Nov 122010
 

In September, I spoke to Dustin Lujan at Le Metier de Beaute‘s counter at Bergdorf Goodman, who did a makeover with Le Metier de Beaute Peau Vierge Anti-Aging Complexe Tinted Treatment ($125).  I had recently read about the product on The Non Blonde, a blog that I highly respect.

As I averred to previously, Le Metier seems particularly concerned about the ingredients that one puts in contact with one’s skin.  Indeed, when he saw my skin, Le Metier’s Dustin immediately recognized that I had been using a mineral makeup.  Without my telling him.  Just from looking at my pores. He recommended that I stop immediately, and that my skin would look better in seven days.  He was right.  An area of my cheeks which had become clogged looked clear within a week–a problem that I had been trying to deal with using retinol (Avene Diacneal), the Clarisonic toner and a toner for several months. He’s really good.

He also recommended that I try Peau Vierge to improve the quality and tone of my skin.  At the time of my makeover, my skin care concerns are complicated by two things–first, I live on the West Coast of the U.S.  It’s sunny here, and I’ve been living here for quite a while.  Also, I love to walk outdoors in the summer.  Yes, I wear sunscreen (sometimes up to 100 spf with a hat), but I’ve only recently switched to European sunscreens.  When I started getting skin color with a U.S. sunscreens rated at 100 spf, I began to suspect that the U.S. brands are not effective in blocking light.  I had some dark patches on my forehead, and some that seemed to recently appear on my cheeks.  Also, I had been wrestling with a summer chin breakout that threatened to leave discolorations.

Last September, I asked Dustin to ship Peau Vierge to me in connection with Bergdorf’s September beauty event (they have these events periodically), which would net me a $25 discount on this $125 product.

Peau Vierge is a sheer, lightweight tinted skin care product.  This is intended to accomplish several things–first, provide a beautiful finish with very sheer coverage.  Second, to deliver all-day benefits that include correcting discoloration and deliver anti-aging benefits.  For example, Le Metier represents that Peau Vierge has retinol delivered through unique delivery technology called “Syntoc Actif,” which encapsulates the Retinol and allows it to safely and effectively penetrate the skin. According to the line, “traditional over-the-counter products have very poor penetration—less than 2% of active ingredients are actually absorbed. In comparison, with Syntoc Actif, 20 times more Retinoic Acid is absorbed into the deeper skin layers, making it the most effective cosmetic Retinoid treatment on the market.”  Sign me up.

For these reasons, Peau Vierge be applied directly to the skin without using any base, primer, or diluting it with another foundation.  For that reason, I adopted Dustin’s advice to wear Peau Vierge as my first layer of foundation, then brushing a second sheer foundation over the top where needed (in my case, Burberry Beauty’s Sheer foundation).

I’ve been using Peau Vierge four or five days a week since early October.  Peau Vierge made my skin look noticeably better in the first week, and I’ve noticed continual improvement since then.  The dark areas on my forehead have faded to the point where I no longer need a concealer on them–foundation is fine.  My skin is completely clear-no acne or clogged pores.  The discoloration on my chin area from my summer breakout has faded considerably to the point where it can be covered with foundation only, no concealer necessary.  I’ve been using less and less Burberry foundation, sheerer and sheerer layers as time has gone by.  Peau Vierge makes my skin look younger, clearer, brighter and is gradually removing discolorations.  I will say this, Lisa Eldrige once said that nothing is more aging than discoloration. So true!  Very young skin is bright and even.

At this point, my skin has improved so I am considering using Peau Vierge foundation alone, and purchasing the Peau Vierge concealer (this has the same skin care benefits) to use for any remaining patches of concern.  Yes, I know $125 is a breathtaking price for a foundation.  This comes from someone who owns plenty of foundations in the $50-70 range, and I’d rather not pay that much.

Peau Vierge is worth it to me.  It is not only that it contains skin care–rather, it is because it contains skin care that works.  No over the counter skincare has ever been this effective for me.  I’ll certainly re-buy because I love, love, LOVE the results.

