Happy weekend! I wanted to give you all an update on the new products I’ve been using– some of which I’m very excited about!
I ran into Sephora today to buy a concealer and was stopped in my tracks by the Princess Jasmine Disney Collection (a collaboration between Sephora and Disney that includes eyeshadows, liner, nailpolishes, body shimmer, and perfume). As a former aspiring Disney Princess (I auditioned once! It was incredibly fun!), I knew I had to check out these products. The makeup seemed a little kiddie or totally unnecessary for me, but the rollerball perfume called “A Whole New World” had me at one sniff.
It’s a honey-and-fruits-sweet, feminine, oriental floral. I love warm fragrances with gardenia, vanilla, or both, so I was immediately drawn to this. Pretty much snatched it up right away. The rollerball is actually a perfumed oil (base of sweet almond oil), suggestive of Jasmine’s exotic persona. The scent is also available as an Eau de Parfum Spray, but I preferred the fragrance (and price) of the rollerball. The staying power is okay; the scent doesn’t disperse far from your skin, so wearing it is a very personal experience. It makes me feel beautiful.
Silk Naturals, an independent organic cosmetics company I recently gushed about here, makes an amazing translucent powder that I usually wear on no-makeup days to keep me from looking moisturizer-greasy. The description on SN’s website does the powder full justice, so I’ll let them do the talking:
Silk, Pearls, Roses, and Vitamin C… Ultimate Luxury Powder is made from the absolute most luxurious, wonderful ingredients direct from Mother Nature. This was originally designed as a night treatment powder- and it’s superb for that, but it’s also a great primer and finishing powder. Pearls contain calcium and lots of amino acids that condition your skin and make it feel soft and smooth. It’s almost completely matte, and smells slightly like roses.
Ingredients: Mica and Magnesium Myrsistate, Pearl Powder, Pure Silk Powder, Zinc Oxide, L-Ascorbyl Palmitate, Rose Petals, Allantoin, Silica
Silk! Pearls! Roses! Vitamin C! This is a face powder for the gods.
Okay, I’m not ‘goo goo ga ga’ for this one. I wanted an alternative to MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack because my gel liner brush is starting to fray, and so the precision of my cat eye has been suffering.
However, despite solid reviews around the web for this liquid liner, I find that it tends to flake quite obviously during the day. I do appreciate how blackety-black it is, though.
Liquid liners in general are much less forgiving than gel liners– the slightest quiver of hand and you get an amateurish shaky line, which no amount of eyelash curling and mascara can really hide. I will tough it out as I practice my liquid lining skills, but expect to ultimately return to my trusty gel liner.
I have positive-to-mixed feelings about the Silk Naturals All-Purpose Mineral Foundation, of which I have been using a sample recently. It might just be that the grass is always greener on the other side. Here’s my breakdown of the foundation’s pros and cons:
- Unique color matching system that works for all seasons: This is the kicker– you mix the foundation color yourself! Can you believe it, how awesome is that?! When you order a sample of the foundation from SN (for a mere $4), they send you a scoop with a little baggie of white powder (the base) and several little baggies of colored powders (see above). Each of the little baggies is a different color shade (e.g. warm gold for golden undertones, buttery gold for yellow undertones, olive for neutral undertones, ebony for pink undertones, etc.). You can post a picture of yourself on the Silk Naturals Forum and an expert will recommend a formula for you– the expert had helpful advice for me (she approximated that I was one scoop of olive powder mixed with 8-10 scoops of white powder; my true ratio is 1.75 olive to 9 white). The right color match for you will look a little light when you apply it, and within 10-15 minutes will settle into the correct shade. It took me about 5 tries at mixing the formula to get my perfect match. If I get a little tan during the summer, or turn pale during the winter, I can adjust the formula myself with the powders, so this awesome foundation matches me year-round!
- Fantastic skin-safe, very natural (vegan) ingredient list
- Suitable for dry skin types, silica-free
- SPF-free, meaning no white cast in camera flash
- Very inexpensive
- Light-to-medium coverage: It’s not easy to transition from a MAC cream foundation to a loose powder foundation; you’re just not gonna get the kind of coverage you’re used to. So for me the light-to-medium coverage feels like a con right now, though it might turn out to be what I was looking for when I set out for a foundation that let my skin’s natural radiance and brightness shine through. (SN does offer a heavy coverage foundation, for those interested.)
- Messy to apply: Loose powder in a small jar means some powder wasted floating to the floor or onto your counter when you’re trying to grab it with your brush.
- Must be applied in even layers: Okay, here’s the thing. I think this is true for all mineral makeup foundations, so it’s not unique to SN: you must apply the same amount of powder evenly all over your face. With normal (not mineral) foundations, you can keep adding more and more to certain spots (over blemishes, around the nose) and it will simply give you more opaque coverage. Not so with mineral foundations. As you add more layers with mineral foundations, the color builds up and looks darker with each layer of coverage. This can be avoided if you are not treating the powder as a concealer. Which is a bummer, because it’s tempting to try that. But if you do, you’ll just end up looking muddy.
In all, I love this foundation for its great ingredients and the spectacular concept of mixing your PERFECT color match. Just make sure you have a reliable concealer to lean on too.
I’ve been on the hunt for a full coverage opaque cream concealer– one free of parabens, bismuth oxychloride, and synthetic fragrance– to replace my MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer. I’ve loved the MAC pot concealer for many years, but my skin color has changed and I don’t get a good match with any of their shades, and I wanted to move away from MAC facial makeup products (which have a notorious reputation for causing breakouts). Plus, I don’t like concealers and foundations that have chemical sunscreens. I was excited to find the NARS stick concealer had what looked like an excellent ingredient list, provided decent coverage, and had a good color selection– but was bummed to learn it may contain bismuth oxychloride, a known skin irritant.
My search finally brought me to Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage, worn by Hollywood stars like Emma Watson and Kristen Stewart. It’s loved by those in the makeup business, and indeed, Secret Camouflage means business. The product is used to cover dark spots and discoloration (the consistency is too thick and dry for the undereye area)– and cover it does. This stuff has the highest coverage of any concealer I’ve sampled. What I love about it is that it comes with two shades, one beige-toned and one peach-toned, that you mix together to get your perfect shade (can you tell I love customizability?). Most South Asian skintones will fall in the SC- 3 through 6 range; I am SC-5 (neutral undertones).
The only drawback of the product is the texture: it’s waxy and dry, making it a little tricky to learn how to use (I rub the product in the pan with my finger to warm it up; I’ve also heard giving it a blast with the hair dryer works well). Learning how to make it work for you takes practice. If not applied carefully, the concealer can look cakey on dry skin types. However, for creating flawless-looking skin (despite requiring some effort), I’m happy with this product!