The Review: DiorSkin Star Studio Makeup

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I’ve been declaring my borderline obsessive love for the Diorskin Star Studio Makeup since succumbing to the allure of the new and hyped-up foundation in October and have been promising a review for almost as long. I’ve raved about the “spectacularly brightening” foundation that’s infused with SPF 30 with the PA++ designation, supposedly providing “weightless perfection” countless times by now so its about time for a full-on review. But there’s no way of getting around my favorable opinion of this foundation – it’s among my top foundations of all time and I’m a foundation-obsessed kind of girl.

Dior describes this foundation as inspired by the professional illumination techniques in the studio, enhanced by the makeup artist and designed to re-create the “spectacular and perfecting light of Dior’s studios”. In a more particular way, its characterized as a brightening foundation with a weightless fluid texture, providing a more visibly even and bright complexion – with the aid of hollow silica beads and light-filter pigments – and supposedly “the complexion is purified and more dazzling” due to anti light-trap ingredients. I definitely see the skin-brightening, illuminating and to a certain degree, the perfecting properties of the foundation but I’m slightly skeptical of the light-filter pigments but that’s rather inconsequential; the latter claim about purifying and dazzling the complexion cracks me up with its audacity as there are not any ingredients that would do this inside the foundation and that its questionable that any ingredients in the formula could transform skin in some way, beyond appearances. What I love about this foundation is its lightweight fluid texture that is impressively formulated without drying and irritating alcohols, its medium to medium-full coverage that does not mask the skin but keeps everything luminous and brightened, the fact that it lasts a ridiculous amount of time and that it’s fantastic on my dry and uneven skin. The formula is hydrating in itself and it does not highlight dry patches in the slightest and beyond that is flattering on those areas, especially considering the coverage and longevity of the formula.

The foundation has an impressive shade range, suiting fair – but perhaps not porcelain-fair – to deep skin tones with the 20 shade offering that includes a good number of different undertones but in Sephora and Shopper’s Drugmart stores near me, the different shade variations in the first shade range (011, 012, 013) seem to be absent. The foundation contains the average 30 mLs or one fluid ounce and retails for $50 dollars in both the United States and Canada, coming housed in a luxe glass bottle with a pump. I’m wearing the shade 020 Light Beige, but it’s not an ideal match for me in depth at the moment, as I’m at my fairest in the dead of winter but it works when blended into my pale neck even now because the slightly golden-leaning beige undertones are spot on. 010 Ivory is a paler shade that I’ve found available nearly everywhere, but it runs a bit too pink for my skin but I suspect 011 Creme with yellow undertones or 013 Dune with peachy undertones would be my optimal match. In my shade at least, the foundation looks darker in the bottle than it applies and I would say it matches around an NC20/NW15 to maybe a NC25/NW20 ish, suiting skin tones that are slightly fair but nothing resembling porcelain.

before | after
before | after

The foundation both feels and appeals remarkably skin-like despite the coverage and longevity it has, camouflaging texture and discolouration remarkably well. Although it lasts well over 12 hours without any sort of fading, it develops some considerable shine even on my dry skin with a somewhat normal t-zone after a few hours without setting powder; it has considerable longevity but not astounding oil-control. I would suspect that the lack of oil-control and the serious glow it develops is a function of the seriously hydrating texture of the foundation and absence of oil-absorbing ingredients like drying alcohols, so I don’t think its necessarily a weakness of the formula. With that being said, anyone except the driest of the driest skin will have to set this foundation with powder and perhaps touch up with powder once during the day. I would say its suitable for combination skin seeking some hydration and glow – with a healthy dusting of powder on oilier places – and anyone on the dry skin spectrum. I’ve used this with good success with some moderate flaking on my forehead but I haven’t tested it with a seriously Sahara dry overall complexion – I’m pleased to report my skincare routine has saved me from this fate.

the full face featuring a touch of powder in the t-zone | the face untouched 12 hours later minus lipstick
the full face featuring a touch of powder in the t-zone | the face untouched 12 hours later minus lipstick

Oh, and on the sunscreen note, its an Octinoxate and Titanium Dioxide blend, a mixture of both mineral and ‘chemical’ sunscreens and even on my chemical-SPF-sensitive skin, – and incredibly so at that – my skin does not feel or look irritated upon application. It’s broad-protection sunscreen by the way and it despite the higher SPF, there is definitely no flash photography issue. Again, I emphasize that it can appear a bit shiny without the aid of powdering and by shiny, I mean more pronounced than it is in real life.

