Showing posts with label Concealer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Concealer. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Concealer Rotation - Fall Edition

Today I have a roundup of concealers I've been putting to the test. It's been a year since I last did a concealer rotation. Since my summer trip to Europe back in June I've gotten a few shades darker than normal so my go-to favorites Clé de Peau Beauté in Almond and NARS Ginger no longer matched my skin. Several months ago one of my friends asked me about my favorite concealers which include Clé de Peau Beauté, NARS and Edward Bess. Those three brands also happen to be her favorites but she wanted to try something new and so began my hunt for something new that would perform as well if not better than my tried and true. This post has been several months in the making. It took me weeks of testing and swatching with several trips to the counter to find matches. Finding a shade can be tricky depending on what you want to conceal. Also some oxidize in color so a swatch of color that is an exact match might turn out to be too dark after it sets.

I put five new-to-me concealers to the test from Charlotte Tilbury, Bare Minerals, Urban Decay, Make Up For Ever and Chanel. In addition I've added a feature on the Surratt Surreal Skin Concealer (I bought this last spring but never reviewed it) and I've included the Clé de Peau Beauté and YSL Touche Éclat for swatches in the roundup. Most brands have more than one type of concealer formula. I looked for ones with a creamy texture that blended easily on the skin without emphasizing lines. I prefer medium to full coverage with a smooth looking finish. Ideally I would like something with 100% full coverage but finding an exact match is tricky and I often find full coverage concealers too thick.

Below from left to right:
  • Surratt Beauty Surreal Skin Concealer ($50 for 0.06 oz) in #5 is the most expensive concealer I've tried in the per oz sense. It comes in a twist up stick form and has sheer to medium coverage. I found 5 to be a good match but the coverage is minimal and texture is on the dry side. If you have oily skin or find that you only need a tiny bit of brightening/coverage this one is good, but I wasn't thrilled with it. I will use it to the end though.
  • Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer ($70 for 5 g/.17 oz) in Almond is one of my all time favorite concealers. It's extremely pricey but well worth the splurge. It covers under the eye really well, doesn't cake, lasts all day and blends really well. The trick is to warm it up with the fingers to apply. If you apply it cold and straight from the tube, it can look thick. A little goes a long way and my tube has lasted forever without going bad (one lasted 2 years).
  • Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher Conceal and Treat Stick ($35 for 3.5 ml/0.12 fl oz) in #3 is a new concealer to me. It's one that's been on my radar for a long time but I'm usually not a fan of click-type brushes because they seem so unsanitary to me. This is my new favorite. It conceals and brightens dark circles like magic. It blends into a creamy smooth finish. It stays put although you do need to set with powder. It works wonders on spots as well. This has a skincare element to hydrate and plump the skin. I'm in love.
  • YSL Touche Éclat Radiant Touch Concealer ($42 for 0.1 oz) in 5.5 is a classic I've been using on and off. I found it worked under the eyes to brighten and conceal but in a very natural minimal way. Coverage is sheer to medium. If you don't have a lot you need to cover under the eyes and need just a tad of brightening this is good. For me as I get older I find I need and prefer more coverage (I'm 34 right now). For spot coverage this doesn't do much.
  • Bare Minerals bareSkin Concealer ($20 for 6 ml/0.20 fl oz) in Medium-Golden and Tan were both pleasant surprises. I say they surprised me because the color range look liked it skipped my match. Medium-Golden is my current match for under eyes. It covers smoothly and has a thinner texture making it feel truly weightless. Under the eyes it makes the skin look smooth. There's no caking or emphasizing of lines. It is on the creamy side so if you have super oily skin it might be too dewy for you. It has a slight glow without looking too glowy that makes the face look younger with brightness. It held up well in the high 80 degree heat for me (I set it with Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Powder).
  • Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer ($28 for 5 ml/0.16 fl oz) in Medium Neutral and Med-Dark Warm is something that is raved about by so many. I was matched in store to Med-Dark Warm. It's one that is a perfect match on my skin but darkens after 5 minutes. In store I tried both the Medium Neutral and Med-Dark Warm, one on each side. The artist who matched me said she thought the darker one was better. I'm actually in between shades for under eyes. I prefer the lighter option for the eye area and the darker one for spot cover. Texture is thin but creamy. It lasts all day without caking, creasing, fading or drying out. I would say the color selection is pretty limited and the colors do oxidize. If you can test this in store - see how it wears throughout the day before picking a color.
  • Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer ($32 for 15 ml/0.5 fl oz) in 7 and 8 are two shades I picked up from Sephora. I also tested these, one on each side. The artist said she thought 8 was better. The product does darken slightly, but not as much as the Urban Decay. I bought 8 originally and asked my husband what he thought. He thought it looked like an exact match but I felt it made my face look sallow and tired (for under eyes). I ordered 7 which I found to be better for under the eyes and which will be a good match for other areas as I lose my tan. 8 works perfectly for spot coverage. If you want something that covers spots really well and looks seamless by blending into the skin this one is really quite amazing.
  • Chanel Correcteur Perfection Concealer ($42 for 7.5 g/0.26 oz) in 30 Beige is something I gave a try recently. Chanel concealers seem to have gone through several reformulations over the years. I've never really been a huge fan but it's mainly because I'm always matched to colors that are way too pale for what I should be wearing. I know everyone has their own take on how to match concealer, but I really don't like having my under eye area 2-3 shades lighter than the rest of my face. In this case I'm again, in between shades. I bought 30 although I really should have passed on this one. The consistency and coverage is really good. Right now 30 is just the slightest bit too dark for under eyes but 20 is definitely too light.

