Woman Day Haul Spring 2018

Woman Day Haul Spring 2018

It is April, which here in Austria means Woman Day craziness. Woman Day is a twice yearly shopping extravaganza, where most stores will give you discount. It even extends to stuff like phone contracts by now. (Some stores also call it Gentleman Day or both.) I only did a little shopping:

So the majority of that is samples. I got two samples of Kenzo World (I call it Augenkenzo – the Eye Kenzo) and one of Kenzo Flower Eau de Lumiere. Then a few Lancome samples: two Genifique, one Visionnaire and one Energie de Vie.

The purchased items: The brush is a MAC 239S. MAC has replaced all of their natural bristles with synthetic, which is what the S at the end means. So you can easily tell apart old and new brushes by wether there’s an ‘S’ or not.

At the bottom of the pic there is a Catrice eyeshadow palette from the Lala Berlin Collection. It’s called Prismatic Palette C01 Prismatic Persian.

At the top I’ve got one of the new MAC Mineralize Items: Mineralize Skinfinish in Warm Aura.

The rest is Maybelline: Colorsensational matte metallic in 50 Gunmetal and Colorsensational metallic foil in 85 Zen and 105 Scorpion. Those two are my favorite Maybelline finishes, especially the metallic liquid lipsticks are out of this world. Now I own most of the colors, except for one I think, that was imo too close to another color.

Here are the color items: The Lala Berlin palette claims to be an eyeshadow palette but the pans are big enough for a highlighter brush. The colors are light bases with iredescent shimmer – the didn’t use the word ‘holo’ but tbh ‘prism’ means basically the same thing, doesn’t it?

MAC Warm Aura is a pink highlighter with four quadrants, from light to dark.

Metallic Foil Zen is a light bronze, Scorpion is red. The metallic matte Gunmetal may look black in the tube, but it’s really grey. I can’t wait to wear all these.

I just realized I forogt to put it in the picture but I also stocked up on my favorite foundation, the essence camouflage.

That was my haul and considering every store threw their ads at me I think I was being pretty good.

Reviews of the items will come later when I had time to test them. If there’s one you want sooner rather than later, please tell me, as my backlog is quite big.

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All Used Up March 2018

All Used Up March 2018

Last month I had quite a few empties, I don’t think I can top that this month. But let’s see what I used up in march:

The Balea empties: middle of the pic is the Buttermilk & Lemon handcream, a sight often seen in my empties. For now I have another handcream but repurchase is not unlikely.

The two Magic Winter designs are from the advent calendar and not avalable as stand alones. The Bodylotion has a “vanilla ice cream” scent. Well, it did smell of vanilla dessert. I liked this body lotion, it was easy to work in (unlike the previous body lotion from the same line).

The shower gel comes with a gingerbread scent, and wow it did really smell like that. I liked it a lot and would have gotten a full size for the winter if it were available. Maybe they will recycle the scent. The calendar included three shower gels and two body lotions. I’m currently on the last shower gel, but now have to pair it with a normal body lotion.

A random assortment of items:

Dermasence Cream Soft, my new favoritest skin cream. When my pharmacy stopped carrying Bioderma I switched to Dermasence. Like Bioderma it is a pharmacy brand, but a German one, not French. They have this easy color system. Cream Soft is marked with blue and green, meaning it’s for normal skin and for oily skin. The cream contains mostly avocado oil and glycerin, making it light but moisturizing. There is a good amount of vitamin e and pro-vitamin b5, which has a soothing and repairing effect. There are smaller amounts of salicylic acid, lactic acid and benzoic acid. So it’s got both AHA and BHA, but I’m not sure how much exfoliation it achieves. I have used a stronger serum underneath and this cream as a topper. I felt moisturized, yet the cream is still lightweight which I loved.

I’d recommend this for everyone who needs a light and soohting cream. If you have no major skin problems this one alone should be enough. I have acne so I need stronger acids, but I like this as a topper. Reepurchase is possible, but atm I have too many creams lying about.

Batiste Heavenly Volume Dry Shampoo: They are not kidding when they say Heavenly Volume. This is a cross between dry shampoo and hair spray. So like hair spray it leaves a sticky residue, but on the upside it does not leave the white powdery residue you get from normal dry shampoo. So it really depends on which residue you prefer. It got my hair fluffy and fresh like regular dry shampoo, the result lasted even longer than with normal Batiste. The volume was pretty good as well. But personally, I couldn’t live with the stickiness. No repurchase.

Essence Forbidden Volume Mascara TopCoat: Forbidden Volume was my favorite mascara line from essence, so naturally – they discontinued it. 😦 I grabbed two back ups of this item here: the mascara top coat. You apply it on top of your mascara, it goes on black. On the packaging it gives you only one promise: to lengthen your lashes. So it contains these fibers, you know the ones. And it really does make lashes longer, but also adds a bit of volume without clumping the lashes or making them too thick. It also made normal mascara water resistant, which is why I love it so much. Nothing beats the combo of regular mascara (any mascara will do) and this topper. Who needs a mascara base when you can have a good top coat? Would repurchase, but alas. Currently on tube nr. 2.

Bobbi Brown Conditioning Brush Cleanser: so this is probably among the most expensive brush cleaners out there? But it is really good and lasted me for many years. It has a thick consistency like shampoo and you need only a drop per brush (or one drop for several eye brushes). Have a cheaper one for now, but who knows? If I end up missing it I might pick it up again.

And lastly a used up sample. The is Estee Lauder Double Wear Makeup in the color 2C2 Pale Almond. Now I suspected it would be too dark for me – pre-packaged foundation never comes in light shades – but I wanted to try it as I’ve heard many good things so I went Oompa Loompa for a few days.

On top is a swipe of Pale Almond. Underneath my ususal colors: MAC Studio Finish Concealer NC15, Chanel Les Beiges 10 and Dior BB Creme in 010. So yes, 2C2 Pale Almond is way too dark for me, but I think Double Wear has a good range so I might find one that works for me.

The foundation had good coverage, stronger than Chanel Les Beiges (and much easier to blend), and a bit less than MAC Studio Fix Fluid. I didn’t smell anything, which I liked. Since this was a sample I applied with my fingers. A beauty blender will surely get more coverage out of it.

The finish was satiny, not comepletely matte, but also not luminous/shiny. It lasted very well, my nose got shiny around four to five hours, which is normal for me. It did not settle into fine lines and did not emphasize dry parts.