 

the face 12 hours later with flash
the face 12 hours later with flash

Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 5.99%; Titanium Dioxide 3.50%. Inactive Ingredients: Water, Isododecane, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Dimethicone, Titanium Dioxide (Nano), Glycerin, Acrylates/Dimethicone Copolymer, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Phenyl Trimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Bellis Perennis (Daisy) Flower Extract, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Pentylene Glycol, Barium Sulfate, Silica, Phenoxyethanol, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Aluminum Hydroxide, Stearic Acid, Sodium Myristoyl Glutamate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Glyceryl Undecyl Dimethicone, Sodium Chloride, Parfum (Fragrance), Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Lecithin, Tromethamine, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Propylene Carbonate, BHT, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Linalool, Limonene, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Palmitic Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Citronellol, Sodium Phosphate, Spilanthes Acmella Flower Extract, Magnesium Hydroxide, Tocopherol. May Contain: Bismuth Oxychloride, Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide.

Have you tried this foundation? I’d also love to hear your current favourite foundation!
Maggie, x.

The Review: Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet Smooth-Effect Makeup

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I was always planning on writing a full-on review for the Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet Smooth-Effect Makeup ($48), even before I fell head over heels for it this summer but I’ve been hesitant since I wrote such a detailed post detailing my early thoughts on the product that haven’t completely been strung upside down. However, I’m still enjoying this foundation after all of the raving I’ve done about it and wanted to give it a hopefully more comprehensive review where I can add detail that I was not able to before.

First off, this is not one of those miraculously flattering foundations when my skin is misbehaving and going through one of those phases that include flaky and/or Sahara dry patches but the rest of the time it seems to be an ideal everyday sort of foundation that feels like nothing on the skin and looks like your skin (but better) while providing some impressive medium coverage. I wasn’t feeling this as soon as it was starting to get cold when Fall was beginning to hit when my skin went a little crazy as it tends to when the seasons change but as soon as a few weeks have passed and I’ve upped the hydration, I’m back to enjoying this one. In my experience is nowhere near as ‘matte’ in that drying and flat sense; it has more of that velvety finish that doesn’t feel particularly drying on the skin (although it does have some drying alcohol in it) and leaves a kind of luminosity to the skin that it might not have even had beforehand, setting into the skin without any sort of separation. The finish on the foundation in a satiny velvety one but as I tend to pair it with a glow-boosting primer so that it’s even more flattering on my perpetually dull and dehydrated skin so it can lean more towards the satin side of things.

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The coverage is also surprising, medium-buildable while not looking heavy in the slightest unless you’re caking and caking it on and it’s one of those foundation that smooths over texture fantastically and doesn’t make dehydrated skin look dead. It also applies the nicest with fingers which is definitely practical and I don’t particularly like it applied via any other method. This is a foundation that lasts impressively well on my skin that I would quantify as not fading until the 10-11 hour mark unless I have some sort of textured spot going on that can kind of pull foundation of it more quickly and it has great oil control for the first three or four hours but afterwards a little can break through (but not much). I should mention that I do have a normal t-zone with dry skin on the rest of my face for reference, and I don’t always powder this so with a little powder, I think this would be an excellent bet for those desiring more oil control. However, I think it’s ideal for all ranging from oily to those with normal to drier skins, unless they are verging on the super-dry. Based on other reviews, I would have believed this not to be compatible with the dehydration issues that I experience but I was pleased to have a different experience, so I don’t think that drier skins need to be all that wary. On another note, this was the perfect base for use during the hottest days of the summer (when I still wore makeup) as it didn’t feel heavy or melt off.

I promise that things are coming to a close; all I have left to discuss is ingredients and like details worthy of discussion. The shade range is not particularly impressive and I wear shade 10, which is the lightest neutral shade but is not all that fair – I would describe it as moderately fair with slight yellow-undertones that works for me throughout the year. Ingredient-wise, I don’t love all of the fragrance that it contains or the irritating alcohol – although I note that I haven’t found it problematic and it contains notably less than the Vitalumiere Aqua. It also contains SPF 15 and I’m pleased to report that it does not irritate my SPF-sensitive skin and doesn’t cause problems with flash photography either, if you’re curious.

