Jun 012016

Laura Mercier Blemish Less Primer - 1

Laura Mercier’s Blemish-less Foundation Primer ($36/1.7 oz.) is a relatively new introduction to the line. Generally, this is a gentle primer that is formulated to help clear and control oily skin. If you are battling the 3:00 p.m. glow (or even the 10:00 a.m. glow!) it’s nice to have a nice mattifying base to keep things under control.

This Blemish-less Primer dries evenly and clear, elongating my foundation time. It helps smooth pores and give my skin an even texture. I found that my skin did not get break-through oiliness throughout the day, even in warm weather. The product dries clear and doesn’t seem to have any scent. I did not detect any salicylic acid “sting” upon application, or any scent of it either.

The positive aspects of this primer are, indeed, very strong. Unfortunately, my skin didn’t handle the formulation very well and I did notice some spots appearing on the first through the third days of wear. I was actually very surprised by this, because Laura Mercier’s Loose Mineral Foundation is one of my go-to’s when my skin is acting up.  I thought Laura had this!

Laura Mercier Blemish Less Primer - 3

Laura Mercier Blemish Less Primer - 7

Perhaps I am sensitive to one of the ingredients, and you may have better luck. For now, I’m going to stay with MAC’s Prep and Prime Blemish Control Gel ($22/ 0.5 oz.). Given it’s diminutive size, MAC’s is far more expensive. Also, MAC Blemish Control isn’t a primer. Also, although it’s far gentler than the drugstore alternatives, MAC’s Blemish Control isn’t quite as gentle as Laura Mercier’s either.

MAC Prep and prime - 3a

Overall, I didn’t find Laura Mercier’s Blemish-less Primer a viable option for me. If you are interested, I would try to sample before you buy.

Laura Mercier Blemish-less Foundation Primer is available at Nordstrom, Sephora, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Laura Mercier online.

Affiliate links

Ingredient list: Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Adipic Acid/Neopentyl Glycol Crosspolymer, Silica, Glycerin, Squalane, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Xylitol, Coco-Glucoside, Polyacrylamide, Ppg-12/Smdi Copolymer, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Sodium Phosphate, Cocamidopropyl Dimethylamine, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Phenoxyethanol, Salicylic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Disodium Edta, Tocopheryl Acetate, Laureth-7, Vp/Va Copolymer, Potassium Sorbate, Hexylene Glycol, Amodimethicone, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Aminomethyl Propanol, Chlorphenesin.

Please follow us on....

Jul 302015

erborian 1I began noticing Erborian Paris-Seoul Korean Skin Care Therapy both at Sephora,  and numerous Parisian beauty stores a few years ago . According to Erborian, According to the line, its laboratory in Seoul formulates gentle, effective skincare that are based on Asian beauty rituals.

Erborian continuously innovates by offering surprising, unprecedented, ground-breaking products, vehicles for “intelligent beauty”. Our exclusive formulas, developed by our laboratory based in Seoul, use the most advanced technologies, at the cutting edge of the cosmetic industry. These intriguing formulas rapidly deliver active ingredients, for ultimate benefits. Erborian combines the most sophisticated technologies with high-quality ingredients derived from Korean herbs, to create innovative and exclusive formulas that reveal luminosity, radiance and younger-looking skin. Inspired by ancient Korean traditions, Korean herbs have a dual advantage: they are incredibly effective as they are exceedingly pure, but they are also very gentle and very well tolerated.

I stopped by the Erborian Parisian Boutique on the Avenue de L’Opera just near the Opera Garnier. This line is based on three fundamental premises:  Detox, Boost and Finish…Because Erborian’s offerings at many local US stores are rather small in size, I took numerous photographs in the boutique so that you can get a better sense of their full range of products.

Continue reading »

Please follow us on....