So I understand why everybody likes this foundation. I might someday look for a color match, but first I’ll have to use up some of my stash.

 

This was my list of empties for march. There may not be a post for April as I’ve only used up two items so far. We’ll see.

All Used Up February 2018

All Used Up February 2018

Another month is over and actually… it took me more than half a month to post the results… again. Anyway, here we are, my empties of the month february:

Balea Handcreme zur Oktoberfestzeit. It’s me, dandygal. Of course there is empty handcream. This one smelled of orange blossom and vanilla so it was quite a winner for me. The texture was on the dry side but not too dry. Obviously this was LE so no repurchase possible.

essence camouflage make-up & concealer: this little thing is the best foundation I have come across so far and it costs like 3 €. Already repurchased because with essence you never know when they’ll discontinue your fav item. Downside of this foundation: it comes in exactly three shades, all of which are light. Boo. Review is here. I liked it even better the more I used it, the issues with it separating from my skin in heat did not happen again last summer.

Yves Rocher Monoi de Tahiti hair & body wash: Yves Rocher only sells this during summer months. Last time I ran out of this I missed it so badly that this time I stocked up on like four bottles to last me the year. It’s one of my favorite shampoos. Repurchase likely but first I must use up the stash, haha.

Dior J’Adore L’Or: Yeah this was just a tiny sample but I liked it a lot. Not enough to shell out for a full bottle though. Review is here.

Olaz dark circle correcting swirl eye: that’s a mouthful. I liked it a lot. It promises instant effects and like always, when a product says that you know there’s going to be fine shimmer in it and there was. It was not too strong though, you could wear this and not put makeup on top and it looked fine. I might repurchase this in the future, but for now I have something else. In part because when I went to the drugstore they didn’t have this anymore. This happens to me with Olaz products all the time, they pop in and out of existence. Then I think they’re discontinued but months later it’ll be there again. Idk.

And last, more Balea stuff. You’re going to see this turqouise design a lot. This was from their advent calendar, which was full of skin care. Therefore, all products in this design were LE.

Let’s start with the body lotion: it claimed to have Chai Latte scent and it did smell like that. The texture was sticky and too liquid so while I liked the scent I wouldn’t repurchase the lotion (if it weren’t LE). It was nicely moisturizing, though.

Then there were two face masks. Both are the kind you put on and later on wipe off with a cloth. I washed them off because tbh it feels gross when you don’t. These made me realized again why sheet masks are just that much better. The After Sport mask was okay (although – does anyone ever use a mask after sport? Really? When I’m done in the gym a shower is the most I can manage. I don’t even use body lotion afterwards, much less something as fancy as a mask). However three days after use I got small pimples. I used it again and the same thing happened so I dumped the rest. I think it’s because there was a lot of alcohol in it (which on the other hand helped a lot with the texture).

The Verwöhnmaske on the other hand was just plain awful. It burned and we’re not talking the kind of tingling you get when using AHA. I washed it off after three minutes and did not try again. DO NOT RECOMMEND. It claims to have jasmin and chai tea axtract which is the sort of thing you’d put into a perfume, not put it on your face undilluted!

Those were my empties of last month. Thanks for reading. Expect more handcream next month. XD

Tarte Shape Tape Foundation – not a review

Tarte Shape Tape Foundation – not a review

You may have seen this picture floating about on the internet:

This picture is from PopSugar and shows the shade range of the new Tarte Shape Tape Foundation. The color range is a bit, hm, well…

Many things have been said already and I don’t think you need me, the pasty girl, to say more, on the other hand I wanted to make a post on it because I find it mind boggling. How do you come up with such a range and think, yes, good? So instead of blabbing more I’d like to link you to some great videos on the topic:

Jackie Aina and Alyssa Ashley are mind boggled as well.

Alyssa Ashley gives an honest review and then names some brands who have a better range.

Ronkeraj spills the tea.

Patricia Bright explains the problem very eloquently. She also names brands with good shade ranges.

Alright, I’m gonna stop here. To add my two cents, the problem isn’t just that there are only 15 shades, the problem is the distribution of those shades from light to dark. Plus that this was a very hyped release of a big brand and until all hell broke loose, they sort of pretended like this was inclusive and that’s what makes so many people mad. Their apology and explanation was the typical sort of fauxpology that just makes everything worse, too.

MAC Studio Fix Fluid

MAC Studio Fix Fluid

*post based on free samples*

The MAC Studio Fix Fluid isn’t a new foundation, but MAC had some sort of promo going on for it lately and so I got two samples, NC 10 and NC 15.

Most of MAC’s liquid foundations are designed for combination to oily skin, they are meant to be long lasting. If your skin is dry you probably won’t be too happy with the finishes of the liquid foundations. I used to prefer the creamier compact foundations when my skin was drier, but I got the dry patches under control with a new skin care regime. Now my skin is more combination/normal rather than extremely combination (oily t-zone and very dry cheeks). So this is why I’m not repurchasing the Mineralize Compact anymore, even though I used to like it.

Back to Studio Fix Fluid: This foundation has no added perfume. It does, however have a super funky smell that you can notice for quite a while after application as well. It doesn’t mean it has gone bad already, that’s just how this thing smells and personally I like that they didn’t try to mask it with some obnoxious flowery scent, but if you’ve never tried Studio Fix before I think you should know about the smell. On the upside, no added perfume components means one less thing that can irritate your skin, which is good, especially if you’re oily (irritation makes skin produce more sebum aka more oil).

The Studio Fix has also a lot of powder in it. It needs to be shaken before use, so that the powder that sunk down can reintegrate with the liquid. The finish between medium and full and looks like you already powdered down. This is a really good foundation for oily skin, while someone with dry skin might feel like they’re in the desert. I found it comfortable to wear, though. I did need more highlighter than usual because the finish is very much not luminous.

When I review foundations I usually say that I got oily in the t-zone after four hours, which is normal etc. That is with powdering down. Well, with the Studio Fix I get four hours without putting powder on top and five hours of no shine if I add powder on top. That’s really good in my books.

