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

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.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation Bisque 4 Review

I've been playing with Tom Ford's new Traceless Perfecting Foundation ($80 for 1 fl oz/30 ml) in Bisque 4. I've been testing about a week now and I'm in love. I shared my initial thoughts (and swatches of all 15 shades) last Friday. I'm happy with my selection of Bisque 4 as it matches my skin perfectly right now. After playing with it some more, here are my thoughts:

Color Choice: I was torn between Bisque 4 and Natural 5. Based on the counter recommendation after applying them both (one on each side of the face), I bought Bisque 4 and took home a small sample of Natural 5. I've been testing them both and really could get away with using either shade. Natural 5 is a bit darker and a tad more olive while Bisque is more neutral.

Formula, Coverage, Texture: The new Traceless Perfecting Foundation is a bit thicker in texture than most foundations I use and it gives perfect medium to full coverage. It blends very easily and covers well. Even though it's thick, it doesn't feel heavy on my skin and the finish and feel is very natural. I've tried all of Tom Ford's foundations but have only purchased the Traceless Sticks. My thoughts comparing the three:
  • The regular Traceless Foundation (liquid in a square bottle with pump) is absolutely gorgeous on the skin but always looked a bit too dewy and glowy on my skin. It's sheerer in coverage and has a sheen finish while the Traceless Perfecting Foundation is more velvety (but not matte).
  • The Traceless Stick Foundation is best used layered over other foundations for more coverage. It's the perfect alternative to concealer for larger areas of the face that need more but isn't quite as dry or pigmented as concealer so it blends easier on the skin.
  • The newest Traceless Perfecting Foundation is something I find really does have that perfecting effect. It doesn't give me 100% perfect skin but it evens out skin tone and texture really nicely. It gives medium to full coverage without caking. It stays put and doesn't sliding off. It also looks completely natural.
Application: The first few days I tested this we had a bit of a heat wave in Southern California. It was humid and we also had some rain. Those first few days I found the foundation felt a bit heavy although it stayed put the entire day from morning to evening. It didn't slide off, get greasy or oily as the day wore on but it felt heavy. After playing with this a bit more I've found my perfect combination of product. You do need to use a lightweight moisturizer and good primer to prep the skin (it makes a world of difference). My go-to is to use:
Who can wear it? This is a thicker foundation compared to the thin fluid texture of Armani Maestro or even Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet. I would say it's comparable in texture to Chanel Perfection Lumiere but a tad more airy and thicker in texture. I think it could suit a wide range of skin types but if you're on the oily side it may not be the best option for you. For normal combination or dry skins I think this will be perfect.

Packaging: The foundation comes with an interesting twist up pump similar to the packaging of the Illuminating Primer. It dispenses product easily without any issues. I use 2 to 3 pumps to cover the entire face.

Packaging comparisons (review on primer here):

Here it is swatched on my arm:

Many of you have asked for comparisons to other foundations. I pulled out ones I use and a few lighter options I have leftovers of from winter/spring and I also had some samples in my drawers that I pulled out. I tan easily and my skin has gotten darker since spring. I'll put a * next to the shades I currently use:

Set 1 includes:

Set 2 includes:

Overall thumbs up. It's something I keep reaching for these days since I purchased it. For reference you can see all 15 shades swatched here. I hope this helps as a guide to help you select a color. If you need a shade match or recommendation, I highly recommend you call a Tom Ford counter. I've found the reps at Neiman Marcus Fashion Island, Beverly Hills and San Francisco to be extremely helpful.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Tom Ford Beauty Traceless Perfecting Foundation SPF15 Swatches

Tom Ford Beauty has released some exciting releases this fall. The first installment includes a new foundation called Traceless Perfecting Foundation ($80 for 1 fl oz, 15 shades) and a cover up Concealing Pen ($52 each, 6 shades). I met up earlier this week with the lovely Beauty Professor for lunch and some beauty shopping. We were thrilled to find both the Perfecting Foundation and Concealer Pens had arrived at the counters and immediately started playing with the new product (be sure to check her comprehensive swatches and descriptions here.)

