I have never been a great fan of powder foundation, which I tend to find a bit cakey, but let us see if Laura Geller Balance - N- Brighten has changed my mind...
I had wanted to try Laura Geller baked products for a while both because of the raves about them and because of their beautiful marbled patterns, so that I ended up getting a couple of products: Balance - N - Brighten powder foundation in Fair and Blush - N - Brighten blusher in Roseberry (review coming soon).
The Balance - N - Brighten I bought includes a retractable brush made of synthetic bristles, which is very useful to carry in your bag for touch-ups or to apply powder in small areas and for putting on blusher, but which is a bit too small to cover your whole face quickly and effectively.
Shade Fair consists of a marbled pattern of beige, yellow and tan which once applied to my face results in a translucent beige, which looks ever so slightly darker than my skin tone. The powder has a smooth but dry texture that applies sheer but builds well to cover critical areas, even though it takes a few layers to achieve such effect and the more I build it up the more made-up and less natural I look. Even though it feels matte and a bit dry, it leaves a soft glow on skin.
If I apply it without primer it tends to pool into my pores and enhance my few wrinkles just like any powder foundation can do, but if I apply it with a primer it seems to glide over my skin rather then sink into my pores and it looks more natural. After using it for a week I have also experienced few extra breakouts.
Overall I think that this is a good powder foundation, even though it does not wow me or make me change my mind on powder foundations and I still prefer using a tinted moisturizer or a liquid foundation for a more flattering and natural look, at least on my ageing skin. In my opinion this powder may work well on younger combination to oily skin, not prone to breakouts. For the ingredients list check out Laura Geller website www.laurageller.com Laura Geller is sold in the UK by QVC or Umera Cosmetics.
Have you ever tried this product? What do you think?
What about making your own gentle, effective and economic eye makeup remover? Follow this recipe...
Ingredients: 150 ml Deionised Water (or tab water) to make 70 ml camomile tea 1 Camomile tea bag 25 g Rice Bran Oil or Sweet Almond Oil 5 g or 1 tsp gentle and tear free baby shampoo 5 g or 1 tsp Glycerin 0.5 g Phenonip preservative (optional) small bottle
How to make it: First of all wash the bottle that you are going to use as your container with some hot soapy water, boil it for a few minutes so that it will be clean and disinfected and let it cool down .
Boil 150 ml deionised or tab water and infuse one Camomile tea bag in it for a few minutes.
Once your Camomile tea has cooled down pour 70 ml (or 65 g) of it in your bottle, put it on an electronic scale (if you have got one) and add 25 g Rice Bran Oil (£1.50 from Saynsbury) or another oil like Sweet Almond Oil which should not sting your eyes (I also tried Jojoba Oil and Fractionated Coconut Oil but I found that they stung my eyes).
Then add 5 g of a gentle, fragrance and tear-free baby Shampoo such as Nature Babycare ECO Shampoo By Naty (£2.50 from Waitrose) and 5 g of Glycerin.
Ideally you may want to add a preservative like Phenonip (0.5 g) that you can buy on line in the UK from e.g. The Soap Kitchen but if you do not have it, make it sure to store your makeup remover in the fridge for max a week.
How to use:
Shake bottle well, pour liquid on a cotton pad/ball and gently swipe on your eyes to remove all your eye makeup in a whim. Rinse with water.
Store in the fridge for a week if preservative free or for a bit longer if you have added preservative Enjoy and let me know if you make it!
The best complement to cleansing milk is toner and here you are a super easy recipe to make your own Camomile toner to use in combination with your homemade Coconut cleansing milk (see previous post here)!
150 ml Deionised water (or tap water) makes 50 ml toner 2 Camomile tea bags 3 drops or up to 1/2 tsp Cider Vinegar 1 drop Glycerin small bottle
How to make it:
Boil 150 ml of deionised water, which is limescale free and add 2 Camomile tea bags. Let the Camomile infuse for a few minutes or till the liquid has cooled down. Remove the Camomile tea bags and add 3 drops of Cider Vinegar if your skin is dry and sensitive or 1/2 tsp of Cider vinegar if your skin is combination. Add 1 drop of Glycerin to make the toner moisturizing (if you add more then 1 drop you may end up with a sticky toner!).
Pour in a small bottle (I got mine from Boots) and it is ready!
Make a small amount at a time so that you will be able to finish it before it goes off!
You can also add 1/2 tsp of honey if your skin is dry or 1 drop Tea Tree if your skin is prone to breakouts.
Have you run out of your cleansing milk? Why do you not have fun making your own with this super easy, super fast and economic recipe?
Ingredients: 10 tbsp Coconut milk or coconut cream 5 or 10 tsp Corn Flour 70 ml or small bottle
I used Coconut Cream because that was what I found in my cupboard! Coconut Cream (68% Coconut) is slightly thicker than Coconut Milk (60% Coconut).
How to make it:
Open the Coconut Milk or Cream can and stir it well with a spoon in order to blend the coconut part and the water part back together if separated. Pour 10 tablespoons in a clean bowl, add 5 to 10 teaspoons of Corn Flour, depending whether you want it to be runnier or thicker and blend with an electric blender for a few seconds. Transfer the mixture in a small bottle (I got mine from Boots) and it is ready!
Make a small quantity at a time so that you are able to use it all before it goes off.
How to use it:
Pour a few drops on a cotton pad/ball and massage into your skin, upwards and outwards in gentle circular motions. Splash your face with water and pat dry with a clean towel. You will be amazed on how well this homemade cleansing milk removes makeup. If you have oily skin you may wish to follow with a gel cleanser to remove any residue or follow with toner.
How to store it:
Store in the fridge for about a week
The Coconut Cream I used contains the antioxidant sodium metabisulphite to preserve the product. Bear in mind that if you use organic Coconut Milk or Cream it will not contain any preservative and it will probably go off more quickly.
I own a few expensive blush brushes by Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier, Nars, etc. but my favourite one is the cheeper Sephora angled blush brush.
To start with this brush is the perfect size for my cheeks, whereas I often find professional blush brushes to be on the big size and to cover a larger area of my cheek than I want. It has also got the right thickness and shape to apply colour to the apples of my cheeks or to contour them or apply highlighter with the angled side. Its goat bristles are firm enough to pick up the right amount of product but also soft enough to feel comfortable on the skin. Last but not least at €17,00 ($28) it is not expensive either.
I know that Sephora is not available in the UK (pity!) but should you travel to other European countries or to the USA do not miss the opportunity to get this magic brush!
The only blusher I have hit the pan on in my entire life is Nars Orgasm and even if I do not think it is perfect and I have got tonnes of other blushers, here is the reason why I keep going back to it...
First of all I love how Nars Orgasm is peachy without being orange and pink without being 'dollyish'.
I also like the fact that it is sheer and therefore easy, almost foolproof to apply.
You can build itup to give your cheeks a more intense, but still natural flush, at least in term of colour intensity, even though you can go a bit overboard with the shimmery effect.
The shimmer in this blusher imparts a wonderful glow from within when applied in the right amout. If you go overboard with the shimmer just blend it with setting powder.
On darker skin tones it works like a face illuminator.
Tips on how to wear Nars Orgasm: in my opinion it works best applied on the high point of your cheekbone rather then on the apple of the cheek, because of the shimmer and it looks beautiful worn on top of bronzer.
If you fancy something more pigmented and less shimmery try Nars Deep Throat, which needs applying with a lighter hand though.
Click on the links below to see a couple makeup looks where I used Nars Orgasm: