Thursday, July 5th, 2012


OCC Skin: Conceal

OCC Skin: Conceal (Concealer)

OCC Skin: Conceal ($20.00 for 8.5 grams) recently launched with twelve shades (which is impressive for a concealer range). There are six yellow-based shades and six red-based shades. Each concealer is packaged in a clear plastic screw-top jar, and inside is the concealer. The concealer is in a hardened block, but it’s creamy to the touch and as you dip your brush in it. The texture isn’t too creamy, which can lead to a lot of settling or sliding around during the day, but it isn’t so dry that it’s difficult to blend out. It has amazing opaque coverage; it will hide just about anything, and it never feels heavy, looks cakey, or requires a lot of product. Just a quick pat of concealer on any area will conceal most imperfections.

Y2 was a good match for me and most of my face; if I want to be really perfect in color, I mix a little of Y1 in, but usually, Y2 is very, very close. I’ve been reaching for this a lot in the past few weeks, because it’s quick, easy to use, and lasts all day. It doesn’t slide around, separate, or crease during the day. I very rarely use concealer, though I’ve been reconsidering as the older I get, the less sleep I get (I wake up 3-4 times a night and get about 3-4 hours total), I have found it has impacted my under-eye areas. I’ve used this underneath the eyes, but I’ve primarily been using this to conceal little imperfections on the skin before running to the store. I love that it looks as natural as my real skin, because I’m not wearing any foundation or tinted moisturizer – just the concealer patted on the areas I needed and out the door.

My preferred application method is definitely fingertips. It warms up the product just a wee bit, and it helps blend the product in effortlessly. I have used OCC’s Concealer Brush (which is what is recommended by the brand), and it works well, but the brush itself sometimes feels too big. I like smaller, more precise brushes for concealer work myself, and then I like a fluffier brush to blend out the concealer (something like MAC’s 217). One thing about application is less is so much more; a little goes a long way–and I’m serious!–use much less than you think. Even if you use fingertips, and you hardly see any on your finger, go with it. You’d be surprised!

I really appreciate OCC’s commitment to their customer base (both professional and consumer) and quality; these concealers took two years to develop to be David’s (the founder) “perfect” concealer. It’s not too creamy, lasts all day long, doesn’t crease, and works even when my skin is a little dry. The coverage is fantastic; totally opaque but can be sheered out if you need lighter coverage.

Shades as described by OCC:

  • R0 is the palest red-based skin tone.
  • R1 is a pale red-based skin tone.
  • R2 is a medium-light red-based skin tone.
  • R3 is a medium-dark red-based skin tone.
  • R4 is a dark red-based skin tone.
  • R5 is the darkest red-based skin tone.
  • Y0 is the palest yellow-based skin tone.
  • Y1 is a pale yellow-based skin tone.
  • Y2 is a medium-light yellow-based skin tone.
  • Y3 is a medium-dark yellow-based skin tone.
  • Y4 is a dark yellow-based skin tone.
  • Y5 is the darkest yellow-based skin tone.

The Glossover

coming-soon

OCC Skin: Conceal (Concealer) Review, Photos, Swatches

A+
There's so much to love about this concealer: a great balance between creamy and stiff so it wears well and all-day without creasing or sliding around underneath the eye, opaque coverage that's still able to be blended out, and a large color range.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer SPF 15
Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer SPF 15

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer SPF 15

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer SPF 15 ($52.00 for 1 oz.) is a “mineral-based, water-resistant primer with SPF 15 that neutralizes the skin, minimizes shine, and creates a smooth, uniform canvas.” It is also supposed to “[absorb] exess oils and [minimize] the appearance of pores.” This primer uses a mix of titanium dioxide (2.45%) and zinc oxide (4.20%) to provide the SPF content. As a result, you may get a white cast, particularly in pictures, as these are physical blockers (which work by reflecting), as opposed to chemical ones (which work by absorbing). I have worn it in photos on the blog, but primarily in ones without flash, which is where you would worry most about what kind of sunscreen agent you had on.

