Inventory: Foundation, Concealer, Primer, and Powder

Posted on June 22, 2017 under Inventory

Okay, I’ll be frank with you right off the bat. I have four foundations and that stresses me out. Up until, like, six months ago, I was a strictly one foundation kind of gal. I went through a bottle every six months and liked to feel like I could use my product up before it went bad. But then a lot of things happened and I ended up buying more foundation than I ever needed. But my concealer, primer, and powder is under control, so there’s that.

Primer

The only primer I have a deluxe sample size of the Paul and Joe Illuminating Primer. Usually I use it mixed into foundation instead of as a primer. It’s alright, but I won’t repurchase it or a similar product when I run out. So far I haven’t found a primer that does a damn thing for me!

Foundation

NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in Siberia: I have always maintained that this is a finnicky foundation which gives a very nice finish on my skin. However, in the last month or so my skin has stopped liking this product as much. I’m not sure why – I’m not any dryer than normal. I have been liking it mixed with other foundations, though, so that’s how I’m soldiering on with it. I’m sad, though, that some unknown force abruptly changed how this foundation worked for me, because it was going well for a good while.

Maybelline Fit Me Matte and Poreless Foundation in 110: This is a thin, watery formula that dries to a matte, powder finish. Though I’m normal to dry, this works decently on my skin. I don’t know that somebody who is truly dry would enjoy it very much. What I really like about this is the shade: it’s more yellow-toned than pink (which can be hard to find in fair foundations) and it’s the palest foundation I own. It’s definitely the best shade match I’ve found at the drugstore. I think this is a really great affordable foundation option for those with normal to combination skin. It’s not amazing, but in a world where L’Oreal wants me to pay $22 for their foundation I’m down to spend $10.99 on this one. (It goes on sale for $5.99 and $6.99 frequently, too!)

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation in Y210: I am a big fan of this foundation. It gives a medium, natural-looking coverage and it works on my skin throughout the year. I don’t have to fuss with it or mix it to make it work; I can apply it with my hands, multiple brushes, and a sponge; it’s just a no brainer for me. The shade Y210 is my best foundation match out of anything I’ve ever tried.

The Ordinary Colours Serum Foundation in 1.1N: I appreciate this foundation quite a lot. Because of its lightweight texture it’s great for casual, minimal makeup days. It applies easily just like the MUFE Ultra HD. It feels comfortable on the skin and it’s a good colour match for me, too. Staying power isn’t excellent, so I keep this one on reserve for times when I don’t have a full day of wear ahead of me.

Recycling this picture from my Serum Foundation review, for reference:

L-R: The Ordinary Serum Foundation in 1.1N, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD in Y215, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD in R210 (my old shade), NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in Siberia, and Maybelline Fit Me Matte and Poreless in 110. This picture is slightly underexposed.

Concealer

NYX Color Correcting Palette: I bought this because I needed a good salmon-toned corrector to help conceal my eyebrows for Halloween. It did the job, but I don’t really care for the product otherwise. The salmon colour does actually do a great job hiding undereye circles, but it creases quickly and doesn’t layer well under concealer. I’ve used the green a few times too on angry red blemishes and I just felt like I had to layer on more concealer on top to get rid of the green cast.

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly: I’m not really sure about the name of this concealer, because I get a distinctly matte finish. It covers and brightens my undereyes like nothing else, but it does look quite dry after a few hours of wear. It’s a touch too light to use on the rest of my face. I’m glad I indulged my curiosity, because I know that I will not require a $36 concealer every 6 months.

Maybelline Master Conceal in Fair: I really like this concealer; it has good coverage, it’s blendable, and it lasts well on my skin. It works underneath my eyes and on zits. The colour is slightly pinker than my skintone, but once it’s blended in the discrepancy is not noticeable. I also really like the squeeze-tube packaging; I hate using doe-foot applicators on my blemishes because I think it’s unsanitary and just plain gross.

Powder

This loose powder bears absolutely no clues as to its origin, but I think it’s quite nice. I like to use this with my more satin-to-matte foundations and just dust it loosely across my t-zone. When I want to really set and mattify I use the Rimmel Stay Matte Powder in Translucent. I don’t go through powder quickly so it’ll be some time before I’m done this one; I’ve had it for around a year at this point with no sign of pan at all. I think it’s a pretty nice powder, but I’ll move on when I do finally use it up. I’d like to use something a bit creamier and with sturdier packaging. The Stay Matte packaging could not be worse if Rimmel tried.

I have a feeling I’ll be halving my foundation collection before I move in September, but I think in terms of the other categories of base products I’m doing pretty well. My next inventory post will be something a bit more interesting; I just wanted to get this boring one out of the way!

Review: Lancôme Matte Shakers in Pink Power and Kiss Me Chérie*

Posted on June 18, 2017 under Reviews

The products featured in this post were provided to me by Lancôme for my consideration. This post is not sponsored.

