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Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation

Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation
Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation

Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation ($62.00 for 1.0 fl. oz.) is supposed to be a lightweight foundation with buildable coverage and a natural finish. Giorgio Armani Beauty really pushes that it is about getting the least amount of product with the most amount of bang; it’s supposed to “[look] invisible and [make] skin appear luminous.” It’s available in twelve shades. The brand says #2, 3, and 4 are best for fair skin tones; #4.5, 5, 5.5, 6.5, 7, and 8 for medium complexions; and #10, 11.5, and 12 for darker skin tones.

I’ve used up an entire bottle of #5.5, having first used it around late November/early December, and recently finished it about a week ago. It usually takes me quite awhile to really determine if I love or just like a foundation. #5.5 is slightly light on me (but forgiving enough to be worn), while #7 is definitely too dark.  There are some I fall in love with right away; others I never want to wear again, but usually I fall in the middle and waffle. Maestro had a unique texture (to me), because it almost felt like a silicone primer and foundation in one; it has that velvety-smooth, mostly matte finish and feel once applied to the skin. The actual texture is thin and very liquid, so it is easy to apply a very sheer layer of coverage or build up without getting too much coverage (if undesired). It feels a bit like a dry oil, so synthetic brushes, sponges, and fingertips tended to be best for application in my experience. It is lightly scented with something, but I couldn’t put my finger on it; I did not notice the scent when applied or as I wore it, but it’s not scent-free in the bottle.

The brand recommends applying three drops in the palm of your hand, though I’m not certain what constitutes a drop, because you can fill the entire stem with product and really get all of it out, or you can do small squeezes and get small drops out. Three drops arhalf of what I need, and a whole stem-full is more than enough–so don’t be afraid if you’re bewildered and find yourself needing more than three drops! I’m not keen on the droplet applicator. I’d rather a pump or an open bottle, as the cap with the stem attached to it wobbles around if you just want to get some directly out of the bottle, so you can get bits of foundation on the surface it’s lying on. Dropping it directly on the face was also a 50/50 proposition where it would dribble down my face and land on my shirt. So, most of the time, I filled the stem and then squeezed it on the back of my hand. I would have much preferred a pump, though. I haven’t traveled with mine at all, but I have heard some people have had issues with the packaging surviving travel.

The coverage is light to light-medium, with almost medium coverage possible with layering, but overall, light to light-medium coverage, and it had a semi-matte finish. It wasn’t a totally flat, dull matte finish, but it was still quite matte. Between the finish and texture, I felt this was most appropriate for normal to oily skin. On drier skin, especially if you have any visible signs dryness, it can accentuate dry patches or flakiness. I only experienced this when my normal-to-dry skin was at its driest and did not find it a problem for most of the time I wore it. The other thing to note is that when I did have some visible dry patches, while initially accentuated, after twenty to thirty minutes, they were less noticeable than they were initially, so there appeared to be some hydration coming from the formula itself. It has alcohol denat. as the fourth ingredient, which is drying in high concentrations (it is often used as an antiseptic and a solvent), but in my experience, appeared to be offset by the other ingredients as my skin did not get drier, so your mileage may vary and consider your skin and what it is/isn’t affected by (note: I am not a chemist, esthetician, or scientist!).

It’s a comfortable, long-wearing foundation, too, and you don’t always get supreme comfort with a longer-wearing product (which are often tight-feeling). With Maestro, it typically lasts me between eight and ten hours, without a primer or setting powder. With setting or finishing powder, the wear is usually more consistent and closer to ten hours with no patchiness or visible fading. Maestro photographs very well for me, and it performed well at evening out the complexion, hiding mild to moderate post-acne marks or scars, and refraining from settling into fine lines.  I would not recommend using this as your sole source of SPF; you’re not going to get the protection needed based on amount applied.

Ingredients

Active Ingredient: Octinoxate 3%

Cyclohexasiloxane, dimethicone, isododecane, alcohol denat, vinyl dimethicone/methicone silsesquioxane crosspolymer, phenyl trimethicone, acrylates/polytrimethylsiloxymethacrylate copolymer, peg-10 dimethicone, disteardimonium hectorite, fragrance, nelumbium speciosum flower extract, limonene, benzyl salicylate, synthetic fluorphlogopite, linalool, benzyl alcohol, propylene carbonate, caprylic/capric triglyceride, disodium stearoyl glutamate, water, citrus aurantium amara (bitter orange) flower oil, butylphenyl methylpropional, aluminium hydroxide, hexyl cinnamal; may contain: iron oxides, titanium dioxide

Giorgio Armani   Maestro Foundation
8.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
10
Longevity
4.5
Application
93%
Total

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Inglot 18SS, 27P, 32T Eye Brushes Reviews & Photos

Inglot 27P Eye Brush
Inglot 27P Eye Brush

Inglot 18SS Eye Brush ($21.00) is made out of “squirrel substitute” (I honestly have no idea what that means, but it is listed as a natural brush) and can be used for “eye modeling” and “smoky eye[s].” It’s a dense, dome-shaped brush that’s stiff. The brush head is 9mm tall, 8mm wide, and 8mm in depth. The brush head is like a like a cynlinder with a domed edge, and it’s not too small, not too big, but it is wider and larger than your typical pencil brush. I find that that’s the way I use it most–as a stiffer crease brush to deposit more color. I actually liked it a lot with cream eyeshadows, as it applied them well with good opacity, while still fitting in the crease. Most of the time, it is soft while used, but if I’m doing short, but firm, taps, then there’s a few bristles that feel slightly sharp.

