Sunday, June 28, 2015

Easy (on the) Orange: Nature Republic Botanical Shine Lip Tint no. 3

I haven't purchased any make-up this month. Nothing. Nada. So, I'm kind of scraping the bottom of the barrel here for products to talk about - well, more like the bottom of my 'to be reviewed' box, which is where this little guy has been hiding: it's the Nature Republic Botanical Shine Tint in the shade no. 3 ($5-7 for 9.5 g), a coral orange with golden shimmer.
If you're a fan of lip/cheek tints, you know that shimmer in such formulations is a pretty rare occurence, which is why I was interested to see how this would perform on the lips. The packaging is quite standard with a nice doe foot applicator that makes it really easy to trace the outline of your lips and fill everything in evenly. There's a little bit of a fruity floral scent to the product that dissipates quickly after application. The tint came sealed in plastic - this is where the strange dotted lines on the cap come from, I guess the plastic they used for the cap got stained somehow :)
The texture of this tint is quite thin, and it spreads easily and mostly evenly on the lips. To begin with, there is some glossiness to the Botanical Shine Tint, but it dries down to a matte finish; well, what I mean by this is that the colored base is matte, with the golden shimmer sitting on top. I usually dislike shimmer and glitter in lip products, but I was quite surprised at how much I liked the finish of this Nature Republic Tint when it was freshly applied. Unfortunately, the longer I had it on my lips, the more issues I experienced with this product...
Basically, the tint starts balling and gunking up on the lips as soon as it dries down. Any sort of rubbing motion (you know, unusual behavior such as pressing your lips together, or talking, or eating/drinking) causes the product to bunch up together. I tried it a number of different ways, and the same thing happened every single time. This unfortunate property also makes it difficult to layer the product for more opacity, because then it starts balling up pretty much right away.
L-R: Balled up tint after rubbing my lips together, the state of my lips after removing the gunk with a tissue
As for longevity, I found the Botanical Shine Tint to wear much shorter than most stains I've tried so far. After having a light snack (pistachio ice cream with strawberries, nom nom), most of the color and shimmer disappeared from the inside portion of my lips. If you rub off all the balled up gunk that happens while wearing the product, you're left with a subtle warm red tint to your lips - which is quite pretty in terms of the actual shade, but my lips also looked very dried out and puckered even after having worn it for about 15 minutes. If your lips are anything like mine - meaning full, but not very wide - it does nothing to smooth out vertical lip lines or improve the texture of the lips.
L-R: Nature Republic Botanical Shine Tint no. 3, Beaute Liqui-Gel Stain in Flouron, Essence Stay With Me Lipgloss in Candy Bar
Here's a somewhat random shade comparison to give you an idea of shade depth and undertone. I definitely prefer the texture and wear of the Beaute Liqui-Gel Stain in Flouron, and as far as easy to wear orange lip shades, I would absolutely grab for my Chanel Rouge Allure in Conquise over this (not included in the swatches, but here's my review).
Oh, hello! I feel like I haven't seen you in a while :) I'm wearing one freshly applied coat of the Botanical Shine Tint no. 3, the Koh Gen Do Aqua foundation and Hourglass Ambient Blush in Dim Lighting for this look.
Have you tried any Korean lip tints, and if so, what are your favorites? Do you like wearing orange lips in the summer?

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Dupe or No Dupe? BornPrettyStore Waterdrop Shape Beauty Blender Regular & Mini*

