Showing posts with label Foundation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Foundation. Show all posts

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Dolce & Gabbana Beauty - Primer, Foundation and Face Favorites


I've been a long time fan of Dolce & Gabbana Beauty but it has been one of those hard-to-find lines that I don't have easy access to. For years I've ordered items sight unseen over the phone but now the line has started to expand into other retailers. They are currently available at Nordstrom and I'm thrilled that one of my local counters carries the brand so I can test everything in person. Since some of you still might be new to the line or not have easy access to the brand yet, I've teamed up with Nordstrom to share some of my favorites in a two-part series. Today's feature will focus on face products I've tested including their primer, several foundations and a couple blushes I really like.

Left to right, Perfect Matte Powder Foundation, Foundation Brush, Perfect Matte Liquid Foundation, Perfect Luminous Liquid Foundation and Sheer Radiance Make Up Base 

The Dolce & Gabbana Powder Foundation ($60 for 15 g) was one of the first items I tried from the line. I have used a couple shades over the past few years, but right now my skin match is Warm 100. This product is my holy grail powder foundation. I've lost count of how many times I have repurchased this one. I usually have two on hand at any given time. I have one for home and one to keep in my purse for touch ups. It offers medium to full but very natural looking coverage. It comes with a compartment at the bottom to hold a sponge applicator. I prefer to use a brush to apply it as a setting powder, although it does offer enough coverage to use alone. I really like how it offers phenomenal coverage but doesn't look cakey, heavy or flat. The lasting power on my combination skin is very good and stays put from morning to night. I do need the occasional touch up on the nose in the afternoon, but overall it lasts very long.


I don't usually do a traditional contour for my face but do like to add a hint of a natural color for warmth or depth. Two of the best natural cheek colors include Luminous Cheek Color Blushes ($45 each for 5 g) in Caramel which is a pinky beige caramel and Tan which is an interesting grey. I like layering them together. Caramel brightens the face by adding a hint of color that looks natural but warm. Tan is one of the most unique blushes I've seen that is a grey color but earthy in undertone. I sometimes use this on the eyes as well. The texture is soft and silky without any detectable fragrance. The pigment is medium but easy to build by layering.


In terms of liquid foundations, Dolce & Gabbana has four options right now. I used to use the Perfect Luminous Creamy Foundation a number of years ago and really liked it but once I used it up never repurchased, mainly because I prefer pump or squeeze tube foundations to large pots. (I mixed Warm 100 and Soft Sand 140.) Today I have three of the liquid foundations to review and compare for you. All of them come packaged in a sturdy glass bottle with a handy pump dispenser. Based on my experience, all the formulas have a slight variation in color but they do have similarities.

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The Perfect Luminous Liquid Foundation ($60 for 1 fl oz) is my favorite out of all the liquid formulas. I use Caramel 110 and it is a perfect match with olive but neutral undertones. The formula has a medium liquid texture that is easy to blend and offers medium to full coverage. It evens out the skin tone and has a very subtle luminous finish. I would say this is good for normal to dry skin. It lasts all day for me and doesn't get oily or greasy as the day wears on. If you have super oily skin you may feel this is a bit too dewy for you. Dolce & Gabbana has a Foundation Brush ($41) made of synthetic material that I received as a gift with purchase many years ago. I've found it works well to apply liquid products, but I prefer to apply my foundations with a sponge like a damp Beautyblender.


