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Base Makeup Cover FX

Cover FX Power Play Foundation Review + Swatches

April 16, 2018

Cover FX Power Play Foundation Review and Swatches

The Cover FX Power Play Foundation recently launched in 40 shades with an impressive color range! These run at $44 each for 1.18 oz/35 ml. I’ve always been really impressed with the color range and options that Cover FX has but most of their base formulas have been a little too opaque for my preference. The new Cover FX Power Play Foundation is what I wanted the Marc Jacobs Shameless formula to be (the Marc Jacobs was too difficult for me to work with). This new formula has buildable full coverage, a matte finish and is great for combination to oily skin. It is very opaque and a little will go a long way – since it is opaque I found it best to apply with a damp beauty blender in a dabbing and blending motion.

Cover FX Power Play Foundation Review and Swatches

These come in square shaped squeeze bottles. It’s easy to dispense although I find I do need to give the bottle a very thorough shake upside down. Application and coverage is full but you can blend it out with a sponge. Lasting power is pretty impressive but you absolutely need to set with a powder. (I like their Perfect Setting Powder in Light Medium or the Laura Mercier Loose Translucent Powder.) In terms of application I do think you need to wear a good primer with it. “Good” in the sense that you find a formula that is compatible with this base. I’ll have a post on primers soon. I usually don’t write about them because finding the right one really depends on your skincare and foundation. Some formulas like oil-based vs. oil-free vs. ones with silicone vs. silicone-free don’t mix well together. Finding the right combination depends on so much like your skin type, skin care and foundation formulas. For the Cover FX Power Play I’ve found their Illuminating Primer or the Tatcha Silk Canvas work the best for me.

Color range is very wide with options for a lot of skin tones. I’m in between shades but since moving to Florida I’ve found I’m almost always in between shades. I tan very easily and my skin tone can change or shift on a weekly basis. I try to stay covered and always wear sunscreen but living in South Florida there is no avoiding the sun. I received G10, G20, G30, G40 and G+40 as press samples. G40 was the closest match but a tiny bit too light. I went to my local Sephora and tried G50, G+50 and N50. I opted for G50 which you’ll see in the swatches below is kind of a bit jump from the 40s. I mix G40 and G50 (the ones with the G+ are more olive while the G is more golden).

Cover FX Power Play Foundation Review and Swatches G10, G20, G30, G40, G+40 and G50

For those who aren’t my skin tone, they have a pretty good guide online Sephora and their website. I have found in their other formulas I’ve usually been in the 30-40 range. It has been a while since I last checked their foundations but the Power Play seems to run a tiny bit lighter.

Cover FX Power Play Foundation Chart

First, find your undertone (underlying skin tone):
– P = Pink (a rosy, cooler hue)
– N = Neutral (equal parts of pink and golden)
– G = Golden (a yellow, warmer hue)
– G+ = Golden Olive (warmer and more olive than G shades)

Next, find your shade range (Light to Deep)
– 0-20: Fair
– 25-40: Light
– 50-60: Medium
– 70-85: Medium Deep
– 90-100: Deep
– 110-125: Extra Deep


Cover FX Power Play Foundation Review and Swatches G10, G20, G30, G40, G+40 and G50

Bare skin on the left vs. G40 and G50 mixed and applied on the right (just the foundation, no concealer or powder added), on the right also wearing Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquified Lip in Whip. As you can see below the foundation by itself has no flashback and it has a modern-matte finish. It’s matte but not flat looking, yay! Coverage is pretty full – you can still see some of my freckles and sun spots show through but the base by itself covers them really well. Skin is evened out and redness is covered with the Power Play.

Cover FX Power Play Foundation G40 and G50 mixed

Swatch comparisons to the Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Weightless Foundation in Natural 4, Natural 4.25, Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation in 3W1 Tawny, MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation in NC25, NC30, NC35 and NC37. I would say my closest MAC matches right now are NC25 and NC37 mixed (see, I’m always mixing!). On me the MAC liquid foundation in this particular formula oxidizes on my skin. I’m not sure what color I am in the Studio Fix powder foundation but I know the shades run slightly different among formulas. It’s been at least 5-6 years since I tried it (original powder-foundation formula gave me a severe allergic reaction). The Bobbi Brown is one of the few formulas that does not oxidize on me at all. My best match is Natural Tan 4.25 (review soon).

Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Foundation, Estee Lauder Double Wear, MAC Studio Fix Fluid vs Cover FX Power Play Foundation swatches

Cover FX Power Play Foundation Review and Swatches

Bottom line: a great base for combination to oily skin. It has a matte finish but definitely not a flat matte. Finish is very opaque but you can blend it easily. For me application looks best if I apply with a damp beauty blender and blend/apply quickly. Lasting power is good on my skin type and I have high hopes it’s going to be one that holds up in Florida humidity. I didn’t see any flashback and there was no irritation on my skin. Full ingredient listed online at Sephora. But I’ve copied/pasted them below:

Water, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Triethylhexanoin, Cyclopentasiloxane, Propanediol, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Isododecane, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Lauryl PEG-10 Tris(Trimethylsiloxy)Silylethyl Dimethicone, Nylon-12, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Hull Powder, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Triolein, Ammonium C6-16 Perfluoroalkylethyl Phosphate, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Hydroxyacetophenone, Sodium Chloride, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Wax, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Glyceryl Dioleate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Alcohol, Methicone, Dimethiconol, Alteromonas Ferment Extract. May Contain (+/-): Iron Oxides (Ci 77492, Ci 77499, Ci 77491), Chromium Oxide Greens (Ci 77288), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891).