Ingredient list:  Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclotetrasiloxane, Propylene Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Dimethicone, Disodium Lauriminodipropionae Tocopheryl Phosphate, Cyclohexasiloxane, Magnesium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Chloride, Lysine, Penax Ginseng Root Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Anthemix Nobilis Leaf Extract, Camelia Olefera Leaf Extract, Phytantriol, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocpheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Tetrahexyldecyl Acorbate, Aluminium Hydroxide, Stearic Acid, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Boron Nitride, Glycerin, Palmitic Acid, Dextrin Palmitate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Dehydrocetate, Retinol, Polysobate 20, Methicone, Phenoxythenol, Methyparaben, Proplyparaben.  May contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides.  Active Ingedients:  Titanium Dioxide 5.0%, Zinc Oxide 5.0%.

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Sep 272010
 

Elizabeth Arden’s Pure Finish Mineral Tinted Moisturizer ($30 for 1.7 oz.) promises to deliver many benefits.  These include using naturally derived mineral pigments, including mica as an optical diffuser to soften the look of fine lines.  It includes antioxidants,  vitamins A, C and E  to moisturize.  Further, the product includes an ingredient called “dionysis extract”  which the line states will slow down the aging effects of free radicals.  There are additives derived from olives and jojoba together with other moisturizing ingredients. The product is said to be oil free, talc free and fragrance free.

Elizabeth Arden’s Mineral Tinted Moisturizer comes in a squeeze tube with a cap, and more generally reminded me of Laura Mercier’s tinted moisturizers packaging.  Elizabeth Arden’s has slightly more product by comparison (1.7 ounces, compared to Laura Mercier’s 1.5 ounces):

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Sep 132010
 

During Labor Day weekend, I went to Bergdorfs with Joeybunny, who blogs on The Pink Sith, The Eyes Have It and Beauty Debutante (she blogs a lot!).  All summer, I’ve been dying to find a Le Metier de Beaute counter, and this proved to be the perfect opportunity to learn more about the line.

The Le Metier de Beaute counter at Bergdorfs is managed by Dustin Lujan, and I could not have asked for a better guide.  In my view, Dustin seems like the perfect combination of a person who not only loves their work, but is very, very good at it.  He’s one of those artists that tell you what you’ve been doing wrong (based on nothing more than a glance), tell you how to do things better and then makes sure that you leave looking gorgeous.  Really, he’s talented and he understands the science behind good skin.

First off, I was very curious about Peau Vierge ($125 1 oz), the new tinted moisturizer/ skincare product that has gotten very good reviews from The NonBlonde. According to Dustin, this new product includes nano-particles that help heal the skin from the inside out.  Peau Vierge comes in only two colors (no surprise–I’m the lighter shade), and has sheer-to-medium coverage.  Because my skin is summer-stressed, Dustin supplemented the Peau Vierge with Le Metier de Beaute’s foundation, Classic Flawless-Finish Liquid Foundation ($68), which I must say gives a gorgeous look.

I was impressed enough with Peau Vierge to ask Dustin to place an order for the upcoming Bergdorf Beauty gift card event, where I can get a $25 gift card for spending $100.  Also, based on The NonBlonde’s review, I ordered the Le Cirque Kaleidoscope Palette ($95).

I couldn’t resist throwing in their Corinthian eyeshadow ($30) based on Sabrina’s review at The Beauty Look Book and Joeybunny’s recommendation.

Dustin also let us in on some upcoming products from Le Metier de Beaute.  First, you may have seen the Les Artistes lip palette previewed on the British Beauty Blogger.  Although the palette had not reached counters yet, Dustin let us have a look at swatches from the palette:

Second, Dustin gave me the new Le Metier de Beaute Dualistic Eyelash Curler to take home for review.  Here’s my review:  This is the best eyelash curler I’ve ever used.  They are coming out in December.  Get one as fast as you can.

EDIT: Neiman Marcus is currently offering this lash curler free with a Le Metier de Beaute order of $125.  Free! (SECOND EDIT: I understand that this promotion is now ended).

As background, my lashes are medium length and straight.  I’ve been using a Shu Uemura curler for years, as well as a few random ones that didn’t last long for me.  Despite its legendary status, I had trouble getting good results with the Shu.  In fact (true confessions time here), the only way I can get the Shu to work in any noticeable way is to use it after applying mascara, which is courting disaster (or at least broken lashes, which aren’t pretty).