Swatched side by side:

I spent hours researching concealer shades and swatches before going to the counter. Even if a makeup artist offers to match me, I still like to test multiple shades to see how they compare. Half the time I'm mis-matched and researching swatches ahead of time helps me know what to look for. I was able to swatch most of the shades side by side for reference. The only line I skipped was Make Up For Ever because the 3 stores I went to each were missing testers of multiple shades.

Surratt Beauty concealers come in a small twist up tube, there are currently eight shades, each color has a number as the name:

Cle de Peau Beaute comes in a twist-up tube, there are currently 6 shades:

Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher comes in a brush wand style, you twist the base to click up product (similar to Stila Lip Glazes), there are 10 shades available:

YSL Touche Eclat (unit was missing 1.5) comes with a brush tip that dispenses product when you push the base, there are 10 shades available at Sephora. Some other retailers also have shade #6. The colors swatched side by side seem odd because they don't appear to go from lightest to darkest. Even after doing a lot of research, making sense of the options, colors and undertones can still be confusing. I took a photo of the display and double checked each pen to make sure they were in the correct slot before swatching in numerical order:

Bare Mienrals bareSkin Concealer comes in a wand with a sponge tip applicator, there are six colors currently available:

Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer comes with a sponge tip applicator in a tube, there are eight shades available, I like that they have neutral and warm options in some of the shades:

Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer comes in a squeeze tube, the formula is really concentrated so a little goes a long way, unfortunately none of the stores I visited had testers of all the colors so I wasn't able to swatch all the shades. There are 12 shades available, but they some skip numbers, it goes from 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 18 to 20.

Chanel Correcteur Perfection comes in a long tube with a sponge tip applicator. This one wins for the prettiest packaging, there are six shades available:

In terms of applying concealer, these days I like to use the fingers to pat and blend. If you prefer tools, three tools I really like are the Sephora Hakuhodo Concealer Brush, Chanel #10 and beautyblender (previous reviews linked for reference).

In testing a number of different brands of concealer I have indeed found a few new favorites. To sum up my thoughts:
  • My top two favorites for under eye are the Charlotte Tilbury Retoucher and Bare Minerals bareSkin concealers, they brighten the face, cover dark circles really well and both last all day on me
  • Best spot cover product is the Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer
  • Urban Decay Naked Skin wins for best multi-purpose concealer, but shades darken/oxidize and color selection is pretty limited
  • Surratt Beauty was the most disappointing for me, mainly because it didn't have the coverage I was looking for and texture is on the dry side
  • Chanel would win if the color selection was more diverse (I'm in between shades, and based on my swatches I suspect many of you will fall in between shades or outside of the range completely)
If I had to recommend you check out only one, the Charlotte Tilbury wins for new ones that I've tested, but my heart still belongs to Cle de Peau Beaute. The NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer is still a formula that I really like for under the eye and spot treatment, but after looking at all the colors I found the next shades up from Ginger to be either too pink or too dark. (Café Makeup has an amazing post with swatches of all the NARS concealer shades swatched here.)