Having both fallen in love with many things Tom Ford, our first question was, "are the shades of the new Traceless Perfecting the same as the Traceless and Traceless Stick?" I've been matched to both Bisque 4 and Natural 5 for the Traceless Stick and currently match Bisque 4 best. I've tried the original Traceless Foundation and while it gives a beautiful flawless coverage (especially with the Cream Foundation Brush which is amazing), and while it's a lovely lightweight smooth finish foundation with beautiful coverage, I always found it slightly too dewy for my taste.

With the new Traceless Perfecting Foundation, I found myself torn between Bisque 4 and Natural 5. I tested both colors, one on each side of my face along the jawline. The artist and I felt I could go either way. I purchased Bisque 4 since Natural 5 pulled a bit more yellow and olive on my skin (but I got a sample of it just to test at home).

I've been testing both shades for a couple days. I'll have a more detailed review with comparison swatches to other foundations I own but I have swatches of all the shades to share. These were taken with my iPhone and it was very bright yet a bit cloudy outside giving a slighty yellow/warm cast to the swatches. The best shot were the ones in the shade.


Set One includes Cream 1, Ivory 2, Fawn 3, Bisque 4, Natural 5, Sable 6, Rosewood 6.5 and Tawny 7. All of these are yellow/olive with the exception of Rosewood 6.5 which is pink.


Set Two includes Caramel 8, Sienna 9, Warm Almond 11, Chestnut 12, Buff 13, Linen 14 and Bare Beige 15. I added Bisque 4 as well since some of the higher numbers don't correspond with darker shades like you might expect. Buff/Linen and Bare Beige have more pinkish tones compared to Ivory/Fawn and Bisque.

I'm overall really pleased with this new foundation. I had been contemplating the Traceless for quite some time due to the perfect coverage it gives but I'm glad I waited. The new Traceless Perfecting Foundation has a bit more coverage but still looks very natural. It has smooth coverage and evens out the skin tone and lasts quite well through warm humid weather, although Southern California is probably considered very mild compared to other areas.

More thoughts to come soon with a full detailed review, but after testing both Bisque and Natural, I'm happy I went with the Bisque (for Chanel I usually use the 30 foundations). Natural also is good match but leans just slightly olive and is a hair darker. Based on my sample that I've been testing I can say I really could have gone with either shade. The $80 price tag is very steep and I am relieved to report that I do love this foundation enough to justify the price.

For a quick comparison on textures of the different Tom Ford Foundations and the two shades I tested, here are the Bisque 4 and Natural 5 lined up with the Traceless Perfecting (new one), Traceless, and Traceless Stick. I think this shows the slightly dewy texture of the Traceless.

Note the liquids in Bisque 4 are lighter than the liquids in Natural 5. However, the stick in Bisque 4 is darker than the stick in Natural 5 (more swatches/review here).

The Traceless Perfecting Foundation comes with SPF15 and retails at $80 (this is the most I've ever spent on foundation, when I purchased the sticks they were priced at $78 and I think the prices just went up). The Traceless Perfecting Foundation comes in 15 shades, I'm glad to see a diverse range of colors and those with pink undertones will be happy to see some options that aren't yellow-based.

You can find the Tom Ford Perfecting Foundation now at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Bergdorf Goodman.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Fluid No. 30

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Fluid ($45 for 30 ml/1 fl oz) is a tinted cream that comes in a beige squeeze tube. It has been released in several shades similar to the Healthy Glow Sheer Colour Powders. There are currently five shades in the US in 10, 20, 30, 40 and 60 (not sure if we will get shade 50). The US version comes with SPF 15 with the active ingredients listed as Octinoxate 2.5% and Titanium Dioxide 6.4%. I swatched both No. 20 and 30 at the counters on my hand and fell somewhere in between. The artist at the counter matched me to the darker end with No. 30 - he described this as a glow product that was designed to give a sheer wash of tinted color to the face to make it look like it has more color.

