Browsing Tag


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


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 Chanel

Chanel CC Cream SPF 50 Review + Swatches

September 13, 2018

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

Chanel relaunched their CC Cream Super Active Complete Correction with Broad Spectrum SPF 50 ($55 for 30 ml/1 fl oz, made in France) this month. There have been several launches of this product in the past and each time they release more shades. This round there are five shade options from 10 Beige to 50 Beige. They have revamped the formula and although I don’t have the original ingredients list or bottle to compare, this round has a similar natural semi-dewy looking finish but with a slightly less thick feel. It also seems to have a smoother finish on the skin this round.

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

For those not familiar with this product, the CC Cream is skincare and tint in one. It has SPF 50 which is what I’m most excited about. There’s no flashback with flash photography. It has a truly natural looking finish with some hydration without being greasy. I can blend easily with the fingers or a sponge and coverage is smooth and very easy to move around on the face. I haven’t had it long enough to notice the skincare benefits, but Chanel says that after 1 month use it is supposed to help reduce look of fine lines and wrinkles.

I’ve been testing it for around a week now. Even though there is a radiant quality to it and there is some noticeable moisture properties it held up remarkably well in Florida humid September weather. It lasted through lunch outdoors (in shade of course) without melting off the face. Andrew even commented that it looked natural like skin. With the Florida heat he’s taken more of an interest in seeing how my makeup lasts through the heat, sweat and sunshine so I have my own personal beauty critic commenting on my makeup each time we are outdoors for an extended period of time.

Chanel CC Cream 40 Beige Review | The Beauty Look Book

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

Compared to the Chanel Les Beiges Tint formula that launched earlier in the summer, the CC Cream has more coverage and a thicker feel. I’d say the Chanel CC Cream is very similar that of a traditional CC Cream in the sense that you can feel it on the face, it’s scented, it has a dewy finish, but it’s not greasy looking. I definitely need to set with a powder. My favorite setting powders in this post here. I tested the CC Cream with the Hourglass Loose Powder and Chanel Les Beiges Pressed Powder and it seemed to work with a variety of formulas.

Chanel CC Cream Review 2018 Version

Throughout the wear tests it held up nicely. It didn’t separate, ball up or streak. Color-wise the shade range is still very limited and I hope they will expand it. Once applied it does not oxidize. My shade is 40 Beige. Swatches below:

Chanel CC Cream swatches | The Beauty Look Book

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

Chanel CC Cream vs Les Beiges 2018 swatches

My match is 40 Beige in the CC Cream, bare skin vs one layer of the CC Cream below. It evens out the skin, covers most of my freckles, even did a decent job at covering a healing pimple on my forehead. Also wearing some of the Brow Powder Duo and Rouge Coco Gloss in 119 on the right with the CC Cream (no powder added in the photo, although I highly recommend adding it).

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

Chanel CC Cream 40 Beige, Bare Skin vs. Base

Chanel CC Cream 40 Beige review and swatches

Ingredients of this year’s version:

Chanel CC Cream Ingredients 2018

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

Chanel CC Cream Review

Even though it’s categorized as skincare I still consider it a makeup base that I can use in place of foundation. It’s not quite like a tinted moisturizer because I feel like it’s more corrective to smooth and even out the skintone. Overall performs really well. Even though I can feel it on the skin (like I can with virtually every CC cream I’ve tested), it’s not heavy. I can build coverage without it feeling cakey or thick. If you can find a shade match I think it’s worth a try.

Have you tried previous versions of the CC Cream? What did you think? More Chanel newness coming on the blog. I have some of the Rouge Allure Velvet Extremes I’m testing now and will be reviewing. They just launched a new Hand Cream in Texture Riche which I’m dying to try but am waiting for the new Le Volume Mascara to launch on the 15th so I can order both at the same time.

You can find the Chanel CC Cream out now. The new version has the words “super active” on the packaging. Available at

Chanel CC Cream provided courtesy of Chanel for review.