Finally, some swatches:

First the two Studio Fix swatches, followed by my trusted MAC Studio Finish concealer, Chanel Les Beiges and my favorite foundation on earth: Essence Camouflage. The last three are quite close together, but the first two lean a lot more yellow if you ask me. Also, no that is not a typo. I swatched the Studio Fix in NC 15 and uinderneath the Studio Finish in NC 15 and they look completely different! I used to think MAC colors are always the same, just with slight differences, but that is not slight. So I unearthed my old Studio Finish in NC 20, from before I was careful with my sun protection.

First the concealer in NC 20, then the Fix fluid in NC 15. They are a lot closer than the other two above.

Soooo, if you think you know your MAC color and want the Studio Fix, go one shade lighter. I’m usually NC 15 and the Studio Fix in NC 10 was not too light for me. If you’re usually NC 10 – well, you’re out of luck. However, if normal MAC shade range is just a bit too light for you, the darkest Studio Fix might work.

So, overall I liked wearing this foundation. The wear was fantastic, the coverage what I personally need (in between medium and full although I could not build it up to full). The finish is just very powdery and also kinda thick. This is certainly no “no make up make up” foundation and it has not the slightest bit of dewyness. While I liked it, I didn’t like it enough to buy a full size.

Also keep in mind that with MAC foundations you always have to purchase an extra pump, so calculate that in if you want to buy one. At the moment since this foundation is being promoted you get a free pump if you buy it, though. (Might depend on country and store.)

Essence Fresh & Fit Awake Make Up

Essence Fresh & Fit Awake Make Up

Last year essence released the wonderful Camouflage foundation, which has become my absolute favorite foundation ever, surpassing all the more expensive ones. So when essence released another foundation in their current fall product range change (pro tip: if there’s an essence product you love always check bi-yearly if it’s going on sale because then it will be GONE not even best sellers are safe) I bought it just in case it was another hit.

It’s called Fresh & Fit Awake Make Up and it boasts to give you a healthy glow. Now, healthy glow foundations were all the rage a couple years ago when brands simply added light shimmer to their foundations. This is not one of those, no shimmer (not needed anymore since nowadays everyone has a ton of highlighters at home). Howeverrrrr, this is so not for the kids with oily faces. The glow is very, ah, wet looking. This is the un-mattest finish I ever owned.

The color I bought was the lightest of four available ones, it’s 10 fresh ivory.

For my swatch I hit the pump with gusto – and got out wayy too much product. This affected the swatch a little, sorry.

Had to cover half my arm with the swatch. The coverage is light to medium – you can still see my blue veins here. The coverage is not builadable, no matter how much you put on.

Comparison swatches. The other pics were made in the shade, this one in direct sunlight. The first line is the Fresh & Fit, again I got out too much product so the swatch is still super wet here. However, it will not dry down as much as the other two anyway. Good news is, it does not oxidize and get darker.

The second swatch is MAC NC 15, which is much lighter than ‘fresh ivory’. Last swatch is essence Camouflage in 10 ivory beige, also the lightest available of that foundation.

Now, the fresh & fit is clearly darker than those two, closer to MAC NC 20. However, the lighter products swatched here have a lot more coverage, so blended out on my face I can wear this foundation. But still, the 10 in this foundation is a different color than 10 in the other foundation of the same brand and that’s pretty annoying.

I already mentioned that this foundation is not kidding when it says glow. I need a good primer and a lot of powder to keep the shine at bay. It ends up shinier than my favorite glowy foundation (Dior BB Creme). Longevity was not affected, though, it lasted a whole work day just fine. So from the finish, this is not a foundation for oily types, it’s okay for combination skin IF you can live with the shine, and will probably look best on very dry skin.

So far so good, but please note that this foundation contains alcohol on the fourth spot of the ingredients list, meaning it could potentally irritate your skin in the long run. (My beloved Camouflage foundation also includes alcohol, but much lower down the list.) The alcohol is especially annyoing because apart from that the fresh & fit actually includes a lot of good stuff, like Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Vitamin B3, and Vitamin A! This means that this stuff is basically skin care and would make your skin look better in the long run – provided you also used sun protection because retinol makes you sun sensitive. The retinol is not advertised on the product, it only says ‘vitamin complex and cranberry water’, which is technically correct I guess. The foundation also includes titanium dioxide and iron oxide, but I would stil use a sun screen with it.

The foundation is lightly perfumed, but the smell vansihes quickly and there are no declarable materials (aka known irritants).

My verdict: best for aging skin if you can live with the alcohol content and shine. For more coverage and a matte finish I greatly recommend the Camouflage instead.

Illamasqua Skin Base Mixer White

Illamasqua Skin Base Mixer White

Y’all probably know the problem of a foundation that is great, but not exactly the right color. When I want to make a foundation darker I simply mix in liquid bronzer without any shimmer. Those can usually be found in some summer collection or other and brands like Lancaster offer a liquid bronzer all year round. Making a foundation lighter can be harder. You could try to mix with liquid highlighter, but that either makes the foundation sheerer or too highlighty.

Some brands offer lightening drops – which are usually not light enough for me. Enter this product here: Illamasqua Skin Base Mixer White. Illamasqua says these mixers (there are four: you can lighten, darken, make warmer or cooler tone) are to go with their Skin Base Foundation. I don’t have that one, but it has worked with every foundation I tried it with.

Now I know it says “white” but it’s not. It’s one of those wedding dress colors, you know. It’s got a yellow undertone which works well with my skin that also has a yellow undertone. I can’t say if it would make a difference if you’re more pink based.

Shown in the pic above is a single swipe, so it’s pretty pigmented. Apart from the obvious mixing use, this can also be put to use for special makeup, like for Halloween. One blended layer is too sheer to make the whole face white, but (like in the swatch above at the edge) can be used as a base depending on the look you’re going for (vampire for example). A second layer makes the face white (well, off-white) and personally I went over it a third time, patting the product in for concealing. This makes the coverage opaque and works well for a skull look, for example. It wears just like regular foundation, although I recommend using powder and setting spray on top. The finish is matte and even though it dries down it rubs off onto your fingers if you touch it.

So that’s for using it on it’s own, on to the mixing:

Illamasqua Skin Base Mixer with Essence Camouflage makeup.

And mixed together. This is almost 50:50, maybe a bit more white. The color matches my underarm pretty well. I hope you can see the edges. Since the White has good coverage on it’s own the coverage of the camouflage makeup (medium to full coverage) does not suffer. Mixing it with a sheer foundation gets too white for my taste, best use is with medium or full coverage products.

