Review: It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream in Fair*

Posted on September 21, 2017 under Reviews

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream in Fair

The product featured in this post was provided to me by the company at no cost. I was not compensated monetarily for this post and my opinion is completely honest, as always.

I have been interested in the IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream* for years now due to its much-loved status in the YouTube community. This is a product that is not only apparently universally-adored but that has longevity. It’s not a flash-in-the-pan trend; it’s a staple in YouTubers’ foundation drawer. When IT Cosmetics finally came to Sephora Canada in early August, I made a mental note to look into it when I ran through a bit of my current foundation stash. And then IT sent me a tube to try, which I think means this was meant to be.

Before I delve into the review, I’ll remind you that I have normal-to-dry skin. Currently I’m on the drier side as the weather transitions, and I live in a wet, temperate climate that’s heading into fall. I have relatively clear skin but deal with regular hormonal breakouts on my chin and persistent hyperpigmentation after active breakouts heal. I prefer light-to-medium buildable foundations with a natural finish.

Shade Range

The shade range of this product is pretty abysmal, which is such a bummer. Canada has a lot of multicultural cities (my hometown of Toronto was recently named the most diverse city in the world!), so seeing a brand with only seven shades and no apparent plans for expansion enter our market is disappointing. (It looks like they added the shade Deep pretty recently, but there are still plenty of darker-skinned people who will be completely shut out of this range.) Small shade ranges are looking particularly bad these days now that Rihanna’s brand Fenty Beauty has released 40 shades of foundation. Though it’s unfortunate that diversity tends only to gain traction when it’s clear that it’s profitable, that’s a reality of capitalism and I’m hopeful that the massive success of the darker shades in the Fenty Beauty range will inspire brands like IT Cosmetics to get on board with diversity.

I was sent the shade Fair for review, and my PR package actually stated that if the colour match was wrong I could request a different one, which I thought was nice. Luckily, Fair is a pretty bang-on match for me. I’m fair with neutral-leaning-yellow undertones, which is exactly how I’d describe this shade. (Generally these colours appear to run more on the neutral-to-yellow side.)

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream in Fair swatches

Out of all of these shades I’d say the Ordinary 1.1N is my current best match, though MUFE Ultra HD in Y215 is the best I’ve found yet. (I completely used up my bottle so couldn’t use it for comparison swatches.) In swatches, the IT CC in Fair looks like it will be significantly too dark for me, but as you’ll see the shade works fine. If you’re lighter than around NC13 in MAC shades this will probably be a hair dark. I like that the IT CC Cream is neutral with slight yellow tones, which seems to suit me best. Though it’s certainly not pink-toned, in comparison with NARS Siberia it’s far less yellow.

Packaging

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream in Fair

Dude, I love this packaging. I wish every liquid foundation were packaged like this. First, there’s a pump, which is obviously the #1 thing we all look for in a foundation. Second, it’s in a squeezy tube! This means that a) you can squeeze out the last bit of product when the pump stops dispensing anything, and b) it’s super travel-friendly because there is no worry about breakage as with glass bottles. My only (small) gripe is that the silver does wear off – you can see in my photos that my tube looks pretty beat up even though I haven’t even had it for two months. It got a bit dinged up in my move, but it’s still totally functional. I don’t think this is the most aesthetically beautiful packaging, but from a usability standpoint it’s incredibly well-designed.

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream in Fair

The wondrous pump!

This foundation contains an unusual 1.08 fl oz/32 mL of product, as opposed to the industry-standard 1 fl oz/30 mL. Oh well, I’m not going to complain about more product than is standard. At least it’s not a $65 foundation containing a mere 0.84 fl oz/25 mL of product.

