Feb 192013

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One of the best things that anyone can do to prevent aging is to wear sun protection. Invisible Zinc is a company that specializes in broad-spectrum physical sun protection using ingredients formulated to look invisible to the eye. According to the company, this formulation “uses Zinc Oxide which although invisible to the naked eye still provides outstanding broad spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays.” An Australian company, these products are are rated at SPF 30+, the highest rating available to products in that country.  This is available at Cult Beauty (use free ship code  MAKEUP25 to standard shipping on all orders over £25 except for Escentric Molecules).

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Living in California, and sometimes traveling to sunny, humid climates, I’m quite interested in sunscreen-intensive makeup products. I prefer physical sun protection, as more stable and less irritating solution compared to chemical sunscreens (although I’ll take a product with a mix of physical and chemical. 

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In the past, I’ve used Elta MD Physical SPF 41 as a tinted physical sunscreen that can be worn instead of foundation as well as Shiseido Sun Protection SPF 42 PA+++ Liquid Foundation. Invisible Zinc is sold in a stick form in three shades: light, medium and tan (I tested the lightest shade).

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Invisible Zinc is a creamy, medium-to-full coverage foundation that feels pleasant on the skin. Some of my efforts to try a high-SPF foundations have not been successful–as one example, I washed off Smashbox BB Cream SPF 35 before an hour because of the heavy sunscreen scent and heavy feeling on my skin. By comparison, Invisible Zinc UV Silk Shield gives serious coverage but feels light. The scent is very subtle (you have to get close the tube to pick any scent up) and fades very quickly. It feels very pleasant, and allows my skin to breathe.

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Keeping in mind that this is a functional foundation, I planned to use this for trips to the pool, beach, or outdoors for long walks. For that format, nothing beats a stick format (no shaking required!). In the convenience department, Invisible Zinc wins out over Shiseido’s liquid. I found it held up well for a good 7-8 hours before I started to feel a need to touch up on my combination skin. It’s pretty easy to pull a stick foundation out and blend in some coverage (adding my Nars 413 Blkr Street Multiple completes the look). My testing days (which were mostly  in-office days) led me to conclude that Invisible Zinc UV Silk Shield gave me a pretty finish that was far better than the rougher-textured Elta MD Physical SPF 41.

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 The ingredient list for the Invisible Zinc UV Silk Shield is above (click to enlarge). For a workhorse sunscreen, I was very impressed by Invisible Zinc. I’d love to test it the next time that I go to a very humid climate, but I did find that the foundation held up beautifully in the more temperate, sunny Northern California testing ground. With the addition of some Guerlain finishing powder, I found that Invisible Zinc gave me a great look that I’d be pleased to wear any day of the week.  As an aside, the three finishing powders that I tried (on three different days) were the Geurlain Illuminating and MattifyingGuerlain Meteorites, and the Guerlain Voyage Meteorites.

Here are a few quick swipes to show how the Invisible Zinc UV Silk Shield in Light compares to Chanel Lift Lumiere in Ivoire and MAC Pro Longwear in NC15. To my eye, it’s close to the MAC NC15 shade:

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Bottom line:  For anyone interested in a great, stable foundation this is well worth it. This foundation is available in the US from Cult Beauty, which also sells several additional products from the line. (use free ship code  MAKEUP25 to standard shipping on all orders over £25 except for Escentric Molecules).

Invisible Zinc was sent to Cafe Makeup by Cult Beauty without charge for consideration for review. This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup)

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Dec 042012

Belmacz is a London jeweler who has began infusing beauty products with gold. These well-made and precious pots make lovely gifts (and are a pleasure to use on their own).  Thoughtfully designed, the products have achieved a cult status, appropriate for any age group. I’ve been playing with Belmacz Blitz Gold Leaf Eyeshadow (£28.00) and Blemacz Glow Gold Leaf Lipgloss (£23.00) (both available at Cult Beauty). 

The Belmacz Gold Leaf Eyeshadow leaves a sheer wash of 18k sparkle on the lids and can also be used as a highlighter. According to the line:

Each pot contains two leaves of pure 24-carat gold and the cream glides on to give a smooth, sheer finish. Layer it on to create a dramatic solid gold effect.

I use this very sheerly, so that the gold is brightening and the sparkle effect is quite subtle compared to the bombshell look of Chanel Vision. Applied this way, it leaves a subtle wash of fairy sparkle that (unless you apply it heavily), showing your lid through the ethereal glow.

This gold is a true 24K gold color, there is a warmth and depth characteristics of pure gold. I recommend reserving use as a highlighter for evening as the genuine gold flake in the formula provides a glamorous shine that some may find too much for daytime or office use. 

According to Belmacz, the Glow Gold Leaf Lipgloss “delivers high shine without stickiness and a subtle rose flavour. Flecks of pure twenty-four carat gold leaf add subtle warmth to tone and texture, while the seven shades combine eye popping pigment with durability. All of the colours (apart from Moonstone, which is clear) have a sheer but vibrant tint, which stains lips for a beautiful, kiss-proof finish.”  I must admit that I concur with this description. There is a high-shine, moisturizing feel to this gloss. The high shine has occasional, subtle gold flakes. The gloss formula is excellent–it feels wonderful and the lasting power is phenomenal considering the sheerness and lack of stickiness. This is a superb gloss.  The color is a very sheer subtle strawberry pink.

Here are arm swatches of the Glow Gold Leaf Lipgloss and a heavy swatch of the Blitz Gold Leaf Eyeshadow:

Here is the Belmacz Glow Gold Leaf Lipgloss on Liz:

Note that these round plexiglass pots are very thoughtfully designed. The design is modern and universal. The closures snap shut very firmly, which means that both products behave when traveling. The plexiglass is extremely strong and thick. I would be confident carrying these in my most treasured purses with confidence that neither would spill or inadvertently open.

True to form for products to which considerable attention to detail is paid, there are sayings printed inside the nicely designed boxes. The Blake quote is for the gloss; the Hugo quote for the eyeshadow/highlighter.

Bottom line:  I love these for myself, and find them very gift-able. Their small size, high luxury feel, and very high usability  would be appreciated by almost anyone.

Both are available at Cult Beauty.

Disclosure:  Cult Beauty sent Belmacz Glow Gold Leaf Gloss without charge for consideration for review. I purchased Belmacz Blitz Gold Leaf Eyeshadow from Barney’s, which no longer carries the line.

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