Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Summer minimalistic makeup look

This summer I am into minimalistic makeup for three reasons: warm weather, lack of time and a bit of laziness...and here is my latest quick look.


Summer minimalistic makeup look



I first prepped my skin with Jane Iredale Dream Tint SPF 15 in Medium Light, which is very very sheer and lightweight and works better as a primer rather than a tinted moisturizer on its own. 

I followed with a dusting of Jane Iredale PurePressed Mineral Base Foundation in Radiant and Amber (review here)


Jane Iredale PurePressed Mineral Base Foundation in Radiant and Amber





Then I applied Jane Iredale PurePressed Blush in Cotton Candy, a slightly shimmery sheer pink to my cheeks, for a glow from within effect

Jane Iredale PurePressed Blush in Cotton Candy


and I sprayed my face with Avene Thermal Water Spray in order to fix my base and make it look more dewy.

Then I swiped my eyelashes with Rituals Volume Mascara in black, which I got as a sample in a magazine and I am enjoying using because it adds volume to my eyelashes without clumping, it is smudge proof but comes off easily with a standard cleanser at the end of the day.

I finished my look with Chanel Rouge Coco in 09 Organdi Rose, a warm rosy shade which is one of my favourite lip colours.

Chanel Rouge Coco in 09 Organdi Rose







Review and swatches: Jane Iredale PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation SPF 20

This summer I have been rediscovering powder foundation: first with Laura Geller Balance N Brighten and now with Jane Iredale Pure Pressed Powder SPF 20, which I find superior in terms of shade range and comfort of wear.



Jane Iredale PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation SPF 20


Even though I liked Laura Geller Balance N Brighten (review here) I found that the shade Fair was too dark and Porcelain too pale and cool toned. Moreover when I wear Balance N Brighten as a foundation my skin feels a bit dry and tight, even though I do not have any problem wearing it as a finishing powder on top of a tinted moisturizer. For this reason I kept looking around for a better shade and more comfortable wear and I picked up Jane Iredale Pure Pressed Powder SPF 20 in Radiant.


 Jane Iredale PurePressed Mineral Foundation SPF 20 in Radiant (a neutral fair shade) is a very good match for my warm fair skin tone and it is very kind to my skin, also around my super sensitive eye area (see my post about Blepharitis) thanks to its few gentle ingredients (see list below).  It is very easy to apply and build up to the desired coverage with any brush and it looks best applied over a primer like Laura Geller's Spackle Under Make-Up Primer (review here), otherwise it may enhance pores and fine lines like any powder can do. On me it wears well for at least six hours before I need touching up but only if I am bothered about looking particularly polished. I like the fact that it provides reliable though gentle sun protection through pure Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide. 

Ingredients:
Titanium Dioxide 14%, Zinc Oxide 3%. Ingredients: Mica, Boron Nitride, Dimethicone, Stearic Acid, Plankton Extract, Algae Extract, Pinus Strobus (Pine) Bark Extract, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract. May Contain: Iron Oxides, Ultramarines, Chromium Oxide Greens

In the picture below you can see 5 shades suitable for fair skin tones: Bisque, a very fair yellow based shade; Radiant, a fair neutral shade; Satin, a fair to medium neutral (though more pinkish than Radiant) shade; Warm Silk, a fair warm shade; Amber, a fair/medium peachy shade. 
My favourite shades are Radiant, the perfect neutral, but not ashy, base for every fair skin tone and Amber, a warm but not too yellow shade for summer.  


Jane Iredale PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation SWATCHES




Monday, 29 July 2013

Review: Laura Geller Spackle Under Make-Up Primer

As I was saying in my previous post about Nars Pro-Prime (here), I have recently been experimenting with primers to create the perfect base layer for powder foundation and I am really impressed with the performance of Laura Geller SPACKLE Under Make-Up Primer and here is the reason why.


 Laura Geller Spackle Under Make-Up Primer


When I apply Laura Geller Spackle Under Make-Up Primer on my bare skin (no need for extra moisture), my skin looks instantly smoother and more luminous.
Most important I find that my powder foundation glides on my face beautifully, instead of sinking into pores and fine lines, does not change colour at all and stays fresh for at least six hours before I need touching it up.
Even though this primer, like most primers, is silicone based and it is slightly thicker than e.g. Nars Pro-Prime or Jane Iredale Smooth Affair, it does not feel heavy or tacky. It is also quite affordable compared to Nars or Jane Iredale's primers.

