Jul 082015
 

Clarins Instant Concealer 1Clarins Instant Concealer ($31/0.5 oz.) is an ideal concealer for those with dry skin or fine under eye lines who are looking for medium coverage. The effect is very natural, giving a softening effect without migrating into fine lines. This concealer is available in four (4) shades–I chose #02 for my MAC NC15/20-Chanel Ivoire skin tone and find that this is a good, natural-looking match. Clarins Instant Concealer is available at Clarins online, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, and other Clarins sources.

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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 012015
 

Serge Lutens Corrector Palette - 1The elegant line Serge Lutens Beaute has recently released Une Bonne Correction Concealer Palette ($170). I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to try any Serge Lutens Beaute items, but they are on another level–somewhere above sublime. The original Eyeshadow Palette (reviewed here) is one of my favorites, it has a silky quality and incredibly blendable texture and gorgeous, gorgeous color. Even the eye makeup remover wipes feel like they are made like magical cashmere.

Serge Lutens Corrector Palette - 2

Like the eyeshadow palettes, the Serge Lutens Beaute Une Bonne Correction comes in an elongated rectangular shape. The palette include three different concealer colors, a translucent setting powder and brushes included. In other words, everything you need for a perfect eye.  Whether you wish to keep this on your makeup table, or slip it into a bag, it’s pretty much everything.

Serge Lutens Corrector Palette - 5 The three brushes included:

Serge Lutens Corrector Palette - 7The palette has a full size mirror:

Serge Lutens Corrector Palette - 9

The texture of the three concealer colors is divine. It melds effortlessly to the under eye area to seemingly become part of the skin. If you would like to conceal, but do not wish anyone to know that you are wearing concealer, you have found the product that allows you to do so. Except for its perfecting quality, it is undetectable.

Serge Lutens Corrector Palette - 11

 

The shades are designed to be mixed together so that you can find your perfect match, so that it looks absolutely undetectable. For my fair warm skin tone, the center shade seems to blend perfectly. However, I found myself mixing the shade with the deeper shade to better cancel out the blue tones in my under eye area. Then I set the result with a very light of the bottom translucent powder shade, which disappears into the skin and makes the concealer last all day. Did I already say that the texture of these is divine?  Below is a picture that shows the entire configuration:
Serge Lutens Corrector Palette - 12 Bottom line, this is a beautiful concealer palette. As one might expect from the Serge Lutens line, this is the best of the best. Here is unblended swatch so that you can see the color choices:

Serge Lutens Corrector Paletteb - 1 acopy

The Serge Lutens Beaute Concealer Palette is currently available from Barneys New York (please note that all purchases have free shipping in the U.S.).

Serge Lutens Corrector Palette - 10

This items 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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Nov 302014
 

MAC Concealer1MAC released the Matchmaster Concealer ($21) several weeks ago. According to the line:

A colour-true concealer that provides medium buildable coverage with a natural satin finish. Formulated with the same Shade Intelligence Technology as our Matchmaster line, this colour-true formula lasts for up to eight hours. Helps conceal and correct the look of under eye circles and discolourations. Comes in a convenient portable stick. 

This can be found at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Macy’s and other MAC sources. I purchased 1.5, which is seems like a good match for my MAC NC15 skin tone.

MAC Concealer2 copyThis highly packable format makes it ideal for travel (no TSA baggie needed!), or for your daily makeup bag for touchups.This has a pigment-rich texture, which means that you get high coverage while using a thin layer of product. I found that this works well for the under eye area. It tends to stay where it is placed, meaning that this doesn’t migrate into fine lines. Also, because this gives excellent coverage without using much product, I can cover my under eye area without caking up. MAC Matchmaster Concealer does not advertise any moisturizing properties, and it does not appear to have any based on my experience either. However, there is no shortage of fabulous moisturizers in the world, so that can be added separately. This had great lasting time–really, all day coverage.

MAC Concealer4 copyMAC Matchmaster Concealer is dual-purpose–it gives great coverage for any discolored area of the face. Any redness around the nose, or dark spots, can be blended away with a wave of the wand. I’m sure the more talented readers can use one of the deeper toned colors as a natural contour.

