May 072015
 

MAC Prep and prime - 3aMost salicylic acid products are on the drug store shelves, and are fairly inexpensive, harsh, and can sometimes ball up or move in strange ways when worn under makeup.  With MAC Prep + Prime Blemish Control Gel ($22/ 0.5 oz), MAC tries to elevate this humble (but effective) acne medicine that makes it wearable under foundation and less painful to use. This is available at all MAC sources, including Bloomingdales, Macy’s, and Nordstrom.
MAC Prep and prime round four - 4a

Since the product was released, this item has been a bit of  a skin-saver for me. It’s gentle–its active ingredient is 1% salicylic acid. By comparison, Clean + Clear from the drugstore is 2%, the same amount of product (0.5 ounces for both), and about half the price.

MAC Prep and prime round three - 3 copyThis is clear, somewhat runny, and dries down in less than a minute. It smells like salicylic acid.

MAC Prep and prime round two - 5aMAC’s is not as irritating and seems just as effective. Unless I’ve just exfoliated or used a retinol product the night before, I don’t have the stinging sensation with MAC that drugstore salicylic acid products leave (there’s no “yow!” unless my skin is irritated). I’ve worn MAC’s version over my usual skincare, and under sunscreen and foundation all the live-long day to keep clogged pores and reduce breakouts.  According to the line, “Heals blemishes and helps prevent future breakouts, while soothing and calming the skin to promote further healing. Infused with acne-fighting salicylic acid, this lightweight, oil-free formula is suitable for all skin types and wears perfectly on its own, under makeup or for simple touch-ups.” Additional ingredients:

MAC Prep and prime round four - 1aHere is how MAC’s Blemish Control looks on the back of my hand. Keep in mind, this is a skincare product, not a primer (despite the “Prep + Prime” in the name, this is skincare that is a “Prep,” and not a “Prime”).  So feel free to use a separate primer if you use one. If you are fighting acne, this is definitely worth a look. This is available at all MAC sources, including Bloomingdales, Macy’s, and Nordstrom.

MAC Prep and prime round two - 7a

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L’Occitane Spring Gift Ideas

 L'Occitane  Comments Off on L’Occitane Spring Gift Ideas
May 062015
 

L'Occintane spring treats - 16a

I love this time of  year, because it brings so many opportunities to get together with friends, family, and the rest of the community. Sometimes this does require a little gifting, including Mother’s Day, end of the year teacher appreciation gifts, thanks for friends who have gone above and beyond, and others.  Thankfully, L’Occitane has got us covered. The lines full page of gift ideas are here.

L'Occintane spring treats - 17ab

This little L’Occibox for Spring 2015 was sent to Cafe Makeup, and has a range of little delights inside, including:

o 1 Jasmin & Bergamote Eau de Toilette, 0.04 fl.oz
o 1 Immortelle Precious Serum, 0.23 fl.oz
o 1 Immortelle Brightening Essence Sample, 0.03 fl.oz
o 1 Shea Butter Hand Cream, 10ml 0.3 .oz
o 1 Shea Whipped Hand Cream, 30ml 1 .oz
o 1 Bonne Mere Rose Soap, 3.5 .oz
o 1 cube of Sugarfina Champagne Bears®

Who wouldn’t love this little box of treats? (use code SUGAR at checkout to get this $48 box for $20)(also, see this link to buy online).

L'Occintane spring treats - 3 (2)a
L’Occitane also sent along some of the Iris Bleu and Iris Blanc items from L’Occitane’s La Collection de Grasse. The series brings together two ingredients – one from the small, Provençal town of Grasse (hence, the collection name) and one from another distant land. This line is made of  “an exclusive blend of blue iris floral water extract from Grasse mingles with white iris extract from the Mediterranean; a fresh, velvety union of clean linens and sophisticated blooms.” It’s beautiful.

L'Occintane spring treats - 6aL’Occitane has put together an Iris Bleu and Iris Blanc set ($78) with:

– Iris Bleu & Blanc Eau de Toilette 2.5 fl.oz
– Iris Bleu & Blanc Shower Gel 8.4 fl.oz
– Iris Bleu & Blanc Body Milk 1.7 fl. oz.

L'Occintane spring treats - 7a

This series includes the Iris Blue & Iris Blank Eau de Toilette (which sells separately for $78/ 2.8 oz.). This scent is in a gorgeous, a heavy blue-mauve tinted glass bottle, gold spray top and ornate gold iris print on one side of the bottle.