I love my original Beautyblender. I really do. But you know, it feels absolutely ridiculous to spend $20 on a frikkin' make-up sponge you have to replace regularly. I mean, it's just a sponge, as soft and squishy as it may be. So I've been looking for some decent dupes for a while now, and while I enjoyed using the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge (reviewed here), with frequent usage it started falling apart on me much faster then the original BB.
So when the BornPrettyStore contacted me to see if I'd be interested in any of their new products, I spotted this cute 'Waterdrop Shape Beauty Blender Expansion with Water Liquid Cream Foundation Sponge'* ($2.19 each, you'll be getting a random color) and thought - heck, why not. Because if it really turns out to be a good dupe... It's precisely $17.76 cheaper than the real deal. That's a BIG DIFFERENCE. The adorable mini version ('Mini Beauty Blender Double In Size When Damp')* is for some reason more expensive than the big guy, but still not exactly a splurge at $2.32 each. Both BornPrettyStore sponges were securely packed, shipped out to me by air mail and delivered very quickly - no problems whatsoever on that account.
I'll try to do my best now to make this comparison review as easy as possible to digest. As you can see in the photo above, the BornPretty Waterdrop Blender is both similar size and shape to the original pink BB (sorry, mine's a bit stained at the bottom) - the end is a bit more pointy and it's more egg-shaped than conical, but that's about it. In the photo below, you can see how much the sponge expands when dampened with water; the first photo on the left shows a dry Beautyblender and a damp BornPretty Blender, the photo on the right shows both sponges when damp. I'd say they both expand to about the same size. The BornPrettyStore Blender is made in China; the Beautyblender is made in the USA. Both leak dye when washed with soap.
Now, the biggest structural difference between the original bb and the potential dupe is the actual material. I've tried to show it in the close-up shot, but the surface of the original pink Beautyblender is more porous, while the dupe is more uniform. There is also a significant and observable difference in the softness of these two sponges: the original is more squishy and bouncy both when dry and wet, while the BornPrettyStore Blender is firmer and more resilient when pressed (the mini is made out of the same material). This results in a different application experience - you can lightly press and stipple the original onto the skin, while the 'dupe' needs stronger pressure for the same effect, which is simply not as pleasant or quick. The end result is about the same in both cases; but in all honestly, I prefer the softness of the Beautyblender.
I think that while the quest a couple years ago for all the companies trying to dupe the original Beautyblender was to find a similar sponge material that expanded when wet, now when that has been mastered, it's more about the actual softness/ texture of the sponge. The RealTechniques sponge turned too soft and floppy with regular use for my tastes. This BornPrettyStore dupe is a bit too firm. Obviously, these are quite minute differences, so I say if you're on a budget or just want to try out a make-up sponge for the first time, the less expensive options are still fabulous; but for me personally, so far I like the original best of all (darn you, expensive tastes!).

Do you use make-up sponges to apply your foundation? Have you tried any of the 'dupes', and if so, which one is your all-time favorite?

Disclaimer:  Items marked with an asterix (*) are press samples I received from the BornPrettyStore for review consideration. All links are non-affiliate. All opinions are 100% honest and unbiased, no matter if the products featured were purchased with my own monies or provided as free press samples. Thank you for reading!

Monday, June 22, 2015

What's In My Shower

I don't believe I've ever shared my shower routine on the blog; it probably has something to do with the fact that I'm predominantly a bath person, but recently I've started going to the gym and so the need for a post-workout shower has arisen - and at any rate, I use pretty much the same products when I shower as I do when I bathe. Having trudged through this completely superfluous introduction, we can now jump straight to the products I keep in my shower/ bathtub!
Starting with bodycare, I have come to the conclusion that I am not a bar soap person and much prefer the convenience of a shower gel. To that effect, I've been using the Pacifica Sulfate-Free Body Wash in Malibu Lemon Blossom for a better part of this year; even though cost per bottle is quite high compared to drugstore shower gels, I find that it lasts a really long time, and most importantly, it's very gentle and non-drying on the skin. The Kneipp In Shower Body Lotion in Black Currant & Pomegranate is the newest addition to my routine; it was a gift from my brother this past Christmas but I just started using it. I expected it to be something along the lines of Lush Body Conditioners or the Nivea In Shower lotion, but it's actually a shower gel and body lotion in one - or simply put, a moisturizing body cleanser that doesn't lather. I'm really liking the different texture and cassis smell, but I've read online that a tube doesn't last long.
I've talked about the Haus of Gloi Bubbling Scrubs numerous times on the blog - it's still one of my absolute favorite body scrub formulas, and the scent Twice is Nice is a delicious concoction of sugar, butter and coconut. I was curious about the 'Fresh Cream' fragrance of this Philosophy Hand Wash when I spotted it at TJMaxx, but it turned out to be just okay; I use this as a bubble bath, by the way. You can use any type of a foaming product as a bubble bath: a shower gel, hand wash, even shampoo, if you so desire - it's a good tip if you have a backstock of products that you want to use up a bit faster.

