Skinfood Gingko Green BB Cream

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 1 - 2010

My first foray into the infamous world of BB Creams!

What are BB Creams?

BB Cream stands for Blemish Balm Cream and is a very popular base product in Asia.  Korean companies in particular offer a wide-range of BB Creams to suit many different skin types.  They fill the gap in the market between cosmetics and skincare… a product designed to give flawless coverage whilst benefiting the health of your skin in one (or many) ways.

I first heard of BB Creams when I went to South Korea a few years ago, I had absolutely no idea what they were or did until I arrived back in the UK and started blog reading.

BB Creams at the minimum, offer moisturisation and coverage, with many more offering SPF, Whitening Properties and Anti-Aging to name but a few.  They’re big business in Asia and have been slowly but steadily making a splash amongst makeup aficionados worldwide.

So, why has it taken me so long to try one?  Ultimately… convenience.  You have to head to eBay or online stores that specialise in Asian cosmetics.  Then you have to work out which BB Cream you fancy trying and frankly, there are so many available… it all gets a bit confusing.

I took the plunge and settled for South Korean brand Skin Food.

Skin Food Gingko Green BB Cream #1 (50g) to be exact.

Here’s what they say about it:

A multi-function product for skin care and makeup.  Containing gingko leaf and green tea extracts rich in lecithin and vitamin B, it protects sensitive skin and improves skin tone.  Use when you want to achieve a bright, radiant skin tone.

It’s a little warmer than my skintone but ultimately blends to a decent match.  Colour matching seems to be one of the biggest issues with BB Creams and it’s always worth googling for a swatch to get an idea of how it might suit you.

The texture is truly rather lovely.  Thick but not so thick that it’s hard to spread.  There’s still enough slip to the product to stop it dragging across your face as you spread it.  Coverage is medium… it tones down my redness quite well and evens out my skintone.  Blemishes are not covered and concealer is necessary.  It really does feel like I’m wearing something different to my usual foundations… far more natural feeling on the skin.

Ultimately, this would be all you need if you’re blessed with great skin.  Oily skins will probably want something a little more matte.  I’m pleased I bought it, do I want to try more?  Oh yes….

I think I may have developed a dangerous new addiction.

Are you a fan of BB Creams?  Let me know some of your favourites!


Stargazer Pro Paint Stick Foundation Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 3 - 2010

I found this amongst my other Star Gazer goodies that I was sent last week and immediately my eyes went into a bit of a roll.

I can be a bit of a foundation snob.  Eyeshadows… I’ll buy and happily use from all price points… but foundation is the base of everything right?  If your base ain’t right… you ain’t coming in.

I have to say though, this Star Gazer Pro Paint Stick is pretty brilliant!  Don’t get wrong… there’s plenty of stuff about it that I don’t like.  For one, it kinda pongs… it smells chemically and cheap.  That’s probably because it is.

For two, the ingredient list is massive… there’s lots of unpronounceables in there.

And for three, well… it’s Star Gazer and not Chanel.  I’m gonna have to hide the packaging. SORRY!  But it’s true, this won’t be taking pride of place on my dressing table.

But snobbery aside; Stargazer Pro Paint Stick is a truly effective full coverage, creamy foundation.  In a stick.

It glides on without drag, #1 Light Flesh (sexy) is a great neutral colour match for me (don’t get this one if you’re darker than a NW/NC15 though) and blends seamlessly with the warmth from my fingers.

I’ve been working out the best way to use it, and for me… I’m loving it as a giant concealer stick.

I swipe the tube over the tops of my cheeks and down the bridge of my nose and blend.  It evens out my skintone beautifully and once set with some translucent powder, doesn’t want to budge.  It means that I can happily coat the rest of my face in tinted moisturiser and be all “la la la I’m wearing tinted moisturiser, isn’t my complexion LOVELY!”

I’ve worn it all over too, but I tend to be a little heavy handed and I get that full-cover slightly sticky mask thing going on.  Here’s a before/after shot.  You should be able to see how well the redness and uneveness is covered?