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The Perfect Matte Luminous Foundation ($67 for 1 fl oz) is a full coverage matte finish foundation. Out of all the foundations I've tested from Dolce & Gabbana, the matte version gives the fullest most opaque coverage, but it doesn't make the skin look flat. The formula and coverage is phenomenal, but for me the downside is I can't find an exact match in this formula. I was told that the shades in the matte formula are slightly lighter than the other foundation formulas because it warms up to the skin and adjusts as your natural oils warm up the product. Caramel 110 is a bit too light and too pink for me. On my skin it will warm up after a few minutes and if I set with a slightly darker powder or mix in a bit of a liquid bronzer it works just fine. The next two shades up are quite a jump for me. Natural Beige 120 is very olive and Warm Rose 130 is very pink. The lasting power on this is really good and it will last all day. However you do need to take extra care to remove all traces at the end of the day because it really lasts (and sticks). I wish I had a perfect match to this formula because the finish is flawless. I have been mixing my Caramel 110 with a few liquid bronzers to make it work better. I have contemplated buying the Natural Beige 120 to mix the two colors but haven't splurged yet.


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The Perfect Reveal Lift Foundation ($72 for 1 fl oz) is the newest addition to the Dolce & Gabbana foundation lineup. This one is enriched with special skincare properties designed to add moisture and reveal younger-looking and natural skin. I've been testing this for a couple months now and think it is a decent foundation. The color Caramel 110 is a very good match for me. The formula on this one offers sheer to medium coverage on my skin. It does smooth out the skin and does give it a youthful appearance but I haven't noticed any changes to my skin yet. I suspect one needs to use this over a long period of time to see the skincare effects. Out of all the foundations Dolce & Gabbana has to offer, I think the Lift formula will be the most universally suitable for a wide variety of skin types. It seems to be the type that will suit normal, dry or oily skin. The coverage is medium and although it's not sheer, I do find I need a powder foundation on top to give me more coverage.


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Last but not least, I have a review on the new The Primer Sheer Radiance Make Up Base. I am usually hesitant to test primers without trying a sample first, but I went ahead and ordered this sight unseen. Many of my readers have e-mailed me asking for thoughts on this. After doing some testing on this, I am very glad I ordered it. This primer has SPF 30 and comes with a pump dispenser. I like that it comes in the same size bottle as the liquid foundations for packaging consistency and easy storage. The primer is a white fluid with a medium texture. A little goes a long way and I've found I only need one pump to cover the entire face. The primer does leave a slightly white cast to my medium/olive skin, but most of my foundations have enough pigment to cover it entirely and cancel out any white cast. I am really impressed with how this primer feels and how it makes a visible difference in how foundation goes on the skin. The primer gives the skin a soft feel and preps the skin well while offering a slightly moisturizing feel. I like that it's not heavy, greasy and doesn't have that silicone feel that many primers have. I give it a huge thumbs up, however, I'm not an everyday primer kind of person. The Dolce & Gabbana foundations work so well on their own, I don't think this is an absolutely necessary step. That being said, this is one of the best primers I've tried and I do think it's definitely worth looking into. For me it's a huge plus that there is no detectable fragrance.


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Here are swatches of the Dolce & Gabbana liquid foundations I have and the primer. I've added swatches of the Matte formula in 120 and 130 for reference:


A few comparison swatches to other foundations I have in rotation for reference:


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My top two picks are the Perfect Matte Powder Foundation and Perfect Luminous Liquid Foundation. I do like the Matte Liquid formula however color matching is essential when it comes to foundations and for me, the current color lineup doesn't have my exact match. The newest Lift formula performs well, but after a few weeks of testing, I haven't really seen any changes in my skincare to warrant the extra price (it is still a very good formula though).

I hope you found this roundup helpful! If you're in the market for a good powder foundation, I really recommend the one by Dolce & Gabbana. If you've tried any of the face products or foundations from the line, I'd love to hear your thoughts.





This post was sponsored by Nordstrom. All opinions my own. For more information please refer to my disclosures.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide


The latest foundation innovation from Laura Mercier is her new Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide Foundation. She's well known for her "Flawless Face" concept which includes four easy steps to achieving the most natural and smooth complexion for your skin type. The main steps include Prime, Cover, Conceal and Set. I used to use the Tinted Moisturizer religiously many years ago when I was in college with near-perfect skin. These days my face needs more than sheer coverage. I have some acne scars and areas I need medium to full coverage, but I still want something that looks natural. The new Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide offers medium to full coverage that looks like skin. It comes in 24 different shade options with a multitude of undertones which made me very excited.

