I was pleasantly surprised to see such a lovely collection at my local counter–the Chanel Les Beiges collection. Although I’ve refreshed my Chanel staples over the past few months, I have not been drawn to any of their recent collections. Happily, their Chanel Les Beiges is based on everything that the line does superbly–it is minimal with excellent textures that make one look and feel beautiful. Bravo!! This collection is currently at Chanel online, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Selfridges UK, and Bergdorf Goodman.
One of my favorite French brands, L’Occitane, recently released its Immortelle Precious BB Cream SPF30 in three shades–Fair, Light and Medium ($45) each. These are currently available at L’Occitane.
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, Dillards, Selfridges, 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.
Karen’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.
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.
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:
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I’ve recently be testing the Algenist Repairing Tint & Radiance Moisturizer SPF 30 ($42). I’ve been reading positive things about the line from some sources that have been happy with the company’s skincare. Being more of a makeup junkie than a skincare junkie, I thought that this product would be a good entree into the line.
For this San Francisco-based company, algae is the foundation of its anti-aging and moisturizing properties. According to their description, a modified and extracted variation that derives from algae forms “a patented, powerful compound that is responsible for regenerating and protecting the micro algae cell, and that this ingredient has “significant anti-aging properties, helping to rejuvenate the skin for a more youthful appearance.” Another ingredient is Microalgae Oil, which “deliver[s] superior benefits to the skin, replenishing essential moisture and nutrient loss. Microalgae Oil is clinically proven to keep skin hydrated 5x longer than untreated skin over a 24-hour period.”
The Algenist tinted moisturizer incorporates these ingredients. As you probably garner from this description, this product works best for dry skin where the goal includes anti-aging. In my view, the benefit from this tinted moisturizer happens after removal–the skin care ingredient seem to have some type of healing quality, it seems to fade darker areas and I found the sun protection worked well. The day after I used this, I notice my skin looked better. A week after, it’s looking even better, so the effects appear to be cumulative.
Purely as a tinted moisturizer, I prefer other lines (Nars, for example). The feel of the Algenist tinted moisturizer is a little on the heavy side. The coverage is light-to-medium, and when I attempt to build up coverage I do start to see pores (a finishing powder seems to blend these away). It’s not feather-light like some of the serums, nor as light as Chanel Aqualumiere, or Nars Tinted Moisturizer. The Algenist has a slightly-perfumed suntan-lotion scent. Generally, the finish is near matte. However, it does mix well with luminizers-I’ve worn this with a healthy dollop of NARS 413 Blkr Street Illuminizer (a beautiful, cool gold color reviewed here) for several days with very nice results.
Despite the negatives, I’m really impressed with the Algenist. The skincare properties are the best part, so as a multi-tasker it has a lot of offer. The longevity is excellent. And the skincare ingredients really did give me noticeable results–my skin feels lifted, plumper, more even, and healthier-looking. I’ve spent twice as much (or more) to get similar results, so color me impressed.
Because we are heading into summer, I went with Light/Medium, which is a touch too dark for my winter-pale MAC NC15/20 – Chanel Cameo/Ivoire skin tone. More ingredients (click to enlarge):
The Algenist Repairing Tint & Radiance Moisturizer SPF 30 comes in four shades.
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Having previously reviewed the MAC Lightful C skincare line, I 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
In 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.
The 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.
Here 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.
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.
Overall, 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).
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:
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