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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

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.

Base Makeup Pat McGrath Labs

Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish Sublime Perfection System Review

August 14, 2019

Pat McGrath Skin Fetish Foundation Review

The genius that is Pat McGrath launched a new base collection of products called the Skin Fetish Sublime Perfection System. It’s a three step system: primer, perfect and set and I was thrilled to be able to put everything to the test! Products reviewed include:

Pat McGrath Skin Fetish Primer, Foundation and Powder Review

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Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Primer

Pat McGrath Skin Fetish Sublime Primer Review

The Sublime Perfection Primer is a silicone-free primer that has a very light pink tint but blends out to a transparent finish on the skin. It does blur and smooth the skin but it is heavily fragranced and on my skin I could feel it sit on top of my skin. It contains what they call filler powder which did work to fill in fine lines, but in this Florida humidity, especially this time of year, I need products that have a more weightless or fluid feel. It comes in a pump packaging and one pump covers the entire face. I felt like it did work nicely with the foundation, but due to the thick texture and feel, for me unfortunately this was a solid pass. I did not experience any irritation, even with the fragrance, but I think the foundation is good enough on its own.

Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, C13-15 Alkane, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Ethylene/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, C12-16 Alcohols, Sodium Polyacrylate, Palmitic Acid, Sodium Potassium Aluminum Silicate, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Caprylyl Glycol, Silica, Disodium Edta, Sodium Hydroxide, Fragrance, Polysorbate 60, Sorbitan Isostearate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Poloxamer 338, Peg-8, Tocopherol, Cirsium Eriophorum Callus Extract, Mica, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Ascorbic Acid, Citric Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491).

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Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Foundation

Pat McGrath Skin Fetish Foundation Review Medium 15

The Sublime Perfection Foundation is an oil-free formula that comes in 36 colors with a range of different undertones (red neutral, peach neutral, yellow, pink, peach, yellow neutral, yellow olive, etc.). Based on the color descriptions online compared to what I swatched I do think the undertones are accurate. I was matched sight unseen to Medium 15 (match to Armani Luminous Silk 7, NARS Barcelona, Fenty 235/240). I am very tan right now and since my skin lightens and tans very easily depending on the sun I went to my local Sephora to check out the other shades. I bought Light Medium 14 which I think will be my normal non-tan shade (match to Armani Luminous Silk 6.5, NARS Vanuatu, Laura Mercier Buff). These days I find I often have to mix colors anyways so I felt it was worth buying one shade lighter.

Pat McGrath Skin Fetish Foundation Swatches 12 through 20

I got a couple mini samples in store as well, shades swatched include (press sample colors have a * next to them):

  • Light Medium 12 Light Medium w/ red undertones
  • Light Medium 13 Light Medium w/ yellow undertones
  • Light Medium 14 Light Medium w/ neutral/olive undertones
  • Medium 15 Medium w/ yellow undertones*
  • Medium 16 Medium w/ red undertones*
  • Medium 17 Medium w/ neutral yellow undertones*
  • Medium 18 Medium w/ neutral/olive undertones*
  • Medium 19 Medium w/ peach undertones*
  • Medium 20 Medium w/ red undertones*

Coverage is natural looking with a semi-satin finish. On my skin I found it to be medium to fuller coverage but it is easy to blend/sheer out. I can cover my entire face with 2-3 pumps and application was best for me with fingers or a beautyblender. I did like the brush for buffing into the skin, but I still prefer fingers or a sponge. I did not feel the need to add concealer under eyes or around the nose with this foundation. I do have a few blemishes which I still needed to spot conceal for full coverage, but overall it is fairly opaque. I tested this with the primer and without the primer and liked it best with just a serum or moisturizer (loved it with the Volition Strawberry-C Serum, Glow Recipe Watermelon Juice or Chanel Hydra Beauty Camellia Water Cream).