When I tried the Le Metier de Beaute, it worked just like an eyelash curler is supposed to work.  That is, I gave my lashes a quick squeeze and I had curled lashes.  I noticed that the black pad of Le Metier’s curler was softer and had more “give” than Shu’s.  In result, the Le Metier felt gentler and the angle of the curl was natural.  More importantly, I found that the lash curled perfectly after working out the curler along the lash, squeezing a few more times along the way.  After a coat of Chanel Inimitable mascara, I found that the curl held beautifully and that it continued to hold up well throughout the day.  My eyes looked more open, and the fully coated lash looked beautifully splayed out from my eye.

I liked the angle of the curler as well–the overall reach is longer with Le Metier, and I found it very comfortable to use. Unlike Shu’s, the Le Metier has cushioned handles.

The Le Metier appears to have a longer, deeper curve in the lash area compared to the Shu Uemura curler.  I took some comparison pictures so that you can judge for yourself:

Another:

We all know that the right shape curler means no pinching–and this was how Le Metier’s works for me.  Here is a comparison of the overall shape and size:

The Le Metier curling area has a higher reach, so I found it easier to get at my lashes compared with Shu’s.

Overall, I love Le Metier de Beaute’s new eyelash curler and actually look forward to using it.  I must confess that I’ve found the Shu Uemura curler frustrating to use, given that it did not seem to give me the dramatic results that I was looking for.  Le Metier de Beaute’s delivered immediately, providing a natural, noticeable curl that I can use before applying mascara.  Win, win, win. I believe that it will be available in December 2010.

In the meantime, if you are looking at getting into the Le Metier line, you may wish to take advantage of the upcoming Bergdorf gift card event.  If you are looking for someone who is very knowledgeable about the line and quite helpful, I would give Dustin a call at 212-872-8612.

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Aug 052010
 

Previously, I reviewed Burberry Beauty’s Sheer Luminous Fluid Foundation ($52).  As an update, I’ve really been enjoying the finish that this foundation gives.  It has held up beautifully in the summer heat.  I typically can rely on getting a nice, natural finish for a marathon 14-to-16 hour day.  If you are looking for a natural looking sheer-to-medium foundation, I highly recommend this. Currently, it’s edging out my Chanel Tient Innocence as my go-to favorite in that category.

I’ve received several emails asking for shade information.  In response to my plea for help, Kristy Hoffman, who manages the Burberry Beauty counter at the San Francisco Center Nordstrom, was kind enough to send me some samples of all of the shades.  She’s wonderful and so helpful–I encourage her to call her at 415.243.8500 extension 1421 (her voicemail is x1917) or email her at kristy.hoffman@nordstrom.com.

Each of the Burberry foundation shades is named “Trench No. __,” followed by a numeric designation.  Here are the swatches designated with their Trench Number, in sunlight:

Burberry Sheer Luminous Foundation (sunlight)

Here are the same swatches in very neutral light (open shade with flash fill):

Burberry Sheer Luminous Foundation (shade)

These shades seem quite neutral, except for Trench No. 2 which has a touch of pink.  I am Chanel Intensity No. 1.0 (Cameo/Ivoire) and MAC NC15, and was matched to Burberry Trench No. 4.

Here are some additional pictures of the medium-to-light shades Nos. 3, 4, 5 and 6.  As you can see, Nos. 3 and 5 are warmer than 4 and 6, which are more neutral.  At the bottom you will see swatches of my typical foundation shade–Chanel Cameo/Ivoire Intensity No. 1 and Armani Luminous Silk Foundation shade 5:

The above picture shows that No. 3 appears darker than No. 4.  Correspondingly, No. 5 appears darker than No. 6.

Here is a picture of all shades in their pots:

Hopefully you’ve found this helpful.  This foundation is available at Nordstrom.com.

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Jul 152010
 

I went to a Burberry Beauty Event at Nordstrom for a makeover and closer look at their new makeup line.  To my surprise, I found that I liked the Burberry Sheer Luminous Fluid Foundation ($52) very much.

