Showing posts with label Clinique. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Clinique. Show all posts

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Primers and Smoothers


I've been testing out a few new primers and smoothing products and thought I'd share my favorite staple primers along with some new discoveries. I'm not typically a primer kind of person. I've found most that I've tried don't really do much to extend the wear of makeup and end up adding an extra layer of product on my face that I don't really need. I've tried dozens of primers at makeover events and from tiny sample packets. There are so may different options on the market these days it can be a bit overwhelming. Different products offer a multitude of effects. Some will smooth the overall look of your skin, add a glow, give a matte look and then there are some that are just basic primers to help the application of your foundation. I have normal and sensitive skin. For your reference I've broken down my primer picks into two main different categories:

  • Tom Ford Illuminating Primer ($72 for 1 fl oz) is one of the best glow primers I've ever tried. I tested this on numerous occasions each time I was able to visit a Tom Ford counter under both the foundation stick and liquid formula. The counters kindly made a few small samples for me to test before I caved and purchased the full size (I'm still in price shock). The Tom Ford primer is packaged with a clever twist pump dispenser. It has a soothing fresh scent with a slight herbal undertone. What I like about this one is that has a more yellow-like pearly glow which I found perfect for my needs (most I've seen have a pinkish glow). It helps extend the wear of makeup and adds a glow without making you greasy. It helps smooth the skin and adds an all over glow to prevent your makeup from looking flat. Be aware that this is on the dewy side, if you're oily I wouldn't recommend this one. I also found this one works best with the Tom Ford Foundations. See The Convenient Beauty's review.
  • NARS Pro-Prime Radiance Enhancing Primer ($34 for 1.1 oz) is the next best alternative to Tom Ford's primer at a more affordable price. It has a reflective pearl quality that is the perfect mix of opal, gold and champagne. It has SPF 15 and a little goes a long way. I find this one photographs well with a flash. It has a creamy but thin and easy to blend texture to give an all over glow without being too glowy. Lasting power is better than average for me but it won't make your makeup last all day long (you will need a touch up in the afternoon). I really like this for the effect it gives and how it helps makeup look smoother.
  • MAC Strobe Liquid ($32 for 1.7 fl oz) isn't really a traditional primer, but I like to use it as one over moisturizer and underneath liquid or powder makeup. It's another great smoothing glow product with a super thin liquid texture. It dries well to help makeup stay in place and prevents it from sliding around - but note you only need a tiny bit on the face. It's on the more glowy side so I would recommend topping with a regular powder or foundation. This one is also good for mixing in with foundations to add a glow without making you look white. It has a more opal/blueish sheen.
  • Chanel Base Lumiere Illuminating Makeup Base ($45 for 1 fl oz) is one of the most fluid primer/bases I've ever tried. (I've repurchased this multiple times.) It has a blueish violet sheen but it disppears into a clear finish on the skin. The key to using this is to make sure you use a thinner lightweight moisturizer underneath otherwise it will make the skin oily. If you're a serum + moisturizer kind of person, I would recommend skipping one of the items before using this one. I like this best with Chanel foundations as it helps prime the skin with a subtle glow and also helps extend the wear of foundation. Make sure you use as little as possible - if you overdo it it will be too heavy and feel thick on the skin.