It has a thin consistency that appears white when pumped out of the container. One pump tends to be sufficient coverage for me. I use either a flat face brush or my fingertips (cleaned, of course!) to apply all over my face, and then I let it dry down for about five minutes. There’s a slightly oily feel initially–it almost feels like a moisturizer–that dries down to a more powdery feel that looks satin-like in finish. It does give my skin a “smooth” feeling from the silicones. The primer doesn’t pill, though, which I do appreciate, as that has been an issue in the past with silicone-heavy primers.

It has been a very long time (years) since I’ve tried a face primer with this many silicones in it. I’ve worn this numerous times over the past couple of months, and I haven’t had any extra breakouts as a result. I’ve certainly had acne before, after, and during the previous months, but the level is as much (or as little) as is “normal” for me. Previously, it seemed like I had a sensitivity to silicone-based products, which meant that I had to limit how many products I wore each day that had silicone–e.g. avoid silicone-based primers, because they appear to have a lot more silicones as compared to a blush, moisturizer, or foundation, since there are usually a few in the beginning of the ingredients’ lists.

I’m not a doctor, and no dermatologist ever evaluated/tested my skin in relationship to silicones. The last time I saw a dermatologist, she told me to never wear makeup and that wearing any makeup was causing all of my acne (so I never returned to her!). After that, my general doctor prescribed me Differin, which has greatly decreased my acne. I decided to give Hourglass’ primer a chance, because I saw a lot of readers rave about it!

Mineral Veil makes everything else I layer on top of my skin look noticeably better. I think that “smooth canvas” enables foundation to apply and settle better against the skin. I used this a lot during the winter when my skin was drier, because I did have a few flaking areas (particularly around the nose), and it helped to smooth and almost hydrate those areas. It didn’t do much to minimize pores, but it certainly helped add longevity to my face products.

Typically, when I would wear this under a foundation, it would prolong the wear by an hour and a half to two and a half hours–and as a result, my blush stayed on better and for longer as well. Though I have normal-to-dry skin, I do get a little oily around my t-zone after six to eight hours of wearing full makeup. This really did help combat that and staved it off until eight to ten hours.

The biggest downside to this product is that it’s very pricey! I’d recommend trying the smaller version (0.33 oz.), which is a more palatable $18. It’s a great way to test out the product over a longer period of time to get a feel for whether it’s suitable for your skin type and needs. It’s one of my favorite primers, but I can readily admit that my “big picture” view on primers is limited, as I haven’t tested many in the past few years because I’ve wanted to stay away from silicone-based ones! I may open this up a bit more in the future, but no promises–it will be a very slow, gradual introduction to see how my skin reacts!

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Saturday, January 7th, 2012

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Eye Pencil
Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Pencils

Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Pencils

Urban Decay will add four shades of 24/7 Concealer Pencils ($18.00 for 0.12 oz.) this spring to extend the shade range. I have to test out the formula, though I don’t make any guarantees when or if I will review (I’m more focused on clearing out the holiday backlog and then focusing on limited edition spring shades). Meanwhile, I thought I’d get swatches up! For shade descriptions, see this post. I suspect these will make their way online in the next couple of weeks.

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Thursday, November 10th, 2011

La Prairie Translucent Cellular Treatment Loose Powder
La Prairie Translucent Cellular Treatment Loose Powder

La Prairie Translucent Cellular Treatment Loose Powder

La Prairie Translucent Cellular Treatment Loose Powder ($80.00 for 2.20 oz.) is available in two shades, Translucent 1 and Translucent 2, both of which are loose powders designed to set makeup and mattify the skin. It is also supposed to add radiance to the skin. Worth noting is for the price, you get a large, full-size (2.0 oz.) along with a travel-sized version (0.20 oz.), both of which are refillable (though, I did not spy any refills available online, so it may be an in-store purchase only).

