Top 5 Foundations for Oily Skin

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We’ve all had those days when, glancing in the mirror at lunchtime, we notice that our faces have morphed into an oil slick. This sort of occurrence is particularly irritating for the working woman, who often has no time to blot or “touch up.”

In this post, I’ll award my “Top 5 Foundations for Oily Skin,” foundations which I’ve discovered hold off shine the longest πŸ™‚

In no particular order:

1) Kat Von D “Lock-It Tattoo Foundation” – A fantastic foundation from a fantastic (and edgy) makeup brand. This foundation comes in a whopping 19 shades (even for pale ghosts like me!), so there’s a shade for everyone! It’s an incredibly thick foundation, and a small amount goes a long way. It covers not only blemishes and scars but also any birthmarks or freckles as well. The finish is matte with a capital “M,” and it keeps shine at bay all day. The lack of SPF is its only disadvantage.

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2) EstΓ©e Lauder “Double Wear Maximum Cover Foundation” – The finish of this foundation is similar to that of Kat Von D’s — thick, full coverage, and gorgeously matte. Unlike the Kat Von D foundation, however, this product contains sunscreen (SPF 15). It comes in a hygienic squeeze tube and lasts forever, due to the tiny amount of product needed for a single application. The finish is divinely beautiful; I guarantee that you’ll look like a porcelain doll πŸ™‚

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3) Dr. Jart “Silver Label BB Cream” – This product, ladies and gentlemen, is a true Asian BB cream — hailing from Korea. It contains SPF 35, with a thick consistency, full coverage, and skin tone-evening properties like you wouldn’t believe! It will cancel any redness in your skin, leaving a smooth canvas. Oil doesn’t stand a chance with this product — it keeps the T-zone matte late into the evening. This BB cream, however, only comes in one shade — a light shade — so it would not suit darker skin. One warning for acne sufferers…..when I first used this BB cream, I experienced breakouts. Nevertheless, after a few uses, my skin seemed to adapt to the product, and it triggered no more acne flares. You can order it from Korea online, most notably from Dermstore.com as well as Amazon.

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4) Bobbi Brown “Long-Wear Even Finish Foundation” – This product wins double awards since it falls within my “Top 5 Foundations for Acne-Prone Skin” as well! It wears matte long into the afternoon, without need for blotting. The finish is gorgeous and full-coverage, and SPF 15 is the icing on this cake. Plus, it comes in a whopping 20 colors! Incredible product for special occasions πŸ™‚

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5) Hourglass “Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation” – This foundation was ordered with high expectations — and it did not disappoint. Dispensed as a liquid from a hygienic pump, the product dries to a powder finish on the skin. My T-zone remains shine-free at evening with the help of this foundation, which combats oil like a dream. You do not even need to apply powder on top (although I do set it with a light dusting of SPF-containing powder since this foundation unfortunately lacks sunscreen). It provides medium-to-full coverage. This is my first Hourglass purchase, and I’m impressed!

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Until next time! πŸ™‚

Top 5 Foundations for Dry/Mature Skin

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My most recent post named “The Top 5 Foundations for Acne-Prone Skin.”

Today, I’ll award my “Top 5 Foundations for Oily Mature Skin” πŸ™‚

So let’s get started!

1) Lancome “Teint Visionnaire Skin Correcting Makeup Duo” – Of the 5 foundations listed here, this little jewel takes the cake. It’s incredibly moisturizing for parched, older skin — and conveys a luminous glow. This product also contains SPF 20 as well as a non-creasing concealer underneath the cap. It corrects uneven skin tone like a miracle. You can read my full review here.

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2) L’Oreal “True Match Lumi” Foundation – One dead giveaway that a foundation’s suited for dry skin is a promise of luminous” or “dewy” finish displayed on the bottle. Such is the case for L’Oreal’s “Lumi,” which is derived from “Luminous.” It offers moisture without greasiness, which is always a fine line to tread. Plus, it has SPF 20 and can be purchased at the drugstore. This foundation is a win-win for dry skin! I just made a rhyme πŸ˜‰

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3) Clinique’s “Moisture Surge” Tinted Moisturizer – This product’s name is taken from Clinique’s “Moisture Surge” moisturizer, which is aptly labelled. This tinted moisturizer, like its namesake, truly feels like Chapstick for the face; indeed, it does offer a surge of moisture. The finish is non-greasy (but this doesn’t mean that oily skin types can get away with wearing it without developing a shiny T-zone!) and provides a subtle glow — for dryer skin types. It offers sun protection as well (SPF 15).

