Apr 102015
 

MAC Lightful C Tinted Cream
Having previously reviewed the MAC Lightful C skincare lineI decided to round out the review by trying the MAC Lightful C Tinted Cream SPF 30 with Radiance Booster ($35/ 1.3 oz.). I tried this in shade Light-Plus, which is my match in MAC’s mineralized skin finish powder. A combination skincare/tinted cream, MAC’s Lightful C Tinted Cream promises the following benefits:

  • A correcting cream that reduces imperfections while increasing the natural radiance of your skin instantly and over time.
  • Infused with a Lightful Radiance Booster and vitamin C, it works to correct your overall complexion by reducing the appearance of pores and diminishing dark spots and hyper-pigmentation
  • SPF 30 protects against UVA/UVB rays

This product is currently available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, and other MAC sources.

Sunday05This easily packable tube seems like an ideal summer product, with a relatively high SPF for a product that offers coverage and color correction.  I add a separate sunscreen underneath.

Sunday07In my opinion, this is a niche product for those seeking the benefits of MAC’s brightening serum, color-correcting properties particularly for sun damage, and some protection against future sun damage. On these points, the product delivers. The product comes out of the tube deeper shade than expected, with a very warm–almost orange–tint.  Orange corrects for blue so this makes some sense. Surprisingly, once applied the product seems to both color correct and lighten to stabilize to my NC15/20 shade over a few minutes. It may be that the coverage is sheer enough, but it also seems lighter on my face during the day that it does on my arm. It doesn’t look orange on my face.

Sunday06The product has excellent longevity–this goes on and stays on all day without shifting, fading, moving, or breaking down. However, it does have a thick, stiff, creamy texture, much more than traditional foundations. It’s heavier in texture and scent compared to  NARS Pure Radiance Tinted Moisturizer (which fits into the same high-SPF, radiance-enhancing product niche). Although MAC promises pore-minimizing properties, I found that it had to be buffed into my skin to effectively blur pores. In fact, it looked amazing when I used the Wayne Goss buffing technique described in his short, snappy and video. I used Nars Soft Velvet Loose Powder and the Nars #23 brush. When I use these, MAC’s Lightful C Tinted Cream gives an airbrushed, long-day, all-day finish.  However, when I apply the MAC Lightful C Tinted cream without care, using fingers quickly, the thick texture its on the skin and can actually make pores look a little worse. I found that careful application is important. If you have little time, the NARS goes on much more easily. Overall, MAC’s solution feels heavier and has a sunscreen-like scent.

Sunday09Here are out-of-the tube arm swatches of MAC Lightful C Tinted Cream next to several other foundations. As you can see, it comes out of the tube quite a bit deeper than most of the foundations swatched here.

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I’m really careful about removing long-wear products–I start with an oil cleanser, use a Clarisonic with a cleanser, and then a toner. This is really important with MAC Lightful C, because as we all know, long-wearing foundations are wonderful but no one wants to keep wearing foundation overnight to keep your pores clear.

MAC lightful C tinted cream 2aOverall, I enjoy the MAC Lightful C line. I’ve re-purchased the MAC Lightful Brightening Essence and find it effective. With seven shades in the range, it’s worth considering MAC Lightful C Tinted Cream. As I said earlier, using the Goss buffing technique makes this product really excel. However, some will not enjoy the scent, and I did have to take an extra minute (or less) to buff this in to meld the product to the skin. Here are quick counter-swatches from my local MAC (there was no Dark Plus in stock as of yet).

MAC lightful C2

NARS Radiant Tinted Moisturizer promises similar benefits–sunscreen protection at SPF 30, and gradual skin brightening–and has a lighter texture, less noticeable scent, and greater shade range. After blogging over this period of time, I’ve found that foundations, skincare, and tinted creams are highly subject to personal preference. I happy to see MAC’s offering, it’s well-priced, delivers on its promises, and properly applied looks absolutely wonderful. Ingredients:

mac lightful c ingredients

MAC Lightful C Tinted Cream is currently available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, and other MAC sources.

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Jan 212015
 

Nars All Day Luminous56

NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation ($48) has just been released in twenty new shades. This new fluid is said to give “full coverage in a single, weightless drop.” I’m in the process of testing this out, but I did want to post some images for those who are considering the product. I will say that so far, the promise of lightweight, all-day, excellent coverage has been holding true. All signs so far point to “yes,” if you love a skin-like, satin-to-matte finish. NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation is available at Nars online, Sephora, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue, and will soon be available elsewhere estimated on February 1st.

