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Primer

Clearly Correct is IT!

First of all, what is a CC Cream?  You’ve heard me talk about BB Creams, and they are fantastic, all purpose wonder products (though some are better than other).  The same is true for CC Creams, there are great, horrible, and meh products.  But with all the hype out there for BB, CC, DD and what the heck creams, let’s do a little background.

CC, in this case, is used for Color Correcting or Color Control cream.  Just like BB creams, the first versions came out of Korea and the Asian market, where a CC cream is a BB cream with more features and benefits like redness reducing, light diffusing and correcting pigments.  Another critical factor in a good CC cream is a powerful SPF, which is critical for all of us i we’re out in the sun for more than 5 minutes.  SPF is one of the best anti aging tools out there!

As a kid, I spent a lot of time in the sun – skiing, swimming, playing.  Unfortunately, my Irish & German coloring didn’t like it when my Sea & Ski sunblock wore off – or when the Coppertone Tanning Oil did nothing but help me sizzle at the beach.  So, here I am in my early 40s paying the price.  From discoloration to sunspots, I am pretty damn lucky that I have no signs of skin cancer.  This Irish & German lass turns pink after sitting in the sun for an hour so I’m always looking for products that are multi taskers.

The IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream does just that.  As with all other IT products, it’s packed full of anti aging benefits and good for you ingredients.  But this product is different because it’s one product that does all of this:

  • Anti aging serum
  • SPF 50+ in a non chemical form, which is important if you have sensativity to anything other than physical sunscreen (Titanium Dioxide)
  • Anti aging moisturizer
  • Foundation
  • skin brightener
  • pore correcotr
  • concealer/corrector

I admit, I was skeptical when I first got this product after trying many BB creams that just didn’t do anything for me.  But the IT CC Cream is different.  Because it’s many products in one, unless I’m having a really dry day, I can jump from the shower and put CC cream on after, skipping the moisturizer, primer, foundation and setting powder.

This medium-full coverage product is highly pigmented, but doesn’t look fake or masky.  I’ve played with a few application techniques and found that if I want lighter coverage, a flat paddle brush is wonderful for application, using a buffing brush to even out the application.  Other days, I use my fingers to swirl on the CC cream in circular motions; the warmth of your fingers will melt the product in to your skin, giving a smooth and even finish that dries with a soft matte finish   If you really have some problem areas, you can post conceal to cover and stubborn spots.  I do find that less is more with the IT CC cream, so start small and build coverage until you find the right amount for your skin.  The first time I used it, I was rubbing off all over the place and no one wants that!

There is a lemon scent to this product, so if you are sensitive to smells –  be warned.

So, how does it work?  I personally wore the IT CC Cream for two weeks, forgoing any other foundation or skin care, to see how my skin responded.  What I found was that my skin was smoother, silkier, and more even toned.  NOw, I am a die hard IT fan, so to skip the 50 Primer and my regular routine was pretty tough – but I seriously noticed a difference after the first few days.

The CC Cream is very moisturizing, so if you have oily skin or an oily T zone like me, I use a touch of Bye Bye Pores over those areas to lock in the cream and calm down any oily spots.  If I’m having a day where I need more coverage or feel like I do, I pop my Celebration Foundation in my bag for touch ups during the day.  

I wear Light this time of year, but could get away with Medium in the summer.  The shades are quite forgiving as it’s primarily skin care, with adjusting pigments.  I will be repurchasing this product for sure!  The best part?  It’s skin care so you don’t have to worry about washing it off at night!  Stay tuned, because next up is my review of the Tarte BB Primer, also something I love!

Grade:  A- – the scent is rather strong and I wish it was a bit less but it dissipates.

$38 ITCosmetics.com 

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IT Cosmetics Tightliner rocks my world!

IMG_0750You know the drill, you curl your lashes, you apply a lash primer, you apply one, two, three coats of mascara.  Or maybe you use a lash enhancing product, prescription or otherwise.  We all go to great lengths **pun intended** to get the best, thickest, most luscious lashes.  What a pain!

But I have a new secret weapon!  It’s been a long kept make-up artist secret that you can make an illusion of thicker, fuller, lashes by using a black tightliner at the base of the lashes.  Tightlining is the use of an eyeliner very,very, very close to the base or at the base of your lashes, which gives you the look of a thick bed of lashes.

Now I’ve tried all sorts of products for tightlining:  Cake eyeliners; liquid eyeliners; powder eyeliners.  But all I succeeded in doing was making a mess!  I have thin, sparse, uber curly lashes.  There really isn’t anything wrong with them, but they are boring and don’t frame my eyes very well.  I’ve tried Lash Food, I’ve tried Latisse, I’ve tried primers.  They all work in their own way – sort of.  But now…

IT Cosmetics launched the Tightline Full Lash Length Black Eyelash Primer in a kit recently, and now is selling it in a duo on its own.  It’s a game-changer, as are many of the IT Cosmetics products, and it really does work.  The ultra-skinny wand helps you to coat your lashes at the root, which accentuates volume and length, and if you have sparse or missing lashes — raises hand –, the Tightline brush lays down black pigment along your entire lash line.  This fills in those sparse spots, creating a beautiful lash line and the look of an eyeliner!