MAC Matchmaster Concealer copyIngredient list:
MAC Concealer5Overall, this mid-priced concealer is a nice addition if you are looking for a highly pigmented concealer that does not cake up. For the record, the coverage of MAC’s Matchmaster is not as dense as Laura Mercier High Coverage Concealer or the Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer. A completely subjective assessment puts the coverage of MAC Matchmaster a bit higher than the liquid MAC Pro Longwear. However, not everyone needs bullet-proof. MAC Matchmaster offers a quite natural-looking option that seems to blend beautifully onto the skin and with liquid foundations.

This can be found at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Macy’s and other MAC sources.

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May 202014
 

Laura Mercier Concealer1My finger has been hovering over the “order” button for Laura Mercier’s High Coverage Concealer for Under Eye ($28) since the first introduction. Laura Mercier’s Flawless Face includes some excellent concealers. Who are we kidding, she really excels in that department. I have under eye circles, as well as other areas that I usually cover so that I can wear a lightweight foundation. I waited to buy until I could see the colors in person, and I’m still not entirely sure that I chose the right shade. This post is an overview of the formula, but the jury’s still out on the color shades. I ultimately bought shade 1.5 for my MAC NC15/ Chanel Cameo/Ivoire skin tone. My skin leans warm and fair, and I chose shade 1.5 as an excellent match to the rest of my face. I almost added shade 2.5, a medium warm shade, and will likely pick that one up on my next trip in.

Laura Mercier Concealer3

I did a few in-house tries with this. After I got used to the formula, I  worn this concealer for three days–once entirely alone, a second time over moisturizer (Shiseido) with Giorgio Armani Master Color Corrector in 02 Orange ($39), and a third time using the moisturizer, Armani Color Corrector combined with Urban Decay Anti-Aging Primer Potion ($24) using the method described here. I did not try using this with a powder over the top. Because of my travel schedule, these three days spanned dry, warm weather in Northern California, and slightly more humid, temperate temperatures on the East Coast.

Laura Mercier Concealer6

The concealer is described as follows by the line: “This formula features honey and vitamin E to protect against environmental stressors, and fruit acid to nourish and calm skin.” My thoughts are as follows–first, you need far, far less of this product that you would imagine. The tiniest tiniest bit is too much. It took me a few tries to get used to the high level of pigment in this formula, before I could wear it outside for the day. During my first try, I used the same amount as I would use for Lancome Effacernes, That was way, way too much–honestly, I could have covered my entire face with that small amount. To say “a little goes a long way” really understates the situation.

Laura Mercier Concealer5Straight from the tube, the texture feels a bit dry and thick especially if you are used to Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer. Straight out of the tube, using too much of the product looks like this:

Laura Mercier Concealer7b

So, don’t use this much!  After the product is warm and blended, it really does come to life. This product really did not fade at all on me throughout the day. In fact, I’ve never used a concealer that holds its coverage as long as this one does. Using an under eye primer for longevity did not deliver any advantages–I’m going to skip that step next time.

The product’s skin care ingredients–while not affirmatively moisturizing–did make my under eye area appear flattened (meaning non-puffy) and slightly more youthful throughout the day. Mind, this is not (and does not claim to be)  an anti-aging skincare serum. Still, the skin in my under eye area just looked better, and it kept that look throughout the entire day. Unlike the Nars concealer, however, the Laura Mercier does not feel as affirmatively moisturizing. I’d advise a good separate moisturizer when using this product.

The one curious and consistent problem I had was ever-so-slight creasing (whether using a moisturizer or not). Having said that, the overall coverage was still excellent even after sweeping away the creasing. This stuff just does not give up–it’s relentless. Here’s a picture with the product buffed and blended:

Laura Mercier High Coverage Concealer blended1Finally, although this covers beautifully, I think that my slightly blue under eye circles really do need a touch of color correction. The area looked much better on the days I wore the Armani Master Color Corrector underneath the product. I may be able to solve this another way–by trying a slightly deeper shade of the Laura Mercier’s High Coverage Concealer for Under Eye. Speaking just for me, sometimes going a bit deeper  helps erase those blue tones as well as a corrector. That’s the reason that I’m going back and forth on the shades.