  • Lancome Visionnaire 1-Minute Blur ($55 for 1 fl oz) is currently available at Sephora locations in the US. I received a press sample of this (hence the white lab tube). It's a skin smoother/finisher designed to smooth the skin, erase imperfections and pores. It has a creamy neutral colored texture that disappears on the skin. This video has a good visual of what this will do for the skin. I suggest testing at the store if you can, reviews indicate this is either a hit or miss. I saw a noticeable difference in my skin texture when using this and used it under a liquid foundation (tested with Chanel and NARS). I loved the results for the overall look and it truly erased any signs of pores on my face. It helped my makeup last all day long (quite impressive) well through the evening. There is a very light fragrance to this which I found on the subtle side. The only thing I didn't like about this was that I could actually feel the layer of product on my face - not necessarily a bad thing, but I tend to prefer face makeup that is more weightless and thinner in texture.
  • Clinique Superprimer Color Correcting ($27 for 1 oz) I bought this at Sephora after reading rave reviews about the Superprimers. I was a bit overwhelmed with the color options and honestly have no idea if I picked the right one for me. I decided to go with the peach color corrector since traditional white ones are often too pale and white for my olive skin. I didn't notice any color correcting quality with this one but the color matched my skin pretty well once blended. It has a thicker airy creamy texture that has a velvety feel on the skin. The result: long lasting makeup all day long from morning until late at night (around 11ish before I took it off). The peach color disappeared and gave the skin a smooth matte look. If you test any of the options at the store you will see a noticeable difference on the back of your hand. I like that the primer didn't change the color of my foundation even though it has a peach tint. I'm not sure I picked the right option, if you've tried the any of the Clinique primers I'd love to hear your thoughts.
  • Dior Pore Minimizer Skin Refining Matte Primer ($42 for 1 oz) is a primer that wins for most innovative packaging. It's a tube with a pump dispenser. I have not purchased this after testing a couple counter-made samples but wanted to share my thoughts. This offers the most matte finish that I've ever seen. It smooths the skin out similar to the Lancome but has a thicker feel on the skin (at least for me). I found this blended well on the skin and provided a lovely smooth look. There was a huge noticeable difference. I felt it was too dry for my normal/combination skin even though it didn't look dry at all. I suspect if you have skin that is on the oily side, the Dior Matte Primer will work wonders for you.
Packaging and dispenser details:




My top three picks:
  1. For the best glow, I like Tom Ford's Illuminating Primer
  2. For the price and performance I like Clinique's Superprimer
  3. For the most visible smoothing result, Lancome Visionnaire 1-Minute Blur is a winner
Do you have any favorite primers, smoothing products or glowy bases? I'd love to hear about your thoughts and experiences for what has worked on your skin tone or skin type.
 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Weekend Look of the Day: J.Crew White Ruffled Tank & Skirt

How was everyone's weekend? The weather here in Southern California has been a bit odd the past few days - at least by the beach. Sunny bits here and there and then mostly cloudy. This was Sunday's outfit/look.

Top: J.Crew ruffle tank
Skirt: J.Crew white denim mini
Belt: J.Crew patent burgandy skinny belt
Shoes: Prada flats
Purse: Chanel

I didn't plan to have mostly J.Crew on - but it seems to happen more often these days, although I do have to say it's with their older pieces from past seasons. I love how comfortable the ruffle top is, but unfortunately, if it's not tucked in or tied with a belt over, then it looks like a huge tent.


Face:
NARS Beverly Hills + South Beach Multiples mixed on cheeks
MAC Getaway Bronze Blush on top

Eyes:
Clinique Seashell Cream Shadow as a base
NARS India Song Duo
MAC Orpheus Eyeliner

Lips:
NARS Beverly Hills + South Beach mixed/dabbed on lips
MAC Love Nectar Lustreglass + Beach Lounger Lipglass mixed



I'm really loving those Multiple Tints from NARS (see my review of 2 of them here NARS Beverly Hills & Cadaques Multiple Tints = Pure Genius). Beverly Hills pulls more bright pink than red on my skin for some reason, but I still like it. Works well dabbed on lips for a slight tint. I liked it mixed a little with South Beach. I mixed the two on the back of my hand first and then applied on the lips. For cheeks, I swiped Beverly Hills on each cheek then South Beach on top and blended quickly with the fingers.

Also wanted your opinions: for the Chanel - is this something I can still pull off or is it totally OUT of style? It's an older one, I don't think Chanel makes the line anymore - at least definitely not the brown-on-brown. It's just been sitting in my closet for ages. I keep forgetting to bring it out. Input would be greatly appreciated :)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

My Current Skincare Routine

Another request I received from my February survey was to write an article on what I use in my current skincare routine. This is a tough issue for me to write about because my skin is so finicky that I often change up products as soon as I finish using something up. Also, I haven't found many holy grails which means I rarely repurchase a skincare item. Quite a few of my favorites have been discontinued (such as the Chanel Age Delay line, Shiseido's original Pureness line before it was revamped and reformulated and Prescriptives Super Line Smoothing Cleanser).