In case you're new to any of these brands, I've listed some of the retailers where you can find the following brands:
What's your go-to concealer right now? As always I would love to hear about your favorites or what you've been testing right now. Do you use the same for under eye and spots? Or do you have different colors/brands you use?

The Bare Minerals concealers were provided as press samples for review consideration.
All others purchased by me.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

A Mini Sephora + Nordstrom Beauty Haul

I did a haul last week at Sephora and Nordstrom, both stores are dangerous for the wallet but oh so fun. I had four items on my shopping list and as usual, ended up with more than I intended. These days I prefer to shop online more than in store because it's easier, more convenient and saves time, but every now and then it's fun to go see things in person.

From Nordstrom at MAC I picked up the Viva Glam Miley Cyrus II Lipglass. The first one from last year really surprised me - I fell in love with it even though it's packed with lots of sparkle. Last year's (which is still available) was a sparkling hot sheer pink (swatched here). This year's version is a bright sheer coral that's also sparkly but super pretty. I don't usually like high-sparkle glosses but I highly recommend checking out both. I also picked up a Cremesheen Pearl Lipstick in Koi Coral for a friend. It's so pretty I think I need to pick up one for myself.

Sephora has the cutest new shopping bags, although I still see the older glossy bags around. After seeing the October Beauty Insider 250 Perk for Bite Beauty on Instagram, I went to the store to track it down since it hasn't popped up online yet. This month's color is Kir Royale which is a deep wine berry plum color. It's available individually as the Luminous Creme Lipstick. It's a brighter color than it looks in the tube - but I'm trying to be braver in wearing bolder lip colors for fall.

Here are quick swatches of the Bite Beauty Kir Royale and MAC Viva Glam Miley Cyrus II:

Burberry Beauty finally launched at Sephora and one near me received items in store! I've had the Fresh Glow Luminous Highlighting Pen and Effortless Contouring Pen for Face and Eyes on my radar since August. I finally decided to bite the bullet and buy both. I opted for the Medium No. 01 Contour shade (the lighter option). I haven't played with them yet except to swatch them in store on the hand but I'll have a review soon. In the meantime you can see the Medium Contour Pen in action in this lovely video from RaeView on her YouTube Channel in her Tutorial | London Fashion Week GRWM, Burberry SS16 Makeup. Both the Highlighting and Contour Pen are also applied by Wendy Rowe in the Burberry Spring/Summer 2016 Runway Make-up Tutorial | Sephora video too. They look super easy to use and apply for contouring-challenged people like me.

Sheet masks have been on my radar over the past few months. I'm still smitten with Tatcha and Kiehl's but decided to try some others. Dr. Jart+ Brightening Infusion Hydrogel Mask has mixed reviews but there were single sheets available in store so I decided to pick one up to try it. If you've tried any of Dr. Jart+ masks let me know what you think!

Last but not least, I've been on the hunt for a new concealer. I did a favorites roundup last year on my tried and true and while there's nothing wrong with the ones I use, I've been wanting something new. I've been testing and swatching several over the past few months in store. It's taken me a while to decide on some. I'll have a more detailed roundup on the best ones for spots versus under eyes. Two additions are the Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer (I picked up Medium Neutral) and the Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer (I ordered 8 online and also picked up 7 last week).

If you have Beauty Insider Points to redeem I think the October Beauty Insider 250 Point Perk for Bite Beauty is worth trying to track down. I suspect it will launch online like the others did (I passed on the pink and coral ones). You can get the lipstick individually, but the gloss is super pretty. I highly recommend it - it's such a pretty color for fall.

Have you hauled anything recently? Would love to hear about any new beauty picks!


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Concealers In Rotation

For years I've stuck to concealers from two lines: Clé de Peau Beauté and By Terry. I've never had much need for concealer but my skin changed this year. These slightly dark circles under the eyes started to appear and I've needed a lot more coverage in certain areas of the face with scars and blemishes. Both of my go-to concealers still work really well for me, but I've been experimenting more with other brands and products. I thought I'd share a round up of the ones I have in rotation right now plus what tools I use.