Ingredient list (click to enlarge):

Laura Mercier Concealer2

Overall, I’m pleased with Laura Mercier’s latest offering. I’m going to keep playing with the product to see whether a powder may help the slight creasing issue that I have. The texture is a bit surprising, very pigmented and highly tenacious. Absolutely worth a look.

Available at Nordstrom, Sephora,  Neiman Marcus,  Saks Fifth Avenue, and Macys.

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Feb 222013
 

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer3a

Earlier this week, I posted my swatches of Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, which is now available for $28 on Nars website. These just appeared on the Nordstrom.com website and will be released to all other stores after March 1, 2013.

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer5

 Since Monday, I’ve been testing the colors in my skin color range. Note that I’ve been applying the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer over an undereye moisturizer and serum. I am usually the lightest shade in any concealer range, except for Lancome Effernances. For Nars, I found that Honey and Custard were the best colors for my NC15/20 skin. I found that Honey worked best to neutralize the blue tone under my eye, so I’ve been using that one the most. Chantilly is very, very light. I found Vanilla too cool, and it gave me a ghosty look under my eyes. (I took seriously the advice that one shouldn’t wear concealers that are too light for one’s skin tone).

Nars Honey

I know what you are thinking, Gorgeous–Honey looks too dark in the tube for someone as fair as NC15/20. I say, well, when I apply it, and tilt my head up so that the light is absolutely even on my face, it looks like a good match and covers my dark circles. It looks natural, like real skin.

Nars honey and custard

Although in theory, Custard might seem to match with my skin tone, I found that Custard honestly didn’t cancel out the blue under my eyes quite as well as Honey. Although I’d want to do more testing on this point, perhaps I’d need to use a peach corrector if I was stuck on using Custard. So, after this week, Honey was the win for me–it looked the most natural with the best coverage for the final effect.

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer2

I have high standards for concealers. In my mind, even companies that include Chanel don’t make a concealer that I find satisfying. I’ve used so many concealers that I couldn’t even begin to count them. Here are some additional thoughts:

  • Nars Radiant Creamy concealers are quite pigmented. I didn’t need much (a few light dots) to get full coverage. Use much less than a full doe-foot’s worth.
  • After the first day, I stopped using a corrector underneath. I found that the Bobbi Brown Corrector that I had used was interfering with the longevity of the Nars Radiant Creamy, and the coverage of the Nars Honey was fine without it.
  • Fading was really minimal, even compared to some of the longer lasting concealers that I’ve used (including Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer, Cle de Peau, and others).
  • Because the pigment can be applied in a very thin layer, I found these less dry-looking and aging compared to any other concealer that I’ve used. Even my beloved Burberry and Cle de Peau seem to look a bit aging on my worst, driest-skin days.
  • Nars Radiant Creamy Concealers are more pigmented than the Armani Maestro Concealers that I’ve tried.
  • The Nars works well on imperfections on the face (I use this under my foundation). I doesn’t have the shiny look that some concealers do that can emphasize problems.

Bottom line:  Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer is a truly great concealer.

Now available on Nars website, Nordstrom.com and everywhere else after March 1st.

Nars Cosmetics provided the Radiant Creamy Concealer 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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Feb 172013
 

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer1

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer ($28) is set to release any day now, available first on Nars online and in Nars flagship boutiques. These have just appeared on the Nordstrom.com website  and will be everywhere else around March 1st). Cafe Makeup was sent a packet of samples, and so we are posting our swatches so that you can be ready to choose.

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer2

 Nars Radiant Creamy Concealers are gloriously pigmented and feel moisturizing. According to the company, these are “luxuriously smooth with hydrating skincare benefits.”  They are intended for use undereye, as well as for other skin imperfections. This “multi-action formula provides medium to high buildable coverage in a natural, radiant finish with long-lasting results.” Having just torn open the envelope to cries of “ooooh pretty!”, we haven’t done all-day stress-testing but we plan to do so this week.