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In short, I really enjoy this foundation unless I’m at my driest and would recommend it for oily to slightly drier skins as it can cling to notable dry patches a bit.

Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 5%, Titanium Dioxide 3.1% Inactive Ingredients: Water, Isododecane, Hydrogenated, Polyisobutene, Dimethicone, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Alcohol, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Celluslose, PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Propanediol Dicaprylate, Stearakonium Hectorite, Aluminum Hydroxide, Sodium Chloride, Dimethicone/Bis-Isobutyl PPG-20 Crosspolymer, Stearic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Propylene Carbonate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Fragrance, Talc, Sodium Lauroyl Glutamate, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Lysine, Timethylsiloxysilicate/Dimethiconol Crosspolymer, Magnesium Chloride, BHT, Tocopherol, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Hydrated Silica (may contain) Ultramarines, Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide, Mica
Have you tried Chanel PLV?
Maggie, x.

The Acquisition: Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet

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Being as foundation obsessed as I am (with hoarding tendencies to match), it is rather shocking that I haven’t added a Chanel foundation to my stash until the last week but I assure you, it was merely an oversight on my part due to the fact that it isn’t sold at my usual beauty shopping spots and that I assumed that the luxurious foundations, toted by Lisa Eldridge (our makeup idol) as those new generation second-skin bases, would be a whole lot more expensive than they actually are. The Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet Smooth-Effect Makeup ($48 CDN) contains SPF 15 but neither irritates my sensitive skin or causes the dreaded flashback effect and I picked up the latest offering in the lightest shade of the beige range, ’10’ which I would say is a good match for my moderately fair skin with yellow-beige undertones year round (with the addition of some bronzer as I gain a wee bit of colour). The shade range does leave much to be desired considering that I’m by no means the fairest of the fair and they don’t exactly cater to those with deeper skintones either. And before I get onto the good (there’s a lot of good to be said, by the way), I feel compelled to mention that the formula contains potentially problematic fragrance and alcohol — although much less alcohol than its sister foundation. I have skin that becomes irritated at the drop of a hat and it doesn’t seem to be bothered by it even currently in its sensitized state.

Not that this isn’t a fabulous everyday foundation year-round, this strikes me as the perfect summer foundation, being absolutely weightless on the skin providing good oil control on my normal t-zone and somehow gliding over the dry patches (that I have plenty of at the moment courtesy of returning to using retinoids and purging). While looking almost undetectable on the skin, the foundation provides medium buildable coverage and the luminous yet velvety semi-matte finish glides over imperfections. This sounds absolutely ridiculous but the foundation ticks all of the boxes and is noteworthy for its ability to look like skin on drier complexions while being on the more matte side of things.

Although the compact black-packaged beauty gets dirty quickly, its practicality and aesthetic appeal grants it my sign of approval. As I’m sure you’ve heard before, this is the kind of foundation that is on the runnier side of things and therefore must be shaken before use and does tend to be best applied with fingers, especially considering that before long it sets to that velvety finish. I’m kind of in love, if you can’t tell already and have been reaching for this one above all others in my plentiful stash

P.S. I’m only wearing concealer underneath my eyes and on one random red spot on my forehead and there’s no powder involved here.

Have you tried the foundation?
Maggie, x.

Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation

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After the month or so that I’ve owned the Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation in 103 True Ivory ($9 CDN) and wearing it frequently, I feel confident enough to say that not only is it a foundation that is exceptionally good for being so budget-friendly but it also is a fantastic foundation in its own right. Looking for more proof? By the narrowest of margins, this was edited out of May’s favourites post but only because I had been adoring so many other fantastic products and the post was getting excessively long.

Ingredients: CYCLOOPENTASILOXANE, DICAPRLYL ETHER, WATER, ISODECANE, TALC, TRIHYDROXYSEARIN, DIMETHICONE CROSSPOLYMER, SILICA DIMETHYL SILYATE, ETHYLHEXYL METHOXYCINNIMATE, POLYGLYCERYL-3 BEESWAX, SORBITAN SESQUIOLEATE, TRIMETHYLSILICATE, KAOLIN, TRIBEHENIN, ALUMINUM STARCH OCTENYLSUCCINATE, PROPYLENE CARBONATE, PEG-10 DIMENTHICONE, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, POLYPROPYLENE, PHENOXYETHANOL, METHYL METHACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER, SODIUM CHLORIDE, DIMETHICONOL, LAURETH-4, BHT, TOCOPHEROL

