Thursday, June 4th, 2009

Looking for a silicone-free primer? Look no further!

Korres Face Primer ($28.00 for 1.01 oz. or $10.00 for 0.34 oz.) is exactly that. After my debacle Smashbox Photofinish Primer, I really wanted to steer clear of silicone-based primers. I couldn’t tell you if that really causes breakouts for me or not, but I do think my skin is sensitive to high levels of silicone in products. So when I fell in love with Korres’ tinted moisturizer, I had high hopes for their face primer.

Korres touts it as a 99% natural, antioxidant-rich face primer that’s silicone free. It is formulated without silicone, parabens, sulfates, synthetic dyes/fragrances, mineral oils, petrochemicals, phthalates, and GMOs. It is Ecocert certified as well. This primer seems best for those with dry to normal skin. I’m not sure if it is “thick” enough in its primer-ness to work as well on oily skin types. I’m hoping some of you who have tried this can chime in and confirm/deny!

I found it worked well on me by making my skin tone seem smoother (not necessarily as a line-filler, though), a bit more even, and it kept my makeup looking fresh throughout the day. What I liked was that it felt like an extremely lightweight moisturizer. It doesn’t feel like a silicone primer at all – it doesn’t have the gel-y feel. It also has a very, very faint citrus scent, which is pleasing, but it’s so subtle I hardly notice it. I might never have noticed if not for wanting to determine if it had a scent at all!

The packaging is simple but effective. The tube makes it easy to get what you need out, and there’s no light damage nor dipping fingers into it either. I feel like a little goes a long way, so this tube should last me six months or longer of regular usage. Even if it only lasts two or three months, I still feel you get good bang for your buck relative to some other primers.

For me, it did what it was designed to – enhanced the way my skin looked, kept my makeup looking good even into the wee hours of the night, AND it did not break me out. In fact, my skin seemed to look and feel better after wearing this regularly for a couple of weeks.

I’m pretty eager to check out some more Korres products — anyone have any recommendations?

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

Cetaphil UVA/UVB Defense Facial Moisturizer SPF 50 ($13.99 for 1.7 oz.) is a drugstore option for a great summer moisturizer. I find it to be fairly lightweight (maybe light to medium), but once it dries, there’s no heaviness or super greasy residue. What I like about Cetaphil products is that they’re consistently good; they’re extremely reliable. I know I’m getting a no fuss formula that does exactly what it says – moisturizes and protects my face from the sun.

I would say that since the SPF is so high, there is a bit of a white cast when it is first applied. It does seem to fade after about ten or fifteen minutes, and I no longer notice it. I find myself always turning to Cetaphil when nothing else seems to work (or everything else seems to send my face into conniptions!). I’ll definitely be making my boyfriend wear this, too, when he goes outdoors and plays tennis!

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Benefit 10 Powder ($28.00) is a combination highlighter and bronzing duo. If you’ve seen Benefit’s other powders like CORALista or Dandelion, it’s the same idea, but the powder is split in half — half is a bronzer, half is a highlighter. The highlighter is a light, milky silvery-pink with soft sheen but no real glitter particles (that’s a good thing, by the way). The bronzer is similar in texture and sheen, except it’s a peachy-bronze color with gold sheen. You can see how I used it in a look here.

10 is one of those products that takes some trial and error before you can appreciate its genius. Once you do get the hang of it, though, it is a grab-and-go kind of experience. I personally used the 168 and 169 respectively for this product, and I found it worked just right for me. I do suggest using a light hand initially, so you don’t over-do it or get a ruddy/muddy result. The highlighter is just that–a highlighter–so unless you are extremely fair, don’t go into it expecting to use it as a pink blush!

See photos and swatches! Continue reading →

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Breakfast with Benefit: One Hot Minute

This morning, I drove up to San Francisco to have a little breakfast at the Benefit Boutique with the Benefit Team. In attendance were a few other local bloggers (hey, there aren’t that many of us Bay Area bloggers!), like my girl Karen of Makeup & Beauty Blog, Lilan of The Daily Cookie, and Sonja of The Coveted. Benefit was hosting an event exclusively for bloggers to preview One Hot Minute–their newest addition to their line-up.

Benefit One Hot Minute ($30.00) is one of the newest products to be launched by Benefit this summer. Called the “Sexy-in-Seconds-Face-Powder,” it’s all about getting an easy, all over natural glow/finish in no time flat. Available exclusively at Sephora in July (and then available at counters in September), One Hot Minute is an extremely fine milled, loose powder meant for all skin tones. At the breakfast event, each of us bloggers got a little makeover a la Benefit, and of course, it featured the new product! (And you can see a full-face photo of me included in this post!)

