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Foundation

Bare it all!

Hi!  Long time no see.  The last 6-8 months has been a roller coaster of emotions, crazy, and all out nutty things.  But I’m going to do my level best to keep you informed on my favorite products at least a couple of times a month!  Thanks for being my loyal fans and keep thinking beautifully!

bareMinerals - Bareskin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation
BareMinerals BareSkin Serum oundation launched on QVC earlier this spring, with a limited color selection and a fabulous new brush.

BareMinerals says:
A breakthrough tone-correcting mineral foundation and skincare serum in one.   Created with exceptional purity in mind, this ultrathin, skin-perfecting fluid provides seamless adjustable coverage, a natural finish and the look and feel of beautiful skin while delivering a noticeably brighter, more youthful appearance. Made with the bare minimum ingredients and formulated without water, oil, silicone, parabens or fragrance. It’s like nothing you’ve ever felt before. 

When I first bought this product, I wasn’t so sure if I would like it.  I am not the biggest fan of the original BE foundation (I know, blasphamy!) but I adore almost everything else they made.  But a liquid?  Wow!  I prefer a liquid foundation, simply because I find powders for the most part settle in my skin and accentuate my wrinkles and odd spots – something that I”d like to avoid.

But so many liquid foundations are thick, and not so special  This is different.  After using this foundation for a week, my skin actually feels smoother, silkier and just plain better.  They really mean serum when they say serum!

When it comes out of the bottle, it really doesn’t look like much.  It’s thin, and is almost waterlike.  You have to shake up the Bare Skin Serum foundation bottle really well to ensure that the color pigment mixes with the elixir ingredients.  Lightweight, ultrathin liquid that glides on like silk, I find it gives you light to medium coverage – but it’s very buildable.  The best part about it, is that you use such a tiny amount ot achive this goal.  Two drops for each side of your face, maybe one more drop for the forehead & chin.  This bottle will last you forever!

One of my favorite things about this producft is that I did not wear primer with it.  I first tried it with my favorite primer, but I found that I can skip this step and I don’t miss it.  I do however recommend that if you have oily skin that you use an oil control product on your trouble spots (for me it’s my nose) to help control any shine through.  I also used a pressed powder to touch up during the day, but you could easily use mineral veil.  This was just to blot my oily spots (also love the Mally Poreless Defender).  I put this on at 8am, and it looked amazing at 9:30pm when I got home!

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The new brush is very similar to the Tarte Colored Clay foundation (review next) except for one key difference:  This densely packed small angled brush has a small well in the middle of it.  That’s where you put the foundation, which sinks in to the bristles of the brush.  This is important because it helps you to distribute the foundation evenly.

Bottom line?  LOVE THIS!  QVC has a limited shade selection of the Bare Skin Serum Foundation right now, but Sephora & BE boutiques launch on May 1st with the full color selection.  I currently have Bare Linen, which is a bout half a shade too light for me, but as summer comes, I will probably move to Nude or a similar shade.  I hightly recommend you visit a counter to color match, as it’s tricky to do a side by side with your current BE foundation.

Rating:  A-

Loves:  Skin treatment, with soothing bontanicals and skin brightening ingredients.  My skin feels BETTER after wearing this foundation; and it’s the only change I’ve made in my treatment.  Smoother, silkier, and clearer.  Buildable coverage that you can layer with your favorite concealer or primer.

Check it out!

Google

A breath of fresh air for your face!

Here she is, Miss America!  At least that is how I feel when I’m wearing this foundation.  I have tried it all beauties, every last one of the latest the greatest the newest foundations.  Liquid, powder, powder cream, mousse, BB cream.

I have loved some, I have hated some.  But this?  This I love.  Now, there’s no secret that I love IT Cosmetics in general, and to date, only one product has not stayed in my beauty treasure trove.  But this is different.

The IT O2 Oxygen Foundation marks the second foundation for IT Cosmetics, although one could argue that the Bye Bye Undereye Concealer makes three.  However, this is the first liquid foundation in the IT arsenal.

This magic potion is more than just a foundation; it’s really skin care with tone.  With the classic IT goodies like antiaging peptides, hyaluronic acid, hydrolyzed collagen, and special It Cosmetics Drops of Light reflecting pigments, this foundation covers and then some.  