Nars All Day Luminous60

True to the Francois Nars aesthetic, the bottles are absolutely gorgeous. Designed by the New York Design firm Baron & Baron, it features an all-new pump design that gives you “the exact amount of product to perfect the entire face.” Again, I have to attest that it really does.  This dispenses less than a traditional foundation pump, and one smooth motion gives you just that perfect amount of dime-sized drop to perfect my skin. The elegant glass bottle, well, oh my, you could even say it glows.

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Although the sample bottles do not come with ingredients list, the enclosed sheet states that the product is free of fragrance, paraben, alcohol and oil.  This formula must be shaken before each use.

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Also, the formula uses Even Tone Technology to neutralize redness, dullness and discoloration, and to improve skin’s appearance over time. Here are 19 of the 20 shades (I didn’t receive the lightest shade Siberia, but am hoping to track it down soon),

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Swatches:

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Another set:

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One more:

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I hope these are a helpful start. NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation is available at Nars online, Sephora, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue, and will soon be available elsewhere estimated on February 1st.

Nars deauville comparisons1

Here is quick comparison of my shade Deauville in both this new All Day Luminous compared with my year-old bottle of Nars Sheer Glow in Deauville. I cannot tell the difference in tonality and color when applied to my face, of course the texture, coverage, and formula is very different.Nars All Day Luminous08

These samples were 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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Jan 092015
 

This is just a quick teaser post of some Nars items that arrived.  This box contains the new series of Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation, several Soft Velvet Loose Powders, Eyeshadow palettes, eye pencils, a new lipgloss, a more.  Please keep in mind that this is just an “open the box” style post. These pictures are not color-accurate as I have not set up the correct lighting.  Still, so exciting!  I can feel my heart beat faster and faster….

Nars preview01

Nars preview06

Nars preview10

 

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Dec 202014
 

Zellens Age Control Foundation1 copy copy

For the past two weeks, I’ve been testing out a new foundation–Zelens Age Control Foundation ($105), which many have declared to be their “holy grail” foundation (my earlier review with a full ingredient list is here). I can see why. This premium skincare/foundation has proven to give a very high overage (with minimal product, translating into a “no cake” texture). In addition, the foundation seems to fill in pores, giving one a porcelain like finish, while retaining a lightweight, breathable feel. In other words, one doesn’t feel as though one is wearing a silicon mask, but it gives an airbrushed finish. Zelens Age Control gives a beautiful color that gives a lit from within glow with a skin-like, near-matte finish. Finally, this foundation does not quit.  Despite experiencing over-heated restaurants, freezing cold wind, dryness, humidity, this foundation lasts all day like you wouldn’t believe. Really, I can see someone finding this foundation and never buying any other ever again.  It’s really good.

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The line states that the formula “helps restore firmness and elasticity with a complex of 17 active ingredients including peptides and antioxidants. Photo-luminescent diamond spheres optically veil imperfections, helm minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.” This claim is a little difficult to evaluate, because I really do pour on so many other skin care products in my regime. It makes my skin look younger, although this could be its “veil-like” properties.

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There are a few things to be aware of when using this foundation.  First, the coverage goes medium to high with very little product. That means that you will either find a match, mix two if you are in between, or keep looking for another foundation. In my previous post, I noted that I had trouble applying the foundation.  Well, it’s a good thing that the brand sent me two shades because my “trouble” stemmed from using the lighter Cameo shade. When I applied the Porcelain shade with my fingers, no special technique required, it applied beautifully with no trouble at all. So, no surprise for those of us who are used to trying out high-coverage foundations–the color match really does matter so very, very much. Speaking of which, I owe you some swatches:

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Cameo is very, very light–maybe an NC10?  N5? Porcelain is closer to my NC15.

The second thing to note is that this foundation lasts, and lasts, and lasts, and so full removal at the end of the day is important.  I definitely had a clogged pore or two when I “oops! missed a spot!”  I use an oil cleanser (MAC), a toner (DDF), and a Clarisonic (full 2 minutes!). When I thoroughly removed the product, I had no trouble at all.

