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CC Cream Foundation MAC

My Thoughts: MAC Lightful C Tinted Cream SPF 30

April 10, 2015

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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Foundation NARS

NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation: Swatches of (almost) All Shades

January 21, 2015

NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation is available here at Nordstrom.com.

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NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation ($48) is available at Nordstrom 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 NordstromNars online, Sephora, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.

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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 of Nars Luminous All Day Foundation (which is your shade?):

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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 NordstromNars online, Sephora, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue, and will soon be available elsewhere estimated on February 1st.

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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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Eyeshadow Foundation Lipgloss NARS Powder

Quick Preview: New Nars Foundations, Powders, Eyeshadow Palettes more…

January 9, 2015

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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Foundation Skin care

My Thoughts: Testing Zelens Age Control Foundation

December 20, 2014

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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Foundation zelens

A First Look: Zelens Age Control Foundation

December 7, 2014

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.

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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.

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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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Foundation Tom Ford

My Thoughts: Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation

November 26, 2014

A few weeks ago, I began testing Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation ($80). The foundation was released in Fall ’14, and is described by line as a “natural-finish, long wearing, humidity-resistant foundation” that hydrates and evens skin tone to create a “flawless, supple, and pore-less canvas on which to sculpt the features.” Tom Ford Beauty categorizes this as a medium-to-full coverage foundation with SPF 15 broad spectrum protection. Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation is available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bergdorf Goodman.

Tom Ford Firming Foundation02 copyHere are my thoughts based on my testing:

  • This liquid is sold in a plastic bottle that is modern, unbreakable, sanitary and travel-friendly.

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  • There is a built in pump.

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The pump twists up, keeping the product spill-proof and sanitary.

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  • There’s a slight chemical scent to this liquid when first applied, which may be sunscreen ingredients. It fades quickly. I don’t detect any perfume scent.

 

  • Some report that this has a matte finish. On my skin, the finish is natural to slightly glow-ish (especially as the day progresses), probably because of its moisturizing ingredients. On application, the foundation does dry down to the point where it does not transfer. In my opinion, those looking for a true matte finish will want to powder down.

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  • The moisture-add does help my winter-stressed skin, so the description that the foundation includes helpful skin benefits rings true to me. Those with oily skin may notice a bit of a glow as the day wears on (when worn without any primer or powder).

 

  • The claim to a poreless finish rings fairly true to me as well.  This foundation did have a noticeable pore-minimizing finish.

 

  • Like Armani and Burberry (and some other) foundations, this layers beautifully. I can add just a whisper, or build up past medium toward full. I haven’t tried to go all the way to full.

 

  • The longevity was quite good for a moisturizing foundation.  The glowy-moisturizing aspects makes this a little tricky—there are few moisturizing foundations that truly last all day.  I get more wear time out of my long-wearing foundations that do not have any moisturizing properties, including the Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick, Chanel Perfection Lumiere (the standard and the velvet), MAC Pro Longwear. Nonetheless,  on me the Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting lasts about 70-90% of the time that the others named here do (rough estimate). Also, I don’t get any shifting or “looks like its lifting off” effect. As the day goes on, I notice that the coverage seems to lessen, and a glowy sheen starts to emerge.

 

  • Some may be wondering how the Tom Ford Traceless Perfection stacks up next to the By Terry Densiliss Foundation (reviewed here). Of course, both are premium liquid foundations that have skincare benefits. In my opinion, Tom Ford’s Traceless Perfection feels more moisturizing and behaves more like a standard layerable liquid foundation with the slight-glow foundation. In contrast, By Terry Densiliss feels a bit closer to a cream when applied, tends to dry down closer to a matte-satin, does not have the pore-control of Tom Fords, and lasts a bit longer throughout the day. In other words, those with dryer skin may prefer Tom Ford, while those with oily/combination skin may prefer By Terry.
  • The foundation includes Tom Ford’s Infusing Complex which helps diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. I can vouch for this–this does give me a beautiful canvas.