Base Makeup Chanel

Chanel Les Beiges Collection Summer 2017

July 28, 2017

Chanel Les Beiges Collection Summer 2017 | The Beauty Look Book

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

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

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

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

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

Swatches of 30 and 40:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chanel Les Beiges

Chanel Les Beiges Collection Summer 2017 | The Beauty Look Book

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

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

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

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



The Estée Edit Pore Vanishing Stick and Beam Team Hydrate and Glow Review

July 26, 2016

There are a few complexion products in The Estée Edit line and three I’m reviewing today include the Pore Vanishing Stick ($28), Beam Team Hydrate and Glow ($42) and Beam Team Bronze Hydrate and Glow ($42).

The Pore Vanishing Stick is described as a “dual-action formula” that “has an outer core of oil-absorbing powders and an inner core with a sheer pigment” designed to fit all skintones. On the skin it looks invisible and per the description can be used under or over makeup to either work as a primer or refresh makeup. With this one I have mixed feelings – on bare skin or over moisturizer, I swiped it on areas I notice pores are larger and my skin became instantly blurred and smoothed right in front of my eyes. The center is pretty much clear but it makes the skin look more evened out and matte. Once I add my foundation – whether applied with fingers, brush or sponge, the process of adding a liquid or cream on top seemed to wipe away any smoothing the stick accomplished. Over makeup (foundation or powder) as a touch up just didn’t work for me. If you read the reviews at Sephora – there are a lot of positive experiences though so it may work for many of you.

One of the items that I was most interested in trying was the Beam Team Hydrate and Glow. When it initially launched there was only one shade but for summer they launched a Beam Team Bronze Hydrate and Glow version. These are hydrating glow lotions – much like liquid or cream highlighters but with moisturizing elements. If you’ve liked the concept of glowy creams like MAC Strobe Cream or Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow but wanted something for deeper to tan skins, these are it! For years I’ve loved the concept of luminous creams you can apply as a base or mix in with foundation – however options in the warm gold or bronze category were pretty much non-existent. Most are either that classic opal color or if they came in other shades they are too shimmery to put on all over the face.
Each color has a portion that’s a cream in a squeeze tube with a
shimmering gold or bronze shade and inside the cap, there is a solid
highlighter that is more dewy and shimmery.

I tried both a few different ways. Like most luminous liquids or creams they are very versatile. These look shimmery when swatched but when you blend they disappear into a very soft luminous glow. I swatched them heavily below to show the color but they blend out to a much sheerer finish.
Test Method 1: Apply all over the face over moisturizer and under foundation – the liquid creates an all over very luminous dewy effect. With foundation on top you get that glow from within kind of look that was almost too dewy for my taste but if you set with powder it turns out to be perfect. These are hydrating so if you have oily skin they may be a bit too much for you, especially in hot summer weather. I found it lasted until mid-day before I got very very dewy looking all over and had to touch up on the T zone. The regular Beam Team all over works best for me while the Bronze Beam Team is too dark for all over.
Test Method 2: Mix in liquid with foundation. This is pretty self explanatory – and I think this method will work for most skin types. It adds a nice glow without shifting the foundation color or making you look like a disco ball.
Test Method 3: Over foundation on cheeks to highlight. The liquid pretty much disappears into a hint of glow, but the solid in the cap as a highlighter on cheek bones is more visible as a natural dewy highlight.

Swatched heavy without flash:

With flash:

For fair skin beauty lovers I suspect these will be more like a bronzer for your skintone versus a glow product. For those medium to deep you will rejoice that there is finally an all over luminous liquid and cream better suited for your skintone versus the pale opal shades that are currently out there and these are non-orangey! As a medium light person I find the regular shade work best for me. I do love a good liquid bronze – but for deeper color I prefer the Flash Illuminators (they have a light option which is perfect for super fair skin tones too, review soon).