Now for my haircare, the MoroccanOil Clarifying Shampoo and the Goldwell Rich Repair hair mask both date back to when I used to work in a hair salon, which marked the peak of my interest in hair products. But ultimately, I'm really not a 'hair person' - I just can't be bothered. So even though both of these are lovely products, I'm working on finishing them up and eliminating clarifying shampoos and hair masks from my routine.
My current shampoo and conditioner combo is by the brand OGX (formerly Organics), which has great sulfate-free options at the drugstore. Since my hair is fine and I'm always looking for ways to increase volume in my strands, I opted for the Biotin & Collagen Shampoo - it cleanses very well without stripping. One tip to remember about sulfate-free shampoos is that they don't foam as much as regular shampoos, which is why I find them more effective when I shampoo twice: first with a small dollop to lift most of the dirt and grease, secondly with a slightly bigger dollop to really lather up and massage the scalp. I follow with the Coconut Water Conditioner, which is good, but I'm not too particular about conditioners - nearly any will do in my book.

Lastly, the pink razor you see in the first photo is by Dorco, which makes fantastic razors and cartridges at less than half the price of Gillette or Schick razors. If shaving is your preferred method of hair removal, I strongly recommend you to check out Dorco's website - I was sick of paying around $25 every time I need a new pack of cartridges for my Venus razor, and now I don't have to (so you know, more money for make-up...?).

And that's it! Let me know if you have any questions about these products, and please comment down below with what is your current favorite shower product. Thank you for reading!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Skin of a K-Pop Star: Laneige BB Cushion SPF50+ Review

Have you already tried a cushion foundation, the newest innovation in the world of face make-up? Well, not THAT new, really - I first heard about them from Kar Yi about a year ago (here's a link to her video review comparing two different cushions), and at that point they had probably been on the Korean market for a while already. Cushion foundations were recently brought over to the American and European markets by way of Lancome's newest base, no doubt influenced by their creative director Lisa Eldrige's frequent travels to Asia. But I personally hadn't tried any, even though my curiosity was certainly piqued; that is, until this Laneige BB Cushion SPF50+ Broad Spectrum Sunscreen* ($30 for 1.05 oz/ 15 g x 2, available at Target in-store and online) landed on my desk a couple weeks ago.
If you haven't heard about foundation cushions, they're basically compacts housing a sponge saturated with a liquid base which come with a round puff/ firm sponge to tap and blend the product into the skin. The Laneige BB Cushion comes in a beautiful, heavy compact with a large mirror, and the sponge with product is protected by a plastic door that can be firmly closed. In the box, you'll also find a refill sponge to put in your compact once the current one runs out - I've heard that this type of base runs out a bit faster than standard liquid or cream foundation, so I think it's great that you have a second one included in the package.
When you first open up the compact, the cushion is sealed to prevent drying out - I'd recommend removing the seal only once you're ready to regularly use the product; I don't think it would fare too well being stored in a drawer between uses for long periods of time. I was also quite surprised at the high quality of the application sponge: it's easy to hold the puff securely by slipping your fingers under the ribbon, and the texture of the side you use to pick up and blend the BB Cushion reminds me of a Beautyblender.
The actual BB cream that saturates the cushion has a very thin, liquidy consistency. It's quite easy to control how much you pick up on the application sponge by varying the amount of pressure you use when pressing down the cushion with a puff. What surprised me the most was how much coverage I was able to easily achieve on my face (medium plus), while retaining the look of absolutely no product on the skin - isn't that what we all dream of in a higher coverage base?
The finish of the BB Cushion is definitely glowy; not by means of any actual shimmer in the product, it's just that the liquid remains quite moist on my skin and doesn't really set a whole lot. I will admit that this is not my personal preference as I have combination skin, and the Laneige BB Cushion ends up feeling a bit tacky on my face, although not heavy by any means. Even when lightly powdered, my face still looked very dewy, reminding me of the finish preferred by most Korean pop stars and actresses.
I could definitely deal with the slight tackiness on the skin of this BB Cushion, since I loved how naturally perfected and healthy my skin looked after application, if it weren't for two things: the shade and the short wear of this foundation. Unfortunately, the lightest shade Light is about two full shades too dark for me; even after self-tanning my face, neck and chest, it still gave me a bit of an identity crisis every time I passed by a mirror - you can see in the photo how hilariously pale and undead my hand looks compared to my BB-cushioned face. I'd estimate the Light shade to be about NC20-25 in MAC terms (I'm about NW10-15, depending on the season).
L-R: Laneige BB Cushion in the shades Light, Medium and Dark, swatched on NW10-15 skin.
As for the wear, it just didn't look pretty on my skin by the end of a long day - contrarily to my expectations, it didn't get too terribly shiny on my T-zone (but then again it was quite shiny all over to begin with), but actually looked a bit cakey and accentuated pores on what I assume are the most dehydrated parts of my face (chin, nasolabial fold). I guess I could have kept fooling myself that in the middle of the summer, the shade would somehow start matching my skin, but the unsatisfactory wear kind of sealed the deal and made me realize it's not the best base for my skin type.
I'm a bit bummed - I really wanted to love this BB Cushion and planned to wear it in the upcoming months; I mean, c'mon, SPF50+ in a combination of chemical and physical sunscreens seems ideal for the summer, am I right? But it's just too much effort to try to make the shade work by self-tanning or bronzing up the rest of my body, or layering the right skincare, primers and setting mists to make it wear nicer on my (clearly dehydrated) skin.
Laneige BB Cushion in Light after 4 hours of wear (lightly powdered through the T-zone, no highlighter)
What are your thoughts on cushion foundations? I'd love to hear your experiences (and recommendations, especially for fair complexions!), and if you haven't tried any, if that's even something that interests you. What is your favorite foundation product with a higher SPF?

