Jul 232014
 

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.

Marc Jacobs Smart Wand4

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.

Marc Jacobs Smart Wand5

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

Marc Jacobs Smart Wand7

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:

Marc Jacobs Smart WandD1
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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Jun 132014
 

 

Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare01

Perricone MD has a full line of No Makeup Skincare: A Revolutionary Approach to Color that provides “good for you” benefits together with foolproof and versatile application.  Although I was aware of some of these products, I was impressed to see an entire lineup that, because of its liquid format, can be mixed and blended to create naturally beautiful looks. The theme of this collection are anti-aging skincare additions, which repair, restore, and to ensure that the overall look is youthful. In addition to antioxidants, DMAE, and neuropeptides, the line is formulated with high pigment that sits lightly on the skin, which can be built up, sculpted, modified, mixed and blended to achieve a look that is healthy, natural, and with a youthful look.The items are available at Sephora and Perricone MD’s website.

Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare14a

I loved several of these products. However, I loved, loved, loved the products together as a set.  First, I was shocked at how quickly I could do a face with this set. It’s no brushes required. The products are essentially fool-proof once I got comfortable with the format. They blend beautifully together, and their textures are ideal for layering. They are designed for very intuitive application. Although it is easy to layer them up to increase coverage, it seems impossible to over-do them. There is a real synergy in the design and formulation for use as a set. As an overview, the line includes:

  • No Foundation Foundation Serum
  • No Foundation Foundation (2 shades)
  • No Bronzer Bronzer
  • No Blush Blush
  • No Concealer Concealer
  • No Mascara Mascara
  • No Lipstick Lipstick

Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare02a

Perricone MD’s No Foundation Foundation ($55/ 1 ounce) is a lightweight, creamy liquid foundation that applies in a single layer for light coverage with a dewy finish. At first, some readers may find the coverage too light compared to typical foundations or BB cremes. My sense is that, with continual use, your skin will improve with the use of this and other skincare products, so that less coverage will be needed. Nonetheless, the No Foundation Foundation can be easily layered and built without caking or looking heavy. Indeed, this product is ideal for those who do not like heavy feeling products on the fact, or those who may have imperfections, slight wrinkles or the like because the lightweight, non-caking texture does not emphasize flaws. As the line is designed for those with aging skin, this is ideal. Heavy-textured foundation is rarely desirable for skin of any age. I try to use the lightest coverage that I can get away with, and concealers as necessary. For this No Foundation Foundation, the key skincare ingredients are Alpha Lipoic Acid (designed to minimize wrinkles and pores while delivering powerful antioxidant protection, and Vitamin C to correct discoloration). The product also includes non-chemical SPF30 based on titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, claiming protection from both UVA and UVB rays.

Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare15

The product comes in two shades. The lighter #1 was a pretty good match for my MAC NC15/Chanel Ivoire skin tone. I would guesstimate that #2 runs at about an NC30-35. The products can be mixed to target shades in between. The Perricone MD No Bronzer Bronzer can be used to deepen the shade range higher than NC35. The products are dispensed through a pump.

Perricone Foundation pump1

Overall, I liked Perricone MD’s No Foundation Foundation. The product does have a dewy finish which does look lovely when first applied and those with drier skin will appreciate. Because my forehead gets oily throughout the day, I tended to powder this down on my forehead area, and left the other areas with a pretty sheen. Here is the ingredient list (click to enlarge):

Perricone Foundation No 12
 Between this product and the Perricone MD No Foundation Serum, I found that they worked well together. On some days, I tried layering, and other others I mixed the two to get a lighter color match. Either way, they were a nice combination. If I were to be forced to commit to only one (arghhh!), I’d go with the serum because I prefer a more matte finish, and in my subjective opinion I loved the way that the serum felt on my skin. Also, the serum seemed to camouflage my pores into invisibility, really. I’m including swatches of all shades here, including Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation Serum:

Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare19I did a quick finger-blend of the swatches, above, without being very precise or careful. On the skin, a proper blending job delivers smooth and lovely results.

Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare21Overall, I really liked Perricone MD’s No Foundation Foundation. I love the way that I could mix the products to sculpt areas of my face, mix with the bronzer, and loved the all-day, highly buildable coverage. Other products from this line are reviewed here and here.

Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation is available at Sephora, and Perricone MD’s website.

The Perricone MD products were sent from the  company 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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Jun 132014
 

Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare14aPerricone MD has a full line of No Makeup Skincare: A Revolutionary Approach to Color that provides “good for you” benefits together with foolproof and versatile application.  Although I was aware of some of these products, I was impressed to see an entire lineup that, because of its liquid format, can be mixed and blended to create naturally beautiful looks. Here is the entire line (click to enlarge):

Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare01The fundamental thread that goes through the entire line of products is anti-aging skincare, to repair, restore, and to ensure that the overall look is youthful. In addition to antioxidants, DMAE, and neuropeptides, the line is formulated with high pigment that sits lightly on the skin, which can be built up, sculpted, modified, mixed and blended to achieve a look that is healthy, natural, and with a youthful look.

As an overview, I loved several of these products. However, I loved, loved, loved the products together as a set.  First, I was shocked at how quickly I could do a face with this set. It’s no brushes required. The products are essentially fool-proof once I got comfortable with the format. They blend beautifully together, and their textures are ideal for layering. They are designed for very intuitive application. Although it is easy to layer them up to increase coverage, it seems impossible to over-do them. There is a real synergy in the design and formulation for use as a set. As an overview, the line includes:

  • No Foundation Foundation Serum
  • No Foundation Foundation (2 shades)
  • No Bronzer Bronzer
  • No Blush Blush
  • No Concealer Concealer
  • No Mascara Mascara
  • No Lipstick Lipstick

Perricone Foundation Serum1There were a few products that were true standouts. For me, the Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation Serum ($55) was amazing. It has a similar texture to the Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Foundation, lightweight, layerable and very long-lasting (surprisingly so, this foundation didn’t move even on the longest days).This is available at Sephora and Perricone MD’s website.

Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare03b

It has the most gorgeous, suede-matte texture. My pores disappeared. My face looked firmer and perfected. This still looked this good more than ten hours after application.

Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare04

I applied an extra layer or two to problem areas. The color is a touch on the darker side for my MAC NC15/Chanel Ivoire skin tone. In order to use the product, I put a good layer on my skin so that I could soak in the product’s anti-aging neuropeptides (to create suppleness and firmness), Vitamin C (to discolorations) and Alpha Lipoic Acid (to minimize wrinkles and pores).  Then I mixed this serum foundation with Perricone MD’s No Foundation Foundation in shade #1 (the lightest shade) to create a shade that matches the rest of me. The serum can be mixed with the Perricone MD No Bronzer Bronzer to deepen its color. Like the Armani, the Perricone MD uses a dropper as the applicator.

Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare17

The product is rated at SPF 30 (according to Perricone MD’s website, the No Foundation Foundation Serum includes a “non-chemical, mineral-based SPF 30 with Zinc oxide to protect from UVA and UVB rays” Here is the ingredient list (click to enlarge):

Perricone Foundation Serum2  I’m including swatches of all shades here, including Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation Serum:

Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare19 As you can see, the serum color is a near-match for the No Foundation Foundation in #2. I did a quick finger-blend of the swatches, above, without being very precise or careful. On the skin, a proper blending job delivers smooth and lovely results.

Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare21Overall, I loved the look and feel of Perricone MD’s No Foundation Foundation Serum. In addition to the lovely texture and buildable coverage, the product’s skincare benefits was conferring some benefits throughout the day. Additional products from this line are available here and here.

Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation Serum is available at Sephora and Perricone MD’s website.