Lancôme Matte Shakers

Despite the fact that I’ve been telling myself to stop buying liquid lipsticks for at least a year and a half now, the Lancôme Matte Shakers launch intrigued me greatly. I almost bought one with Optimum points back in May, but resisted if only because I really don’t need more lip products anytime soon. (Uh, will that stop me from buying more? PROBABLY NOT.) So it seemed quite serendipitous when Lancôme sent over three shades of the Matte Shakers a few weeks ago.

Today I’ll only be reviewing the shades Pink Power and Kiss Me Chérie; I can tell that the blue-toned hot pink shade, Yummy Pink, won’t suit me, and so I’d rather pass it on uncontaminated to somebody who will enjoy it.

I really am over liquid lipsticks for the most part, and I’ve come to realize that I prefer traditional bullet lipsticks. But something about the Matte Shakers really interested me. I think it might be partially a case of FOMO; I was left completely out of the Juicy Shaker hype because I don’t do lip gloss, but the Matte Shakers seemed like something I could, in theory, get behind. And, of course, they were super hyped up, with several Canadian YouTubers who I generally trust raving about them. So I went into this thinking that I might actually like them.

Lancôme Matte Shaker applicator

I’m going to start off with my complaints. The packaging is super cute but definitely a bit of a gimmick. It can be hard to shake the product up properly, which is necessary to mix the pigment and oils and to coat the applicator. If you don’t shake it thoroughly enough, you might find the colour a bit sheer or streaky on your lips. I’ve found the best way to deal with the Matte Shakers is to hold them in one hand, with a finger on each end, and jiggle them back and forth, like so:

Lancôme Matte Shakers

Even still, it takes a bit of effort to get a fresh one going. As for the large sponge applicator, I’m not crazy about it. It’s easier to use than I’d expected going in, but liquid lipstick really demands a precise applicator, doesn’t it? Part of why I’m so fond of my Stila minis is that the doe-foot is teeny tiny and allows for very clean application. Look, I’m not a millionaire beauty YouTuber, I’m just a regular Joe with a beauty blog, and I am not that good at applying liquid lipstick. I also have a poorly-defined lower lip line, so an applicator this large just isn’t ideal for me. It’s not the worst, and the pointed tip helps with precision, but it’s definitely my least-favourite liquid lipstick applicator. I find that I get the best application when I use a lip liner first to define the shape of my lips. (I mean, this is true for all lipstick, but borderline necessary for the Matte Shakers.)

However, I do really enjoy the formula of these: they’re comfortable and reasonably long-wearing, though not totally transfer-resistant. The formula is very thin and watery, which means that it doesn’t cake up on the lips and can take multiple layers and touch-ups. To me, these look and wear like a regular lipstick, applied in liquid form. They never dry down fully, which means you never get that crusty liquid lipstick look that’s the inherent flip side of a long-wearing formula. Even hours after application, I can rub my lips together without the dry tug that normally accompanies liquid lipstick. These definitely are not matte until they begin to wear down, so if you want a matte look then either blot or skip these all together.

In terms of application I find Pink Power a bit streaky on the first layer, but it builds beautifully to an even, opaque finish. It really stains the lips, so even if the top layer wears away you’re left with quite a pretty effect. Kiss Me Chérie is even with one layer but feathers a little bit on me after about five hours of wear, but this is almost inevitable for me with darker colours if I don’t line my lips. This one also stains, but not quite so evenly: I would want to reapply it if it wore off. I find Pink Power longer-lasting (it made it through a delicious bento box yesterday without any visible wear), whereas Kiss Me Chérie tends to wear off a little more in the center of the lips. The formula of the Matte Shakers lends itself quite well to the blotted/popsicle lip trend, as they can easily be blended out around the edges of the lips softly with a fingertip for a stained effect. (See this review for a really pretty example of this effect.)

By the way, good luck removing these fully – they will leave behind a stain:

Lancôme Matte Shakers

Of course, you probably want some pictures of these on an actual face right about now…

Lancôme Matte Shaker - Pink Power

Lancôme Matte Shaker - Pink Power

Lancôme Matte Shaker in Pink Power

Pink Power is a vibrant fuchsia pink with a warm undertone. Back in the day this colour was my jam, and I still own an embarrassing amount of fuchsia lipstick as a residual effect of my nineteen-year-old preferences. Though my favourite lipstick colours now tend more towards berries and magentas, this is the type of fuchsia that I like: bold and warmer rather than cooler.

Lancôme Matte Shaker - Kiss Me Chérie

Lancôme Matte Shaker - Kiss Me Chérie

Lancôme Matte Shaker in Kiss Me Chérie

The Sephora website describes Kiss Me Chérie as a “brick red”, which I disagree with: it’s cool-toned and lacks the brown of a brick. I would simply call this a cool deep red. It’s a very nice colour and one that I think would be flattering on many complexions.