Disclaimer: Item marked with an asterix (*) is a press sample I received from the brand's PR for review consideration. All links are non-affiliate. All opinions are 100% honest and unbiased, no matter if the products featured were purchased with my own monies or provided as free press samples. Thank you for reading!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Project Make A Dent 2015: Second Progress Update

We're pretty much right at this year's halfway mark, so it's perfect time for my Project Make A Dent Use It or Lose It edition progress update! I'm now 6 months into the challenge of making a concentrated effort to use my selected make-up products on a regular basis, and I'm still going strong! The photo below shows the usage on my items at the starting point of January 7...
And this photo shows how these products look today (here's the first update at 3 months, if you're curious). I'm very happy with my progress so far; I've completely used up half of the products! The first to go was my Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner in Rockstar, quickly followed by the Make Up For Ever HD Powder mini. The Michael Todd Creme Glace lipgloss in Natural and Revlon Superlustrous Lipgloss in Coral Reef took a while longer (actually, there's still a bit of Coral Reef left in the tube, but the consistency wasn't the same any more), as did the Face Atelier Ultra Foundation in Porcelain; however, as soon as the latter started squirting more product on my clothing and walls than on my fingers, I called it done.
I still have five more products to go, and among those, I made a nice dent in the Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Monte Carlo and Sephora Nano eyeliner in Nuage, and I hit pan on the Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze! Again, the Inglot Gel lipstick no. 58 and the Stila Convertible Color in Lillium prove to be the most stubborn, but I make sure to use them as often as I can - I'll be happy just to get some use out of them before tossing them at the end of this challenge.
Like I hinted before, I'm planning to start a separate Project Pan in an attempt to use up even more products lingering in my make-up collection; hopefully I'll be launching that next month, after I finish the Project Use Up Those Freaking Samples. You may be thinking that's a lot of challenges to have going on, but I'm actually weirdly excited about finishing old items from my stash, and not necessarily rushing out to replace them. Claire's recent post on using up the contents of her medicine cabinet really resonated with me, and I'm intending to continue emptying what I already have. Don't get me wrong, I still get swayed by the curiosity to try out new products and sometimes end up purchasing something I didn't exactly need, but I can say that I'm able to manage my impulse buys a lot better these days.
Let me know how you're doing on your stash-reducing journeys; I know that a lot of you are making a similar attempt to streamline your collections, be it through Project Pans, purging or low-buys, even if they're not official and just a personal goal you're trying to achieve. I love hearing about your progress and tips for making the most of what you have!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Cooling Overnight Facial: Laneige Water Sleeping Mask* Review