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4) Bobbi Brown “Extra Repair” Foundation – This foundation, with its mousse-like texture, applies like velvet and does an excellent job minimizing pores and fine lines, all the while offering the moisture needed by mature skin. It also furnishes a healthy dose of sunscreen (SPF 25). My mother, who is 68, uses this foundation religiously.

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5) Clinique “Age Defense” BB Cream – Clinique has scored again! This BB cream offers a gentle application but solid coverage, which does not cake or crease (a phenomenon which often emphasizes pores and fine lines). It contains SPF 30 as well. The creaminess serves to soothe thirsty skin and provides a natural satin finish.

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I hope you enjoyed this post!

Next up — My “Top 5 Foundations for Oily Skin” πŸ™‚

Top 5 Foundations for Acne-Prone Skin

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Until several years ago, I struggled with acne, my bare face often resembling a dart board. This war with zits fueled my passion for makeup as I desperately searched for the best way to conceal my blemishes. Fortunately, my acne has largely resolved, and breakouts are now a rare occurrence for me. (How I was delivered of that dreadful affliction is a subject for another post!)

I learned much from that time, however, including those foundations which trigger breakouts — and those which don’t.

Today I will name my “Top 5 Foundations for Acne-Prone Skin.” Please note that I used each of these foundations during my acne years, and none of them caused a breakout.

So, without further ado, in no particular order:

1) Clinique “Superbalanced” Foundation – Now, when I mention acne in the same sentence with Clinique, you would probably guess that I would praise Clinique’s much-touted “Acne Solutions” foundation, which contains salicylic acid (a topical anti-comedogenic ingredient). Yet I tried that foundation and still struggled with breakouts! My local Clinique saleswoman recommended “Superbalanced.” It’s the creamiest foundation I’ve ever applied, and truly feels more like a moisturizer than a foundation — yet it nicely conceals any blemishes and scarring you might have from past breakouts. Best of all, it never triggered a breakout on me and feels very gentle on the skin. Its only downside is the lack of SPF.

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2) Lancome “Teint Idole Ultra” Foundation – Another department store foundation. It offers sunscreen (SPF 15), full coverage, and oil control. Good oil control is important for acne-prone skin since increased sebum production facilitates breakouts — “Teint Idole Ultra” provides this advantage and prevents one’s face from looking like an oil slick at day’s end.

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3) Β Revlon Colorstay Foundation (Combination/Oily)Β – It offers fantastic coverage of any existing pimples and scarring without causing more. Although it contains inadequate sun protection (SPF 6), this foundation conjures a matte finish, with great shine control until late in the afternoon. A great choice for those of us on a budget πŸ˜‰

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4) Bobbi Brown “Long Wear Even Finish” Foundation – Similar to the Lancome Teint Idole Ultra — offers full coverage if needed, strong oil control, and SPF 15. You really cannot go wrong with any of Bobbi Brown’s foundations if you struggle with acne; her “Skin” and “Natural Finish” foundations are non-comedogenic as well but do lag behind the “Long Wear Even Finish” in terms of oil control.

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5) Bare Minerals Matte Foundation – It’s impossible to discuss makeup for acne-prone ladies without mentioning Bare Minerals. Since it’s mineral makeup, this foundation feels lightweight and shouldn’t trigger inflammation for problem skin. The coverage is buildable and can be applied as much as desired on breakout days; it covers pimples in a natural, non-cakey manner. Although neither the matte nor the regular Bare Minerals foundation precipitates acne flares, the matte version (as it’s name suggests), provides better oil control. This foundation contains SPF 15. As a side note, this product is so renowned for its non-irritating properties that some dermatologists sell it in their offices!

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Stay tuned for upcoming posts featuring “The Top 5 Foundations for Oily Skin” and “The Top 5 Foundations for Dry Skin” πŸ™‚

Bare Minerals Loose Eyeshadow Round-Up

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Today I’d like to review and swatch my Bare Minerals loose eyeshadow collection — and then communicate my thoughts regarding their uses. This post will focus on Bare Minerals’ shimmer shades only since the matte shades are too numerous — those will be saved for a later post πŸ™‚

1) “Bare Skin” – Gorgeous peach sheen. It’s beautiful applied all over the eyelid for a one-shadow look. The peach tones particularly compliment blue eyes.
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2) “Rapture” – Beautiful copper shimmer, with just a hint of coral.

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3) “Soul” – Buttery white satin shade, which manifests a subtle iridescence when applied. Perfect as a base color over the entire eye.