The secret to the O2 Foundation is the “oxygen”.  Everyone is doing it, Benefit Oxygen Foundation, UD Naked, etc.  Everyone is in the oxygen tank, trying to hydrate your skin.  The theory is that if you deliver more oxygen to your skin ,it will assist in repairing damaged cells, and moisturization.

This is a silky and light foundation when it comes out of the bottle, and was slightly running but not watery.  I found it quite sheer to begin with, but quickly found it to be excellent coverage with some buildable layers and practice.  Because this is a treatment, I tend not to wear primer with this foundation.  I occasionally spot conceal if I have really noticeable things that need help, but two layers of the O2 foundation and BAM!  

 

My skin tone is evened out, and my skin feels like silk when wearing this product.  I actually think my skin has improved overall when wearing this every day.  The anti aging benefits of peptides, collagen,and niacin are truly powerhouses and make a huge difference.

I apply this over clean, moisturized skin using a flat foundation brush (paintbrush style), and using my fingers to blend it in.  Finally, I use a big buffing brush like the flathead IT foundation brush, to buff it out for a flawless and luminous finish.  I personally do not care for the hydrasponge that comes with it.  Its’ too big to be used for most of your face, and it has a slick silicone texture.  A Beauty Blender is a great option if you like more coverage, and I often use this technique as well.  If you prefer a more matte finish, just dust ab it of Bye Bye Pores finishing powder over it, and your puss will last all day!  Occasionally, if I need an extra boost of coverage, I will use the Celebration Foundation over this, but that is super duper heavy full coverage and it takes a bit of practice to see what your skin really wants.

Another knockout for me, and I will be putting this on my Holy Grail list!

This is currently a QVC excusive, and is available or $38.

 

Bye Bye Redness!

Oh boy!  IT Cosmetics has done it again!  Yes, I know I’m a bit obsessed, but I can’t help myself!  I treated my self to the new Bye Bye Redness neutralizing and correcting cream recently, and I cannot believe how much I love this tiny jar of magic.

Bye Bye Redness™ is a red neutralizing and correcting cream that completely cancels redness in your skin from view. Rich in Peptides, Hydrolyzed Collagen and Anti-Aging Technology, Bye Bye Redness™ camouflages redness and any red-toned skin discolorations from rosacea, broken capillaries, blemished skin, irritated skin, sun damage, scars, age spots, physician procedures and more.

I have to say, I do find that it does what it says.  I have light to medium skin, with golden undertones but lots of pink.  I often get redness, particularly in the winter, and am always looking for something to even out my skin tone.

The Bye Bye Redness was perfect for this.  Packed full of classic it goodies like peptides, collagen, oatmeal and Hyaluronic Acid, this wonder covers, corrects and treats your skin.  It doesn’t have a green or yellow hue like many redness reducers, and looks like a rich cream foundation.  In fact, that is my favorite way to use this – in lieu of foundation.  The QVC version comes with a mini kabuki brush which is great, but I also love to use a small foundation brush from Everyday Minerals, or an Eco Tools buffing brush to buff this on.

Be warned – a little dab will do you.  I used too much the first time, and I to really blend it in.  Start with a dime size amount on the back of your hand and use the kabuki brush to apply Bye Bye Redness all over.  Then use swirling motions to buff it in to your skin.  You can wear foundation on top, but I really found I didn’t need to.  You can build the coverage if you need to, but I found that I didn’t.  The small jar should actually last you a while.  If you prefer, you can just use on problem areas.  I finished with a bit of Bye Bye Pores for a flawless finish.

Love!  available at QVC and ITcosmetics.com for $32.  Check it out!

Put your best face forward!

Hello Beauties!  I’m back from under the rock I have been hiding under.
I know I’ve been promising this for a long time, but here are my foundation holy grails!

These are in order of my favorites, and I’m doing the top 5, to be followed by my concealer and primer holy grails.  Have a fave?  Let me know!

  • Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation (Light/Medium) – This is the product I reach for every day.  The long wearing perfecting foundation promises long wear, and I get a full out of out it to be sure.  The foundation is the consistency of a mousse, and it isn’t quite a liquid.  Using the airbrush brush that came with the foundation originally, this foundation provides a medium to full coverage that is very natural.  You can layer the product more coverage, and it looks flawless on.  I love the way it absorbs the oil on my nose but isn’t drying at all, and that it includes SFP 15, which is very important.  Like all Tarte products, it’s full of good for you ingredients, and doesn’t break me out.  I use about a quarter sized amount, on my hand, and then pick it up with the brush.   Apply it a little bit at a time, and use the brush to buff it in.  $38 for 1.7 oz.
  • Next up my new favorite, the Urban Decay Naked Skin (3.5) – I LOVE this foundation!  It’s a liquid, but it’s fairly thick so it doesn’t run all over the place.  The package is in a pump format which makes it a no muss no fuss way to apply.  This weightless liquid feels invisible but really packs a punch and covers amazingly well.  I felt like I was glowing when I wore it!  $38 for 1 oz.  There is no SPF in this foundation however there are also no parabens or other ickies, yay!

  • IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye (medium) – technically this is a concealer, but it provides amazing coverage all over the face.  A little bit goes a long way and when I need fuller coverage days, this is my go to item.  A rich, creamy concealer that is packed full of anti aging ingredients like vitamins A, C, and K.  It is also packed with collagen that reduces discoloration.  I love this product, and use it every day as concealer!  The dual ended airbursh brush that IT makes is amazing for applying this product.  The small end fits under your eyes, and the corners of your nose, while the larger end is great for all over application.  $24 for .28 oz.
  • IT Cosmetics Celebration Foundation (light) - This powder foundation took a little getting used it, but now I love it.  It’s light to medium coverage, and is great for on the go applications.  Like all IT products, it’s full of great ingredients, like peptides, hydrolyzed collagen, vitamins.  This foundation actually helps make your skin appear younger.  The includes flathead foundation brush blurs pores and fine lines and makes you look great.  Read my full review here.  $40 for .30 oz (brush included)
  • Smashbox BB Cream (light) – So much more than a foundation  the Smashbox BB cream provides a combination of moisturizer, primer, foundation and treatment in one.  I like this for lighter coverage days but it feels great on the skin while providing nice coverage.  Read my full review here  $39 for 1 oz.

 

 

Are you Ready for READY foundation?

Bare Minerals Ready FoundationAre you Ready?  I know I was.  I love my foundation.  I especially love a solid foundation, that I can tuck in my bag and carry with me for quick touch ups or post office makeup-ing.  So, when Bare Escentuals came out with a pressed version of their mineral foundation, I was ready to check it out and jump on it.

The Bare Minerals READY SPF Foundation promises a natural, long wearing formula that beautifully covers everything but feels like nothing is on.  It also claims to keep skin smooth, fresh, and younger looking.

This solid mineral technology claims to have invisible long wearing coverage.  Interestingly, it runs very light.  In loose, I wear Golden Fair or Fairly Medium.  In Ready, the best match was Medium Beige, which is a tinge too dark so I need to apply it carefully.

One important thing about Ready Foundation is you really need to apply it sparingly.  You cannot buff this foundation on, or sweep heavy layers.  My first experience with the Ready foundation was after a a makeunder event.  While I loved the coverage when I looked in the mirror, I quickly noticed that it both looked cakey and tended to pool in the crinkled of my nose.  This concerned me, as I have an oily t-zone that I need to cover.

I have found the best way to apply this was with an Everyday Minerals mini kabuki brush.  This is a fairly fluffy brush, that is not so densely packed with bristles.  What works best is to tap the brush in the foundation, and sweep it over my face, repeating as necessary.  Using the flat-topped IT Cosmetics foundation brush applied too much product and immediately made it look cakey, accentuating my pores, which was the same result when I used the BE Ready Foundation brush.

This technique gave me light to medium coverage,, but it did not stand the test of time.  I look for foundations that absorb the oil on my t-zone, and last all day.  The Ready, while it was a nice finished look in general, lasted only a few hours, and needed to be reapplied.  Reapplying, even sparingly, resulted in build up.  I also noticed that from a distance it tends to accentuate my wrinkles and fine lines.