Bottom line I have mixed feelings about the Pore Vanishing Stick. I’ve tried it several ways and unless I go bare faced, it didn’t work for me. Right now my skin isn’t clear enough to go bare faced so I always need some kind of base on top.
The Beam Teams are both great but since they are hydrating, if you are super oily they may be too hydrating for your skin type. They aren’t weightless but at the same time aren’t super heavy. They leave the face feeling well hydrated and soothed but you can feel it almost like a moisturizer.

You can find the Pore Vanishing Stick ($28), Beam Team Hydrate and Glow ($42) and Beam Team Bronze Hydrate and Glow ($42) all exclusively online and in stores at Sephora.

Estee Edit items provided for review consideration.

The Beauty Look Book Essentials | Eye Basics

February 16, 2014

This is Part 2 of my Essentials Series. Today I’m sharing my favorite eye basics tools and products such as bases, mascaras and brow products. Details listed below for each product, followed by some swatches and extra photos below.

An overview on what I’ve looked for in each category:
  • Bases – I have normal to dry lids so I tend to look for products that are a tiny bit moist and dry down slowly so I can layer shadows without having to rush. At the same time I want something that will also dry to a finish that is longer-lasting and something that will stay put throughout the entire day. For color I know many like to match the skin color exactly to even out the lids. I prefer something with a bit of shimmer or a few shades darker otherwise the lids end up looking very flat and washed out.
  • Pencils/liners – I have found many basic browns or blacks are not dark enough or don’t have the right texture. Many look great for a few hours then slide off or fade. Finding the perfect combination of color, texture and lasting power has been a challenge. Sometimes layering a powder shadow over a liner can help extend the wear-life of eye makeup. I usually prefer bronze or navy colors instead of your basic brown or black.
  • Mascaras – I have very straight lashes so without a mascara to lengthen, hold curl or volumize, I end up with raccoon eyes or look like I don’t have lashes at all. Some long-wear mascaras end up feeling crunchy (if that makes sense) as they stiffen, I prefer something that has a bit more of a glossy looking finish but one that will stay put. Color is also key, I look for mascaras that look like they are a true black. Some dry down to a lighter color than what you see when it’s moist.
  • Brows – I am still searching for my perfect brow pencil. I found one with NARS in Panama but they discontinued it and came out with a new formula and colors.
My tried and true list of products I’ve found over the years. While this is quite an extensive list, note that these were accumulated over time. There is always debate over shelf life of products, I usually keep items until they dry out, start to smell funny or just don’t perform the same. Some liners/bases have lasted over 2 years – I think as long as you use clean brushes and occasionally wipe down the surface with a paper towel or cotton pad you should be ok. The only eye items I throw out regularly are mascaras at the 3 month mark.
  1. Chanel Eyelash Curler ($34, limited-edition) is a classic black eyelash curler. It was released a few years ago at all counters but you can only find it now at select places like Detailed review with photos here. It works for my eyelid shape so it doesn’t pinch around the edges and curls perfectly. Since it’s black and I have black lashes, it can be hard to see what I’m curling unless I have good light, but the results are good.
  2. Le Metier de Beaute Eyelash Curler ($18) is a favorite at a relatively inexpensive price for a high-end curler. The pad has a bit more cushion to it but is gentle. This curls my lashes well and fits the eye shape perfectly.
  3. MAC Paint Pot in Groundwork ($20) is a classic cream tan brown color. I like it as a base for 1/2 way up the lid or as a soft contouring shade. It’s darker than my natural skin tone but blends well and stays put. It helps add definition in a subtle way.
  4. RMS Cream Eyeshadow Solar ($28) might sound odd as an eye basic but the gold shimmer makes for a perfect swipe-and-go kind of color. It’s all I need on lazy days and also works well as a base. The shimmery gold color helps brighten powder shadows and also intensifies colors when applied over the cream.
  5. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Liner in Bronze Shimmer was a classic for years and then Bobbi Brown discontinued it. You may still be able to find this at various outlets (I have and stocked up). The closest color from Bobbi Brown is Chocolate Shimmer Ink (which is still darker and redder). Urban Decay has close matches as well but the lasting power doesn’t match.
