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!

Foundation for Fair Skin: NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in Siberia

Posted on November 30, 2016 under Reviews

NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in Siberia

I’ll let you in on something: I decided not to return the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation after all. It looks really nice when applied with a damp sponge, and the colour match is great. I waffled on this one for awhile, but ultimately laziness prevailed because I didn’t have it in me to make my second trek to the Eaton Centre in a week to return it. (Torontonians will understand the mental and physical fortitude it takes to make this trip.) Hey, I’m just being honest about the kind of person I am. (The kind who is too lazy to get on the streetcar for twenty minutes. Whatever, I put off making an exchange at Topshop until the literal last day because I loathe the Eaton Centre so deeply.)

In between my review of the Magic Foundation and my decision not to return it, I did something silly: I purchased another foundation (with Optimum points). Yes, I, the person who has steadfastly refused to own more than one foundation at a time, now own three. I ended up picking up NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation, which I chose over Sheer Glow because it swatched better on the back of my hand. Solid decision-making skills.

It’s probably no surprise that I got the lightest shade in the range, Siberia, which is a fair, cool yellow. Between this and the Magic Foundation I’m coming to realize that cool yellows are actually a better match for me than pink-based colours as I’d previously thought. Anyway, I know that finding fair foundation can be a struggle, and it’s worth explicitly noting that these undertones are definitely yellow, so if you’re definitely not yellow, I’d watch out for that.

The texture of this foundation is very interesting to me. It’s thin and watery, which is my preferred texture. Whereas the Magic Foundation stays in a stiff peak when pumped out, the All Day Luminous Weightless foundation begins to spread on the back of my hand immediately. It’s even more watery than some of my favourites, MUFE Ultra HD and Revlon Nearly Naked (RIP). One pump delivers very little product; while I’m normally a one-pump kinda gal when it comes to foundation (seriously, how do YouTubers apply like four pumps of product to ONE face?), I need two pumps of this to cover my entire face.

NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in Siberia texture

One pump of NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation after it’s spread out a little on the back of my hand. Like I said, not much comes out.

That said, this foundation is very spreadable. I’ve never noticed that particular quality in a foundation before, but here you can see the part of my face that I’ve managed to cover by dipping my blending sponge into the product a single time:

NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in Siberia half on

In case you can’t tell, that’s my left cheek (right in the picture) and my chin. With the tiniest amount of product! Two pumps of this gives me enough to cover my whole face one and go over a few select areas where I prefer slightly more coverage.

The “weightless” part of the name definitely holds true for me: this foundation not only looks thin, it feels thin. I’m not someone who’s super sensitive to the feeling of product on my skin, but this is one of the least noticeable foundations I’ve tried in terms of sensory issues. It’s not tacky to the touch like Rimmel Lasting Finish 25H.

I also think it’s pretty luminous. Here’s the finish I get with it after lightly dusting loose powder all over my face:

NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in Siberia on the skin

By the way, in this picture all I have on besides the foundation is brow product. On this particular day I opted not to use concealer on my post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation because I thought the foundation did a good job covering it.

One of the first times I wore this out of the house during the testing phase, I went to a Shoppers Beauty Boutique and the woman working there said my skin looked beautiful and glowy and asked what I was wearing, so that’s nice! Despite its luminosity, this foundation feels like it sets quickly and well, which brings me to the last point in its (long, adjective-filled) name.

Does the All Day Luminous Weightless foundation actually last all day? Well, I guess that depends on how you define “all day”. In my experience it reaches the eight hour mark very admirably. After that it breaks down a bit on my nose, which happens to literally every foundation I’ve ever tried because my nose is the only place on my body that produces oil. However, it does wear really well overall; as I always mention, I put my foundations through a lot because I work retail and usually have my makeup on for a good 10+ hours – which includes a lot of running around – before washing it off. So, it basically lasts as long as I would wear it, which is technically “all day”, but not, say, a full 24 hours, which the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner does. Semantics, I know.