My thoughts about the foundation:

  • The finish is beautiful;  it gives a natural looking glow without needing any powder on my combination skin.  This is the reason why I had to have  it;
  • The lasting power was excellent, at least for the short time that I have owned the product;
  • As the name suggestions, Sheer Foundation is sheer.  However, the foundation is very buildable, in the same way that Armani’s Luminous Silk Foundations are.  One can create thin layers with a foundation brush without caking.
  • How to Layer:  Apply the foundation all over the face, as usual.  Then, use a brush to build up more coverage only where needed.  Double-check yourself before you finish your makeup routine; add another layer if needed.  You can do this even in the under-eye area.
  • With the buildable coverage, I found that I did not absolutely need a separate concealer.  That being said, I will likely continue to use a corrector for my under eye area when wearing this foundation.

I prepared myself to dislike Burberry’s foundation, despite Lisa Eldridge’s video review.  I am very choosy about my foundation, usually gravitating to Chanel in Intensity #1 shades (Cameo/Ivoire), or Guerlain’s Parure Gold although I have used many other brands.  Nonetheless, I found that this gave me a beautiful, natural look.

Burberry’s packaging is gorgeous, with a large metal cap etched with the signature Burberry plaid print:

I found the bottle quite stunning, although I don’t believe that I own very much in the Burberry clothing line.  I like simple, clean designs.  That being said, the packaging is quite heavy and so not very travel-friendly.   I wouldn’t want to add this to a bag that I had to carry up winding, narrow French staircases.

At the event, I was matched to Trench #04:

Sheer foundation has a pump top, which keeps the product sanitary.  Once the cap is removed, the transparent bottle shows the amount is comparable to other high end lines (30 ml/ 1 oz.),  and allows one to easily tell how much is left:

At present, I’m really pleased with this foundation.

UPDATE (1/25/13): I’m on my second bottle and still love it. I’ve incorporate a lot more foundations into my rotation. However, I’ve found that Burberry is a great go-to, for many of the reasons described in the posts. No breakouts, amazing buildable coverage, and looks beautiful when applied. Available at Nordstrom.com.

Ingredients:  Aqua (water); cyclohexasiloxane; propylene glycol; ethlhexyl methoxycinnamate; potassium cetyl phosphate; squalane; beheneth 30; myristyl alcohol; phenyl trimethicone; glyceryl osterate; glyceryl stearate; phenoxyethanol; polyacrylamide; carbomer; methylparaben propylparaben; cyclopentasiloxane; c1314 isoparaffin; sodium hydroxide; parfum (fragrance); butylene glycol; alpha isomethyl ionone; laureth 7; xanthan gum; tocopherol; benzyl benzoate; hydroxycitronellal; ascrobyl palmitate; BHT; rosa roxburghl; fruit extract; plus/minus (may contain)-> CI77019 (mica); CI77891 (titanium dioxide);  CI77491; CI77492; CI77499 (iron oxides); CI77007 (ultramarines).

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Guerlain Terracotta Teint D´Ailleurs Tinted Moisturizer- Blondes

 Bronzers, Foundation, Guerlain  Comments Off on Guerlain Terracotta Teint D´Ailleurs Tinted Moisturizer- Blondes
Apr 162010
 

I’ve been testing Guerlain Terracotta Teint D´Ailleurs Tinted Moisturizer ($46) in Blondes, part of the line’s Summer 2010 Terracotta collection.  I was originally skeptical of the product–one might look like one is wearing the wrong color foundation or went over-the-top with a spray tan.

I am a passionate believer in sunscreen.  I don’t use self-tanners, because my skin care regimen would exfoliate off the effect almost overnight. Instead, I’ve gone with powder or liquids applied in selected areas for a more natural look.  Still, I often envy the overall softly tanned look on some that I see.  Also, I thought that if anyone can make bronzer look good (or, at least, natural), it’s Guerlain.  So I ordered the lighter Blondes from Nordstrom.com to give it a try.

The tinted moisturizer comes in a luxe glass bottle with a gold-colored pump, and a simulated wood-textured plastic cap.  The application is somewhat sheer– I would say about one-half the coverage of a light foundation such as Chanel Tient Innocence Fluid.  This allows a bit of your natural skin to peek through.  As an aside, I used this with my physical sunscreen (Elta MD Physical 41), so combined I had sufficient coverage.