Application and Finish

The Your Skin But Better CC Cream* is quite thick: a pump stands in a straight peak rather than spreading out as a thin liquid. Thicker foundations like this don’t always work on my skin, but this applies like a dream with every method I’ve tested and doesn’t feel or look thick. I’ve used my fingers, a damp sponge, and three different foundation brushes – two dense (my Magic Collection Oval brush and the Real Techniques Buffing Brush) as well as the Real Techniques Stipple Brush. I get an easy application and a beautiful finish every time. I absolutely delight in finding foundations that apply quickly and easily with my fingers, because when I’m lazy/in a rush that’s how I apply my foundation. I don’t mind making a little extra effort for a gorgeous finish, but obviously it’s a huge bonus when I know the product is going to work no matter what I do. That’s one of the reasons I love MUFE Ultra HD so damn much.

This foundation has a pretty natural finish, leaning towards dewy. Despite being on the drier side, I don’t love a super dewy foundation and prefer something between satin and dewy. I really like the finish of this product on my skin but wouldn’t want it to be much dewier.

A lot of people on YouTube seem to consider the Your Skin But Better CC Cream* full coverage; I would say it’s a solid medium. Maybe it’s just that it’s high coverage for a CC cream? I’m not one who expects massive coverage out of my base products and even I wouldn’t consider this full. I can build it up where I need it and it doesn’t look heavy or emphasize texture. Recently my nose has started to get super dry, which always signals an impending change in season, and this foundation applies very smoothly over that area, which is always the true test.

One pump of foundation is more than enough for this one – it allows me to do two thinner layers all over my face.

And of course, what we’re all waiting for – the before and after:

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream in Fair

No makeup

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream in Fair

Wearing only IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream in Fair*

And the left-side-of-my-chin test, because that’s my problem area:

No makeup

Wearing only IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream in Fair*

You can see that I actually wasn’t dealing with an active breakout here, just a bit of hyperpigmentation from old breakouts. The Your Skin But Better CC Cream* doesn’t completely cover those areas, but it really evens out the skin and looks natural and healthy.

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream in Fair

Wearing only It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream in Fair*

I think this picture really shows the finish. It’s natural, glowy, and skin-like.

Wear

For a product that borders on dewy, this wears really well on my skin. My nose is pretty much a lost cause – though it’s dry right now, it’s also the only part of my face that produces oil, making it the worst of both worlds. My foundation always wears off there first. But on the rest of my skin, it looks really great throughout a full 10 hours of wear. It doesn’t break down or look heavy throughout the day. Do keep in mind that my skin is normal to dry, so base products don’t wear as quickly on me as they might on someone with a combo or oily skin type.

It can be difficult for me to get pictures showing 8+ hours of wear time since natural light quality isn’t very good past about 4pm at the moment, but here are some pictures I took last month after 8 hours, which included vigourous sweating. (These were taken after I did my driving test on a super hot day in a car with no AC and then walked 15 minutes home from the subway station – I put it through a fair amount.)

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream in Fair

Full face situation. Overall good, but let’s zoom in and be picky.

It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream in Fair

As I said, on my nose it pretty much wore off completely, which is fine because that always happens. There’s also a bit of bunching of product at the top of my nose and between my brows, but that’s because I was wearing my glasses all day and that’s just the way life works. On days when I wear contacts I don’t experience that.

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream in Fair

There’s a bit of bunching around my nose, but otherwise it looks pretty much impeccable across my cheeks. Yay!

Other Things to Note

The Your Skin But Better CC Cream* has an SPF of 50+, which is really high for a base product. Personally I still wear SPF underneath it because I can almost guarantee that to actually get SPF 50 out of this you’d have to apply way more than you’d ever want to. As with most if not all base products with SPF, this is a physical sunblock – containing titanium dioxide and zinc – meaning that it will cause a white cast when it comes to flash photography. It also may look ashy on darker skintones due to the physical SPF, though I can’t speak from personal experience there. Honestly, I could do without the SPF in this one; because I don’t think I’m really getting SPF 50 coverage I use a sunscreen underneath it so it makes it redundant, and it’s not super versatile because I wouldn’t wear it to any event where there might be flash photography. I guess SPF in base products is good for those who won’t wear a separate SPF, but I find it kind of annoying personally. It’s a shame because otherwise this foundation has a beautiful finish and photographs really well in natural lighting conditions.