(Funny story, at the point of testing this I owned exactly zero foundations that were too dark for me – so to see the effects I had to go lighter than my usual shade and it annoyed me to no end.)

While the Mixer alone has a satiny matte finish I didn’t find that it changed the finish of my foundation. It really only did what was promised – change the color.

In a nutshell: I like.

essence camouflage make-up & concealer

essence camouflage make-up & concealer

Worth the hype?

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Today in the internet made me buy it: essence camouflage 2 in 1 make-up & concealer. I haven’t been paying attention to drugstore brands much the last year or so, but I saw so many blogs and youtuber rave about this product, I had to try it. It was only 3,45 € so not much lost if it was terrible. This foundation/concealer product comes in three shades. I bought the lightest, 10 ivory beige. But the other two shades are quite light as well. So yay on the one hand, finally some drugstore products for the pale kids are showing up. On the other hand, if you are mid to dark toned, you are out of luck here. I know drug store brands never offer up that many shades, but more than three should be possible, don’t you think?

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Swatch. This is the lightest available color. It has a yellow undertone. It comes out light and darkens immediately. I think you can see it in the swatch, that the thinner part is already darker than the part where it is still wet. So I recommend trying the tester before purchase. You don’t need to wait long, a second is enough. Some people say it does not darken once they put it on, that is because it darkens so quickly you almost don’t notice it.

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Color comparison! On top is essence ivory beige, next is MAC NC15, the third swipe is Chanel Les Beiges 10, last is Dior BB Creme 001. Out of these, the essence is still the darkest, so if you are looking for a reallllly light drugstore foundation I have to disappoint you. However, once spread out, the color difference to MAC NC15 isn’t that big. I bought this soon after it came out at the end of summer. Back then I was NC20 and I had to darken the essence foundation with liquid bronzer to fit me. Good news, it mixed well and still had great coverage.

So like I said I wore it at the end of summer first and it wore about four, five hours and then started to seperate fro my face. It did not melt off, it stayed where I put it, but it was now clearly a layer on my skin instead of being one with my face. While it still gave coverage, it emphasised dry skin more. So weird. Usually a foundation just melts off or emphasises dry skin earlier. However, once the hot weather was over, this turned into the best foundation ever! No more separation from my skin, no more showing dry parts either! And my skin is much drier now in december! So my verdict is: great for normal weather, also usable in hot weather, but the finish is not as natural. Might work better on dry skin than on oily skin. I get shiny on the nose after about four hours which is completely normal and happens with every other foundation as well.

The finish is not matte, but not super dewy either. I’d call it satin. It looks very natural.

How to use it: Now, this is both foundation and concealer and I was skeptical about that. 2 in 1 products are usually better at one thing than the other. Now, this comes out as a thin liquid, and it is very pigmented. More so than you think at first. Also it dries up very quickly, so it is best to only take out a small drop, work that in and then take out more. Since the product is runny and the cap does not close very tight, it is best not to store it standing as that will get messy.

Alright, now we got our small drop out, we spread it on our face in a thin layer. This is important. There is no need to worry about full coverage yet. The product is very liquid, yet very pigmented and dries fast. This is where the secret in it being both a foundation and a concealer lies. For foundation, a little bit will stretch quite far. Then the first layer is dry and we can go into the concealing without wiping anything off. For the conealing I use my finger, take up a little product and pat it on where I need it. Since it is the same color as the foundation it blends seamlessly. So yes, it really does work as a 2 in 1 product and the coverage is so strong I don’t need anything else. Depending on how much you put on, coverage is on the strong side of medium to full.

The essence camouflage works really well for my skin, which is combination, but like I said it works somewhat better in cooler weather. The color works for me since I spread it as thin as possible. I will certainly buy a back up. With essence, you never know what will be discontinued, even if this product is permanent for now. But I will certainly keep repurchasing for as long as I can get it.

Verdict: the internet has not lied to me. Absolutely worth the hype. Might not work for every skin type, but certainly worth a try!

All Used Up April 2016

All Used Up April 2016

Ah, sorry for the little hiatus there. My schedule keeps being upset and I can’t create when I don’t have a few hours of spare time in one go. 😦 Anyway, here is what I used up the last month, quite a few items:

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Batiste Dry Shampoo light&blonde: this dry shampoo is colored. It comes out a muddy yellow. it totally works for my hair, but I’m not sure if it would work for a platinum blonde. You might end up with yellow patches! It does leave the scalp yellow, which is a bit annoying. The scent is vanilla, which is okay, but I’d highly prefer for hair products in general to be a lot less scented. They often compete with my perfume. But in general this is a good dry shampoo. It also creates volume, something I despereately need. The finish is duller than other dry shampoos might leave you, but I don’t care. Already repurchased.

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Ingredients for Batiste Dry Shampoo.

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Clarins Daily Energizer Cleansing Gel: This is a case of not used up. I finally admitted to myself that foaming cleansers are really irritating for my skin. This particular product has a really nice smell, just like the matching cream, which I used up and reviewed before. But ultimately it’s not worth it. If you are the sort of person to use foaming cleaners you can find similar ones for less money.

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This is my second empty MAC Mineralize Compact Foundation. It works really well for me. I have not repurchased yet, but I might. I just wish they offered a lighter color than NC15. I think I am really NC13 now.

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Another handcream. I may be on a mission to try all the Balea ones… This is the Totes Meer handcream (dead sea salt). The texture is light and absorbs easily. The scent is light and unoffensive, a bit salty. Despite the light texture, it really helped keeping my skin moisturized. I have now purchased other hand creams that need to be used up, but I would totally repurchase this one. I just wish it came with SPF!

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Ingredients. Click to see full size.

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Absolute Douglas Endless lashes mini mascara: I will spare you the review because not only does this mascara not exist anymore, the whole brand has been discontinued at the end of 2015. I just took a pic of my fingers with the brush, because the brush is really super big. I kept on stabbing myself in the eye, or applying mascara to my brows on accident. 😐

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MAC brow pencil Lingering: the quality is absolutely top notch. The color is brown, something that works for many people. But I am naturally very ashy and found this a tad too red to repurchase this particular color.