  6. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Liner in Caviar Ink ($24) is a dark black but not quite a true black. There’s a hint of brown in this so it’s not too harsh. It’s my perfect black liner.
  7. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow in Nude Beach ($25) is another discontinued favorite. It was limited a few summers ago and is my holy-grail nude eyebase with shimmer. I wish it were permanent but the good news is Shore is a close match (just doesn’t have the shimmer).
  8. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow in Shore ($25) is a good matte nude. It’s an amazing base that covers the lids and helps shadows adhere better. Depending on your skintone you may need something darker – Bobbi Brown has a wide range of neutrals to choose from. Shore is the one that matches my skin the best.
  9. Edward Bess Defining Eyeliner in Deep Brown ($29) is the best basic brown liner I’ve tried. It has a smooth texture so it glides on easy but it lasts all day after it sets.
  10. Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof in Noir Intense ($32) is the blackest black I’ve found that stays put. It’s darker than Ebene (Chanel’s classic black). I like that it’s a twist-up kind of pencil. The end pops off so you can sharpen the tip.
  11. NARS Larger than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner ($24 each) in Via Appia (bronze) and Rue Saint-Honore (navy) are amazing eye pencils. These are twist up pencils as well with a removeable cap at the end to sharpen the tips. These are rich in color and easy to blend (if you blend quickly after application). Once they set, they don’t budge.
  12. Le Metier de Beaute Dualistic Eye Pencil in Champagne ($36) is the classic taupe pencil that you can use as a shadow base. If you’ve had a makeover from any of the artists from Le Metier de Beaute, they will almost always use this – it’s universally flattering and works wonders to add a bit of color to the eyes.
  13. Edward Bess Illuminating Eye Base in Suede ($30) is my holy grail eye base. There’s nothing else that will help my shadows last as long as this base does. See my review and swatches here.
  14. NARS Volumizing Mascara ($25) is one of my favorite volumizing mascaras. It really does what it claims to do. It volumizes and thickens the lashes. I love that it doesn’t budge or smudge. It’s a rich black color which I love.
  15. Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara – Stretch ($32) is another favorite, if I were pressed to pick one favorite, this would be it. It’s my does-everything mascara. Lengthens, thickens, defines, stays put, darkens and volumizes the lashes like no other mascara. There are several other variations of Eyes to Kill Mascaras. I’ve tried them all and they are all very good. This one grabs my thin lashes better and defines the best out of all of them. Artists I work with from Armani all have their different favorites.
  16. By Terry Eyebrow Mascara in Dark Brown ($38) is something new I’ve discovered. (I’ll have a more detailed review later.) I have the worst brows ever. Everytime I have a makeover or work with an artist, they always ask me “what do you do to fix your brows?” My answer is usually nothing because there’s usually very little I can do to “fix” them. Most pencils are too warm or too dark in color. The By Terry Brow Mascara in Dark Brown is the best brow product I’ve discovered. It helps define the brows and keeps them groomed. It dries to a natural feel (not a crunchy finish like many do). With this one I suddenly have defines brows that don’t look so bad anymore.
  17. Bobbi Brown Tweezers ($30) grip the brows and tiny stubborn hairs. I’ve tried Tweezerman and Anastasia before – both of which are good, but nothing compared to Bobbi Brown. There is something about the design of the tips that helps grip hairs better. I like the classic silver design. It comes with a rubber tip to cap it so you can store it in your purse or makeupbag.
  18. Shu Uemura Slant Tweezers were my favorite of all tweezers. I’m very sad they discontinued this in the US. I keep checking Shu Uemura’s website to see if it pops up again. No luck so far. Bobbi Brown is my close second for now.
  19. Leftover mascara wands are what I use to groom and brush brows or lashes. After my mascara is used up, I wash the brushes with warm water and soap and then they make their way into my brush containers to be recycled and reused. 
Eye Basics / Color Swatches

