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Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer: First Look and Swatches

February 17, 2013

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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Concealer NARS

Preview: Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer

February 14, 2013

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

This post contains an affiliate link (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup)

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Cafe Makeup’s Top Ten Products of 2012

December 31, 2012

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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Sketchbook: Thoughts About Color Correctors

October 31, 2012

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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Concealer Giorgio Armani

My Thoughts: Armani Maestro Eraser Concealer Review

October 13, 2012

Together with the release of its innovative Maestro foundation (reviewed here), Giorgio Armani released Giorgio Armani Maestro Eraser Concealer ($40). This is a softly tinted, lightweight concealer in a squeeze tube. The innovative part of this concealer is Armani’s promise to deliver not only temporary concealing but also long term results. That is, the product promises gradual fading of the blue tone under eyes.

For my part, I immediately noticed that the texture of this concealer imparts a very natural look. There is far less of a “concealer texture” effect. Even very finely made concealers can, if one looks closely, provide a slight creamy look under the eyes. As we know, sometimes another does get very close to your face (or at least I would hope so!).  Like the foundation, the Maestro Eraser adheres to the skin.

I also noticed the brightening effect. There is an illuminating quality. Because the texture is so fine, I can see some considering Armani’s Maestro Eraser this the next time one’s Yves St. Laurent Touche Eclat runs out. I have not been using the product long enough to notice the “blue-tone erasing” effect. Also, I found the Armani Maestro Eraser too sheer to cover my undereye circles without wearing a corrector underneath. Will the Armani still work with a corrector underneath–even an Armani Master Corrector? Only time will tell.

Here are swatches of two of the shades, Number 2 and Number 4:

I purchased a full size of Number 2, and a little packet of Number 4 came as a free sample with my foundation purchase. By my estimate, the Amani has about 1/4 of the coverage power of Lancome Effacernes, Edward Bess Platinum Concealer, Cle de Peau concealer, or Burberry Concealer (all of which gives me full coverage).

Because of its light coverage, I’ve used this primarily to layer over any imperfections on my face while layering the Armani Maestro Fusion foundation over the top. Because of its texture, the Maestro Corrector also works well layered over the foundation if I find that I missed something after applying foundation. It works well for that purpose–the effect lasts all day.

Bottom line, the Armani Maestro Eraser concealer will work beautifully if you need a light-coverage concealer. The effect is very natural –remarkably so. Those who have blue tones or need significantly more coverage will require a corrector. Perhaps the fading effect will take care of this over time, as the literature suggests. According to the website, this requires roughly two months of use.

This is available online with free ship at Nordstrom.com.

Ingredient list (click to enlarge):

This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see “About Cafe Makeup”).

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Burberry Concealer

Burberry Sheer Luminous Concealer Review

July 11, 2012

Burberry Sheer Luminous Concealer ($40) is a creamy, opaque concealer that comes in a brush-pen format.  I think we are all familiar with other brush-pen concealers–Yves Saint Laurent (or should I say “Saint Laurent Paris”) has the most famous version–the three shades that promise to impart subtle luminosity just under the eye. I must confess that I never appreciated the Yves Saint Laurent version. It’s too sheer and subtle for my taste. After using two or three, I stopped repurchasing because it seemed to add an unnecessary extra step.

Burberry’s is decidedly not like the Yves Saint Laurent. Burberry Sheer Luminous Concealer, despite the word “sheer” in the name, is a true concealer that has a pigmented opacity. It truly does conceal. It is more similar to Lancome Effacernes in that it takes very little to cover dark under eye circles, but the Burberry is not nearly as dry-looking. I get lasting coverage that doesn’t seem to migrate into creasy areas.

When Burberry first launched, I was gutted that there was no concealer in the line. Now I see the wisdom of the plan–they wanted to get it right. And they did. Bullet-proof. By the way, it takes a good 20 clicks or more to get this started.  But once it’s primed, it’s only one or two clicks per use. This NC15 (leaning NC20 right now) chose No. 1, the lightest of the eight available shades.

It’s quite a light shade–bordering on a just maybe a touch too light, but I’ll keep it. Here’s the swatch panel from Burberry’s website so you can get a sense of the range of colors:

Right now, Burberry’s and Edward Bess’ Platinum concealers are my favorites. Which are yours?