You can find the Cover FX Power Play foundation out now. Available at Sephora and Cover FX.

Press samples featured include the Cover FX Power Play G10 through G+40 and the Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Foundation.

Base Makeup Charlotte Tilbury

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter Review + Swatches

April 10, 2018

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter Review and Swatches

The latest from Charlotte Tilbury is her new Hollywood Flawless Filter ($44 each for 1 fl oz/30 ml). It’s a complexion booster which you can use in a variety of ways for a radiant glow. I’m a huge fan of glowing skin and love mixing in liquid luminizers with foundation, applying as a base or layering it on top. I already own quite a number of glow bases but the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter is one of the best ones I’ve used. It’s very pigmented but is easy to blend. It melts into the skin and layers well with liquid foundation. For me it has the perfect amount of glow to be noticeable without looking harsh. Texture is just perfect for my combination skin to last all day without getting too dewy looking.

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter Review and Swatches via The Beauty Look Book

There are seven shades total and each one has a really pretty glow to them. Her website has shade recommendations according to her Light Wonder and Magic Foundation shades. I’d recommend sticking with the shade recs there. I’ve always been in between colors for her foundation varying between 5 (a bit too peachy), 6 (a bit too olive) and 7 (perfect undertone but a bit too deep). I usually mix 7 with 6. The Flawless Filters come with a sponge tip applicator. With this you can wear:

  • As a primer under foundation
  • Mixed in with foundation
  • Or on top of foundation

I like it mixed in or on top. To mix I simply swipe on a few stripes on the face and dot in foundation on the forehead, cheeks and chin. I then blend out with a beautyblender sponge. The other way I’ve applied it is on top of blended foundation like you’d apply a brightening concealer or highlighter. Then blend with a sponge. Many of you have mentioned liquid highlighters tend to disrupt the foundation underneath. This one stays put and blends in with the base without wiping it away.

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter All Shades vs Wonder Glow and Brightening Youth Glow

My best matches in the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter is Shade 4 or Shade 5. I’ve experimented with both and there’s a pretty big gap. I’m on the lighter side right now so 4 works best. I’ve also found Shade 2 or 3 work to lighten some foundation shades that are a bit too deep for me because they’re my summer color. I did try to use the deeper options as a contour and for my skintone they are really too warm to use. The nice thing about this product is you don’t need an exact match as it’s intended to add glow to the complexion not cover up the skin like foundation.

Swatches of all 7 shades below:

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter Swatches All Shades


Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter Swatches All Shades

Swatches next to the Wonder Glow and Brightening Youth Glow. Both of these are a lot sheerer in color and thinner in texture. The Wonder Glow has a beautiful golden yellow undertone which I have loved for years. The Brightening Youth Glow is more opalescent with a pearly glow. It’s also sheer and similar in concept to MAC Strobe Cream. The main difference is formula and color. MAC has more of an iridescent sheen and comes in different flashes of color. The Charlotte Tilbury is more of a natural flesh-toned shimmer. Applying all over does some slight color correcting in the brightening sense but in a very sheer natural way.

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter Swatches All Shades vs Wonder Glow and Brightening Youth Glow

Swatches of Hollywood Flawless Filter 4, 5 and 6 next to Magic Foundations 5, 6 and 7:

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation 5, 6 and 7 vs Flawless Filter 4, 5 and 6 swatches

Flawless Filter Shade #4 in action below applied on top of Magic Foundation 6 + 7 mixed.

Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter Shade 4 swatches

Full natural makeup look wearing:

  • Foundation is Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation 6 + 7 mixed
  • Highlighter is Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter Shade 4 blended
  • Powder is Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Powder Shade 2
  • Blush is Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic Blush in Sex on Fire
  • Eyeshadow is NARS NARSissist Wanted Eyeshadow Palette and Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerize in Mona Lisa
  • Brows are Diorshow Brow Styler in Universal Brown
  • Lips are Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick in Pillow Talk with Cle de Peau Radiant Lip Gloss in Charm 3
  • Top from Nordstrom Trouve

Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter Shade 4 swatched on face

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter Review and Swatches

Bottom line love. I love these mixed in with foundation or layered on top. I’ve tried this with a variety of bases including the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation, Dior Fiorever Foundation, Dior Forever Undercover, YSL Touche Eclat Glow, La Prairie Skin Caviar and found it compatible with all the formulas I tried. I like that the Flawless Filter has no detectable scent, has a dewy finish that doesn’t get greasy and has a beautiful glow. Quick note that a little goes a long way. The formula is very opaque and if you find you look too dewy or glowy then you’ve applied too much. I found there was a slight learning curve to getting just the right amount of glow. I think less is definitely more with this unless you want a real intense shimmer. I do wish there were a few more shades options. To me 1 and 2 look really similar but if you’re on the fair end of the color spectrum I suspect you will see more of a difference. I see a pretty big gap between 4 and 5 but I should be able to make them work with mixing for me once I get my tan back.