L'Occintane spring treats - 15a

 

L'Occintane spring treats - 12aHere is a look at the gold iris print on the bottle’s side. It reminds me of an Art Nouveau style (so French!).

L'Occintane spring treats - 6 (1)aI took so many pictures of the bottle, because I fell in love with the way it looks. So pretty!

L'Occintane spring treats - 7 (1)a

l'occitane 2

L'Occintane spring treats - 14a

L'Occintane spring treats - 4abc

L’Occitane did a seriously lovely design with this bottle. And the scent–divine!  If you need a gift (or a pick-me-up for yourself), these items are highly recommended. There are additional gift ideas here and the L’OcciBox link is here (use code SUGAR for the $20 discounted price).

L'Occintane spring treats - 3 (1)ab

These items were sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. This post includes affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup).

 

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Nars Dual Intensity Blush: Swatches of Craving, Jubilation, Adoration, Frenzy, Fervor and Panic

 Blush, NARS  Comments Off on Nars Dual Intensity Blush: Swatches of Craving, Jubilation, Adoration, Frenzy, Fervor and Panic
May 042015
 

Nars Dual Instensity blushes all - 1

Here they are! As you know, genius Francois Nars has a line of wonderful, complex, pressed powder blushes. Those are the gold standard for so many shades. Still, never shy of looking at the world through fresh eyes, the Nars Dual Intensive Blushes ($45 each) use a unique formula for those of us that love to shake things up a bit. Who doesn’t?  These are currently available from Nars online, Barneys New York, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Sephora, and Nordstrom.

Nars Dual Instensity Blush - 2

These blush duos can be worn wet or dry. Generally, dry application gives the highest pigment level. A dampened brush gives a pretty watercolor effect that melts into the skin with a really pretty stain. Like the Dual Intensity eyeshadows, these duo-blushes have a magical texture and formula that gives a beautiful glow and dimension.

Nars Dual Intensity Blush swatches

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May 022015
 

Algenist Repairing Tint 3I’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.

patented-billboard

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.”

Algenist Tinted Moisturizer 5The 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.

Algenist Tinted Moisturizer 6 copyPurely 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.

Algenist Tinted Moisturizer 4

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.
Algenist Tinted Moisturizer 1Because 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):

Algenist Tinted Moisturizer 2 copy

The Algenist Repairing Tint & Radiance Moisturizer SPF 30 comes in four shades.


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May 012015
 

Serge Lutens Corrector Palette - 1The elegant line Serge Lutens Beaute has recently released Une Bonne Correction Concealer Palette ($170). I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to try any Serge Lutens Beaute items, but they are on another level–somewhere above sublime. The original Eyeshadow Palette (reviewed here) is one of my favorites, it has a silky quality and incredibly blendable texture and gorgeous, gorgeous color. Even the eye makeup remover wipes feel like they are made like magical cashmere.

Serge Lutens Corrector Palette - 2

Like the eyeshadow palettes, the Serge Lutens Beaute Une Bonne Correction comes in an elongated rectangular shape. The palette include three different concealer colors, a translucent setting powder and brushes included. In other words, everything you need for a perfect eye.  Whether you wish to keep this on your makeup table, or slip it into a bag, it’s pretty much everything.

Serge Lutens Corrector Palette - 5 The three brushes included:

Serge Lutens Corrector Palette - 7The palette has a full size mirror:

Serge Lutens Corrector Palette - 9

The texture of the three concealer colors is divine. It melds effortlessly to the under eye area to seemingly become part of the skin. If you would like to conceal, but do not wish anyone to know that you are wearing concealer, you have found the product that allows you to do so. Except for its perfecting quality, it is undetectable.

Serge Lutens Corrector Palette - 11

 

The shades are designed to be mixed together so that you can find your perfect match, so that it looks absolutely undetectable. For my fair warm skin tone, the center shade seems to blend perfectly. However, I found myself mixing the shade with the deeper shade to better cancel out the blue tones in my under eye area. Then I set the result with a very light of the bottom translucent powder shade, which disappears into the skin and makes the concealer last all day. Did I already say that the texture of these is divine?  Below is a picture that shows the entire configuration:
Serge Lutens Corrector Palette - 12 Bottom line, this is a beautiful concealer palette. As one might expect from the Serge Lutens line, this is the best of the best. Here is unblended swatch so that you can see the color choices:

Serge Lutens Corrector Paletteb - 1 acopy

The Serge Lutens Beaute Concealer Palette is currently available from Barneys New York (please note that all purchases have free shipping in the U.S.).

Serge Lutens Corrector Palette - 10

This items was 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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