Showing posts with label Powder. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Powder. Show all posts

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.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Tatcha Rice Enzyme Powders


I've fallen in love with the Tatcha Classic Rice Enzyme Powder ($65 for 60 g/ 2.1 oz) ever since I ordered it back in July. It's a unique water-activated enzyme powder cleanser and exfoliator in one product. This is a great alternative to traditional scrubs which I find can be too harsh for my sensitive skin. The Tatcha Rice Enzyme Powders are designed to be used on skin without makeup. I find it's effective even with makeup on, but prefer to remove makeup at the end of the day with a Cleansing Oil first (favorites here). After I purchased the full size, Tatcha released a Travel Size version ($15 for 10 g/ 0.35 oz) which they kindly sent to me to feature alongside the full size option.

These cleansing powders are really easy to use. Pour a small amount into wet hands and add a tiny bit of water to lather up the product into a creamy foam. Apply on the face and massage like a regular cleanser for about 20 seconds and rinse.


The packaging is designed really well - it has a clever opening on the top with a small push back cap for the product. The small opening at the top prevents you from over pouring powder into your hand and also seals the packaging shut making these ideal for travel. There's no worrying about liquids or creams leaking and the size of both the full size and travel options are compact enough to carry with you in a small bag. One of the things that keeps impressing me with Tatcha is that the packaging design of the travel sizes matches the same quality as the full size.

On the nails, Formula X Wonderous

More packaging details, travel size versus full size shows similar packaging design:


Both have the same cap design with the clever push back cap opening:


I bought the Classic Rice Enzyme Powder version (and love it) but Tatcha has also released two additional options for different skin types. There is the Gentle Rice Enzyme Powder (pink powder) and Deep Rice Enzyme Powder (green powder) - both also available in the Travel/Trial sizes. With any online Tatcha order you have the option of selecting samples, these powders are often in the lineup. These packets have also been featured in several special edition kits they've released.

Tatcha sent samples of the Gentle and Deep versions for me to put to the test. Aside from the color difference, the formulas are all equally gentle but I could definitely feel the difference between each option. The Gentle Rice Enzyme Powder is designed for dry sensitive skins. After using this one, my skin felt noticeably more moisturized. The Deep Rice Enzyme Powder is recommended for oily skin and does make the skin feel more clean. I wish I had discovered this one earlier in the summer when we had really hot humid weather, it would have been perfect when my skin was more oily. After testing each, I still prefer the Classic Rice Enzyme Powder for my combination skin type.



Classic Rice Enzyme Powder ingredients: Talc, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Potassium Myristate, Polyethylene*, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran, Papain (Papaya Extract), Dextrin, Red Algae Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Alcohol, Hydrolyzed Conchiolin (Pearl) Protein,  Phenoxyethanol.


Gentle Rice Enzyme Powder ingredients: Talc, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Potassium Myristate, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Papain, Dextrin, Red Algae Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Cl 73360, Iron Oxides (Cl 77492).


Deep Rice Enzyme Powder ingredients: Talc, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Potassium Myristate, Polyethylene*, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran, Papain, Dextrin, Red Algae Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Houttuynia Cordata Extract (Dokudami), Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Ultramarines, Iron Oxides (Cl 77492)


I highly recommend these. My personal favorite is the Classic Rice Enzyme Powder option. I use it in a double cleanse method (cleansing oil first, then rice enzyme powder. The powder is a gentle but effective cleanser and helps to improve skin texture for those with sensitive skins. It's suitable for everyday use but I tend to alternate cleansers on a regular basis and use this 2-3 times per week. These work well to clean and gently exfoliate. They are non-irritating and don't dry out the skin either.

The Travel Sized options are perfect to put these to the test before committing to the full size which I find is on the pricey side. The full size is fairly large though and a little goes a long way so it will last you a long time. If you're new to Tatcha you may also want to look into the Ritual Discovery Kit ($59 each) which comes in Normal, Oily, Sensitive and Dry Skintype options. These are really nice starter kits with enough product to give you a two-week trial introduction to the line. Another useful tool is the Tatcha Online Personal Skin Consultation which is a questionnaire designed to help you pick items that suit your skin type.

