May 212015
 

MAC Pro Longwear nourishing waterproof 4

A few weeks ago, there was a new foundation released to the world–MAC’s Pro Longwear Nourishing Foundation ($32/0.85 ounces). This caught my eye because the formula seems entirely new–not just for MAC, but new for the cosmetic industry. According to this piece in Stylcaster, MAC’s “product development team had been challenged to create a waterproof, modern concealer, and leveraged emerging trends from Korea around hybrid products to create something new.” MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Foundation is currently available at MAC, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, DillardsSelfridges, and other MAC sources.

In 16 shades that correlate to the standard MAC “NC” and “NW” naming scheme, this concealer/foundation is described by the line as follows:

A tenacious waterproof formula that can be used as a foundation or concealer, wearing for an unprecedented 24 hours. Neither rain nor tears can budge this oil-free watertight product that actually repels moisture from the surface of the face. The formula blends seamlessly on the skin with medium to full weightless coverage and a natural satin finish.

MAC pro longwear nourishing waterproof 3Karen’s review at the Makeup and Beauty Blog was helpful to me when using this foundation for the first several times. I want to expand on a few things based on my use of this over the past week plus. As a new formula, I found that many of my intuitions from applying liquids, creams, serums, tinted moisturizers, and bb/cc creams needed to be finessed to get the most out of this foundation.

mac pro longwear nourishing waterproof 6

 

This is my advice (your mileage may vary):

  • The coverage goes from light to full very quickly. When applied directly to the face, it’s important to do this in layers. Then wait a minute before you apply another layer. Trust me on this one. It’s really easy to over-apply, in which case the foundation begins to really highlight pores and look super-artificial. Unless you are going for that look, proceed slowly.
  • Once you are happy with a semi-light coverage, go back in and add product only where you need it. The formula gives you a good minute or more to play with it before it dries, and can be layered even later in the day if you like.
  • Use very little at a time. One drop really can cover the entire face.
  • The color designations seem to be lighter in my range compared to MAC’s standard range. I am typically NC15/20, so I purchased NC20 after swatching a few colors at a store. After wearing the shade, I thought that the match was fine for a pale look, but the NC25 looked more natural on me especially when worn with a bronzer for summer wear (I ended up purchasing both). By comparison, NC20 looked a little harsh, although technically I might have considered it an acceptable match in a sheerer formula. Who knows, maybe my own ghost-pale skin is just scary. Anyway, don’t be afraid to go to a deeper shade if you want to. It’s only makeup.
  • Because of its propensity for high-coverage with a satin finish, I recommend using some type of light Chanel Les Beiges or Guerlain Joli Tient bronzer to warm up the skin and add some life.
  • I had trouble mixing this foundation with a more conventional formulas from other lines. For example, a mix of this and NARS tinted moisturizer seemed to separate on my face when I went into a hot, humid environment. If you are going to mix colors to get your shade, I’d experiment in the comfort of your own home first.
  • MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof really does hold up well in hot, humid weather. My glowy dew (aka sweat), beaded up on my face without removing any foundation. If you are in a hot, humid climate, this one is worth checking out.
  • This foundation looked best on me with a primer (I used Tom Ford’s). It gave it a bit of “cushion” to make the MAC formula sit more lightly on the skin and was a bit more forgiving.
  • I suspect that those with dry skin will want to moisturize well before using this formula.Every bump, pore, flake and tiny line will show if you apply this heavily. For lighter coverage, it seems to be more forgiving.

MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing NC20

You might be wondering if this is worth the trouble of undertaking a learning curve, especially if you are not a foundation-obsessed beauty blogger.  If you are looking for a beautiful finish that lasts all, all, all day in hot, humid weather, then yes. It can be layered mid-day to give a beautiful satin finish. Worn in this week’s rainstorm, the foundation didn’t move (my hair, on the other hand….). The coverage moves from light to medium to full with very little product. The feel is extremely light and breathable–unlike MAC Studio Sculpt, the feel of Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof is feather-light.  I did not detect any scent. I have an incomplete ingredients list, because the Nordstrom label covered up the bottom:

ingredients mac pro longwear nourishing waterproof
MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Foundation is currently available at MAC, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, Dillards, Selfridges, and other MAC sources.