I should probably be using Translucent 2, which is designed for warmer skin tones (and also for those on the darker side of the spectrum), but the product I received and tested was Translucent 1. I don’t have extremely strong yellow undertones, so that’s probably why I was able to get away with Translucent 1, which is generally more suitable for cooler skin tones and those on the lighter end of the spectrum. Loose Powders are a product that really needs to be tested on the face with an appropriate applicator, because merely swatching it on your arm or the back of your hand will rarely yield the same result. For reference, I’ve done an arm swatch only just blended so the product is still visible against my skin as well as before-and-after photos of the loose powder applied with a fluffy powder brush (MAC 134).

This powder has shimmer in it, and initially, when I first swatched it against the skin, I was like, “Ooh, boy, that is SO not going to work!” Lo and behold, it mattified without giving the skin an unnaturally dry appearance. The subtle reflecting particles help deliver that soft focused look that gives the skin the appearance of a softer, more even appearance. There are numerous loose powders on the market with similar properties, so it’s not unique to La Prairie’s by any means, but these types of powders work exceptionally well on camera. They’re picked up and read back beautifully.

La Prairie’s loose powder is extremely finely milled–so soft it feels like silk and almost comes together like a cream. It applies easily without looking caky and disappears against the skin when a flick of the brush. It sets my makeup in place and keeps it there for eight to ten hours without needing to re-powder or blot. While testing this, my skin was fairly normal, and like many of you, I do get a little oilier around my t-zone. Without a powder, my t-zone looks oily after six hours and foundations can feel slick on the skin, but I felt like everything remained solid until that eight hour mark.

The price point–as far as La Prairie goes–is not nearly as high as I’d expect, given the amount of powder you receive. For reference, popular setting powder Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder retails for $34 and contains 1 oz. of product, which works out to be $34/oz., while La Prairie is $36.36/oz. It’s a higher initial price tag, but for something like setting powder, once you find the one that works for you, it’s a staple product you use everyday and will eventually use up. (Unless, of course, you have trouble committing to a product for long–like me!) I do like that you get a travel-sized version with you, though; it’s just convenient for keeping in your makeup bag or when you’re traveling. And if you don’t intend to travel, you can use the small size and refill it using the larger jar; this means keeping the large jar totally clean for the years it’ll take to finish it.

I have a good number of go-to setting powders, and La Prairie does everything it’s supposed to do.  It doesn’t compel me to switch, as I have found that many loose powders perform equally well on my skin type, it’s not just puffery.  It is definitely one I would reach for on a special occasion for its exceptional ability to give skin a softer, smoother appearance.

The Glossover

coming-soon

La Prairie Translucent Cellular Treatment Loose Powder Review, Photos, Swatches

A
I have a good number of go-to setting powders, and La Prairie does everything it's supposed to do. It doesn't compel me to switch, as I have found that many loose powders perform equally well on my skin type, it's not just puffery. It is definitely one I would reach for on a special occasion for its exceptional ability to give skin a softer, smoother appearance.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Tuesday, November 1st, 2011


Guerlain Lingerie de Peau Foundation

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau Foundation

Lingerie De Peau Invisible Skin Fusion SPF 20 ($57.00 for 1 fl. oz.) is a lightweight, natural-finish foundation with light to light-medium coverage. It’s one of the most lightweight and natural-looking foundations that still gives adequate coverage for minor skin imperfections. If you have just a couple of small areas where you need medium coverage, it is workable to build up medium coverage on a spot-by-spot basis.

It took me awhile to appreciate this foundation, because I prefer light-medium to medium coverage as my skin tends to need more coverage than less. I’ve been bringing Lingerie de Peau with me on the last few business trips, because it photographs well and looks good in photos–not all foundations can pull off both those things. It has SPF 20 (3.16% of titanium dioxide, 3% of octinoxate), but it doesn’t give a white cast or reflect back poorly. The finish is just barely dewy; it’s pretty much the exact definition of natural–there is a softness to the skin without being flat and matte. It also wears brilliantly and lasts a solid nine hours on me, but it makes it to twelve hours with minimal movement.

The consistency is thin, not so thin it’s watery, but thin enough that it blends out easily and feels weightless once applied. I often apply with fingers, but I also like using brushes like MAC’s 109, 130, 187, and 193. I haven’t found it to apply poorly with any method (fingers, sponge, brush), so it depends on your preference.