Priced at £4 each and available from Stargazer online, though the online colour swatches look a bit rubbish.

Quick Illamasqua Powder Foundation Comparison…

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 30 - 2010

…for pale, pasty types.

So, another thing I often reach for in the summer is a bit of powder foundation.  I don’t use it all over, just on the t-zone as an alternative to pressed powder.  It gives me that extra bit of coverage for areas where I suffer from a bit of redness.

I thought this quick photo comparison between a couple of the Illamasqua Powder Foundations that I own might be useful to some.

PF120 and PF145 are both fair shades.  Of the two, PF120 is paler and pinker.  PF145 is a fair, slightly more neutral shade.  I can wear both quite easily without fear of going too dark or too orange.

I love the packaging, although some may find it a touch cumbersome.  Whilst I am enjoying using these, I don’t think I’ll be repurchasing… there’s nothing about them that particularly stands out to me over other great coverage powders.  Infact, I prefer my MAC MSF Natural to both of these.

Illamasqua Powder Foundation is a sheer/medium coverage powder.  If pressed (no pun intended) my favourite thing about this product would be it’s ‘softness’.  It feels forgiving to any drier patches I have on my skin and never seems to go cakey, no matter how heavy-handed I get.  But for me, the coverage and longevity doesn’t live up to my MSF Natural.

Anyway, that was short but (hopefully) sweet.  Illamasqua Powder Foundation is priced at £21 each and available from counters nationwide or online at ASOS and Debenhams.

What are your favourite Powder foundations?

Are you ready for your first time with Matte?

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 24 - 2010

Kudos, that is a pretty cute video!

Matte (incase you haven’t guessed already) is a new mineral foundation from Bare Escentuals which claims a breakthrough formula designed to minimise pores, absorb excess shine without drying skin and keep your skin looking flawless and matte all day long.

Is it sad that I’m actually most excited about the new Click, Lock, Go™ sifter that promises to make spillages a thing of the past?

Bare Escentuals Matte SPF15 Foundation will be available from August exclusively to Selfridges before being rolled out across other counters and concessions nationwide in September.

Do you lighten up for the Summer?

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 21 - 2010

I received the press release for Urban Decay‘s new tinted moisturiser range that’ll be hitting our shores soon and it’s got me thinking…

Do you swap your base product for something lighter in the Summer?

I have a couple of tinted moisturisers on the go throughout the year, but I tend to reach for them more often in the Summer.

I don’t feel that my skin is clear enough (I get redness) to completely rely on a tinted moisturiser, so I tend to use a concealer brush to blend a little foundation over my nose and cheeks.  I’m also not a huge fan of the ‘shine’ that tinted moisturiser always brings to my face.  I need a top notch setting powder to hand with a couple of touch-ups throughout the day.

I do love the lighter feeling though… Oh, why must everything be a compromise?

Urban Defense from Urban Decay will be hitting shelves in Debenhams and Boots soon, priced at £17 for 50ml and could hopefully put the compromising to an end!

Do you opt for tinted moisturisers in the Summer or are you a hardcore full-coverage addict?

Clarins Everlasting Foundation Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 29 - 2010

I was hot… so I bullied Mr. L into getting the fans out of the loft yesterday.  I subsequently spent the night shivering under my duvet but of course, I was too stubborn to turn the damn thing off.

Summer IS a-coming….

There are 2 camps when it comes to Summer foundation… those that want lightweight, breathable cover and those that want their usual good coverage, but with added staying power in warmer weather.

It’s with the 2nd group in mind that I’m reviewing Clarins new Everlasting Foundation.  The clue is in the name… longevity.  Clarins promises 15hrs of impeccable coverage with this product.  15hrs?  That’s enough time to fly halfway round the world!

Let me start by saying that (in my albeit fairly limited experience) I quite like Clarins’ base products… I’m nearing the end of a bottle of their Truly Matte foundation that I cracked open last Summer, the shade wasn’t quite right for me but it did pretty much what it said on the tin.  This Everlasting Foundation promises a flawless matte finish but with that extra insurance factor of lasting through a full day of wear.