Also, I know this is a no-no, but I don't really take good care of my skin. Yes, I wash every morning and evening and tone afterwards. But I don't always scrub, moisturize, mask or use sunscreen. So do please note, I am probably not the best resource for your skincare questions or advice. But at least 4 of you asked for skincare posts, so here it is!

My skin-type is overall normal, but super sensitive. I get breakouts occasionally, maybe once every other month and it typically takes a week for my skin to clear up. Considering that I'm pretty low maintenance with my skincare routine, I suppose I have decent skin. It's by no means perfect - but this is something due to my own neglect.

I've used a variety of brands from Johnson & Johnson, Neutrogena, Clinique, La Mer, La Prairie, Shiseido, Awake, NARS, Chanel, Estee Lauder, Paul & Joe, MAC, Prescriptives, Laura Mercier etc. So the range is from the drugstore product to the luxury lines. Skincare always intrigues me, but I am the biggest skeptic when it comes to those product descriptions and marketing campaigns claiming "best product." I'm not am expert with ingredients, so if something claims to have some protein complex from an exotic plant that comes from the rain forest, I really have no idea how to process that information much less interpret how it will benefit me as a consumer.

This is what I'm using right now:

Cleanser - I typically like gel cleansers but my current ones are foaming/creamy:


  • Clinique Rinse Off Foaming Cleanser ($18.50 for 5 fl oz)- Foaming cream-mousse cleanser which is effective in cleansing but not too strong. My husband loves this stuff too.
  • NARS Balancing Foam Cleanser ($35.00 for 4.4 oz/125 ml) - Another foaming cleanser which is nice, I wouldn't recommend it for dry skin, it's not too strong for me, but it does strip away quite a bit in the cleansing process, I use this in the evenings. One thing I love about this is a little goes a long way. You only need a pea-sized amount.

Toner - I like that fresh clean feeling, so I tend to stay away from Shiseido toners or ones that have a gel-like texture or ones that are too strong which sting the skin:


  • La Mer The Tonic ($60.00 for 6.7 fl oz) - This is pricey, but I've repurchased this at least 6 times. It's soothing and leaves your skin feeling refreshed and clean.
  • Paul & Joe Refreshing Skin Toner ($33.00 for 200 ml) - I've written about this before, but I tried this from a mini sized sample I received in a GWP. I took it with me on a trip to DC and fell in love. I think this is a good one for normal to dry skin. It's not too rich, but just rich enough to help rebalance your skin. Whenever I get that over-washed tight feeling in my skin, this helps make your face feel more normal. I hope they never discontinue or reformulate this. I am on my second full sized bottle right now.
Scrub - I don't scrub a lot. I actually like to use a washcloth to scrub my face with soap and water because I feel like it's less harsh feeling on my skin. I have purchased a few from Laura Mercier, Clinique, Shiseido in the past, but right now I'm not using any. I've contemplated getting a Clarisonic but again, the ultimate skin-care skeptic that I am, I don't know that I believe all the rave reviews are from actual consumers like you and me. If anyone has a recommendation, I'm all ears!

Mask - Again, I don't use face masks very often. As you will read below, I don't really use these masks for their intended purpose.


  • NARS Mud Mask ($45.00 for 3.6 oz/100 ml) - I've gone through 2 of these since NARS first released his skincare line. I have to admit I like this the most for the fun-factor. Yes, I'm weird, but there's something I find fun about slathering your face with this thick black greyish mud. I can't tell the visible difference it makes for my skin, but it does leave my face feeling clean and refined after 10-15 minutes. Scares the bejesus out of my dogs when I put it on though.
  • MAC Volcanic Ash Thermal Mask ($20 for 100 ml/3.4 fl oz) - This is my favorite mask ever and one I can definitely see results with. It's so great I have to hide it from my husband who loves the fact that it heats up. Dear MAC, if you read this at all - please release this again in the exact same formula!
  • Paul & Joe Treatment Peel-Off Mask ($45 for 120 ml) - This tightens and firms the skin by clarifying. Similar to the NARS Mud Mask, I like this for the peel-off factor which I find fun. I had an obsession with peeling off dried glue from my fingers when I was in art class during grade school. Clearly I was not the brightest crayon in the box when it came to school. I would say this product is definitely not for dry skin.