I had an appointment with a Laura Mercier artist last month to tested the new Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide. The artist swatched several shades of the foundation along my jawline and on other areas of my face to find a good match. The foundation comes in a sleek tube that requires shaking to mix the formula inside. It's very fluid but blends nicely on the skin to give medium coverage. If you try this at the counter, you will need to smooth it out with a finger to see how it wears on your skin - the color adjusts as you blend. I was matched to Honey. The foundation is designed to offer 12 hours of wear. It's described as humidity-proof, sweat-proof, water resistant, oil-free, non-comedogenic, non-greasy and non-drying. It's formulated to be suitable for all skin types (including sensitive skin). I found that it worked well with my sensitive acne-prone skin.


Since it had been a while since I had used any of the Laura Mercier foundations, the artist walked me through the Flawless Face process as a refresher.
  1. After cleansing and moisturizing my face, she used the Radiance Primer to prep the skin. There are multiple types of primers. My main concern was that I wanted a medium to full coverage foundation but didn't want it to look too matte. The Radiance Primer was suggested to give a glow-from-within look.
  2. Next she followed with a thin layer of the Tinted Moisturizer in Sand. For good skin days she recommended the Tinted Moisturizer all over and then using a more pigmented foundation on areas I needed more coverage. She used the Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide in Honey on the forehead and cheeks for more coverage.
  3. For spot coverage and under the eye brightening, she mixed the two shades of the Secret Camouflage Concealer in SC-3. Concealer was set under the eyes with the Secret Brightening Powder.
  4. The final step was to set with the Loose Setting Powder in Translucent (a classic that I've never stopped using).

At home, the same Flawless Face look was easy for me to replicate. I added some color to the cheeks for a natural glow with the Matte Radiance Baked Bronze Powder in Bronze 02. For the eyes, I've been layering the cream shadow Caviar Stick Eye Colors. Three easy-to-use colors for a classic no-fuss look include Rosegold, Amethyst and Tuxedo. Rosegold highlights the entire lid naturally Amethyst gives a nice medium contour and is layer able for a natural or smokey look. Tuxedo doubles as a smokey liner. All the shades are blendable and layer well together. For the lips, a thin layer of the Lip Glacé in Pink Pop brightens the face with a sheer wash of color.


Above: Radiance Foundation Primer, Spiced Rose Creme Lip Color, Tinted Moisturizer in Sand, Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide in Honey, Lip Glace in Orchid, Bare Baby, Pink Pop and Nectar, Matte Radiance Baked Powder 02, Secret Brightening Powder and Caviar Eye Stick in Rosegold


What I used at home for a flawless face with a very natural look:






I've been really pleased with the way the Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide foundation in Honey wears.  At first swatch I thought it would be too warm but it blends in flawlessly with my skin. The warmth in it adds a bit of color to my face but is still an exact match. It has a thin fluid texture but isn't too runny as long as you shake the bottle properly before use. It blends easily onto the skin and covers dark spots and uneven areas quite well while still looking natural. I've been using the fingers to apply or a damp sponge and the coverage is quite nice. Those sensitive to fragrance will be happy to know that there is no detectable scent in this foundation. As a plus, it photographs well with a flash. Lasting power is quite good when set with the Translucent powder, I was able to get 10 to 12 hours of wear each time I tested without any touch ups required mid-day.

Have you tried the Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide foundation? What shade do you wear? If you haven't tested it, I highly recommend you give it a look the next time you're at the counter.

Shop the post:





Special thanks to Laura Mercier for sponsoring this post. For more information, refer to my Disclosures page.