The packaging of the product describes the foundation with the following description: “Feather-light, liquid mousse blends flawlessly for natural-looking all day shine control… [s]ilky smooth formula leaves a perfectly matte, baby-soft finish… [l]ightweight texture won’t feel heavy or greasy”. While some of its claims correspond in a spot-on fashion to how the foundation applies in my experience, I wouldn’t describe this as a foundation that controls oil effectively. I’m someone on the drier and more dehydrated side of things with maybe a normal t-zone at this time of year and I find that regardless of whether I powder this foundation or not, it develops some shine — nothing ridiculously greasy-looking or anything — after three hours which is on par with how well glowier foundations control a wee bit of oil coming through on the forehead and such. All of the other claims are spot on and although it’s not advertised as such, this is a fantastic high coverage formula on drier skins as it actually doesn’t highlight dry patches in the slightest. The texture is a mousse and therefore sheers out into what appears to be merely perfected skin unlike other cream foundations without compromising on the coverage front, providing skin with buildable medium-to-full coverage that looks like skin. I’ve kind of mentioned it in previous posts but I’ll be more overt about it this time, I’m convinced that this is the more affordable and better alternative to Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation as it does the same thing but feels more lightweight on the skin and sits upon it in a much more natural way, especially for those of us who are more normal to dry. The only difference for me is that the Rimmel offering is a touch less radiant, instead providing a flattering semi-matte finish that glides over any texture-issues in the skin without leaving it dull and flat. Like the Laura Mercier offering, it wears a long time on the skin – (I showered with this on and it survived) – but will develop some shine during that time and unfortunately does tend to transfer.

The fragrance-free formula is a silicone-based one and lays more on the moisturizing side of things than not and doesn’t irritate my skin in the slightest. It doesn’t contain spf either and as you would expect, this foundation photographs fantastically, leaving the skin looking perfected but still with some subtle inner glow. I’ve worn this in extremely hot weather (with a separate sunscreen underneath) and although it does hold up impressively well, you can start to feel it on the skin in comparison to super-light foundations such as my new acquisition, the Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet.

As I’ve said before, foundation sticks to my skin like glue so I tend to get insanely long wear out of most foundations but if you’re interested I would put this in the 12 hour category and add that unless you’re submerging your face into water it will remain intact – in other words, it seems to me to be water resistant. The lasting power of this one is fantastic but it doesn’t control oil particularly well like say MUFE Mat Velvet + would so it may require some powdering or oil-control products in the heat if you are oilier complected but I woudn’t skip this offering altogether if you are plagued.

As mentioned above, I wear the shade 103 True Ivory, which appears to be the fourth lightest shade in the range of eight that the foundation offers – however, most places only seem to stock 5-6 shades at any given time around here, the darker shades generally found in Shoppers and the lightest shade only to be found at Walmart and such around here. This shade matches me without any sort of tan (artificial or natural) but works with a bit of colour too but I’m fortunate with this shade range considering my moderately fair skintone. This foundation actually comes in a truly fair Light Porcelain shade so unless you’re absolutely porcelain-complected, you should be able to find a match, however those who have darker than a medium-toned skintone most likely wont be so fortunate. If you’re curious, I found the Ivory shade to be rather pink in comparison to its counterpart in my staple Wake Me Up so I went to the next shade that instead featured beige undertones.

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From returning to using my tretenoin-antibiotic gel for nearing three weeks, my skin isn’t at its clearest with the purging still evident on my visage, as you can probably tell from the before picture FYI but I still wanted to include the makeup-free image for comparison. Also, if you’re wondering why I look a little different, I’ve foregone the eye makeup in light of the little bump I had on my inner rim that’s almost gone – not to worry anyone, they’re harmless and I’m prone to them. And I’ve applied the foundation with the Real Techniques Buffing Brush, going for a light good medium coverage layer all over and building it up on the lower cheek that’s quite scarred and on my red chin. I haven’t applied any concealer anywhere other than underneath my eyes and no powder either.

And finally the flash photo:

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Have you tried this foundation? What did you think of it?

Maggie, x.