Miscellaneous - I don't have a current moisturizer favorite. I'm actually testing out a few sample minis but have yet to find one that doesn't cause an allergic reaction and one that's not too heavy. I've used La Mer's Lotion, Shiseido White Lucent, Estee Lauder's Ultimate Youth Cream, Dior Capture Totale, Px, Armani Crema Nera to name a few. Right now I'm trying to find one that doesn't break the bank. I just cannot justify spending over $100 on a face lotion! My eye cream and sunscreen picks:


  • NARS Nourishing Eye Cream ($76 for .5 oz/15 ml) - Yes this is super pricey for the amount you get but a little seriously goes a REALLY long way. It's a lightweight gel that I like to use on my lids which actually helps my shadow stay on longer throughout the day if I use this as a base. I don't have eye wrinkles, so I can't say whether or not it helps with fine lines or not.
  • Chanel UV Essential ($52 for 1 oz) - Again pricey, but this goes a long way too. It has a very fluid texture which helps it apply really easily. I've been using this over my moisturizer samples and it seems to help make the foundation apply better on the skin and last longer. Bonus is that it has SPF 50 which is something I definitely should start using. I've used this for about a month daily and no irritations, breakouts or problems. I definitely see myself repurchasing this in the future.

If any of you would like to share your holy grails for skincare, I'd love to hear your recommendations! I've been told (by the brand reps of course) that the 2-week skincare systems from Shiseido and Chanel are amazing and will give me perfect glowing skin, but I don't want to spend the $200+ and wait 2+ weeks to see if there are any results.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Clinique Juiced Up for Spring 2010 = Simply Irresistible

I normally don't use a lot of products from Clinique with the exception of 3 staples I purchase repeatedly (Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser, High Impact Mascara and Sparkle Skin Body Exfoliator) but I couldn't resist the charming designs of the Spring 2010 Juiced Up collection. I like Clinique because of their cute advertising and also because of their generous Gift With Purchase events. I find these to be a great incentive for me to try new things from the line every now and then simply because I leave feeling like I got my money's worth with all the free goodies they send me home with.

I picked up two items:


* All Over Face Color in Mixed Berries - This comes in an embossed cherry print powder with three variations of pink. The finish is shimmery but not overly frosty, swirled together, you get a very soft luminous pink blush.

* Eyeshadow in Fresh Picked Berry - There were two different eyeshadow choices, I picked up Fresh Picked Berry which has a cool pale pink shimmer and a warm coppery brown. The colors seem pretty dupeable, but I could NOT RESIST that cute cherry design!

Both are on the sheer side like most of the eyeshadows and blushes I've tried from the line. They didn't swatch so well on my skin when I tried to take photos. If you like Clinique, you will like the new items because they are consistent with the other products in the line. If you prefer colors that show up more visibly on the skin these probably won't be for you. The two items I got are very wearable and natural, so I think they are worth checking out even if you're not a Clinique fan.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ten Things I'm Loving Right Now

Here are 10 things I am loving right now. Please share your own list with me of things you love so much you think everyone should try it out!



1) Nars Sheer Matte & Sheer Glow Foundations $42 - I am a true skeptic when anyone tries to sell me a foundation unless it is Chanel or Armani. I have super sensitive skin (but otherwise fairly normal) with golden/olive tones and usually have a hard time finding a good match since I typically fall in between shades. I was immediately stunned by the gorgeous new advertisement Nars has been promoting for their new foundations and decided to give it a try.

In the past I had used their Oil Free Foundation and had mixed thoughts about it. I loved the coverage, but always felt like I had a heavy layer of gunk sitting on my skin. Also, I was often matched with Fiji which for some reason turned pinkish on me. The next shades up were either too yellow or too peach.

With this in mind, I went to the counter with a list of shades to try out: Fiji, Ceylan, Punjab & Stromboli. Punjab is my perfect match which was a bit odd because on my hand it looked more peachy but on my face, it blended in perfectly.