I do not recommend wearing a primer with this product.  Although I love the Neutralizing Primer, it doesn’t play well with the Ready.  I also wore the new Ready Creamy Concealer underneath the Ready Foundation, and the combination, provided good coverage, however the foundation tended to pool and crinkle near the areas that I used concealer.

I can see this product being great for someone with dry skin, but for my sensitive combo skin, it didn’t do the trick, and it certainly did not last 12 hours.  That said, I am in love with all the other Ready products so don’t let this dissuade you!

Final grade:  B+ There is a learning curve in applying this product, and the color selection should be broader.  I like the overall feeling of the product, but I think it would use a bit of improvement to switch me over.

Ingredients

IT Cosmetics celebrates your face!

I’m back!  I’m sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted but what a year!  But I’m back, and I’m here to tell you about one of my favorite foundations.  I love a good creamy liquid foundation for coverage, and especially in winter, when my skin tends to get dry.  However, in the summer, I love a nice easy compact foundation.  It’s a no muss no fuss way of carrying your makeup with you.

Right now, my favorite product is the IT Cosmetics Celebration Foundation.  This anti aging foundation doens’t disappoint.  Like all of the IT Cosmetics products, it’s skin treatment as well as skin perfection.

The website says:

Rich in peptides, hydrolyzed collagen, and anti aging technology, Celebration Foundation is a full-coverage, anti aging foundation that gives you the power to achieve flawless, airbrushed complexion perfection!

It delivers highly pigmented perfect coverage that will never crease or crack and is designed not only to cover, but also to make skin appear younger. The anti aging technology gives you a flawless airbrushed finish that looks and feels like silk. It absorbs oil and shine without settling into lines and wrinkles. The Heavenly Luxe Buffing Airbrush Foundation Brush is the most ultra-luxe, ultra-plush tool for perfect airbrushed application.

When I first tired the IT Cosmetics Celebration Foundation, I was using way too much and it felt thick, and sticky.  However, now that I have perfected my application technique (more on that in a minute) I simply love it.   This lightweight powder, this powerhouse of collagen, peptides, antioxidants and hyaluronic acid covers fine lines and wrinkles, smooths over pores, and gives you a fresh clean look without feeling cakey.  A very little goes a long way here, and you can layer it for more coverage.

My application technique took some time to perect, because at first I was loading the luxe brush with entirely too much foundation.  A smidge goes a long way gals!  Lightly swirl the brush in the compact, and buff on to your skin using small circular motions.  Similar to BE, I find that the more you buff, the better it looks as it blends with your skin.  I used about 4 swipes of the compact to cover my whole face.

The anti aging ingredients make your skin feel tighter, smoother, and softer, while covering problem areas.  Packed full of yummy ingredients, this is a winner.  I tried wearing it both alone, as as a setting powder over Bye Bye Under Eye.  Each method has it’s benefits; on bad skin days, I wear Bye Bye Under Eye as my all over foundation in a thin layer.  Then, I sweep a touch of Celebration Foundation over it, which creates a flawless look.  For lighter coverage days or on the go days, just a few sweeps of Celebration Foundation give me great coverage on the go.

My favorite primer to wear with this is the Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer.  I have tried several other primers, but this works the best for me in combination with the foundation.  Wearing the foundation alone, it tends to fade off my skin.

The Heavenly Luxe Buffing Airbrush Foundation Brush that comes with the foundation is, like all IT brushes, amazing.  A flathead foundation brush, it reminds me of many stippling brushes.  Densely packed with bristle, this fluffy brush is perfect for the foundation.  You can also use it for other foundations as the shape and size is perfect.  As Jamie Kern says on air often, a little brush therapy will make your day complete!

Again, remember, a very little goes a long way.  this is buildable coverage, so start small and build up.

Happy glossing!

