Think Beautifully Everyday Rotating Header Image

Skin Care

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!

10247227_720144684673073_1769407102183462908_n

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

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 

Google

Pore Perfection!

You know how it is, you see the craters, you see the holes in your face.  For me, part of aging has been an increase in my pore size, and an increase in the oiliness of the t-zone.  I’m sure you oily skinned gals know the frustration I feel!

So what can you do to help tighten these pores and reduce the oil production?  Well in short, pretty much nothing.  My dermatologist says so, all the beauty experts say so.

But you can shrink the appearance of your pores, and help to control the oil production, or at least the impact of it!

Algenist - Multi-Perfecting Pore Corrector ConcentrateAs you have read in previous posts, I am loving what Algenist is doing.  A local, San Francisco based company, Algenist was created to find new energy sources.  However, with the discovery of algeronic acid, a skincare company was born.

The Algenist multi-perfecting pore corrector is a lightweight, oil-free serum that tightens pores, smooths roughness, and refines skin texture.  A serum that includes both the patented anti-aging Alguronic acid and salicylic acid (a well known anti-acne powerhouse), this serum has been amazing!

I personally use this every morning and night, on my t-zone – which is where my pores are the largest and most noticeable.  It’s been about a month, and while they certainly aren’t invisible, I do think there is a difference.  It is very gentle and has also helped with the general texture of my skin.

Give it a shot!  In combination with the Algenist moisturizer, and the IT Cosmetics primer, this is one of my core skincare products.  A little goes a long way, and this should last you 6+ months.

Grade:  B+ (but I reserve the right to improve it with time!)

 

$75 (QVC, Algenist.com, Sephora)

 

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.

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.

 

Know your ingredients!

I love skincare, and I particularly love natural skin care.  There are enough chemicals floating around the world, so who needs to add them to our faces, right?  So when I was asked to try some new products that were natural, and minimally processed, I was excited to find Know Your Ingredients.

KYI’s goal is to created natural, simple products that have high impact changes on your skin.
These are some luscious items, and I hope you try them for yourself!

IMG_0784

The Argan Oil Serum with Vitamin C ($45 for 2 oz) uses a specially formulated vitamin c that is oil-soluble.  Vitamin C is an essential anti oxidant, and a wonderful booster for your skin.  It adds brightness, increases firmness, and helps fend off free radicals.  I absolutely LOVE this product!  I use it all over my body, but especially on my face.  The argan oil we know and love is a fantastic moisturizer, and the vitamin c brightens and firms.  I consider this a combination of Ole Hendrickson’s Truth Serum (which I adore but it’s pricey) and Josie Maran’s Argan Oil (also pricy).  The double whammy impact of this is like BE’s Night Serum, and really gave my travel weary skin a major boost.  Love!
The Sweet Almond Softening Oil is another great moisturizer.  If you suffer from dry skin

IMG_0785

(or, as my dermo likes to call it, “pathologically dry”) this is a no brainer.  Say good by to your scaly skin!  I use this every night, and after every shower to lock in moisture.  After travelling in
Europe, where it was still the dead of winter, my skin was dry and not so happy with me.  This oil reversed that, and comes in several aromatherapy scents (or unscented if you prefer).  At $20 for 8 oz it’s also a fantastic value.  Almond oil has long been a trick in natural beauty and health food stores, so it’s great to see it back.  Rich in Vitamin E, it will make you glow!
IMG_0787

Finally ,the Whipped Shea Butter Mask is a great way to give your face a super charge of moisture.  You know shea butter, it’s been around for years.  The base ingredient in many of your favorite hand creams, this mask will soften and erase those pesky fine lines.  Once again, it’s a great trick for super dry hands, feet, elbows and any other area that is suffering in the winter dry air.
Thank you Know Your Ingredients for making some fantastic products!  For those of you that are looking for natural and affordable products in your arsenal, check these out.

These products were provided by KNI for consideration, but all opinions are my own.

 

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!

Winterize your skin!

Over the past two years, I have worked very hard to regulate my skin . I’ve had some issues to be sure, including flaky patches, sensative red skin, bumps and you name.  So, finding a skin care routine that actually works for me was crucial.

I recently switched to my winter moisturizer, but wasn’t happy with the way the Miracle Worker from Philosophy was working any more.  It had been great for a while, but just got to be too much.  Mind you, I love that product, but your skin is alive, so your needs changed.