27P Eye Brush ($21.00) is a paddle-shaped brush with a slightly domed and tapered edge. The brush head is 16mm across, 17mm tall, and 6mm thick. The bristles are made out of pony hair, and Inglot simply describes the brush as “multi-functional.” It’s a very large eye brush, so it will lend itself best for things like laying down a wash of color, lightly patting on a primer or base, or as a more precise face brush. I found it most useful to pat on pressed powder underneath the eyes or to really apply highlighter precisely (but blend with something else). The brush felt soft, and it retained its shape after several washes.

32T Eye Brush ($14.00) is made out of Taklon (synthetic) bristles, and it is designed to be used with gel eyeliner or for precise lining. It is a very small brush at a mere 6mm tall, 4mm wide, and 2mm thick. It’s a flat, firm brush that comes to a tapered point. If you have smaller eyes and need something to apply cream or gel products, this might be useful. I don’t have Duraline, but I could see how this would be useful, as Duraline is a liquid product that “transforms any powder into an intense, easy to apply liquid,” so this would work well for mixing.

All three brushes are particular, and whether any of them are useful is going to be down to personal preference. The only one that I might continue reaching for is 32T to apply cream products on the very inner lid, and then possibly the 27P for setting concealer (but I often use a fluffier, more feathery brush for that).

See more photos!

YSL Gris Underground (38) & Beige Gallerie (39) La Laque Coutures

YSL Gris Underground (38) La Laque Couture
YSL Gris Underground (38) La Laque Couture

YSL Gris Underground (38) La Laque Couture ($25.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is described as a “cloud of grey.” It’s gray, blue, lavender; a muted, grayed cornflower blue to me. Very cloudy, very fall. It was opaque in two coats, and the consistency was just slightly on the thicker side, so the drying time seemed longer than average.  It applied fairly easily, particularly because it has a wider brush that enables better coverage in a single stroke so it minimizes unevenness. The formula isn’t forgiving if the prior coat is only partially dry, so make sure to allow enough time between coats for drying.  Essie Rock the Boat is lighter, slightly less gray. NARS Galathee is much grayer. See comparison swatches.

Beige Gallerie (39) La Laque Couture ($25.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is described as a “concrete beige.” It’s a light-medium beige with neutral gray undertones and a cream finish. It was mostly opaque in two coats, and the consistency was slightly on the thin side. Like Gris Underground, give the first coat plenty of time to dry to avoid dragging/pulling. MAC Quiet Time is warmer. MAC Endless Night is similar. Chanel Frenzy is a smidgen grayer and sheerer. See comparison swatches.

YSL La Laque Couture Nail Lacquer Gris Underground (38)
YSL La Laque Couture Nail Lacquer Beige Gallerie (39)

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Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight The Celestial Powder

Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight The Celestial Powder
Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight The Celestial Powder

Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight The Celestial Powder ($44.00 for 0.17 oz.) is a pale, golden beige with a frosted sheen. Becca Moonstone is slightly yellower, while theBalm Lou-manizer is a touch darker. Illamasqua Aurora is similar but a cream product. See comparison swatches.

The selling point of this product is its texture: silky-smooth, buttery, and incredibly finely-milled. It’s a product that delivers a true sheen of a finish–it’s not sparkling, shimmery, or glittery in any way. It can be applied as a subtle, barely-there glow or as something more metallic, almost wet-looking, with a denser brush. For a really lovely result, I liked using a fan brush across the tops of cheek bones. It wore well, lasting eight hours and only looking slightly faded after nine and a half hours but no patchiness, and didn’t emphasize pores or any imperfections on the skin. Because the texture is so soft, it’s a cinch to blend and buff the product into the skin for a nice glow. It’s a lot like Chantecaille Rose Petals, which I adored, but warmer and more beige/yellow than pink.

Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Powder Candlelight
Candlelight
Candlelight
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
9.5
Longevity
5
Application
99%
Total

Kiehl’s Super Multi-Corrective Cream Review & Photos

Kiehl's Super Multi-Corrective Cream
Kiehl’s Super Multi-Corrective Cream

Kiehl’s Super Multi-Corrective Cream ($62.00 for 1.7 oz.) is one of the newest releases from Kiehl’s, and I really don’t leap to test skincare, let alone anything that makes as many claims as this one. What intrigued me the most was that it promised visible results in two weeks–not four, not six, not eight, a mere two–and the skeptic in me immediately thought, “Well, then maybe you’d actually see visible results in four or six weeks at least…” The exact claim is that “Kiehl’s Super Multi-Corrective Cream is clinically demonstrated to simultaneously lift, firm, visibly redefine skin contour and re-texturize skin within 2 weeks and double efficacy within 4 weeks.” According to Kiehl’s, their chemists selected Jasmonic Acid (supposed to be “highly effective … for its ability to support epidermal renewal … smoothing and retexturizing the skin’s surface”), Beech Tree Extract (said to “improve skin firmness and visibly improve plumpness and density”), and Fragmented Hyaluronic Acid (listed to “reinforce skin’s natural short and long term moisturization … improve skin elasticity while reducing skin roughness”).

Kiehl’s is basing its claims on a clinical test of 50 women (described as multi-ethnic and those experiencing multiple signs of aging). It’s rare to receive so much specific information from a brand, so I would have loved to see the full ingredient list posted on their website as well. I’ve been using it for just over two and a half weeks now.  I’ll update this post after I’ve finished the jar (probably around four or five weeks of use).

It feels like a lightweight cream, though the texture is thicker but not heavy. There’s a very faint herbal scent, though it is touted as fragrance-free (I expect it is just from the ingredients themselves), and I didn’t notice it once applied and mostly only caught the scent if I sniffed the jar. It absorbs for the most part within five minutes, but it takes a full fifteen minutes to really sink into the skin. The cream never feels sticky on the skin, and it doesn’t look greasy. The one thing I can say with absolutely certainty is that it is nicely hydrating, and it remedied some lingering dry patches I was contending with.   I’ve worn it underneath makeup, and I haven’t had any issues doing so–as long as you give it proper time to absorb.

I’ve been looking for visible signs of, well, anything, since I hit the one-week mark, and after a week and a half, the one thing I kept noticing was my under-eye area seemed less shadowed, slightly less puffy. I don’t have major, major bags and shadowing, but my lack of sleep has become more noticeable over the past year. It hasn’t reversed it, and it is only minor improvement, but it’s something I’ve kept remarking on each time I’ve taken a moment to note what visible results I’ve seen. I haven’t seen the fine lines around my eyes really smooth out or become improved in any visible way. The general clarity and evenness of my skin’s tone has seemed to be slightly better.  I don’t expect to be able to weigh in on firmness/lift, as my current signs of aging are the fine lines around my eyes.  I’m quite impressed with how hydrated my skin is, and it does feel… plumper? in a way as my skin can when it’s really getting the hydration it needs.  It’s not quite a miracle cream after using it for two weeks, though I like it and it is majorly hydrating, so we’ll see how it stacks up after more prolonged use.

Kiehl’s says to use this twice a day (morning and night), but without SPF, it’s just not a feasible daytime solution–putting a sunscreen on and this will feel and be too much for most. To clarify:  When I know for sure I’m not leaving the house, I’ll skip the SPF and just use this in the morning, but on days where I need SPF, then it can take a couple of hours before the skin feels ready for makeup (this, of course, will vary depending on what product you use in combination–I’m using Origins’ A Perfect World, and I did try one day with Kiehl’s Ultra Facial and experienced similar results as when I used my Origins). I’d love to see a complementary product with SPF for this product or else a version with SPF.

Update: The final verdict is that this is a great cream for hydration. I think it helps to give skin a healthier, smoother, and clearer look overall, but I didn’t notice any fading, softening, or diminishing of the fine lines around my eyes or forehead.

See more photos!

OCC Anita & Sebastian Lip Tars

OCC Anita Lip Tar
OCC Anita Lip Tar

OCC Anita Lip Tar ($18.00 for 0.33 fl. oz.) is described as a “browned burgundy.” It’s a deep, dark brown with reddish-burgundy undertones; it seems more brown than burgundy to me, but it is certainly a mix of the two. It’s incredibly pigmented, and as is par for the formula, a little goes a very, very long way. It seemed slightly thinner than other Lip Tars, so it was more unforgiving during application.   This shade lasted eight hours on me and continued to linger on as a stain for another two. OCC Black Metal Dahlia is lighter, more cool-toned, less brown. Urban Decay Shame is brighter, redder. MAC Soulfully Rich and MAC Prince Noir are cooler-toned. MAC Chestnut is browner, less red. OCC Black Dahlia is cooler-toned, less brown. See comparison swatches.

Sebastian Lip Tar ($18.00 for 0.33 fl. oz.) is described as a “plum-toned taupe.” It’s exactly that: a mix of gray and beige with a hint of plum. It had opaque color coverage, and again, a little went a long way. It’s certainly an interesting and more unique color (I couldn’t think of any dupes for it, though that doesn’t mean there isn’t something else like it out there–feel free to chime in with a dupe if you have one!). Sebastian wore well for seven hours but didn’t leave behind a stain (which wasn’t surprising, as it is lighter hue).

Both shades will launch at Sephora on August 27th.

P.S. — Please keep an open mind. Just because you don’t like the color(s) or don’t see the point in them, doesn’t mean someone else doesn’t. One person’s everyday color is another person’s once in a blue moon shade–and vice versa. Please be respectful when sharing your opinion. Not liking it on you is one thing, telling others they’re ugly if they wear it is quite different.

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar Anita
Anita
Anita
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
10
Longevity
4.5
Application
94%
Total
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar Sebastian
Sebastian
Sebastian
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
9.5
Longevity
5
Application
97%
Total

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