I know it’s old hat and not terribly cool but I can’t help it, I’m still a big fan of mineral foundation.  Party like it’s 2006 and all that.  You see, the thing is… me and minerals, we shouldn’t get along.  On paper, we’re a match made in hell thanks to my permanently dehydrated complexion and amazing ability to develop flakies quicker than I can say B.B. Cream.  In theory, I should be reaching for the richer cream fondations,and avoiding powders as though my life depended on it.

Except, that with a little bit of care and some post-application hydration, my skin just adores minerals.  Especially in the warmer weather.

I’m going to tell you about the one I’m wearing at the moment.  It was on my lust-list for many years and I finally succumbed to the wantsies when I saw Sirvinya had it down in her blog sale list.

Meow Cosmetics are an indie mineral makeup company from the U.S. who have been operating online for many years now and were one of the first I discovered back when I was a regular user of indie brands.  Their catalogue of products is so vast, I don’t mind admitting that I find it bewildering.  Choosing the correct foundation shade for your skintone is quite a task in itself, admittedly made easier by some great, indepth instructions on the site.

If you think I’m exagerrating, I’m not.  Meow Cosmetics offer a staggering choice of 86 shades.  In three different formulations.  That’s 258 possible combinations of foundation.  Bejesus.

Meow Cosmetics Purrrfect Puss Minerals Foundation in Chausie Frisky

Here’s mine.  It’s the Purrfect Puss formulation which is described as a light-medium formulation with buildable coverage.  It features the brand’s original matte formula but with enough of a sheen to look fresh rather than dull.  The brand boast that their formulation doesn’t need “buffing” in the same way that traditional minerals do… and I find this to be true, a brush-on formula that can be layered nicely without the risk of micro-exfoliating my dry skin and causing further problems.

The shade that I have here is Frisky Chausie.  Two words.  The first “Frisky” relates to the depth of shade (ultra light to dark) and the second “Chausie” is the undertone.  In this case, Frisky = Light and Chausie = Cool Pink.  Making a great match for anyone who is a little pinker than a MAC NW15-20, like me.

Super pale girls will be delighted to hear that there are even two shades lighter than “Frisky” in each undertone!

Meow Cosmetics Purrrfect Puss Minerals Foundation in Chausie Frisky  1

The powder is finely milled, velvet-textured and easy to apply.  I tap a little into the lid and give it a swirl with a dome-topped synthetic brush.  Although a popular choice for many mineral makeup fans, I rarely use a flat-topped kabuki as I just don’t appreciate the fuller coverage, preferring instead to build it as I go… focusing multiple sweeps around the side of the nose and other places where my redness is more pronounced.

I always finish my mineral foundation application with a spritz of hydrating toner, something like the Balance Me Skin Bright Hydrating Mist.  If your skin is less dehydrated than mine, you’ll be fine with a light spritz from a can of Avene water or similar.  I just find that this finishing touch ensures that the product melts into the skin and ensures that it doesn’t look remotely “powdery”.

I’ve included a swatch shot and a before/after below so that you can see how great the colour match is for my complexion.  If you struggle to find a foundation that matches well with your skintone, you should give this range a try – sample baggie sizes are also available should you need to order a small selection to find your perfect match.

Meow Cosmetics Purrrfect Puss Minerals Foundation in Chausie Frisky Swatch

meow-cosmetics-foundation-before-after

Meow Cosmetics Mineral Foundation in Frisky Chausie is available to buy online in three different sizes with prices ranging from $1 to $23.45

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Sarah McNamara Miracle Skin Transformer Face SPF20 Spotlight

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 24 - 2014

I don’t know about you, but whenever I hear about a new all-in-one face base, I get very hopeful at the thought of being able to shave minutes from my morning beauty routine… any opportunities to hit the snooze button in bed are precious to me and I welcome them with open arms.

Sarah McNamara is a lady that I’d never heard of before but her range is available to purchase in the UK via QVC and includes a variety of products based around the idea of one-step application products that are designed to “instantly transform your skin”.  Her hero product, and the one that launched the brand’s range is the original Miracle Skin Transformer SPF20 which has recently been flanked by the illuminating “Spotlight” version of the product, which I’ve been trialling over the past few weeks.

Sarah McNamara Miracle Skin Transformer Face Spotlight

Sarah McNamara Miracle Skin Transformer Face Spotlight 02

Sarah McNamara Miracle Skin Transformer Face Spotlight 06

Sarah McNamara Miracle Skin Transformer Face Spotlight 03

Sarah McNamara Miracle Skin Transformer Face Spotlight Swatches

The product claims to be a 5-in-1 skin enhancer to help hydrate, prime, illuminate and protect your skin.  My hormonal dryness is the bane of my life at the moment and I’m sticking to products that promise to brighten the dullness and provide coverage that I can amp up with concealer as needed.

On paper, the Miracle Skin Transformer Face SPF20 Spotlight should be exactly what I’m looking for… but can a suit-all product cope with my drier-than-normal complexion?

At this time of year, I’m not too concerned about SPF protection but in the Summer, I would be all over the SPF20 this product provides… my only caveat is whether you’re actually applying enough of it to achieve the rating stated on the bottle.