The Perricone MD products were sent from the  company 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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Jun 082014
 

By terry foundation02

For the past few weeks, I’ve been using By Terry Terrybly Densiliss Foundation ($115/ 1.0 oz.). After a short adjustment, I find that I absolutely love its look and longevity.  As you likely know, By Terry is a premier French company that creates some beautiful things. By Terry Densiliss is new this year, and so I tried a few healthy-sized samples. After the first very long day, I found that my skin had a beautiful, perfected look and I invested in the full-sized version. I chose #3 in Vanilla Beige after reviewing these swatches on The Beauty Professor and based on my experience with a few sample shades.

By terry foundation06

The finish of this foundation is superb. My skin looks creamy with just the right amount of natural sheen. My pores (which aren’t very large) are minimized.  The coverage of By Terry Densiliss is hard to pin down because it is so buildable. In other words, one sheer layer is sheer, but the entire face (or any part) can accept multiple thin layers without any caking or problems.  In fact, I discovered (by trial and error) that layering is the very best way to apply this foundation. Rather than using a traditional pumpful or two, I deliberately under-apply a too-thin layer with just a partial-pump, then wait a minute until it sets. Afterwards, I add another layer or two depending on the coverage that I want. I’ve never needed to keep going, because this gives me medium coverage.

By terry foundation08

I usually don’t add a powder, although lately I’ve been adding Corol from MAC’s Pedro Lourenco Collection just for fun (it’s not necessary, but it’s a nice variation).

By terry foundation11a

As with many French companies, By Terry’s Densiliss has a slight perfume scent that fades quickly with application. Ingredient list (click to enlarge):

By terry foundation01

The texture might seem a touch thick, but using the light layering technique seems to alleviate any problems in application.

By terry foundation05I’ve been impressed with the longevity of By Terry Densiliss, even in the extreme dry heat that we’ve been experiencing in California. Despite dry weather reaching near 100 over the past few weeks, my skin has not look a bit dry. In fact, it looks moisturized and youthful. I cannot say that this is 100% due to this foundation, but it is nice that the line states that this foundation “improves skin density, diminishes lines and simultaneously treats all signs of aging” with a revolutionary patented rejuvenating active ingredient with an optimal makeup correction that immediately targets surface wrinkles and provides deep-down and lasting global result.”

By terry foundation09Overall, my first weekend convinced me to get By Terry Densiliss, but the weeks that I’ve been using it have confirmed my love for it. Although this is one of the more expensive foundations on my counter, I’ve really loved the results and feel really good about the investment. This is available online at Barneys New York in all shades.

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

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May 112014
 

Chanel Perfection Velvet08I’ve been testing the new Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet Foundation ($45/ 1 ounce), which I love 1,000 times more than the similarly-packaged Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua. The finish of this is not matte, but rather a soft satin. The finish is light and buildable to a solid medium. The lasting power is a solid ten hours. Chanel Pefection Lumiere Velvet is a step forward for Chanel’s foundation line.

Chanel Perfection Velvet07Rated at SPF 15, Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet’s sunscreen is modest and not a substitute for a separate, and necessary, sunscreen. Lately, I’ve been using Chanel’s sunscreen. Both of these products play very well together.

Chanel Perfection Velvet05The discreet square bottle is lightweight, well-designed to shake-shake-shake, and very travel-friendly.

Chanel Perfection Velvet10My Chanel Cameo/Ivoire (MAC NC15) skintone was matched to B20, which is slightly warm but works very well. My apologies for no comparison swatches on this one–I’ll be living on the road for a while and I’m blogging under less than ideal conditions.

Chanel Perfection Velvetc1After a few minutes to settle in, the finish is gorgeous. Here she is wearing Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet in B20 with Dior Fluid Stick in Pandore, Nars Lost Coast eyeshadow duo, and Nars Olympia Contour Blush. Ingredient list (click to enlarge):
Chanel Perfection Velvet03

Overall:  Love, love, love.

Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet is available at Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Macy’s.

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

 

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