 

The Daily Face Routine

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In the last month or so, I’ve surprised myself by not only sticking to an unchanging face-routine of sorts but also being consistently pleased with the results. Considering my lack of commitment to foundations and the like, I thought I would share the routine that has been gracing my face daily with pleasure. As usual, I haven’t been using a primer daily but if I use one, I go for the generous sample-sized Laura Mercier Radiance Primer that has never steered my skin wrong in terms of irritation and the like and doesn’t help with pores, longevity and the like but helps the foundation to sit more nicely on the skin. I’m wearing it today, if you’re curious.

The foundation in question is the Diorskin Nude Skin-Glowing Makeup ($48 CDN) and despite my lukewarm initial feelings about the foundation, I can say that I’ve fallen into love with it and this love is of the deep-commitment kind. The only thing I can complain about is the quantity of alcohol in the formulation but it doesn’t seem to outwardly irritate my skin so I’m thankful. The foundation is a satin-finish with a nice dose of luminosity but it doesn’t emphasize pores or imperfections in the slightest so its obviously a life-saver. It provides medium-coverage and can look like glowy skin as long as the skincare routine is in order – and your face isn’t flake city – and I’ve been liking the way it looks day after day. I’ve given the loved Real Techniques Buffing Brush a rest and have returned to the Quo sponge that I picked up at Shoppers ages ago that seems to actually function well, gliding over dry patches without soaking up the excess product that others do. And it doesn’t cost a fortune. My shade is 11 Creme, if anyone is interested.

Thanks to my discovery that using the Real Techniques Detailer Brush in combination with my Make Up For Ever 5 Concealer Cream Palette in 1 ($45 CDN) actually can achieve the magic that is ‘pinpoint concealing’, I’ve been employing the technique on blemishes and scars almost daily. It doesn’t make sense completely to me but by placing it just on the smallest areas, the skin can be concealed without looking artificial and this has been especially helpful in the last ten days when I got the yearly slightly-horrific exam-period breakout covering my cheeks and chin. It still isn’t gone yet but it’s beginning to go down into the scarring phase so at least it’s not painful anymore.

So, I have hereditary dark circles that cannot be eliminated despite my best efforts and I’ve tried a bunch of concealers with meh-like success, including the corrector in the above palette and for the first time I’ve found something that truly works beyond merely brightening the area. And it’s the hyped Bobbi Brown Corrector ($30 CDN)that I admittedly have not been using as long as the other products as I received it as a gift from my mother for Easter after contemplating getting it for ages and ages. Despite my initial skepticism, it actually works to cancel out the darkness underneath my eyes without leaving that unattractive orange cast even with concealer on top and it doesn’t make the under-eyes look dry or anything. I use the shade Light-Medium Bisque and the pink hue actually cancels out the darkness without requiring a concealer on top to get rid of the pink cast. I’m sort of kind of in love with this magical pot of corrector.

I’ve also been going for powder on the regular, as I’ve been able to apply the L’Oreal True Match Mineral Powder ($15-17 CDN) without having it look artificial, obvious or dull on the skin. I have the lightest shade of the warm-family in this finely-milled powder but I don’t think colour is especially important with this formula as the coverage is so sheer. Funnily enough, I’m not wearing any powder today after going out last night with some friends for drinks to celebrate a birthday and the end of the school year — my skin gets into this dehydrated state whenever alcohol seems to be involved and powder is rarely used in such a state attractively. I’m sure some of you know how it is. I’ve been using the Real Techniques Duofibre Brush to powder, if you’re interested.

Have you tried any of these products?

Maggie, x.

 

 

Drugstore (Makeup) Essentials #2

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So I was feeling a wee bit nostalgic and strangely sentimental – sue me. An all around beauty product drugstore staples post was my first post ever, right after I discovered these fantastic beauty products that didn’t break the bank and since then I’ve tried um lots more, shall we say and I always like reading these posts so I thought a post with my budget-friendly staple products was in order as I haven’t been giving some of these workhorses as much credit as they deserve. As I’ve said many times before, in Canada drugstore makeup doesn’t tend to be nearly as affordable as it is in the states so I’m sure for many of you these hero products will be even more affordable, but price aside these are all fantastic products I always come back to. And I easily could have included 72835 products more…

Real Techniques Core Collection ($19-22 CDN):

I’m actually aware that everybody and their pet iguana declares their loved for this affordable hyped-up brush set but after spotting the set for the first time this summer, these four brushes have made their way into my daily makeup routine, so they are kind of a ridiculous bargain considering their quality. Everyone’s favourite, the buffing brush, was my first love from the set, initially seducing me with its ability to buff foundation into the skin to help it blend seamlessly, but I’m tempted to say that I now love the three other includes brushes as much; the contour brush is amazing for its intended use, namely sculpting the face efficiently, the pointed foundation brush blends concealer underneath the eyes like a dream and the detailer brush is responsible for my newfound ability to do Lisa-Eldridge-Induced pinpoint concealing.