Overall I highly recommend these and think it’s definitely worth a look. They truly make the skin glow in a radiant way where you can control how much glow you have. You can definitely get a similar effect with other liquid luminizers but I feel like this formula works best for my skintype. So many other liquid highlighters tend to be a lot more shimmery or get dewy-looking very quick. This one has the right balance for me.

You can find these at all Charlotte Tilbury counters and retailers. Mine are from Charlotte Tilbury and Nordstrom.

Shades 3, 4 and 7 purchased by me. Shades 1, 2, 5, and 6 provided courtesy of Charlotte Tilbury for review.


Base Makeup

Tarte Shape Tape Foundation and Concealer Review

March 28, 2018

Tarte Shape Tape Foundation Review and Swatches Medium Sand | The Beauty Look Book

By popular request I have a review of some items from the Tarte Shape Tape family. I’ve used the Shape Tape Contour Concealer for a few years now in Light-Medium and Medium. So many of you have asked for a review of the foundations so I stopped by my local Ulta and bought both the Shape Tape Hydrating and Shape Tape Matte foundations. I also picked up the Quickie Blending Sponge to test out and today I’ll add some thoughts on a few primers from the brand as well.

My shades in the foundation are Medium Sand. My concealer shades are Light Medium and Medium.

Tarte Shape Tape Foundation in Medium Sand and Concealer in Light Medium and Medium swatches

Up first is a look at the Tarte Shape Tape Hydrating and Matte Foundations. I found my best match was Medium Sand. These come with a large sponge tip applicator like the concealer. The colors in each formula are the same name but the shades are slightly different.

Tarte Shape Tape Foundation Medium Sand

The Matte version runs a lot lighter but it worked out for me as it oxidizes and warms up on the skin after application. I would have preferred a formula that is in the middle of hydrating and matte, but out of the two I prefer the Hydrating Foundation one by far. It’s medium in coverage with a smooth glowy finish. It has some plumping ingredients which I found did seem to make the face look smoother than normal and minimized fine lines. I found it worked well over a variety of primers. Since I have normal combo skin it can get a little dewy looking after a few hours so a couple touch ups were definitely needed, but otherwise it lasts all day on me without fading or budging.

Tarte Shape Tape Foundation Medium Sand

The Shape Tape Matte Foundation did not work for me. I found the coverage and finish was always patchy. It emphasized texture, it looked extremely flat and it did not work well with my moisturizer or base routine. I did try with some oil-free primers since the formula is oil-free as well and was able to get it to work well with the Laura Mercier Oil-Free Primer and it did ok with the Tatcha Silk Canvas. It didn’t work with the Tarte primer for me. It was like applying matte on top of matte and looked like sand paper. For me it worked best with the Laura Mercier Oil-Free primer but I still wasn’t a fan of the finish and felt it looked cakey and creased around my smile lines and forehead. This being said I am going to hold onto it and retest in the summer.

Bare skin vs both formulas on the face without any powder/concealer added. Lipstick worn is Pat McGrath Labs LuxeTrance Sextrology. Application is with a sponge. You can definitely layer for more coverage. Below I have one layer blended all over the face. If you use a tinted powder it helps even everything out more.

Tarte Shape Tape Foundation Medium Sand swatches

Swatch comparisons:

Tarte Shape Tape Foundation swatches Medium Sand vs NARS, YSL, Estee Lauder

Left to right:

Next is a look at the Tarte Shape Tape Concealer. This one is among the most popular concealers in the beauty world. I have found I really like it but there are formulas I like better. This one is full coverage and very opaque. I have to make sure my face is well primed and slightly dewy (ie not completely matte) otherwise the opaque texture cakes on me. Sometimes a quick spritz of MAC Fix+ after foundation is enough to add some more hydration to my skin under the eyes for this. I’ve gone through a tube of Medium. Sometimes I am between Light Medium and Medium. On spots it works really well to cover. I always set with a powder. I use this regularly but still find myself reaching for NARS or Cle de Peau more.