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La Roche Posay Rosaliac UV Legere: This is a cream with niacinamide (also written as nicotinamide, this is a derivate of vitamin B3). It has SPF 15, so first I used it as a day cream. It is tinted green, but too little to actually have effect, it’s just a gimmick. Despite being the legere version (there’s a riche one also) I found this cream very thick. And sadly, it left me looking incredibly greasy. It’s not that I was greasy (aka full of my own sebum) but this cream is just so shiny in not a god way. It was impossible to apply makeup on top. So I started using this as a night cream. And you know, in the long term it really worked. Short term I’d often get red in the face when I applied it. But long term, my acne and rosacea symptoms got so much less. My skin is calmer and better overall. But, because I really don’t need a greasy night cream with SPF I will not repurchase. Instead I am looking for creams with similar ingredients. Sadly I had not taken a pic of them before I threw the packaging away, so I can’t show them to you. Sorry. Basically I am looking for something with niacinamide, no alcohol, no perfume.

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Then I used up a sample of YSL Paris EdT. This is originally from the 80s and you can tell. I has a lot of notes, but I am overwhelmed by the powdery rose. Very rosey, very powdery. It was nice to test, but I’m not going to miss it.

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Last item! I also used up the Kiko kiss balm. This is very pigmented, comparable to a sheer lipstick. The balm had a lot of slick, it glides on very quickly. It made my lips feel good and look lovely. I am not sure if it had any long term benefits. It does come with SPF 15, though, which is good. I would recommend it for those who don’t want to put on lipstick and are looking for a colored balm instead. It’s too slick and too pigmented to use underneath lipstick even if you wiped most of it off again.

Wow, this was a mega post. In case anyone besides me finished reading all that, you deserve a cookie. 🙂

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation

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Chanel recently released a new foundation, the Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation. I have never tested Chanel foundations before because the lightest available color here was 20, which is way too dark for me. With this release, there is also a 10 so I had to try it! I got myself a sample and long story short, before I even got to write this review I went and bought a bottle of it! So, spoiler: I like it.

The foundation comes in a frosted glass bottle. It claims to have SPF 25/PA++.

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The glass bottle has a pump. I am always annoyed when bottles like that come without one, since you’re already paying enough and then they want you to buy an extra pump, too? But not Chanel Les Beiges, it comes ready to use.

Chanel Swatch

Alright, the swatches. On top Maybelline Fit Me in 105, then MAC Mineralize Compact in NC15 and last Chanel Les Beiges in 10. The top two foundations used to be my best color match, but then I got even paler thanks to lots of sun care. You can see Les Beiges 10 is even lighter and pretty much a perfect match. I have no blended swatch, you would not see it.

You can also see in the swatch pic that Les Beiges has a less shiny finish than the other two. I wouldn’t call it a matte, but satin. It does give a wonderful lit from within finish, similar to the Les Beiges powder. It also has one hell of a blurring effect. Like, you look almost photo shopped with it. I would call the coverage medium. You can build it up a little by carefully patting more on.

Applicationwise, I prefer fingers. The foundation has a creamy texture and can be best worked in gently with a finger.

It lasts pretty much all day on me, but I do have to powder my nose in between. But this is normal. I always have to do that. Despite the finish this is not drying at all. My skin is combination, but on the dry side in winter and my cheeks were okay with wearing it. So this is okay for those with dry skin and does not emphasize dry patches. I can’t promise how well it will work with oily skin, though.

The only downside I found in this foundation is that it can emphasize large pores, it settles down in them after a while. You probably only notice that with a magnifying mirror, but for those who have a problem with it, test it out before purchasing.

Other reviews have pointed out the perfume. It smells like the Les Beiges Powder, maybe a bit stronger, but the scent evaporates in a minute so I can live with it, even if I generally prefer unscented face products.

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Here’s a list of the ingredients for those interested.

I loved it and so I bought it. My mum has also tested it on her mature skin and she is very pleased, too. She claims that it did not settle in wrinkles, but I can’t 100% promise that. Edit: 13.02.2016: upon repeated use, mum finds it too dry. For me it still works so far.

Also, I am so glad there is a good shade for the fair ones! However, when I bought my bottle, the SA put the shade 10 tester away. Apparently I bought the last one. So either there was already a run on it or they didn’t have much of a stock. So if you’re also very fair, it could be that they don’t have it. But since it’s not limited, it’ll be back in stock eventually.

For everyone else, there are some in between shades also, like 22, 23 etc.

In a nutshell: worth a look.

All Used Up MAy 2015

All Used Up MAy 2015

Another month over, and time for another round of empties:

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I used up my sample of Jil Sander Simply. I already reviewed it here.  I liked it, but I don’t feel the need for a big bottle atm.

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The Body Shop Honeymania Shower Gel: Lovely smell, a bit like honey and a lot like wild flowers. A little bit of clover, maybe. I am on a total shower gel buying ban, because I have way too many bottles standing around, but generally I would repurchase this. I’m not sure if the scent is stll around, though.

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Douglas nails hands feet everyday’s darling moisturizing hand balm: a good hand cream, but ultimately nothing special. Flowery scent that isn’t too overpowering.

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MAC Mineralize Foundation Compact: by now there are several Mineralize Foundations available. I fell for the compact version (it’s creamy, not dry) and used it so much that it’s already empty. 😦

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The sad rest. The compact comes with a sponge. That sponge is still untouched, because I only applied this with a brush. The coverage can be adjusted depending on which brush is used. For a natural, medium coverage I used MAC 130, for a stronger coverage the Shiseido foundation brush or my newest brush, the Zoeva Silk Finish.

On the one hand I am sad it lasted only about a year, on the other hand it’s a good idea to use it up fast, because such a cream is more exposed than a bottle and could get bad faster. The cream contains a bit of alcohol, enbough that I could smell it at first. It seemed to evaporate over time. It’s not that I got used to it, because the same week I used this one up, I opened the next one and that one had the alcohol smell again. So if you’re sensitive to alcohol, this is not the foundation for you, but like I said, it evaporates, so I’m not too concerned about it.

Already repuchased, this is the foundation that works best for me. Long lasting, good coverage, does not emphasize dry parts. It’s not mattifying; f you’re looking for something for oily skin, check out the liquid versions.

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Ebelin nail polish remover pads acetone free: these were merely okay. I liked the older ones better, but they changed the formula.

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Lis of ingredients. For now no repurchase.

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Marionnaud Cleansing Micellar Water: I bought this travel size back when I was looking for a cheaper version of the Lancome Micellar Cleanser. I have since found it in the Garnier one. It took me forever to use up this Marionnaud one, because I found it awful. It has a nasty alcoholic smell, it feels nasty and drying on skin and it removed makeup only so-so. I kept it for emergencies and as you can see, there were enough of them to make it finally empty. Would not buy again.