Did you guys know that Target now carries Laneige, a cult Korean skincare brand? I was super excited to see the line on their shelves, even though the price range isn't exactly drugstore; but given the interesting ingredients, the fact that they're under the Amore Pacific umbrella, and the rave reviews I've been reading, I was still intrigued to try it. Which is why I was really happy to be sent a very generous package with Laneige products for review consideration. Today I'm going to review the Water Sleeping Mask* ($23 for 80ml/ 2.7 fl oz), which is one of their bestsellers, but prepare yourselves for lots of Laneige posts in the near future!
Let me start by saying that esthetically, I really appreciate Laneige's packaging. The skincare range comes in sturdy white and blue outer boxes, and the bottles and jars inside are also done in weighty plastic, tinted cornflower blue (I may be biased as it's one of my favorite colors EVER). The Water Sleeping Mask comes in a jar with a screw-on top, and the box also included a little spatula for scooping out the product.
The Laneige Water Sleeping Mask, which claims to recharge dehydrated skin overnight with ionized mineral water and ceramides, as well as to brighten and purify with apricot and chestnut extracts, is nothing like what I had previously come to expect from an overnight moisturizing mask (for reference, I've tried both the hyped up Origins Drink Up Intensive as well as Avene Soothing Moisture Mask). I expected the mask to have a heavy, creamy consistency that sits on the skin for a while after application, but instead, the Water Sleeping Mask is an airy, liquidy gel that absorbs instantly with no tacky residue.
What's more, the 'Sleepscent' fragrance is absolutely dreamy (sic!): a fresh, relaxing combination of orange flower, rose and sandalwood that doesn't irritate my skin. Quite the opposite, in fact: the mask feels incredibly soothing and cooling when you smooth it on, just like giving your parched skin a tall glass of water. Now that it's summer in New York City and my skin can get both oily and dehydrated both from the sun and sunscreen application, the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask seems to be a god-send. I wake up with my face feeling soft, smooth, even and happy. I pretty much wish I could just use it every night instead of my moisturizer, but I'm trying to follow directions and use it no more than twice a week. Would my skin get too used to it if I applied it more often? I'm too scared to find out.
The ingredients' list reveals the mineral water (lol, obviously - Laneige calls itself the Water Science Skincare), glycerin, trehalose, a water-binding plant sugar, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory beta-glucan, apricot, chestnut and willowbark extracts, as well as mineral salts: magnesium sulfate, manganese sulfate and zinc sulfate, which supposedly is the magic ingredient in the popular La Roche Posay Serozinc toning mist.

I would recommend the Water Sleeping Mask to just about anyone, but particularly someone looking to dip their toes in the world of Korean skincare but not knowing where to start. But seriously, this stuff is amazing - go check it out at your local Target. I can't say whether this mask would be moisturizing enough for very dry skin, but I was also sent the Firming Sleeping Mask, which sounds just a bit more nourishing; I'll compare the two for you at some point. Have you tried any products from Laneige? What is your favorite overnight hydrating mask?

Disclaimer: Item marked with an asterix (*) is a  press sample I received from the brand's PR for review consideration. All links are non-affiliate. All opinions are 100% honest and unbiased, no matter if the products featured were purchased with my own monies or provided as free press samples. Thank you for reading!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Sunscreen Season: Paula's Choice Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF30