Well let’s see if it lives up to it’s claims shall we?

Packaging is beautiful…. a heavyweight frosted glass bottle containing 30ml of product.  The info on the back states that the product is allergy tested and non comedogenic which should make it a fab non-pore clogging option for ‘glowing’ skin.  Ladies don’t sweat remember?

Clarins sent me shade 104 (Cream) for review consideration, it’s a pretty good match… perhaps half a shade too dark, but it blends into my natural skintone well and I thankfully don’t have to blend the product down to my backside to avoid tide marks.

The coverage is indeed matte and I’d call it medium to full… not quite as full-on as say Estee Lauder’s Double Wear, but definitely heading in that direction.  If you want sheer to medium, this isn’t for you.  The product applies beautifully with either a brush or a sponge (I always test things with my beauty blender now too!).  I’m also loving using this with my fingers, the heat from my hands really makes this product melt into my skin… I’m anal about blobby coverage though so I’ve still been finishing off with an allover buff (flat top kabuki) after applying!

Have a close up pic, as always… click to enlarge (barf!)

The one personal downfall I had with this foundation is that I’m a touch too dry skinned for it.  I’m combo normal/dry at the moment (though definitely get oilier in the summer) and I felt that this accentuated my dry patches on my nose.  You may be able to see this in the enlarged image.  Now, whilst this is an issue for me… you oilier ladies should be bouncing in your seats, Clarins Everlasting foundation really kept the shine at bay for many hours thanks to it’s oil-free formula.

But what about it’s claims of Everlasting…um…ness?

Here’s a freshly applied/9 hours later comparison.  No cheating, not even a flick of powder during the day, oh and this was on the hottest day of the year so far…

Now, bear in mind I don’t have very oily skin… but 9 hours is impressive!  To be fair, it didn’t last much longer than this… about another hour before I was properly itching to reach for some powder or something to touch up with!  The coverage on my nose was the first to disappear which is stupid seeing as I’ve just gone on about how I’ve got dry bits there… but I seem to be oily down the bridge with dry bits elsewhere *rolls eyes*.

15hrs? Not quite… but more than long enough to see you through a day at work.  A quick touch up from your favourite powder foundation over the bits that need it and I reckon you’d be set for an evening out aswell.

Clarins Everlasting Foundation (£23) is available from counters nationwide or online at Clarins

Guest Review – bareMinerals SPF 30 Natural Sunscreen

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 26 - 2010

I received this at a press day in the Medium shade which was too dark for me, but a willing guest reviewer came to my rescue!  She’s tried it… and here’s what she has to say about it!

.

I’d like to thank Charlotte for allowing me to be her first guest reviewer!  I hope the experience doesn’t scar her for life, and I hope some of you will find this review helpful.

This is my first experience with the Bare Escentuals bareMinerals range.  They have an excellent track record judging by other reviews, so I was excited to get my hands on this product and try it for myself.

What it claims

The literature that accompanies the product states that the natural mineral sunscreen provides the ultimate sun protection without the heavy, greasy finish.  The micronised Titanium Dioxide mineral instantly shields against UVA/AVB rays to help prevent premature skin ageing and sun damage, is weightless, breathable, non-greasy and won’t clog pores.  It contains vitamins, Aloe Vera extract and antioxidants to promote healthier-looking skin.  It increases sun protection when used under or over your bareMinerals SPF15 foundation.


Presentation

The bottom of the bottle is clear to indicate the colour of the product, and in this case I am using the medium skin tones.  There is 4g/0.14 oz of product.

The ingredients list (for those who can make sense of it!): Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Aloe Barbedensis Leaf Extract, Lycium Chinensis (Lycii Berry) Extract, Ranunculus Ficaria Root Extract, Silica.  Iron oxides, Ultramarines, Bismuth Oxychloride.