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Concealer NARS

Nars Introduces New Concealer Formulations and Colors

August 25, 2011

Fresh news from Nars!

NARS Concealers ($22) are using a new slim packaging, and growing from  its shade range from a total of six shades to ten. These are targeted to more closely match NARS’ Sheer Matte & Sheer Glow Foundation shades. Enriched with Vitamin E.  Shades include (from lightest to darkest):

  • Chantilly – for fairest of complexions, true ivory – NEW!
  • Vanilla – for fair complexions, tiny cast of pink tones
  • Honey – for light to medium complexion, warm peach tones
  • Custard – for light to medium complexions, yellow tones
  • Ginger – for medium complexions, golden tones
  • Biscuit – for medium to dark complexions, natural balance of pink and yellow tones – NEW!
  • Caramel – for medium to dark complexions, yellow and golden tones – NEW!
  • Amande – for medium to dark complexions, golden olive tones – NEW!
  • Café – for dark complexions, warm red tones – NEW!
  • Cacao – for dark complexions, deep-gold-brown tones – NEW!

These are due on Nars website beginning September 1s.

NARS Praline/Toffee Duo Concealer duo ($30) will be replaced with Caramel/Amande. The three Duo Concealers will include:

  • Vanilla/Honey
  • Custard/Ginger
  • Caramel/Amande – NEW!

These are available on Nars website on September 1st.

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Chanel Concealer

Chanel Correcteur Perfection Review

May 17, 2011

When Chanel recently launched the new Vitalumiere Aqua foundation, the  line also released a new series of concealers, the Chanel Correcteur Perfection/ Long Lasting Concealer ($40).  I purchased B10 Beige Clair.  This is a liquid concealer packaged in a clear tube, with a sponge-tip applicator.

My undereye area is problematic–the circles are not the darkest that I have seen but I certainly need all-day, pigmented coverage to avoid looking tired.

I have tried every concealer that Chanel has released in the past fifteen years, along with numerous products from others lines.  These include Cle de Peau, Lancome Effernances, Le Metier de Beaute Peau Vierge, Laura Mercier, Bobbi Brown’s Corrector and Concealer, and By Terry’s new hydrating concealer.  Many times, I use two under eye products–the Bobbi Brown Corrector has been invaluable in laying down a good, stable foundation for almost any other concealer out there–it lasts for hours.  I’m on my third pot.  Then I add another concealer on top, especially for days where I know my makeup has to look good all day long.  The Cle de Peau (even as re-formulated) has also done extremely well for me.

Most sales associates (even those that work at Chanel counters) have steered me away from the Chanel concealers in the past.  In fact, two years ago during a Chanel makeover, an artist at a Chanel counter lost patience and pulled a concealer stock from Bobbi Brown. Having set the bar quite low, let me start by saying this–Chanel’s Correcteur Perfection is the best concealer that Chanel has ever made. But seriously, it is becoming one of my favorite concealers right now.

After using Chanel’s Long Lasting Concealer for a few weeks, here are my subjective impressions:

  • Like Vitalumiere Aqua, Chanel Correcteur Perfection/ Long Lasting concealer is rich with pigment.  You do not need much product to get good coverage.  This is important, because too much concealer shows. Thin textures are better because they adhere closely to the skin and look more natural.
  • Chanel Long Lasting does not promise any skin care benefits (unlike Le Metier de Beaute’s Peau Vierge Concealer -reviewed here). If we were looking only at coverage and price, I give a slight edge to Chanel between these two.
  • My unbeatable combination for bullet-proof coverage is Bobbi Brown Corrector with Chanel Long Lasting on top.  However, using the Chanel alone looks more natural (brutal honesty here).
  • Chanel’s Long Lasting looks slightly less dry than Lancome’s Effacernes.  Because it looks more natural, I’d re-buy the Chanel before I’d re-buy the Lancome.
  • If forced to decide between Cle de Peau and Chanel, I would be unable to decide.

Of course, Chanel Long Lasting Concealer is elegantly packaged–I love the frosted tube and sleek black top.