The formula is silicone-based with the traditional primer slip and glide.  It takes a reasonable amount of rubbing in to blend so I’d recommend applying it with your fingers rather than a brush, something I’m happy to do with a lighter base product.  The illumination is there in the form of a subtle and rather grown-up sparkle which you can hopefully detect in my swatch photo set above.

My biggest issue with this product is that it’s sadly just too dark for me.  The original Miracle Skin Transformer is available to purchase in a variety of shades but this Spotlight (illuminating) flanker is only available in the one shade.  It’s best suited to fair-medium skintones and if you’re any paler or darker than this, you’ll be limited to applying only a thin layer of product before it starts impacting on your natural skin colour.

Sadly, this isn’t the answer I’ve been looking for… it copes well with my dryness and doesn’t ball-up or migrate toward the drier patches but it’s just not the all-in-one solution I was hoping for.  Because of the shade, I can’t actually apply enough of the product to achieve any kind of even skintone without darkening my pale skin… so for me, it works purely a primer… and I already have plenty of illuminating primers that I’m happier with for my skin-type.

I’d have little hesitation in recommending this as being one of those products that would probably work fabulously on women without any real skin issues, I could imagine it being a great summer-holiday investment for fair/medium-skinned folk who are looking for a little sun protection and illumination without a foundation-heavy feeling on their skin.

Sarah McNamara Miracle Skin Transformer Face SPF20 Spotlight is available to buy online from qvcuk.com, currently priced at £26.88

* press sample

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Guerlain Tenue de Perfection Timeproof Foundation Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 17 - 2013

Sometimes technology baffles me.  I’m not talking the kind of bewilderment that leaves my Dad staring blankly at the DVD player for hours on end until someone finally takes pity and shows him where the eject button is; I mean the type of bemusement that comes from trying to understand something that employs so much science, you need a minimum of a BSc to know where to start.

Let’s just say then, for simplicity’s sake, the new Guerlain foundation is really rather technical.

Guerlain Tenue de Perfection Foundation Review_1

It’s pretty much an unspoken rule that for a foundation to be long-lasting, I mean… truly marketed on its long-lasting qualities, it will generally suit one particular skintype over another.  Oily-skinned ladies, this one’s for you.  Except, it’s not.  Well, it is, but it’s not just for you alone… supposedly.  Confused?  Me too… stick with me…

Guerlain’s Tenue de Perfection Timeproof Foundation makes no bones about being a wear-proof foundation, it’s been designed to provide the kind of longevity that will see you through the day, and then some.  It sells itself on “unfailing perfection”, an “infallible formula”, and “16-hour hold”.  These are no meagre claims.

Guerlain Tenue de Perfection Foundation Review_2

The thing about this foundation is that, it doesn’t feel like a traditional longwear foundation.  It feels exceptionally lightweight on the skin, delivering a classic velvety texture without immediately seeking out my dry patches (although in fairness, I’m not winter dry at the moment), and coverage-wise, it offers a medium, buildable formula.  This is what I mean about the rule-breaking… this isn’t really how long-wearing foundations are supposed to feel or look.

With regards to how it feels on the skin, for those who are familiar with other formulas, I would say that this feels somewhat similar to the recent Armani Maestro Fusion foundation… it’s a barely-there product with a lot of slip.  Except this one has more pigment, more coverage in a single sweep, and doesn’t highlight dry flakes within seconds of application.

Guerlain Tenue de Perfection Foundation Review_3

I’m not going to try to explain, question or debunk the science behind this foundation because I don’t understand it enough to pretend that I do!  Let me instead, present the information to you as it is written in the press release.  Perhaps between us… we’ll share a greater understanding of the technical aspects.

The formula forms a complexion-enhancing film over the skin through the use – a first for Guerlain – of three volatile oils that evaporate one after the other.  Three different volatilities create a flawless complexion in three stages.

The first masterstroke: the first oil evaporates instantly under the fingers, to ensure perfect wear for the product and allow it to melt into the skin, which immediately appreciates its softness.

The second key step: the second oil coats the skin, more completely and evaporates just after helping the foundation to glide evenly over the skin, providing perfectly uniform coverage.

The third highlight: the final oil is then released to apply and fix the Timeproof complex, ensuring irreproachable correction and all-day hold.

So, my understanding of this is that the first two (of the three) oils, exist to provide a kind of “inbuilt primer” for the foundation.  Encouraging greater glide and skin prep… but that, the key to the success of this foundation is in the fact that these oils “evaporate”, therefore ensuring that they don’t interfere with the formula’s longevity later in the day.  The third oil, I’m not entirely sure about.  As I said, it’s a bit beyond me!

Guerlain Tenue de Perfection Foundation Review_4

Now, back to my trialling…

Well, you can see from the before/after pictures above that the colour match was not good for my skintone.  I used shade 13 Rose Naturel.  I count nine shades available on the retailer’s websites, which appear to be grouped according to undertone: beige, rose, and golden (dore).  Although the rose undertone is obviously correct for me, it looks as though I would need the “clair (light)” version rather than the “naturel (natural)” which I have here.