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4) “Satin Ruffle” – Grey-white pearl. This shade is actually the most sheer of these shadows and might work best as a brow bone or inner corner highlight.

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5) “Magnolia” – Glistening baby pink. This shade is pinker than the photo allows, perhaps too pigmented to use as a highlight color. Great for a one-shadow look on the lid itself. The rosy undertone makes green eyes pop.

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6) “Citrus Twist” – Stunning coral pink with golden shimmer. If the Nars “O” blush had an eyeshadow equivalent, this would be it. Very flattering to green eyes!

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7) “Celestine” – Dainty pearlescent silver. Beautiful as a one-shadow look applied on the lid.

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8) “Queen Tiffany” – Rich mahogany shimmer, with a warm undertone like burnt copper. Beautiful on blue eyes.

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9) “Drama” – The most gorgeous taupe eyeshadow I’ve ever seen. Period. Universally flattering — a must-own shade! Better than MAC’s “Satin Taupe,” in my opinion.

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10) “Glamorista” – Olive green sheen. I love this shadow since it’s the color of my eyes! πŸ™‚

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11) “Brocade” – Glittering indigo. This is arguably the most striking – and unique – shade in the collection. It possesses a 3-dimensional quality, with navy, purple, black tones. It reminds me of the starry night in Van Gogh’s painting. This shade has all the makings of a killer smokey eye! πŸ™‚

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12) “Dark Chocolate” – Shimmering golden brown. Similar to “Queen Tiffany” — without the warm russet undertone.

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13) “1990s” – Royal purple with golden and silver sparkle. Another fantastic “smokey eye” shade!

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14) “Sapphire Sky” – Shimmering navy. For some reason, this shade applies less evenly than the others, although it certainly has “smokey eye” potential as well.

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What I love about these eyeshadows is their luminous three-dimensional quality, in which one can discern multiple different pigments and undertones. This makes for some truly unique and complex shades, which can not be easily duped. On the negative side, one must be very careful with the loose pigments since a spill can cause a dreadful accident on the carpet or dresser. (I have learned this fact through experience!).

Nevertheless, I think it’s well worth picking up a few of these shades since they are one-of-a-kind and do not crease, even without primer πŸ™‚

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Eyeshadow 101

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Nothing quite enhances a woman’s attractiveness like striking eye makeup. By properly framing the eyes, she veils the windows to her soul with mystery — and allure.

Women throughout the ages have known this, from the ancient Babylonians to the Egyptians to modern-day film stars:

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Let’s attempt to de-mystify this art!

The Basics

1) It’s very important to prime your eyes to prevent creasing of the eyeshadow as the day progresses. It will also make the shadows more vibrant! Apply the primer all over the eye. Some examples of various eyeshadow primers:

–> Urban Decay Primer Potion

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–> Too Faced Shadow Insurance

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–> L’Oreal Magic De-Crease Eyelid Primer

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–> MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in “Painterly”

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2) Apply a white, cream, or nude-colored base over the entire eye. Ideally, the color should not include shimmer. This will mattify the eye to create a canvas for your darker shadows. Such a color exists in every palette! Examples include:
–> MAC “Vanilla”

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–> Urban Decay “Foxy” or “W.O.S.” in the Naked2 and Naked Basics palettes

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–> Lorac “Shell” in the Pro-to-Go palette

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I think you grasp the general idea πŸ˜‰

3) You can go in one of two directions at this point, and, once you understand each, you can play with these techniques and create any look you desire. I will call them “Approach A” and “Approach B.”

Approach A
Apply a lighter shade *of any color* to the lid itself, and apply a darker shade *of any color* in the crease and/or outer V to mimic and deepen the natural shadow cast by the eye crease. This is demonstrated in the picture below:

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Notice that Jennifer Lopez uses this technique, too!

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Approach B– Apply a darker shade *of any color* to the eyelid, with a lighter transition shade *of any color* blended into the crease. Kristen Stewart employs this trick here:

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Examples of crease colors:
–> “Cafe” in the Lorac Pro-to-Go palette

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–> MAC “Quarry”

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4) Apply a shimmering white, nude, cream, or champagne color to the inner corner of the eye (near the tear duct) and on the browbone. This acts as a highlighter to awaken the eyes!

