Dreamy Picks February 2014

I gladly bid farewell to this past frigid month of February and hello to March. Although it’s already snowed this month and all signs of warmer weather are amiss, I still hold hope for the new approaching season. Snow or not, Springs new beauty Collections are in full bloom. There have been some exciting releases this season and a few already have made it to my list of favorites.

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S.W. Basics Toner – After a stressful couple of weeks my skin did not fair too well. I started to develop a form of Dermatitis on my face. After some research and after testing several treatments, I came across this toner from S.W. Basics. Within a couple of days, my skin cleared up and with continued use, it keeps my Dermatitis at bay. The S.W. Basics toner is sort has been a savior.

Aroma M Camellia Hair Oil – I’ve recently reviewed this products after receiving a sample from Aroma M. I adore this oil so much and have recently picked up the full-sized. (review)

Tom Ford Nail Lacquer in Incandescent – A recent acquisition from the Tom Ford’s Spring/Summer Collection. This stunning metallic-gold polish, Incandescent, reminds me of the warm days that I am longing for. (review)

By Terry Cover Expert Foundation in #7 – The newest addition to my foundation collection. This might be the ultimate ‘un-makeup’ makeup. While I am still testing, I will be sure to post my thoughts soon.

Gressa Lip Boost in Bare – Probably my most worn lip product as of recent. While it contains gorgeous pigments, it conditions like your favorite balm and it’s all natural to boot. I am never without it. (review)

Hourglass Ambient Blush in Dim Infusion – It’s no surprise that the Ambient Blushes are everywhere, they’re gorgeous. Dim Infusion brings life to my complexion. The formula is beautiful as if it melts into the skin. (review)

What’s on your February Favorites List?

NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation – swatches & review

When I heard news that NARS was releasing a new foundation, the ‘Radiant Cream Compact Foundation’, I went into bit of a tizzy. An all time favorite base of mine is the Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer from NARS. The idea that this product might contain some of that ‘radiant magic’ as found in the Tinted Moisturizer, along with heavier coverage was a very exciting thought.

The NARS Radiant Cream Compact brilliantly evens skin with a lightweight, luminous finish“, as quoted by the NARS website. The foundation can be used both wet and dry for “artistic versatility.” Said to have medium buildable coverage, it increases moisture levels by 80% in 12 hours. The foundation is sold in a refill, separately from the compact and is sold in an impressive selection of 20 shades.

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The Radiant Cream Foundation has a surprising amount of coverage for a cream foundation. I would say it is about medium to full coverage, depending on your application. The foundation covers my dark under-eye circles and blemishes so well that I can skip my concealer. I found a damp Beauty Blender as the best way to apply the foundation, rather than the use of my fingertips or the available sponge. It also has a surprisingly excellent amount of wear-time for a cream foundation.

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The finish is dewy, though not so much radiant. The familiar radiant finish, like that of the NARS TM is not similar to this Cream Foundation. Actually, on me, rather than adding an amount of radiance it took some away. After dusting on the slightest amount of my favorite finishing powder, the dewy finish disappears completely. The Cream Compact Foundation clung to any dry patches and peach fuzz making it very visible on the skin. The foundation also sunk into the larger pores on the sides of my nose, even after applying a pore-minimizing primer.

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(applied to arm)

Punjab is a medium shade with golden, peachy undertones and a perfect match for my slightly tanned-skin.

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(blended into skin)

After blending the foundation into skin, you can see how the drier skin on my arm becomes more pronounced.

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(wearing NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation in Punjab, mascara, and lip balm only, please excuse my glum expression)
 

In the image above I am wearing the Radiant Cream Foundation alone, without powder or concealer to show its natural finish. I applied the Cream Foundation using a damp Beauty Blender. You can see, only slightly, the areas in which the foundation has clung to my dry bits and where it has sunk into pores.

Ultimately the Radiant Cream Foundation was not compatible with my skin type. Despite the negatives I mentioned, I can imagine that the cream foundation might have potential to work for other’s. So, while it doesn’t work for me, it might work for you.

NARS Cream Compact Foundation refill $38, compact $10 at sephora.com

 
 

A Flawless and Radiant Complexion with YSL Teint Radiance Foundation

YSL Teint Radiance Foundation is a light diffusing foundation that provides your complexion with a flawless radiance. This “glow-enhancing” formula contains hyaluronic acid to help hydrate the skin, along with an SPF of 20.

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A long time favorite, the YSL Teint Radiance Foundation gives a luminous, natural glow to the skin. The silky texture blends flawlessly into skin leaving an undetectable satin finish just as a great foundation should. Teint Radiance wears comfortably with a virtuously weightless feel. So, while your skin looks radiant, it isn’t due to an excess amount of oils in the formula. This one wears incredibly well and won’t have you powdering down on the hour as other luminous formulas might. I would consider it as an option for any skin type.

