Favorite Things 2012: Flawless Beginnings

I’m a firm believer in a flawless base. I feel like no matter how skilled you are with apply eye colors, blending and drawing the most fabulous lip line on Earth… if I can ‘see’ discrepancies in your base application… the entire effect is lost.

I spend a lot of time (and money) researching the perfect bases that do more than just cover your skin. I’m particularly fond of formulas that work ‘with’ your individual skin type, draw the eye away from imperfections, and look more like ‘skin’ and less like foundation.

 PRIMERS:
I’ve not always been the biggest fan of primers, but with time… I’ve come to appreciate their value.
By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra Primer tops my list because I feel like you can use it on just about everyone. The formula attracts moisture from the air and onto your skin (which even oily types need, believe it or not), and it leaves a matte finish. It smooths out the skin, and sets it up for perfect foundation application.
Laura Mercier Eye Canvas is my favorite for prepping the eyelids. Just a teeny bit works to matte out the lid, so that eyeshadow can really grab it. I have no issues with creasing (or lumpy finishes, like with some other primers) with this formula. I’ve nearly hit the bottom of my little pot… I use it so much. Soon it’ll definitely be time for a new one.
FOUNDATIONS
I’m ever on the hunt for the next greatest foundation formula. I’ve tried so many different kinds… and I have to say this next group of formulations have earned my respect. I consistently reach for them for myself and clients, more than any other.
Oily Skin: 
 Sunday Riley Liquid Light is one of those strange foundations that looks like it won’t do much, until you put it on. It goes on kind of sheer, but it reflects light (so you don’t need much at all) and kind of tricks the eye into thinking the skin is flawless.
Urban Decay NAKED Foundation has a cult following these days… and it’s really no wonder why. The formula really ‘grabs’ your skin, and it doesn’t budge until you take it off. It’s a great foundation for medium coverage for oily skin types. The ‘only’ drawback for me on this foundation is the ‘feeling.’ I sometimes feel ‘too’ dry when I wear it. But honestly, the formula is so good, that I’ve kind of gotten over it.
Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup continues to amaze me. I’ve now expanded the color range in my kit, because it works so well on so many different skin types. Pros… take note: this formula is insanely easy to blend, if you need to get a perfect shade for an ‘in between’ skin tone. My favorite thing about this foundation is that it imitates ‘skin’ so perfectly. The formula is really thin… and sets almost immediately. Oily skin types don’t need to worry about blotting much with this foundation. It’s nearly perfect. Now, if they come up with shade #9, then it truly will be perfect.
Combination/Dry Skin:
This next group of foundations I find have worked well on a wide range of skin types, but work best on combination or dry skin.
Nars Radiant Tinted Moisturizer is still about the best that I’ve ever come across. The incredible shade range just makes it all the more attractive. It’s got the feeling of a tinted moisturizer but the coverage of a foundation. And it wears beautifully, especially on drier skin types.
YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat quickly rose to the top of my  list for medium to buildable full coverage. This foundation is exquisite because it both covers and reflects light all at once. And it feels wonderful on the skin. It’s truly luxury in a bottle
Not to be outdone, Dolce & Gabanna The Foundation is also really luxurious. This formula is more of a full coverage foundation. The creamy consistency works very well on dry skin types. I’ve even had clients tell me that it feels like I’m ‘nourishing’ their skin with a heavy cream. It sets beautifully and really makes the skin glow.

CONCEALER 
This is one of those handy little things that you should consider, even if you think you don’t need to. Concealer is not just for those with dark undereye circles, or blemishes. It can add light to specific areas of the face, and make you look like you’re naturally radiant. I’ve been using concealer for years, long before someone might think that I actually ‘needed’ to. It just helps to really bring a look together.
Armani Maestro Eraser, much like the makeup, has just blown me away. The formulation is very thin, and needs to be ‘patted’ on. The colors are a little scary… they seem to run from light to white. But it turns out that you can actually use them on a wide range of skin tones. A little goes an extremely long way, and it just adds light wherever you put it, without looking like you’ve done anything at all
Chanel Eclat Lumiere is one of those ‘go to’ products because it’s incredibly easy to use. Like the Armani formulation, a little goes a very long way. You can even carry this little gem with you for quick brightening ‘touch ups’ if you’re taking your makeup from day to night. I’ve found it to be rather indispensable. In fact, I’m on my second pen.
CORRECTOR
 
Anyone who’s been reading my blog for a while, knows by I swear by the Bobbi Brown Corrector. Not much has changed. It’s still the most user friendly, most effective color corrector I’ve ever used. You don’t have to be a pro or have some special skill to use it, and a little bit simply tricks the eye into thinking that the blemish you’re covering doesn’t actually exist. This stuff is priceless.
POWDER
I go around and around and AROUND about powder. Sometimes, formulas that I think are great end up being not so great over time. They react wrong with certain foundation formulas, or give me that dreaded ‘flashback’ which translates into good old fashioned ashy on my warm skin tone. But one powder has consistently delivered: 
Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder is head and shoulders above the competition. It sets my makeup perfectly. The color in #02 is a bit yellow, which is perfect for my skin tone. There is no flashback, and a little goes a long way. My only complaint is that I wish it came in a bigger jar. Other than that, it’s perfect.
That’s it! Those are my top choices for getting a truly flawless finish. Ciao for now!

Flawless Finish: Dolce & Gabbana Liquid Luminous Foundation

Type: Liquid Foundation
Skin Type: Normal to Dry
Coverage: Medium to Medium-Full (Buildable)

I think that for every foundation review going forward, I’ll list them in terms of skin type and coverage. I have been testing this foundation out for the last 3 weeks or so, and I feel that I can make such a judgement on it by now.