Every year I'm faced with the same quest: find the perfect non-greasy high protection sunscreen, preferrably mineral-based, to withhold the hot and humid New York summer without sliding off my face or causing breakouts. This year I decided to go back to the paragon of UV protection, Paula's Choice herself, and opted for the Resist Super-Light Daily Wrinkle Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 30 ($29 for 60ml/ 2 oz). Did you guess it's the adjective 'super-light' that really got me?
I'm the prime example of a fair skin type that gets sunburn just from looking at the photos of sunlit beaches in travel magazines (well, maybe not quite... but close enough). But all jokes aside, I take my sun protection very seriously, to the point of carrying a travel size bottle of SPF with me at all times, trying to reapply it if I can, and hiding in the shadow after my prescribed 15 minutes is up (yeah, because we all need that Vitamin D, people). I have been made fun of repeatedly because of my 'fear of the sunlight', but I don't care; even disregarding the whole skin cancer and photo-ageing issue, being burnt is simply no fun.
I have to admit that I didn't have very high hopes for this Paula's Choice Super-Light Moisturizer + SPF; last year I tried Murad's Oil-Free Sunscreen that promised to be lightweight and matte on the skin as well, but turned out to be everything but light. However, from the moment I removed the safety seal and smoothed some of the Paula's Choice on my hand, I was really impressed. The texture is quite thin but not runny, the product blends out easily on the skin, and within my moments, my skin is left feeling smooth and matte, like I don't even have sunscreen on. Throughout the day, it also doesn't cause my skin to produce more sebum, and keeps it relatively fresh and shine-free. That's a big deal, people! There's also no scent to it (like all Paula's Choice products), and as a bonus, it contains some skin-loving antioxidants (resveratrol, Vitamin E & C).
Now for some downsides: it's quite expensive, no arguing about that - I'm expecting this size will only last me through the summer, or maybe not even that long. It's also slightly tinted, and while the tint works for me personally (it even cancels out some of my redness, so it's nice to wear on its own as well as under make-up), it won't work for everyone; I'm expecting it may be too pink for warmer/ yellow & olive skintones, and too pale/ashy for darker skins. I understand perfectly why Paula chose to formulate this with an added tint (to counteract that usual white cast caused by zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide), but maybe releasing it in a couple shades would help ensure everyone is able to find a match. It's also not much of a moisturizer in my opinion, so if your skin is even a little dry, make sure to moisturize beforehand. And lastly, for my very fair skin, I actually wish this came in a higher SPF; they offer another product in SPF50, which is my usual go-to, but it's a chemical sunscreen and some reviewers mention it's not as light as this one.

Hope this helps if you've been looking for a sunscreen suitable for oily and combination skin, or you've been wondering which one to try from the Paula's Choice range. I'm definitely happy with it for the time being, but I'm also itching to try one of the Japanese or Korean sunscreen formulas. What is your favorite SPF product?

Saturday, June 6, 2015

That 90's Nude Lip: bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Lipstick in Make Your Move

Seriously, mini-sized beauty products are my downfall - whenever there's a coupon code or some other offer to get a teeny tiny eye pencil, or a miniscule lipstick, I'll consider an otherwise totally unnecessary order just to get the adorable gift with purchase. I believe this mini bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Lipstick in Make Your Move ($18 for 0.12 oz) came with a order - they often have some of the best GWPs around, so if you already shop from their website, make sure you're taking advantage of these offers!
I've never tried any of the Marvelous Moxie lip products from bareMinerals, and Make Your Move looked like a pretty nude from online swatches, so I was really excited to try it out. The deluxe sample even came in its own box with a color-coded top and a bottom label with the shade name - not all brands go to the same trouble when it comes to their minis. So far so good!
In the bullet, Make Your Move looks like a very universal neutral nude/ My Lips But Better shade - a perfect mix between pink and brown tones that should suit a wide range of skintones. On my lips however... boy, it's trouble. Or maybe not, if you're into the 90's brown nudes/ Kylie Jenner lips, because it gives me precisely that. Coincidentally, it looks very similar to the very first lipstick I ever bought in early 2000's. Yeah... I don't think it's a great look on me.
The formula is nothing to write home about either; reasonably smooth but not very creamy, I found it dragged just a little bit on my lips. It's also not particularly kind to my vertical lip lines, nor does it feel moisturizing. It's just alright - I was quite surprised to see that these Marvelous Moxie lipsticks had very high ratings both on Sephora and Ulta. To me, Make Your Move doesn't stand out in any way; not a bad lipstick, but not a great one either. There's a very faint old school lipstick scent to it in the tube that doesn't linger on the lips, so if you're sensitive to fragrance, it may be worth checking out.
Compared to my other nudey neutrals, you can see how much more brown bareMinerals Make Your Move is to another universal favorite, MAC Viva Glam V. Looking at these swatches, it's clear to me why I always gravitate towards Viva Glam V and Maybelline Warm Me Up over the Make Up For Ever N9 that was part of last year's birthday gift at Sephora - the pinky tones just look so much better on my complexion.
L-R: bareMinerals Make Your Move, MUFE Rouge Artist Natural N9, MAC Viva Glam V, Maybelline Color Sensational in Warm Me Up
While I wasn't particularly vowed by this shade or formula, I'm sure I'll be able to find a warmer-toned family member who will more than appreciate it (and while I'm at it, I may give away MUFE N9 as well, since it's not getting much wear around here). Have you ever tried any of the Marvelous Moxie lipsticks? What is your current favorite nude/ MLBB shade?