I’ve always been a sucker for Benefit’s packaging, because it’s cute with a vintage edge and a modern twist. Plus, my first ever makeup haul was Benefit back in high school, so I always get a bit nostalgic when I use Benefit, too. One Hot Minute comes in a copper tin, and it includes a small, almost miniature-sized fan brush (but it’s a bit curvier — reminds me of a peacock spreading his tail). There is also a “sifter guard” to help keep your powder intact. Benefit makeup artists recommended using their fantail brush ($22.00) if you’re not on-the-go, but the included brush will do for touch-ups. (I always prefer to use my own brushes, because I like brushes with handles for more control!)

One Hot Minute is a silky powder that gives you a “luminous” finish, which is really that subtle, natural glow we’re all after. It’s not shimmery, shiny, or glittery. It really just gives you a very soft, subtle sheen and enhances your natural skin tone. It is also really quite universal, because the lovely Erin of Benefit is far fairer than I, and she was rockin’ One Hot Minute. Karen of MBB is also significantly deeper in skin tone than myself, and she worked it, too. I was surprised, because the powder does look colored initially, but it really isn’t since we’re all wearing the same product. Benefit describes it as a “loose rose-gold finishing powder… for a gaze-at-me-glow.”

(Oh, by the way, Benefit is giving you 20% off — but you can only use the code once per customer — for a few days! Just use code MAKEUP20, good through May 29th.)

You can see for yourself how it looks like when applied — see photos, swatches, and more! Continue reading →

Monday, May 11th, 2009

Korres Watermelon Lightweight Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 ($28.00 for 1 oz.) is a lightweight, tinted moisturizer. (I think the name of the product does a pretty good job of describing the product, yeah?) It’s a sheer, barely-dewy foundation that is an easy, on-the-go product. I typically use brushes/sponges to apply my foundation, but with tinted moisturizers, I tend to use my hands, as it’s the easiest method. Korres’ tinted moisturizer is incredibly thin, and it applies easily, but I find I need to apply quickly or else it dries down before I’m done.

I really liked the way the foundation makes my skin look, and I’m actually impressed that a tinted moisturizer could actually provide as much coverage as this one does. I do have post acne marks and the like, so I do have a few things I like to minimize/conceal, and Korres’ tinted moisturizer gives me a pretty even skin tone with no fuss. The product is designed to give you a medium coverage, and it definitely does so, but it feels extremely light. It feels lighter than a moisturizer, actually.

My only complaint about the tinted moisturizer is that it isn’t very moisturizing. It isn’t drying, but it doesn’t pack enough in the hydration department. I prefer to use my regular moisturizer first, let it dry, and then apply the tinted moisturizer. I have normal/combo skin, so I’m not usually super dry and rarely do I start off the day oily, so perhaps those with really oily skin would find this a great lightweight moisturizer, too.

Korres’ Watermelon Lightweight Tinted Moisturizer has the benefits of SPF30 (octinoxate, avobenzone), sheer to medium coverage, quick application, quick drying time, and it feels like you’re wearing nothing at all. It is also water-resistant with a “sweat-proof tint.” I’d say it’s pretty resistant, as it does almost feel like a tinted primer sometimes. I can’t say I’ve gone swimming in this yet, but it does wear well all day for me under regular conditions. For those concerned about ingredients, Korres doesn’t use parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, petro-chemicals, propylene glycols, ethanoomines, GMOs, or synthetic dyes.

Availability: Sephora.com, Korres.com

Has anyone else tried this?

Photos of the foundation onContinue reading →

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

LUSH Cosmetic Warrior Fresh Face Mask ($7.95) has all of the ingredients and benefits that I’d want in a face mask. There’s just one major problem — the scent! Oh, my goodness, it is a mix of garlic and tea tree oil, which are both incredibly powerful scents. The garlic is what really gets me, I think, because I’ve used tea tree oil before and don’t mind the smell. This is a mask I only want to use when my allergies are acting up, because I can’t really smell! (I’m actually using it while I write the review!)

So if you can a) handle the scent or b) can’t smell very well, you might still want to consider this mask, because it does feel amazing. Cosmetic Warrior is designed for acne-prone skin. It has garlic that acts as an antiseptic agent, tea tree as an astringent, and eggs and honey” This mask is kind of like a deep-cleansing mask that’s designed to help lift oil out of the skin. Deep cleansing kaolin and fresh grapes help get that freshly clean feeling down pat.

I will say that the scent fades a bit as the mask dries, and after using it a few times, my nose seems to have gotten used to the scent so it’s not as jarring as it was the first time I used it. I definitely suggest giving a pot a shot, and if you can use it a few times, you might find it’s well worth the five or ten minutes you breathe your mouth ;)

Just a reminder, LUSH Fresh Face Masks are only available in-store and cannot be shipped (at least not in the U.S.) due to the freshness-factor. These last about three weeks and must be in your refrigerator during that time. I like to have two masks on hand at any given time, just because I like to switch it up. I usually alternate between a mask like Cosmetic Warrior and then another mask just because (like BB Seaweed).