Ingredients: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Lauroyl Lysine, Zinc Stearate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Silica, Water, Glycerin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Carica Papaya Fruit Extract, Punica Granatum Extract, Vitis Vinifera Grape Seed Extract, Chamomilla Recutita Matricaria Flower Extract, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Rosa Canina Flower Extract, Olea Europaea Olive Fruit Extract, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Silk Powder, Niacinamide, Retinyl Palmitate, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Hyaluronic Acid, Cholesteryl Oleyl Carbonate, Cholesteryl Nonanoate, Cholesteryl Chloride, Butylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Carbomer, Polysorbate 20. May contain: Iron Oxides.Information provided by It Cosmetics.

This product was provided by the manufacturer or PR agent for consideration.  All opinions are my own.

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer

Primer, oh primer, where fort art thou primer?  There are so many optoins out there, nad so many types and theories on under makeup primer, that it can be daunting.

First of all, what IS an under makeup primer?  Foundaton primer exists to help you create a barrier between your skin and your makeup; they are not moisturizers however, but they help create a smooth surface for your foundation.  Makeup artists are primer fanatics, and claim they even out skin tone, help your makeup stay on longer and absorb oil.  I’d tend to agree since the primer can be color correcting, but helps keep your foundation on for several hours.

Most makeup primers are make of primarily dimethicone, a silicone derivative.  While not completely  natural, it has been widely used for decades and is very safe.  Dimethicone prevents dehydration by forming a barrier on your skin; it also helps fill in fine lines, as well as acting as an excellent oil absorption product and can be found in many acne treatments.  It is the dimethicone that gives many primers and foundations a velvety, silk like feel.

My current fave is the Hourglass Veil Mineral primer, which is mineral-based product that is a translucent white.  It has SPF 15 to block out harmful rays, but it also helps to neutralizes the skin, minimize shine, and creates a smooth, even canvas for my spackle.  Err I mean foundation.  It also helps to absorb excess oil, which makes my nose look shiny rather quickly.

Why is this my favorite right now?  The Hourglass works with all foundation types, including liquid, cream, powder, and mineral.  It makes my face feel velvety smooth and absorbs oil all day.  It also helps to blur my pores and small lines.  As with most things I prefer, there are no parabens or other ickies in it.  This primer has been the best performing with ANY of my foundations and is a universal tool in my arsenal.  I have many primers, and several of them only seem to work with a specific formulation of foundation but this is by far the most universal.

I also like that this has an SPF in it, since many foundations to not.  The physical SFP of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide createa  barrier to the harmful rays and is also fragrance, oil, and gluten free.  I have very sensitive skin and this product is gentle and non irritating.

Ingredients:  Zinc Oxide: (4.20%) A mineral with anti-inflammatory properties that offers full spectrum coverage by absorbing UVA and UVB rays at the skin’s surface.  Cyclopentasiloxane, Isododecane, Polysilicone-11, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Hexyl Laurate, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Polyglyceryl-4 Isosterate, Stearic Acid, Alumina.

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer is available at Sephora for $52.  You can also buy a small size for $18.  Since a very little goes a long way this should last you a good long while.

Happy glossing!

 

 


 

Summer of IT

Bye Bye Under Eye as concealer, Face Disk, Je Ne C'est Quoi, Bye Bye Pores finishing powder

It’s that time of year!  The sun is shining, it’s warm out and we are using self tanners and bronzers to get that glow without the harmful effects of the sun.  I don’t personally self tan, but I’ve been tempted by a few products to see how they look.

But we’re not here to talk about that!  I’m here to give you my review on the IT Cosmetics Vitality Color Collection!  The TSV will be on July 27th, so keep your DVRs tuned in.  As mentioned in my previous post, this collection includes the Vitality Face Disk, Jumbo Luxe Face Brush, Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer in a jumbo size that will probably last you all year, dual sided concealer brush, and the Lip Stain in Je Ne C’est Quoi.

After receiving my kit, I was excited to try the face disk.  I have been use the Bye Bye Under Eye for a while now, and it is one of my favorite concealers.  I was particularly excited about this collection because of the dual sided concealer brush, which allows you to get an airbrushed finish.   The larger end of the brush is perfect for the larger areas of your face, or using the Bye Bye Under Eye as an all over foundation as I did in this picture.  With this product, a very  little goes a way.

