"Zest is the secret of all beauty. There is no beauty that is attractive without zest." - Christian Dior

Friday, 26 April 2013

My current foundations - this may be a long post.........

Realisation dawned this morning, as I had to wade through a collection of tubes and bottles in varying states of emptiness and move several bottles out of the way to reach the one that I wanted – I have LOTS of foundation.  Quite possibly more than one human could ever possibly need, especially all at the same time.  What the yellow rubbery fuck is wrong with me?

In my defense, they are all slightly different shades, and slightly different formulas, therefore they serve different purposes and fulfill different needs at different times of the year.

Hmmmm……. How many times can one person use the word “different” in one sentence in a forlorn and rather pathetic attempt to persuade yourself that you actually mean it? To be honest, I know I’ve got too many, and that I do occasionally get suckered in to hype as I try to find my Holy Grail. But I love buying new foundations – testing them in the shop, finding some natural light, browsing for other stuff while waiting to see if they oxidize……… it’s a ritual that I adore and will never get bored of. In the meantime, the collection grows.

So, for those of you out there that are relatively fair-skinned, with neutral to cool undertones, here are the foundations that work for me.

From left to right:

Lancome Teint Miracle in 010 Ivory
Nars Sheer Glow in Mont Blanc
Estee Lauder Double Wear in 1C1 Cool Bone
Vichy Dermablend Corrective Foundation in 15 Opal
MAC Face and Body in N1
Revlon Colourstay (normal/dry skin) in 150 Buff
Estee Lauder Double Wear Light in Intensity 01
Diorskin Nude in 020

I may have mentioned this before (!) but I have dry skin. Frequently, this turns into very dry skin. Occasionally, this turns into oh-my-god-my-face-is-so-tight-I-think-it’s-going-to-rip skin. With that in mind, I usually go for hydrating formulations (or at least, ones that don’t suck moisture out of my already parched skin). Therefore I don’t suffer much with oxidizing – in fact, hardly ever, as I don’t have much oil on my face to turn things orange. Foundation also normally lasts a relatively long time on me unless I have been sleeping at my desk that day and it’s ended up on my sleeves……. So bear in mind your mileage may vary.

Here are some arm swatches, taken in different lighting so you can get a feel for the range of tones between the brands:
L-R: Lancome Teint Miracle (010), NARS Sheer Glow (Mont Blanc), EL Double Wear (1C1), Vichy Dermablend (15 Opal), MAC F&B (N1), Revlon Colourstay (150 Buff), EL Double Wear Light (01), Diorskin Nude (020)

Both the Lancome Teint Miracle and the Diorskin Nude are very neutral, almost ashy. This is great when I feel as though my skin is a bit pinker than normal, which it does occasionally, seemingly entirely randomly. The are lovely and hydrating with a dewy finish, but consequently they don’t last long – about six hours – unless I powder over the top. Defeats the object really. Love them both, though, and these are both repeat purchases.

The Estee Lauder Double Wear doesn’t see much action, unless I’m having a spectacularly good skin day, or if I know in advance that no one will be getting within fifteen feet of me.  This stuff has a tendency to flake off my face if I don’t meticulously prep first – shame really, because the coverage is awesome and it lasts FOREVER. The Double Wear Light is better for my skin, and is easier to apply (a job for fingers rather than blending with a brush) but doesn’t last quite as long – I normally get eight hours before it starts to disappear. Both of them are a little peachy in tone so they brighten up the skin nicely if I'm having a sallow-and-tired day.

The Vichy Dermablend is one I use as a concealer rather than all over – the pigment is so concentrated it would look like a mask on me if I tried to use it in the normal way. I would imagine this is the stuff for you if you have scars or marks that you want to hide. A few dots under the eyes is all I need to minimize dark circles, but I only tend to use it on days where I think my skin couldn’t cope with the heavier formula of MAC Studio Finish concealer.

I bought the Revlon Colourstay entirely because of the beauty blogging hype (damn you MakeupGeek!). I must say though, for a “drugstore” foundation, this one lives up to its reputation (this is my third bottle, and I will need a new one soon). Great coverage (on a par with Double Wear) but not quite as flake-inducing.