I wish the formula had a better range of shade (and this tends to apply to Guerlain’s foundations in general), because as I am in Parure Gold, I’m between #02 and #03. I end up using #02 and setting with Les Violettes Mineral Powder in #03, which is sheer enough to give me just enough color so the finished look is about my match for winter/spring, but during the summer, I was able to get away with #03 set with #03. If you’re particularly pale/light, I don’t know if any shades in the range will accomodate you; at best, either Rose Clair or Rose Natural. Similarly, if you have a darker, deeper complexion, I don’t know if either Beige Fonce or Dore Fonce will be a good match.

The Glossover

P
product

Lingerie De Peau Invisible Skin Fusion SPF 20

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Thursday, October 13th, 2011

MAC Matchmaster Foundation
MAC Matchmaster Foundation

MAC Matchmaster Foundation

MAC Matchmaster Foundation ($32.50 for 1.18 fl. oz.) is a buildable, medium-coverage liquid foundation with a “moisturizing demi-matte finish.” It’s supposed to have “line-reducing soft-focus powders” and “translucent pigments to enable a fully personalized finish influenced by the subtleties of your own skin’s undertone.”

It carries a SPF 15 rating, and the active ingredients are octinoxate (3.4%) and titanium dioxide (1.0%). With the low amount of titanium dioxide, you should be able to get away with it in photographs, though for really big, special occasions (e.g. weddings, graduations, etc.) you might opt for a more photography-appropriate formula. I didn’t notice sufficient change when I took numerous photos wearing it.

I tested shade 3.0 initially, which is supposed to suit NC30s, but it was a third to half a shade too dark and yellower than I needed. I think 2.0 is a better match, especially as we get into winter, but in some lighting, it seems a touch too light. Usually, if a foundation runs light, I’ll opt for the slightly too-light variation and use a setting powder in a shade that’s a closer match–because then it tends to come together as a solid match all around. From what I’ve heard from other readers, 1.0 may match those who are lighter than the traditional NC/NW15 shades.

I was testing this when my skin felt drier than normal (it’s typically normal-to-dry but closer to normal), and I felt like it emphasized the visible pores on my cheeks and had clingy feeling. If you have drier patches (I sometimes get them around my temples), it is not forgiving at all. The result was not entirely unexpected, given the demi-matte finish–the rule of thumb has always been dewier finishes for drier skin, matter finishes for oilier skin. I wanted to wait until my skin normalized to try it again, which is why the review took longer than normal, and I liked it better when my skin was at its usual normal-to-dry character.

The coverage is light to medium, but medium coverage takes a little more product to achieve, so it is less comfortable and heavier to wear if you need medium coverage. It has a good consistency where it doesn’t feel thick, but it’s not watery or loose. I used about a pump to pump and a half for total application. I tried various applicators, from sponges to brushes (109, 130, 187, 193), and I preferred the 109 or 193 (really like how it gets into the nooks and crannies so well!).

I get around eight hours of wear with this foundation, which is solid. I wore it longer, and by the tenth hour, it was a little faded and had moved around a touch, but it was still mostly intact (a little powder would have brought it back up to par). There is a faint chemical scent that I noticed when I first applied the product to my skin, but I did not detect it as I wore it throughout the day. I’d recommend this foundation more for those with normal, combination, or oily skin types. If you have dry skin but not patches or flakes, then you might like this one still–but I’d say it’s not a good match if you do suffer from drier patches/flaking.

While it’s not appropriate for me when my skin is on the drier side, I didn’t have those issues when I tested it for a second run with normal skin.  I liked it, but I didn’t love it; it wasn’t my holy grail formula.  It’s worth checking out, and overall, a welcomed addition to MAC’s foundation line-up.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Matchmaster Foundation Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
It should be a good foundation for normal, combination, and oily skin types. I caution it for those with very dry to dry skin types, because it is less forgiving around larger pores, unevenness in skin texture, and dry patches. It's light to medium coverage, wears comfortably, and doesn't feel heavy when worn.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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