Pat McGrath Skin Fetish Sublime Foundation wearing Medium 15

Lasting power is very good but I still need mid-day touch up in the T-zone. I won’t dock points for that though because in July the humidity here is unreal so practically everything needs a touch up. Some product transfer will occur if you touch your face in the middle of the day but it’s on the slight side. Overall it held up remarkably well. I didn’t find it oxidized once it dried down. There is some warming up as it sets, but the color does not change significantly. If you find there is a lot of oxidation on this one it’s most likely you swatched a color too dark for your skin tone!

A few swatch comparisons:

Pat McGrath vs Chanel vs Armani

This one is fragrance free! Ingredients: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Isododecane, Alcohol, Glycerin, Phenyl Trimethicone, Ipdi/Di-C12-13 Alkyl Tartrate/Bis-Hydroxyethoxypropyl Dimethicone Copolymer, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Cetyl Peg/Ppg-10/1 Dimethicone, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Sodium Chloride, Aluminum Hydroxide, Benzimidazole Diamond Amidoethyl Urea Carbamoyl Propyl Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Di-C12-13 Alkyl Tartrate, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Hexyl Laurate, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Rubus Idaeus Leaf Cell Culture, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Dehydroacetate. May Contain / Peut Contenir / +/- : Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Iron Oxides (Ci 77492, Ci 77491, Ci 77499).

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Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Setting Powder

Pat McGrath Skin Fetish Setting Powder Review

There are five shades of Sublime Perfection Setting Powder and for me the best match is Light Medium 2. Medium 3 pulls dark on my skin and darkens my foundation color. It comes with a mesh top which pulls powder upwards when you press/tap a brush into it. I found this to be a good solid setting powder to smooth and set the foundation. It’s finely milled and does a good job at setting with some blurring to the foundation. To me this has a similar texture to the Fenty Beauty Setting Powder, but not as drying/chalky looking. I do prefer the feel of the Hourglass and Laura Mercier powders because they’re more lightweight in texture.

Swatches of Light Medium 2 and Medium 3

Pat McGrath Skin Fetish Setting Powder swatches

Ingredients: Talc, Mica, Ethylene/Methacrylate Copolymer, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Nylon-12, Silica, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Pei-10, Lauroyl Lysine,Carmine (Ci 75470), Ultramarines (Ci 77007), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891).

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Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Foundation Brush and Powder Brush

Pat McGrath Skin Fetish Brushes

There are two new brushes that are part of her system. The Foundation Brush is smaller and dense for full coverage and buffing. It performed well for me, but I’ve always been more of a sponge person when it comes to foundation as I get better control and better smoothing with a sponge. The Powder Brush is one I really like – it has the perfect amount of fluff and the size is perfect for me. It’s perfectly tapered and it held up well to a couple washes already. I do think these are on the spendy side. While I think they are good tools I would personally save up for more of her lipsticks or eyeshadow palettes instead.

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Bare Skin vs Foundation / Powder vs Full Look

Pat McGrath Labs Foundation Review via The Beauty Look Book

Top left: bare skin
Top right: with foundation
Bottom left: adding setting powder
Bottom right: full makeup, touching up with more powder

Pat McGrath Skin Fetish System

Makeup Look Wearing:

Pat McGrath Skin Fetish Sublime Foundation wearing Medium 15

Pat McGrath Skin Fetish Sublime Primer Review

Overall I’m impressed with the foundation and am thrilled I have a color match that is olive/golden enough when I’m tan and when I’m not tan. I was concerned as it lists alcohol in the ingredients which can sometimes irritate my skin. It did not feel drying or irritating or tight on my face so I’m not sure if it’s a different kind of alcohol or if the concentration is super low. I think of all the products in her Skin Fetish system the foundation is the most impressive for me. I don’t think I’d call the other products must-haves although I’m really liking the Powder Brush and the Setting Powder has been performing well for me.

I do have a soft spot for her lipsticks and eyeshadows and by comparison I think those are absolutely worth the splurge 100% while the foundation might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Bottom line I’ve been loving her foundation and will most likely repurchase once it’s used up.

