I wish...

Have you ever felt sad that a big part of your makeup collections would not be used up and your favorite products might be wasted? How often do you use up a single powder, and compare to how many you have? Sigh...I wish, If just no makeup would ever expire...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day Makeup--Laura Mercier, Estee Lauder, MAC,MUFE, Illamasqua, NARS, Clinique, and Maybelline

I bought mine at a CCO for $24.50. I was just lucky that there was a color fit my color pretty well, since they only carried 4 or 5 shades total. I have combination skin, drier with oily t-zone in the winter. If I don’t have dry patches on my face, this foundation wears the whole day; If i want to use it to cover the dry patches, it will make the areas look really caked on with heavy foundation.
it’s not a completely mat finish foundation, i can still see a slight luminous effect, not much though. One thin layer can give a medium coverage. if build up to two layers, it will be a full coverage.
this is a very long lasting foundation with a spf 10. I have worn it in the morning, and there was very minor wear-off on my face, not noticeable, before i remove my whole makeup at night.
The same problem i had with my nars sheer glow and neutrogena healthy skin foundations, the estee lauder one does not come with a pump either. i just find it is more difficult to control the amount of usage without a pump. 
overall, estee lauder double wear is a great foundation. it would be perfect for someone who has oily skin or comb skin in the summer.

1. NARS Concealer
NARS has expensive makeup lines, but I have to say that most of the products I have used from NARS actually have great qualities. This concealer is one of them.
I mainly use this as a blemish concealer to cover up my acne scars, some discolorations, or temporary rednesses. It covers them very well. The texture is very creamy, and it won't dry up too quickly so that you still have time to blend the edges of the concealed areas. Either your fingers, a small blending brush, or a beauty blender should be fine to use for blending.
I don't like to use it under my eyes because I don't like the look (a little cakey, does not help with fine lines much).  Normally I don' t like to do blemish concealing every time I do makeups. When there is one or two big pimples (popped, most of the times) and even my foundation cannot coverup. then I will use this concealer. I conceal the blemishes after I put on my foundation, because my foundation might be able to coverup the imperfections already.
It is long-lasting if set with powders. if use it alone for couple hours should be okay. I prefer to use a setting powder on top of the concealer, just in case.
I am not sure if 0.07oz is a big size or small size compare to other stick concealers. However, it is big enough for me to use for a long time.
The NARS concealer is a great product but not the best. It might work as a wonder on someone else since we all have different skin types. 

2. Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Treatment (50 Neutralizer OR 60 Brightener)

The Neutralizer has a neutral color but also with a little bit yellow tone in it.  The other skin-color shades are either too light or too dark for my under-eye area. The Neutralizer's color is a slightly lighter shade than my actual skin color, which works perfectly under my eyes. Remember I said that "brighten" was the key of looking awake. Here comes the Brightener. The Brightener has more peachy tone than the other shades, it is supposed to cancel out the "darkness", That is exactly what I need it for.

The Formula is very creamy for both the Neutralizer and the Brightener. It works so well that really "erased" my dark circle. I don't think they make me feel heavy or greasy throughout the day. The lasting power is not a problem for me after set it with a powder. For the price, can't beat it.

Sometimes I use both colors together, sometimes I only use the brightener. This is how I apply both of them:

I first use the Brightener under my eye, then use a concealer brush (Sigma synthetic precision brushes) to lightly blend the edge into the rest of my skin. Next, I apply the Neutralizer over the Brightener, and again use a concealer brush lightly blend the edge. I would not suggest someone who have fine lines or wrinkles under the eyes to use a concealer brush, one alternative is to use a beautyblender dab...dab...dab the area with concealer, blend just as well as the brush. By using a beautyblender, you can fill in the fine lines and wrinkles with concealer rather than swipe over (if it makes sense to you...), and make the under-eye area very smooth.
I always apply my foundation after the under-eye concealer step (not the blemish concealing), and this will better blend the concealer to match the other areas on my face. You don't want to have two "white cast" under your eyes!
Definitely use a setting powder over the concealer. I don' t think the lasting power is that good if you use it alone.
The sponge tip is where the product will be squeezed out of after you twist the top. it is very soft and I don't have any problem with it, even though cleaning the sponge tip can be a problem.
In most part, I love this concealer.