MAC Face and Body tends to be my summer foundation as it is a little darker than my winter skin (bordering on peachy, similar to the Estee Lauders), but I have recently found myself turning to it even in the cooler weather – my skin is going through a rough patch (literally) so needs something a bit kinder to skin, and Mac F&B is it. Although the coverage is initially quite sheer, it can be layered easily - for shits and giggles one day, I tried several layers just to see what would happen – I managed to get to five layers, and the coverage increased with every “coat” but showed genuinely hardly any sign of caking. It contains some kind of film-former which means it miraculously “sets” on the skin (whether you are using it on your face or elsewhere) and I tend to get a good eight hours of wear out of it even without powder.

Lastly, NARS Sheer Glow. Possibly my all-time favourite as it is the best all-rounder – the best colour match to my skin tone as it is so pinky-peach, so it melts invisibly into my skin and gives me a genuine “no make-up” look, but evens everything out beautifully. It can be layered a little bit, but I would stop at two layers because three can start to look mask-like. My only gripe is that the staying power isn’t great – I tend to have to touch it up a little at lunch (five hours of wear).

Next on the list is Bobbi Brown’s Repair Foundation, although I am not overly taken with the concept of dipping my fingers into a jar – I could put up with that if it's as soothing on the skin as the blurb would suggest. For the sake of my poor wallet though, it will have to wait until next payday…………


Wednesday, 17 April 2013

April 2013 favourites

Just a quick post with a few daily beauty essentials that I have been loving this month!

Shampoo: Tigi Bed Head Urban Antidotes Recovery Shampoo

Conditioner: Tresemme Deep Conditioning Treatment Masque (lately my hair has been in frizzbomb meltdown so needs the extra moisture boost)

Styling products: the old faithful CHI Silk Infusion Silk Restructuring complex is still on the rota (I don’t think I’ll ever stop using it!) but I also now use Morrocanoil Hydrating Styling Cream massaged into the roots for some extra oomph

Shower Gel: any old thing at the moment, so long as it’s moisturising – I’m currently working my way through a Radox Moisture Boost Shower Cream 

Body moisturiser: Garnier Summerbody lotion, in a desperate attempt to give my legs and arms some colour seeing as summer is just around the corner! 

Deodorant: Sure 48-hour Intensive anti-perspirant spray

Cleanser: No7 Beautiful Skin Cleansing Balm for dry to very dry skin – massage this in and the makeup just melts way – the only non-foaming cleanser that makes me feel as though my skin is actually clean!

Exfoliator: None – I now use a facial sponge with whichever cleanser I am using, it’s cheaper (and more effective!)

Primer: Still none – I just slather my skin in moisturiser and wait ten minutes before applying my foundation. If it’s been any longer than ten minutes I normally slap a bit of NARS Pure Radiance Tinted Moisturiser on for additional coverage as well 

Moisturiser: No7 Beautiful Skin Day Cream; Embryolisse Lait Creme Fluide

Foundation brush: Although I still love my Crown Brush flat bronzer, I’ve been preferring fingers recently – it’s quicker!

Foundation: NARS Sheer Glow (in Mont Blanc) and Lancome Teint Miracle Natural Light Perfector (in 010 Beige Porcelain)

Concealer: MAC Studio Finish (NW20)

Powder: NARS Loose Powder (in Flesh) 

Blusher: I’m favouring cream blushers at the moment for a more glowy finish, especially NYX Cream Blush (in Natural)

Bronzer: what’s one of those? 

Highlighter: None at the moment, using cream blush means I am dewy enough and don’t need any shimmer on top of that

Eyeshadows: NARS single eyeshadow in Cairo – a fail-safe, goes-with-anything taupe (swatched here)

Eyeliner: Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner pencil in Zero –the creamiest formula I have ever come across

Mascara: No7 Exquisite Curl mascara
Lipstick: Burberry Lip Velvet in Peony Rose (swatched here)
Lipgloss: NYX Megashine lipgloss in Plum (swatched here)
Nail Colour: As much as I would love to wear luscious, dark and vampy colours like Chanel Rouge Noir, my nails are just in too crap condition to take it so I stick to just coating them generously in Sally Hansen Hard as Nails (the one with the pink tinge, otherwise they look a bit sallow).

Anything you have been loving lately that I should add to the Lust List?