May 152012

Hourglass Nº 28 Primer Serum ($65) is a best-in-class primer for dry skin. According to Hourglass, the “28” in the name refers to the key ingredients in the primer, which includes 14 essential oils, 10 lipid-rich plant oils, and 4 vitamins. I’m no stranger to using rich and essential oils on my skin, having used Rodin’s legendary Olio Lusso for the past year whenever my skin feels dry and in need of nourishment. I’ve finally learned that even my combo-oily skin can benefit from the caring properties that well-chosen oils can bring.

Unlike Olio Lusso, Hourglass Nº 28 Primer Serum is a true primer intended to act as a hydrating base for foundation. In my opinion, the ideal user for this product has dry (or combo-to-dry) skin, and is concerned about anti-aging because the treatment properties are an important part of this treatment. The scent is light and pleasant, to my mind it seems like a slight floral with a touch of sandalwood. I find the scent far more pleasant and unobtrusive compared to Olio Lusso. I didn’t notice the scent after about 1/2 hour after application (and that’s being generous).

The product applies as a sheer liquid. With this product, you do not need very much to get a velvety base–I used at most three little droplets. It absorbs quickly. My liquid foundation applies like a dream over it, giving me a very smoothly textured base. I used Nars Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30++, as well as Burberry’s liquid and Chanel’s Perfection Lumiere.  These foundations lasted all day. I was surprised to find that my skin did not feel “oily” in any way–rather, the finish was more velvety. Truly a “best in class” primer.

Using so little, I can see that this bottle is going to last a very long time. Note that, according to Hourglass, the Nº 28 Primer Serum can be used as a night treatment and even to put on the ends of your hair as a conditioning treatment.

Some of you may be wondering how this compares to another of my favorite primer, Burberry Fresh Glow Luminious Fluid Base.  These really do serve two different purposes.  The Burberry is intended to add a glowy highlighter to the skin, but not to add any skincare properties. On the other hand, the Hourglass is completely sheer (no added glowy bits), but is intended to treat and moisturize. I really love both for different reasons, and I think you can see that those with dryer skin types (or those who live in dryer climates) are really going to love the moisturizing benefits of Hourglass Nº 28. And (because I know your wondering)–no breakouts from the Hourglass primer. Trust me, it’s always a concern.

Bottom line: Loved this best in class primer.

Ingredient list (from Sephora.com): Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Ethylhexyl Cocoate, Dimethiconol, Phenyl Trimethicone, Ceramide 3, Sphingolipids, Jojoba (Simmondsia Chinensis) Oil, Rose Hips Seed Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Sweet Almond (Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis) Oil, Green Tea (Camellia Sinensis) Oil, Olive (Olea Europaea) Oil, Hazelnut (Corylus Americana) Oil, Borage (Borago Officinalis) Seed Oil, Kukui (Aleurites Moluccana) Nut Oil, Cherry (Prunus Avium) Pit Oil, Tocopherol, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Linoleate, Panthenyl Triacetate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Ascorbic Acid, Octyldodecanol, Dioctyl Succinate, Peg-8, Tridecyl Stearate, Neopentyl Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Tridecyl Trimellitate, Lithospermum Officinale Root Extract, Octyldodecyl Myristate, Citric Acid, Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia) Oil, Geranium (Geranium Maculatum) Oil, Rose Geranium (Pelargonium Roseum) Oil, Vanilla (Vanilla Planifolia) Oil, Clove (Eugenia Caryophyllus) Oil, Orange (Citrus Aurantium Dulcis) Peel Oil, Petitgrain (Citrus Reticulata) Oil, Amyris (Amyris Balsamifera) Oil, Benzoin Siam Absolute, Lemon (Citrus Medica Limonum) Peel Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Oil, Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis) Leaf Oil, Bois De Rose (Aniba Rosaeodora) Oil, Cedar (Thuja Occidentalis) Leaf Oil, Ylang Ylang (Cananga Odorata) Oil.

Hourglass Nº 28 Primer Serum was sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

Please follow us on....