On to the colors:

CHANTILLY: True ivory shade for fairest complexions

VANILLA: Tiny cast of pink for the fair complexion

HONEY: Warm peach tone for light to medium complexion

CUSTARD: Yellow tone for light to medium complexion

GINGER: Golden undertone for medium complexion

BISCUIT: Medium dark natural balance of pink and yellow undertones

CARAMEL: Medium dark yellow and golden undertones

AMANDE: Medium dark with golden olive undertones

CAFÉ: Dark shade with warm red undertones

CACAO: Dark shade with deep gold-brown undertones

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer3a

Swatches of all shades:

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer4

 Another (same order):

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer5

The Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer are available on Nars online and in Nars flagship boutiques. These have just appeared on the Nordstrom.com website  and will be everywhere else after March 1st.

We’ll post a separate review when we’ve tested these more. In the meantime, here’s a quick video from Nars about using their products:

Cafe Makeup received these samples without charge from Nars for consideration for review. This post includes an affiliate link (see About Cafe Makeup for more information)

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Feb 142013
 

RadiantCreamyConcealer_lo

NARS is releasing its new NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer line on February 20th on Narscosmetics.com and at NARS flagship boutiques (everywhere else on March 1).  We’ve seen this used in a few of Nars backstage work during New York Fashion Week for Fall 2013 over the past week, finally it is being released to all.

According to NARS:

Ideal for all skin types, new NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer boasts a luxuriously smooth texture enriched with hydrating skincare benefits. When applied to camouflage darkness under the eyes and reduce the appearance of redness and skin imperfections, the multi-action formula provides medium to high buildable coverage in a natural, radiant finish with long-lasting results. A single stroke keeps complexion looking fresh and creaseless all day – going on smoothly and blending easily. Light diffusing technology blurs imperfections and fine lines, and evens skin tone without masking skin’s natural coloring. Skin glows with new radiance over or under foundation – and looks beautiful even when bare.

Perfect as a complement to Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF30 or layered with Sheer Matte & Sheer Glow Foundation. Crease-proof. Long-wear. Non-comedogenic. Dermatologist tested. Paraben-free. Alcohol-free. Fragrance-free.

Nars Concealer

Color range:

CHANTILLY: True ivory shade for fairest complexions

VANILLA: Tiny cast of pink for the fair complexion

HONEY: Warm peach tone for light to medium complexion

CUSTARD: Yellow tone for light to medium complexion

GINGER: Golden undertone for medium complexion

BISCUIT: Medium dark natural balance of pink and yellow undertones

CARAMEL: Medium dark yellow and golden undertones

AMANDE: Medium dark with golden olive undertones

CAFÉ: Dark shade with warm red undertones

CACAO: Dark shade with deep gold-brown undertones

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Dec 312012
 

It’s been quite a year here at Cafe Makeup! We’ve had a huge year–we passed our 3rd blog birthday and we’re very thankful for our amazing readers.

As you might now, we’ve both had a very busy year off the blog as well. Between Amy’s travel schedule (she was on the road almost continuously from June through November), and Liz’s busy work schedule, we’re so pleased that we’ve been able to keep our love of beauty alive on the blog now that we’re reached December 31st. We’ve had a lot of help along the way. Cafe Makeup would like to do a special “thank you” to Sabrina at The Beauty Look Book (her Best of 2012 is here). She’s been so wonderful and and encouraging throughout the entire year. I’d also like to thank all of the lovely readers and other beauty bloggers who’ve kept us alive by linking, retweeting and continuing our beauty conversations. You might also wish to explore The Non Blonde’s Top Products of 2012–I really respect her taste.

To celebrate the year’s end, we’d like to raise a glass of champagne to our readers! As we sip, we’re going to go through our Top Ten Products of 2012.  As you know, we’ve seen many things throughout the year. Here’s a feature which tells you which ones won our hearts, which ones we still depend on, and are truly the very Top Shelf Products of the Year 2012.

1. Tom Ford Blushes: Although released in 2011, I’ve come to love the high quality, beautiful glow of these blushes. As an aside, the brush is incredible as well. The original review is here.

Tom Ford Blush02

 

2.  Giorgio Armani Maestro Concealer: I can’t believed that a concealer made my top 10 list, but there it is. This is truly an androgynous product–appropriate regardless of gender. I originally bought this on a whim. Over time, I’ve become dependent on the extremely high quality, great coverage, incredibly natural look, and skin care benefits (it contains ingredients to breaks up sun damage and dark spots). The application is incredibly natural–sometimes I cover few spots and under eyes, and skip foundation entirely. This makes this a truly travel-friendly product, as you can leave your liquid foundation at home. The original review is here, I’ve since switched to buying shade #3.