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After spending nearly an entire Spring and Summer in California, I was counter-matched to Tom Ford Traceless Perfection in #3 Fawn. On this snowy winter day, this is a bit warm and dark for my current complexion but still wearable. If I were to buy another today, I’d go a shade or so lighter (in Ivory or even Cream). Here’s a swatch of Tom Ford Fawn #3 compared to my MAC Studio Sculpt in NC15 for color.

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This foundation is said to be particularly good in warm-to-cold conditions. Those who are running from the cold outdoors into overheated buildings will appreciate that the foundation does, indeed, seem to hold up well in highly varied temperature conditions (as well as those who get super warm due to, ahem, other reasons). I get this same quality from Tom Ford Traceless Stick Foundation, and the other long-wearing foundations in my stash including By Terry, Chanel Perfection Lumiere and MAC Pro Longwear.

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In addition to octinoxate and titanium dioxide for sun protection, the product includes the following: (click to enlarge):

Tom ford ingredient list copy

Unlike many foundations that I’ve tried recently, I’m not seeing alcohol listed here, which is a very good plus.

Overall, Tom Ford Traceless Perfection is worthy of the title premium foundation in its excellent finish, skincare benefits, and overall look. This has excellent buildability. Those looking for skincare infusion and moisture, especially in these drying winter months, may find that this is a favorite.

Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation is available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bergdorf Goodman.

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Foundation Yves Saint Laurent

My Thoughts: Yves Saint Laurent Fusion Ink Foundation

August 21, 2014

YSL Skin Tatoo1For some reason, over the past year I’ve been really clicking with Yves Saint Laurent Beauty in a way that hasn’t happened before. Encouraged by my love of their new Couture Eyeshadow Palettes, I took a chance and tried the new Yves Saint Laurent Fusion Ink Foundation ($60/ 0.84 oz.). This is currently available at Yves Saint Laurent onlineNordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, and Sephora.

YSL Skin Tatoo2According to the line:

24 hours of soft-matte perfection and comfort. Our exclusive fine-as-ink formula perfects the skin yet wears weightlessly all day. Never cakey or heavy. Feel the difference of all day perfection and freedom. SPF 18. Available in 21 shades.

Here is an interview with Lloyd Simmonds, the Creative Director of Yves Saint Laurent Beaute, which states that the formula was developed to be both long-wearing and lightweight, so that it appears to adhere to the skin without looking cakey. According to Simmonds, “It’s the perfect foundation for fashion shows because even four hours after application, it’s still there by the time the models hit the runway.”  I had to smile a bit when I read that. I really do need a foundation that lasts more than four hours. Although I loved the look of YSL Tient Touche Eclat, I could not get all-day wear from that foundation on my combination skin. Thankfully, YSL Fusion Ink really does deliver on longevity (more on that later).

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I tried Yves Saint Laurent Fusion Ink in BD 15 (Warm Buff) for the past week plus, which is an excellent match for my NC15/Chanel Ivoire/ Nars Deauville skintone. This is roughly where I am in all foundation shades–warm, fair. The serum feels light a very light oil going on, a bit like Giorgio Armani’s Maestro Foundation.  YSL’s Fusion Ink is very pigment rich–a light first pass all over my face gives me roughly medium coverage. I find this very layerable.  Because you do not need much product to get good coverage, a second layer (or third, in places) doesn’t seem to give any textural build-up. There’s a light scent that fades quickly (ah, the French! They do love the scents!) For me, coverage is nearly full on a second layer.  Still, it doesn’t look as “masky” as some foundations do at that level of coverage.

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The texture takes a while to dry down, I give it a good two or three minutes before I apply any powder products. While it’s setting, I often add a liquid bronzer like Giorgio Armani’s Liquid Summer (other nice ones include Perricone MD’s No Bronzer Bronzer and MAC Prep & Prime BB Cream (in Amber)). It’s nice to add some alight bronze for summer.