Notice how the celebrities love this technique:

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5) Next, apply eyeliner above and below the eye. (You can even substitute a matte black eyeshadow as eyeliner, applied with a flat-tipped thin brush.) This frames the eyes for a striking, seductive effect:

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6) You can even “smoke it out,” or smudge dark shadow on the lower line, as Kim Kardashian does in this picture:

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7) Apply mascara — always over a lash primer, to which the mascara can bind. You can also apply two different mascara formulas to produce a synergistic effect — and a glorious false-lash illusion!

Some eyelash primers:

–> Clinique Lash Building Primer

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–> Tarte Multipleye Primer

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–> Lancome Cils Booster XL

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8) Apply brow powder. No makeup look is complete without brow definition. Use a matte eyeshadow, close to the natural pigment of your eyebrows. Personally, I use Bobbi Brown’s single eyeshadow in “Slate,” which works well for me but will be too dark for blondes.

Elizabeth Taylor understood the beauty of defined brows:

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One last pointer! Contrary to popular opinion, it CAN be stylish to wear bright eyeshadow (blues, greens, purples), but only if paired with a neutral color (grey, taupe, brown, etc.). Otherwise, the effect is overdone — and a fashion faux pas!

If you were confused by my references to the various eye regions, I have included a diagram below:

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I hope these tips were helpful! πŸ™‚

Review: L’Oreal’s “Voluminous Million Lashes Excess” Mascara

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I have always been skeptical of drugstore mascara due to less than satisfactory results in the past, but, for the purposes of this blog I hope to bring you new product reviews from both drugstore and department store!

Recently, I purchased L’Oreal’s new “Voluminous Million Lashes Excess” mascara for product testing.

The tube is certainly flashy with red and gold coloring:

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The wand has a greater than average number of closely spaced fibers, which should aid in separating the lashes:

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The mascara applied very smoothly, building up the lashes quickly. In the very first coat, this mascara’s many compact fibers separated each lash and loaded it with pure drama.

Before and after two coats:

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Wowza!!! This must be a new breed of drugstore mascara! πŸ™‚

The product finish lasted all day, with no flaking or smearing in the undereye area.

This is by far the best drugstore mascara I’ve ever tried. It adds long-lasting length, definition, AND drama — and you simply cannot beat the price. It’s every bit as good as the wonderful Lancome “Hypnose” mascaras — and almost as glorious as my beloved Too Faced “Better than Sex” mascara. If you are in a financial pinch or simply love a fantastic bargain, this mascara is for you! πŸ™‚

Final Verdict: 4.5/5

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Available at Wal-Mart, CVS, Rite Aid, Target, ULTA, & Walgreen’s for $8

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Review: L’Oreal “Magic Skin Beautifier” BB Cream

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When I first heard about the Asian BB cream trend, how it fuses foundation and skincare into a glorious duo, my first thought was that I would likely never purchase traditional foundation again.

Stories of how these miraculous products, developed by a German plastic surgeon as nourishing skincare makeup for his patients and popularized by Korean film stars, were certainly tantalizing. Yet the American BB cream versions have been less auspicious than hoped, often more akin to tinted moisturizer, with none of the coverage and soothing properties of Asian BB creams.

I have tried many BB creams (and will likely review them all, in time).

Today I’ll begin with L’Oreal’s “Magic Skin Beautifier” BB Cream.

The packaging consists of a squeeze tube, which is always more hygienic, compact, and easy for traveling:

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When dispensed onto the skin, the product first comes out as thick white cream — an interesting quality, to be sure! Upon blending out the cream, however, it disappeared into my hand, adapting to my skin tone. Like Magic, hence the name! πŸ™‚ You can view the transformation below:

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Now you see it:

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Now you don’t!

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It applies similarly to the face. The product, with its denser consistency, virtually disappears into the skin. In fact, it both evens and brightens its tone beautifully.

Before BB:

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After BB:

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Full face:

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Having read negative reviews about this BB cream, I was shocked by its beautiful finish. And while the coverage it offers will not be enough to conceal major flaws such as acne scars, it truly airbrushed my face.

It wore well throughout the day, with only minimal T-zone shine by mid-afternoon but neither dry patches nor greasiness.

This product, however, disappoints me in one major respect — it has absolutely no anti-aging ingredients! The absence of kelp and other exotic skincare ingredients such as those found in Asian BB creams, I can forgive. But this product does not even contain sunscreen, the most basic and most important anti-aging ingredient of all! That substantial flaw forces me to subtract points from this product since you will have to apply SPF-containing powder over this BB cream.

This is a nice drugstore *tinted moisturizer,* but BB cream it is not!

Final Score: 3/5

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Available at Wal-Mart, ULTA, CVS, Walgreen’s, Rite Aid, & Target for $8

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