Tarte Shape Tape Concealer Light medium and Medium

Swatch comparisons:

Tarte Shape Tape Concealer Light medium and Medium vs NARS, Urban Decay, Cle de Peau and By Terry

Shown above left to right:

Finally a quick look at some primers and a sponge from Tarte. Some are exclusive to Sephora, others are available only at Ulta so you may have to shop around. I’ve had a few minis of the Brighter Days Highlighting Moisturizer and think it’s just ok. It does a nice job at giving the skin a soft illuminating glow but I’ve tried better glow bases from Charlotte Tilbury, Sisley and Erborian to name a few. The Timeless Smoothing Primer is one of my favorites to make makeup last long and gives it smoother better application. The only downside is it is on the thick side and has that silicone feel. Still it does a great job at smoothing the skin for even looking makeup. The Double Duty Beauty Quickie Blending Sponge fell short of my expectations to be on par with the beautyblenders. The Tarte tool is a decent sponge but doesn’t have as much bounce as the beautyblender which makes it better to blend foundations or creams.

Two primers I like with the Tarte Foundations include the Laura Mercier Oil-Free Primer and Tatcha Silk Canvas. I’m typically not a primer person but living in south Florida I’ve experienced some very humid days. I’ve been experimenting more with primers to help extend the wear of makeup.

Tarte Primers, Sponge, Laura Mercier Oil-Free Primer and Tatcha Silk Canvas

Tarte Shape Tape Foundation Review and Swatches Medium Sand | The Beauty Look Book

Overall thoughts: some hits and misses. I really like the look, feel and finish of the Tarte Shape Tape Hydrating Foundation. If you have dry skin I think it’s definitely worth looking into. The Matte version is a miss for me right now, but once the real heat is back I’m going to give it another try. The Tarte Shape Tape concealer is definitely worth looking into. Right now at Ulta they have a promo if you purchase a Tarte Double Duty Shape Tape Foundation you can get the Tarte Double Duty Beauty Shape Tape Contour Concealer for $15 (offer valid 3/18/18-4/7/18). For the sponge I don’t think it’s worth the price savings to buy over the beautyblender. I was really hoping it would be a dupe but it’s not.

You can find the Tarte Shape Tape foundation and concealer available exclusively at Ulta and Tarte. Have you tried these yet? What did you think of the formulas?


Base Makeup Skincare Tatcha

Tatcha The Silk Canvas Review

March 21, 2018

Tatcha The Silk Canvas Review | The Beauty Look Book

Tatcha launched a new primer called The Silk Canvas Protective Primer ($52 for 0.7 oz/ 20 g, available at Tatcha and Sephora). It’s described as a “multitasking skin-protecting, makeup-perfecting primer is for face, eyes, and lips” that “smooths and makes makeup last longer while keeping it out of skin, helping to prevent clogged pores and breakouts.” I tried it two ways, as an all over face primer and as an eye shadow primer and found it to be one of the best that I’ve tried. I usually don’t like makeup primers because although they do make my makeup look better when applied, they don’t make my makeup last as long as advertised. Also I apply moisturizer, sunscreen, foundation, powder and occasionally concealer just for my base, adding one more layer of primer often seems just too heavy and excessive. That doesn’t even count the days I add serum (which I’m actually pretty lazy about). I’ve found Tatcha skincare to be excellent in quality, packaging design and performance. The Silk Canvas is no exception.

The Tatcha Silk Canvas primer has a velvety smooth feel and comes in a super pale pink cream. The cream disappears into the skin once blended on the face but since I’m very tan I can detect a very slight pale cast left on my hand. Once on the face it is barely noticeable and even applying a sheer base on top will cover it entirely. The primer smooths out the skin and does a really good job at making the skin a smooth canvas for makeup application. To apply they’ve given you a small circular disk with a line indicator. Simply swipe it across the surface until product hits the line and that is supposed to give you enough for your entire face. For me it does give the perfect amount of product. I like the applicator because it will keep the product itself germ-free and from fingers although I’m one who always loses any kind of small applicator (compact brushes, spatulas, stirring sticks, you name it, I will most likely misplace it). I’m going to have to try and be more diligent about these things. Finish-wise it’s not heavy or thick feeling.

Tatcha The Silk Canvas Protective Primer Review | The Beauty Look Book

Tatcha The Silk Canvas Protective Primer Packaging Review | The Beauty Look Book

With The Silk Canvas there’s no detectable scent. Edit – it is lightly scented but for me there is no detectable scent once it is blended on my face. Your mileage may vary depending on how sensitive your nose is. It doesn’t clog my pores. It feels velvety without being thick. Foundation goes on smoothly and the entire face feels noticeably more matte throughout the day and when I tested it I didn’t have to touch up once. Skin looks smoother with this although I do remember seeing a more noticeable smoothing effect with their Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen that doubles as a sunscreen and primer for me. I’ve been out of this and keep forgetting to repurchase!

You may have to do a bit of experimenting to get the right combination of bases. I tested it with a number of different combinations. Since I like to have as few layers of makeup on my face with Florida humidity I tested it with a few double-duty products like sunscreen and serum in one. The primer worked well with any combination of these. Your combo of course is most likely going to be different depending on your skin type and skincare routine. You might apply sunscreen after your moisturizer too.