It appears that there may only be two depth-stages in the rose undertone (the aforementioned clair and naturel)… so I’m not entirely sure how pale this foundation actually goes.  Definitely do some counter-swatching and don’t buy this one blind.

You can see that the foundation evens out the skintone quite nicely but doesn’t eliminate the need for a concealer… this doesn’t provide heavy-duty coverage for blemishes but is buildable for areas of discolouration or uneven skin-tone.

You should also be able to detect that it doesn’t mask any natural luminosity either, both photos were taken within 2-minutes of each other and my skin displays similar highlights without any additional dullness after applying the foundation.  Basically, my skin still looks like skin.

I think that in the colder months, as my skin becomes more parched, I might uncover some issues with this foundation.  After wearing this for around five hours, I did notice that dryness had become more apparent when looking closely in the mirror.  Although the foundation hadn’t slipped from my t-zone – infact it lived up very well to its claims of longevity – it had gathered slightly on the dry patches around my mouth and nose.  Just enough to highlight them.

All in all, I’m intrigued, if not completely sold on this foundation.  It doesn’t help when you don’t have a colour match because your eye is instinctively drawn to the flaws that this accentuates but from the time that I did spend wearing it (indoors), I can vouch for a longlasting, lightweight formula that evens the skintone in a natural way without masking luminosity.  As for the technology, well your guess is as good as mine!

Guerlain Tenue de Perfection Timeproof Foundation is priced at £37 and available to buy on counter and online at debenhams.com, harrods.com and feelunique.com now.

* press sample

Boots No7 Stay Perfect Foundation Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 14 - 2013

I promised a proper review of the Boots No7 Stay Perfect Foundation* that I’ve been practically living in all Summer. I also mentioned about how I’d never in my wildest dreams actually imagined that it would work well on my skintype.

I don’t know about you but there are certain preconceptions I have when I hear the marketing blurb about products. To me, something that is touted as “stay perfect” or “long-lasting” inevitably puts me in mind of a foundation designed for oilier skintypes. At the very least, something that my dry/combination skin would fail to tolerate.

In this instance, I was wrong.

No7 Stay Perfect Foundation Review Calico

No7 Stay Perfect foundation comes in an impressive range of 17 shades and I, somewhat predictably, was matched to the lightest of these: Calico.  I find Calico to be quite neutral in terms of hue, leaning neither too pink nor too yellow.

The finish is semi-matte and I’m unsure at this moment in time how my skin will tolerate this foundation when Winter comes around.  I’d hypothesise that we may not be quite such good buddies once the dry-flakes settle in for the season but at the moment, whilst my skin is very much “combination”, the No7 Stay Perfect is ticking all the right boxes.

One of the reasons I’m getting on so well with this foundation is down to a slightly unusual reason, the packaging.  In terms of how much product the pump dispenses, for me… it’s perfect.  Now, I don’t know about you… but unless a pump dispenses a ridiculous amount of product, I generally just apply the lot without really thinking about it.  This one dispenses slightly less than the average pump’s worth, but isn’t so meagre that it makes you want to dispense another pump.  For some reason, this makes me really work the product into the skin… stroking and buffing the liquid formula until I achieve what is, quite literally, the perfect amount of coverage for me.

I know that it seems such a strange reason to love a foundation but it wasn’t until I used this that I realised just how much I tend to simply (over)apply whatever is dispensed onto the back of my hand without thinking.

No7 Stay Perfect Foundation Review Calico Texture

The Boots No7 Stay Perfect foundation gives me enough coverage (I’d class it as sheer/medium) to tone down the redness around my nose without obliterating my natural skin-texture, it evens out most areas without masking natural radiance and most of all, it lasts almost all day without slipping from my nose or chin.  My only caveat with this product is I feel that it has a problem with oxidisation, something I can just about get away with because I’m not particularly heavy-handed during application.

The formula feels lightweight on the skin and pairs beautifully with a silicone-based primer, despite the included SPF.  Infact, this is the first foundation I’ve used that actually makes me want to reach for a primer.  I’ve worn it both with and without but for literally, the first time, I can see a difference in my skin texture when using a primer.  It glides over the top and gives a great impression of minimising some of the pores on my cheeks.  I’m all about cutting out the extra steps during makeup application but I genuinely get a little bit excited when I apply this foundation/primer combo (for the record, I’m using my DHC Velvet Skin Coat primer).

No7 Stay Perfect Foundation Review Calico Swatch

Anyway, enough gushing… I’ve taken my time with this review because I feel strongly about its value as a bloody great foundation.  For me, it’s a bloody great foundation.  It also helps that it doesn’t cost ££££, no?  Slightly bizarrely, I really seem to get on better with high-street foundations than expensive ones.  Good for me, I suppose!

The picture below shows the foundation with a full-face of makeup on top.  No highlighter or light-reflective blush, I’m loving the natural luminosity!  I just hope and pray I’ll still be able to wear this once the weather turns cooler.