The brushes in this kit, like all IT Cosmetics brushes are easily worth more than the entire kit.  The Jumbo Luxe Face Brush is enormous!  A QVC exclusive, this brush alone retails for $58.  Now I’m not saying I would pay $60 for a brush, but a brush of this size and quality is by far worth $30-40.  Professional quality makeup brushes are expensive, and they last for years.  Brushes are an excellent investment if you are looking to build a collection.  Measuring 8 inches in length, from brush head to handle, the brush itself is immensely dense and silky soft.  It’s about 2.5 inches wide, with thousands of bristles.  I have a similar Tarte powder brush which is 7″ long and 2″ wide.  It’s a great brush as well, but the IT brush is just that much better.  Please note:  The IT Cosmetics foundation brush ($48) is the same brush as the Tarte Airbrush Foundation Brush ($32).  I have both of these and they are identical – given that there are limited brush manufacturers, keep that in mind when shopping for brushes.  The only thing I don’t like is that these brushes are made in China.  Also in this kit is the dual sided concealer brush, which I love.  This brush allows you to airbrush your concealer on in the small undereye area, as well as other areas of your face.  The small end is the same as the airbrush side of the retractable concealer brush (which I do not own) and it’s soft and plush.  I love a big fluffy brush like this because it really makes the concealer look flawless.  Before I got this brush, I used a BE soft focus eye brush which was also wonderful.

The face disk includes a large matte bronzer, and a smaller blush, in a bright peach pink, as well as a beautiful pink toned highlighter.  This is a great tool for your makeup wardrobe, as you do amazing things with a little creative bronzer and highlighter!  Want to make a double chin disappear?  Put some bronzer under you chin and on your jawline.  Want nicer cheekbones?  Place highlighter just above your cheekbone, and bronzer just below before adding blush to the apples of your cheeks.  blend this well, and you will look like you have a slimmer face.  As someone with a rather full face and too many chins, I use this trick every day and I get the nicest compliments.

All in all I’m very happy with this kit.  I also own the IT Cosmetics My Sculped Face, which is a great contouring kit in a book format, but I prefer the Face Disk which has bigger pans and is easier to use.  I still use My Sculpted Face when I need a lighter highlighter or a darker contour, and the combination works well.  The great thing about the IT products is they play well together, and you can build a look with 2-3 items easily.

I have already reviewed the lip stains, so please check them out here!

Coming soon – The IT Cosmetics Celebration Foundation Review!  I have been waiting to get this, and hopefully I will get my hot little hands on it soon.  I’ve been hearing rave reviews, and I want to try it for my self and share with you.

 

Happy glossing!

Sizzling summer with Tarte!

Yes, I admit it.  I am a Tarte addict.  I think there are only one or two items I’ve tried that are not my favorites; and frankly, they are the holiday kits that don’t measure up to the normal standards.  This is pretty typical for beauty companies, who often outsource holiday kits to manufacturers that don’t adhere to the same standards.  But that’s another story!

To follow up on Carolyn’s post about the Tarte Maracuja 6 Piece Collection, which will air on QVC on July 13th, here is my review.  I ordered the Light, since I’m currently wearing the Light-Medium Amazonian Clay Foundation.

The Maracuja Miracle Foundation is a light liquid, which I find to be medium in coverage.  It is buildable however, but if you are looking for fuller coverage stick with the Amazonian Clay foundation.  It felt good on the skin, but the brush was simply horrible.  I was sadly disappointed in the brush, since most Tarte  brushes are divine.  It seems like they jobbed this one off to Brushes-r-Us or something.  It was scratchy, and shedded all over my face, sticking to the foundation.  Yuck!  In the trash with that one.  Instead, I used my big fluffy foundation brush from the above mentioned Amazonian Clay foundation.  That works perfectly, as does a Beauty Blender (my other fave).  Once the foundation was applied, I used a touch of Maracuja Creaseless Concealer in Light (not included in kit) to clear up a few things on my face.  Finally, I finished with Smooth Operator powder (not included in kit).

On my eyes, I started with a layer of Tarte Shadow Stick in Champagne, which was part of the holiday collection.  With shadow sticks, I don’t tend to wear an eye primer.

