Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Lashes Mascara


Okay, so I’m on the internet and all these fools are declaring BEST MASCARA I EVER USED and I’m trying to find out WHO got paid… because really? Here’s the thing, this mascara is not bad. And it’s actually better than Charlotte’s first effort, which… lets face it… was kind of Shu Uemura Basic. Because Miss Tilbury is such an earnest salesperson, it’s no surprise that the first mascara gained traction quickly. I’m sure this one will too.

But best mascara I ever used?


First, I’m kinda mad that the tube is plastic. Charlotte gets you all jazzed to be damned with the fantastic compact that holds the Bronze & Glow and even the heavy frosted glass bottle for the Magic Foundation… and then this. Raggedy. And there’s really no excuse because Armani has those original gunmetal tubes even Too Faced has that epic pink metal mascara tube… so this was disappointing. You want to call a mascara LEGENDARY… first I’m gonna need some legendary packaging. Not this plastic mess with the lashes drawn on it. Girl bye.

Charlotte claims the mascara doesn’t clump. This is not true. I’ve been using it for a week, and there has been ONE OCCASION where it did not clump at my lashline. That’s the thing. There are no clumps for me at the end of the lashes, but I’ve had the worst time with it at the base. To compensate, I’ve been applying it just beyond instead of right at the roots, and that seems to work better for me.

Formula wise, this is a good mascara. But it’s not the best. The formula is ‘wet’ so you have to be careful about holding still for a couple of seconds while it dries. Incidentally, Tilbury’s original mascara formula was drier and layered better. This one claims two coats, and it’s best to stick with that because any more and your lashes are gonna look a mess. This was illustrated on Charlotte’s OWN video, when she did the doll lashes. Observe about 2:41 in:

She did that herself, and kept it in the video, so I need everyone to shut up about how this doesn’t clump because I sure see some lashes all kinds of stuck together. I was sitting there scratching my head and pointing like but… but…

And because she’s such an epic salesperson, there’s always some ‘special’ ‘secret’ ‘magic’ blend to all of this (even if there isn’t. Beautypedia gave the Magic Cream two stars for exaggerating claims and what not). Obviously this is an effective marketing strategy because damn if I don’t hear people waxing on about the same every time they use something of hers. Please understand that I am a MASSIVE fan of this brand, but I’m not gonna sit up here and pretend that everything is everything because… well… it’s not.

fotd legendary

This is a decent mascara. If you’re into Volume de Chanel (worse), Too Faced (better) or Armani (much better) you’re going to be just fine with this mascara. The price point and performance are absolutely on par with market offerings. If you love Charlotte and just want to have something of hers, I’m not going to discourage you from picking this up… if you can handle that cheap lil’ tube. But it’s not Legendary (I’m mad she went there) because for all the technology we have access to in makeup and skin care, this should have been better.


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MatchMaker: Maybelline Fit Me Foundation

You guys know it’s a rare day when I traipse through the aisles of the local drug store in search of makeup… especially foundation. I haven’t really found a drugstore foundation that performed for me on the same level as its luxury counterparts, in terms of formula, color selection, and performance…

I was hesitant to believe the hype about Maybelline’s new ‘Fit Me’ Foundation. Especially because it’s impossible to know if a foundation is a perfect match, unless you try it on. That’s my other issue with drugstore makeup… you can’t try it before you buy it.

Fortunately, I’m pretty good at spotting my color. So on my last trip to Target, I picked up the foundation in color 320. It looked like a pretty close match to my skin tone.

This is the swatch on my inner arm, which is about a half shade lighter than my face. I guessed at the color in the store, and swatched it when I got home. To my relief, it was a match.

I applied it with my fingers, and found the coverage sheer to medium. It’s buildable, but stays at a solid medium coverage. I tried later with a foundation brush, and got a slightly fuller coverage. But it’s not going to cover ‘everything.’