Annabelle Smoothliner in Brownie ($7 CDN):

I’m pretty sure this is one of the few beauty bits that ever existed that are easier to get ahold of in Canada and that is rather pleasing, I must say — but I know that Americans at least can order from the website for reasonable shipping rates on the already reasonably-priced brand. This is easily the best affordable liner that I’ve ever tried but it’s up there among the best liners I’ve ever tried regardless of price as well and it’s the first non-black liner that I’ve found worked. It has that kind of creamy, long-wearing and pigmented formula that I had hoped the cult-favourite Rimmel Scandaleyes had but most certainly did not. The shade is also spectacular as it’s a rich deep brown that adds adequate definition unlike the other brown liners that I’ve tried in the past.

L’Oreal True Match Mineral Pressed Powder ($14-16 CDN):

While I wouldn’t say that it’s an exact dupe – oh how I hate that word – for the MAC Studio Careblend, it’s very similar – the only difference is the more minimal coverage and decreased longevity – and I’ve been hugely impressed with this as a girl who doesn’t really like powderiness and is looking for a non-powdery powder. It is one of those soft powders that I adore unlike the typically powder-y powders that cling to my dry patches and take away all life from the face. Although it blurs imperfections in the way that powders do, it has more of a natural velvet kind of finish and doesn’t take all luminosity out of the skin. But like many L’Oreal products, it’s not actually all that affordable…

Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation ($11-12 CDN):

So a review of this luminous foundation is long overdue and I do plan on getting one done in the general near future but in short, I’m still loving this one. This is one of those foundation  that under ideal skin conditions – ahem, by skin isn’t in one of its tantrum phases – is undetectable on the skin while offering light coverage that is easily built up to medium with the help of the buffing brush. I believe I wear the third lightest shade, Shell, that is a really good match, particularly undertone-wise as it leans on the warmer side of things without being so yellow and in my humble opinion the shade range does cater to us fairer-skinned ladies. It’s luminosity is nowhere on the questionable greasy side of things but in my opinion, unless you have skin that’s as dry as the desert, some powdering – of the t-zone at least – is optimal. I’ve read from others that the finish on this beaut is a natural satin one but in my opinion its glowier than that and not in a bad way.

NYC Smooth Skin Bronzer in Sunny ($3 CDN):

What would a drugstore post of mine be if I didn’t throw in another reference to how much more ridiculously expensive drugstore makeup is here compared to the US? There are very few beauty products that are as inexpensive as this that you can buy in Walmart, Target and the traditional drugstores so it’s particularly impressive that for a toonie and a loonie or less, you can pick up this bronzer. Regardless of price, it’s one of my favourites, that is, it’s better than high-end that I’ve tried and it’s matte while having a smooth blendable texture. I know I’m in the minority of fair-skinned girls on this one as it is so warm and can verge on the orangey spectrum of things but on my neutral-to-warm skin, it isn’t problematic in the slightest and unless you’re extremely cool-toned and fair, I would be tempted to give it a go.

Maybelline Colorsensational ‘The Buffs’ Lipstick in Nude Lust ($9-10 CDN):

When I mentioned this before it my review of the two lipsticks from the new line of nudes, the lighter but much-peachier in undertone Blushing Beige received more appreciation from me but as time has gone on Nude Lust, with its slightly more flattering formula and slightly deeper tone with more of a beige-y hue to it has become a favourite of mine. The lipstick formula reminds me of an improved-upon MAC Cremesheen, as it has the same creaminess with good longevity but is a smoother texture that’s more hydrating and much more comfortable on the lips. I would have to posit this lipstick as halfway in between the true typical nude offering, MAC Creme d’Nude and the somewhat-nudey-my-lips-but-better offering, Patisserie; it has true nude undertones and isn’t so pale that it needs to be worn with a full-on smoky eye to be flattering without looking brown on my pale lips. It has a play-doh scent but I don’t mind it so much as it’s not overpowering.

L’Oreal Lineur Intense in Carbon Black ($9-11 CDN):

So this product pick probably has your eyes rolling if you’ve been following me for a while, but I had to mention it considering it didn’t make its way into my first post of its kind and it is the epitome of what this kind of post is about. In the last six months since I’ve picked the felt-tip inky liner, I don’t think I’ve ever used it less than 4 times a week. It still remains nice and wet despite its frequent use, I’m pleased to report, but it isn’t so wet that it ever smudges and makes a mess. It’s pretty much a precise and easy to use brush that quickly can produce those thin everyday kitten flicks for those with less dextrous hands like mine.

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Romantic ($8.50 – 10 CDN):

In an ideal world where I did not seem to misplace lip crayons at the most inopportune moments, the product mentioned here would be the Revlon Lacquer Balm in Enticing but in that place called the real world, I appear to have lost said lip product and so I’m going with the similar but slightly lighter-rustier red Revlon Kissable Balm Stain in Romantic which I like only the tiniest bit of an imperceptible smidgen less because it’s not quite as hydrating with the more obvious cooling-mint sensation that can irritate the sensitive lips (boo) but at the same time has ridiculous good wearing power and is comfortable to wear and doesn’t show hideously chapped patches on your lips.

Bourjois Cream Blush in 04 Sweet Cherry ($20 CDN):

I know, I know, this isn’t actually exactly budget-friendly in Canada but it is in the UK for certain – I’m jealous of all of you who live there, by the way – but it is still more affordable than anything resembling higher end and is generally fantastic so I’m counting it here. For a true cream blush, this creamy-but-not-wet-feeling texture is much easier to work with than say the very creamy and emollient Bobbi Brown Pot Rouges without setting to that cream-powder finish that kind of negates the point of cream blush for me. I should mention two slight downsides to the product, however; not a ton of product comes in the compact product and it has that typical heavy and perfume-y scent. I have the deepest shade in the range because in the lighting I was working with the others looked deceptively sheer and light and I’m a fan of it nevertheless, despite its less exciting neutral rosy deep pink shade.

Sooo this turned into one of my marathon posts but I’m telling myself — and I mostly believe it — that it is completely acceptable and concise because it’s not an abstract tangent on a single product but instead one of my essential picks posts. What are some of your drugstore essential products?

Maggie, x.

 

 

 

 

Base Bonanza: Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation

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I have managed to talk about this foundation very frequently here without giving an actual review. Whoops. This was the first Drugstore foundation that I tried and was wowed by the great quality of – it’s better than many higher end ones I’ve tried. In short, in my view Rimmel Wake Me Up is a fantastic foundation, well for me at least.

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INGREDIENTS: AQUA/WATER/EAU, CYCLOPENTASILOXANE, TITANIUM DIOXIDE, GLYCERIN, TALC, ETHYLHEXYL METHOXYCINNAMATE, DIMETHICONE, CRAMBE ABYSSINICA SEED OIL, BIOSACCHARIDE GUM-1, DIMETHICONE PEG-10/15 CROSSPOLYMER, MICA, VINYL DIMETHICONE/ METHICONE SILSESQUIOXANE CROSSPOLYMER, LAURYL PEG-9 POLYDIMETHYLSILOXYETHYL DIMETHICONE, DIMETHICONE CROSSPOLYMER, LECITHIN, PHENOXYETHANOL, SODIUM PCA, DIMETHICONOL, MAGNESIUM SULFATE, SODIUM CHLORIDE, DISODIUM STEAROYL GLUTAMATE, PARFUM/FRAGRANCE, UREA, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, SILICA DIMETHYL SILYLATE, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, ALUMINUM HYDROXIDE, POTASSIUM SORBATE, POLYQUATERNIUM-51, SODIUM HYALURONATE, TREHALOSE, GLYCERYL POLYMETHACRYLATE, DISODIUM EDTA, HEXYLENE GLYCOL, PEG-8, HEXYL CINNAMAL, DIPROPYLENE GLYCOL, LIMONENE, BUTYLPHENYL METHYLPROPIONAL, TOCOPHEROL, TRIACETIN, BENZYL SALICYLATE, LINALOOL, BHT, GERANIOL, ALPHA-ISOMETHYL IONONE, CITRONELLOL, BENZOIC ACID, SODIUM LACTATE, PALMITOYL OLIGOPEPTIDE.