This product has a pretty strong citrus scent. If you’ve smelled Bite Beauty lipsticks it’s quite similar to that. I don’t mind the scent and don’t find it lingers, but I’m against strong fragrance in makeup on principle. If you’re sensitive to scent maybe avoid this one.

Overall Thoughts

Despite its limited shade range, I think the It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream* is a really wonderful product that completely deserves its hype in the makeup community. It hits all the right notes for me: it’s easy to apply, looks beautiful on my skin, and wears impressively. Although the SPF50 and citrus fragrance are flaws, this is still a product that is extremely useful for my everyday life and that I will use up happily and even consider repurchasing.

The IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream retails for $49 CAD for 1.08 fl oz/32 mL of product, or $44.95 per fl oz/$1.53 per mL. Canadians can now purchase it at Sephora.

If you’re interested in picking a tube for yourself, IT Cosmetics kindly provided me with a 10% off code for use on itcosmetics.ca. Just enter ITGIRLCLEMENTINE at checkout by October 31. I don’t receive any commission on your purchase!

Review: ColourPop Blotted Lips in Candyfloss, On A Stick, and Sucker

Posted on August 24, 2017 under Reviews

ColourPop Blotted Lips

ColourPop got me again, dammit. Perhaps it’s time to admit that I’ll never be fully immune from their almighty hype machine. Their $50 free shipping minimum is dangerous, too – shipping to Canada is otherwise around ~$12, so I feel like I have to hit that $50 (USD) mark to make it worth it to order cheap things. Alison’s review and general love of ColourPop’s new-ish sheer matte lipsticks, the Blotted Lips, drove me to make an order. Of course, I couldn’t just order three Blotted Lips. I also had to order one of the Ultra Blotted Lips (to compare it to the Ultra Matte Lips and Ultra Satin Lips), three of the pressed eyeshadows, and a Lippie Stix. Yes.

I tried to be fairly intelligent when selecting which Blotted Lips shades to go for. I’ve fallen into the rut in the past of buying new lip formulas in whatever colour I’m most into at the moment (most likely fuchsia or magenta) and then having way too many similar colours. (Of course, I don’t have any sheer mattes, so some colour overlap is forgivable. Of course.) I ended up going with Candyfloss, an earthy terracotta, On A Stick, a bright coral, and Sucker, a bright peach.

Before Glossier released their Generation G lipsticks, I’d never even considered the possibility of a sheer matte. Sheer lipsticks always seemed to be glossy and hydrating, mattes full coverage. Though I obviously love a good bold lipstick more than most things in life, I can appreciate a sheer lipstick for lowkey days. However, I much prefer matte to shine finishes, so this type of product seemed like something I needed in my life.

Before we get into the review, here’s how all of the colours look on me (and some swatches):

ColourPop Blotted Lips in Candyfloss

ColourPop Blotted Lips in Candyfloss

ColourPop Blotted Lips in Candyfloss

Candyfloss is a terracotta. I actually thought that it would be a caramel brown, but I don’t think we can deny that this is definitely orange. (ColourPop describes it as a terracotta on their website, so I’m not sure what I was thinking…) Man, I never thought I would like this type of shade on myself, but my love for Buxom Covert Affair and Realgar from the Modern Renaissance palette have persuaded me otherwise.

ColourPop Blotted Lips in Candyfloss Swatches

L-R: One swipe of Candyfloss, Candyfloss built up to full opacity, Buxom Covert Affair, Buxom Hush Hush, Maybelline Touch of Spice

I made these swatches when I was still thinking Candyfloss would be brown, which is why I compared it to Hush Hush and Touch of Spice, which both have quite a bit of brown in them. However, upon swatching it was immediately obvious that this is an orange lipstick, which was only solidified when I actually wore it.