My personal preference for blending concealer is for rounded brushes made of synthetic materials. My most reached-for tools include the MAC 252, Chanel Concealer Brush #10 and Trish McEvoy Medium Laydown #40. All of them are about the same medium size which works best for me. I've tried smaller detail brushes during makeovers and while they are good for precise application, I usually find larger brushes for cream products work better for me. They blend concealers well and also double as cream shadow brushes. Some days I will use fingers or a sponge, but my preference these days is for the brush.

Concealers I use right now:

  • Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer in Almond is my current skin tone match. The Cle de Peau Beaute concealer is the best stick formula I've tried. It covers the skin very well but looks natural. It works well under the eye area when dabbed on with fingers to warm up the product and doesn't look cakey. The color selection is limited but they recently added two shades (all shades swatched here). This is one of the best I've tried, it's pricey but performs well and a tube will last you a very long time.
  • NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard and Ginger are new discoveries for me. I've had several of the older formulas in gift with purchase compacts in the past but wasn't impressed with the formula so I never thought to try the new formulas. A NARS artist recommended I try this during a makeover when I asked for a foundation with full coverage. She suggested the Radiant Creamy Concealer and it really does cover incredibly well and blends out to have a soft velvety looking finish. It comes with a sponge wand tip. I use both Custard and Ginger and mix them depending on what area of the face I am trying to cover. I've found this to live up to all the hype.
  • Edward Bess Extreme Cover Cream is a full coverage creamy concealer in a pot. This one is definitely the most creamy that I've tried. It's also the most pigmented but blends nicely to cover areas completely. Since the pigment is really intense, I recommend using only a tiny bit, otherwise it will be too heavy. The container is tiny but the formula packs a punch so it will last a very long time. All the shades swatched and review here. The color selection is a bit limited, but Medium is a good match for me. This one has a slightly dewy finish but does not get oily as the day wears on.
  • By Terry Touche Veloutée in Beige #3 is a highlighting concealer in a click pen type of packaging. This one gives a brightening effect even though the color Beige matches my skin tone exactly. I like it best under the eyes to cover dark circles and brighten the skin. It's also good on days you have a bit of redness around the nose. This one has a smooth medium coverage and dries to a semi-matte but natural finish.

Swatches of the shades below (with Clé de Peau Beige for reference):

If you ask me to recommend just one concealer, I would say that I think picking a good one depends on where you want to use it and what you want it to do: eyes, spots, cover completely or brighten? For me, a concealer for under the eye won't necessarily be suitable for spot coverage along the jawline or cheeks.

For under the under eye area, I look for colors that either brighten or have a bit of warmth. Many artists want to go lighter than my skintone to "brighten" the area, but it really just ends up looking ashy if it's too pale. If they insist on using one that is 1-2x lighter than I think they should I usually ask them to try 2 shades on me just to make sure I can see it for myself. I think all the concealers I listed above will work for under the eyes because they have a good blendable formula, but my favorite for under the eye area is the By Terry Touche Veloutee. It has a slightly sheerer coverage compared to the others which prevents the area from looking flat.

For cover up on spots or acne scars, the Edward Bess will give the most opaque coverage followed by the NARS and then Clé de Peau Beauté.

My top two picks include the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer and Clé de Peau Beauté, but there are a few downsides. If you test the NARS concealers at the counter or store, you may find it difficult to find an exact match and might be in between colors (like myself). When it comes to foundations, powders and concealers I want to find an exact match, but it's not always possible. There are times I have to buy two shades to mix which can get pricey. If I can't find a almost exact match for concealer, I will skip it all together, but I've made an exception for the NARS. I found the price of the NARS reasonable and the formula is really amazing so I did not mind splurging on 2 tubes to mix colors. The downside for the Clé de Peau Beauté is also a limited color selection and price of $70 is very steep. That being said, I do think if you can find a good match I do think formula is well worth the price. A tube should last well over a year even if you use it on a regular basis as a spot cover. 

I hope you found this round up helpful! Do you have a favorite concealer?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Edward Bess Black Sea Extreme Cover Cream

I have quite a few things to share with you from Edward Bess. Mark your calendars for this Friday evening because he will have his first 1 hour show on QVC September 5th at 9 PM EST. There will quite a few new items he will be featuring during his show and I'm thrilled to be able to share some of them with you as a preview.