The orange and white bottle has a pop-off lid which exposes the brush in the top of the bottle.  The bottom of the bottle is turned to extend the brush, and clicks locked ready for use.  To start the flow of the product, invert the bottle and tap downwards onto your skin until the powder appears.  Then, in a circular motion, you buff the product lightly into your skin.  To close, you turn the bottom of the bottle, the brush retreats back into the bottle and it clicks locked.

So what do I think of it?

I must point out at this stage that my skin is in no flush of early youth.  I will be hitting the big four-oh this year and I am dreading it.  My skin has been well used and has what I like to describe as having all the signs of enjoying a full and happy life.  Having lived in South Africa for 20 years and perhaps not being as religious as I should have been with sunscreen in my teens, I have pigmentation marks that I now regret not preventing and am now kicking myself about. My skin tone is an NC25/30 depending on how much sun exposure I’ve had.

I have a combination skin type, very oily T zone and parchment dry cheek areas.  I’ve had various expeditions into the mineral foundation world, some a lot more successful than others.  My main complaint is that some mineral foundations oxidise on my T zone, leaving an appealing orangey caked effect, whilst my poor cheeks are left looking like powdered parchment, regardless of how much moisturiser I applied beforehand.

The brush extending and retracting back into the bottle is a good idea as the bristles are kept neat and are less likely to splay.  The brush is very soft and kind on the skin, not scratchy at all which is a definite requirement if it’s going anywhere near the sensitive eye area.  It’s a good size too, I thought it would be a lot smaller.  The product didn’t need a lot of encouragement to start the flow, but certainly didn’t flood all over the place either.

The powder itself is pleasantly soft and silky, very finely milled and not at all chalky.  I applied it to my cleansed, toned and moisturised face (after allowing enough time for the moisturiser to soak in completely), using a circular buffing motion.

I felt that my pigmentation marks were a lot less noticeable, and that my skin tone was evened out and looked smoother without being chalky.  I asked Dear Husband what his thoughts were, and he said my skin certainly looked a lot softer and smoother compared to without any product.  The powder didn’t settle into the industrial strength concealer I need to cover my dark under eye circles, and my cheeks didn’t look powdery either.  A good result so far.

I applied my usual mineral foundation on top  to see how it would cope and whether I would look like an explosion in a powder factory, but I only needed to apply a light dusting as the bareMinerals had already done quite a good job by itself.  I would be quite happy to use it on its own to be honest.

As your neck and upper chest area has as much exposure to sun damage as your face, this product can be used all over these areas to offer the same level of protection.

During the day, my T zone had started reminding me that it was indeed my cross to bear in life, but I wasn’t left with any orangey slippage.  Touching up during the day was an easy process because the brush and product were all in one and didn’t take up too much space in my make-up bag.

I think this is an ideal holiday product as it is essentially a foundation and SPF30 all in one.  When I go on holiday, I don’t take a liquid foundation as I want something light which lets my skin breathe,  but I do worry that my mineral foundation might not be enough to protect my skin.  Many facial sunscreens are greasy and cause breakouts around my chin, but as this is a powder product I felt for me it was the ideal solution.

At the price (£25) it would be quite a layout for me and would be considerably more than I would usually pay, but is probably worthwhile as your skin has to last you a lifetime and is worth the expense.

.

Thanks so much to Ali for guest reviewing for me!  I think she did a fab job (and I’m hugely jealous of her flippin’ perfect teeth and smile!) – More opportunities for guest reviews coming up soon.

Quick Yaby Haul & Roundup!

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 9 - 2010

So, last week… or was it the week before?  I’m getting old… they’re all starting to blur.

Anyway… I hit up The Makeup Artist Boutique mid sale and treated myself to a couple of Yaby bits that I’d had my beady eye on.  I’ve heard lots of (mostly positive) things about the makeupartist-designed brand and wanted to check it out for myself.

Here’s what I bought.

for swatches and some quick first impressions… read on…

Read the rest of this entry »

My Beauty Blender Trial

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 6 - 2010

This is SO overdue and I completed it aaaages ago, but just haven’t gotten around to writing up my experiences of my week long Beauty Blender trial.