It also doesn’t really set on my oily skin. I had to powder to get it to set properly. This foundation  might be better suited to normal to dry skin types. Once on, the foundation got a little ‘tacky’ – I imagine that’s its reaction to my oily skin. If I wore this for a long period of time, I’d likely prime my skin first to make sure the foundation stayed on.

What I like about this foundation is the color match, the consistency (even though it’s oil based, it feels water based. Very light), and the ‘skin-like’ finish. I also like the fact that this foundation line accounts for undertones. They range from pink to nearly orange… so hopefully, there’s a ‘fit’ for a wide range of skintones.

What I don’t like about this foundation is the lack of pump… but for 7 dollars I’m not going to really complain that much. I also don’t like the fact that it didn’t set for me without help. I can potentially see this foundation sliding off my skin without a primer or a powder to keep it there. In the foundation’s defense, I’m VERY oily… so keep that in mind. If you don’t have a problem with high oil production like I do, you probably won’t have an issue keeping this foundation on.

Overall, it’s a good buy. For color match and performance, you can’t beat the price. I recommend it for people who don’t need to match their foundations ahead of time (those folks who can spot their color-match on sight), for those who don’t wish to spend a lot of $$ on foundation, and for those with normal to dry skin.

Kudos to Maybelline. They did good with this one.

Review: Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua

This is not for everyone.

In fact, Chanel has guaranteed this fact by making a shade of foundations so limited, that the darkest shade is still nearly a full shade too light for me… and I’m medium-toned.

What year is it?

These foundations are currently on display and ready for sale at Nordstrom stores across Southern California. But there are NO testers. I’m almost wondering if that’s on purpose. The Vita Lumiere Aqua is meant to replace the Teint Innocence line, which also featured a limited color range. I guess Chanel simply wasn’t interested in evolving on this one. That color you see is NOT the color of the foundation; all the bottles are small (one ounce) and opaque.

You actually have to open the bottle (after you shake it up to mix the formula) to get the true color:

That color is Beige Sienne (or 5.0). That is the DARKEST shade in this foundation formula. I was pretty bummed about it, because I really wanted to test this foundation by itself. But I can’t wear it without a dark primer or a darker bronzer around the edges of my face. Otherwise it just won’t work.

The foundation range comes with two different undertones: Beige (yellow)  and Beige Rose (pink). The range is from 1.0 (the lightest) to 5.0 (the darkest).

It applies light and even, and blends down to a powder almost immediately. In fact, Chanel MUA’s do not recommend that you use this foundation with a brush because it’s already set by the time you start trying to move it around on your face. So you apply with fingers, and blend. It’s quick and easy to apply, with sheer to medium coverage. This foundation is nothing like its Vitalumiere sister, which sets to a shiny finish. This one sets unmistakably matte.

Despite the limited color range, I did get the darkest color to try with a primer (normally I use MUFE #4). I should also mention the scent of this product… it smells distinctly like Iris perfume. I think that Chanel is trying to imitate Guerlain with the foundation fragrance.

If you’re my shade or darker, just pass this foundation by. It’s not worth fighting with the color. The formula is good… but certainly not enough to spend $45 for something that doesn’t match your skin. This is for the fair skinned beauties… no doubt about it.

I am sad that Chanel chose to go with such a limited color range. It would have been nice to include ALL beauties in the creation of this new foundation.

Totally Random:

I found a discontinued bottle of ‘Trapeze’ nail polish while poking around a department store. I never got the shade when it came out about 3 years ago. So, OF COURSE I snapped it right up! Lovely color… gold based taupe. Highly reflective and very flattering. I love it.

The New Meteorites: Guerlain Goes Gold

Some posts back… I did a review on the original Meteorites from Guerlain (which I still have). The ‘new’ version came out with the last Holiday Collection, but I ignored it because I felt like they wouldn’t be much different from the old version.

I was wrong.

I got the one in Dore (gold). I was stressed because I thought it was going to go glitterbomb on me. But it doesn’t. There are enough matte balls in the mix to tone the shimmer down. In fact, the shimmer is less apparent than in the original formula. Yayy!!