Well I couldn’t find this foundation on Rimmel’s Canadian site oddly enough so I had to make due with the UK one even though the UK formulation is slightly different, as in it contains SPF whereas the one I have does not. Basically it claims to be light and moisturizing on the skin, gives an instant flawless natural-looking finish and has a visible anti-fatigue effect with peptides and a “moisturizing vitamin complex”. To me this sounds like it was made to be in the vein of Bourjois 10 Hour Sleep Effect with the radiance claims and vitamin ridiculousness – Bourjois is known for its claims to do with vitamins and antioxidant which I am quite skepical of. Nevertheless, I find that these foundations differ. Wake Me Up isn’t quite as dewy in my opinion but has the radiance nevertheless with increased longevity and coverage. On the UK website Rimmel describes the product as “Rimmel’s first liquid foundation that instantly reawakens skin with a healthy, radiant glow” and the “light, moisturising texture applies smoothly and leaves skin feeling soft and comfortable all day” and “gives an instant flawless, natural-looking finish” with its “visible anti-fatigue effect with peptides and a Vitamin Moisturising complex”. Like with every other foundation on the market, it does not make the skin look instantly flawless and I’m skeptical of the ingredients doing anything magic, but I believe it achieves on the rest of its claims.

It’s a thicker yet somewhat weightless tacky (until it sets) liquid consistently. It’s even more viscous than MUFE HD. It provides medium coverage that is somewhat buildable on the skin. As promised, the formulation is light and hydrating and the ingredients are the ideal ones for my skins particular needs. It’s free of irritating alcohols, although it does include some fragrance and contains a high concentration of silicones, which I know break some people out but on my dehydrated skin, they help the foundation to sit more nicely over the skin. The good amount of glycerin in the foundation explains its hydrating properties. I really can’t see the shimmer in the foundation unless I squint really hard at the bottle under harsh lighting and I definitely cannot see the shimmer on my face in any sort of lighting. In other countries, the foundation seems to contain spf but in Canada it does not appear to – this is a godsend to me because my skin tends to be reactive to formulations including chemical SPF.
As a whole, the colour range of Rimmel’s offering leaves much to be desired even compared to other ranges at the drugstore but the lightest shade of the six, ivory, a moderately fair shade with yellow undertones suits my skin perfectly which is a rarity for me. The shades really only cater to those with moderately fair skin to those with medium skin tones.
Keep in mind here that I do have perpetually dehydrated skin, but I do not think that this foundation can be described as truly dewy, as say Bourjois 10 Hour Sleep Effect but it does provide a bit of radiance and glow to the skin. It’s slightly glowier than a satin finish and the shimmer particles that I can’t detect seem to highlight the naturally high points of my face and powdered (although I rarely wear it this way) it looks like a natural finish. However, I know the finish of a foundation varies across different skin types and it generally applies glowier on an oilier skin. I would describe it as luminous-looking on the skin.
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Because this foundation is not truly super-dewy and has surprising lasting power on the skin – I find that on it’s own it lasts 12+ hours everywhere except on inflamed blemishes -, it’s suitable for a variety of skin types. Those with  slightly dry skin, normal skin and combination skin would suit this foundation the best if they are looking for some natural-looking luminosity with longevity and coverage. It does not cling to dry patches but does not effortlessly and invisibly glide over major ones either.
I’m tempted to say this is my favourite foundation. For my dry skin, it’s a failsafe option regardless of the state of my skin is, for instance whether I’m suffering through blemishes and abundant dry patches or if it’s acting its slightly dehydrated self. I don’t think a single week has gone by where I haven’t worn this foundation when I got it in the spring and there are months when I pretty much wore this exclusively.
The packaging is quite nice-looking especially for the price point, albeit quite large and impractical for travel. It comes in an asymetrical glass bottle with a large orange cap and has a matching orange pump. I’m happy to say this affordable foundation actually has a pump!
worn with full-faced makeup
worn with full-faced makeup
both taken with flash: right after application on the left and twelve hours after on the right
both taken with flash: right after application on the left and twelve hours after on the right
The Claims: 9/10
Formulation: 9.5/10
Longevity: 9.5/10
Packaging: 9.5/10
Overall Quality: 9.5/10
Total: 46.5/50 or 93%, A+

x,

Maggie.

If you’ve tried this foundation, tell me your thoughts below! I’m also always open to recommendations 🙂