One of the best things about this foundation is that the colors run parallel to the Dolce & Gabbana Cream Foundation. So my color is exactly the same… Soft Tan. Takes all of the guesswork out of choosing your foundation color in this brand. Love that.

It comes in a typical pump bottle… about 1oz of product. The consistency of this foundation is thick and creamy. It reminds me a LOT of the YSL Teint Eclat foundation.

See… pretty full coverage. Because I am so oily, I’m not a fan of wearing this foundation during the day. Like YSL Teint Eclat, I prefer this for nighttime, when it’s cooler and maybe I want a more dramatic coverage. It has the same type of coverage as Teint Eclat … medium and easily buildable to full. I’ve had great success building it to a full coverage, and still maintaining the integrity and intended finish of the foundation.

Special thanks to Shontay for putting this foundation on my radar. It’s quite lovely. You can find out more about Dolce & Gabbana Liquid Luminous Foundation HERE.

FOTD: Strange Smoke

I dipped into the Senna Vivid Palette… with no plan. So I ended up with an interesting color mix for a strange little smokey eye…

FACE
Chantecaille Future Skin (Banana)
Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder
IMAN Blush/Bronzer in Afterglow
EYES
Senna Vivid Envelope: 
Ember Eyeshadow (lids/under waterline)
Incense Eyeshadow (inner crease)
Suspense Eyeshadow (outer crease)
Essence Eyeshadow (brow bone)
YSL Shocking Pen Liner (lashline)
Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Pencil in Lucky (waterline)
Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara
LIPS
Dolce & Gabbana Fusion Lipstick in Dazzle

FOTD: Eco Chic

This Nvey Duo is much cooler than Earthly Desire… but I still like it. I just have to be careful about the ‘cool’ factor of these kinds of colors because they can definitely go ashy if I’m not careful.

FACE
Dolce & Gabbana The Foundation (Soft Tan)
Dolce & Gabbana Pressed Powder (Almond)
By Terry Rouge Terrybly in Sexy Plum
EYES
Nvey Eco Color Duo in Eco Chic:
Taupe on the lids
White blended through crease
Kevyn Aucoin Essential Pencil in White on waterline
Kevyn Aucoin Curling Mascara
LIPS
By Terry Lipstick in Kiss Me Quick

FOTN: New Years Eve

While most of the makeup mavens decided to pile on tons of glitter, shimmer, and more glitter… I went a different route.
Hubby and I dined here:

…and the atmosphere called for something a little less… ostentatious. So I used some of my favorites from the new MAC Daphne Guinness collection to get the job done.

FACE
Dolce & Gabbana The Foundation
Dolce & Gabanna Powder Foundation
MAC Blush Ombre in Vintage Grape
EYES
MAC Pigment in Aurora (lids)
MAC Pigment in Nebula (crease)
Tarte Eye Pencil in Black (lashline/outer crease/under waterline)
Guerlain Retractable Eye Pencil in Gold (waterline)
Guerlain Noir G Mascara
LIPS
MAC Lipstick inVioletta
MAC Cremesheen Glass in Narcissus

FOTD: Printemps

I used the rest of my favorite from the Chanel Spring 2012 Collection for this FOTD:

FACE
Dolce & Gabbana The Foundation (Soft Tan)
Koh Gen Do Translucent Powder
Chanel Horizon Blush
Chanel Highlighter in Jasmine
EYES
Chanel Single Eyeshadow in Tigerlily (lids)
Chanel Eclosion Quad: 
Burgundy in outer crease
Gold in Inner Crease
Grenat Eye Pencil on lashline and waterline
Guerlain Retractable Eye Pencil in waterline (#1)
Chanel Sublime Mascara

LIPS
Chanel Glossimer in Bagatelle

Favorite Things 2011: Foundations & Powders

It has been quite the journey this year. Just when I thought I knew everything about foundations… several brands came out and totally surprised me. I’ll break my favorites down by formula…

STICK: Tom Ford Traceless Stick Foundation

This foundation has made me fall in love with stick formulas all over again. It’s full coverage, but perfectly weightless. And it really is TRACELESS. It blends through with the ease of a cream, and sets softly matte on my oily skin. It wears well all day, with minimal need for touch ups.

LIQUID: Guerlain Parure Gold

 Every time I stray from this foundation, I go back and it impresses me all over again. Guerlain broke the mold with this liquid foundation. It blends out beautifully, sets soft, and really gives your skin an overall ‘glow’ from within. Just stunning. This is an amazing foundation. Everyone should try it at least once.

CREAM: Dolce & Gabbana The Foundation

This foundation is just STUNNING. The coverage (full) is ridiculous, and it wears beautifully. This is a recent discovery for me… and I’m so glad that I gave this foundation a chance. It’s really amazing, and worth every penny.

SILICONE: Armani Face Fabric

This foundation is completely weightless, and imitates the look and feel of perfectly smooth skin. It’s conveniently packed in an easy to use tube, and just a little bit goes a long way. Love this stuff.
POWDER (Loose): Kevyn Aucoin The Gossamer Loose Powder

I’ve been using this powder consistently since I bought it. My color is RADIANT DIAPHANOUS, which is how you’ll typically see it described in my FOTD’s. It’s lightweight and really works to ‘set’ the finish of the makeup, without giving you a powdery or cakey look. The amount of yellow in my particular color really makes my overall look ‘glow.’

POWDER (Pressed): Dolce & Gabbana The Foundation Powder

I am typically not a fan of pressed powders, but this one has blown me away. You can  use it wet (like a foundation) or dry (like a pressed powder). For me, it’s the perfect companion to the cream foundation. Used together, the effect is perfectly airbrushed, without looking overdone.

That’s it! Those are my favorite ‘bases’ for 2011. Ciao for now!