GA concealer

3. Perricone MD Skin Care: I’ve been working on my skin with intensity since February. Last week, I got a few random compliments from strangers–“your skin looks beautiful–what are you using?” As a beauty blogger, I’ve been using several different things, but I’ve added a healthy dose of Perricone MD. My favorites so far are the Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester 15, the Blue Plasma Peel and the Formula 15 serum. Although I haven’t reviewed it yet, the Perricone Face Finishing Moisturizer appears to have some magical ingredients in it as well.

Perricone

4. 2012 was the year of the BB Cream:  Over the past several months, the term “BB Cream” has entered the beauty vernacular with a vengeance. Although originating overseas with formulas that combine anti-aging, skincare benefits, and sunscreen, in the U.S. some formulas are said to be nothing more than glorified tinted moisturizers. However, there are some that stand above the crowd. Cafe Makeup’s former favorite was Dior DiorSnow BB Cream, a remarkably stable version with serious sun protection(SPF 50) and all-day tenacity (even in the Florida summer humidity).

omorovicza bb cream

The Dior would still be my favorite, except that I was recently sent the Omorovicza Complexion Perfector BB Cream (SPF 20) by the company. I’ll be doing a review soon, but this creamy, light foundation is absolutely perfect is so many ways.

The most startling effect is that my skin looks improved after I remove it at the end of the day. To my eye, it’s noticeable. In 2013, we can expect to see “CC Creams,” which are next-generation products (including one from Chanel). A few have started to land at drugstores, according to Nouveau Cheap. Those new products will have some very stiff competition from Omorovicza’s Complexion Perfector.

5. Tom Ford Enchanted Eye Quad. This one makes me hear angels sing. The original review is here.

Tom Ford Enchanted Quad03

6. Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lipsticks.  Why should the MAC lovers have all the fun? These are intensely pigmented lipsticks that provide gorgeous coverage with a very thin layer of product. The colors are outstanding–complex, intense, original, sophisticated, and very beautiful. I’ve purchased several, and am eyeing several colors from the Spring 2013 collection (I’ve caved on one already). Swatches of all colors are here (except for the Spring 2013, which were just released).

Chanel Lipsticks new1a

7. Nars Andy Warhol Collection. This highly original collection melded fine art and beauty. This included an incredibly rich and thoughtful array of choices, with something for everyone. I certainly found some favorites among them, including the Flowers palettes with the incredible taupe. At the same time, the collection helped us relive just a touch of the 1960’s makeup era just as Marc Jacobs made it fashionable for clothing. I’ve read that Francois Nars plans to do another artists collaboration next year, and I’m certainly hopeful that he will. Regardless of whether you purchased anything from the collection, this one warrants serious recognition for its attention to detail and creativity, as well as its sweeping scope.

Warhol Portrait 1

8. Le Metier de Beaute CHEM60 Pro-Peel and GLOW10ai Mask Set. Applause for giving busy women truly ingenious results at home. I love this set. The original post is here.

Le Metier Peel 10

9. Dior Nail Polish. There is something about Dior that has been excelling in the nail polish realm lately. Yes, I loved OPI’s Skyfall collection–the colors are fast, fun, and highly affordable. I got a 4-5 of them, and still wear them. Can you think of a Fall on-trend color that wasn’t part of Skyfall? I sure can’t.

Skyfall

Still, Dior’s formula spreads like butter, levels off beautifully, and has a helpful, manageable brush. Unlike OPI’s Skyfall, Dior has been truly cutting edge in its color development this year. Rather than capturing trends, Dior is setting them. I have to love an imaginative industry leader.

Dior Mango Pasteque Lime2

10. Guerlain This traditional French company has done so many things right this year. From its beautiful summer Terracotta Pucci collection, the new Petit Robe Noir perfume, and the development of new formulas of lipsticks. Liz and I both love the new Guerlain Rouge G L’Extrait Lip Color (the review for Paresse is here). I’d love to include more Guerlain in this list, if I could.

Guerlain Extrait Paresse04

Thank you for another wonderful year in beauty, Gorgeous!  And cheers!