No7 Stay Perfect Foundation Review Calico FOTD

Boots No7 Stay Perfect Foundation is available to buy online and instore at Boots, priced at £14.  Have you tried it?

* press sample

What was the last foundation you tried and loved?

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 30 - 2013

Long-time readers of Lipglossiping will know that I’m a total foundation tart. One of these days, I shall snap you a picture of my foundation drawer and you’ll all think “That woman’s got one hell of a problem”.

And you’d probably be right.

foundation

You see, foundation is the one product that promises so much and often delivers so little. In fairness, I understand the many, many variables when it come to finding a perfect foundation fit and it’s one of those products where opinions suffer from a huge dose of subjectivity.

Anyway, today… I want to know about YOUR foundation loves. Tell me about the last (new) foundation you tried and loved?

Here’s mine:

The last foundation I tried and loved (prompting this post!) is Dr. Lewinns Skin Perfect Foundation*.  A great shade match, dependable medium/full-coverage, and more importantly… a velvety finish without drying my skin? That bit is kinda miraculous on my troublesome chops.  I’m on day 5 of wearing it and admittedly, my skin isn’t too dry at the moment… I shall keep testing and see if this novelty wears off, full review soon.

So, do you flit from base to base or are you resolutely faithful to your one true love?

* press sample

Clinique CC Cream, all that and a bag of chips?

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 16 - 2013

I’m engaged in a bit of a tempestuous relationship with Clinique’s new CC Cream*.  A turbulent love affair that swings from “YOU DO NOTHING FOR ME!”, to “HOW DID I EVER LIVE WITHOUT YOU?”  Unforunately for you dear reader, this may make for a somewhat confused review that I’m hoping will unravel itself by the end of the post, leaving me standing firmly on one side (or the other) of the fence.

First up, CC Creams… why would you need one?

Marketed as the industry’s answer to colour-correction, you should be interested in them if you suffer from a range of tonal issues.  Nose like a lush?  Hyperpigmentation like an ageing banana?  The CC Cream, in theory, should help to brighten, reduce dark spots, take out redness, reduce sallowness and act as your one-stop solution to anything that removes you from the “normal” range for skintones.  Of course, that’s not actually going to happen, not in the biblical sense at least… we’ve been around the block long enough to reduce our expectations somewhat when it comes to these kind of claims.

But still, it’s an interesting theory… particularly when you’re not expected to use these CC Creams as a stand-alone base product.  The CC Cream should be considered a primer, something that will prep your skintone in advance of your usual base product.  Except, that’s not actually the case here.  Bucking the trend, Clinique have released a CC Cream that contains enough pigment to actually act as your base product… oh, ok then.

Clinique CC Cream Review

Forming part of their established Moisture Surge range, the Clinique CC Cream promises to deliver oil-free hydration, colour-correction, and sun protection.  It comes in a total of six shades ranging from Very Light to Deep and contains a summer-appropriate broad spectrum SPF30.  For your money, you get a fairly generous 40ml of product… though priced at £28, it sits at the higher end of Clinique’s pricing for their base products – has anyone else noticed their recent price jumps?

Clinique CC Cream Review2

Application is a little tedious and best achieved (in my opinion) with clean fingers, a little at a time, working the product into the areas of the skin that need “correcting” before blending toward the edges of the face.  The thick texture requires you pay attention to ensure that your blending skills are up to par, I’m assuming that this is a side-effect of a higher SPF protection.  That being said, it’s a product that will happily accept a few layers over the areas that require a little more help.

The shade Very Light is well-suited to my skintone despite it looking somewhat peachy when initially dispensed from the tube.  I would say that instead of brightening my complexion, it actually dulls it a little.  It’s not a disaster, because I’m handy with a bit of highlighter… but still, it seems to take away radiance rather than inject it.

Clinique CC Cream Review3

Clinique CC Cream Review4

Clinique CC Cream Review5

So how does its colour-correcting capabilities perform?  Well, it certainly does “something” but I’m not convinced that it achieves it in a different way to any other light-coverage base product on the market.  In other words, I wouldn’t bat an eyelid if Clinique had called it something other than a CC Cream.  You know, maybe something breakthrough like “tinted moisturiser”… but as much as this irritates me, I can’t dismiss the product because it does fit in perfectly with my preferred summer makeup routine.

Even though it delivers too much blanket coverage for me to value it as anything other than yet-another-tinted-moisturiser-masquerading-as-something-new, my dehydrated skin bloody loves it.

Once applied, the gluey texture diminishes and leaves behind a velvety finish that feels comfortable on the skin without encouraging too much shine across my t-zone.  The level of sun protection means that I don’t feel too guilty about forgetting to apply a separate SPF underneath, particularly when I’m finishing off my base routine with a dusting of (SPF-rated) mineral foundation to achieve a more complete level of coverage.

Clinique CC Cream Review6

So, there you go.  I feel like I’m fence-sitting a little, despite my best intentions not to.  Incase you’re under any misconception, I’m calling bullshit on the CC Cream status because I’m not seeing anything that I wouldn’t get from a standard (good) tinted moisturiser.  The areas of my face that aren’t affected by diffused redness are displaying the same colour-correction as my red bits… it just doesn’t feel like they’re being cleverly targeted in a specific manner.