Beauty Blender trial? I hear you ask…

Well, I set myself the silly little task of using nothing but a Beauty Blender to apply my foundation.  I wasn’t allowed to touch my foundation brushes for a full week.  I wanted to see if the Beauty Blender was anything more than just a passing novelty.

I’ll show you a ‘step by step’ from my first day and how I use the Beauty Blender and I’ll leave you with some observations I made from this daft little exercise.

The cast of characters…. The Beauty Blender and Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation

Dispense the usual amount of product onto the back of your hand and wet your Beauty Blender until it swells in size.  Once thoroughly soaked, gently squeeze excess liquid from the sponge until it feels damp, but not wet.

Taking the round end of the blender, “bounce” the sponge into your foundation… coating it in product.

It doesn’t matter if it’s not *that* evenly coated…

Taking the blender, “bounce” the sponge on your face… a constant patting/bouncing type action all over… don’t swipe or circle… just bounce!  To get the foundation into nooks and crannys like the inner corner of your eye socket, use the pointed end of the sponge.

I found the whole process quite slow-going at first…. it took me about 4 days to get my speed up.  The first couple of goes I was a bit “what’s the point… this is taking me double the time a #187 would take”.  But as I persevered, I really started to hone my technique.

The obligatory before/after foundation shot!  (Bourjois Healthy Mix is a great looking foundation btw – although the lightest shade is a touch too dark for me).

Here’s a horrible close up… but it always helps to be able to see the finish properly right?  Click the image to SUPERSIZE MAH FACE!

Please note, this was before powder… shine city!

So there we go, that’s how I use my Beauty Blender… it still takes me a bit longer than a stippling brush so I don’t reach for it if I’m in a hurry.

I do love the finish it gives me… but I think I use a bit more product in the application thanks to the sponge (despite being damp) soaking up a fair amount of foundation.

I need to tell you something though…

I bought Makeup Forever HD foundation at IMATS… and I haven’t liked it at all.  I simply could not see what the fuss was about.  Overrated.

Until I used it in conjunction with the Beauty Blender.  Oh Em Gee.  It’s turned blog sale fodder into a wonderful foundation for me.  I’ve also done a complete 360 on my Clinique Superfit since applying it with the Beauty Blender.

Don’t ask me what the Beauty Blender does that my normal application methods obviously don’t.  I couldn’t tell you.

I also prefer the Beauty Blender over a standard cosmetic sponge, the Beauty Blender is softer, bouncier and just feels far more luxe on my skin.  Don’t bother with those expensive special Beauty Blender cleansers though… I use a bit of Leila’s shampoo and it works great!  Oh and be careful of putting nicks in the sponge when squeezing… it’s delicate!

Back to my original question… could I really throw away all my brushes in favour of the BB?

No… I like having the choice, I like the speed a stippling brush gives me.  But I’ll be forever grateful to the Beauty Blender for making me fall in love with some foundations that I thought I’d wasted nearly £50 on.  It’s already paid for itself twice over.

In the UK, you can purchase the Beauty Blender from Just Beauty Direct, priced at £14.50 each.  I was lucky enough to nab mine from a blog sale woo!

Your assistance please!

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 5 - 2010

I have a reader who is currently enjoying the sunnier climes of Australia and needs some foundation help!

She’s finding that her base is simply not lasting the duration in the warmer weather.

Do you have any recommendations or hot weather makeup tips you’re happy to share?  I need your expertise!

January Essentials – Shu Uemura Natural 18 Foundation Brush

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 8 - 2010

This has been on my hitlist for a little while, and was confirmed to me as a must have by GossMakeupArtist’s post on brushes here.  I use a lot of cream foundation in the winter and have struggled to find a brush that I *love* to use with my foundations.

Any of you lovelies own one of these or any other Shu brushes? At $39 dollars, this brush isn’t cheap… but we all know that sometimes it’s worth paying more for good quality brushes right?  What brushes do you use for cream foundations?