The texture is glowy, allowing the surface of the skin to have a bit of sheen.  Guerlain took the “moisturizer” in the product name seriously, it feels very luxurious, nourishing and moisturizing.  It lasted well through a ten-hour day on my combination skin.

As far as the color, it took my MAC NC15/Chanel Cameo Intensity 1.0 down a good two to three shades.  I got a few questions about whether I had spent some time in the sun from others, and I looked like I had.  I added a bit of darker powder bronzer on the cheeks to break up the “all one color” look, and of course a pink blush.  There were no orange tones on my warm skin, and no shimmer bits either.  It was sort of a sheer wash of color that looked liked I had acquired a light tan.

I know that some “embrace the pale,” but sometimes I enjoy adding some tan look to my skin.  I know that I’ll continue to use the Guerlain Tinted Moisturizer over the summer.  My sense is that it looks about as natural as a good self-tanner (again, the color looked natural not orange or brassy).  I’m going to give this a cautious positive recommendation, but this is very much a Your Mileage May Vary product, depending on your skin tone.  It’s worth looking at if you’d like a bit of a natural glow with a nice, moisturizing feel.  If at all possible, try before you buy so that you can tell whether you’ll like the effect on your skintone.

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Apr 072010
 

Chanel makes a large selection of foundations, most of which I’ve either owned or used continuously for years.  Although many readers likely know their way around a Chanel counter pretty well, I thought it useful to do a summary of the various foundations that are currently available for the reference of those who find their selection confusing.  I should note that I’ve never worked with or for Chanel, this represents my own experiences only.  As you already know, foundations are largely a matter of individual choice.  Everyone’s skin types are so different.  So please take this over view with a grain of sale.

Tient Innocence Fluid (SPF 12, $47)– This is the lightest foundation within Chanel’s line–it’s almost weightless. I’ve been told that it contains no oil, although it is not advertised as oil free and it does not have any mattifying properties.  It’s appropriate for those who need little coverage and are simply looking to even out their skin tone.  Of course, you can apply this in conjunction with a concealer if you are only worried about a few places but still want a more natural look.  This looks amazing with a Chanel Poudre Douce over it–it gives a very glowy and natural look.  It’s a very easy foundation to wear and apply.  Mistakes are easily swept away and it’s very difficult to go wrong with this one.  Packaging is a glass bottle with an open top.

Tient Innocence Compact (SPF 10, $56).  This foundation is a creamy compact foundation and gives full, glowy coverage.  It is far more emollient and dense compared with Tient Innocence fluid.  Many users absolutely love this foundation, and indeed the look and polish that it can give are beautiful.  Others find that it can feel a bit heavy.  Because my skin can get oily, I found that it too much for my needs and it tended to bring out more shine that I wanted.  If I ever do need full coverage, however, I won’t hesitate to use it. Packaging is a luxury compact with mirror.  In the U.S., the pans are not replaceable, although in the rest of the world refills can be used for these.

Pro Lumiere Fluid foundation (SPF 15, $54) is a classic, medium-coverage liquid foundation.  It gives a very finished, polished and luminous look.  It has more coverage than Tient Innocence Fluid, although it does not feel nearly as heavy at the Tient Innocence compact.  If I have a special event and want to look very finished, I’ll reach for Pro Lumiere.  It gives a beautiful finish for normal and combination skin types.  Packaged in a glass bottle with a pump top.

Mat Lumiere (SPF 15 $54) is similar in coverage to Pro Lumiere except that this one is made for oily skin.  It advertises a mattifying effect with long-lasting coverage. Packaged in a glass bottle with a pump top.

Vitalumiere (SPF 15, $54) is a medium coverage fluid foundation that is designed for dry skin types.  The new version adds moisturizers and antioxidants and all sorts of lovely things for your skin.  Packaged in a glass bottle with a pump top. Whether you choose Pro Lumiere (for normal to combination skin), Mat Lumiere (for oily skin) or Vitalumiere (for dry skin) is largely a question of your skin type.