That being said, I like the product.  Go and get a sample from your nearest counter and try it on your face before deciding if it’s the kind of product that would fit in with your daily routine.  Certainly don’t judge it on a back-of-the-hand swatch like I did when it was first released, once applied to the face it’s a completely different animal and very kind to those of us with complicated moisture-concerns.

Clinique’s Moisture Surge CC Cream is priced at £28 for 40ml and available on counter and online from clinique.co.uk and johnlewis.com

* press sample

Under the Spotlight: Kiehl’s NEW BB Cream!

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 4 - 2013

If ever there was a product subject to some major scrutiny on this here blog, this would be it. You see, Kiehl’s recently discontinued one of my favourite base products: their Ultra Facial Tinted Moisturizer… and this, their new Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream has taken its hallowed place. I’m not entirely happy about this but I am curious to see how it compares, and ultimately, differs.

If Kiehl’s have done away with a fantastically valued tinted moisturiser – we’re talking 75ml of product for £20.50 – and replaced it with a glorified 30ml of tinted moisturiser (hyped as a BB cream), priced at £23.50 for 30ml, I’m not going to be a Kiehl’s fan for much longer am I?

Kiehl's new BB Cream

Old vs New

Their old tinted moisturiser was a no-fuss product without any real skincare claims (not withstanding a less-than-substantial broad spectrum SPF15). Other than fantastic value, a naturally sheer coverage, and some thoroughly decent moisturising capabilities, it delivered nothing more. But that was all I wanted.

The new Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream has far more going on beneath the surface. The most obvious of which is broad spectrum SPF50 PA+++ sun protection. Whether or not one physically applies enough product to benefit from this protection in the real world is still up for discussion but it does at least, offer it in the first place.

It’s also been formulated with a high level of Vitamin C to help boost skin radiance and fade dark spots, which combined with a moisturising base certainly does enough to qualify bullshit-free, bonafide BB Cream status.

Kiehl's new BB Cream

the old Tinted Moisturiser (on the left) compared to the new BB Cream

You can see that the texture of the two base products are completely different. At this point, my faith in Kiehl’s has been restored and I’m sufficiently convinced that their new release isn’t simply an excuse to bump the price on an old favourite.

So what do I actually think of Kiehl’s new BB Cream now that I’m happy to judge it on its own merits?

It’s available in three shades: fair, light, and medium. Of the three shades, I received “light” which is sadly a little too dark for my skintone as you’ll see in the following photos.

The texture is thick and the tone is fairly neutral, it certainly doesn’t present the greyed-hues of some Asian BB Creams which should please anyone who finds they tend to look ashy on their skin. Unfortunately, if I’m wearing the “middle” shade of the three, anyone with a darker skintone will feel excluded from this launch.

Kiehl's new BB Cream

Please excuse the pin curl clip!

The texture feels heavier than their tinted moisturiser and yet provides only the same level of coverage and skin-unifying. The heavier texture is something that can often be expected from a product with increased sun-protection. Nevertheless, the finish isn’t greasy or even particularly dewy, something that many combination/oily skintypes should be pleased about.

I don’t feel that the BB Cream delivers the same level of prolonged moisture to my skin as the original tinted moisturiser did, and as someone with dry skin – this has the potential to be a deal-breaker for me. To be fair to Kiehl’s, this new BB Cream isn’t marketed toward any specific oily/combo/dry skin issues and as such, I’m assuming it’s more of a one-type-suits-all product. Taking this into consideration, I’m impressed that it neither highlights nor clings to my dry patches.

One thing that I will say improves upon my beloved tinted moisturiser is the longevity of the BB Cream. I have worn it on four ocassions and each time, coverage has lasted comfortably into the evening – something my old favourite would never have been able to achieve.

Ultimately, I don’t like Kiehl’s Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream as much as I liked their Ultra Facial Tinted Moisturiser, not for my specific skin concerns and not for my wallet.

However, as a BB Cream, and standing on its own merits, it performs very well and should suit most skin-types thanks to a formula that genuinely seeks to provide an effective skincare treatment alongside surface beautification.

Kiehl’s Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream is priced at £23.50 for 30ml and available to buy on counter and online at www.kiehls.co.uk

* press sample

The Body Shop Vitamin E Cool BB Cream

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 20 - 2013

I received a press release yesterday announcing the upcoming launch of a new BB cream to the UK market from The Body Shop.  Vitamin E Cool BB Cream is set to hit the stands next Tuesday (26th March) and promises to deliver light coverage in a moisture-rich formula.

The BB Cream will expand upon the bestselling Vitamin E range (a range of which, I’m personally a big fan – toner anyone?) and is enriched with wheatgerm oil, one of nature’s richest sources of Vitamin E.  It can’t actually find any other skincare benefits from this one, and with no sun-protection or other anti-aging technology included… it’s not really a BB Cream is it now?  HAI TINTED MOISTURISER!