I love this product.  When I use the Tightline, and then a coat of mascara, it speaks volumes.  In fact, some days, I can get away with just the tightline, which accentuates my lashes, and frames my eyes.  But why is this different from any other tightliner or primer?  In addition to the skinny wand, which really makes a difference, the wand also deposits conditioning serum from root to tip, full o peptides, collagen, proteins, biotin, nettle extract, green tea, jojoba, and vitamins.  While non prescription lash conditioners also have such ingredients, they either have a paintbrush applicator, so you can spread it on your eyelid, or a fat wand; neither of which really get to the base of the lash if you have curly Qs like I do.

IMG_0776

  • The one negative element of this product, is that IT jobs it off to Korea.  That really disappointed me, as I am a stickler for cosmetics that I can keep an eye on.  While the FDA doesn’t regulate the industry in the US, we do have more clarity in ingredients here, so I can keep better tabs on what is going on my body.  Fortunately, I know that IT Cosmetics as an organization is equally concerned with good for you, natural ingredients so I’m less concerned than I would otherwise be.  However, really guys?  We can’t make that here or in Canada?

The ingredients list is fairly clear, and primarily plant-based extracts:

CAMELLIA SINENSIS LEAF WATER, STYRENE/ACRYLATES/AMMONIUM METHACRYLATE COPOLYMER, WATER, BEESWAX, STEARIC ACID, COPERNICIA CERIFERA (CARNAUBA) WAX, HYDROGENATED POLYISOBUTENE, GLYCERIN, MICROCRYSTALLINE CELLULOSE, TROMETHAMINE,GLYCERYL STEARATE, HECTORITE, PHENOXYETHANOL, DIMETHICONE, CAMELLIA SINENSIS LEAF POWDER, EUPHORBIA CERIFERA (CANDELILLA) WAX, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, IRON HYDROXIDE, OLEA EUROPAEA (OLIVE) FRUIT OIL, ARGININE, ASCORBYL PALMITATE, BIOTIN, CAMELLIA SINENSIS LEAF EXTRACT, CENTELLA ASIATICA EXTRACT, CHOLESTEROL, EUTERPE OLERACEA FRUIT EXTRACT, HYDROLYZED COLLAGEN, HYDROLYZED WHEAT PROTEIN, LAUROYL LYSINE, LECITHIN, PANTHENOL, SIMMONDSIA CHINENSIS (JOJOBA) SEED OIL,
PRUNUS ARMENIACA (APRICOT) FRUIT EXTRACT, ROSA CANINA FRUIT EXTRACT, SERENOA SERRULATA FRUIT EXTRACT, CENTELLA ASIATICA MERISTEM CELL CULTURE, ALOE BARBADENSIS LEAF EXTRACT, ANGELICA DAHURICA ROOT EXTRACT, ASARUM SIEBOLDI ROOT EXTRACT, CHAMOMILLA RECUTITA (MATRICARIA) FLOWER/LEAF EXTRACT, CHRYSANTHEMUM MORIFOLIUM FLOWER EXTRACT, CNIDIUM
OFFICINALE ROOT EXTRACT, ECLIPTA PROSTRATA EXTRACT, HIPPOPHAE RHAMNOIDES EXTRACT, JUGLANS REGIA (WALNUT) SEED EXTRACT, MORUS ALBA ROOT EXTRACT, PERSEA GRATISSIMA(AVOCADO) FRUIT EXTRACT, SAMBUCUS NIGRA FRUIT EXTRACT, SIMMONDSIA CHINENSIS (JOJOBA) SEED EXTRACT, THUJA OCCIDENTALIS LEAF EXTRACT, URTICA DIOICA (NETTLE) EXTRACT, VITEX TRIFOLIA FRUIT EXTRACT, PALMITOYL HEXAPEPTIDE-12, XANTHAN GUM. MAY CONTAIN: IRON OXIDES (CI 77499).

Grade:  A-  I love this product, and will restock for sure.  The minus is for being made in Korea.

$29 for two is a bargain!

IT Cosmetics No. 50 Serum Anti-Aging Collagen Veil Primer


I can’t really believe how much I love this primer!  I have a few tried and true primers that I love, and I wasn’t sure this was going to be anything special…

As a refresher, a foundation primer act in conjunction with your moisturizer.  Think of it like you prime a wall – facial primer improves application of foundation, creating a smooth, even surface, and create a barrier between your foundation and your skin.  This is important, because often times, without a primer, your skin soaks up all of your product – and you end up looking like you didn’t put any on at all.  Primers help your makeup stay on longer and some help even out your skin tone. 

