightweight velvet foundation with medium coverage. My match is either 40 or 50. This has the most lightweight feel out of the medium velvety coverage bases I’ve tried.

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Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer (new formula)

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer New Formula Sand 3N1 Review

The cult classic Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer has been reformulated into a new and improved version. I think it’s definitely improved and gives the look of fresh natural hydrated skin. Even though I prefer coverage, I like using this all over and then layering full coverage foundation or concealer on spots I need more. Layering prevents the face and skin from looking too flat. Review on the regular and illuminating formulas here.

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Pat McGrath Skin Fetish Sublime Perfection

Pat McGrath Skin Fetish Foundation Review Medium 15

Another base I reviewed recently is the Pat McGrath Skin Fetish Sublime Perfection here. Full details in the review. This is a nice medium to full coverage foundation that blurs and smooths the skin. It’s not weightless and has a satin finish so you will feel it on the skin, but it worked really well for me.

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A few side by side swatches which were hard to capture. Some of the formulas dried quickly and oxidized. Also please take note that how they blend and adjust on the face once it sets is different than what you’ll see in the arm swatch. Still I hope this can provide some kind of reference for you:

Foundation Swatches

Overall out of all the bases I tried, I still find my top 2 go-to’s are the Armani Luminous Silk (best luminous foundation) and Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion (longest lasting). For the new launches there’s a tie between the new Chanel and Pat McGrath for medium to full coverage. The Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer is good for good-skin days but I still prefer coverage so I don’t reach for it as much. The Charlotte Tilbury is nice but fact that colors oxidize so much makes it tricky to wear. Since it’s so opaque it’s not forgiving if you don’t have an exact match.

If you’re looking for a new base I hope this roundup of some new formulas help you! I was planning on reviewing a couple more but am having a hard time with color matching. If I end up finding one you’ll see a few more reviews soon.

Have you tried any of these yet? What did you think? If not what foundations do you love right now?

Press samples include the Natasha Denona, Chanel and Pat McGrath foundations.

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