First up is his Black Sea Extreme Cover Cream with Expert Retouch Brush. This was initially launched earlier at the beginning of the year on QVC (video segment still available online). It's one of those things I dove into immediately and fell in love with, I should have reviewed it months ago, it's been on my to-do list for quite some time. The Extreme Cover Cream is a full coverage creamy concealer with intense but blendable pigment. They are packaged in small pots with a twist off cap that locks into place to seal the product completely. There is also a brush included. These cover up areas on the face flawlessly and completely. The texture is on the medium-to-thick side so blending is key, but it is very easy to blend. You only need a little bit to get full coverage. No packing on needed.

Rouge Louboutin on the nails

Below is the Light shade shown with the brush, you can see the pots are quite small with a medium-sized brush that has a wide head and flat tip:

The Extreme Cover Cream comes in four shades: Light, Medium, Tan and Deep. I was worried I wouldn't find a good match due to the limited shade selection, but Medium is a perfect match for me.

Swatched with a small concealer brush, one swipe each shade shows how rich the pigment is:

Here are the ingredients:

Close up of the Medium shade I use to show the texture:

I like the way the brush works to blend the product but since the pots are on the small side and pigment is really intense, I prefer to apply with a smaller concealer brush (like Chanel #10) and then blend out with a Beauty Blender. I know many of my readers are experts on different concealers and know a lot more than I do. I am super picky with concealers, the ones I've tried during makeovers or received mini GWPs of often disappoint. They either disappear completely on my skin once blended or look cakey. Until this year I have never really had a need for extensive concealer use. For several years, I have exclusively used two: Clé de Peau Beauté and By Terry Touche Veloutée. This year is the year my skin has acted up and had all sorts of flare ups and issues. So I've started using the concealers more. I've been using Edward Bess's Extreme Cover Cream since around March for times I really need full coverage.

It's ultra creamy and pigmented so I only need a little. It has an emollient texture that makes it blend flawlessly. I always set with a powder and find it stays put all day without budging, but the key is to not use too much. It covers imperfections completely and is also good under the eye (it doesn't cake but you need to make sure you set it with powder).

For reference, swatches of Light and Medium next to a few other foundations and concealers I own:

It's bottom line love. It blends out perfectly on my medium olive skin and gives full coverage to areas when I need it. It does have a smooth finish (which is a must for me) although if you have skin texture issues, your skin's texture will still show through underneath. I only use this on spots that need extra coverage and it layers very nicely over foundation. Since it's extremely intense I won't use a lot under the eyes, just an extra tiny dab on days I need evening out is all I need. The shade selection is limited, so you may not fall under the four color options. I hope Edward will expand the shade offerings eventually. The brush is nicely made and also works well to blend out cream products, but it's a bit large for me for this particular cream. For concealer I prefer using a smaller detail brush.

You can find the Edward Bess Black Sea Extreme Cover Cream now on QVC. There is a video from February's QVC segment to show it's applied. I hope it makes another appearance on Friday's show too!

The Extreme Cover Cream was provided by Edward Bess for review consideration. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer in Almond / Amande

Clé de Peau Beauté has two new additions to their shade lineup for the Concealer ($70 for 5 g/.17 oz, made in Japan) in Almond (Amande) and Mocha (Moka). The Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer in Beige has been a long-time staple for me (original review here). It's the only concealer I use, it blends out perfectly and covers imperfections like no other, evens out dark areas under the eyes and doesn't cake on my skin. Beige can pull bit too light for me when I have a tan but it still works. The next shade up in Ochre has tempted me for a long time but I've found it pulls a bit ashy on my skin because it has so much olive. I was thrilled that Almond has been released because it is the perfect match for me. It's almost as dark as Ochre but is warmer with a slight honey tone.

For those new to Clé de Peau Beauté concealers, they come in a navy twist up tube. It's quite small but a little bit goes a long way. My Beige concealer lasted a little over two years before I had to replace it with a new tube after using it up. The tube is very sturdy.

On the nails, Chanel Secret

Here is Almond vs Beige:

Swatched side by side:

Here is the full concealer line up of current shades from Clé de Peau Beauté, taken during a shopping trip with the Beauty Professor. These were taken with an iPhone and it was really warm and cloudy outside making everything look yellowish.