Tatcha Silk Canvas Application Combinations | The Beauty Look Book

Step 1: Apply a double-duty sunscreen and primer in one with the Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum (one of my favorites, also Andrew’s current favorite)

Step 2: Apply a moisturizer, I tested the primer in combination with four different moisturizers on different occasions, ones that worked well included the Tatcha Watercream * (lightest in texture), Tatcha Silk Cream (best for normal to dry skin), Sisley Black Rose Skin Infusion Cream * (lightweight in texture for normal / combo skin), Drunk Elephant Protiniโ„ข Polypeptide Cream (another favorite with more hydration than the water cream or sisley, but still good for combo skin).

Step 3: Add a layer of Tatcha’s The Silk Canvas all over face.

Step 4: Apply your foundation base, ones I tested that work well with this primer include the Tarte Double Duty Beauty Shape Tape Hydrating Foundation in Medium Sand (review soon), Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation in Bisque, Dior Forever Undercover Foundation (I mix 21 and 31, color shown above is 31), La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation in Satin Nude and Estee Lauder Double Wear Nude in 3W1. I did not test all my bases as I haven’t had enough time to do so. But with the ones I did try, I found it compatible with a wide range of formulas.

I always set with powder too. Swatch on my hand below to show what it looks like blended. If you blend more on the face it disappears completely.

Tatcha The Silk Canvas Review | The Beauty Look Book

Swatches for eyeshadow with three shades from Tom Ford Eye Shadow Quad in Honeymoon which I think has excellent pigment on its own. Swatched on bare skin vs over the primer just using fingers to swatch. The primer makes the product adhere better to the skin with richer more opaque application.

Tom Ford Honeymoon Eyeshadow Swatches over Tatcha Silk Canvas

Compared to other smoothing matte primers I’ve tested, the most similar one in effect is the Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen * and Tatcha Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen. Tarte’s Timeless Smoothing Primer is also similar and one that works well for me but is thicker in texture as it’s more dense. All of these have a velvety silicone-like feel and finish to them, but I’m really thrilled that none of them irritated my skin or clogged my pores. Your mileage may vary depending on your sensitivity.

Tatcha The Silk Canvas Review | The Beauty Look Book

Bottom line a solid winner. I do think it’s very similar to their Pore Perfecting Sunscreen, just in a different formula and packaging. The Silk Canvas does a better job at keeping everything matte throughout the day. But their sunscreen doubles as a primer + sunscreen. If you’re dry make sure you have your skin properly moisturized first. We’ve started to see bits of warm weather peek through here in South Florida. I will be testing this throughout the warmer months but so far for the mildly warm weather it’s performed remarkably well for me to extend the wear of makeup all day. Since it keeps makeup on a long time, be sure to wash your face thoroughly at the end of the day. I double cleanse with either a cleansing oil like the Tatcha Camellia Cleansing Oil * or Deep Cleanse Face Wash * and follow with a second round of cleanser which is either one of the Rice Enzyme Powders or something from Kate Somerville (loving the Exfolikate and Eradikate Cleansers right now).

You can find Tatcha’s The Silk Canvas out now at Sephora or Tatcha. I highly recommend giving it a try.

The Silk Canvas provided by Tatcha for review. Other press samples featured have a * next to them.


Base Makeup

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation and Concealer Roundup Review + Swatches

March 19, 2018

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation, Double Wear Nude + Light + Cushion BB + Maximum Coverage + Concealer Review and Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

Today I have an Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation and Concealer roundup review of multiple formulas. The Double Wear Stay-In-Place Makeup has been raved about by so many people for so long I feel like it has cult-status in the beauty world. I’ve never been a fan of matte full coverage foundations as they don’t usually work with my skin type but I received so many requests to review. Many of you have told me I simply had to try it because it’s your holy grail. I did some research to buy some and found much to my surprise that the Estee Lauder Double Wear line is quite extensive! There are multiple formulas in foundation, concealer, primers and powders. Curiosity made me look into all of them which I admit I found it a bit overwhelming at first. After researching the different finishes I picked a handful to review. The color shades are similar across the line, but not identical. I tried the Double Wear Nude Water Fresh Makeup with SPF 30 formula first and found my match to be 3W1 Tawny. I’m a 3 in all the other formulas I’ve tried but will note the differences in shades below as some run darker or oxidize on the skin.

Quick takeaway is that I do believe there is something for everyone in this line if you can find a color match. You may have to do some mixing especially if you’re like me and feel like you’re always in between shades. Overall thoughts on testing eight formulas is that I have 7 out of 8 thumbs up which is pretty impressive for me.