Dec 022010

Diorskin Crystal Nude Natural Matte Skin Perfecter ($40 for .26 oz) is an unusual product in that it is both a primer and a finishing product.  It can be be worn at least four different ways:

  • Alone, instead of makeup
  • Under foundation as a primer
  • Over foundation as a finishing product
  • Both under and over foundation.

I love this concept.  I love choice.  I love products that are flexible enough to play with so that I can get them to work well for me.  And above all else, I love polished-looking skin.

I usually don’t wear primer–I’m told my skin is dry or combination;  I’m the type to get glowy mid-afternoon especially on the forehead.  I usually top my foundation with Caron or Chanel powder, the re-powder mid-afternoon.  Because my skin is sensitive to new products, I don’t like to try primers for fear of break-outs.  However, having a beauty blog is all about taking risks, so I’ve been experimenting for the sake of science and beauty.

Dior Crystal Nude is intended to enhance and mattify, by giving a soft glow that reduces the appearance of pores, flaws and all of those undetectable surface textures that those over the age of ten somehow manage to acquire.  Dior explains that “Crystal Nude plays with optical illusion to instantly recreate the perfection of ideal nude skin. . . . Its crystalline formula provides an optical effect: like a softening lens, it shows the skin texture while diminishing its irregularities to instantly reveal a smooth and even complexion.This unprecedented makeup result is obtained with silicone microspheres that have unique properties.”

Crystal Nude comes in a luxurious silver and crystal-toned palette.

Inside, the product appears white but applies as a translucent sheer layer on the skin.  There is a sponge included for application, although I used a foundation brush.  There is a large mirror for those makeup-on-a-plane moments when we can’t get our regular mirrors.

The clear toned portions are a heavy-duty plastic, completely travel-ready.

Crystal Nude is remarkably easy to use.  Even when using this over foundation, it seems impossible to apply too much, although a thin layer works quite well.

  • Applied over foundation:  Crystal Nude applied colorlessly, improving my overall skin texture.  Although I do not have large pores, Crystal Nude dramatically reduced the pores that I do have. “Airbrushed matte glow” describes the effect of Crystal Nude on my skin quite well.  My skin had an overall “matte glow”– meaning that there was no shine at all, although I could see the skin continue to catch the light as I moved my face from side to side with a slight, luminous glow.  Matte without deadening the skin equals everything I’ve ever wanted in a primer.  I loved my skin wearing this.  My makeup lasted all day, without any need to touch up mid-afternoon (no glow!).  It looked polished all the way until 9:00 in the evening when I removed it.  I used this for several days with consistent results every time.  (As an aside, I did not use a finishing powder when I used Crystal Nude over foundation).
  • Applied under foundation:  My skin looked slightly less matte than using Crystal Nude over foundation, yet still quite polished.  Again, pores were very minimal and my skin looked healthy and my foundation looked fabulous until 11:00 pm when I removed it. I’ve literally never had my foundation look this good all day until I removed the product.  (Again, I did not use a finishing powder).  Impressive.
  • Applied instead of foundation: The same staying power, the same improvement in texture.  My skin looks natural but polished.  I can see that this would be a perfect product for women with near-perfect skin as well as for men;  there is zero color and no coverage, and the skin looks very natural but better.

After using the product for seven days, I was extremely pleased with Dior Crystal Nude. It felt very pleasant and light, without feeling heavy or noticeable with other primers I’ve used in the past.  Once I applied it, I forgot that I had it on.  No breakouts (I use an oil cleanser and Clarisonic to remove makeup at the end of every day).  As my experiment came to an end, I went a day without wearing Crystal Nude.  I was sort of shocked to find that my foundation started showing wear and tear by evening–the glow returned.  I’ve found another Holy Grail.

Ingredients: Polymethsilsesquioxane, hydrogenated polyisobutene, dimethicone, tridecl trimellitate, C30-45 olefin, ethylhexl hydroxystearate, dimethicone crosspolymer, phenoxyethenol.

Disclosure: This product was provided by Dior for consideration and review.

Please follow us on....