What were your favorite products for 2012? We’d love to know!

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Oct 312012
 

A few weeks ago, I became curious about color correctors. Above, are the results of my experiment and some thoughts about how things went. My adventure started at a few makeup counters where artists tried an orange or yellow-toned corrector to counteract my blue-toned dark circles and the now-highly faded remainder of sun damage (a treatment summary is here).

I used to think of color correctors as using a distasteful green color and I couldn’t imagine doing that. Well, as it turns out, green isn’t the type of color correction that I’d ever need, so I had a mental block against trying any. Yellow or amber are said to be best to counteract blue or ashiness. Here’s a summary of my experiment–first, face primers and then undereye correctors.

Face Primers

1. Make Up For Ever HD Perfecting Primer in Yellow #6 ($34) This is a sheer yellow that essentially brightens warm-tone pale skin. The line makes other colors (caramel, mauve, green). The strength is its stability. This certainly helps makes my foundation last all day. I found that the color-correcting properties were modest and subtle. However, it did keep my foundation from shifting or fading, thus maximizing coverage over problem areas throughout the day. If you are already  using a stable, long-lasting foundation, you might not notice a tremendous difference.

2. Yves Saint Laurent Tient Parfait Complexion Enhancer in #4 Apricot ($ 42) is a cosmetically elegant, luxurious mousse that provides a sheer coverage of skin-brightening, luminous color. This YSL Complexion Enhancer provides enough coverage that, when used with a light coverage of a powder foundation, is a nice, casual-day look. It really gives me a peaches-and-cream glow. No, really. Like many other YSL products that I’ve used, the Complexion Enhancer seems a bit fragile. Over time and in high humidity/heat, I noticed fading and disappearing long before sundown.

Swatches:

Under Eye Color Correctors

1. MAC Studio Finish in Pure Orange ($12) I became curious about this product watching this video on the MAC website. It features concealers for hot climates (where I’m currently visiting). After researching it, I found advice that this will work to color-correct light skin tones if it is blended with concealer or foundation. I’m sure a makeup artist has no trouble doing that, and this is the most cost-effective corrector on the market. It’s highly pigmented, and would probably last a year if not longer. I found that I lacked patience to dilute this on a daily basis, I just didn’t have the knack–some days it was too orange, some days not enough. Not for me. This also comes in a pot for $18.

2. Bobbi Brown Correctors in Porcelain Peach and Peach ($23 each).  Bobbi Brown makes four (4!) different peach correctors. Porcelain Peach is lightest and Peach is the third darkest. These worked pretty well. They are not as cost-effecient compared to MAC Pure Orange (nothing is!) but they were super easy to use. They blend well, and look close to natural.

3. Tom Ford Illuminating Highlight Pen in Amber Eclat ($52) This worked best of all of the options that I’ve tried (I bought two), even better than Armani’s Master Corrector in #2 Orange. This looks quite natural and has good lasting power. I use a concealer over this.

Close up of the Tom Ford brush:

Although Tom Ford makes concealers, Amber Eclat is a corrector–so it has a decided amber-orange tone. Here’s a quick comparison with some other concealers that I happen to have with me on this trip–Burberry Sheer Luminous Concealer in #1, Armani Maestro Corrector in #2 and Chanel Pro Lumiere Corrector in #10 (this may be discontinued):

As you can see, the Tom Ford leans orange, and the Armani almost disappears in its natural look. They actually work nicely together.

Some Results of My Experiment

For face primers, I did not find a corrector which really does the job. I fell in love with the YSL Perfection Enhancer in Apricot for a peaches-and-cream glow, does that count? I only wish it has the longevity of the Make Up For Ever HD Primer. The best thing that works if I want a flawless canvas is a light concealer. As I said here, the Giorgio Armani Maestro Concealer gives me a very natural, undetectable look.  If you need more coverage,  Make Up For Ever Full Cover concealer ($32) is absolutely bullet proof and comes in a wide color range. Vichy Dermablend Liquid Foundation ($28ish) is another good choice.

For eye primers, Tom Ford won my heart. Although I use a concealer over it, I find my concealer lasts longer, and I need far less of it, wearing the correct. It just works well. 

For more about correctors, I found Goss Makeup Artist video here very helpful.

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