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Last one for this month: Biotherm Lait de Douche. It’s the shower milk with that lovely soft citrus smell of theirs. That smell must be popular not only with me, since they have released a matching perfume spray this year. Apart from the smell, the milk also feels lovely on the skin.

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Back view with list of ingredients. Click the pic to enlarge. It contains salicylic acid, which explains the smooth feeling afterwards? Maybe? Or maybe the dose is too small and it’s only anti-inflammatory, which is also great.

Like I said I’m on a shower gel no buy, but I wouldn’t say no to getting this one as a gift. 😉

These were my empties of the last month, quite good, eh? Empties always make me feel so accomplished! 😀

 

Dior Nude Air

Dior Nude Air

Well, we’ve had exciting days on the internet, haven’t we? Is it black and blue or is it white and gold? I guess it shows why it’s always a good idea to cross-check color swatches. You wouldn’t want to order a white and gold looking eyeshadow duo only for it to end up a smoky navy and black! Anyway I promise the photos in this post are as color accurate as I could get them. 🙂

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(picture: Dior)

Today I want to talk about Dior‘s new foundation: Nude Air. It’s a serum kind of foundation, lightweight and silky, like Armani’s Maestro (which I think was the first of that kind?). Similar to Armani, it also comes with a dropper.

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I have got a cute little tester of the shade 10. I managed to snap a pic of it before I got it all messy. Because somehow the foundation inside was expanding and started to flow out of the container right after I took this pic. So my advice is, do not put your Nude Air into the sunlight, keep it cool. Despite that, I managed to get over two weeks worth of foundation out of it and I don’t think the foundation was damaged.

On to swatches:

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Swatch of Nude Air 10. Honestly I’m in love with the color. Dior is quickly becoming my best bet of a color match. If this is gently blended out you can barely see it.

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Color comparisons: Top still Nude Air 10, underneath Dior BB Creme 01, last is MAC Mineralize Compact NC 15. The BB is the pinkest of the bunch.

Despite how it might look in the swatch up there, the foundation does not have a dewy finish. I’d say it dries down to a semi-matte finish. Like probably most serum foundations, the oils evaporate quickly upon application, leaving only pigment behind. It’s a good idea to blend quickly, but I had no problem with streaks.

Because of the finish I didn’t need powder on top. Sometimes my nose would get shiny at midday, but not always. Of course, it is still winter here. I imagine powder might be needed in summer. I think this is a good one for normal to combination skin. I can’t promise it works for oily skin, but it’s totally worth a try. My skin became drier the longer I used it. The first few days it looked okay, then I noticed dry patches in the evening. It does not emphasize dry skin extremely (Armani, I’m looking at you) but it’s clearly visible. But not from the start; the first half of the day looked pretty flawless.

The coverage surprised me. I expected medium coverage, but it is medium to strong on me. Some days I didn’t even need concealer. However, this could be because I have a decant and the oils might evaporate faster than in the original bottle. (This is my general advice to get stronger coverage from a liquid: make a decant.) Still, you can get quite a bit of coverage from this.

Overall verdict: really good. Good coverage, weightless feel, some oil control properties, did not seem to emphasize wrinkles.

Downside: while there is a perfect match for me, there don’t seem to be a lot of shades.

Honestly if it wasn’t for my dry skin I’d have a fullsize of this faster than you can say “Dior”. I might still get it for summer, but right now the BB Creme is better for my skin.

Guerlain Spring 2015: Meteorites Baby Glow

Guerlain Spring 2015: Meteorites Baby Glow

Out of Guerlain‘s Spring releases I was most interested in the new foundation, called Meteorites Baby Glow. My highly beloved Dior BB Creme is about to run out and this release looked like it might be a worthy rival.

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The Baby Glow (pic by Guerlain) comes in a tube with a pump (just like Guerlain’s BB Creams) and offers SPF 25 PA ++. That’s  not super high but pretty good for everyday in my books.

 

Color

So I got my fingers on a sample of the lightest color, 02 Clair. And this time I remembered to make color swatches before the sample ran out! See, I can learn!

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Unblended, heavy swatch of Guerlain Meteorites Baby Glow in Clair.

Comparison swatches:

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In the shade, from top to bottom: Baby Glow, Dior BB Creme, MAC Mineralize Compact NC 15.

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Same swatch in direct sunlight. I picked up less of the MAC foundation so it looks like it has less coverage, but that is not the case. The Mineralize has the most coverage out of those three. Colorwise you can see NC 15 is a lot more yellow. It’s a tad too yellow for me, but the MAC NW is way too pink for me.

The Dior BB (middle) is the pinkest, Baby Glow is the peachiest. When blended out on the face, the differences aren’t so huge. I think I can wear Baby Glow without looking too orange and in summer it might be a good color match. All in all, Baby Glow in Clair offers a much lighter color of foundation than Guerlain’s Lingerie de Peau BB Cream, which is closer to MAC NC 20. I have never managed to sample Guerlain’s other BB Cream, the one in the blue tube, but I think it also offers a light color. So if you’re lighter than NC 20 that one and Baby Glow are worth taking a look at.

 

Consistency

Baby Glow comes with a very modern finish, the kind that was introduced with Armani’s Maestro foundation and can be found in many new releases. It’s very liquidy with a silky feel, but on skin the liquid evaporates quickly, leaving me with only color and a semi-matte finish. I have to blend quickly for a seamless finish, but I’m pretty happy with the result. I think the new Dior foundation has a similar texture.

The finish is not, as the name would have you believe, very glowy. The Lingerie de Peau BB Cream has a much glowier finish, and it’s also much creamier. The finish of Baby Glow is comparable to Chanel’s Les Beiges finish. It leaves you with a subtle glow from within, no overt shine or shimmer. I like the finish a lot and I think it’ll be good in summer (when the Dior BB Creme leaves me a bit too shiny). Right now it is winter and so far it holds up very well. Once I had to powder my nose at midday and I expect that would be more common in summer.

 

Coverage

Coverage is light to medium, like the Dior BB Creme. It offers much more coverage than Armani Maestro and less than my MAC Mineralize. I wouldn’t use it on days with bad breakouts.