 Laura Geller Spackle Under Make-Up Primer


My only criticism is that the European  formula is a watered down version of the American one, that is to say that even though the ingredients are the same they do not appear in the same order and they are not included in the same amount. For example a couple of nice antioxidants like Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract and Centella Asiatica, which appear quite high up in the US ingredients list,  are found at the very bottom of the EU ingredients list. See lists of ingredients below. Why?


 Laura Geller Spackle Under Make-Up Primer INGREDIENTS
     

Review: Nars Pro-Prime Multi Protect primer SPF30

I am not usually a primer person but I have recently been experimenting with primers in order to create the ideal base for powder foundation, which otherwise tends to set into pores and fine lines if worn on top of a standard moisturizer. One of the primer I have been enjoying using is Nars Pro-Prime Multi Protect Primer SPF30 and here are my thoughts.


Nars Pro-Prime Multi Protect Primer SPF30


One of the reasons why I chose this primer is that it contains SPF but when I went to check Paula Choice's review (here) I found out that its active ingredients do not seem to provide sufficient protection against UVA because she says that 'they do not include UVA sunscreens like avobenzone, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, Mexoryl SX (ecamsule) or Tinosorb'.
In fact  Nars Pro-Prime sunscreen ingredients are:  ethylexyl methoxycinnamate also known as octinoxate which protects against UVB, Benzophenone-3 also known as Oxybenzone which protects against both UVB and short UVA, phenylbenzimidazole sulfonic acid also known as ensulizole (against UVB), octocrylene (against UVB and short UVA). That is to say that this prime provides some protection against both UVB and UVA, at least the short wave UVA. 


Nars Pro-Prime List of IngredientsNars Pro-Prime Multi Protect primer SPF30

I love how this creamy primer feels lightweight on my skin and effectively blurs pores and fine lines and helps any foundation go on smoothly and last longer. I find that it works best under liquid foundation or tinted moisturizer whereas it is a tad too light in texture, but better than nothing, as a base for powder foundation. In fact I think that a primer like Laura Geller Spackle (review here), which is slightly more silicony, may work better under powders.
I also love how Nars Pro-Prime makes my skin feel hydrated so that I can skip moisturizer. Even though it makes my makeup last longer I cannot say that it controls oils as such and in fact I still need to blot my nose after a few hours at least in this hot summer weather but I do not mind. Moreover I have not experienced any pore clogging or breakouts. My only criticism is that it is quite expensive at £25 for 30 ml. Overall it is a nice primer which I can used in place of moisturizer when I fancy a more polished look. 



Monday, 15 July 2013

No-makeup makeup look with Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30

Another way of creating an easy makeup look in summer is to wear a tinted moisturizer and few key products like blush, mascara and lipstick or whatever your favourite cosmetic pieces are.
My favourite Tinted Moisturizer is usually Bobbi Brown Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15 but I was recently given a sample of Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer by a nice beauty advisor in SpaceNK and here is a no-makeup makeup look I created with it.

Products used:

Nars Pro Prime Primer SPF 30 Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 in St Moritz Nars Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder Laura Geller Baked Blush in Bora Bora Laura Geller Double Dipped Lipstick 2-in-1 Lip Color in Caribbean Kiss (bronzy side) Max Factor Masterpiece Max Mascara in BlackNars Pro Prime Multi-Protect Primer SPF 30
Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 in St Moritz
Nars Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder
Laura Geller Baked Blush in Bora Bora
Laura Geller Double Dipped Lipstick 2-in-1 Lip Color in Caribbean Kiss (bronzy side)
Max Factor Masterpiece Max Mascara in Black


Natural summer makeup look with Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30




