Monday, September 29, 2014

NARS All Day Luminous Powder Foundation


The latest from NARS is the All Day Luminous Powder Foundation ($48 for 0.42 oz/12 g). It's a super lightweight powder foundation that comes in 15 different shades. I was sent the shade Punjab (Medium 1) for review which is a good match for my medium with olive/golden tones. NARS also sent a press sample of the new Powder Foundation Sponge puff ($6.00) which can be used to roll or pat the product onto the face. For reference, I use the Radiant Cream Compact Foundation in Punjab (swatches here) and the Tinted Moisturizer in Groenland (swatched here). The Powder Foundation in Punjab seems to be slightly lighter than the Cream Compact version but it warms up on the skin to adjust nicely without oxidizing or darkening as the day goes on. The description from NARS:

NARS Cosmetics introduces All Day Luminous Powder Foundation. Silky and ultrafine to the touch, this medium buildable foundation offers versatile coverage and shine control with broad spectrum SPF 24 that lasts up to 12-hours. NARS exclusive Light Reflecting Complex™ optimizes light reflection to enhance skin’s translucency while Luminosity Enhancing Technology – a blend of 17 amino acids, Vitamin C derivative and Marine Fennel – promotes cell renewal and helps reduce the look of hyper-pigmentation and wrinkles.

The NARS powder foundation comes in a square mirrored compact. It has a compartment at the bottom for a square sponge. The sponge itself is interesting because it has two different textures, one is more fluffy and velvety like a puff, the other side is a spongey texture. I prefer the spongey side because it picks up more product and applies smoothly on the face. I tested the separate round puff as well and found it gave more coverage with a buffed-looking finish to the face.


I am extremely picky when it comes to powder foundation. Many end up looking heavy or cakey, emphasize pores or dry patches or even end up breaking me out. I have tested quite a few and my current top two picks include Dolce & Gabbana Powder Foundation in Warm 100 and Chanel Double Perfection Lumiere Powder Foundation in 20 or 30 Beige depending on how dark/tan I am. Although powder foundations are often designed to be worn alone instead of a liquid/cream foundation, I almost always use my powder foundations over liquids or tinted moisturizer as a setting powder. Both the Dolce & Gabbana and Chanel have this beautiful soft velvety finish that blends very nicely on the skin. They both cover imperfections, stay put, look natural and don't darken. The NARS All Day Luminous Powder Foundation by comparison is quite a bit lighter in texture while still offering medium buildable coverage. I like that you can control the coverage easily.

A quick look at the packaging:



On the nails, Louboutin Miss Loubi


I tested the NARS several ways, alone and then also on top of different foundations. I also tested it with the sponge and also with a brush.

When used alone I found it performed really well with just moisturizer and primer. Right now, my current skin prep routine includes a layer of SK-II Cellumination Cream Illuminating Moisturizer or By Terry Cellularose Nutri Baume as moisturizer followed by a primer like the NARS Light Optimizing Primer. As a standalone foundation, I found it covered the skin nicely and evened out the complexion. There was no caking or seeping into pores. It is incredibly lightweight so you don't feel like you have anything on your face. I found it amazing at how it gave my skin a luminous glow even though there is no hint of shimmer in the powder itself. I found it did last all day from around 7:30 am through 7:00 pm without any touchups required. I found it applied best with the square sponge that comes in the compact or with the round puff you can purchase separately.

Over foundation it looked equally nice. I tested it over the NARS Radiant Cream Compact, Tinted Moisturizer and also over Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide. It applied smoothly with a fluffy brush over other foundations. With the sponge I found it was a bit too heavy-looking with the powder foundation + foundation combination. I do think your skin needs to be well-prepped and moisturized for smooth application, although I find this to be the case with any powder foundation in general.

Close up of the powder surface, it has a very soft silky texture:



Swatches:



Swatch comparisons:



After testing this for a few weeks I give this a huge thumbs up. There's no detectable scent and it's huge for me that I didn't get any breakouts or irritation or clogged pores from using this (many powder foundations don't work for my sensitive skin). Right now Punjab is the perfect match, it looks a bit peachy in the compact but it applies good on my olive skin. I like that it has enough yellow undertone so it doesn't turn pinkish on me. If you have olive or golden skin tones you know the pain of finding awesome formulas that don't match the skin color because they are too pink or warm. Bottom line it does last all day and it has a lovely soft luminous silky looking finish.