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Paris Makeup: A Traveler’s Thoughts

April 8, 2011

 

A month ago, I offered this look inside my suitcase to show you what I brought to Paris.  Now that I’m returning, I wanted to do a quick sketch of what worked, what didn’t and what I missed most from my permanent stash.

First:  What worked? As some of you probably guessed, I brought way too much.  Like Rachel Zoe packing shoes for Fashion Week, I could have easily left one-third of these items at home.  On the road, I almost never had time to play with new looks.  Also, the culture of makeup in Paris emphasizes great skin and minimal eye color.  When I saw so many women like myself wearing understated color (except for lips, of course!), I didn’t think about deeply pigmented teal shadow.  If you’ve read Café Makeup, you already know my aesthetic.  Multiply that times 1,000, omit bronzer in favor of a nude blush and you’ll get my perfect Parisian face.

My standard everyday face included:

  • Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua in B10 Great coverage, no breakouts.  By the way, if you haven’t seen this video by Lisa Eldridge on Chanel Confidential about the use of Vitalumiere Aqua, you should. I highly recommend watching this, even if you already own and love the product.

  • Nars Maui multiple. This added just the right touch of nude glow, contour and highlight.  Liz picked it up for me before I left, and I’m glad that she did. I loved it, wore it nearly every day.
  • By Terry Eye Primer. Adds a touch of moisture.  I followed up by adding a touch of concealer on top (usually the Cle de Peau).

  • Sublime de Chanel Mascara. Reviewed here. I’ve falled in love.  According to Chanel, it’s coming to the U.S. in August.
  • Edward Bess Soft Smoke Eyeshadow trio. Hello, I’m in Paris–a nice neutral deep eye is perfect here.  Edward Bess’ Soft Smoke has a subtle highlight, the perfect mid-tone grey and a nice black liner color (reviewed here). I wore this almost every single day.  These colors look simple, but really they look extremely good when applied on the eye.  I’ll never take that for granted–it’s much harder to find an excellent near-matte neutral that makes you look luminous and alive than you would ever think.  It’s an investment palette–but well worth it in the long run.

  • Le Metier de Beaute Precision Eyeliner.  No extra brush required.  It can go subtle or heavy, depending on the application.  I used this almost every day.  Plus, it’s tiny and so easy to pack.

  • Lip Product de Jour. I liked the options that I brought, plus I added some Chanel Rouge Coco Shine on arrival.  Overall, I had a nice variety to add color to an otherwise neutral face.

Second:  Let’s talk skincare!

  • Suncare:  Even in the cloudy, grey days of March, I didn’t go anywhere without sun protection.  When I travel, I’m outside for hours at a time, and sometimes all day.   Sometimes the weather was gloriously sunny, but even cloudy days let some UV light do their damage.  Every day, I applied EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46, which is absolutely awesome for my acne prone skin.  It includes physical sun protection and seems to disappear into my skin without leaving a tint or white cast.  Because I wasn’t bothered by the paparazzi (note to self: work on that!) I can’t comment on how this looks in flash photographs.  In daylight, the texture was very workable.  Most importantly, it didn’t break me out.  I bought mine at my dermatologist’s office, but it’s also available online from the Dermstore and elsewhere.  Worth every penny.

  • Cleansers/toners: Good skin must be cleansed.  This time around, I threw in a travel-sized Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Buffing Beads from this Sephora Fabulous Four set, a decant of my Shu Uemura Cleansing oil, and a decant of my DDF 10% Glycolic toner.  Perfect combination.  It’s really important to bring an oil cleanser to get any sunscreen off.

Third:  What could I have left behind? My biggest packing error was too many duplicate products.  Here’s what I would have pared down:

  • Too many eyeliners.  I had three–Bobbi Brown’s Chocolate Shimmer and Black Ink, plus Le Metier de Beaute’s liquid eyeliner pen.  I should have picked one black liner.
  • Too many concealers. I have three in the picture above, then I added another in my carry-on bag.  Really, one is enough.
  • Duplicate bronzers.  NARS Maui multiple and Chanel’s powder bronzer was one too many.
  • Sephora straightener for Europe.  A few years ago, a blogger recommended buying a European-specific hair straightener because her U.S. version had blown up even when using a converter.  So I got a Sephora straightener (which is made by Corioliss) made for 220 volt systems.  This year, it stopped working the first week–what a waste of suitcase space and money.  Next time, I’ll look at a battery-powered option.