Coverage is medium but completely natural and flawless looking. Another plus is that you can barely feel anything on the skin after you apply it. I've tried both formulas and they last all day - I do set foundation with my Laura Mercier Loose or Chanel Powder Foundations though. If you haven't tried this out, RUN to your counter to try it out.

I do recommend you try at least 2 to 3 different shades on your jaw line though.



Left to right: Chanel Teint Innocence Shell, Chanel Lift Lumiere Shell, Nars Punjab, Armani Lasting Silk 6.5

2) Clinique Sparkle Skin Body Exfoliating Cream $20 - I bought this because there was a gift with purchase going on at my local Bloomingdales. I had read reviews and decided to try this because Clinique had discontinued my favorite body scrub (the yellow one in the squeeze tube) and I didn't like the other tube-packaged scrub. I have to say I was pleasantly suprised. Has a slight minty scent to it leaving your skin refreshed and smooth.



3) Stila Black Cat Smudge Pot $20 - I think I've found my holy grail shimmery black eyeliner. Most blacks go on greyish or blueish or too harsh on my skin. This one gives the perfect smokey silvery black liner. I bought mine at Ulta - it should be showing up at Sephoras & Stilacosmetics.com soon. I didn't retake swatch pictures of this, but click HERE for swatches and comparisons.



4) Estee Lauder Bronze Double Wear Stay In Place Eye Pencil $19 - this is the longest lasting prettiest bronzey eyeliner I've tried. Gorgeous rich bronzey color but soft enough for subtle definition.



5) Le Metier Lip Cremes $36 & Sheer Brilliance Lip Glosses $32 - You've heard me rave about these before - pricey, yes, but I absolutely love the formula and shades. My two current favorite colors are Toffee Creme & Cannes. Neimans has a gift with purchase going on right now - check out their website for details. Also click on this LE METIER LINK for more posts and pictures on products from the line.





6) Laura Mercier Mineral Cheek Powders in Pink Spark, Coral & Amberstone $22 - these came out a while back after Laura Mercier started introducing mineral makeup into her line. These are absolutely gorgeous. Amberstone makes the perfect nude cheek for me with a hint of sparkle. Neiman Marcus also has a super cute gift going on right now. Saks will be having their beauty event later this month, and Bloomingdales will have their event mid-October.





7) Nars M. Butterfly Nail Polish $16 - for some reason I haven't been able to find this shade instock anywhere near me, but it's still available online. The swatches didn't turn out so hot, but it's a gorgeous berry red shade. Nars describes it as a "poison berry." I have seen testers at Nordstrom and Bloomingdales so they are probably just low on stock.

8) Bobbi Brown Illuminating Bronzing Powders $33 - these came out in May, check out the link HERE for more pictures and comparisons. Left is Antigua, right is Bali Brown.



9) Neutral Pink Eyeshadows: Shiseido Bare Pink, Laura Mercier Metallic Creme in Pink Gold, Laura Mercier Satinee Creme in Pink Chiffon, MAC Naked Pigment, MAC Perky Paint Pot, Bobbi Brown Ballet Pink, MAC Ego Eyeshadow - all of these are like your-lids-but-better natural pink shadows that won't give you a pink-eye look. I like to layer Naked Pigment over any of these all over the lid and then just add a simple liner in a shimmery chocolate color or deep brown. Sometimes I'll contour the lid or crease area with a soft brown like MAC Era, Soba, Bobbi Brown Hot Stone or Urban Decay Naked.



10) Sprinkles Cupcakes - have you been to a Sprinkles Cupcake Bakery? Their cupcakes, especially their Red Velvet & Vanilla flavors are absolutely divine and the frosting is pure heaven. Luckily you don't need to be near one of the few bakeries in order to enjoy these. Williams Sonoma carries the mix which is super easy to make and tastes just like the fresh made ones from the stores. Each come with a recipe card for the frosting too. They have seasonal flavors, right now they just released two new flavors, Spice & Pumpkin. (PS I think if you buy two mixes instore at WS, you save $3.)

 

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