You can find Tatcha products online at Tatcha.com and Barneys New York, stockists listed here. I  highly recommend ordering from their website. Tatcha takes great care in their packaging and sample offerings, everything is delivered beautifully wrapped.

P.S. Right now there is a promo code for a complimentary deluxe sample of the Tatcha eye cream (valued at $45) with any Tatcha.com purchase - use code EYECREAM at checkout, it expires on 10/31.

Tatcha sent the mini powder and sample packets courtesy for review. The full size purchased by me.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Chanel Dentelle Précieuse Illuminating Face Powder - Nordstrom Anniversary Beauty Exclusive


This year's Nordstrom Anniversary Beauty Exclusive for Chanel is the stunning Dentelle Précieuse Illuminating Face Powder ($80 for 6 g/0.21 oz, made in Italy, limited-edition). It comes with an exquisite embossed lace detail. The powder is a gorgeous mix of beige, rose, and champagne. On the skin it has the prettiest beige glow with a hints of pink, champagne and bronze mixed in. At a glance it seems like it's just another pretty beige highlighter with an expensive price tag. While you can get a similar effect with other illuminating powders, I do believe the mix of shimmers in Dentelle Précieuse gives it a truly amazing effect on the face. It gives the perfect glow from within that isn't too subtle and isn't too frosty. The mix of pink and bronze in the powder give the face a bit of color so it's not just your standard beige frost.

It comes with a black soft pouch that holds both the powder compact and a small angled brush:

On the nails, Chanel Tapage

The color is difficult to capture in swatches but I found the photos on Color Me Loud and Indigo Kir Royale both demonstrate it's complexity with swatches using different pressures in application. It also shows how it gives more color to fair skintones, while it acts as a highlighter for medium to darker skin. Here are a few photos at different angles to show how the light reflects on the shimmer. On my medium/olive Chanel B30 skin this is clearly a highlighter.





Here are a few comparisons to other highlighters, I have two sets to show you. On screen the effect is very similar between highlighters so I'll share my thoughts on the differences.


Set one with Chanel, Bobbi Brown, Edward Bess and Burberry illuminating powders:
  • Chanel Mouche de Beaute (discontinued) has a more gel-like texture with a transparent quality, it has a lot more glitz and sparkle giving it a paler look since the shimmers are more on the silvery side
  • Chanel Pearl Glow Powder (discontinued) has a more matte base, it's also more powdery and has more yellow with gold shimmers
  • Bobbi Brown Beige Shimmer Brick ($42) is significantly more frosted, the pale champagne shimmers give it a paler finish
  • Edward Bess South of France ($45) is a quad with soft pinks and pearls, it has a softer finish with less shimmer, it's also more pink in tone
  • Burberry Golden Radiance ($48) has a lot more frost to it, it's also darker with more taupe/tan/gold tones


Set two includes some from MAC, Hourglass and Estee Lauder:
  • MAC Shimpagne Mineralize Skinfinish (discontinued) has a high frost finish with pink/champagne tones, below you can see it pulls more pink
  • MAC Soft & Gentle Mineralize Skinfinish (original) has a paler beige shimmer, it's less complex compared to the Chanel Dentelle Precieuse
  • Hourglass Luminous Light is one of my favorite highlighters, it pulls more pink and a bit more shimmer on the skin, on me it's more champagne vs beige
  • Hourglass Radiant Light is more golden compared to the Chanel, the hourglass also has a less complex finish and mix of shimmers
  • Estee Lauder Modern Mercury (discontinued) is significantly more pink with a metallic finish


I didn't want to fall in love with an $80 powder but Chanel has created the perfect beige highlighter. On my olive skin many neutral highlighters tend to pull pink or almost white with the silvery shimmers they have. The Chanel Dentelle Precieuse has a stunning mix of bronze, peach, and rose that gives this more color giving a lively glow to the face. It's still manages to be a true soft beige highlighter without going into the gold/tan zone. It's pure love for me and I even bought one backup.