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 YSL Fusion Ink is rated at SPF 18, but one does not use much of this product, so a separate sunscreen is necessary. There is no pump for this serum-textured foundation. Instead, there’s an applicator that looks like the YSL lip applicators (or a super-stylized bubble blower, whichever you prefer). I sweep this over my cheeks, forehead, and dab it on my chin before using my fingers to spread the product.

YSL Skin Tatoo3So, this dries down to a velvet finish. It’s beautiful. It doesn’t need a setting powder. Adding one didn’t seem to increase it’s already day-long longevity. YSL Fusion Ink takes highlighters well if you want to add. There’s shocking longevity here, even though I get caught in occasional muggy 90-degree heat, the foundation doesn’t break apart, disappear, fade, or shift like the tectonic plates (as some foundations seem to do). After a day that starts at 4 am and ends at midnight, going in and out of heat and air conditioning, it really does look amazing at the end. My forehead is only ever-so-slightly dewier in the evening, but much less so compared to most foundations.  YSL Fusion Ink is well-named, and does it while feeling lightweight and melding into the skin perfectly. Ingredients:

YSL Tatoo ingredients

The foundation didn’t cause any of my pores to clog, gave me a beautiful all-day finish, and covers any discolorations like mad. The price point is on the mid-to-higher end these days, but it does look expensive, and makes my skin look amazing. It reminds me of Chanel’s new Perfection Lumiere Velvet foundation (but a bit lighter because the YSL is a true serum), and a bit like Giorgio Armani’s Maestro serum with a higher coverage formula. I was concerned that the bottle includes slightly less than the typical 1 ounce of most other lines. However, if you are looking for medium to nearly-full coverage, you’ll get to that level with a small bit of product.

YSL Skin Tatoo22Overall, I was impressed with Yves Saint Laurent’s Fusion Ink. I believe that there’s some innovation at the company right now, and it’s showing as new products are rolling out. This foundation certainly fills a real need for a very long-wearing, medium-to-high coverage formula. Bravo, YSL!

Available at Yves Saint Laurent onlineNordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, and Sephora.

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

 

 

 

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Blush Foundation Highlighter

Cafe Makeup Plays with Temptu Airbrush System

August 9, 2014

Temptu AIrbrush System1

We’ve always been curious about using airbrush makeup systems. Whether watching a pro, or watching a live demonstration, Liz and I have wondered whether airbrush system give a better result and how manageable such systems are. When Temptu offered us a chance to try their system, we took the chance. We opened up the Temptu Flawless Complexion Kit ($170). The company included two foundation colors (the lighter Ivory and medium Beige), Washed Rose Blush, and Champagne Highlighter.

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Neither of us had any experience with airbrush systems, but the Temptu was quite easy to put together.

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Basically, the air compressor (which runs from the power from the AC Adapter) pushes air through the brush’s nozzle, to give you a extremely even, controllable application. The air compressor has a hose which is stuck into the brush:

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The hose connection to the brush:

Temptu AIrbrush System6Liz had things up and running in just a few minutes. The next step was to connect the Ivory foundation to the brush/nozzle by placing it into the brush device.

Temptu AIrbrush System7There was a little cap on the foundation that had to be removed, which allows the liquid foundation to flow from the pod into the brush.

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The same procedure works for the blush and highlighter.

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All together now.

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Liz found the brush surprisingly easy to use. Se was able to control the application and color very intuitively.

Temptu AIrbrush System review04This was our very first attempt. Liz used the darker Beige foundation color to contour. The highlighter and blush were a breeze.

Temptu AIrbrush System review05Liz swapped out the blush and highlighter pretty easily. The final results:

Temptu 5Considering that this was Liz’s first try, I think the results are quite flawless.  Overall, although the Temptu is used by professionals, we thought that it delivered excellent, perfected results by a non-pro. The colors were light, layerable, and delivered true airbrushed results.  These units are available at Temptu’s website.

