5 Face Products I’ve been loving this month

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As summer has come in and the weather has gotten a lot warmer, my face has gotten a lot more oily than it usually is. Unsurprisingly, I have been leaning towards longer-lasting products in my makeup routine. These are the 5 products I have been reaching for the most in the last few weeks:

1) Tarte Shape Tape Concealer: I use the shade Light Neutral, and when I initially got it, it was a tad bit dark on me, but as my skin is slowly going towards my summer shade, Light Neutral works great. It’s a full coverage concealer, so I use it to conceal the redness in my skin, and my dark circles, and does a great job for both. Having so much coverage allows me to go lighter on my foundation, which I am all for during the summer.

2) Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation in Fair-Light Neutral is a product I bought as part of the 7-piece custom set promotion that they ran a few months ago, and I actually like this a lot more than I thought I would. I haven’t had the best experience with powder foundations in the past, so I was pleasantly surprised that I could build up the coverage with this and it still looks natural on the skin. It does start to look shiny on my skin after a few hours though, so I do set it with a setting powder. It feels lightweight on my skin though, which has sold the product to me.

3) Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder has been one of my holy grail products for many years. I have strayed away from it, but I always come back to it during the hottest parts of the summer. It isn’t the most finely milled powder, so sometimes you can look a bit cakey if you put too much on, but nothing compares to it in terms of keeping my foundation from melting off my face in the middle of summer.

4) Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Exposed – yes, I do realize this is the third Tarte product on this list, but this is another product I picked up in the 7-piece custom set promotion. It is a highly raved-about shade on YouTube, but I never really paid much attention to it until a friend of mine recommended it to me. It doesn’t look like much in the pan, but on the face, it gives a wonderful, natural-looking flush to the skin, and it doesn’t quite last 12 hours, but it lasts through my work day, so I have no complaints.

5) ELF Baked Highligher in Moonlight Pearls is a beautiful shade that looks like a natural glow on my skin tone. It’s not the most pigmented highlighter, but I love the effect it gives me when used with a fluffy highlighter brush. I’ve been picking this one up over my Becca highlighters recently, which says a lot about how much I like this product.

There we have it, my quick and easy make-up routine for the beginning of summer.

Till next time,

B

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Review: Wet n Wild Photo Focus Foundation

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When my best friend mentioned that the Wet n Wild Photo Focus Foundation was a dupe for the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, I was sold. I headed straight to my local Walmart to pick it up and while I was there, I also picked up the concealer and pressed powder from the same line to test out. The foundation retails for about $7 CDN, and comes in 20 shades, at least on the Wet n Wild website.

Wet n Wild is not the most accessible brand here in Canada. The only store that carries it near me is Walmart, and oftentimes their shelves are bare, so it took me two trips to get the right shade of foundation for me. I first tried Rose Ivory (light cool shade) but it ended up being too pink for me. I then exchanged it for Nude Ivory (light neutral shade), which was a much better match.

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The formulation is medium coverage that can be built up to full. It has a thin consistency and smells like paint to be honest, but luckily the smell doesn’t linger once applied to the face. The bottle comes with an applicator, which is a step up from a pour bottle, but I just use the applicator to transfer foundation to the back of my hand anyway. I use a beauty blender to apply it, as it was pretty streaky the one time I tried using a brush.

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The foundation claims to have a matte finish, and it definitely does settle matte on the skin. I find that I have to work quickly to blend it in before it starts to set, so I have to work with a small section at a time. I have oily skin, and usually matte foundations work out pretty well for me, but this particular one seems to actually make my skin look dry upon initial application when I use it with one of my mattifying setting powders. However, it looks great when used with the Photo Focus Pressed Powder, but starts to break up on my skin at the  3-hour mark. It’s a trade off that I have to consider every time I wear this foundation, so what I usually end up doing is using the Photo Focus Powder for days where I am only out and about for a couple of hours, and a mattifying powder like the Rimmel Stay Matte or the Essence Mattifying Compact Powder when I have to go to work.