 The IT Cosmetics No. 50 Serum Anti-Aging Collagen Veil Primer is special.  This multi-tasker is both a primer and a skin treating serum in one step – infused in with more than 50 beneficial ingredients, including hydrating anti-aging peptides, collagen, niacin, essential lipid-rich oils, vitamins, extracts and botanicals to nurture your skin.

With clinicals that have proven to increase hydration in the skin, No. 50 has been shown to reduce the appearance of pores, fine lines and brighten your skin.  Well ok!  I could use all the help I can get these days.

You won’t be disappointed.  I’ve been using this primer for almost a month, and I can’t believe how my skin is reacting.  Not only does it work like a charm in terms of keeping my makeup in place, it has actually changed my skin.  My face is silky smooth and soft, and I find that it has a more even, smooth texture.  It also has helped to improve the appearance of my crater like pores.

The best part about this primer for me?  No greasy, slippery dimethicone.  I know a lot of gals swear by Smashbox primer — but I can’t stand the sticky silicon-based gels.  They just feel like they are clogging my face.  No. 50 works differently, because it’s a serum.  As Jamie Kern LIma says, it’s like baby skin in a bottle.

There are 50 ingredients in this tiny bottle, including 10 essential oils and butters, 10 nourishing botanicals, 30 fruit and plant-based extracts plus powerful anti-oxidants and vitamins including Vitamins A, B5, brightening C & E, Peptides, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Silk and Niacin all work together for you all day long. Hyaluronic Acid provides a healthy drink of hydration your skin. Aloe, Jojoba, Licorice Root, Chamomile and Colloidal Oatmeal, soothe and comfort. Powerful anti-oxidants work to ward off free radicals and protect your skin from the environment to aid in the prevention of premature aging, keeping your skin luminous, supple and healthy looking! 

Grade:  A+ Totally, utterly, in love!  $48 for 1.7 oz, which should last you at least 6 months.

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!

 

 


 

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.

Gettin’ buzzed!

Are you feeling it?  Bzz bzz.  That’s the buzz of a released kit from Bare Escentuals, called Buzzworthy. This kit got a ton of great press last year when it was first released, and as it was recently re-released during the May QVC shows, I decided to pick it up.

Inside, you’ll find:

  • A unique, double-ended lipstick and lipgloss duo, with Sticky Buns stick, and Muffin Top gloss (only available in this kit)
  • Well-Rested for Eyes (eyeshadow size).  Now I have at least 3 other containers of Well Rested but this little gem is a genius.  It’s a creamy yellow color, and while it started it’s life as an eyeshadow, it’s an amazing multi tasker that fights both redness and dark circles.  I have an extra large container and use it every day!  Ever had a red nose from allergies or a cold?  Well Rested is your cover.
  • Glee Radiance all over face color.  I have a large jar of Glee AOFC from a million years ago, but this is slightly different.  The Radiance is a dewy soft look, while my old Glee is more of a pop of color.  Love this!
  • High-Shine Charisma eyeshadow (only available in this kit), a pink champagne shade.  Sparkle baby, sparkle!  This is the previous packaging for the high shine formula, and honestly, I prefer it.  Those spring loaded tubes are TERRIBLE.  I will be reviewing the colors I have shortly.  The formula is not as chunky as the Extreme Glimmers, and not as creamy as the regular shadow.  It’s somewhere in between, with noticeable glitter.
  • Popular eyeshadow, a plum shimmer shade.  I’ve heard a lot about this shade, which is a reddish plum.  Some people find it a bit hard to wear, but I think if you do it right, it’s gorgeous!

All of this is $36 and is a QVC exclusive.  Considering that each eyeshadow is normally $13, and the high shines are now $16, you are getting a great value – essentially, the Glee and Lipstick are free.

Clockwise from top left: Popular, Eye Bright, Restore, High Shine Charisma

From left, foiled on bottom dry on top: Restore, Popular, High Shine Charisma, Eye Bright

 

 

Today, I started with Benefit Primed and Poreless primer, followed by Bare Escentuals Matte Foundation in Golden Fair.  I spot concealed with It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye, followed by Well Rested to hide some redness.

For my eyes, I used the flathead shadow brush to pat high Shine Charisma from lid to crease, buffing it off the brownbone a bit.  Next, I added Popular in the outer 1/3 of the eye.  For definition, I added Restore to the crease (this is from the Naturally Luminous collection), popped the inner corner with Eye Bright, and lined with Urban Decay Bourbon 24/7 liner and some mascara.

I added a pop to my cheeks with original Glee, followed by a sweep of the Glee Radiance, and used the lipgloss.