The NARS All Day Luminous Powder Foundation is currently available at NARS Boutiques, narscosmetics.com, Nordstrom and Sephora. The Powder Foundation retails for $48 and the round Powder Foundation Sponge retails separately for $6.



The powder foundation and puff was provided courtesy of NARS for review consideration. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Foundation Testing with Clé de Peau Beauté, NARS and YSL


I've been testing out a few foundations over the past few months. I normally look for foundations with medium natural coverage (like Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet or Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation), but lately I've been reaching for ones with more coverage to cover imperfections and even out the skin. Four foundations I've been putting to the test include:

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Clé de Peau Beauté Cream and Silky Cream Foundations

I've heard so many good things about Clé de Peau Beauté foundations but have avoided them for years because I did not want to fall in love with a $100+ foundation. Several friends along with a couple bloggers I've met use foundations from the line and their skin always looks phenomenal. I decided to give both the Cream and Silky Cream versions a try. I was matched to O30 which is a neutral medium shade. Both are really good, but I have a slight preference for the Cream. For reference, Joey'space has a good comparison chart to show the difference. Both foundations have a medium cream texture that is very concentrated so you only need a little to cover the entire face. They are packaged in a convenient squeeze tube which is very easy to use. I like that there is no detectable fragrance once you apply it on the face.


The Clé de Peau Beauté Cream Foundation comes with a higher SPF of 29 and has a medium to full coverage for me. It has a semi-matte and velvety finish but looks very natural on the skin. I found it blends perfectly when used with a damp Beauty Blender sponge or Chanel Foundation Brush and both make the skin look flawless. It covers quite well without looking heavy or cakey. I prefer the Cream because it has a bit more yellow in it which matches my skin better and also has a more matte finish. Lasting power is very good for my normal skin, but with the hot humid weather we've been having in Southern California, I've found nothing really holds up the entire day without touch ups. This one does get a bit shiny on the nose area with the humid weather, but on the days I've tested it where it was cooler, I found it held up very well without any touch ups required. Beauty Professor has all the shades in the Cream formula swatched for reference.

The Silky Cream Foundation comes with SPF 23 and also has medium coverage but has a slightly dewy finish. This one is better suited for dry skin, but I've found it is still suitable for my normal skin. The finish is really lovely on this but it has a slight hint of pink in it but I still find it to be a decent match for my skin tone. The Clé de Peau Beauté rep who helped me at Neiman Marcus said most people prefer this formula because it looks more natural on the skin and those with normal to dry skin find it blends easier, but her personal preference was for the Cream. The coverage on this one is also phenomenal with a natural dewy look. It's a bit too rich for my skin right now with the super warm weather but I suspect this will be really good for fall/winter. I could have skipped this one entirely since I prefer the Cream version.

Ingredients (Silky Cream on top, Cream at bottom):


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NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation

I've also been testing the NARS Radiant Cream Compact foundation. This one has been out for quite some time but I never tested it. A makeup artist applied this on me at a recent makeover event I attended. I told her I was looking for something with more coverage than the Tinted Moisturizer but not as heavy as their Sheer Glow Foundation. She suggested I use the Radiant Cream Compact and was matched to Punjab. I am typically not a fan of compact foundations because they are usually extremely heavy on my skin, but the NARS is surprisingly lightweight with a finish that has a natural glow. It's not overly dewy and I don't know that I would call it radiant, but it does have a soft luminous finish without looking shiny or greasy. I really like the way this applies with a damp Beauty Blender or fingers for smooth even coverage. The entire set is refillable and the mirrored compact with sponge is sold separately for $10. After testing this for almost a month now, I think I could have definitely skipped buying the compact. The sponge that comes with the foundation is a good one, but not the best for this cream foundation. I found it applied too much product and also found it to look a bit streaky. I loved how this covered smoothly and didn't settle into fine lines or pores for me.