My thoughts on the foundation? For me personally, it’s not worth the effort. It takes me longer to apply my foundation in the morning because I have to keep going back to the bottle instead of being able to just put a dab on the back of my hand since it dries so quickly. It doesn’t last on my nose either, which is admittedly a common problem that I have with most foundations, but it doesn’t even wear away gracefully. My nose is constantly looking patchy after even an hour’s wear, regardless of whether I wear a primer underneath or not. At the end of a longer day, more often than not my face looks like a hot mess, oily down the T-zone and dry on the sides of my face. It does have good coverage, but I find that it sinks into some of the fine lines that I’m starting to develop around my eyes.

I feel like I have given this foundation a good trial. I’ve tried changing up my sunscreen and moisturizer, tried it with and without primer, and with a few different powders, and I just can’t get it to work out for me. It’s disappointing because I have heard so many good reviews on it, and I honestly don’t remember seeing anyone not like it, so for me to struggle with it so much is discouraging. Also, upon speaking to my friend again, she admits that even though it goes on like the Luminous Silk Foundation, it doesn’t have the same lasting power as Luminous Silk, which I guess makes sense as you’re comparing a $7 foundation to a $66 foundation. For me though, this foundation was a flop.

Review: Nature Republic Hawaiian Fresh Pore BB Cream

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As Korea is the motherland of BB creams, I’m always excited to test out ones from Korean brands. I picked up the Nature Republic Hawaiian Fresh Pore BB Cream while I was in Hawaii last year as a souvenir for myself, having been lured in by its claims, and have been using it on and off for the last few months.

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According to the box, this BB cream “covers blemishes and brightens skin by controlling the greasiness on the surface of the skin”. It has SPF 50+ PA+++, and I picked up the shade 21, which the sales rep at the store said was the more yellow-toned of the two shades. I’m not sure if this product is a Hawaii exclusive or not; I couldn’t find much information about it when I did a Google search. Nature Republic does have another product called the Botanical Pore BB Cream, which has the exact same claim on its box, word for word, so I’m not sure if its the same product that was rebranded as a “Hawaii” exclusive or not. It is made in Korea though, and comes as a 30 mL bottle.

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The product has a light, fresh scent. It has a little bit of a grey tinge to it, similar to most Korean BB creams that I’ve tried. It feels pretty thick on the skin, again similar to other BB creams I’ve tried, and dries down to a semi-dewy finish. The shade match is not bad; my skin looks brighter (i.e., whiter) after application, which is desirable in their target population.

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Right after application, my skin looks amazing. My pores have all disappeared and my face looks flawless. However, after about 3-4 hours, the tides turn. The BB cream seems to sink into all of my pores around the nose area, accentuating them, and my face looks like a total grease-ball. I mean, it does cover blemishes and brighten my skin, but the oil control claim is false, at least for my skin, and the pore concealing just isn’t happening.

I was pretty sad that this product failed for me. I only really use it if I’m going out for a hour or two to run errands, but for anything longer than that, this product is a pass.

March and April Empties

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I have used up a lot of sample-sized products the last two months, mostly because I was travelling in March and brought mostly sample sizes of everything. Here’s my mini reviews and thoughts on whether I would purchase the full size.

The Face Shop Charcoal Cleansing Foam: This was a good face wash. It cleansed without stripping my skin completely, and I felt like it did a good job in balancing my oil production. It was fairly inexpensive too, now that the Face Shop has opened a bunch of stores in Canada. Repurchase? Maybe, when I use it up my stockpile of cleansers.

Caudalie Vinoperfect Serum and Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet: As I have a review on these two products, I won’t say too much here, but I didn’t really like them enough to repurchase.

Eucerin Skin Calming Daily Moisturizing Cream: I picked this up while in LA last year because my hands were ghastly dry. The product does do a good job at moisturizing the skin without irritating it, but it didn’t sink in very quickly, and left my hands feeling tacky for a while after applying. I’ve tried better hand creams, so I won’t be repurchasing this.

Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream: Cetaphil is a great brand for sensitive skin. I’ve used this cream on my elbows, hands, and even on my face during the driest winter months. It doesn’t break me out, doesn’t feel greasy, and absorbs quite quickly into the skin. I probably will pick this product up again in the future, most likely next winter when it gets cold and dry again.

Mac Prep + Prime Skin Base: I received this sample with a MAC order I made a few months ago. I actually quite liked this primer; it reminded me of the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer that I used to own (I used the oil-free version). It helped to prolong the wear time of my make up, and felt like it was adding moisture to my skin as well. Repurchase? Maybe next winter, it’s a bit too heavy for the summer.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation: This foundation is amazing for my oily skin; it stays on and looks fresh throughout the day. The only downside is that the shade selection is a little limited. I already own the full size, and will definitely repurchase once I run out.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleansing Cloth: I had a random sample packet that I used at night one day. It did a decent job at removing makeup without irritating my skin. Since I only used it once, I don’t really have a solid opinion on this product, but if I was in a pinch and needed some wipes, I would consider picking this product up.

NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien: This was from the Sephora birthday gift from 2015. This shade was right up my alley; I have way too many rose lip products. It wore pretty well, and left a nice glossy, almost metallic sheen on the lips when applied. I did enjoy using it but probably wouldn’t repurchase in this particular shade, just because I have so many others that look similar.

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Tarte Tartiest Lash Paint Mascara: When I first opened this tube and tried out the mascara, I was so impressed. My lashes looked darker and fuller (I have short stubby lashes) with it, and I was pretty excited. However, it flaked on me as most mascaras tend to do. Four hours in, I would have panda eyes. Unfortunately, this is another formula I will have to pass on.

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Marcelle Pressed Powder in Translucent: I picked this powder up several years ago; it’s way past the time for a toss. I kept this in my purse for touch ups, and it does a decent job at keeping the oil at bay for 4-5 hours before a touch up was needed. It was a pretty fine consistency as well, as far as drugstore powders go. I would pick up another one of these, except I think it may be discontinued.

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Batiste Dry Shampoo in Dark and Deep Brown: This is my holy grail dry shampoo. I go through one of these every two months or so. 100% repurchase.

Review: L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation

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I have a very oily T-zone and often struggle with my make-up melting off by the end of the work day. There are very few foundations that I have tried that actually control my oil sufficiently, and one of them is the L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation.

The foundation claims to have a demi matte finish, be air-light, and oil-free. It supposedly has medium coverage and wears up to 24 hours.

I would have to say I agree with most of their claims. It does have a demi matte finish, though if I put it on over a dewy serum, the dewiness still shows through. It does feel light on the skin; I usually dot it on my skin and blend it into the skin with a beauty blender. I would say medium coverage is about right – it covers most of my redness with a single layer. It doesn’t quite cover my dark spots or the severe redness around my chin; I still need a concealer on days where I’m looking for full coverage, but for the normal work day, just a single layer suffices.

After setting with powder, it usually last about 6 hours before I have to blot, which is really good, considering I have worn foundations where my face get shiny two hours in. After blotting, I can usually get about 12 hours of wear before it starts breaking down in my T-zone. I have never tried the 24 hour claim, as I always remove my makeup before bedtime. It does stay on during the hottest months of the summer though, so I definitely keep it around during those months.

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The top shade in this picture is the shade 102 shell beige, which is a neutral light shade. (The bottom shade is the Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation in 2C3 Fresco, which is clearly my summer shade). Shell beige runs a slight bit too pink on me, as I usually run neutral with slight yellow undertones (NC15) and this is very neutral, but it’s close enough that I can pull it off.

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The foundation runs about $17-21 CDN for 30 mL, which is a lot cheaper than my holy grail Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation. I’m currently finishing off my third tube of this foundation, which goes to show that it is one I have repurchased and probably will again once this current tube runs out.  Bonus perk – it comes in a tube, which is great for travel.