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Undetectable Base: Guerlain Météorites Baby Glow in 2 Clair/ Light

When Guerlain Météorites Baby Glow Light Revealing Sheer Make-up ($54 for 1 oz/ 30ml) first came out early this year, I admit I wasn't terribly interested in testing it out - the words 'glow' and 'sheer' bringing more apprehension than excitement to this acne-prone combination-skinned gal. But yet again, I was lucky to have a wonderful friend pass on the shade Light to me, as it was a bit too pale for her, and I couldn't be happier that I was given a chance to try it out myself.
Let me start by saying that in my book, the packaging is pretty much ideal for liquid foundation. It comes in a lightweight squishy tube with a very easily controllable pump, and the Guerlain logo engraved on the cap. By controllable pump, I mean that you can squeeze out both quite a large blob or just a teeny tiny bit, depending on how hard you push down - I tend to apply my base all over the face in small dots and add more where needed, so being able to pump out a very small amount works great for me.
Guerlain claims that this sheer foundation 'restores skin’s radiance and minimizes signs of fatigue as it unifies, smooths, refreshes, and plumps the appearance of skin' (from Sephora's website) and it features both the same light-diffusing pearl pigments technology as their famous Météorites powder, as well as the signature violet scent. And yes, it definitely has a rather strong violet fragrance that lingers for a while on the skin, so if you're sensitive to perfumes or unsure if you like violets, I'd recommend sniffing it in store before you buy - while it personally doesn't bother me at all, I've seen it being described as a 'granny scent'.
One of the things that really surprised me about Baby Glow from the very first use was the rather thick texture (maybe due to the sunscreen content?) - it does actually take a bit of work to blend it evenly across my face. I've tried both fingers and a brush (dampened with a bit of Caudalie Beauty Elixir to help spread the foundation more easily), and I found that patting or stippling Baby Glow into the skin works much better than a sweeping/ blending motion, as the pressing technique allows the product to really fill out enlarged pores and/or fine lines to the point where it becomes completely undetectable on the skin. The coverage is indeed on the light side - I was able to achieve medium by using my fingers to apply, but I think it looks much nicer when applied in a thin layer, so I'd recommend separate concealing rather than trying to build up coverage with this one.
Wearing Guerlain Météorites Baby Glow in 2 Clair/ Light on bare unprimed skin, no powder or highlighter.
Once applied, the finish of Baby Glow on the skin is absolutely beautiful: semi-matte with a subtle healthy glow, no shimmer in sight whatsoever. It does actually look like bare skin unless you look very, very closely - I hope you can see that in my face shot. It doesn't completely obliterate the dry patches around my nose, but I don't think it clung to them too badly either. I was also pleasantly surprised by how well this lasted on my skin; I had some oil breakthrough around a 6 hour mark, but the foundation didn't separate or disappear from my face, even without primer or powder on the T-zone.
L-R: Guerlain Baby Glow in 2 Clair/ Light, Bourjois CC Cream in 31 Ivory, Estee Lauder Double Wear Light Intensity 1, Revlon Colorstay in Ivory
My biggest gripe with Guerlain Baby Glow is unfortunately the shade range; there are only three shades in total and I have the lightest, which is still too dark and ugh, orange, for my fair NW10-15 skin. Because the coverage is so sheer, I can make it work, especially when I bronze up my neck or mix it with a lighter foundation, but I do wish they offered more shades. All in all, however, I'm really loving the Baby Glow and I think it's the perfect effortless foundation for the warmer months. I've been a fan of Guerlain lipsticks for a while, but after this first foray into their bases, I'm definitely more interested in their foundations and powders. Have you tried this one? What is your favorite high-end foundation?