Oct 312012
 

A few weeks ago, I became curious about color correctors. Above, are the results of my experiment and some thoughts about how things went. My adventure started at a few makeup counters where artists tried an orange or yellow-toned corrector to counteract my blue-toned dark circles and the now-highly faded remainder of sun damage (a treatment summary is here).

I used to think of color correctors as using a distasteful green color and I couldn’t imagine doing that. Well, as it turns out, green isn’t the type of color correction that I’d ever need, so I had a mental block against trying any. Yellow or amber are said to be best to counteract blue or ashiness. Here’s a summary of my experiment–first, face primers and then undereye correctors.

Face Primers

1. Make Up For Ever HD Perfecting Primer in Yellow #6 ($34) This is a sheer yellow that essentially brightens warm-tone pale skin. The line makes other colors (caramel, mauve, green). The strength is its stability. This certainly helps makes my foundation last all day. I found that the color-correcting properties were modest and subtle. However, it did keep my foundation from shifting or fading, thus maximizing coverage over problem areas throughout the day. If you are already  using a stable, long-lasting foundation, you might not notice a tremendous difference.

2. Yves Saint Laurent Tient Parfait Complexion Enhancer in #4 Apricot ($ 42) is a cosmetically elegant, luxurious mousse that provides a sheer coverage of skin-brightening, luminous color. This YSL Complexion Enhancer provides enough coverage that, when used with a light coverage of a powder foundation, is a nice, casual-day look. It really gives me a peaches-and-cream glow. No, really. Like many other YSL products that I’ve used, the Complexion Enhancer seems a bit fragile. Over time and in high humidity/heat, I noticed fading and disappearing long before sundown.

Swatches:

Under Eye Color Correctors

1. MAC Studio Finish in Pure Orange ($12) I became curious about this product watching this video on the MAC website. It features concealers for hot climates (where I’m currently visiting). After researching it, I found advice that this will work to color-correct light skin tones if it is blended with concealer or foundation. I’m sure a makeup artist has no trouble doing that, and this is the most cost-effective corrector on the market. It’s highly pigmented, and would probably last a year if not longer. I found that I lacked patience to dilute this on a daily basis, I just didn’t have the knack–some days it was too orange, some days not enough. Not for me. This also comes in a pot for $18.

2. Bobbi Brown Correctors in Porcelain Peach and Peach ($23 each).  Bobbi Brown makes four (4!) different peach correctors. Porcelain Peach is lightest and Peach is the third darkest. These worked pretty well. They are not as cost-effecient compared to MAC Pure Orange (nothing is!) but they were super easy to use. They blend well, and look close to natural.

3. Tom Ford Illuminating Highlight Pen in Amber Eclat ($52) This worked best of all of the options that I’ve tried (I bought two), even better than Armani’s Master Corrector in #2 Orange. This looks quite natural and has good lasting power. I use a concealer over this.

Close up of the Tom Ford brush:

Although Tom Ford makes concealers, Amber Eclat is a corrector–so it has a decided amber-orange tone. Here’s a quick comparison with some other concealers that I happen to have with me on this trip–Burberry Sheer Luminous Concealer in #1, Armani Maestro Corrector in #2 and Chanel Pro Lumiere Corrector in #10 (this may be discontinued):

As you can see, the Tom Ford leans orange, and the Armani almost disappears in its natural look. They actually work nicely together.

Some Results of My Experiment

For face primers, I did not find a corrector which really does the job. I fell in love with the YSL Perfection Enhancer in Apricot for a peaches-and-cream glow, does that count? I only wish it has the longevity of the Make Up For Ever HD Primer. The best thing that works if I want a flawless canvas is a light concealer. As I said here, the Giorgio Armani Maestro Concealer gives me a very natural, undetectable look.  If you need more coverage,  Make Up For Ever Full Cover concealer ($32) is absolutely bullet proof and comes in a wide color range. Vichy Dermablend Liquid Foundation ($28ish) is another good choice.

For eye primers, Tom Ford won my heart. Although I use a concealer over it, I find my concealer lasts longer, and I need far less of it, wearing the correct. It just works well. 

For more about correctors, I found Goss Makeup Artist video here very helpful.

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Jun 172010
 

Make Up For Ever has rolled out a line of twenty-two new cream lip, cheek and eye colors, called the Aqua Cream line ($22 each).  Every time I visit my local Sephora, I’m more intrigued by these products.  They are budge-proof, easy to work with, and have a glorious texture.  They do not feel dry or silicon-y, rather they feel as though they will go exactly where you want them, then stay there all day long.  Here’s their blurb:

Aqua Cream combines the highest-quality pigments with mother of pearl particles to give immediate rich color payoff with a luminous finish in just one application. It’s long-lasting formulation will not crease or smudge under the most extreme conditions and its creamy and elastic texture allows for easy blending.