You can find the Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish products out now. Available at Pat McGrath Labs and Sephora.

Press samples include the Pat McGrath Labs Primer, Foundation, Powder, Brushes, Earth Angel and Bronze Ambition Palette.

Base Makeup Chanel

Chanel Les Beiges Collection Summer 2017

July 28, 2017

Chanel Les Beiges Collection Summer 2017 | The Beauty Look Book

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

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

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

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

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

Swatches of 30 and 40:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chanel Les Beiges

Chanel Les Beiges Collection Summer 2017 | The Beauty Look Book

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

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

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

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

 

Base Makeup Beauty Favorites

Summer Foundation and Base Edit

July 7, 2017

Best Summer Foundations for Warm Weather | The Beauty Look Book

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

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

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

Shown below from left to right:

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

Sheer to Medium Foundations | The Beauty Look Book

Sheer to Medium Foundations | The Beauty Look Book

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

Shown left to right:

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

Medium to Full Coverage Foundations | The Beauty Look Book

Medium to Full Coverage Foundation Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

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

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

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

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

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

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

For pressed powders:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some final thoughts and favorites:

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

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

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

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

NARS

NARS Haul: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Sun Wash Diffusing Bronzer and Velvet Eye + Lip

June 13, 2017

I’ve hauled some pieces here and there from a few NARS collections. The haul has been pieces I’ve accumulated from the Charlotte Gainsbourg Collection, a couple Sun Wash Diffusing Bronzers, a Velvet Eye Shadow Stick in Siros and one of the new Velvet Matte Lip Pencils in Intriguing. I took this photo about a month ago and it’s been quite a while since I’ve been able to swatch and test everything.

NARS Charlotte Gainsbourg Collection features sheer tints for the face and lips with bold high pigment options for the eyes. I bought all of these from Nordstrom but some colors have since sold out so I’ll link where you can still find them. Everything is limited-edition. Shown below from left to right:

  • Multiple Tint in Jo (all shades available at Neiman Marcus) – the cheek tints come in three colors and they are super sheer with a dewy transparent sheen. I loved the color of Jo which is a light very light watermelon pink but ended being too dewy on my skin. It does give the face a fresh glow of natural color. To me this entire lineup seems more like something for fall – if you are living in a more mild cooler weather compared to South Florida I think this will still be ok to wear, for me it was too dewy.
  • Hydrating Glow Tint in Medium (all shades still available at Saks) is something I hated when I first tried it. The product oozed out all over the place as soon as I opened it and the colors looked so limited I thought for sure I would not find a match. I didn’t like the tip because it seemed like product would pool in the tip. I gave it a test run and love the formula. It’s a super sheer formula so colors are a bit forgiving. Still I do wish they made this in more colors. I prefer the Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer formula by far, but the hydrating glow tint gives sheer even coverage and makes the skin look fresh and glowing without being too dewy or shiny.
  • Lip Tint in Ephelide (all shades available at Neiman Marcus) is a sheer berry mauve. It has an almost jelly like finish. It’s sheer but still very pigmented to give the lips a soft tint. I bought the most neutral color option and love it for everyday or for something a bit more dressy than nude. Lasting power is so-so because it’s a gloss like formula but with no sticky or tacky feel, but it does staying power is decent.
  • Old Church Street Eyeshadow Duo is something I knew in my gut that I might not like 100% yet I broke my rule for eyeshadow purchasing and bought it anyways. I personally can’t wear teal without looking super tired. This one is no exception. I adore the left side which is a shimmering soft champagne, the other is a smooth matte teal. Both are excellent in pigment and apply smoothly so formula and color wise it’s an A+. I just don’t do teal well so I can really only wear half of it. I suspect I’m going to gift it away to a friend.