 

Call

Absolutely worth trying; sadly expensive. I might splurge on it in the future when my BB runs out…

Little Basics Haul

Little Basics Haul

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Today I have a little haul to share, three basic items:

1. MAC Mineralize Compact Foundation: this was my foundation discovery of 2014. I used it so much that I already hit pan on my first one. It’s nowhere near empty, but I bought a back up anyway.

2. MAC Prep + Prime Lip: So far I used either nothing or lip balm underneath a lipstick, but at the moment most of my balms are colored and I thought I’d try a proper primer.

3. Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion: My MAC eye primer didn’t really work for me and as Urban Decay is now available in Austria I picked it up. So far I’m happy with it.

And that was the haul. Sorta unglamorous, but helpful basics. Which are your must-have basics?

Best Of 2014: the Dandy picks

Best Of 2014: the Dandy picks

In my Best Of 2014 Pt. 2 I’ll list only a few things which I liked a lot/used a lot this year.

Foundation: MAC Mineralize Compact

Somehow I still haven’t managed to snap a pic of this, despite the fact that I used it almost every day. Sorry. In 2014 I was on a hunt for the perfect foundation and up until that point I wasn’t even aware MAC had Compact Foundations. I also wasn’t aware that a compact foundation might be the one for me. I’d always used liquids or mousse. But thanks to a great MAC MUA I have my perfect long lasting, good coverage foundation which plays nice with dry patches and doesn’t get too oily either. Downside: I already hit pan and will need a new one next year and it contains alcohol.

 

Skincare: Lancome Advanced Genifique

The samples I had were convincing, sadly the price of a full size is steep. It contains something called LHA, a hydroxy acid patented by L’Oreal.

 

Lipstick: Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet

My lipstick discovery of the year was matte and semi-matte lipsticks and the range I used most over the whole year was Chanel’s. My most used colors were L’Exuberante and La Diva.

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Nailpolish: I love metallic shimmers. The two colors I enjoyed wearing the most were Essie No Place Like Chrome and OPI Just Spotted the Lizard:

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Blush: I’m an avid blush wearer; I love them all. Most worn was probably Bobbi Brown Desert Pink because it is such a universal color.

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Mascara: My most used mascara this year was Chanel Le Volume Khaki Bronze. I’m afraid I’ll run out soon. The color is so useful to me, because it’s not as harsh as black. Yet it gives a lot of definition and volume. On the lashes it is darker than it looks like on the wand. And it is easy to remove!

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Eyeliner: This was a toss up between MAC Smolder and Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof in Santal, but I think MAC’s Khol is even more useful, especially on the waterline.

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Hair: I had no real hair favorites yet, although I’m currently using a wonderful shampoo. I’ll talk about it next year.

Perfume: In 2014 I really (re-)discovered perfume and I learned so much! I don’t really feel qualified to choose one I loved most this year. The brand I used most was definitely Guerlain.

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Dr Brandt CC Mat

Dr Brandt CC Mat

Dr Brandt offers two different lines of CC Cream: CC Glow (pink packaging) and CC Mat (grey packaging). I got testers of CC Mat and I’ve been using them on and off since July.

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This is the last pack. I received the color “light to medium”; I’m pretty sure both lines of CC cream also have a “medium to dark”. You can see a bit of the color left on top. At first I was critical if the color would work for me; light to medium is usually too dark. However, it spread out pretty thin and the coverage is light, so it worked.

I think I’m writing this review backwards. Let’s get the stats: This is a CC cream, meaning it has skin care properties and is supposed to help with discolorations. It comes with SPF 30 PA +++, and it comes flesh-toned. There are two sorts of CC creams if you ask me, one type comes in soft pastel colors, which makes them primers. The others come in flesh tones, which means you can use them instead of foundation (or as primer).

I’ve been using this instead of foundation. The coverage is light, but it’s there. The color of “light to medium” matches up to MAC NC 20, that was the shade of concealer I was using along with this CC cream. But when I fell back to NC 15, it worked as well, so there’s certainly a range of tones it works with.

At first I tried to use it on its own, without any primer or moisturizer underneath, but I found it sinks into pores and highlights them instead of hiding them. So a pore-filling primer was a must. And that’s why this CC Mat does not work as a primer itself. But with a primer underneath I was pretty happy with it. For a while I’ve combined it with the By Terry CC Lumi Serum, that gave the prettiest result.

The product is mattifying as the name suggests and it did control the shininess on my nose. Since our summer wasn’t overly hot this year and my skin isn’t that oily to begin with (my nose gets shiny throughout the day, usually I need to blot twice) I cannot promise it works with very oily skin. I didn’t have to blot during the day while wearing this, though. Since it is mattifying and I applied all over my face I was afraid it might be drying on the cheeks. But that didn’t happen.

Since I used it with a pore-filling primer to keep it from sinking in I cannot say if it had any positive effects on skin, but it didn’t have any negative effects.

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The back with a long list of ingredients. Click to enlarge.

All in all I think this is a pretty good product. I won’t buy a full size because I prefer better coverage, but I think it’s worth checking out if you’re looking for only a little bit of color in a mattifying cream with sun protection.

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau BB

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau BB

Somehow I did not even notice that Guerlain offer a BB Cream until there were already two. I have tested the older one, Lingerie de Peau BB Beauty Booster (not to be confused with the Lingerie de Peau foundation). It can be found among the makeup and comes in a flesh colored packaging. The new one, Super Aqua BB cream, comes in blue packaging and can be found among the rest of the Super Aqua skin care line.

(picture from guerlain.com)

I must apologize for the lack of pics, I was so greedy and used up the whole sample on my face. Sadly, the BB cream comes in only two colors. The lighter 01 pretty much matches up to a MAC NC 20, maybe it’s even a touch lighter. I am usually NC 15, but in summer I get close to NC 20.

The BB comes with SPF 30 and PA +++ in a 40 ml tube (for comparison, my beloved Dior BB Creme comes in 30 ml).

The finish is glowy and I mean it. If you’re looking for a matte face, this will not work. Immediately after application I looked fresh and luminous and wonderful. But two hours in my nose would be super shiny. After experimenting around with mattifying primers and powder I found the best way to keep the shine controlled was in fact achieved by applying a Guerlain terracotta powder all over. Sneaky, Guerlain! The finish of this BB is the absolutely only reason I do not own a full size yet. The problem is that it’s too shiny for summer and in winter I am too pale. If Guerlain offered it one shade lighter it would be perfection. So, my recommendation: only for people with dry skin!