3. Clinique Airbrush Concealer (04 Neutral Fair)
I also use this one for my under-eye areas only when I want some extra highlighted look.

This concealer has a brush tip where the product comes out of, and you brush directly on the areas you want. Although the brush is soft, I would suggest to use it for application not blending purposes. Similar to the Maybelline concealer, you can blend out the product by using a beauty blender, a small blending brush, or your fingers.
Clinique calls it a "concealer", but the coverage is not good enough to conceal major blemishes, at least for me. The illuminating effect is awesome. The formula is more liquid-y than the NARS concealer and the Maybelline concealer. It doesn't feel heavy at all, airbrushed feeling no doubt. I use it after I powder my face often, I don't find it to be difficult to blend over powder. It gives a natural finish if blends well. I don't set it with powder again, maybe special occasions, and the lasting power on me is between medium to long with no powder over it.
The Clinique Airbrush Concealer overall is a nice quality product. It is considered high end brand, so it's not a cheap one. I think it worth the price.

I like Laura Mercier products in general. Bare Minerals Powder was my go to powder before, but I was a little bit tired of it so decided to give this a try. I tend to use powder which has some coverage to set my foundation. The reason I stick with mineral powders is that I don't want all the products on my face break me out at the end of the day. Both Laura Mercier and Bare Minerals have not caused break out on my face so far.
Just like the Bare Minerals Powder, Laura Mercier Mineral Powder has a SPF 15 to protect you from the sun. Wether the product has a SPF or how high the SPF is really does not matter much to me, as long as it will not leave a white cast on my face in a photo. Because I always have my sunscreen of SPF 45 with UVA/UVB protections underneath my makeup, so I have strong base against the sun during the day.
The Laura Mercier Mineral Powder gives a very smooth and natural finish. With a very thin layer, it will cover the imperfections you may still see after the foundation. I would not suggest to apply a thick layer after foundation, it will be too heavy on the face. However, if you use it by itself, you can buildup to full coverage without the cakey and heavy looks at all.
I normally apply it with a big fluffy brush, dip into the power on the lid and tap out the excess, and then gently pat and roll the brush all over my face. In this way, the powder will not break the texture of the foundation. Regardless of how you use it, it will last throughout the day for sure.
There are only 8 different shades to choose from, not as much as Bare Minerals. I have Natural Beige color, and it matches me quite well. A shade darker would also be good for me, since I like the powder to be darker than my foundation.
This is so far my favorite mineral powder. Even though $35.00 is not cheap, you get a lot of products in the veil and the quality is way better.
I don't see any problem to use it if you have dry skins because it will not accentuate the dry patches, at least not on me.

I was so lucky to find this at a much cheaper price at CCO. This bronzer is not the most popular one but the quality is just as good as those "hot" ones such as Benefit Hoola Bonzer, and NYC Bonzer. 
You can use one of the two shades, or you can use the combo together. I prefer the combo color because I have medium skin tone, and the combo creates a perfect shade for me. It is a mat bronzer with no shimmer in it, and also oil free.
Both shades can be blended very well and naturally looking. The texture is smooth and color payoff is great. It lasts all day.
One of my favorite brushes to apply bronzers is the blush brush from Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman.
The brush is synthetic bristles, and it is so so soft. The dome shape is perfect for applying bronzers although it is a blush brush. You can use the slightly pointed tip to define then blend out.
I love all Real Techniques brushes actually. You can find at ULTA, or @ www.realtechniques.com. The prices at ULTA is one or two dollars cheaper than those on Real Techniques website. Because they are very popular, you may find them out of stock at ULTA often.
Anyways, I like the ESTEE LAUDER Duo Bronzer a lot. The size can last me for quite a long time I think. I guess I would not try another bronzer any time soon.