I’m going to throw this out there–If anyone is seriously upset at MAC’s constant limited edition pushes, look very hard at Make Up For Ever as an excellent alternative to MAC.  Make Up For Ever does permanent releases of beautiful, creative colors that are easily available from many Sephora outlets and online.  Rather than sporadic, limited-time releases, Make Up For Ever has large, versatile, permanent release of some beautiful products that really perform.  They’re poised to release more thirty-five (35!) lip glosses and fifty (50!) new lipsticks in the Fall.  Permanently (well, as permanent as anything is in the makeup world).  They’ve gotten my attention, some of my wallet, and piece of my makeup-loving heart.

Several of the blush/lip colors look very promising.  However, some of the eye colors are so vibrant that I’m not sure that I can pull them off.  One eye color that I knew I would love immediately is Taupe #15.  Behold its creamy taupe goodness:

The application is easy with a finger or brush (I moisturize my lid first, no primer).   These blend well with my other cream eyeshadows.  Also, I have used this for an eyeshadow base with my other taupe powder eyeshadows.  They last all day.  Depending on the light, they have a touch of reflectivity (which must be the pearl that’s been added to the formula).

Here is a swatch in direct sun with flash.  The three swatches are light, medium and heavy application:

Here is a swatch in softer, more diffuse, natural light.  You can see that it loses some of the more golden, metallic quality in shade.  This is more how the shadow looks on my eye in most normal lighting conditions:

Final verdict:  Two dancing thumbs up. I’m looking forward to trying a few more of these soon!

P.S. One of the line-number 19 Violet-will not be sold in the U.S., so expect to see only 21 of these at the U.S. Sephora.

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May 122010
 

I noticed that I’ve acquired a few pink blushes in either a liquid, cream or stain, so I thought that I’d post some comparisons of the following:

  • Nars Cadaques Multiple Tint
  • Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Pale Pink
  • Benefit’s Posie Tint (this was a small version that was included in a recent Sephora value set)
  • Make Up For Ever’s HD Blush in Walk of Shame #4

It was surprised how differently all of these swatch.  NAR’s Cadaques is translucent with a sheen, it gives a beautiful lit-from-within glow that looks “natural but nicer.”

Posie Tint is the most sheer, and has stain-like liquidity compared to the others.  You need quite a bit more product with the Posie Tint to build up a real pink on my NC15 skin.

Make Up For Ever’s Walk of Shame is the lightest, is highly pigmented and applies matte.  Walk of Shame has a very cool blue-undertone compared to the others.  You need barely any product to get the right look with this.

Bobbi Brown’s Pale Pink is very easy to wear– a few dabs and it looks very natural.  Pale Pink is the deepest pink of all of them, and looks almost like a medium-pink compared to the others.

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Apr 082010
 

Believe it or not, the picture below is actually  in full color.  No, I’m not kidding–these are my favorite gray eyeshadows.  No brown, no taupe, no green, no white, no kidding.  Just straight grays, which can be both very striking and easy to wear.  I tried to stay away from silvers, but some shimmery grays sneak into silver, so I’m not sure that I succeeded.

These are eyeshadows that I’ve collected over the years, and you will see some limited edition and “old school” Bobbi Brown packaging.  There are a few more that I might add, such as Chanel Silvery, but I’m mentally preparing for a Chanel Eyeshadow single marathon in a few weeks so I thought I’d do it then.

  • Absolute favorite:  Make Up For Ever #145 is a shimmery luminous gray that adds light to my lids.  It’s a sweep-on and look-polished color, and looks really nice with black liner.
  • Second favorite:  MAC Swan Lake was sold with the Danse collection a few years ago.  I find this the most similar to Make Up For Ever’s #145, but it has a bit more pigment and shimmer.
  • Two classics from Bobbi Brown:  Steel, a deep matte grey and Sterling, a light gray shimmerwash, look great together
  • MAC’s Softwashed is a shimmery dark gray that borders on silver, but it’s so beautiful I had to include it
  • Lorac Dreamy has an amazing pigmentation and color, although it can look a little blue when applied to my warm coloring.

Here are individual swatches:

Do you have any favorite grays?  What do you recommend?

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Apr 072010
 

Recently, I received three more Makeup For Ever HD Blushes ($25 each) to add to my growing collection.  I have been enjoying these colors so much and they are relatively inexpensive for the amount and quality of the product.  I love the fact that Make Up For Ever included a well-thought out range for an entire makeup wardrobe.

The most recent additions are Walk of Shame (#4), Mistaken Identity (#11) and Star Stuck (#14).  I’m completely in love with these blushes, I love their wear and flexibility.  My previous reviews, for Innuendo (#1) and Caught in the Act (#2), are here.  They last all day, are easy to wear and the colors are gorgeous.  If you work quickly enough, they’re very easy to sheer out (but watch that pump–it’ll spurt out way too much if you’re not careful).  They are highly pigmented–you will not need much!  They apply matte, but of course you can add whichever highlighter you wish.

Here are the swatches of the latest colors that I added:

Star Struck #14 is a beautiful neutral peach:

Walk of Shame #4 is a cool, bubblegum pink:

Mistaken Identity #11 is a lovely rose-brown:

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