Up first is a look at the Double Wear Foundation formulas. I did not test them all but I did try five of them. Shown in order of coverage from lightest coverage to most opaque.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation, Double Wear Nude + Light + Cushion BB + Maximum Coverage Review and Swatches 3W1 Tawny | The Beauty Look Book

My thoughts on each:

  • Double Wear Nude Water Fresh Makeup ($42 for 1 fl oz) has broad spectrum SPF 30, this is a natural foundation with enough coverage to even out the skin but runs on the sheer to medium side. I can build coverage easily and have it still look natural. This is my favorite formula out of all of them.
  • Double Wear Light Stay-In-Place Makeup ($42 for 1 fl oz) is supposed to be lighter in texture than the Nude formula but I find it very close. Coverage is also sheer to medium and this one has an almost gel-like texture to me. It sets quickly so blend fast. It is also very long lasting and budge-proof on me.
  • Double Wear Stay-In-Place Makeup ($42 for 1 fl oz) is the classic formula and after testing it I do see why it’s a favorite. I’ve mentioned I hate matte opaque foundations. This one has made me change my mind about them! It’s smooth coverage and streak free although it does run a bit darker than the other formulas and oxidizes a tiny bit on me. I tried two shades lighter in 2W1 and 2W2, both are too light or olive. In the non-winter months in Florida I’m quite tan so I can make 3W1 work. I’ve since been indoors more (since New Year’s Eve) since it’s been cooler and have lightened a bit. I’ve mixed 2W1 and 3W1 to make it work for me right now. Face swatch below is just with 3W1. Lasting powder is exceptional. It performs really well, gives full coverage but doesn’t look like a flat mask.
  • Double Wear Cushion BB ($42 for 0.42 oz) runs dark in the 3W1 shade and currently this formula is only available in a few shades. I’m not sure if it was ever launched in more colors or not, but it does run at least 1 shade darker than the others. This is a shame because this cushion is among the best that I’ve tried for a full coverage formula. I cannot wear it because of the color right now. It’s pretty close but I’ll have to wait until summer to wear it and have it match my skin. This has full but natural coverage. It covers all my freckles and sun spots. Lasting power is good without getting oily mid-day. Skin looks radiant and fresh with this one.
  • Double Wear Maximum Coverage Camouflage Makeup for Face and Body ($42 for 1 fl oz) has SPF 15 and it’s the only one I did not love. I had high hopes it would be a cheaper dupe for my holy grail Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation and Concealer. It’s not. The Maximum Coverage formula runs lighter in color than other corresponding shades and gives my face a mask-like finish. Formula is thin and opaque with full coverage but sinks into fine lines and just doesn’t look good on my skin. I have found it works better as a concealer. I apply any regular natural foundation and if I need more coverage I’ll sponge this on certain areas. That being said, as a regular foundation it did not work for me.
  • There is a Double Wear Makeup Pump you can buy separately for $10. It’s on the pricey side for what it is, but I 100% recommend getting it. I have 1 and plan on ordering another. It makes dispensing product so much easier and less messy! You can also re-use it for future bottles.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation, Double Wear Nude + Light + Cushion BB + Maximum Coverage Review and Swatches 3W1 Tawny | The Beauty Look Book

Swatches below. I would say the MAC equivalent is NC30 to NC35 in the MAC Studio Fix Fluid formula. I did swatch them side by side, unfortunately the colors oxidize quickly and I could not get an accurate photo fast enough. As you can see below 3.0 or 3W1 is not the same across all formulas.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation, Double Wear Nude + Light + Cushion BB + Maximum Coverage 3W1 Tawny swatches | The Beauty Look Book

Three on the face, bare skin and Double Wear Nude in 3W1 Tawny, Double Wear Light in Intensity 3.0 and the classic Double Wear in 3W1 Tawny. No powder or concealer added to show you what the formulas look like on the face, although I always set with powder when I do a full face. Since I have some red spots from a few breakouts I’d usually add concealer or a corrector to smooth out those spots. All taken with a flash so you can see there’s no flash back.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation swatches | The Beauty Look Book

For concealers I have two formulas to review. I’ve been a long-time fan of the Double Wear Stay-In-Place Flawless Wear Concealer formula in 2W Light Medium Warm for years. Since moving to Florida and being exposed to a lot of sun I’ve darkened in skin tone quite a bit and I’ve found I’m in between shades. The next shade up 3W Medium Warm is a bit too dark for me right now but I mix the two for a better match. This is one of my favorite creamy concealers for under eye that brightens the face and covers minor dark circles really well. While exploring the Double Wear line I decided to give the Double Wear Waterproof All Day Extreme Wear Concealer a try as well. It’s another super creamy concealer. I apply it around the nose or under eyes and it blends in seamlessly with foundation. Coverage is quite good but not super opaque so you can blend it to look very natural. I find it hard to pick between the two. I think both are really good if you like a creamy concealer that stays put.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer Review and Swatches

Swatches and comparisons below to: Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, Tarte Shape Tape and Cle de Peau Ochre.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer Review and Swatches

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation, Double Wear Nude + Light + Cushion BB + Maximum Coverage Review and Swatches 3W1 Tawny | The Beauty Look Book

Overall my experience has been positive with the formulas for excellent coverage, blendability and lasting power. I’ve tested them all with the Illuminator Radiant Perfecting Primer and Finisher which has worked well to extend wear and add a bit of glow underneath. My top two formulas are the Double Wear Nude and classic Double Wear. I’m excited to put the Double Wear Light to the test once the humidity picks up. The regular Double Wear Concealer remains a favorite but I’m in between shades. If you’re in the market for a new foundation I highly recommend checking out the line up. There’s a lot to explore with a wide range of finishes and coverage to suit everyone’s needs or tastes.