I've found lasting power to be quite good, but those with oily skin will probably need to touch up mid-day. It didn't leave me an oil slick (like Armani Luminous Silk does) but it did look a bit too dewy by 1:30 pm in the afternoon after applying it in the morning. I really really love this one. For reference, Café Makeup has all the shades swatched.

Ingredients: Dimethicone, Water, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Dipropylene Glycol, Glycerin, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Paraffin, Nylon-12, Peg-400, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Cera Microcristallina (Microcrystalline Wax), Sorbitan Sesquiisostearate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Aluminum Hydroxide, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Polysilicone-2, Distearyldimonium Chloride, Ceramide 3, Palmitic Acid, Pentylene Glycol, Tin Oxide, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbic Acid, Retinyl Palmitate, Maris Aqua (Sea Water), Spilanthes Acmella (Spilanthes Acmella Flower Extract), Ethylhexylglycerin, Barium Sulfate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Algae (Algae Extract), Alumina, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Benzyl Alcohol, [+/- (May Contain): Mica, Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Ci 77491 (Iron Oxides), Ci 77492 (Iron Oxides), Ci 77499 (Iron Oxides)].

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YSL Fusion Ink Foundation


The last foundation I've tested that I wanted to share is the YSL Fusion Ink Foundation. There has been a lot of hype and excitement over this new release from YSL. I bought this at Nordstrom and my experience was slightly frustrating since the rep didn't know how to properly match me (she wanted to give me ones with pink tones) so I ended up matching myself to B40 which turned out to be a really good match. I really wanted to love this but it did not work for my skin.

Reports and reviews have been mixed on this. Some adore it while others do not. I tested this on several occasions and fell head over heels in love with the color, texture and blendability. What I did not like was the thin runny liquid texture which made it drip all over the place when moving the tip from the bottle to the back of my hand, face or sponge. Even though it had a thin texture, I loved the way it covered my skin. It looked velvety with flawless coverage and lasted all day even in hot humid weather. The Fusion Ink foundation blended quite well and I found it easy to layer for more coverage while still looking natural like skin, but just slightly matte.

After a few weeks of testing I found it did not work well with my sensitive skin. When I applied it, the foundation stung my skin upon first application but the stinging sensation went away after it was blended. Even though it seemed to last well all day, by the time I took it off in the evening, I found my face covered with red spots and bumps. I tried this on six different occasions just to make sure it wasn't anything else that caused the reaction. Each time I had the same redness by the end of the day. It also clogged pores and caused breakouts in my chin area which took a couple weeks to clear up. Your mileage may vary on this one. If you can get a sample to try first, I recommend it.

Ingregients: Dimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Isododecane, Alcohol Denat, Vinyl Dimenthicone/Methicone, Silsequioxane, Crosspolymer, Phenyl, Trimethicone, Disteardimonium Hectorite, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Water, Propylene Carbonate, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Silica Silyate, Fragrance, Calophyllum Inophyllum Seed Oil, Aluminum Hydroxide, Benzyl Alcohol. 

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Swatches comparisons to a few others that I've had in rotation:



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Overall thoughts:

I'm still a huge fan of Chanel foundations as my go-to for the best color match and formula options for my skin tone and skin type. I give the NARS Radiant Cream Compact foundation and Clé de Peau Beauté Cream Foundation a huge thumbs up. I was particularly impressed with the lightweight feel of the NARS and also really pleased with the natural dewy coverage it provided. It gives the face a natural but slightly glowy look while evening out the skin. The color Punjab is a perfect match for me.