Ivory, Beige, Almond, Ochre, Mocha and Honey

Indoor counter lighting:

Outdoor lighting:

For better comparisons I pulled a few foundations I've been matched to and swatched them side by side. I'm usually a Chanel 30 Beige, but depending on how light or tan I am I have been matched to both 20 and 40 Beige (I tan really easily). Left to right:

The Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer is one of my holy grail concealers and even though it has a super steep price tag I do think it's worth every penny because it works. I've tried a number of other brands at makeovers and from gift with purchase mini samples and for me nothing compares to the Clé de Peau. Finding a good concealer that doesn't cake or slide has always been a challenge for me. Even those that have a good color match end up disappearing after I blend it out. (I've tried MAC, Chanel, Laura Mercier, Bobbi Brown and old NARS ones.) For this one I prefer to either apply straight from the tube and pat blend or apply from the tube to my fingers to warm it up and then dab it on the face.

You can find the new shades of Clé de Peau Beauté concealer now at counters. Clé de Peau Beauté is available at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks and Bergdorf Goodman.

Do you have a holy grail concealer?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer in Beige

You've all read the hype and raves about Clé de Peau's Concealer virtually everywhere. If you haven't tried it yet, believe the hype. It's the holy grail of concealers. The quality, consistency and finish cannot be beat. It has full pigmented coverage but blends out naturally to even out dark circles under the eyes (which I did not know I had before trying this concealer), tone down red areas on the face and brighten the overall appearance of your skin.

I was gifted Beige courtesy of Neiman Marcus and Clé de Peau about a month ago and have been carefully testing it out with a highly critical eye. Upon opening it I was a bit concerned it might be too light for my skin, but after testing it out I've found that it's actually perfect. I am around a MAC NC30-35, Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua in B30, Guerlain Lingerie de Peau on 03, Dolce & Gabbana Powder Foundation in Warm. Upon first swipe it's clearly lighter than my skin. Blending it out with the fingers makes the product disappear and blend naturally with my skin to even out any areas that need extra help.

A bit of concealer history for me: I've neglected concealer in almost a year now. I've postponed repurchasing my usual Chanel or Laura Mercier loves thinking any shade I purchased would soon become too light (I've been trying to build my summer tan). Still, even though I've tested a hefty number of concealers, I have never been fully convinced it was really a necessity (like foundation or powder or good makeup brushes). Most concealers fail to pass the test of having good coverage, having long lasting power, being non-creasing, being non-drying and a having a good color match. There are many that look great upon immediate application but do not work well with the skin as the day progresses. The Clé de Peau Beauté meets all requirements of what a concealer should do. I don't think I've ever seen a bad review yet before trying this I was skeptical due to the hefty price tag of $70 a tube. After testing this out for a few weeks I can say this is the best concealer I've tried. Whether or not it's worth a full $70 is another question, but when this is used up I will definitely be repurchasing it.

Application tips: I've tested this concealer for several weeks using several methods and found application is key. A huge thanks to Karla Sugar's in-depth review and also tips from one of my readers Laura R., I've found the best method is really to apply over a moisturized face (or if you just use on the eyes, make sure your skin is well moisturized) with the fingers.

I'm going to quote Laura on some of these tips combined with my own thoughts:
  • Prepare face and apply moisturizer, primer, foundation first
  • Next prep the eyes with eye cream by pressing into face, not hard, but not tapping either
  • Apply concealer with your index finger and press lightly and blend 
  • If other areas need concealer to tone down redness or even out the skin, apply with your finger in a press-then-blend method (using the fingers help to warm up the product)
  • Top with a soft dusting of loose or pressed powder (but with a brush)
Things to avoid based on my trials:
  • I don't recommend applying this over any type of powder, the result will be cakey
  • Skipping moisturizer also results in a cakey looking finish
  • Swiping directly from tube to skin can result with too much product on the face and use up the concealer too fast, if you do this, do with a light hand to avoid too much product to the face which can also result in a cakey look (even after blending)
Clé de Peau's application tips that come with each concealer:

Plus the ingredients (click to enlarge):

Since first trying this out, I haven't skipped using it for a day. If I were slightly darker I think Beige would be too light but I haven't looked at the other shades in the lineup in person but you can see Karla's swatches here and I found the user comments in the bottom of her post useful. At first glance it would seem better if CdP had a bigger color selection for their concealers - I'm not sure how hard it is to find a color match, I'm glad I found mine, but this is something I highly recommend having an expert try on you in person. They will know which one works best for your skin and show you how to apply as well.