Temptu AIrbrush System review03

Temptu sent these products to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

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CC Cream Foundation Guerlain

My Thoughts: Guerlain Super Aqua-Serum BB+ Hydra Beauty Balm SPF 25

July 24, 2014

Guerlain Hydra Max BB Cream04Here me out. I realize that Guerlain Super Aqua-Serum BB+ Hydra Beauty Balm ($75/1.3 oz) arguably has the won the “most cumbersome name compared to the elegance of the actual product” category. If you don’t know about the Guerlain Super Aqua-Serum moisturizer line, the first few words seem to come from the anime genre. If you do know about the line, you’ll immediate connect this product with a premier way to get incredible, effective hydration that gives the skin glow without the slightest hint of heaviness. Really, it’s a fabulous skincare line. I fall into the latter category, so I was unhesitating in pressing the “order” button on the Light shade of this beautifully formulated Guerlain BB cream. This product is actually a foolproof way to treat your skin to protection, hydration, and enough coverage for most, in a way that is both effective and elegant. Guerlain’s description (click to enlarge):

Guerlain Hydra Max BB Cream05

This is available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Guerlain Hydra Max BB Cream02This new Guerlain BB cream ticks a lot of boxes that many will love. It actually does deliver on the promises. The travel friendly squeeze-tube has SPF25, offers moisture that is appropriate for dry and combination skin, and gives a lovely, glowing texture to the skin. According to the line, “In a single step, your skin receives instant, long-lasting hydration, your wrinkles and fine lines are smoothed and your complexion is noticeably more even. Its subtly tinted, feather-light texture protects your skin from both UV rays and dehydration while perfecting your complexion for a naturally radiant glow.” This has been a great grab-and-go for me over the past few weeks. It gives light coverage in a single layer, and with two layers it gives light-to-medium coverage that acts like a moisturizing foundation.  Best of all, this lasts throughout the day. It doesn’t have any of the mid-afternoon breakdown that some moisturizing foundations do, giving me hours more coverage compared to YSL Touche Eclat and the Marc Jacobs Smart Wand. It looks far more natural on me than the MAC BB cream.

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By comparison, Guerlain’s Lingerie de Peau BB Cream has much thicker texture, which sometimes feels like it melds to the skin very tenaciously. The Guerlain Aqua-Serum BB+ Hydra Beauty has a much creamier texture. I was surprised to find that both gave about roughly equal long wear times, even in a humid climate.

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There are two potential drawbacks to Guerlain’s Super Aqua-Serum BB+ Hydra Beauty BB Cream. Fortunately, neither are deal-breakers for me, given the benefits of the product, but I’m going to mention them. First off, this is scented with a famous Guerlain rose-aqua flower scent. It’s noticeable for a half hour or so. Because I love this about French beauty products, I don’t mind drinking it in. Also, there are only two shades of this product available.  Two.  The Light is perfect for my NC15/20, Chanel Ivoire warm skin tone (emphasis on warm, I think this Light is on the warmer side).  It would probably be fine down to NC25 or so.  Beyond this, I would look at the darker shade, or head to a counter to try these out.

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Overall, I love the Guerlain Super Aqua-Serum BB+ Hydra Beauty Balm for the following reasons:

  • Great texture
  • Makes my skin look great
  • Skin care benefits, including the Super Aqua-Serum which I love
  • Light texture
  • Long lasting
  • SPF 25 (yes, you should supplement with a standard sunscreen)
  • Great coverage, which is buildable
  • Generous 1.3 ounce size, perfect for travel
  • Easy, foolproof application if the shade is in your range

Speaking of shades, here are some quick swatches:

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Guerlain Super Aqua-Serum BB+ Hydra Beauty Balm ($75/1.3 oz) is available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Ingredient (click to enlarge):

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Guerlain Hydra Max BB Cream08 This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup

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Foundation Marc Jacobs Beauty

My Thoughts: Marc Jacobs Smart Wand Face Tint

July 23, 2014

Marc Jacobs Smart Wand3Marc Jacobs Fall ’14 collection include its fourth foundation–the Marc Jacobs Smart Wand ($45/0.59 oz.). This is a sheer, emollient foundation with buildable coverage that is packaged in an elegant, unique, fun little wand. The Smart Wand is now available in four shades at Sephora and Marc Jacobs Beauty.