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May 172015
 

Josie Maran Agan Illumizing Veil 2

Josie Maran’s Argan Enlightenment Illumizing Veil ($30/0.28 oz.) is a soft highlight looking for a natural, champagne-type glow. This pressed powder is the most subtle of Josie Maran’s highlight products. Based on my store-swatches, the liquid is a gazillion times more reflective than the powder, the cream stick is in between, and the pressed powder is the softest and most subtle.

josie maran argan illumizing veil 3

I did some comparisons with some other highlighters that I’ve recently acquired–the Balm Mary Lou-Manizer, Becca Blushed Copper Shimmering Skin Perfector pressed powder, Becca Opal Shimmering Skin Perfector pressed powder, and MAC Summer Opal (limited edition, now discontinued).

josie Maran Agran Illumizing veil 8

Open, you can see the color of the Josie Maran is closest to the Balm’s Mary Lou-Manizer. However, the Josie Maran is more natural looking, and less obvious than the dramatically reflective Mary Lou-Manizer. Josie Maran’s Illumizing Veil does not seem to emphasize pores and seems to blend better into the skin.

Josie Maran Argan Illumizing Veil f

Swatches, you can see that Josie Maran is more golden than the others as well.

Josie Maran highlighter 2a

Another set, in different light:

Josie Maran Illumizing Veil 2

Josie Maran’s Argan Enlightenment Illumizing Veil is a pretty soft highlight that are on the natural-looking end of the spectrum. The powder is soft, well-milled and perfect for those looking for something that doesn’t emphasize pores and looks natural. A beautiful choice.

The Josie Maran Argan Illumizing Veil was sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. This post includes affiliate links (for more information see About Cafe Makeup).

 

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May 152015
 

Nars multiple - 2

The Nars St. Lucia Multiple ($39) is all about peachy-bronze illumination. I’m loving this color these days over bronzer (or lightly bronzed skin).  Catching my reflection in a mirror confirms that this color gives a healthy, intriguing softly glowing cheek. Gorgeous!

St. Lucia 1

A quiet little classic, Nars St. Lucia is one of those colors that you can be fooled into thinking exist everywhere, when in fact it’s a very complex shade that is difficult to just this right. I never know what to say when people seek duplicates for shades that are formulated with the exactly right combination of sheen, texture, color, and reflectivity. I think duplicates are almost impossible find, because someone has to be really, really knowledgeable about skin, light, and color to get a multiple done this perfectly. On my fair skin this is a blush. On deeper skintones, this is going to be a beautiful illuminating highlighter.

Nars multiple - 2 (1)a

 

It’s rare to find a bronze-peach that doesn’t get weighted down with an extra hint of brown, or one that doesn’t get too bright and shrill.  There isn’t a hint of brown or gold that weighs it down. If there were such a thing as a cool silvery peach, St. Lucia Multiple is it. Perfect for Spring or Summer, this is also the perfect cool neutral that’s going to look modern in winter too. Lovely, and highly recommended–you can even say it glows.  Available at Nars online.

Image-1This was sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup)

 

 

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May 072015
 

MAC Prep and prime - 3aMost salicylic acid products are on the drug store shelves, and are fairly inexpensive, harsh, and can sometimes ball up or move in strange ways when worn under makeup.  With MAC Prep + Prime Blemish Control Gel ($22/ 0.5 oz), MAC tries to elevate this humble (but effective) acne medicine that makes it wearable under foundation and less painful to use. This is available at all MAC sources, including Bloomingdales, Macy’s, and Nordstrom.
MAC Prep and prime round four - 4a

Since the product was released, this item has been a bit of  a skin-saver for me. It’s gentle–its active ingredient is 1% salicylic acid. By comparison, Clean + Clear from the drugstore is 2%, the same amount of product (0.5 ounces for both), and about half the price.

MAC Prep and prime round three - 3 copyThis is clear, somewhat runny, and dries down in less than a minute. It smells like salicylic acid.