Various countries received the Chanel Dentelle Précieuse Illuminating Face Powder highlighter earlier in the year at certain retailers. In the US it is an exclusive to Nordstrom for this year's Anniversary Sale (available now). On me it's a stunning beige highlighting powder with a bit of color. If you search for other reviews you may find it looks almost bronzey on fairer skintones. It's a splurge, but in my mind worth every penny. I love it and think it's a definite must for Chanel lovers. It is limited-edition so if you're interested I suggest acting sooner than later.




Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Multi-Colour No. 02


This spring-summer Chanel has launched an extension of the original Les Beiges line with two new color options of Healthy Glow Multi-Colour Powder ($65 for 11g/0.39 oz, limited-edition) and five new shades of the Healthy Glow Fluid ($45 for 30 ml/1 fl oz). These launched in Europe first and I've been eagerly waiting for the collection's arrival in the US. I opted for the darker powder shade Les Beiges No. 02.


The new Les Beiges Multi-Color powders come in a three-color stripe compact. Similar to the original Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Color, the new ones come in a beige and black compact with a small domed brush. No. 02 which has three luminous powder colors of a light champagne, medium tan and warmer terracotta bronze. The three shades swirled together make a perfect glowy bronze. It's visible on my medium olive skin for a subtle contour or bronzer. Although you can probably dust all over the face for warmth I think No. 02 will be too dark for those purposes (I have yet to try the lighter color No. 01). Each stripe is also wide enough for you to fit a smaller detail brush or an eyeshadow brush if you want to use the colors individually on the eyes or for contouring. My favorite way to use this has been to simply swirl a blush brush in all the colors and apply on the face as a blush or bronzer. I find the color pigmented enough and warm enough that I can wear this alone over my powder/foundation. It also layers well with blushes or cream highlighters. I've found it to be extremely versatile.

If you have the other original Les Beiges colors you might be wondering if you need the new No. 02. My answer is yes. The Multi-Colour No. 02 is more pigmented and more glowy but still very natural. The regular Sheer Colour Les Beiges have less shimmer but still give that all over natural glow if you buff into the skin. I've used both in conjunction with each other, using the Sheer Colour Les Beiges No. 20 as an all over setting powder, then the Multi-Colour No. 02 as a contour or bronzer on top. If you have dry skin you may want to use a sheer cream highlighter or bronzer underneath to help the color adhere better. I'll show you swatches side by side below. First some more photos and close ups.




Chanel Les Beiges No. 02 swatched individually and then blended along with Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Fluid No. 30 (review later this week)



You can see my review on the originals Les Beiges No. 20, 30 and 40 with comparisons and swatches here and here. Comparisons between the new Multi-Colour Les Beiges No. 02 with Sheer Colour Les Beiges 20, 30 and 40 below.

For a quick overview of how I use these:
  • No. 20 is used as a regular setting powder since I found the powders to run a bit dark (I'm usually 30 in the Chanel foundation lines), I use it all over the face with a fluffy brush after foundation or tinted moisturizer, I use either the Kabuki Brush or the Touch Up Powder Brush from Chanel (any powder brush will do, I just prefer the Chanel because I find they pick up color well)
  • No. 30 and No. 40 are used for contouring, they are close in color, you don't really need both if you're looking for a darker natural contour see my original review for more thoughts/swatch comparisons, I use any regular blush brush to apply these
  • No. 02 is used like a regular blush or bronzer (I haven't tried the lighter option yet, planning to visit the counter this week and see if it will actually show up on my skin, it looked very light), the compact brush is good for touch ups but on the small side, I prefer using the Touch Up Powder Brush or Blush Blush to apply this to the face



Overall love. I really didn't know what to expect based on promotional photos. Since I already own 20, 30 and 40 I was a bit worried Chanel might have just combined already released colors into one palette. I'm happy to report they did not. Although you can get a similar effect with the darker colors of Sheer Colour Les Beiges, the new No. 02 Multi-Colour Les Beiges option has a softer texture with a much more glowy finish. There's a bit more warmth and red in the bottom color that helps brighten the complexion (I tend to avoid terracotta for the face but this one is lovely).