This seems to work beautifully for my combination skin.  Those with very dry skin may prefer By Terry’s Densiliss. Those looking for a broader shade range should look at Tom Ford’s Traceless Perfecting Foundation  Also, please keep in mind that buying foundation is a very, very personal thing.  Yes, I love this (and I think you will too), but it’s impossible to say for sure until you try it for a few days.

Zelens Age Control Foundation ($105) is available exclusively at Barneys New York in the U.S. Outside the U.S., it is available at Space NK.

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

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Dec 072014
 

Zellens Age Control Foundation1 copy copy

I’ve been testing out a new foundation–Zelens Age Control Foundation ($105). This is one of the latest in the premium skincare/foundation category. The texture of this foundation is quite unique–it has a very high coverage using the smallest amount of product. Also, the texture of the skin becomes quite poreless. I’m also detecting quite of “lit from within glow” although the texture is satiny and very skin-like. It effectively blurs imperfections, and does so without feeling as though one is wearing lots of silicone. Really spectacular.

Zellens Age Control Foundation6 copy copy

It’s extremely lightweight and breathable. It makes my skin looks significantly younger. I need to experiment with my application, because my first attempt today gave me (perhaps?) too much coverage. As it usually takes me 3-5 times to figure out new products, I’m not concerned. I can do this. And I know the results will be totally worth it.

According to the line:

A skin-perfecting treatment foundation providing long-lasting natural-looking medium to full coverage. The moisture-enhancing formulate helps restore firmness and elasticity with a complex of 17 active ingredients including peptides and antioxidants. Photo-luminescent diamond spheres optically veil imperfections, helm minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

The line has sent me the two lightest colors to test, so I’ll be posting swatches later this week and give more details as I learn more about it. Although I’ve tested the Zelens sun care, which was quite lovely, I’m quite stunned at the quality of this foundation so far. I’ve only tested it for a few hours, but I wanted to let you know about in case you might be stopping by any Barneys New York this week, so that you take a look yourself.

Zellens Age Control Foundation5 copy copy

In the meantime, here is the ingredient list:

AQUA (WATER), CYCLOPENTASILOXANE, ETHYLHEXYL METHOXYCINNAMATE, COCO-CAPRYLATE/CAPRATE, CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE, DEXTRIN PALMITATE, GLYCERIN, TRIMETHYLSILOXYPHENYL DIMETHICONE, CETYL PEG/PPG-10/1 DIMETHICONE, HYDROXYSTEARIC/LINOLENIC/OLEIC POLYGLYCERIDES, HYALURONIC ACID, PALMITOYL TRIPEPTIDE-5, PALMITOYL DIPEPTIDE-5 DIAMINOBUTYROYL HYDROXYTHREONINE, HYDROLYZED SESAME PROTEIN PG-PROPYL METHYLSILANEDIOL, TETRADECYL AMINOBUTYROYLVALYLAMINOBUTYRIC UREA TRIFLUOROACETATE, MAGNESIUM ASCORBYL PHOSPHATE, HYDROLYZED PEARL, PERILLA FRUTESCENS LEAF EXTRACT, BRASSICA CAMPESTRIS (RAPESEED) STEROLS, YEAST EXTRACT, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, GLYCOGEN, SILANETRIOL, BENZIMIDAZOLE DIAMOND AMIDOETHYL UREA CARBAMOYL PROPYL POLYMETHYLSILSESQUIOXANE, CERA ALBA (BEESWAX), BORON NITRIDE, MANNITOL, SILICA, DISTEARDIMONIUM HECTORITE, ACRYLATES COPOLYMER, TRIETHOXYCAPRYLYLSILANE, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, DEHYDROACETIC ACID, PROPYLENE CARBONATE, PECTIN, XANTHAN GUM, PVP, VP/POLYCARBAMYL POLYGLYCOL ESTER, PHENOXYETHANOL, DISODIUM EDTA, BENZYL ALCOHOL, SODIUM CHLORIDE, SORBIC ACID, CITRIC ACID, PARFUM (FRAGRANCE), SODIUM BENZOATE, MAGNESIUM CHLORIDE, LINALOOL, [+/- (MAY CONTAIN) CI 77891 (TITANIUM DIOXIDE), CI 77492 (IRON OXIDES), CI 77491 (IRON OXIDES), CI 77499 (IRON OXIDES)].

Zelens Age Control Foundation ($105) is available exclusively at Barneys New York in the U.S. Outside the U.S., it is available at Space NK.

 

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

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