I tried to swatch it… but it really doesn’t show up on camera. I have to go to a fashion show tonight for a local magazine. I’ll use it in practical application then, so you guys can see that it really balances out the skin without adding any color.

Better than the original… for sure. And the packaging doesn’t hurt either. I’d once complained about the cardboard box that the original Meteorites came in. This one is packaged better, and formulated better to boot! It’s a keeper.

Flawless Start: The Best Foundations

For me, a good foundation is EVERYTHING. The rest of the makeup doesn’t matter if the base isn’t properly set. Bad foundation can ruin the most creative looks because in the end… the eye is drawn to the flaws in the canvas, not whatever’s painted on top of it.

I spent much of 2010 gathering, experimenting with, and making decisions about foundations. The following, to me, are the best in their respective classes. I couldn’t choose just one, because I use different foundations for different things. Here are my favorites:

Guerlain Parure Gold is just luxurious. There is no better word to describe it. It goes on with smooth, even, medium to full coverage. It smells distinctly of violets and sets to a semi-matte finish. Often, I can wear this foundation on my oily skin without powder to set it. It wears beautifully for an average of 5-8 hours with no touch up. The packaging is divine, though a bit impractical. It comes in a heavy black glass bottle (with clear sides to indicate fluid level). It’s gorgeous to display, but I can see it being a problem if you happen to drop it. That is the only negative thing I can say about this foundation.The price may also scare you off ($78). Otherwise, it’s perfect.
Estee Lauder Double Wear Light quickly shot to the top of my list as one of the best foundations on the market. It lacks the presentation and luxurious feeling of Guerlain, but makes up for that in performance. This foundation is idiot-proof. It goes on smooth and even, sets to a soft finish, and doesn’t really move until you take it off. It also has the most natural finish I’ve seen in a foundation, in a long time. The tube holds less product than Guerlain, but it’s also about $25 cheaper (average price: $52). And if you happen to drop this container, no problem. Even with the top off, the foundation stays in the tube. 

Kevyn Aucoin’s Sensual Skin Enhancer gives the most natural full coverage of any foundation I’ve ever worked with. There isn’t really anything on the market like this. It comes in a small container (about an ounce) but you use SO LITTLE of this foundation that its size is a non-issue. You can use this foundation as that, a concealer, or sheer it out with face lotion to create a tinted moisturizer. It never loses color integrity, and adheres to your skin in such a way that it looks completely natural. Many people may take issue with this foundation because it’s so unusual, and requires a bit of practice to master. But I promise you, the effort is worth the payoff. I get so many compliments when I use this foundation. It’s a good one. And at $45, it’s cheaper than some of its less performing counterparts.
This is meant to be a bronzer for fairer skin tones. But it works PERFECTLY as a tinted moisturizer for medium to darker skin tones. This product is genius because it’s not just a bronzer, it’s also an anti-aging moisturizer. I love this stuff! I have used this more often than not… especially in the summer when it’s too hot to wear much more than a little tint on the skin. This bronzer evens out my skintone and gives me the appearance of a flawless complexion. It tops my list of every bronzer AND tinted moisturizer that I’ve ever used. The only frightening thing about this bronzer is the price ($125), so you might want to consider that before you commit to purchase. Otherwise, I say go for it. It’s definitely an investment, but for me, the results far outweigh the price.
One of the KEY FACTORS in all of these brands (with the exception of By Terry) were the undertones and the color ranges. All of them feature warmer undertones, which is a plus for anyone with yellow, orange, or even red undertones. They also feature a healthy selection for fair skinned beauties. With the exception of Bobbi Brown (who normally makes my list but was outdone this time), it’s difficult to gauge a perfect foundation based on color alone… because often no consideration is taken regarding undertones. Bobbi Brown used to lead the market with consideration for undertones. Now, it appears she has some very worthy competition.
That’s it! Those are my picks for a flawless start to 2011. Ciao for now!