I bought all mine from Nordstrom and Sephora. You can also find Estee Lauder at Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Ulta Beauty and Estee Lauder.

Have you tried the Double Wear line? What formulas and colors are your best match?


Base Makeup Laura Mercier

Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra Longwear Concealer

March 9, 2018

Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Concealer Swatches and Review | The Beauty Look Book

Laura Mercier launched a new concealer formula called the Flawless Fusion Ultra Longwear Concealer ($28 for 0.23 oz/ 7 mL). This a medium to full coverage concealer that is described as weightless, perfecting, hydrating and blurring with up to 12 hours of crease-resistant wear. I received all the shades to review (twelve total) and have been putting these to the test for a couple weeks now. My best matches are shade 2W and 3W depending on the effect I’m going for. Coverage is indeed medium to full and very easy to build. For me a little goes a long way so I only need a tiny bit and then buff everything out with a damp sponge.

I give this formula a thumbs up, although I usually prefer something a little less opaque. I do find that even once you blend it is weightless and melds well with the skin and does not look cakey. Skin does need to be well prepped with a hydrating or somewhat creamy base, but this is going to be the case with any super opaque base so it will blend into to the skin better. I swipe and blend with a damp sponge and set with a loose or pressed translucent powder. It stayed put on multiple occasions from early morning until night without budging. This claims to have 12 hour wear. I did not try this for a full 12 hours, but I did find it stayed put for around 8 hours without any sliding or budging. I did experience some creasing on a couple days when I didn’t have enough moisturizer on – but my skin under the eyes is usually very dry compared to the rest of my face. With this formula I really liked any of the Laura Mercier primers, right now I’ve been loving her Oil-Free version.

Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Concealer Swatches and Review | The Beauty Look Book

The Flawless Fusion Ultra Longwear Concealer comes with a flexible sponge tip applicator. I like the design as it’s sleek, functional and the cap is designed so product doesn’t seem like it will ooze out even if you pump the wand. Color range includes three different undertones: C for Cool Tones, N for Neutral and W for Warm. There are some gaps in the color range for super light shades and there’s a big jump from 3 to 4 in the medium tones. I feel like there’s a pretty big gap between 6N and 6W as well. At the moment not every shade number is offered in every undertone. I’m thankful to have a few shades that will work for me now. Hopefully more shades will be added in the future.

I can work with 2W, 3N and 3W for my skintone right now.

Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Concealer Swatches and Review | The Beauty Look Book

For this review I’ve added swatches under three different lighting scenarios. I do try my best for color accuracy but there are so many different variables. I hope the lighting gives you a better idea:

Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Concealer Swatches and Review | The Beauty Look Book

A few comparison swatches to other concealers I rotate between depending on how light or tan I am.

Concealer Swatches Laura Mercier, Tarte, Estee Lauder, NARS

Shown left to right:

For me my favorite concealers are still the Estee Lauder Doublewear and NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. These are my favorite because I find them to be the creamiest. Matte finish concealers for some reason don’t meld well with my skin all the time. The Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion is slightly thicker and more opaque than the Estee Lauder and NARS but I’d say similar in the way it blends.

I have been testing the ones from Urban Decay and Tarte for a while and I’ll have a separate post on that. Both of those have more coverage.

Below I’m wearing the Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation in Buff with the Flawless Fusion Concealer in 3W. I previously reviewed the foundation in this Summer Base Edit post here wearing Dusk. Right now Buff is a little bit lighter and less olive which is a better match for me. On the brows is the Sisley Phyto-Sourcils Fiber Brow Gel in 2. Lip Gloss is the Lacquer Up Acrylick Lip Varnish in Free Spirit (blotted).

Concealer is blended under the eye area to brighten. It blends in pretty seamlessly and there’s no flashback. It’s shown without powder but I 100% recommend you set with a powder.

Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Concealer 3W

Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Concealer Swatches and Review | The Beauty Look Book

Overall a solid win for me. It is a little more opaque than I’m used to, but it’s not cakey and easy to smooth so it works for me. I is very easy to blend out with a sponge for a more natural look. I like that this one is easy to layer without it getting cakey looking. The lasting power is great as long as I set it with powder. I have high hopes come summer this will stay put on my face better than most. I like that it’s creamy and melds nicely with the skin. Ease of application and streamlined packaging is a plus. I do hope more shades will be added. I usually try to match concealers more closely to my skin tone. With this formula I like that there is little to no oxidizing in color on me. As you can see from the swatches there’s a big gap between 3 and 4. I feel like there I’m in the middle a lot. I’m in between Estee Lauder shades and also for NARS in the summer. I keep waiting for them to launch colors in between Ginger and Biscuit.

You can find the Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra Longwear Concealer out now. Available at Sephora, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Laura Mercier and all Laura Mercier other counters.