The Les Beiges Healthy Glow Multi-Colour powders are listed as limited-edition for $65 each. There are two colors, No. 01 and No. 02. I'm definitely getting a back up of the No. 02.

Now at Chanel counters and online at Chanel.com, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdales.



Saturday, April 5, 2014

NARS Paloma Contour Blush, Altai and Vientiane Matte Multiples and Contour Brush #21


NARS has been killing it with some amazing new releases this year. New items on my radar focus on contouring: Matte Multiples in Altai and Vientiane ($39 each for 7.5 g), Paloma Contour Blush ($42 for 8.2 g) and the new Contour Brush #21 ($42).


The new Contour Blushes are powder duos with shades that create dimension for the face while giving a luminous finish. Each compact has a deeper shade to create definition and contour and a lighter shade to highlight and blend. There are three color options and I picked the middle option Paloma. The powders are very similar in concept to the MAC Sculpt and Shape powders. I find the NARS slightly more velvety in texture. Paloma has a neutral cream powder with a neutral tan. It's described as having a rose undertone which is nice because it prevents the colors from turning too brown or orange on the skin. I found Paloma to be dark enough to show up on the skin but it is still very natural looking. I'm not a contour pro, but I like to apply contouring/bronzer powders in a 3 shape on each side of the face starting at the temples and down to the jawline. You could use this as a nude blush, however adding a swipe of a brighter blush on top like NARS Torrid really brightens the face after using the Contour Blush first.


Matte Multiples have been all the rage lately. I purchased a handful and have been really impressed with the velvety pigmented texture that is really easy to blend. The Matte Multiples have more pigment than the regular Multiples. The only downside is the new matte multiples are smaller in size than the regular versions and priced the same. Altai is the lightest bronze option which I find perfect for contouring. For those familiar with the older flesh-colored multiples from several years ago, Altai is a close duplicate for Tuomota. Vientiane is a darker warmer bronze. The NARS artist at the Melrose Boutique used this to contour my face in the temples, nose, cheek bone and jaw. The velvety texture of these adheres well to the skin and the formula allows for precise control of pigment. I found these to last on the cheeks quite well (much longer than the regular multiples).


I have swatches and also comparisons, first up swatches of the three new items  I purchased from NARS - Paloma Contour Blush, Altai Matte Multiple and Vientiane Matte Multiple:


Paloma Contour Blush comparisons to MAC Accentuate Shaping Powder, NARS Zen Blush, NARS Douceur Blush, MAC Sculpt Powder, Chanel Les Beiges in 30 and MAC Strada Blush.


Altai and Vientiane Matte Multiple comparisons to other cream contouring products (unfortunately I think all have been discontinued) St Barts Multiple, MAC Naturally Defined Pro Sculpting Cream, MAC Pure Sculpture Pro Sculpting Cream, NARS Tuomota Multiple and NARS Laguna Multiple:


Last item I wanted to feature includes one of the newly re-designed brushes: Contour Brush #21. This is a sturdy basic black angled blush. The bristles are very soft yet dense. It has a medium-sized handle that fits my hand well. It's not too short but not too long. It picks up powder really well and helps to apply it evenly on the face.

Dior Tra La La on the nails

Views of the Contour blush from different angles:

Overall really pleased with these new discoveries from NARS. You can find the items at NARS counters and boutiques now. Online now at Nordstrom (gift with purchase now), Bloomingdales (also has a gift with purchase now), Barneys and Narscosmetics.com.


What's your perfect contouring product or tool? Have you checked out the new Contouring Blushes or Matte Multiples? What did you pick up?
 

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