Lift Lumiere (SPF $65) is a medium-coverage foundation made for aging skin, meant to have a “lifting” effect.  It is intended to have some light reflecting particles to minimize the look of fine lines.  In addition, Chanel advertises that there are some skin benefits that can be obtained from using this foundation.  This foundation needs to “set”–that is, when first applied it looks sort of chalky and obvious.  After a few minutes, it seems to sink into the skin and look fabulous.  This is sold in a lightweight shatterproof plastic bottle with a pump.

Double Perfection Compact (SPF 10, $50) is Chanel’s only powder foundation at present.  This can be applied with either a sponge (one is included) or a brush (kabuki brush for heavy coverage, or a powder brush for lighter coverage).  The mirrored compact holds a half-pan that lasts me at least 9 months to a year of everyday use.  The coverage is light to medium–if you add too much powder, it can look a little cakey.  If you don’t it can give you a  beautiful finish although not as luminous as Pro Lumiere.  As a powder compact, this is very convenient for travel.

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Apr 022010
 

Lately, I’ve been loving Guerlain Parure Gold foundation ($78) in #2 Beige Clair, which I bought at a Guerlain boutique that had provided excellent service.

I’ve now used the product since January ’10, long enough to declare it a real winner.  For the record, I have skin that is highly break-out prone that is combination (oily t-zone, and normal-to-dry in other areas of the face).  I have been using Chanel foundations–most recently Pro Lumiere, Tient Innocence Fluid, Lift and sometimes the Double Perfection powder (typically, in Intensity 1.0/Cameo), depending on the look that I am trying to achieve.  Sometimes I use Laura Mercier’s mineral makeup system.  I have tried to use Dior Nude, which I loved, but had to discontinue when it broke me out.  I’ve tested several others but none have persuaded me to move from the variety of products that I already own.  As an aside, Parure Gold is the most expensive foundation that I’ve ever purchased.

Guerlain’s foundations promise rejuvenation, and in my world where stress, the environment, the sun and sometimes too-harsh skincare products are pretty normal, who doesn’t want that?   Guerlain’s website reads that it has “slipped a magical blend of Gold Radiance Pigments and Precious Rejuvenating Complex enriched with Oil of Myrrh into this fluid foundation. The pigments light up, smooth and correct the complexion instantly, and the complex revives the youthful radiance and vitality of the skin. Evanescent and supple, the wonderfully smooth texture glides over the skin, providing perfect light-weight coverage…”

The packaging is typical Guerlain luxury.  It’s housed in a black opaque container, but there is a clear window on the side to track how much is left. There is a gold-colored pump on the top to preserve the foundation and keep it from contamination.  The foundation lists an SPF 15+.  I typically apply this with my fingers, a few drops is sufficient to cover my face and any little concerns that I have.  I usually add Caron translucent powder.

Here are my thoughts:

  • Holy gorgeous skin.  It adds a believable level of luminosity and no more.  Without any glitter bits or metallic sheen, there is a soft brightness that looks natural.
  • The texture is really amazing–it seems to melt into the skin and make it better. No cakiness, just a very my-skin-but-better.
  • Extremely good coverage without using very much product.  I wonder if this foundation has a superior pigment in a very small bit of fluid?  If there are areas of concern on my face, I can build up more foundation there without the product turning cakey.
  • Lightweight.  My skin feels like it can breathe.  I don’t feel like I’m wearing anything.
  • No break-outs or pore-clogging.  Yes, I use an oil cleanser and a Clarisonic twice a week.  Still, there’s a noticeable clarity.
  • Extremely long-lasting.  This foundation powers through a sixteen-hour day like nothing I’ve ever tried before, and looks as fresh as the morning.  Seriously.  No shifting, no sliding, no caking up, no disappearing act.

Because of my oily t-zone, I do have to touch up with a powder on my forehead after five-six hours.  Parure Gold doesn’t promise to mattify, and I’ve always had to do that.  Overall, Parure Gold has been wonderful.  Highly recommended.

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Mar 262010
 

Here are some upcoming collections which caught my eye:

Estee Lauder “Blue Dahlia” from this source.  The palette of black, brown and deep blues looks both interesting and wearable–a little edgy for Estee Lauder which is nice to see.