Launching 26th March - £10.00

Launching 26th March – £10.00

Perhaps most interestingly, The Body Shop have dared to release this new BB Cream in only one shade, classing it as a one-shade-fits-all product.  In reality, this can only mean one thing, coverage will be extremely, extremely light.

From a personal point of view (screw you guys), I’m particularly interested in this release because, if you’re a long-term follower, you may remember that my favourite Summer foundation trick is to use a light, moisturising liquid/cream base with just a hint of colour before applying mineral powder foundation ontop to adjust my coverage level until I’m happy with the finish.

Could this be my new favourite thing?  I AM EXCITE!

Will you be trying it?

The Body Shop Vitamin E Cool BB Cream launches next week, priced at a purse-cheering £10.00, available in-store or online at www.thebodyshop.co.uk

Eye Candy: Limited Edition Jonathan Adler for BareMinerals

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 5 - 2013

When we first moved into our new flat, I was all about painting chevrons on a feature wall and incorporating some graphic loveliness into our interior design.  Of course, it being our first home, we ended up taking more inspiration from the sale corner at Ikea than the distant reaches of my imagination.

This beautiful limited-edition set* from BareMinerals features New York designer Jonathon Adler’s signature aesthetic, I think we should all just take a moment to enjoy its prettiness.

Eye Candy: Limited Edition Jonathan Adler for BareMinerals

Eye Candy: Limited Edition Jonathan Adler for BareMinerals

Eye Candy: Limited Edition Jonathan Adler for BareMinerals

Eye Candy: Limited Edition Jonathan Adler for BareMinerals

Eye Candy: Limited Edition Jonathan Adler for BareMinerals

Eye Candy: Limited Edition Jonathan Adler for BareMinerals

Eye Candy: Limited Edition Jonathan Adler for BareMinerals

There, doesn’t that feel better?

The Limited Edition Jonathan Adler for BareMinerals set contains an Original SPF15 Foundation in luxury size, a Handy Buki Brush, and collectible box.

The set is a Selfridges exclusive, available on counter and online now, priced at £50.00

* press sample

That beautiful moment when makeup does what it’s supposed to…

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 27 - 2013

We wear makeup for many different reasons. Some of us like to experiment with colour, some of us like to improve upon our natural beauty *cough*, and some of us enjoy piling on everything we own just because we can.

At the moment, I’m somewhere between number two and a facefull of slap. Whenever I’m sick (is she still going on about that?), my skin is the first place it shows and the last place it recovers. Flaky, blotchy, purple under the eyes, and spots a-plenty are the order of the day. Which is exactly what one needs when you already feel like shit, of course.

Whilst I’d love to tweak my skincare routine to improve my natural radiance and rebalance my complexion from the inside out… I’d also like to be able to sprout a pair of wings and crap on the EDL headquarters from a great height. Sadly, neither are happening any time soon, and so instead, I turn to my makeup routine for the answers and pray that it won’t fail me.

a skin transformation_01

This isn’t a tutorial as such, I’m no bleedin’ make up artist after all… but I thought I’d go into some real depth about the products that I’m using to work, what is basically, a skin miracle at the moment.

a skin transformation_02

First things first, skin prep. If your skin is suffering, you can’t ignore this step in the routine. It’s imperative that you give your makeup the best possible base upon which to sit. It may be that you’re fighting an oil-slick or something akin to moon craters, or perhaps like me… you’re battling dryness of epic proportions. Take an extra five-minutes to target these concerns before you even go near your face with foundation, the finished result will be worth the effort.

a skin transformation_03

Starting with a cleansed, exfoliated, and moisturised face… I deal with the dryness that has been causing my foundation to cling in patches. Upon Caroline‘s advice, I’m treating my skin to a moisture sandwich of oil and cream, first with an Elemis Cellular Recovery Skin Bliss (£62.00) capsule which delivers an antioxidant-rich hydration boost in the form of moringa oil, followed immediately by a generous layer of La Roche Posay’s Nutritic Intense Riche* (£14.00)

And then I wait. A couple of minutes later, I can tell where I need additional hydration, so I work a little more of the LRP into the skin, avoiding the areas that are prone to midday oiliness. That done, I move onto the one product that generally replaces “primer” for me during the colder months.

a skin transformation_04

Maqpro Makeup Mixer (from £8.00) is a makeup artist’s trick taught to me by the wonderful Kenneth Soh who recommended it to me a couple of years ago as a great base for mineral products on drier skins. It’s a tip that continues to save me whenever my skin is behaving badly. Not only is it a wonderful mixer for sheering out heavier foundations, it also does wonders for improving how a product applies over, and sits ontop of dry skin without compromising the moisture levels underneath.

At this point, I use a brush to apply the Maqpro but I don’t work it fully into the skin, preferring instead to dot the product allover with the brush and only lightly blend. This way, it combines easily and increases the glide of the next layer of product.

a skin transformation_05

a skin transformation_06

Before even contemplating foundation, I still want to improve the radiance levels of my skin. A lot of the time, I reach for a liquid illumintor that I can apply allover and then “tone down” with foundation. I’ve been trying something a little different recently in the form of this rather splendid Lyster Cream Bronzer* (£36.00) from Swedish brand Manasi Makeup.