Covet Worthy: Lorac Red Carpet Reveal

I’m pretty late to the party with Lorac. Like Vincent Longo, I noticed the brand many moons ago… and nothing really moved me. So I moved on. I feel like Lorac is so underrated… excellent quality for the most part — but no real advertising. I feel like people just don’t know enough about the brand to pay any real attention to it. Perhaps it’s just as well. Maybe Lorac should just exist on word of its excellent quality and word of mouth.
I managed to score the last Red Carpet Reveal Palette from a local beauty supply store (they also sell them at Sephora and ULTA):

The palette contains three shadows, one blush and a dual ended brush. The thing that moved me about this palette was the consistency of the product. OH MAH GAWD… the shadows are like creamy silk! Just divine to touch and to blend. Ditto for the blush. It goes on sheer but like the shadows, the color is totally buildable. All of the colors feature a subtle shimmer (not glitter). That lightest color looks more tan/yellow in the pot, but I’ll tell you that it swatches more of a pale champagne. Good for a highlight on light to medium tones. Not so good for the darker skin tones. But the two  middle colors are truly universal. I love them both… warm medium brown and warm dark brown. That rose blush is pretty universal too. Next time I get a really warm toned model, I’m going to try it on to prove that point.

I absolutely love this palette. It’s totally foolproof, and a really lovely way to get a face done quickly and efficiently. I can see tossing this on (even using that darkest brown in the brows) and a little gloss, and heading out the door.

I definitely see myself getting some use out of this one.

Covet Worthy: Guerlain Parure (Aqua & Gold)

These foundations deserve to have a cult following. Beyond their DIVINE packaging, the performance of these foundations exceed expectations, and properly earn their place among Luxury Makeup.

I’ll start with the Aqua. The formula is more cream than liquid, and sets soft (not matte). It feels like a luxurious face cream going on. Coverage is medium to full, and easily buildable. What makes this foundation particularly special is the color range. It does more than just range from light beige to dark. There is also a Dore (gold) line for girls with particularly warm undertones (raising my hand). And the best thing about the beige (for those of you who are not really yellow or orange underneath) is that it is truly neutral. Not PINK (I’m looking at you Dior), but neutral.
If there is a downside, it’s this: I’ve heard complaints about the lightest beige even being too dark for fair skin. I cannot feel too bad, because it’s much easier to shop for fair skin than it is to shop for warm, olive, medium, and dark skin. I know this to be true, as I shop for ALL skin ranges and tones on a regular basis (it’s my job). So, let the rainbow coalition have this one. We’ve been waiting a long time for a foundation that both performs on a luxury level, and actually matches our range of skin tones.
Some may also complain about the fragrance. This foundation smells distinctly of violets. I personally love the scent. But if  you’ve got an issue with a heavily perfumed foundation (or think that your skin might react to the fragrance), you may want to pass this by.

You’ve already seen pictures of me in the Parure Gold:

This is the most luxurious foundation I’ve used to date. It eclipses Chanel… and even Armani. Dior couldn’t see this foundation on its best day. By Terry can’t touch it… mostly because of the color range and versatility. The color and effect of this foundation is hard to describe. Although it only comes in the beige line, it features a gold undertone that warms the overall tone up very effectively. That gold undertone also acts as a light deflector (not a shine enhancer), working much like Meteorites to diffuse light around the entire face. The coverage is medium to full… but leans closer to full. Also goes on like a face cream, also smells distinctly of violets. I LOVE it. I’m getting a backup. I’m not kidding.

Neither of these foundations is cheap. But they’re comparable. Parure Aqua is about $60… comparable to both Chanel and Armani. Parure Gold is $78. More expensive than Chanel, but cheaper than By Terry ($105). If you’re going to drop major coin on a foundation… check out Guerlain. If they can match you, do not hesitate to invest in it. It’s truly worth every single penny.