SK-II Air Touch Foundation – Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 20 - 2009

I bought the SK-II Air Touch Foundation back in May.  I was beyond excited to get my hands on it after it had been sat at the top of my wish-list for nearly 6 months, and that’s a long time for an item to remain on my wish-list.

I’d tried it a few times and had been disappointed with the result.  I’d found it simply too sheer to be of much use to me.

skiiweb

It’s a beautiful little thing isn’t it? And look! You can see me in it!

SK-II is a Japanese brand whose USP is a little ingredient called Pitera, you can read more about Pitera here – I’m far too lazy to go into all that now.

Anyway, bollocks to Pitera, all I was interested in were the words “air touch” – woo hooooo!

I was immediately picturing myself with perfect, pore-less radiant skin.  Woah, I was gonna need a 10ft ladder to get this little product down off that pedestal I’d placed it on.  Secretly, I envisaged it turning me into sodding Snow White.

snowwhite

Where’s the bluebirds? Oh! Here they are!

Back to reality for a moment…

The basic premise is simple.

You get a teeny tiny sachet of foundation (and I’m talking wincey).  To get hold of refills in the shade you want, you’re gonna have to do some kind of deal with the devil whilst remortgaging your house.  We’re talking £45 for 5ml.  I’d sell you my eggs for cheaper than that.

Anyway… before I digress into full-on human trafficking…

skii2

Still sexy isn’t it…

That droplet icon is the one you set it to if you haven’t used it for while… it pushes out a single droplet to clear the nozzle.

skiinozzle

The “business” end…

I’ve read loads of “how to” tips and watched many guides for this and the general consensus is that you hold it about half an arm’s length from your face and make smooth zig-zag motions back and forth until you’re happy that you’ve got enough coverage.

Which is exactly what I did.  Or at least, I thought that’s what I was doing.

See, subconsciously I was really going…

“£45…. for 5ml? Feck, better not use too much of this then.”

Which probably goes a long way to explaining why I felt I wasn’t getting enough coverage from this little marvel.

Today, after GraceLondon gently urged me to try again, I may have been in a slightly different frame of mind…

“Bollocks to it… if it’s shit again, it can go in a blog sale.”

See the subtle tonal shift there?  Look closely, it’s easy to miss.

skiibefore

Ugh, another one of them no makeup faces and I didn’t even warn you it was coming this time! Bwahaha.

I put the SK-II Airbrush Foundation into action again.  This time with a little more gusto, a little more confidence and a great amount of careless-ness.

skiiafter

I love it! It’s smooth, even, non-cakey but sheer.  Sod “my lips but better” this is proper “my skin but better”.

The redness around my nose has been evened out and it’s given my skin some luminosity that it was previously lacking.

Unfortunately, these photos aren’t the best.  The sun was being an arse and the lighting was rather uneven so you’ve got some over-exposure on the before image which conceals some of the unevenness.

Can you see it though?  Tell me it’s not my imagination!

I’m sneakily borrowing the below image from a FOTD that I’ve got coming up at the end of the week… but I wanted to show you how my skin looked with the SK-II Airbrush Foundation after it had ‘set’ (it takes 5-10 mins to dry) and I’d added a little powder and some blush.

elementalbeauty1web

So pleased with the results…

Nevertheless, I’m gutted to admit that I won’t be anouncing “Holy Grail!”… despite my new found adoration for Pitera.

It’s with absolute hand-wringing regret that I have to face up to the fact that £45 a pop is a lot of money for me.  Granted, if 5ml lasts me 6 months of daily use then I may rethink my stance but even then there is another obstacle… availability.

I know the refills are sold in Harrods, but they don’t stock my shade online…  they occasionally crop up on eBay (but are they genuine?)

However, I can happily conclude that until the day that last nectar-like droplet has spritzed the last red blotchy bit, I shall continue using this with joy and reckless abandon.

Want one?

[starreview tpl=14]

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