The pot contains far more product (55g) than I could ever see myself using and as such, I do wish they offered a smaller-size for less money but I can’t deny that the product itself is beautiful. Free from mineral oils and parabens, it delivers something inbetween a bronzer and a luminizer that works very nicely against my pale skintone. If you’re blessed with naturally great skin, I could see something like this being your one-pot wonder for sunkissed, healthy-looking skin without fear of looking orange or overdone.

I tap my brush lightly on the top (you don’t need much) and work the bronzer all over my skin using a circular motion, it blends nicely… but even more beautifully with my layer of Maqpro beneath it.

a skin transformation_07

Finally, it’s time for foundation! At the moment, I’m alternating between my Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in shade 4.5 (£34.50) and my beloved tube of Clinique Supermoisture Makeup* (£19.35) which is a better option for when I don’t have the time to do this kind of skin prep. If I am using the Clinique, I skip the Maqpro in this next step as it’s an exceptionally moisture-rich foundation on its own merit.

When I’m using anything other than the Clinique, I reach again for the Maqpro (as shown below). One blob of each and using the same face brush as I’ve been using all along, I give the products a little mix on the back of my hand before working into my skin lightly.

a skin transformation_08

I never apply foundation heavily or in more than one layer when my skin is playing up because it doesn’t matter how much preparation or effort I put into the application, after a few hours… my foundation will clump over the dehydrated patches if it’s too heavy. Which is why, I always reach for concealer as the last step despite usually being a bit of a concealer-phobe when my skin is less fussy.

a skin transformation_09

Bare Minerals SPF 20 Correcting Concealer* (£21.00) is the perfect choice for dry skin-types thanks to a light texture and a lot of slip. It’s very creamy and offers a good amount of coverage, making it a great choice when your aim is to keep your layers as thin as possible. The final step is a little precision highlighting with something like the iconic YSL Touche Eclat (£25.00).

Now, that’s quite a lot of product but use my “how-to” as a guide rather than a manual. The principles are simple and you’ll already have certain products in your collection that you know you can substitute…

1. Make a real effort to get your skin in the best condition possible before you go near it with colour.
2. Work in thin, lightweight layers.
3. Add additional moisture or “slip” as you go.
4. Now isn’t the time for powder, keep things creamy.
5. If you’re nervous about being too heavy-handed with illuminator or bronzer, apply it before your foundation.
6. Leave concealer until the last possible moment, you’ll end up using less product as a result.

How’s your skin behaving at the moment and what trickery are you employing to get the best from your complexion?

* press sample

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in Nude

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 7 - 2013

I took the pictures for this review before Christmas, in-case you’re wondering why my hair has changed colour again.  I’ve decided to review this now because I’m at the stage where I need to decide whether or not I’ll be repurchasing a tube, usually my reviews help me justify or dismiss potential repurchases and I’ve been umm-ing and ahh-ing ove this one!

The Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer has been a global phenomenon since the brand launched over 15 years ago, it’s a product that has satisfied the niche between barely-there and light coverage although personally, I’ve always viewed it as a sheer foundation rather than a tinted moisturiser.  So popular has it proven over the years, that it’s now available in four incarnations: the original tinted moisturizer, an oil-free version, an illuminating version, and most recently… a creme compact.

It promises a healthy “no makeup, makeup look”, which to be fair, is precisely what it delivers.  If you’re blessed with a reasonable complexion and don’t like the feeling of heavy foundation on your skin, you may have already fallen under this product’s spell.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer

I’ve always loved the fuss-free packaging that belies its £33.00 price tag.  It says nothing about luxury yet everything about practicality and this tube has certainly seen better days after being thrown around inside weekend bags, handbags, and suitcases.  There’s no pump to fail and no wide neck to dispense too much product, it just works as it should.  You can tell that this has been borne from the brain of a working makeup artist.

Laura Mercier prides herself and her brand on a flawless skin approach, and boasts that this is their speciality.  Indeed, some of the brand’s most cult products focus precisely on skin-perfecting.  Refreshing, it’s not too often that a brand can actually live up to claims like this.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer

I’ve already discussed the coverage, which I’d describe as that of a light foundation.  For my dry skin, the original formula works well for me… I can’t imagine really needing an extra luminosity that might be provided by the newer illuminating version of the tinted moisturiser and I’d rather not risk losing any wear time.  If you have oily skin, I’d definitely suggest checking out the oil-free version as an alternative to the original as this one certainly doesn’t mattify in any way and you may find yourself blotting fairly often.

My preferred way to apply this is either with my fingers, or if I have a little more time… a dampened sponge.  I usually break out my Beauty Blender for the job and enjoy the total control and buildability I get from this method.  You can see in the before/after below… the Nude shade is slightly too warm for my winter skintone but as this is something I tend to use in the Summer (it also contains a broad spectrum SPF20), you’ll have to trust that the tonal difference is much less noticeable once the sun has put in a few weeks appearance.

Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer lasts well enough throughout the day not to cause me any grumbles but does need setting with a translucent powder in warmer weather.  It’s a truly natural finish product with a little bit of a skin crutch for those of us with unevenness.  It won’t cover blemishes on its own, and neither is it expected to.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer

Active Ingredients: Avobenzone (2.0%), Octinoxate (7.5%).
Other Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Peg-40 Castor Oil, Dimethicone, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Cyclomethicone, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Hexyl Laurate, Emu Oil (Dromiceius Oil), Tocopheryl Acetate, Cetyl Peg/Ppg-10/1 Dimethicone, Polysorbate 60, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Peg-15 Cocamine, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Allantoin, Carbomer, Aminomethyl Propanol, Methylparaben, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Sodium Ascorbate, Isopropylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Butylparaben, Propylparaben. May Contain (+/-): Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499 (Iron Oxides), Ci 77019 (Mica).

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer is available to buy on counter or online at uk.spacenk.com and urbanretreat.co.uk

As for whether I’ll repurchase?  Honestly, it’s probably a little too early in the year to consider it and I’m so tempted by her Creme Smooth foundation that I’ll probably leave it for now.

Are you a fan of the classic Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer?

YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 5 - 2013

I’ve been having a strange relationship with the YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat foundation over the past month.  To begin with, I loved it… then the snow came, my skin became drier and this love affair turned into a horror story.  But now… it’s coming good again.  Let me start at the beginning.

I bought this online from the YSL site just before Christmas and was more excited about this purchase than almost any other throughout the year.  All the reviews I’d read had described its ability to deliver a luminous, sheer finish that dry skintypes would adore.  Most reviewers marked it down a little on lasting power, but that didn’t bother me.  All in all, I figured that I’d found my perfect foundation.

I ordered BR10 the lightest “pink” shade, untested because there seemed to be a jump between the lightest and second lightest shades, in my mind, I was erring on the side of caution.  It’s actually a little too pale for me, I should have gone for the next shade up.  It looks ok in the before/after photo at the bottom of the post but it can look a little ghostly unless I work it in to the skin carefully, it just think it has the potential to look much better tone-wise, were it a hair darker.

YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation Review

So what’s right with it and what’s wrong with it?

Well firstly, it’s extremely faithful to its Touch Eclat concealer counterpart.  It does indeed add only a little coverage but a lot of luminosity, it’s actually quite an unusual formula for a foundation in this regard.  It doesn’t cover redness exceptionally well, neither does it cover blemishes (although it combines beautifully with concealer).  Despite this, it delivers a very natural uniformity across the face and it’s honestly quite hard for me to put my finger on just how it achieves this.  It’s one of those foundations that anyone with a normal skintype should adore, but the further away your skin is from the “normal”, the more problems I suspect you’ll encounter.

When I first started using the YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation, my skin was dry but not problematic, I kept it well-exfoliated and well-moisturised.  As January progressed, my skin became drier still, I developed the kind of dryness that forms patches where the texture would be markedly different… not quite flaky, but heading in that direction and boy, did this foundation show it.

YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation Review

The particularly odd and redeeming feature about this foundation however is in its ability to adapt and melt into your skin.  Without fail, each time I applied it… things would improve after around 15 minutes.  I hypothesised that perhaps I was missing a trick and should be using the warmth from my fingers to apply it and achieve a better initial result, but no… it still grumbled terribly about my dry patches, only to look remarkably less rubbish quarter of an hour later.

So really, this foundation is still a bit of an enigma to me.  I don’t mind that it doesn’t hold up so well down the bridge of my nose as the day progresses, although I’d imagine that oilier skintypes will be exceptionally bothered by this.  And I don’t mind that it doesn’t fully cover my redness on the sides of my nose and cheeks because a touch of loose powder and/or concealer really brings the coverage up to par.

I love the luminosity that it delivers, how lightweight it feels on my skin, and the way it melts into my skintone as time progresses, almost as if it’s self-adjusting.  I really hope that I love it even more when the weather warms up but I’m concerned that my shade mismatch will be the nail in the coffin for this bottle.

If you have a fairly normal skintype and you’re looking for a foundation that is a genuine “my skin but better” affair but with more refinement and coverage than a tinted moisturiser, you should be running to your local YSL counter.  Anyone else, please beg, steal or borrow a sample before splurging.  Also, make sure you ask the SA to shade match you, there are an amazing 22 shades from which you can choose.

Ingredients: Aqua/Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Clycerin, Dimethicone, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Sorbitol, Bis-PEG/PPG-14/14 Dimethicone, Dimethicone/Polyglycerin-3 Crosspolymer, Sodium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Ethylhexyl-Glycerin, Parfum, Aluminum Hydroxide, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Dipropylene Glycol, Isotridecyl Isononanoate, {+/- May Contain: CI 77891, CI 77492, CI 77499 / Iron Oxides, CI 77163 / Bismuth Oxychloride], (F.I.L. B50106/2)

YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation is available on counter and online, priced at £28 for 30ml

* I keep meaning to do some arm swatches of my current foundations with their shade names, just so you can see the shades I’m using at the moment… there may not be much in the way of words to accompany, but if I’ve reviewed it, I’ll link.  Sound useful?

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