Enter Algenist.  Algenist is a skincare brand that actually was created by happenstane, when a biotech company was researching alternative energy sources here in my hometown of San Francisco.  Mysteriously, the workers who were working iwth the algae that was the source, had hands that looked 20 yeras younger than the rest of them!  What was this amazing thing?

Enter Alguronic Acid.  This miracle ingredient has shown amazing promise in cell regeneration.  The natural process of shedding old damaged cells so that you can grow new, healthy skin cells is no mystery.  However, Alguronic acid showed the ability to stimulate this regrowth by 55%.  This puts them well ahead of both Vitamin C and Hyaluronic acid, which are very powerful and until now, the most advanced anti aging ingredient on the market.  The promotion of these new, healthy skin cells is paramount to anti aging.

Enter my new favorite moisturizer!  The Regenerative Anti-Aging Moisturizer promises to restore skin moisture, rebuild firmness, minimize fine lines and wrinkles, and regenerate your skin.  The Alguronic acid works in conjunction with Vitamin C, to boost radiance, increase cell regeneration, and give you a more youthful appearance.

Well!  That might be a tall order, but I am here to tell you, I love this product.  First of all, there are no parabens, sulfates, phtalates or any other ickies.  Next, it really does what it says it will do.

My skin in the winter becomes the Sahara desert.  I am contantly combatting dry flaky cheeks and dull tired looking skin.  When I first started using this, I figured, ok I’ll give it a shot.  But within a week, my skin looked brighter, was absolutely moisturized, and the crinklies were less noticeable.  I love the way it makes my face look!  It’s smoother, balanced and just looks better.  At 40, I need all the help I can get!

At $90 for 2oz, it’s pricy, but I am happy to spend more money on something that works.

Have you tried Algenist?  What products do you like?

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.

Mastering Your Art

Coming full circle.  Giggling with friends.  Learning from an expert.  These are all things that make me feel fufilled, and happy.

I started this blog after being inspired by attending a BE Master Class a year and a half ago.  Up until then, I rarely wore makeup, and I always struggled with keeping my eye makeup on my eyes and not on my chin.  I was one frustrated woman!

I had been trying new things, and collecting a BE stash for about six months when I saw that an expert was going to be in my area teaching a class on makeup.  As an early birthday present to myself, I decided that I was going to attend, and see if I could learn some new tricks.  Boy did I ever!  Since then, I have become a Sparkle Hoarder, and proud of it!

Here we are, 16 months later, and I was fortunate enough to attend my third Bare Escentuals Master Class, with Master Makeup Artist Bravon Pascua.  Bravon, who spend years as a model all over the world, has been working with Bare Escentuals for over 10 years.  He has seen the brand grow from a few shades of mineral foundation to the phenomenon it is today.  Learning from makeup luminaries like the creators of Shu Umuri, he has taken education to a new level.

As I mentioned, this was my third master class with Bravon, and I feel like I learn something new every time.  I would go every month if I could afford it and if Bare Escentuals offered the option!  At this particular class, the focus was on creating a bronzey, summery glowing look using some of the Ready offerings.  This class was extra special for me, as we only had 8-9 beauties.  It was extremely intimate, and a very unique experience.  My two previous classes were wonderful, but there is something extra special about being in a tight knit group of women, sharing, learning and exchanging makeup tips and tricks.

First, after cleansing your face, add your moisturizer of choice.  Bravon recommends warming your moisturizer up in the palm of you hand first – which allows it to sink in to your skin more quickly.  Once your moisturizer is applied, it’s time for face primer.  I personally love the Neutralizing Primer but you can use whatever works.  Again, make sure you warm it up in the palm of your hand before applying so it really covers.

I won’t tell you how to apply your foundation, because if you’re a BE gal you know!  Swirl, tap, buff.  Just remember a very little bit goes a long way.  Because BE works with your natural body chemistry and the oils in your skin, the more you buff the better you look.  One key tip here is to start with a little.  Wait 10 minute and then, ONLY then do you apply another layer.  It’s amazing to watch, but you can see the transformation as you watch a makeunder.  When you’re applying your concealer, you should always post conceal with minerals.  If you pre-conceal, you will buff off the concealer while applying foundation.  I stopped using bisque because it seemed to settle in my lines and look cakey, but I learned that using a Light Stroke brush really makes a difference.  Swirl the bisque in to the brush, and pat on.  Then flip the brush over and use the clean side to sweep and blend.

