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My Thoughts: MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation

May 21, 2015

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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Concealer Serge Lutens

Serge Lutens Beaute Une Bonne Correction Concealer Palette

May 1, 2015

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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Concealer MAC

MAC Matchmaster Concealer Review

November 30, 2014

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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Concealer Laura Mercier

My Thoughts: Laura Mercier High Coverage Concealer for Under Eye

May 20, 2014

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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Concealer NARS

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer Update

February 22, 2013

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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