On my face it did not look impressive upon first application. It has a very sheer coverage and almost disappeared into my skin. However similar to the Sheer Colour Powders, you need to let this sit on the skin for a minute and then you will see it really give your entire face a healthy luminous glow (no shimmer, just glow). I've applied with fingers and the Chanel Foundation brush at home this week. My skin isn't at it's best right now so I find the Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Fluid doesn't give enough coverage to cover imperfections. It does make a good natural base - I need to layer on concealer or a heavier foundation on the cheeks and chin areas. Once my skin improves I do see this as a good every-day tinted product.

I find this wears quite well, it lasts all day and stays put without getting greasy or sliding off even though it has a slightly dewy finish. I've been wearing this in conjunction with the Ole Henriksen Truth Serum and Sheer Transformation Moisturizer. I then layer Tom Ford Foundation Stick and Cle de Peau Concealer on top and finish with Koh Gen Do Loose Natural Powder.

 More views of the packaging and size:

I usually fall within the Chanel 30 range for foundations. Swatching it compared to other formulas shows that the Les Beiges Healthy Glow Fluid No. 30 is quite a bit darker than the other No. 30s. The sheer texture makes this formula more forgiving, blending it on make it match my skin well. I probably could have gotten away with either 20 or 30, however as warmer sunny weather approaches, the artist recommended I go with the 30 so I could wear it through summer. I did some photograph testing at home, the Les Beiges Fluid photographs really well.

Comparing coverage and texture to other foundations, I would say the Les Beiges All-In-One Healthy Glow Fluid is most similar to Edward Bess Ultra Dewy Complexion Perfector (review here). If you have sensitive skin that can react to Chanel foundations or the SPF but want a good glow evening base or tinted product that isn't too sheer, go with the Edward Bess.

Compared to other Chanel Foundations, the Les Beiges is more glowy with a more transparent finish. Others provide a lot more coverage and you can probably use this in conjunction with other formulas for layering. I definitely need to add other foundations on top of this for more coverage along with a dusting of powder.

Swatch comparisons to some other foundations I have. I don't use all right now, some are from winter or earlier months when I was lighter in color. I'll link previous reviews in case you want to read more about the formulas.

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua B30 (too light for me now), Perfection Lumiere Velvet B30 (good match for me now), Edward Bess Complexion Perfector in Medium 02 (perfect match now), Chanel Perfection Lumiere in 30 Beige (a tad too light for me), Tom Ford Foundation Stick in Natural 05 and Bisque 04 (I use bisque now).

I've been testing this since Saturday and so far no reactions or break outs from this. It does have a noticeable fragrance similar to the Les Beiges powders and the Hydramax skincare line. I don't find the fragrance irritating for my sensitive skin but I know others have mentioned to me that their skins couldn't handle the formula. Ingredients listed below. (Click for larger viewing.)

If I were to rate this on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the high), I would give this an 8.5. I love the way it gives a good healthy glow. I would have liked it to have a bit more coverage, a bit more olive for my skin or a better match. It does blend out to a flawless finish and the sheer texture makes the color more forgiving. The warmth in this is what helps give the skin a bit of healthy color for that perfect summer glow. Often times I end up purchasing two shades of foundation to mix for a perfect match, I wasn't sure if I wanted to buy both the 20 and 30 since the coverage is so sheer. At this time I'm still undecided, I'll investigate when I check out the lighter multi-color powder in person.

If you have near perfect skin or just prefer sheer coverage (but not invisible) this is a good everyday product for you to wear with a sheer dusting of powder. If you're like me and don't have perfect skin this is still a good base product to give a healthy glow. Layering this under other foundations will give your face a healthy natural glow from within look without the shimmer or frost that other illuminating products give (I love shimmer but I know many of you do not).