After foundation (or before, if you’re like me), it’s time for the eyes!  One key element in doing your eye makeup is defining your shape.  If you’re like me, I have hooded eyes and it’s very ahrd to see the lid.  bravon gave some excellent tips for combating this.  First, start with your primer.  Using a brush or your finger, apply eye primer all over your lid, lash to brow..  But also, apply primer over your brows, and to just above your eyebrows.  This gives you a smooth canvas to work with, but also something for the eyeshadow to adhere to.  I’ll get ot the above the brows in a minute.  For this eye look Bravon used The Soundtrack Ready Palette, which contains Rhythm, Louder, Remix and Speaker Box.  These colors are available in the The Playlist 8.0 so if you already have it you’re nearly there!  Rhythm is the only one that is a new color here, and you can easily approximate that, as it’s a light cream color.

For this look, start by taking a light bronzer.  In this case, Skinny Dip.  Using a soft focus eye brush, or a crease defining brush, enhance the crease with the bronzer.  It’s amazing that this one small trick actually makes a huge difference.  This contouring technique will create a deeper crease and make the color pop more.  This helps hooded and small eyes because it creates the illusion of a larger eye by redfining the natural crease.

Next, using your favorite larger brush (he used a full tapered shadow brush), apply the highlight color from the base of the last to the crease.  You will also apply this color above the eyebrows – this is why a primer there helps.  this helps to open up your eye and give you a wide awake look.  Colors like vanilla Sugar, Soul, Cream Soda and Queen Phyllis Matte were suggested.  Don’t use a super sparkly color here though, since that will attract too much attention to the area and distract from other areas.  For this class we used Rhythm.

For the crease, using the crease defining brush, feather the color up instead of sideways.  that means flipping the brush vertically instead of horizontally, and applying Louder up to the crease, but not beyond.  This gives the eyes a pop of light color.  In the outer V of the eye, sweep Speaker Box using the precision eye brush, or a small pointed one.  Then use a brush to soften and blend that out.

Now that your eyes are done, it’s time to add the eyeliner!  The best tip that I learned from a National Artist last year, since I had huge troubles with the Big & Bright liners travelling, is to sketch the liner on your hand first.  Make this a pretty heavy sketch, but then use an eyeliner brush to pick up the color.  In the case of the B&B liners, I dipped my brush in Weather Everything.  With the Round the Clock liners, you don’t need to do this since they set up on thier own.  Apply the 8ppm liner to your upper lashline, and smudge in to your lower lashline.   Don’t forget to do your brows!  The primer you applied earlier will help the color to stick.  you can also use a clear brow gel.

Finally, you apply your favorite mascara and you have defined eyes to die for!  But, wait!  There’s more!  The hot trend for fall is full, glossy and sparkly lashes.   How do you get this?  Start by applying a coat of regular mascara.  But then, using a clean disposable mascara wand and a clear brow gel, dip the wand in the gel, then dip in your favorite sparkly minerals.  this is a lot of fun for a special look and you can really use any color.  Glittery reds and greens are going to be right on trend for holiday!  If you just put the clear coat on top, you will have glossy and lush lashes.

Now that your eyes are done, we can go back and review the foundation.  Is it still looking good?  Better?  If you need to, apply another layer.  But, let’s define your face using bronzer and blush.  With an angled face brush, use the bronzer in a sweeping motion.  Point the tip up, and sweep the bronzer over your cheeks.  This actually deposits color just above and blow the apples of the cheeks, giving you great definition.  You can also do this on your forehead, and jawline, with the tip of the brush up.   Taking your faovrite blush (we used The Aphrodisiac), swirl the color in to the apples of your cheeks, sweeping up to the hairline.  Then take a Maximum Coverage Foundation brush and pull the color down in to your face.  It sounds odd, but it really blends the color in nicely.

Finally, apply your favorite lip colors and don’t be afraid to blend!

I’m sorry to say I forgot my camera but the finished look is a soft and polished summer look that is great for anyone.

I can’t wait to practice these tips and learn new ones at the next class!  Thank you Bravon for always teaching this old dog new tricks and reminding me that there are so many ways to use brushes and products.  I hope Bare Escentuals will continue these classes and add new ones!  Bravon is a master artist but is also a passionate brand ambassador.  He loves to play as much as we do, and is a fabulous teacher, and has a heart of gold.  He will go out of his way to answer questions or offer suggestions for your specific issues.  If you have a chance to attend a master class, I would not miss it!  You never know what might happen.

Stay tuned to looks based on these tips!