I really enjoy the colors in this kit, and it can be strong for evenigns, or light for summer days.

Don’t miss out, order yours today at QVC!

 

 

 

Purple is where it’s at!

It’s no secret, I love purple!  Today’s look it a bit sparkly because I’m going out to dinner, and I was in my pjs today working from home.

  • Benefit Primed & Poreless Primer
  • BE Matte Foundation in Golden Fair
  • NARS Illuminizer in Orgasm. I just got this in a Beauty.com haul, and I love the way it’s true to the Orgasm color, but adds a nice rosy glow. I used it to highlight my cheekbones and around the eye socket.
  • BE Glee as blush
  • Two Face Shadow Insurance in Candlelit
  • BE Nude Beach patted all over lid and used to blend
  • BE Water Lily on outer 1/3 of lid
  • BE Midnight Diamond wetlined
  • Buxom Mascara (2 coats)
  • I needed a little more oomph so I added Myth in the crease, and patted more Water Lily in the middle of my lid
  • BE Pretty Amazing in Courage with Buxom Claire over it.

Happy Hump Day!

Feeling TARTEy!

Today, I decided to go for an all (well, mostly) Tarte look, using the 8th Wonder of the World Collection from QVC.

  • Mally Poreless Perfection Primer
  • Monistat Anti Chafing Gel on the nose (hey!  It’s cheap and it’s a GREAT silicone primer!)  In fact, the active ingredient, Dimethicone, is the primary ingredient in most silicone based primers.  I swatched L’oreal, BE and Smashbox primers on my hand, along with Monistat.  They are ALL clear silicone primers and all function the same way, more or less.  I will say that the Mally primer is not the best for mineral makeup, but works wonders for cream powders or liquid makeup.  I find that the BE primers and also another fave, the Benefit Primed & Poreless work wonderfully for BE foundation.
  • Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation in Light
  • UDPP in Eden
  • MAC Painterly Paint Pot as base
  • Tarte Shimmering Sand patted on lid and sweeped over lid
  • Tarte Shimmering Plum in the outer 1/3 of eye
  • Tarte Shimming Cocoa in crease
  • Tarte Emphasize Eyes eyeliner in Golden Plum
  • Tarte Amazonian Clay blush in Glisten
  • Tarte Pure optic Moisturizing Lip Gloss in Golden Pink
  • Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara

This is definately a great collection, and I can’t wait for the next Auto Delivery in June!

The Making of a VIB – part 1

The past year, no really, the past six or seven months, I’ve become something of a makeup hoarder.  It all started with a small collection of mini Bare Escentuals eyeshadows I purchased about 7 years ago, but still own.  Those things are next to IMPOSSIBLE to use up!

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I have struggled with makeup my entire life; it wasn’t until recently that I realized that there are tools out there that actually work for me, and could work for you too.

So – using that as a backdrop, I’m about to embark ona series of posts about my mounting makeup collection in 2011.

What is a VIB you ask?  A Very Important Beauty of course!  That is the term that Sephora uses to categorize its frequesnt shoppers who exceed a ridiculous certain level of purchases in any calendar year.  IN this case, it’s $350.  Given that it’s only May, and that I’m telling you I’m a VIB, you can imagine how much product I’ve gone gaga over.  But that’s another story.

So here is part 1:

Dateline, November 2010.  Sephora was having a deal that if I purchased  a certain amount, I’d get a free Bare Escentuals Mineral Veil.  Ok so since I’m a sucker for a steal, deal, or sale, I bought just the bare minimum that was on my watch list:

Stila Smudge Pot in Brown.  There is a story behind this purchase like many others but…

Smashbox Wish for the Perfect Pencil  - a holiday set of 4 mini waterproof eyeliner pencils

Detect a pattern?  well my biggest struggle with makeup my entire life was getting it to STAY ON MY FACE!  Primarily, I have a serious issue with eyeliner.  For me, personally, if I don’t use the right eyeliner, I end up looking like which is just NOT attractive in any way.  So i sort of gave up, because by noon, my makeup would be smudged, budged and otherwise bothered.  Who knew why, it just way.  I also struggled to find a an eye primer that didn’t irritate my crazy allergy sensitive eyes.  So I didn’t use one.
I did a bit of research, and found that there were RAVE reviews on the Smudge Pots as well as the Smashbox liners.  So off I went to click and buy.
These two products were GREAT!  They really were the foray in to a happy makeup life for me, because for ONCE when I wore them, FINALLY they didn’t budge.  They stayed put.  They didn’t move.  I could put eyeshadow on top of them and it )mostly) looked good an hour later.
Hallejulah!
I still use the Smashbox pencils from time to time, and they are great, small, and travel friendly.
I have abandoned the smudge pot – thought I”m not sure why, so I’ll need to revist that to review it.  Stay tuned!