Lancôme Matte Shaker Swatches

L-R: Pink Power, Kiss Me Chérie, a scratch that my asshole cat gave me

Hank

The adorable culprit

I think the Matte Shakers embody the type of liquid lipstick formula that the market needs more of: something which finds a middle-ground, sacrificing some wear time for comfort. I sense that a lot of consumers are returning to traditional lipstick formulas, or liquid lipsticks like the ColourPop Ultra Satin Lips which are less budge-proof but infinitely more comfortable. Despite the hype that the Matte Shakers (and Juicy Shakers) are receiving, I’m not sure that they’ll be an iconic, long-lived product in Lancôme’s line if only because the packaging is a bit gimmicky. I can see that under Lisa Eldridge’s direction, Lancôme is trying to move away from their old-lady image towards something a bit more fresh and innovative. However, in the case of the Matte Shakers, I think they sacrifice some functionality for style. The Matte Shakers are special and different, but, well, why reinvent the wheel? Lancôme has so many products that have stood the test of time (Hypnôse mascara, Artliner, Teint Idole foundation…) and I don’t know that these will end up in that category.

The Lancôme Matte Shakers retail for $29 CAD and contain 6.2 mL/0.20 fl oz of product – that’s $4.62 per mL, or $145 per fl oz. For comparison’s sake, a Stila liquid lipstick costs $31 and contains 3mL/0.10 fl oz of product, and ColourPop liquid lipsticks cost $6 (USD) and contain 3.2mL/0.11 fl oz. The Matte Shakers can be purchased at Shoppers Drug Mart, beautyboutique.ca, Sephora, Lancôme counters, and the Lancôme website.

Passport photo makeup

Posted on June 13, 2017 under FOTD

Recently I went to get my UK visa photo taken, and while I was at it I had them make Canadian passport-sized copies as well. My passport will expire while I’m the in the UK, and it seems like a bad plan to be living abroad with an expired passport.

Recently the Canadian government has given us the option of a ten-year passport, which is convenient and cost-effective. I joked that I’d decide whether to get a five-year or ten-year one based on how my photo turned out. Wait, that totally wasn’t a joke.

The last time I applied for a UK visa I ended up having the photo taken last minute. I showed up for my appointment at the application center with copies of my passport photo, which were too old to be used. (Generally I thoroughly read through all instructional materials at my disposal, but somehow I missed the photo eligibility information…) I was sent a few doors down to a man who took the best ID picture I have ever had in my life. I mistakenly believed that I had developed an ability to take good ID pictures; my American passport and driver’s license photos, both taken subsequently, thoroughly disprove this theory. I was left with only two logical conclusions: that the photo was a fluke, or that the guy who had taken my picture was a wizard.

I chose not to believe that I had simply been lucky once, and went considerably out of my way to return to the same guy for this latest round of photos.

In my last visa photo, I didn’t do my makeup for the camera since I hadn’t known I would be photographed. I wore very simple makeup that I hoped would make me look like a young lady who deserved a study visa to whoever was processing my application and taking scans of my retinas. (I still find it freaky that the UK government has my eyeballs on file. Very Big Brother!) This time around, I did my makeup specifically with the knowledge that I would be photographed. Here’s how it turned out:

Not too bad, if I do say so myself! I wish I’d tied my hair back, but I can live with this for a decade, probably. I think the most important thing I did right this time was to pick the right lip colour. I wore NARS Brigitte in my driver’s license photo, but the bright lights really washed me out and my lips look super pale. (I’m not going to post that picture because it’s terrible, so you will have to take my word for it.) This time around I went for my YSL Rouge Volupté in 17, which is a beautiful mid-toned pink berry. It added enough colour to my lips to really show up in the picture while still being something neutral that I will hopefully not be embarrassed about when I’m 33. I also went a bit heavier with my blush than usual (and, of course, used Hourglass Mood Exposure). For my eyes, I defined the crease with a neutral brown eyeshadow and then used black liner as close to my lashline as possible for further definition. And I used my MUFE Ultra HD foundation because it was made to photograph beautifully!

Old vs. new! In my last passport picture I was wearing thick black eyeliner, mascara, and undereye concealer – this was about six months before I started getting into makeup. Obviously I would not be caught dead in an ID photo without lipstick now, but that was out of the question back then. My lips look so pale! And I totally overdid it with the eyeliner. Oh well, I was 18, what did I know about anything? All in all, I’d say it’s an improvement.

(Fun fact: I am semi-smirking in the old photo because immediately before the picture was taken the photographer told me I looked like Tiffany, which I found bizarre.)

(Second fun fact: I have had issues travelling on this passport multiple times because various border agents find it impossible to imagine that I could be the same person when my hair is different. When I was trying to leave Brussels in 2014 three different people had to assess my passport before deciding that I was me, and that I had had a haircut and a bleach job. I was like, “The rest of my face is the same, why is this so hard!!!!!”)

If my ID photos have taught me anything, it’s that smart makeup choices can be the difference between “meh” and “good”. And that I can easily look like I want to murder you:

I’m stuck with this for another eight and a half years. Also, how is this even real? I can’t use this as ID anywhere because nobody on the planet would believe that a nation would issue something so ridiculous-looking as ID. Incidentally, I wore the same YSL lipstick in this photo, but the black-and-white thing really does no favours for someone with fair, low-contrast colouring.