The Clé de Peau Beauté Cream Foundation is really the best foundation I have ever tried. I really wish it wasn't so expensive but the coverage, look and feel is truly phenomenal and there is nothing that comes close from my testing experience. I have a lot of foundation loves, but this one beats them all.

I do like the look and feel of the Clé de Peau Beauté Silky Cream but it is better suited for normal-dry skin and cooler weather. I could have skipped the Silky Cream and gone just with the Cream formula but I really didn't know what to expect before I tested them extensively. Given the high price of the Clé de Peau foundation, I do think it's a try before you buy kind of thing. The shade selection is on the lighter end so if you're medium to dark you might have a hard time finding a match in the cream formulas.

The YSL Fusion Ink unfortunately was a complete fail for me. I don't know if I'm going to return it or not, I bought mine at Nordstrom and the associate assured me I could return it without any issues if it didn't work, but I still hate returning things. The coverage, color match, overall look and lasting power were all so good, but the formula didn't work well with my skin type (which is super sensitive) and caused red bumps to surface everywhere.

Have you tested any of these? What were your thoughts? If you haven't, what are your favorite foundations in rotation right now?



Monday, August 25, 2014

Dior Beauty Favorites + A Few New Discoveries


Several new readers have e-mailed telling me they have just started to explore higher end cosmetics asking for advice on where to start building their makeup wardrobe and what I recommend for them to buy. Many are open to trying new brands and products but often prefer recommendations from one single brand to simplify their makeup routine. I personally like to mix it up with different brands each day depending on mood but for those who want to stick with one single brand, Dior is one of a few lines I've tried that I would feel comfortable using exclusively for everything from foundation, skincare, makeup and tools. I've partnered with Nordstrom to share some of my Dior Beauty favorites with you today.

I've been using Dior beauty since my college days (early 2000's). Over the years they've revamped almost all formulas for every product. I always panic anytime I hear "reformulate" thinking why change something when it's already really good? Dior has revamped their products for better though. Their nail polish keeps getting better, the Gel Shine & Long Wear Nail Lacquer is the latest and it has a lush glossy look with rich pigment that applies flawlessly. Their Addict Lip Gloss is a classic favorite for a super glossy natural tint. It comes in a diverse range of colors from pales, brights and darker shades.



A few of my favorites which I highly recommend for anyone whether you're getting into Dior or higher end lines include:
Dior's Purifying Foam Cleanser is one of my top cleanser picks out of all that I've tried. I've repurchased this countless times. There are several different formulas of Dior cleanser, the Purifying Foam is for Normal/Combination skin. It is really effective at cleansing the skin but is still gentle. My husband loves it as well. It foams up nicely and leaves the skin feeling really clean without making it tight or leaving a film.


Diorskin Airflash Skin Foundation is one of the longest wearing foundations I've tried. There is a learning curve for application though. The Airflash comes in an aerosol spray. Hold it about 5-6 inches away from your face and close the eyes before you spray. You have to make sure your face is completely relaxed or else it will apply unevenly and miss spots. I spray in a Z motion twice from top to bottom. I don't always get a flawless application with the spray but it is easily fixable with a brush or sponge. I set with a sheer loose powder and it stays put all day. If you find yourself getting oily or shiny from this, you've probably applied too much. It is long-wearing and has fuller coverage, so to take it off, I recommend you use either a Cleansing Water or Cleansing Oil combined with your regular facial cleanser.


Dior has a good range of gloss options. The Addict Glosses are sheer, shimmery and add the perfect tint to the lips. My favorites are Nuit Boreale (a pale iridescent pink with some blue and green shimmer), Bed of Roses (a soft pink rose) and Diablotine a sheer but bright coral. If you're one that likes more pigment, the new Dior Addict Fluid Stick is incredible. They have super rich pigment and they glide onto the lips really nicely. Blend it and the color melds with your lip flawlessly. It's a hybrid lipstick and gloss so it has that lush gloss look but pigment of a lipstick and stays put relatively long.