Fourth:  What did I miss?

  • Brow pencil. I had nothing for brows–no pencil, and no good powder substitute.  I bought Chanel’s new Crayon Sourcils Sculptant almost immediately when I arrived and used it every day.  I like that it includes an eyebrow brush on one end, because I hadn’t packed one of those either.  I loved the texture.  I bought it in the lightest shade, Blond Clair 10, which is a touch too yellow for me.  I’ll be excited to see the other shades when they arrive in the U.S. in August.

  • Clarisonic Skin Cleanser. I made the right call to leave this at home.  It’s really bulky (although the new, smaller Mia might be better).  Unlike my computer and camera equipment, it’s not compatible with Europe’s 220 electric system.  There is no comparable product sold in Europe.  So, even though I was correct to leave this out of my already-overflowing suitcase, I really missed it.

  • I missed my nail polish range. Again, I made the right call not bringing more than two bottles–a clear Sally Hansen and Chanel Strong. My nails get completely trashed when traveling, there’s no avoiding it.  Still, I missed not having any nude or taupe options, or a nice clear red.  I don’t think there’s a good answer for this.  You just have to give up some things when you’re on the road.


Well, my dearest readers, how did I do?  Do you have any travel tips you’d like to share?

 

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Concealer

By Terry Hyaluronic Eye Primer

April 4, 2011

 

In my search to find concealers that act like a “friend with benefits,” I picked up By Terry’s Hyaluronic Eye Primer, a lid primer and concealer that promises lightening, brightening and moisturizing effects.  Although there is a By Terry boutique in Paris stocked with the entire line, I picked this up at a Parisian Sephora which also carries quite a few By Terry products.

Unlike the more expensive Le Metier de Beaute’s Peau Vierge Concealer ($95), which also promises skin care benefits, By Terry’s sells for around 35 euros.  By Terry’s is more of an eye-area treatment that includes coloration to correct darkness on the lid and under eye area.  Peau Vierge is a true concealer, which is more opaque and can be used anywhere on the face.

By Terry’s product comes in a large silver tube with a doe-foot applicator.  It smooths on quite easily by using the doe foot to dab product on, which can be then gently smoothed out with a finger tip.  The effect was very natural, there was no hint of funny little cakey bits, pooling into crevices that you didn’t realize that you even had, or visible pigmentation spottiness.  It melts in the skin and looks quite natural once smoothed out.

I’ve been hearing really good things about By Terry’s skincare range.  By Terry’s Hyaluronic Eye Primer fits within that perception–that is, the skin care benefits of the product are quite nice.  I did notice a softening effect, and my eye area did look brighter and more moisturized.  Unlike Peau Vierge, By Terry does not promise full long-term or “cosmedicine-like” effects.

I found that I did prefer By Terry’s product to other brightening products such as Yves Saint Laurent’s Touche Eclat.  There is a visible effect on the quality of the skin that I don’t get with Touche Eclat–my eye area does look improved with By Terry’s.  As you would expect with a product called a “primer,” the coverage of By Terry’s Hyaluronic Eye Primer was good, but not as bullet-proof as Le Metier’s Peau Vierge, a Bobbi Brown Corrector or Cle de Peau’s stick concealer. To maximize the skincare benefits, I applied By Terry’s Eye Primer on first (because that is the layer closest to the skin), then dabbed a bit of another concealer on top to really cover the last bit of undereye color.  Used this way, the staying power was excellent.  Unlike Le Metier’s Peau Vierge and Cle de Peau’s stick concealer, By Terry’s is an eye-only product.  It is likely too emollient to use elsewhere on the face.

If you find yourself shaking your head over spending upwards of $60 for a good concealer with skincare benefits, you should definitely look at By Terry’s.  Other ones in this price category with skincare benefits (for comparison purposes) include Dior’s Diorskin Sculpt and Guerlain’s Precious Light.

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