NARS Charlotte Gainsbourg Collection Picks | The Beauty Look Book

NARS Charlotte Gainsbourg Collection Picks Swatched | The Beauty Look Book

A closer look at the Hydrating Glow Tint:

NARS Charlotte Gainsbourg Hydrating Glow Tint Review | The Beauty Look Book

I was able to get samples at my counter of all the shades:

NARS Charlotte Gainsbourg Hydrating Glow Tint Review | The Beauty Look Book

My best match is Medium:

NARS Charlotte Gainsbourg Hydrating Glow Tint Review | The Beauty Look Book

Swatch comparisons to the Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in St. Moritz and Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard, Macadamia and Ginger:

NARS Charlotte Gainsbourg Hydrating Glow Tint Review | The Beauty Look Book

Swatched next to a few MAC Next to Nothing foundation shades (all of them reviewed here), I don’t have the lighter ones any more since I gifted them away to a friend as I’m more in the medium range:

NARS Charlotte Gainsbourg Hydrating Glow Tint Review | The Beauty Look Book

Next I picked up a couple things from the regular line including the Velvet Lip Pencil in Intriguing and Velvet Eye Shadow Stick in Siros. Intriguing is a warm rose with a velvet finish. Pigment is medium to full and covers the lip entirely. There’s no detectable scent and it lasts a long time. I’m still a glossy girl at heart but these still wear nicely for me. Siros isn’t a new shade (I believe it was launched in the spring) but I picked it up. It’s a gorgeous light bronzey shimmer which I’m obsessed with. Swatch comparisons below.

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil Intriguing and Velvet Eye Shadow Stick Siros

Lips compared to the following. The NARS Intriguing pulls the warmest on me (lip swatch a bit lower). For a pencil kind of product I prefer the Hourglass out of the three I swatched for the formula/color. The last three are traditional lipstick formulas, all a lot more pink and cooler-toned than the NARS, but still in the same color family.

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil Intriguing Comparison Swatches

Shadow swatches below in other shimmery shades. Siros is the most coppery and the lightest.

NARS Velvet Shadow Stick Siros Comparison Swatches

Lip swatches:

NARS Velvet Lip Pencil Intriguing Lip Tint Ephelide

Last but not least are two of the Sun Wash Diffusing Bronzers in Seaside and Laguna. I tested these immediately as soon as I bought them and fell in love with the soft matte finish they both had. It’s since gotten more humid and wet for weather and suddenly these now look a bit muddy on my skin unless I apply with a super light hand. I suspect I’m just too light for these even though I have a pretty good tan right now. Seaside is the lightest option and also the warmest. Laguna is not the same as the original. If you don’t have the original and are deciding between the Sun Wash version and the other, I’d go with the original. It has a prettiest glow to it without looking overdone.

NARS Sun Wash Diffusing Bronzer Seaside and Laguna

NARS Sun Wash Diffusing Bronzer | The Beauty Look Book

That wraps up my NARS hauling. Overall thoughts on the Charlotte Gainsbourg collection are that it’s a very pretty collection of products and formulas but seems better suited for fall. If this were THE summer collection for NARS I’d be pretty disappointed as I usually love the fresh warm bronze and peaches they launch. That being said I’ve been plenty busy with the Banc de Sable Palette (now available on NARS) and the Liquid Blush (review here) for my summer beauty fix. I saw a preview of some summer newness on Instagram from @bubblymichelle and hope we get this in the US!

For the two permanent items, I think the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils are great for a matte product. They’re not heavy or cakey like traditional mattes. They glide on the lips nicely and stay put longer than a sheer glossy lip or balm. Siros is pure love for me. I love those kinds of shades and finding a nice copper/gold/bronze that isn’t too warm can be a challenge for me.

For the bronzers at this point I’d say they’re a pass. I’ll be gifting these to a friend as well. I really loved them when the weather wasn’t so humid but it’s just the start here in Florida and it will be months before it cools down. I’m more smitten with the Becca Sunlit Bronzers because they have a nice soft glow to them which don’t oxidize or look muddy on my skin.

You can find NARS online at NARS, Nordstrom, Sephora, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Neiman Marcus.

Have you tried any of these things yet? What did you think?

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