For nails, Dior has always been a favorite. The formula has been revamped several times over the year and it just keeps getting better. There are a lot of limited-edition shades released each season. They often don't do repeats of the trendy shades although sometimes they will release something similar at a later date. I've been a collector for years and have amassed a sizable collection. If you're just starting to get into higher end nail polishes, Dior is a great option. I am one who really believes there is a difference in formula. The ones by Dior glide on seamlessly. The pigment and coverage is phenomenal these days. The brush is chiseled at the tip for easy two-swipe application. The colors are rich and range from classic to neutral to trendy. I love the Gel Top Coat over other Dior Polishes. I can get up to 7 days of wear without any tip wear or chipping. If you're looking to start with color, my top three can't-go-wrong picks are Incognito for an everyday classic neutral, Wonderland for a brightening pink and Nuit 1947 for a classic vamp with a jelly finish.


Painting on Nuit 1947 with the Gel Top Coat




The Diorshow Brow Styler is something I discovered mid-July. One of my favorite Dior artists recommended this for me. I was skeptical since the Brow Styler only comes in one shade in the US in Universal Brown 001. It's a light taupe brown that actually works for my lighter brows and dark black brown hair. Often times an exact match to my hair makes my brows look too intense and sharp. I like to opt for a color that is lighter but doesn't contain any red or isn't too ashy. The Universal Brown appears to be really universal from what I've seen.



above, wearing Nuit 1947


For lashes, my go-to lash primer is the Diorshow Maximizer Lash Pluming Serum. It's a white base you apply to your lashes as a primer. It helps add volume to the lashes and makes them look thicker without clumping. The trick to this one is to not let it dry completely before adding mascara. You can still add it, but applying your mascara while this is still a bit wet helps the product glide on better. The mascara will adhere to the primer and if it's completely dry, I find it tugs a little. You don't need to rush application, but I wouldn't wait a long time.

For mascaras, I've tried almost every Dior mascara made. They have the best mini samples each time a new one is released. I've developed a couple really good relationships with Dior reps at my Nordstroms so they always call me when they have samples. My favorite is the regular Diorshow for the plush bristles and rich color (and it doesn't flake or smudge). Nordstrom sent me one of the new ones for review which is the Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara. It has a curved comb which helps get all the lashes in a few strokes, no need to angle it in weird ways. It's supposed to help curl lashes. For my super straight lashes I always need a lash curler, but I find this one does keep the curl well. After testing it, I found it doesn't flake or smudge. I did need to wipe off the brush with the first application (I use a piece of paper to wipe off excess) but I usually need to do that with most mascaras.

above, wearing Wonderland

For eyeshadow, Dior has so many options. Their 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette also keeps getting a makeover in formula, color options and packaging. They've retained the same navy rectangular compact but the newer ones keep getting sleeker in design. Nordstrom sent Bar 056 (one of the five new fall options) for review. I normally cannot wear greys on the eyes as they turn out to be too cool-toned. Bar offers a lovely classic subtle palette of greys I can actually wear without looking washed out. If you're looking for an everyday neutral, Rosy Tan 754 is hands down one of my favorites. I jus opened my backup a few months ago after going through one entire palette.



For those new to Dior or new to higher end lines, I hope you found this helpful as an introduction to Dior Beauty. There is a lot to explore within each product family for eyes, lips, cheeks, nails, tools, lashes etc. Even though I like to mix up brands in my daily beauty routine, I find Dior is one of the few that can really be a one-stop shop. I've fallen in love with their lipsticks, blushes and bronzers (although many are limited-edition ones). If you click on the Dior tag at the bottom you'll see more Dior reviews I've featured over the years. If you're a Dior fan, I'd love to hear what your favorites are. I'm always up for discovering new things.

Shop my favorites from Nordstrom:



Many thanks to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post. The Dior Bar Quint and Iconic Overcurl Mascara were provided for review. All other items purchased by me. For more information, please refer to my Disclosures page.

 

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