ColourPop Blotted Lips in On A Stick

ColourPop Blotted Lips in On A Stick

ColourPop Blotted Lips in On A Stick

On A Stick is a bright, warm coral. Because I needed to buy another one of those, of course. (Absurdly, I also ordered the Lippie Stix in Trixie, which is a near-perfect dupe for Rimmel Kate Moss 06, and I totally forgot about it and then bought Marc Jacobs So Sofia. So… I could have saved the 38 bucks, really, but I love So Sofia so I guess I’ll survive.)

ColourPop Blotted Lips in On A Stick Swatches

L-R: One swipe of On A Stick, On A Stick built up, Marc Jacobs So Sofia, Charlotte Tilbury Electric Poppy, YSL #57

Though tonally similar to So Sofia, On A Stick is less vibrant, and, of course, less opaque. (It’s a slightly less intimidating way of wearing such an attention-grabbing colour.) It’s a little warmer than Electric Poppy and YSL #57, which both end up being a hair too pink for me to comfortably call coral. (They pull more coral on my arm, but my lips turn them pink.)

ColourPop Blotted Lips in Sucker

ColourPop Blotted Lips in Sucker

ColourPop Blotted Lips in Sucker

Sucker is a bright peach bordering on coral, though compared to On A Stick it’s obviously far more muted. Generally more neon peaches don’t suit me, but somehow Sucker works. I think this gives the popsicle stained look the best out of all three.

ColourPop Blotted Lips in Sucker Swatches

L-R: One swipe of Sucker, Sucker built up, NARS Brigitte

Brigitte is the only other peach I have in my collection, though in retrospect I could have swatched Sucker next to some corals as well. Ah, well – you can see that it is a lot brighter than Brigitte and that it makes the brown in Brigitte more obvious.

As you would imagine, the Blotted Lips go on pretty sheer but can be built up to a medium opacity. With a lot of layers they still give that popsicle effect on the lips, but they probably wouldn’t read as sheer from a distance, at least the more saturated colours. They wear about the way you’d expect any sheer lipstick to: they need to be touched up after a few hours, and definitely after eating or drinking. They layer on themselves well, with no patchiness or bunching up of product. They’re a tiny bit drying, but nothing major. I don’t feel any discomfort until about hour 4 or 5 of wear, and after 8-9 hours I do feel the need for some lip balm. However, unlike with a lot of liquid lipsticks I don’t feel like my lips have to be in especially good shape to wear them, nor does the drying effect linger after removal. I really like the way they look on my lips (though they’re certainly matte they don’t appear unflatteringly dry), and the formula is just what I expected. I don’t mind touching up my lipstick throughout the day, so a formula that doesn’t wear terribly long is fine by me as long as it doesn’t pretend to be longwearing.

Here’s Candyfloss after 8 hours of wear, which included two meals and a drink with no touching up:

ColourPop Blotted Lips in Candyfloss wear

It’s very faint, almost a peach, but it fades gracefully and I could walk around like this without feeling like I looked silly. In fact, I did, because I wore it to my driving test (which I passed, by the way) and had many other things on my mind besides my lipstick.

And here’s Sucker after about 5 hours. When I took these pictures I did have a meal (sushi, yum), but I reapplied and took this picture approximately 2 hours later. I did talk a lot and drink a bit in those two hours.

ColourPop Blotted Lips in Sucker wear

My only complaint has to do with the packaging. In general, I think the packaging is fine – though I tend to think white looks a little cheap, the matte finish makes the tubes cute. I like that the inside of the tube matches the colour of the bullet as well. Besides the fact that I’m sure the lettering will wear off, I’m most annoyed by how difficult it is to close the Blotted Lips tubes smoothly. They always stop just shy of closed, and need an extra little push to close fully. Not a dealbreaker, but not exactly ideal. I haven’t seen anyone else mention this, but all three of my tubes do it so I’m hesitant to call this an anomaly.