MAC Prep and prime round two - 5aMAC’s is not as irritating and seems just as effective. Unless I’ve just exfoliated or used a retinol product the night before, I don’t have the stinging sensation with MAC that drugstore salicylic acid products leave (there’s no “yow!” unless my skin is irritated). I’ve worn MAC’s version over my usual skincare, and under sunscreen and foundation all the live-long day to keep clogged pores and reduce breakouts.  According to the line, “Heals blemishes and helps prevent future breakouts, while soothing and calming the skin to promote further healing. Infused with acne-fighting salicylic acid, this lightweight, oil-free formula is suitable for all skin types and wears perfectly on its own, under makeup or for simple touch-ups.” Additional ingredients:

MAC Prep and prime round four - 1aHere is how MAC’s Blemish Control looks on the back of my hand. Keep in mind, this is a skincare product, not a primer (despite the “Prep + Prime” in the name, this is skincare that is a “Prep,” and not a “Prime”).  So feel free to use a separate primer if you use one. If you are fighting acne, this is definitely worth a look. This is available at all MAC sources, including Bloomingdales, Macy’s, and Nordstrom.

MAC Prep and prime round two - 7a

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May 062015
 

L'Occintane spring treats - 16a

I love this time of  year, because it brings so many opportunities to get together with friends, family, and the rest of the community. Sometimes this does require a little gifting, including Mother’s Day, end of the year teacher appreciation gifts, thanks for friends who have gone above and beyond, and others.  Thankfully, L’Occitane has got us covered. The lines full page of gift ideas are here.

L'Occintane spring treats - 17ab

This little L’Occibox for Spring 2015 was sent to Cafe Makeup, and has a range of little delights inside, including:

o 1 Jasmin & Bergamote Eau de Toilette, 0.04 fl.oz
o 1 Immortelle Precious Serum, 0.23 fl.oz
o 1 Immortelle Brightening Essence Sample, 0.03 fl.oz
o 1 Shea Butter Hand Cream, 10ml 0.3 .oz
o 1 Shea Whipped Hand Cream, 30ml 1 .oz
o 1 Bonne Mere Rose Soap, 3.5 .oz
o 1 cube of Sugarfina Champagne Bears®

Who wouldn’t love this little box of treats? (use code SUGAR at checkout to get this $48 box for $20)(also, see this link to buy online).

L'Occintane spring treats - 3 (2)a
L’Occitane also sent along some of the Iris Bleu and Iris Blanc items from L’Occitane’s La Collection de Grasse. The series brings together two ingredients – one from the small, Provençal town of Grasse (hence, the collection name) and one from another distant land. This line is made of  “an exclusive blend of blue iris floral water extract from Grasse mingles with white iris extract from the Mediterranean; a fresh, velvety union of clean linens and sophisticated blooms.” It’s beautiful.

L'Occintane spring treats - 6aL’Occitane has put together an Iris Bleu and Iris Blanc set ($78) with:

– Iris Bleu & Blanc Eau de Toilette 2.5 fl.oz
– Iris Bleu & Blanc Shower Gel 8.4 fl.oz
– Iris Bleu & Blanc Body Milk 1.7 fl. oz.

L'Occintane spring treats - 7a

This series includes the Iris Blue & Iris Blank Eau de Toilette (which sells separately for $78/ 2.8 oz.). This scent is in a gorgeous, a heavy blue-mauve tinted glass bottle, gold spray top and ornate gold iris print on one side of the bottle.

L'Occintane spring treats - 15a

 

L'Occintane spring treats - 12aHere is a look at the gold iris print on the bottle’s side. It reminds me of an Art Nouveau style (so French!).

L'Occintane spring treats - 6 (1)aI took so many pictures of the bottle, because I fell in love with the way it looks. So pretty!

L'Occintane spring treats - 7 (1)a

l'occitane 2

L'Occintane spring treats - 14a

L'Occintane spring treats - 4abc

L’Occitane did a seriously lovely design with this bottle. And the scent–divine!  If you need a gift (or a pick-me-up for yourself), these items are highly recommended. There are additional gift ideas here and the L’OcciBox link is here (use code SUGAR for the $20 discounted price).

L'Occintane spring treats - 3 (1)ab

These items were sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. This post includes affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup).

 

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