Have you tried this one yet? What did you think? If not, what’s your current go-to concealer?

Flawless Fusion Ultra Longwear Concealers provided courtesy of Laura Mercier for review.


Base Makeup Marc Jacobs Beauty

Marc Jacobs Shameless Foundation Review + Swatches

March 7, 2018

Marc Jacobs Shameless Foundation Review R310, Y320, Y340 and Y360

The foundation I have been the most excited about this season is the new Marc Jacobs Shameless Youthful-Look 24 Hour Foundation ($46 for 1.08 fl oz/32 ml). I was thrilled and thankful to receive a few samples to test in R310, Y320 and Y360. It comes in a wide range of shades with 29 options and different undertones. After trying this I found the samples didn’t match me. Y320 was too light and Y360 too dark/yellow. Anything with an R would definitely be too pink. I ordered Y340 hoping it would be the perfect in-between. I also have their new The Seamless Brush ($38) to review. After testing this for quite some time now I have a luke-warm review on this formula. More thoughts below.

Marc Jacobs Shameless Foundation Review R310, Y320, Y340 and Y360 + The Seamless Brush

First some notes about the Marc Jacobs Shameless Foundation. It’s a medium natural looking foundation that comes in the cutest squeeze tube packaging. I find it gives enough coverage to make dark spots and freckles disappear in a natural way. There’s no detectable scent. The SPF in the product is 25 but there is no flashback in photographs with a flash (full application below). I like that on these bottles they list the expiration date because so many times I can’t keep track of how long I’ve had a foundation or skincare product. I know that often times the 12 month, 24 month or whatever time period expiration is based on when you open the product, but sometimes having a date is nice.

Marc Jacobs Shameless Foundation Review R310, Y320, Y340 and Y360 + The Seamless Brush

I had issues with application. I couldn’t get it consistently smooth without the patchy finish. I tried a number of moisturizers and primers and since I know some foundation formulas are not compatible with all kinds of primers, I decided to try this the most with the Marc Jacobs Under(cover) Perfecting Face Primer. As much as I’d love to have 1 universal primer, sometimes it’s just best to use the same brand of primer/foundation because they usually design them with their entire line in mind.

If you have any kind of dry skin, I’d say this is not a base for you. I have normal combination skin but due to the weather right now I’m slightly dry. I found the Shameless Foundation worked best over the Marc Jacobs Under(cover) Perfecting Face Primer and applied with a damp beautyblender. I do really like the new Seamless Brush for other cream products like cream highlighter or blush, but for me it made this foundation streak.

Color-wise the Ys are very very yellow. Most of the time I cannot find bases yellow enough. These are borderline too yellow for me. My best match is Y340, as you can see below Y360 is VERY yellow. I added the Estee Lauder Doublewear 3W1 (also my match) below so you can see that even though that shade is yellow it’s still a little bit more neutral.

Marc Jacobs Shameless Foundation Review R310, Y320, Y340 and Y360 + Estee Lauder Doublewear 3W1 Tawny Swatches

The pros of this foundation are the natural looking coverage, lasting power and after it sets it does look nice. It photographs extremely well. The cons are the application – it just never set 100% well on my skin probably because I have some dry spots. All this being said since Florida is about to get hot and humid in a couple of months I’m going to set these aside and revisit in the spring.

The brush is something I really like, just not for foundation. It’s very smooth and soft and perfect for cream highlighters or blushes. For foundation I just really prefer sponges for a seamless blended finish. The size is really perfect – I find most cream brushes too small.

Marc Jacobs The Seamless Brush

Marc Jacobs The Seamless Brush

Wearing Marc Jacobs Shameless in Y340 all over the face below, The Seamless Brush held up for scale (although I prefer using a beautyblender to apply). No powder or concealer. Brows are Diorshow Browstyler in Universal Brown. Lipstick is Sonic Truth. Photo is taken with a flash, you can see without any setting powder the foundation has no flash back. I’d still 100% recommend a setting powder for this though. As you can see below I think it photographs pretty well. An up close and personal look in real life would show you this base just sat on my skin, it never really blended 100% to my preference.

Marc Jacobs Shameless Y340 + The Seamless Brush

Marc Jacobs Shameless Foundation Review R310, Y320, Y340 and Y360 + The Seamless Brush

Marc Jacobs Shameless Foundation Review R310, Y320, Y340 and Y360 + The Seamless Brush

Bottom line this formula doesn’t work for me right now. If you have dry skin I think it definitely is best you try something else. Given that my skin will change once Florida gets hot again I have high hopes this will work in the spring. There are things I like and things I dislike about this formula. For now I can’t say I love it. I do love the new brush though.

You can find the Marc Jacobs Shameless Foundation out now. Available at Marc Jacobs Beauty, Sephora, Neiman Marcus and Net-A-Porter.

Have you tried this? What kind of skin do you have and what were your thoughts?

Many thanks to Marc Jacobs Beauty for sending this to review. Y340 purchased by me.


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