With an eye primer, these products smudge and crease on me; however, without a primer and with a thin layer, I get much better play.  After the Champagne, I used the dual ended ModernEyes Waterproof Cream Shadow/Liner Duo in Plumberry/Plum Brow.  Then the SmolderEyes end smudged in the crease.  While I like the dual ended design, I am a bit unhappy that the eyeliner end was already coming out of the casing and looked to be a very short product.  At this price point, that should be a larger amount of product in a better housing.  That said, the product itself is great, it glides on and after about 30 second of play time it won’t’ budge.  The color is quite a bit different from the Fig or Violet EmphasEyes and it’s a good brown purple to have in my stash.

I love the way the purples made my blue eyes flash.  I also used the shadow box from the Miracle of Maracuja TSV, with Pink Cloud on the browbone, and Silver Mist in the crease.  I finished off my eyes with teh Gifted Amazonian Clay mascara; since this is a Holy Grail product for me, I’m always happy to get more.  As a girl who wears glasses, I find that I wear more mascara on days I am not wearing contacts and this product makes my peepers really stand out.

I finished this look with Tarte’s 12 Hour Amazonian Clay Blush in Peaceful, as well as Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Illumination Serum.

On my lips, I love the baby pink of the Smitten Lipsurgence but I hate the new packaging.  One of the reasons I really liked the chubby pencils is that you didn’t have to sharpen them.  This new skinny pencil with the sharpener is nice for precision but sharpening a lip crayon is an exercise in frustration.  I suggest putting them in the freezer first so they are firm enough to sharpen.  This is the same design as the Buxom Lip Tarnishes and while I adore the product I absolutely hate the packaging.  Sadly, with limited manufacturing facilities, eventually everything looks the same.  But more on that later.  I topped this with Pure Optic lipgloss in Golden Pink (not included in kit).

All in all, I love this kit and it’s a great value.  If you are looking for a lighter foundation for summer, but will still get medium – full coverage, go for it!

You can order this kit on Auto Delivery or one time only from QVC.  Don’t forget to use ebates!

BB Creams: Smashbox

Here we go again!  Another BB cream hits the market.  The Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream has been around for a few months now, first as a QVC exclusive, and now available at Sephora.  

BB creams are super hot right now.  First developed to help surgery patients heal faster (read more here), they are now a hot commodity.  There are dozens of Asian brands, some of which you can get in the US, but now, they are getting a run for thier money with US manufacturers.

I have to say, of the many that I have tried, Smashbox is rapidly becoming my fave.  Keep in mind that I specifically am only going to purchase BB creams that do not contain parabens.  There are several more that i will tell you about, but will not buy so please make your buying decisions with that in mind.

This multi tasking formula claims that it will give your skin a glowing, ethereal look, while providing a hydrating veil for the complexion.  It also helps to retail moisturize on your skin and provides and ultra smooth finish, which helps to retexturize your skin and create a smooth canvas.

Ideally, I look for a BB cream to replace and/or enhance the following items:

  • Moisturizer
  • Primer
  • Concealer
  • Foundation
  • Skin Care

Most BB creams are light to medium coverage, and this falls in between those two.  It feels natural on your skin and also helps control oil.  I do still use a concealer for spot coverage, but the Smashbox BB cream does a great job of providing natural coverage, while helping to control oil.

I also wear a powder over the BB cream to set it, and find that the Smashbox works best with the Smashbox Halo Hydrating Powder.  These two products together provide a medium, natural looking foundation and coverage.  I have been using the Smashbox BB cream for about 2 weeks now, and I find that it has helped to smooth my skin, even out the skin tone, and provide great moisture during the day.  I still start off with a moisturizer, but I find I use a lighter hand now.

I suggest using a stippling or patting motion to press this in to your skin, as opposed to rubbing it in  as you would a foundation.  This seems to give you better coverage, with a more flawless finish.

At  $39 for 1 oz, it’s a bit pricy, but if you consider that you are replacing multiple products, it’s not too bad.  Smashbox tends to run dark, so I use LIGHT but could probably do with FAIR in the winter.  

My verdict:  A-.  Why the minus?  It’s a bit confusing; while they claim you can replace foundation, the coverage level isn’t such that it’s a true replacement.  I do like the way it performs and enjoy it, but I wish the coverage where a little more.