Blush is the next thing I would apply after bronzer. I love blushes. I don't want to include any limited edition since they are no longer available at regular stores, but I have to mention the MAC Beauty Powder Blush in Personal Style which I found at a CCO as well. Why? one, it is cheap...; two, I haven't see the same color in MAC's permanent collections before; three, the color is so natural and pretty; four, I don't have any blush similar to this color, no kidding.

I believe this is the key point my boyfriend liked my makeup on Valentine's Day. Or it is the combo of everything together. I am not sure, but this blush definitely highlighted the over all look.
If you have Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Exposed (I don't own it but always want to try it), and you like the color of that Tarte Blush, then the MAC Beauty Powder can give you the same result, if not better. I would not say the colors are the same in both blushes, but they both are natural, neutral, or nude tones. I think the Tarte one is more shimmer than the MAC one, the MAC one has just the right amount of shimmers I need. The only thing MAC is not comparable is that the ingredients in the Tarte Amazonian Blushes are all natural and good for your skins. I am not saying the ingredients in MAC blushes are not good for your skins, it is just a fact that not all ingredients in MAC blushes are natural.
I like products made of natural ingredients, but it is not a strong enough preference to turn down a product.
Hopefully there is a CCO near you, so you can try this MAC Beauty Powder Blush in Personal Style out. It's only $12.50, cheaper than all the permanent line blushes. You might not like it as much, still can add to your MAC collections. Why not?

Almost forget to talk about these two little ones. I used the MUFE top over the MAC Beauty Powder Blush on Valentine's Day. Only a hint of color is the best. This MUFE Blush in No.69 is the only blush I own from the brand, and I adore it very much. I can just imagine how good the rest of the colors are in the collection. The texture and formula make the powder soft and smooth like a cream. Couple swipe of your brushes in the pan, you are good to go for both of your cheeks. 
I used on top of the MAC Beauty Powder Blush to make me look like I just had a light flush, naturally...
The Illamasqua in the shade Lover was added because the texture, formula, and even color are very similar to the MUFE blush. The same amazing qualities apply to the Illamasqua blush as well.
If I have to say the difference, the MUFE No.69 is lighter (a little) and has a bit more peach/orange, the Illamasqua Lover is darker (a little) and has a bit more pink/coral.
I wish I could have all the blushes from these two brands, they are wonderful.

Highlighter is the last step of my makeup routine, before the setting spray (MAC FIX+ is my fav). I don't have deep facial features, so I really enjoy the structured look highlighters and bronzers create (a little bit illusion is necessary sometimes). 
I know there was a limited edition illuminator from Laura Mercier everyone was raving about around Christmas. It was ridiculously fast sold out before I could get my finger tip on it. (Sigh...) I am not the type of persons who would purchase something just because it is a limited edition. If they are amazing, I may get it; if I missed it, it's fine with me. There are always new things, better things continuously come out from all brands. If I try to catch all the limited editions, I might have been a homeless already. This is just how I am, no offense to anyone at all.
Go back to the product, I got this Mosaic Shimmer Bloc from Laura Mercier instead of the limited edition one. I love it. I don't use just a single color in the pan, I just use a fan brush to mix all four colors together, tap out the excess, and then lightly swipe on top of my cheek bones, my forehead, bridge of my nose, and my cupid bow. It gives a light golden champagne glow on my face, no chuck of sparkles. It is a glowing sheen, not a bunch of glitters.
I don't know how the limited edition illuminator would look on me, could be worse, could be better (hope it is worse...). If you cannot get that limited edition one either, try the Shimmer Bloc from Laura Mercier out. You might be surprised with it. Not all limited edition products are the best ones, just saying...

Well, this is a very long post, I was just excited to share with you some makeup items a guy might like. I understand every guy has a different taste from the others, I doubt it would be that much diversified as the girls'...Maybe not...Anyway, hope you all had a memorable Valentine's Day. 

Yeah~~~ ^o^

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