For inquiring minds, other Clé de Peau loves of mine include: La Creme (although I've survived off mini samples), Extra Silky Lipsticks and a few of the Lip Glosses.

Have you tried Clé de Peau's concealer? What shade do you use and what other foundation shades are you?

Many thanks to Neiman Marcus and Clé de Peau for providing this concealer for review.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Foundations, Primers, Concealers + Powders I Love

I wanted to thank everyone who filled out my survey! I received quite a few special requests for certain topics, I'll be covering the ones that received more frequent requests every once in a while. The first requested topic I'd like to cover includes foundations, powders, concealers and primers that I personally like.

I wrote about all the foundations I've been matched to and have purchased HERE. To clarify, these are the shades I've been matched to in both summer and winter months. I don't use all 13 foundations right now, the darker colors were swatched from nearly-empty bottles that I had neglected to toss. And, yes, my skin is very odd in that so many different colors match my skintone.

My Skintype: I have normal but sensitive skin. I react to most sunscreens. I cannot use any MAC foundation, Kiehls lotions, Trish McEvoy skincare, Laura Mercier Oil Free Foundation because my skin reacts horribly to all of these. I have not tried every single foundation or brand out there, but the ones listed below are the ones I have tried, liked or repurchased. At this stage in my life (28), I don't have wrinkles, large pores, or much sun damage.

My Skin Coloring: I'm Asian and have yellow/olive undertones. I tend to tan easily - but often times I find I am in between shades for a lot of lines which makes it a challenge to find the right match, but being the foundation junkie I am, have been able to find quite a few that work with my skin-type and skin-tone. Right now, for MAC reference, I'm in-between NC30 and NC35.

How Do I Find My Matches for Color and Formula? I usually rely on the expertise of the makeup artists and sales associates I shop with. Anytime a new foundation comes out, I test them at the counter. I always request them to try on 2-3 shades along my jawline so we can both see the range, how they blend in etc. There are times when I will just match myself. If the artist isn't busy, I'll ask her to apply it all over so I can see the full effect and finish. If I'm ever unsure, I usually ask for a sample - I find it easier to get one when you make a purchase, even if it's a small one.

Current Foundations in Rotation: I typically go for sheer to medium coverage. I don't like SPF because there are some sunscreens that I get a reaction to. I also don't like the way they photograph, but these days it's almost impossible to find a foundation that doesn't have some SPF in it.

  • Chanel Teint Innocence Shell 30 Liquid ($47) & Beige 40 Compact ($56) - Sheer to Medium Coverage and photographs great. Long-lasting coverage with a slightly dewey finish. There is a very subtle iridescence in the liquid version but it's not noticeable on the skin. The texture prevents it from looking flat on your face. I also find the compact shades run a bit lighter than the liquid. These 2 are my Holy Grails of all time. (Repurchases = too many to count, but at least 4 of each)
  • NARS Oil Free in Punjab ($42) - I love the finish and color of this foundation. Right now, it's just a tad dark. I've been matched to Santa Fe since I bought Punjab, so I simply mix a lighter highlighter with Punjab. It looks oddly peachy in the tube and swatched on the hand. It can oxidize and darken on the skin if you're oily. I've heard that it makes some people break out, but I haven't had any problems. I don't think it's for everyone so definitely get a sample to try out first. (Repurchases = 0, I have yet to hit the halfway point on this one.)

  • Laura Mercier Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer in Natural Radiance ($42) - This is a nice sheer tinted moisturizer with a visible glow. Not recommended for oily skins. I like to use this and set with a powder foundation on the good-skin days. (Repurchases = 3 times to date)

  • Giorgio Armani Lasting Silk 5.5 and 6.5 (mixed because I'm in between shades) - if you tried the Luminous Silk, loved the finish, but thought the formula was too heavy/oily, Lasting Silk is the solution to giving you the same coverage and finish, but with a more matte finish.