These items from the otherwise enormous Lancome Summer 2010 Collection from Chic Profile.  I hope that bronzer tone in Temptingly Bronze is more than overspray:

These dual-ended eye pencils look really nice (Sassy in Sunrise and Sultry in Sunset):A few of the Yves Saint Laurent eye singles featured here, currently up for sale on Nordstrom’s online site (click to enlarge and read color names):

A newly reformulated Chanel Vitalumiere foundation:

A Guerlain tinted moisturizer which appears to add a bronzy glow, which I’m curious about but not entirely sure will work for me:

So, what do we think?  Also, is there something I’m missing–what do you think is going to be promising?

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Mar 092010
 

Physicians Formula Healthy Wear SPF 50+ is a powder compact foundation that promises serious sunscreen protection.  Because I’m concerned about sun exposure, I recently picked up one in the lightest shade at my local CVS drugstore.  It retails for about $15, but there was an instant $5 off coupon on the box–so $10 total.

Even SPF 100+ rated chemical sunscreens allow me to pick up color during the blistering hot summer months while wearing a hat.  So I view claims of “SPF 50+” with some doubt.  The only sunscreen that I’ve found that really works for me is Elta MD UV Physical SPF 41, which is a physical sunscreen.  I have been looking for a mattifying powder to wear over the Elta MD, which has a slight tint so I can use it as a sheer foundation. If the powder had serious sun protection, I’d be pretty happy.  So I thought that I’d give Healthy Wear a try.

Physicians Formula Healthy Wear’s packaging is massive and bright, and the website promises that the product “delivers maximum SPF 50 broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection and full coverage with a soft-matte finish.”

Healthy Wear comes in only four (4) shades, and there are no testers at the store.  I got the lightest shade “Translucent Light”, which applies a bit ashy grey on my NC15/Chanel Cameo skintone.  This shade is either too light or too cool for me, or both.  In terms of texture, it applied better than I thought it would.  Believe me, it’s not as finely milled as high-end powder foundations.  It got powdery/chaulky when layering, but was all right with a single layer applied with a powder brush.

Although the package is large, the non-refillable powder pan is not.  There is a large compartment for a sponge  and mirror, which bulks up the compact.  You get 0.34 ounces for $10 (or $15 if you pay regular price).  To compare, MAC’s Blot is $22 for 0.42 ounces (MAC’s compact gets some credit for being Back-to-MAC-able).

When the package is closed, it looks like a bulky little flying saucer:

As far as the claim of SPF 50+, I cannot tell whether a typical application delivers this protection. In other words, how much of that pan has to be on my face to block that much sun?  Neither the package nor the website says.  Unfortunately, it’s not sunny enough yet for me to assess this claim myself.

Bottom line:  If I’m running out the door for a quick errand, it’s fine with my tinted sunscreen.  If I’m going something a bit more formal, I’ll go with my usual sunscreen and liquid foundation.  Would I rebuy? I’d love some proof from Physicians Formula that the “SPF 50+” delivers when I use an average application.  And if I found a color that works better for my skin tone.

The ingredient list on Physicians Formula website states as follows:

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: OCTINOXATE 4%, TITANIUM DIOXIDE 21%, ZINC OXIDE 3%, INACTIVE INGREDIENTS: TALC, MICA, NYLON-12, CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE, STYRENE/ACRYLATES COPOLYMER, ASCORBYL PALMITATE, DIACETYL BOLDINE, DIISOSTEARYL MALATE, DIMETHICONE, GENISTEIN, GLYCYRRHETINIC ACID, LAUROYL LYSINE, ALPHA LIPOIC ACID, OCTYLDODECYL STEAROYL STEARATE, PEG-12 GLYCERYL DIMYRISTATE, SOLANUM LYCOPERSICUM (TOMATO) FRUIT EXTRACT, SQUALANE, TOCOPHEROL, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, UBIQUINONE, ZINC STEARATE, DISODIUM EDTA, PHENOXYETHANOL, SODIUM DEHYDROACETATE, SORBITAN SESQUIOLEATE MAY CONTAIN: IRON OXIDES, TITANIUM DIOXIDE, ULTRAMARINES

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