Here’s an “after” shot I took the other day – this was after only about 5 hours of wear because I was starting to lose my light (I HATE WINTER!!!), but those 5 hours did include the aforementioned Eaton Centre trip, which had me sweating like a pig because they really crank up the heating in there. (Yet another reason not to go there.)

NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in Siberia wear

Random black cheek flakes notwithstanding, I think it’s done a good job here, and I can confirm that it basically looks like this at the end of the day minus my nose. I mean, my nose is still there, but the foundation isn’t. (Also, sorry about the lighting. Like I said, the sun was already starting to set and I’m still learning how to use my new camera!)

Now, this is not a super easy-peasy, slap it on and go product. As with the Magic Foundation, I’ve found that the All Day Luminous Weightless foundation far in a way does best with a damp sponge. On a brush it does make my forehead look pretty dry. Again, someone with combo/oily skin might not have this problem, but I’m assuming that a luminous foundation is formulated more for dryer skin types. I also find it looks better when set lightly with a loose powder as opposed to a thicker pressed powder such as Rimmel Stay Matte.

So, yes, this foundation is a bit fussy. And the reason I really liked MUFE Ultra HD is that it wasn’t fussy. It looks good applied any which way (with basically any brush, with a damp sponge, with my fingers) and it can be set with anything. But ultimately I like the finish and lasting power of the All Day Luminous Weightless foundation better, so it’s kind of a toss-up.

NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in Siberia packaging

One thing I will say is that I fucking hate the rubberized cap. I know this is a common complaint with NARS products, but it gets messy so quickly, as you can see in the above picture. The first time I opened this foundation I accidentally untwisted the entire cap and foundation flew out everywhere (including my wall and jeans) and got all over the lid and now it is forever ugly. Sigh. At least it has a pump, though.

For those of you who were waiting, breath baited, for a really up-close picture of my chronically crusty nose, rejoice, for here it is:

NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in Siberia nose

This foundation doesn’t glide over it perfectly, but it also doesn’t really make it look any worse (at least when applied with a damp sponge), so that’s fine. I’m not expecting miracles here, people; nothing can conquer the nose crust except a lot of oil.

Finally, a side-by-side comparison of my face with nothing on it but brows and moisturizer and my face with only foundation and brows:

NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in Siberia before and after

There’s definitely a difference, and I think the finish is lovely. I’d recommend this if you want a medium-coverage, luminous but now dewy, fairly natural-looking foundation. If you have dry skin you’ll want to really understand that it is fussy (though worth the fuss, if fussy isn’t a total dealbreaker for you). If you’re on the combo to oily side you might get on with this foundation regardless of the name because it does wear well, but obviously I only have experience with my own dry skin.

As a bonus, I also picked up the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly (an even paler cool yellow). I don’t use it on blemishes because it’s too light for that (a novel problem!) and because I think putting a doe-foot applicator straight onto a zit and then back into the tube to fester with zit bacteria for months is gross, but it looks great under the eyes:

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly

Concealer under the right eye and nothing under the left. Obviously.

Is it worth $35 CAD? I don’t know, because that’s a lot of money and I haven’t really run it through the ringer yet. But I like it.

NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation retails for $59 CAD for 1oz/30mL of product, which obviously works out to $59 per oz or $1.97 per mL. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer retails for $35 CAD for 0.22 oz/6mL of product, making it $159.09 per oz or $5.83 per mL. Both can be purchased at Sephora, Murale, or NARS counters.

Products that deserve more hype

Posted on December 16, 2014 under Lists

We’ve talked about products that are worth their hype, but what about products that you think the whole world should know about but that nobody really talks about?

The world just isn’t fair, is it? Because if it was, you all would know (and love) these products just as much as I love them. (You can tell I love them because they are all really dirty in the photo. Hashtag authentic.)