In order to increase the sun protection and the longevity of my makeup I first applied Nars Pro Prime Multi-Protect Primer with SPF 30 (review here) followed by Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 in St Moritz, a medium shade which is a bit darker than my fair skin tone but still wearable. Even though this tinted moisturizer does not offer the same coverage and it is not as long-lasting as my favourite Bobbi Brown Oil Free Tinted moisturizer (review here), I love how radiant it makes my skin look. 
Then I set my base with Nars Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder (review here), an exceptionally lightweight, luminous and oil controlling setting powder which I am running out of but which seems to have disappeared from the market (except for the pressed version), does anybody knows what is going on? EDIT 31st July: it is now back on Nars website!
To lift my completion I swiped my cheeks with Laura Geller Baked Blush in Bora Bora, a perlescent peach-pink that works rather like an illuminating powder (think of Bobbi Brown Illuminating Bronzing Powder in Antigua) than a proper blush because it is only lightly pigmented (Nars Orgasm is more pigmented and leaves a more visible pop of colour).
To complete my look I coloured my lips with the bronzy side of Laura Geller Double Dipped Lipstick in Caribbean Kiss and I accentuated my eyelashes with Max Factor Mascara. 

   

Friday, 5 July 2013

Summer makeup look in 5 minutes: primer with SPF, powder foundation and a pop of colour

As a busy mum of three I am always looking for ways and products to speed up my makeup routine and the latest solution I have come up with is applying a primer with SPF and a powder foundation to create a lightweight but long-wear base, perfect for summer, followed by a pop of blush, a swipe of eye enhancing mascara and a touch of brightening lipstick...all in 5 minutes! 


Here are the products I have used to create my quick summer look:

Nars Pro-Prime Multi Protective Primer SPF 30, which I chose in place of a standard moisturizer with SPF because it prevents the powder foundation from sinking into pores better than a moisturizer does. (Review here)
Laura Geller Balance N Brighten powder foundation in Fair, which I chose for its buildable coverage and luminosity (review here)
Laura Geller Blush N Brighten Blush in Roseberry, which I chose for its beautiful rosy shade (review here)
Laura Geller Double-Dipped Lipstick in Carribean Kiss (pink side), which I chose for its brightening colour
Benefit They Are Real Mascara, which I chose for its smudge proof quality (review here)


Nars Primer SPF 30, Laura Geller Balance N Brighten in Fair, Blush in Roseberry, Lipstick in Carribean Kiss, Benefit Mascara


























Here is a picture of my summer look:

Summer makeup look in 5 minutes: primer with SPF and powder foundation





































What do you wear in summer?

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Cleansing routine with Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Milk and Mild Clarifying lotion

Cleansing routine may sound a bit boring and that is why every now and then I like to change it! Last month I started using a heavy duty sunscreen and I was looking for a cleanser able to remove it properly but gently at the end of the day and I purchase Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Milk. In order to tone and exfoliate my skin I also bought an old favourite toner of mine Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion.


Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Milk
Clinique Mild Clarifying lotion






































Here are my views on these two products:

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Milk is a gentle fragrance free milky cleanser rich in Shea Butter and other skin beneficial ingredients like Vitamin E, Chamomile,  Soy Sterol, Jojoba, Caffeine, Sodium Hyaluronate and Linoleic Acid.
The instructions on the bottle suggest massaging it over dry face with fingertips and then rinsing or tissuing off, but I find that it removes makeup better if sweeped over with a cotton pad and then rinsed. Even though it does an excellent job at removing sunscreen and longwear makeup it tends to leave a bit of residue (it is not makeup but the milk itself) so that I feel the need to rinse it with a tiny amount of gel cleanser (like La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel - review here) and water especially because my skin is combination to oily.
If your skin is dry you may not feel the need to rinse at all. Even though it is very gentle unfortunately I cannot use it on my eyes because it stings.

I usually love following any cleanser with toner and one of my favourite ones is:

Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion

This is the only Clinique toner which I like because it does not contain alcohol and it is very gentle indeed!
Another reason why I love this toner is because it contains 0.5% Salicylic Acid at an effective PH of 2.9 to exfoliate inside the pores. It also includes other skin identical ingredients like Millet Plant Protein, Aloe, Arginine and Soy Sterol. Inspite of its ever so slightly gel like, though still liquid, consistency it does not feel tacky on the skin, it absorbs easily and leaves skin clear and comfortable.  

Products available from www.clinique.co.uk   

Ingredients Lists