ColourPop Blotted Lips packaging

Now, it’s clear that ColourPop got some inspiration from Glossier: the tubes are strikingly similar, not to mention the relatively unusual concept. But ColourPop not only offered their products at a much lower price point (which is to be expected, of course), crucially, they ship worldwide. Though Glossier started shipping to Canada last month, the Blotted Lips came out before that and are still way more widely available than Glossier. I understand that international shipping is a complicated matter, but Glossier is really dropping the ball here to my eye, and ColourPop is totally capitalizing on that. What’s more, the Blotted Lips are good, so anyone who tries this formula because it’s the one they can get shipped to their country is unlikely to go, “Hey, let’s spend $14 more on something similar” if and when Glossier starts shipping internationally. At least, I know I won’t.

The ColourPop Blotted Lips retail for $5 USD ($6.26 CAD) for 1.0 grams of product, which puts them at an easy-to-calculate $5 USD/$6.26 CAD per gram. (That’s 0.035oz, or $142.86 USD/$178.86 CAD per oz.)

Review: Marc Jacobs Le Marc Lip Crème in So Sofia

Posted on August 05, 2017 under Reviews

I am prone to long-term obsessions when it comes to lipstick colours. For example, I’ve certainly mentioned on this blog multiple times my quest for a lilac that flatters me: see this post for an example of two which aren’t quite right. (Oh, a reference to this quest in a ColourPop review, too.)

One of these interminable expeditions concerns the search for my perfect coral. (Referenced in the ColourPop review, too…) Actually, my perfect coral is embodied in Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Moss 06, which is a super vibrant pink-leaning coral that I love with everything I have in my soul. It appears that I’ve never posted a picture of me wearing it on this blog, but here’s one from the very end of my undergrad, when I was stressed and needed to inject some sunshine into my life in the form of bright lipstick.

Now, obviously I would not be searching for another coral if there weren’t a catch to 06. The catch is that Rimmel discontinued it A LONG-ASS TIME AGO. I’m a little hazy on exactly when, but I was wearing this regularly during my first summer at my job, which was three years ago, and I constantly had to tell people who asked about it that it wasn’t made anymore. I purchased this particular tube in the fall of 2013, which means that it’s coming up on four years old. It hasn’t gone bad yet, but it’s old as shit, not to put too fine a point on it. I’m also not terribly in love with the Rimmel Kate formula anymore; it’s nice, and you can’t really complain for the price, but I prefer something a bit less slippery.

I’ve been looking for a dupe for this colour for a long time, and I’ve found it really difficult. There’s a fine line between a pink-based coral and a warm bright pink, and most lipsticks seem to cross it. See Charlotte Tilbury Electric Poppy, for instance, which in 9pm Nordstrom lighting I thought could be a convincing dupe but turned out to be pink, not coral.

Online dupe-hunting proved difficult; the internet bears little evidence that anybody else in the world has ever bought 06, and I haven’t been able to find anybody duping this specific colour. (Temptalia’s dupe database let me down here!) Googling “pink coral lipsticks” yielded a few promising candidates, all of which I eventually discarded. Bite Pickled Ginger, for instance, is too light. MAC Impassioned seemed like the best candidate colour-wise, but I find MAC lipstick formulas a bit underwhelming.

I read Auxiliary Beauty’s March 2016 review of Marc Jacobs So Sofia with some interest, and even noted in a comment that it reminded me substantially of 06. Yet I wasn’t ready to commit to it, for whatever reason. Too expensive, maybe (though at $38 CAD it’s cheaper than both Charlotte Tilbury and NARS), or perhaps it’s just that the Marc Jacobs beauty brand never really appealed to me. (I do love Daisy, though, because I’m basic as hell when it comes to fragrance.) I recently stumbled across her review of So Sofia again, and my interest was reignited.

As I’ve mentioned before, I despise going downtown, but last week I had to go to the passport office, which is right next to the Eaton Centre, which meant it was the perfect time to do a Sephora return I’d been putting off. (For those keeping track, I returned the Hourglass Vanish foundation, which I really liked but which I decided I didn’t reasonably have a use for.) I was four days past the thirty-day mark so I got store credit, which in my mind meant that I could get a new lipstick for free. (Well, it was with money that I’d already spent, but…) I’d had the foresight to bring with me my tube of 06 and immediately made a mess out of the back of my hand with swatches of every coral lipstick I could find. As it turned out, So Sofia was the closest by far, so I bought it. (Having had the Sephora birthday gift mini of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang for over a year, I was confident that I liked the Le Marc Lip Crème formula enough to get along with So Sofia.)

The Le Marc Lip Crèmes come in large, shiny black tubes. I think the packaging is pretty enough; I’m not losing my mind over it, but I’d feel good about pulling it out of my bag in public. I do like the magnetic closure, which my mini of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang lacks. There must be some evolutionary biological reasoning as to why we all seem collectively drawn to magnetic lipstick tubes.

However, I must complain pettily, for that is my calling in my life. These lipsticks have have very wide bases that don’t fit into your standard lipstick organizer, so I have to store So Sofia with my jumbo lip pencils and liquid lipsticks. This shouldn’t bother me, but it does, because ontologically this is a bullet lipstick and should be stored with its kin. This design seems a bit arrogant to me, as if Marc Jacobs thought his shit was so good that it shouldn’t have to conform to normal dimensions. You don’t get to transcend my organizational system without a complaint, Marc!

That is Too Big.

However, I’ll concede that this irritation can be mostly swept aside in light of all of So Sofia’s positive attributes. I mean… it’s beautiful, dammit:

(Can we please acknowledge that this is legit the first lipstick review I have ever posted on my blog where I have photographed a fresh, unmarred bullet? I don’t know how I managed this, to be honest.)

This formula has a slightly gel-like component to how easily it glides onto the lips without feeling particularly thick. Initially, the finish has a definite sheen, but it wears down to a matte throughout the day. On my lips, the formula feels lightweight and comfortable. After about five or six hours of wear it feels slightly dryer, but not moreso than any other lipstick. What really impresses me about So Sofia is how well it wears. I actually found the longevity of my Kiss Kiss Bang Bang mini a bit disappointing – it wasn’t abysmal, but considering the full size costs a rather extravagant $38, I wanted it to last longer than it did. Perhaps the vibrancy of So Sofia just causes it to stain my lips more, but either way, it wears really well. Here’s a picture I took after five hours of wear, which included eating two bagels and drinking a bottle of water with absolutely no retouching:

I mean, bagels cannot be eaten delicately. They gleefully strip mouths of lipstick. And somehow my lipstick still looked totally pristine. (Better than my foundation looked between my eyebrows…)

Better, non-iPhone photos of the colour on me:

Squinting incredulously ’cause the sun was in my eyes.

I mean, is that not glorious? If that doesn’t say summer, I don’t know what does. In fact, it’s so summery that I wonder if acquiring it on the first day of August wasn’t a mistake on my part. How much time will I have to wear this before I put it away in favour of my berries and deep reds? I know in my heart that seasonal colours are a lie, but in the four years that I’ve owned Rimmel Kate 06 I’ve scarcely pulled it out between the months of September and March. This is a neurosis that I think I will have to overcome in order to get the most out of my $38.

And comparison swatches:

L-R: Rimmel Kate Moss 06, Marc Jacobs So Sofia, YSL Rouge Pur Couture #57, Charlotte Tilbury Electric Poppy

If anything, the Rimmel colour has the tiniest more orange to it – So Sofia really is just on this side of coral. However, it has the vibrancy that the YSL and Charlotte Tilbury shades lack, as well as the barest hint of warmth that makes it a coral in my eyes. Though it’s not exactly identical to my Rimmel shade, the shocking brightness makes it a satisfactory dupe for my purposes.

I’m not sure the last time I bought a lipstick hoping it would be something specific that it actually turned out to be. It’s not just the colour that’s perfect, it’s the finish, the feel on the lips, and the way it wears. So Sofia is precisely what I wanted it to be. And that’s almost as beautiful as the colour.

The Marc Jacobs Le Marc Lip Crèmes retail for $38 CAD for 0.12 oz, or $316.67 per oz.