Stila In The Light Palette

I have (and love) the Naked 3 palette, but my favourite neutral palette is In The Light. When I worked in cosmetics I sold so many of these babies because I would talk so passionately about my love for this palette to my customers. I’ve had it for a year now and I’ve probably used it at least 50% of the days I wear makeup. The eyeshadows are a gorgeous formula and there’s a really great variety of colours (from dark to light, matte to glitter). I like that there are some of the more classic neutrals such as off-white and dark brown, but also some colours that are a bit more fun, such a slate blue-grey, a copper, and a shimmery dark grey. This palette is so versatile, and I love it dearly.

If you’re in the market for a neutral palette that’s less outrageously expensive than the Naked palettes (and with less fallout, too – that’s my big complaint about Urban Decay shadows) and that comes with a full-sized eyeliner, this is the one for you.

Here is a collage of some looks I’ve done with this palette, in case you need convincing.

in the light

Revlon Nearly Naked foundation

This is my ride-or-die, holy grail foundation. It’s lightweight and sheer but buildable, with a pretty liquidy texture. I always apply it with a damp sponge, and it looks just like skin – so natural, yet flawless. It’s on the dewier side, so it works with my dry skin, but it’s not super shiny – just very natural and glow-y. Plus, it comes in approximately a bazillion shades, ranging from very pale (Ivory – my colour!) to quite dark (Cappuccino). This was one of my go-to products when colour matching someone since there was such a variety of shades.

I hear a lot of people talking about Revlon’s ColorStay, which is a full coverage foundation, but nobody ever talks about Nearly Naked! If you want something a bit lighter that looks like skin but still evens and smooths and generally looks beautiful, I would definitely check Nearly Naked out.

(My one complaint is that there’s NO PUMP. This would truly be the perfect foundation if it had one!)

I know before and after shots are really handy to judge a foundation’s efficacy, so hopefully this shows how flawless but natural it looks:

foundation

L’Oréal True Match La Touche Magique Highlighting Concealer

I have very noticeable purple undereye circles that just don’t quit. Nothing will make them go away – not sleep, not lots of water (I already drink 3L a day, what more do you want?!), not eye cream. All I can hope to do is conceal them. And I’ve tried a lot of concealer. I’ve caked things on thickly hoping that would help, I’ve used brightening concealers, I’ve done everything. And this is the answer.

I don’t know how, because the formula is very lightweight and not particularly high coverage, but this manages to cover up my undereye circles so well and lift that area. The lightest shade is absurdly pale (and I myself am absurdly pale) – for once in my life I’m using the second lightest, Rose Beige. I think its beige undertones help cancel out the purple of my dark circles, but who knows. I don’t give a shit how it works, to be honest. I just like that it works. I’m not going to question it!

Once again, before and after:

loreal concealer

The Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder

Bronzer for pale people, am I right, ladies? Yes – it’s a tricky game! Pale people arguably need bronzer the most, since sometimes we can look a bit ill (especially in the middle of summer when everyone else has gorgeous tans and we’re slathering on the SPF60 to keep from burning the second we step outside), but it is so hard to find a product that works! Thankfully, the search is over – the Honey Bronzer is a light, matte brown that doesn’t pull orange at all. It’s not too pigmented, which means that it warms up the face and adds a bit of colour and dimension without making it look like you went a bit overboard. It can even be used as a contour in a pinch, although of course I prefer Illamasqua’s Hollow. This is hands down the best natural-looking bronzer for pale people I’ve found! I’m sure the darker shades are lovely for the non-ghost-like among us, as well.

NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base

Everyone is so caught up in the frenzy of the Urban Decay Primer Potion, but what if I told you that you could do SO MUCH BETTER? The NARS primer is truly my holy grail eyeshadow primer, and I do not award that status lightly. A little bit goes a long way so a tube of it lasts forever (I’ve had mine for a year and a half, and that’s with nearly daily use) and it will seriously keep your eyeshadow on all day. I’ve gone 15+ hours with a full face of makeup, and the one thing I can count on to look exactly the same as when I put it on is my eyeshadow. You will never have to worry about fading, creasing, or smudging with this base, and that is a promise.

Those are my top five underhyped products. I hope you’ll consider some (or all) of these, because I promise they are freakin’ awesome.