Coverage is medium – full. Most days I didn’t even need additional concealer. It’s easy to apply and blend with fingers.

The best thing about it is that I didn’t need anything else. I have lots of trouble getting up in the morning and will love anything that shortens my bathroom time. Due to the high SPF I didn’t need any additional sunscreen, due to the moisturizing properties I didn’t need any additional face cream and due to the good coverage I could skip concealer. So my routine was wash face – put on Guerlain BB cream. Wonderful!

My skin loved it, no clogged pores, no dryness.

Lasting power was not so great due to the finish. I had to touch up twice a day (in summer heat. When I tested this it was the only hot weeks we had this year at all!)

In short: amazing product if you can deal with the finish.

Foundation Reviews

Foundation Reviews

I’ve been procrastinating on this post so hard, oh my. When I ran out of my Catrice Foundation I had to find a new one, because that one had been discontinued. I thought, well how hard can it be? Very, very hard, it turns out.

For preparation I rewatched Lisa Eldridge’s Foundation Course, which is so helpful. And I decided to ask for samples, like she suggests. Asking for samples in Douglas stores gets you gentle “no”s at best and bewildered stares at worst. Then I went over to Marionnaud and was very pleasantly surprised. I did not even have to ask for a sample. When we decided which foundation might be best for me, the SA walked away and I was like “what” but then she came back with a little pot and filled it with foundation, while apologizing it was probably only going to be enough for two uses, but there wasn’t enough left. Usually they give you samples for three uses at least, I have discovered. So, yay, I got to test some stuff!

 

Clarins Foundation Teint Haute Tenue (=Everlasting Foundation)

This comes with SPF 15. The coverage is on the strong side, between medium and full I would say. The finish is mattifying, but still sort of dewy, if that makes any sense. It lasted through the whole work day, only rubbed off on the sides of my nose. It emphasized the dry skin parts a lot. I’d say it is best for normal to oily skin.

 

Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup

Also SPF 15. This feels so amazing upon application, unlike anything else I used so far. The color selection is also pretty great. The coverage is light, it covers my pores, but not any blemishes. It offers less coverage than my Dior BB Creme. The finish is completely matte, emphasized dry skin. This is best for people with oily skin who don’t want much coverage, imo.

 

YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation

Do you know this situation, where you applied make up in the morning, then spend the day kicking around, not looking at yourself in the mirror, and then maybe you go out in the evening and you get home sometime past midnight and you see yourself in the mirror and think: “OMG D:” or is it just me?

So, when I applied this foundation and did what I described above and then looked at myself in the mirror in the middle of the night I went: “OMG :D”! I now understand why many celebs swear by this. Somehow this foundation looks better after several hours of wearing than it does when you apply it. I don’t know how, but I swear it happened to me.

Has SPF 19, light coverage (like the Maestro above), dewy finish. It’s not mattifying, does not emphasize dry skin. I really want a full size of this, but since the coverage is less than what my Dior BB Creme offers, I refrained. I might buy it when the BB Creme runs out. Best for dry skin. Does not emphasize fine lines.

 

At this point in my research I had swatched almost every high end foundation. Everything by Chanel was out for being too dark, except for the new Les Beiges Fluid, which doesn’t really have any coverage, I think it’s more of a primer. Everything by Clinique is pink or orange, Shiseido had some good stuff, but again not enough coverage. I didn’t think it was that hard to find something with medium coverage that is not drying.

So I purchased the Maybelline Fit Me Liquid Foundation on a whim.

It comes with SPF 18 and has a good range of colors. The lightest, 105, is only a little too dark for me. Sadly, the coverage is light and the worst thing about it is that two hours in, my nose turns shiny and no touch ups on earth help. And as you probably noticed reading this post, my skin is mostly dry. I even wore mattifying primer. I don’t know what’s up with that.

 

Finally I found my new holy grail foundation, completely on accident:

I let the MAC Makeup Artist do my face and she looked at my skin and said “You’re more on the dry side, hm?” and then she pulled out a compact foundation and I was like “but aren’t these drying?” and she explained to me that all the MAC liquid foundations are oil-free and it’s the compacts that are made for dry skin. Well this explains why the liquids never worked out for me.

MAC Mineralize Foundation Compact

SPF 15, medium coverage, not drying, does not emphasize dry skin. Can emphasize fine lines, when applied too much. Thin layers are the key. Lasts very well, needs to be taken off carefully or it will clog pores.

 

And while I’m at it, the foundations I already owned:

Clinique Anti Blemish Solutions liquid makeup

Too dark and too orange, but still the best emergency acne makeup: Strong coverage, absolutely mattifying. When I really want to make sure my nose does not get shiny I apply this without any primer. Lasts all day. Dries the skin something horrible, can not be worn two days in sequence. Emphasizes dry skin, aggravates dry skin, makes it look redder. Can look very cakey. What I do is, I use this on my nose and chin when I get really bad break outs and do the rest of the face with something else.

Does not list SPF, but includes Titanium Dioxide and Iron Oxides, so I believe it does offer some sort of sun protection.

 

Diorskin Forever Fluid:

SPF 25. The name is program, this is another one that needs to be cleaned off well at the end of the day. Medium Coverage. Sometimes my nose gets really shiny and sometimes not. Might be connected to primer/powder. I wouldn’t call this either matte or dewy. This would in fact be my go-to foundation if the lightest color wasn’t too dark for me. This thing oxidises into an orange tint. I checked it on photos and it’s not noticable there, but I notice it in the mirror. 😦 I use this in summer when my skin is darker (does not usually happen) or together with the Clinique Anti Blemish.

Diorskin Forever Compact:

Also SPF 25. This is what I keep at work for touch ups. The color, even though it is the same number as in the fluid (010) is absolutely perfect for me. It’s light enough and it doesn’t change. It’s mattifying and gives good coverage, on the strong side of medium I’d say. But I think it’s too dry to use it as a foundation in the morning as opposed to only doing touch ups with it.

 

I also have a mini size of Benefit’s Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow, but it’s really too dark for me, so I didn’t even test it properly. I also tried Lancome’s Teint Miracle, but it has way too little coverage.

And that’s it! If you made it here, you deserve a cookie. Thank you for reading and sorry for the lack of pics, but I used up the samples completely.