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I ordered this in the shade Light 210, which runs slightly cool and light on my NC15/20 Chanel Ivoire skintone. It was certainly in a good range for me, and I don’t mind going a little lighter on my foundations. Unlike his other foundations, Marc Jacobs’ Smart Wand is designed to make  “it easy to take with you for application on the go.” Indeed, I watched a girl do her full makeup on a commuter train the other day. She had good skin, neither dry nor oily, no marks and few imperfections. As I watched her blot a too-orange powder into her lovely skin, I wished that I could have handed this to her. It would have been perfect. The Marc Jacobs Smart Wand erases pores, gives a “natural but much nicer glow,” and makes the skin look polished and perfected in the ways that celebrity skin looks.

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My personal experience with the Marc Jacobs Smart Wand was over five days in very humid weather, sometimes with primer and sometimes without. The strengths of this foundation are in its ease of application, amazing texture, and build able coverage.  A first pass gives very, very light coverage, much less than I get with Giorgio Armani’s Maestro serum. This really gives the impression of amazing texture to my skin. It blurs, tones down discoloration (but doesn’t erase them), and gives my skin a really pretty, natural-but-much-better sheen.

Marc Jacobs Smart Wand6The Smart Wand has a noticeable scent, which I found pleasant. To put this through its paces, I made up to three additional passes with the Smart Wand to build the coverage, which it did beautifully without caking or showing pores (where are my pores? this seems to erase them). The product feels emollient and moisturizing on the skin. It does not dry down quickly, and I’m attributing this to the skin care qualities in the formula. I resisted the urge to powder it down because that will take away from its gorgeous texture. As the product description notes (this is a copy/paste from the site):

  • Moisturizer contains Coconut oil, Vitamin E and amino acids that nourish and hydrate
  • Proprietary blend of antioxidant green tea and refreshing cucumber fights free radicals while energizing the skin
  • Spherical powders with a photo luminescent diamond core work to diffuse light and blur imperfections

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I must use a primer with this foundation (I used the Nars Light Optimizing). Without it, I got about four hours before I started to notice the foundation looking a little worse for wear. With a primer, I got six or seven hours. The foundation does not promise to be long-wearing, and I did not experience long wear with it either. Swatches in sun:

Marc Jacobs Smart Wand8 More swatches in indoor light with flash:

Marc Jacobs Smart Wand9I tried a generous sample of the Marc Jacobs Marvelous Mousse Foundation ($55/0.63 oz) for several days recently as well. I used 14 Ivory Medium, which was a pretty good match. These two foundations are completely different. The Marvelous Mousse is a nearly full coverage gel product that has a satin-matte finish. To say that a little goes a long way understates the situation. For a full-coverage foundation, the Marvelous Mousee had a really nice texture, is infused with skin care, and gives a very polished, lovely look. I think it is more coverage than I realistically need. Here is the ingredient list for the Marc Jacobs Smart Wand:

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Overall, I applaud the Marc Jacobs Smart Wand because it represents a re-design of foundation completely from the customer’s perspective. There is absolutely a need for the Smart Wand–easy, fast, convenient, for those looking to add just a little celebrity glow to normal skin without adding lots of coverage. Note that the product has no SPF rating, but the ingredients state that it “may contain” titanium dioxide (perhaps the product has not yet obtained regulatory approval to list an SPF rating yet, which is common for newly-released foundations–I simply don’t know). As I noted, the wear time was a bit on the short side for me. As we all know. foundation is a very personal and individual preference, and this will not work for everyone. Nonetheless, foundation variety is the spice of life, and I’m glad to see companies thinking about the woman/man who wishes to add a touch of magic. Here’s Marc Jacobs take on this new product:

The Smart Wand is now available at Sephora and Marc Jacobs Beauty.

This review contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup).

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