Eye Basics / Tools

I hope this comprehensive post gives you a list of ideas on what to try. We all have unique eye shapes, skin tones and skin types, so what works for you will depend on a number of factors. I hope the descriptions and details above will either help narrow down what to look for. If you can schedule a sit-down session with your counters, I recommend it. Artists have a wealth of knowledge – sometimes scheduling in advance can help them make sure they have extra staff on hand.
If I were to pick only 5 items for eye basics, they would be:
1) Le Metier de Beaute Eyelash Curler
2) Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara – Stretch
3) Edward Bess Illuminating Eye Base in Suede
4) NARS Larger than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner in Via Appia and
5) Shu Uemura Slant Tweezers
What are your holy-grail tools and eye basics?

Trish McEvoy Demure Sparkle Eye Base Essentials

January 29, 2010

The entire Trish McEvoy Demure Collection has finally arrived instore at Nordstrom. A few days ago I wrote about the lipstick Gorgeous Demure, today I’m bringing you a feature and review on the new Eye Base Essentials in Demure Sparkle which retails for $24.

My thoughts on this product: The more I experiment with it, the more I like it. The first time I tried it, I wasn’t wowed, but still ended up purchasing it. I tried it on instore and reluctantly agreed to a mini Trish McEvoy makeup application. The artist applied it heavily on the eyes without any eyecream and the proceeded to apply more light lilac-pink shadows on it giving me a chalk-like look. It didn’t help that she kept using the phrase “I love it, don’t you love it?” over and over and over again.

In my past experience with other Trish McEvoy Eye Base Essentials, I know they aren’t great alone on the eyes. They are simply too dry. But I find this the case with MAC Paint Pots too. My solution = apply a light layer of eye cream on the eyes first and this helps the color blend out better. (I really like the Eye Cream from Nars because it’s a gel base rather than a heavy cream.) So I knew that chalky-powdery look I got instore wouldn’t necessarily be what I got at home applying it myself.

The color is a pale powdery pink and you can only see the sparkle when it is blended out. On my hand it looks really chalky. On the eyes alone it appears chalky too, but I don’t think it’s meant to be worn alone as an all-over wash. I think it’s really intended to be an eye base for other shadows.

Here it is swatched heavily:

Here it is swatched but blended out:

Compared to some other pale pink cream eyeshadows including Bobbi Brown Ballet Pink and Laura Mercier Pink Chiffon:

Swatch comparisons, 2 swatches of each color, the first one is applied heavily, the second is blended out:

If you’re fair skinned and find that most pinks look too dark on you, the Trish McEvoy Demure Sparkle might be the answer to your search. If you’re medium skinned or darker I think you might find it too pale. I used this as a base yesterday with NARS Brousse and All About Eve Duos and I have to say I was pretty impressed that my eyeshadow lasted all evening through a 4 hour client meeting and 2.5 hour class.

It depends on what you want for this type of product. If you want an eye base and like pale colors, you will like this. If you’re simply looking for a pink cream eyeshadow – I suggest you look elsewhere.

The items featured in this collection include:

  • Gorgeous Demure Lipstick – light nude pink (as in very light and washed out)
  • Irresistible Pink Lip Gloss – shimmery bright rosey-reddish pink (seems similar to a discontinued color, I want to say it was called Rose, but I’m not 100% certain)
  • All Over Face Color in London and Capri – simply a repromote of her discontinued face shines, London is a pale champagne, Capri is a deeper bronze, they seemed really sheer and just looked like sparkle on the skin
  • Translucent Finishing Powder – pressed translucent powder
  • Demure Sparkle – pale pink cream with subtle sparkles

I was initially excited from the promo photos (you can see these at or on Karlasugar’s blog) but my first reaction to seeing the entire collection in person was “meh.” The lipstick was too pale, the lipgloss was too bright, the face shines too sheer/sparkley. It made me wonder, am I a difficult customer? Or do I just have too much good stuff already? Probably a little bit of both.