Current Powders in Rotation:

  • Chanel Double Perfection Powder in Tender Bisque ($50) - My Holy Grail powder foundation. Good natural coverage, long-lasting, easy to apply and great for touch-ups. I also use Medium Beige when I'm darker. (Repurchases = too many to count, probably over 10 times)

  • NARS Powder Foundation in Fiji ($45) - This is the newest powder foundation I've tried. I was a bit confused about whether this was just a pressed powder or a true powder-foundation. It seems a bit too sheer to be a powder-foundation. I like to use this to set my foundation for a flawless finish. Using this alone over moisturizer gave me a chalky look.

  • Laura Mercier Translucent Loose ($34) - I like using this with a brush or puff. I love the colored powders, but unfortunately, I can only use Beige in the summer months and Ivory is way too pale.

  • Giorgio Armani Microfil 2 ($49) - Soft and sheer with a subtle glow. However, the shades in this product line are extremely limited. No. 2 is the darkest shade they currently carry. I don't know what I'm going to use from Armani when I get tan.

  • Stila Illuminating Powder Foundation 40 ($28 for refill, $14 for compact) - One of those oldies-but-goodies products. I've been using this ever since I was in high school in the late 90's. I find it's best when you use this to set liquid foundation for a flawless glow. (Repurchases = 4)
Current Primers:

I have no loyalty to one specific primer. I use something different everyday. I know it's probably a big no-no, but often times I skip moisturizer and just use a primer. I alternate between the following:

  • MAC Strobe Cream (mini size from a travel kit) - I've repurchased this numerous times. I apply it all over the face under foundation for a subtle glow. It also works when applied over foundation/powder on temples to add a very subtle highlight.

  • Chanel UV Essential ($52) - I actually love all 3 Chanel Primers. This is my most recent love. Looks white but blends out clear on the skin. It has SPF 50 and supposed to protect your skin from environmental pollutants. The only downside is the steep price for the amount of product you get. I like this, but I'm not sure that I love it enough to justify purchasing again.

  • MAC Prep + Prime Skin Without SPF ($25) - This is a silicone-based primer with subtle pearl particles to smooth and even the skin. I like this because it helps my foundation last and look smooth.

  • NARS Primer ($33, regular version) - This one contains no silicone, oil, or synthetic fragrances. I find this works the best with NARS foundations. The formula has a gel-like texture.

Current Concealers:

Concealer is a product I neglect to apply on a regular basis. For many years, I avoided concealer because I couldn't find one that didn't emphasize my lines under the eyes. Most were too thick making me look aged. I typically only use concealer under the eye and around the nose. I've yet to find a concealer that works for blemishes. I find most of them emphasize blemishes rather than conceal them. A few that I like include (do note that I've never repurchased a concealer to date):

  • Le Metier de Beaute Eye Brightener in Revive ($36) - I call this my wonder eye product. I apply this after I've put on my foundation and powder under the eyes and it evens skin tone in a full coverage powder without looking cakey or emphasizing lines. The only downside is that it comes in 2 shades. When I bought Revive it was a perfect match. I've since gotten a bit lighter and it's too dark for me now, so I will have to save it for the summer months.

  • Laura Mercier Undercover Pot UC-3 ($34) - I like that this has both the Secret Camouflage and Secret Concealer with a mini translucent powder on the bottom which makes it convenient for travel. It's sturdy enough to throw in your purse. The fact that it has 2 shades and 2 different textures makes it nice to blend and mix according to whatever you want.

  • Chanel Correcteur Perfection (Long Lasting Concealer) in Beige Ivoire 20 ($40) - Pricey, but works wonders for under the eyes and around the nose. It has medium coverage that's natural enough to blend in with the skin, but enough coverage to brighten the face.

If I had to pick just 1 brand to use powder, foundation, concealer and primer, it would hands down have to be Chanel. They have a wide variety of formulas for different skin types, ranging from sheer to full coverage. Their face products photograph really well and don't give you that whitish cast that some foundations give with high-flash photography.

Please note that these are simply the products that I like best out of ones I've tried. I haven't tried everything. I can't guarantee that you'll like any of these that I've listed.

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