Did you purchase the Les Beiges Healthy Glow fluid or the powders? Do you find they run dark or close to your normal Chanel shade? If you can comment on your skin tone matches and experiences that would be awesome for those who can't get to a counter easily to test in person.

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Fluids retail for $45 each. Available now at Nordstrom, Saks and Neiman Marcus.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet | Smooth-Effect Makeup

Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet ($45 for 30 ml/1 fl oz) is the latest foundation formula from Chanel. It's described as a lightweight, oil-free fluid foundation that provides a long-lasting matte-velvet finish. It has what Chanel calls "soft-focus pigments" which smooth and perfect the skin for a flawless look that lasts all day. It comes in a sleek black bottle. I was matched to 30 Beige (I'm usually either a 20 Beige or 30 Beige for Chanel). According to the Chanel rep I spoke with at Nordstrom the new Perfection Lumière Velvet is going to replace the Mat Lumière.

The Perfection Lumière Velvet is indeed a lightweight foundation with medium coverage. It has enough pigment to even out the skin but not quite as full coverage as the regular Perfection Lumière. This new velvet formula is designed for those normal to oily skin.

At the counter the Chanel artist prepped my skin by cleaning first with the Creamy Cleansing Milk and then followed with the Hydra Beauty Creme. She tested 20 and 30 on my skin. We decided to go with 30 which was a perfect match. She applied the Perfection Lumière Velvet with the foundation brush and then finished with a light dusting of Les Beiges in No. 20 to set. I loved how the foundation blended on the skin with a smooth no-makeup feel. The Perfection Lumière Velvet adheres well to the skin but still lets it breathe. On my normal/combination this lasted all day long and the smooth velvety finish remained the same from the time it was applied well into the late evening. I like that it's not a full-matte finish which prevents it from looking too flat.

Chanel had some amazing matte foundations back in the early 2000's which they discontinued and replaced with Mat Lumiere (which I hated, I found it did not blend well and caked a bit on my skin). I've since tried to find a good matte-finish replacement, the closest is By Terry's Hyaluronic Face Glow but it still doesn't have the same velvety finish as the older Chanels. This new Perfection Lumière Velvet is a must- have foundation for those looking for a long-lasting natural makeup with a slight matte finish. I find it has been released at the perfect time of year as we start getting warmer weather. The color stays put on the skin without oxidizing. Below you can see how well it blends into the skin and evens out the texture:

I've been using this over a number of moisturizers, I like it right now over Le Jour de Chanel and set with the Les Beiges powder.

Here are some swatches for comparisons: By Terry Hyaluronic Face Glow No 2, By Terry Cover-Expert in 9 Honey Beige, Tom Ford Foundation Stick Bisque 04 (review here), Chanel Vitalumière Aqua in B20 and B30, Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet 30 Beige, Chanel Perfection Lumière 30 Beige, NARS Tinted Moisturizer in Groenland.

In terms of formula comparisons to the new Perfection Lumière Velvet to other Chanel foundations:
  • Chanel Vitalumière Aqua is sheerer and more lightweight in color. The new Perfection Lumière Velvet goes on smoother onto the skin and also is more fluid in texture. I found it much easier to squeeze out of the tube.
  • Chanel Perfection Lumière is heavier in texture and has more full coverage, I find the Velvet version to work better with my skin, the Regular version was a bit too heavy for me.
Packaging comparisons:

I've been testing this for a week and I've been really pleased with the results. I've always been a huge fan of Chanel foundations (except for a couple formulas) and I highly recommend you check out the Perfection Lumière Velvet foundation. I've had no issues with breakouts or clogged pores with this formula. It blends well, lasts all day and doesn't change color. The velvety finish is natural but still matte-looking.

The new Perfection Lumière Velvet foundations should be at all counters now. Check out Natural N Chic Makeup for swatches of all shades. I purchased mine at Nordstrom. It's also available at Bloomingdales, Saks and


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