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I apply the Teint Radiance using the Real Techniques Stippling brush and powder it down using the Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder. I am featuring shade #7 (golden beige) which is a darker shade I wear with a subtle tan.

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 (wearing #7 and Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer in Medium on my face only)

YSL Teint Radiance $48

at yslbeautyus.com

 

Dior Diorskin Nude BB Creme

Released earlier this year, the Diorskin Nude BB Creme is a makeup with naturally derived skin care ingredients. “Its light, blending texture delivers seamless correction and bathes the face in a unique rosy glow.” The BB Creme is available in “four expert shades to match every skintone.”

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In following trend from Asia, companies have been releasing BB creams left and right for quite a while now. I have tried many and none have been quite up to par with the asian versions. While I found some formulas to be moisturizing they considerably lacked in coverage. I didn’t have very high hopes from Dior’s new release. Although upon swatching it, I knew immediately that it held promise. Dior has given us the coverage we wanted and comes in the shades we have so intensely desired.

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Diorskin Nude BB Creme provides light to medium coverage. The creamy formula blends seamlessly into skin with just my fingertips. It provides moderate coverage yet leaves a completely natural finish. It’s a low maintenance product that leaves me with flawless looking skin without much effort on my part.

The BB Creme doesnt require me to powder. The finish is not oily in any sense yet it does provide me with a healthy glow. I actually find this product to be a bit dry on my skin, so I make sure to moisturize well beforehand. I think this product would suit just about any skin type.

dior-bb-1I picked up the shade #002 fair. Upon first swatching this shade it was light with more yellow tones. After several minutes the shade deepens, losing some yellow tones and leaning more beige. The color does not continue to deepen as time goes on. Without some self-tanning this shade would be a bit to deep for me. I highly recommend allowing some time to see how the color develops on your skin before purchase.

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I must mention that as well as a combination skincare and makeup, the Dior BB Cream is marketed as a sunscreen as well with a spf of 10. The directions state to apply this product 15 minutes before sun exposure and to reapply every 2 hours. I personally disregard this information and have chosen to use this as a makeup and not for daily sunscreen protection.

I love this product for it’s natural finish and low maintenance application. It has become a regular product in my routine for my “days off.”

Have you tried the Diorskin Nude BB Creme?

Fresh Umbrian Clay Foundation

Fresh Umbrian Clay foundation is a “purifying and balancing treatment foundation that refines and hydrates the skin. Fresh’s exclusive Umbrian Clay removes impurities from the skin to refine, nourish, and balance the complexion while Porphyridium Cruentum, a micro-algae extract, retains optimal moisture levels throughout the day.” Contains an SPF of 20.

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The Umbrian Clay Foundation from Fresh is nothing less than magnificent. This product has been among my favorites for perhaps a bit longer than five years now. With especially high standards for a foundations performance, a great one is hard to come by. I am not quite sure why it as taken so long for me to review this product, as per request I am doing it now. I apologize for keeping this product from you for too long.

Fresh’s Umbrian Clay foundation contains skin healthy ingredients including their Umbrian Clay, micro-algae extract, antioxidants A C and E and Seawater. The foundation has a fabulous creamy consistency unlike other foundations, and not dissimilar to a BB cream. The application is dreamy having the ability to blend with great ease, your fingers will do. The foundation provides medium coverage while giving the illusion of a face free of makeup. It is virtually undetectable on the skin, which I feel is one of the most important qualities of a good makeup. Girls… you shouldnt see it!

Now I have good skin, but during a time when I suffered from frequent breakouts this is the makeup I used. It also did not clog my pores or exacerbate my troubled skin. It provides excellent coverage, so well in fact that you will find yourself applying less concealer. I can sometimes forgo under eye cover-up when I wear this foundation. For a makeup with a bit more coverage, I highly reccomend this one. The end result is a flawless complexion with a radiant finish.

Fresh foundation comes in a selection of 7 shades. While I am a prefect match for Rio Samba during the summertime when my skin is a deeper tone, I have trouble finding a match for my skin during the winter months. In the image below I have featured the Rio Samba on my very pale winter skin, I hope you can still gain an idea of the fomula and coverage.

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see me wearing it here, here, and here

Fresh Umbrian Clay Foundation $42

RMS “un” cover-up as a foundation

RMS “un” cover-up is an all natural and organic concealer. I wrote about it previously as a cover-up. The “un” cover-up was created to be used an all-over face foundation as well. I created this additional post to show you how I use this product as a foundation and to show you the results that you can expect.

Perhaps because coconut oil is the first ingredient in RMS’ “un” cover-up, it melts beautifully into the skin. It is easy to blend and provides light coverage while concealing skin-imperfections. When I use this as a foundation I don’t feel concerned for my skin. I know that while I am covering and concealing I am also providing my skin with natural and healthy nourishment. The “un” cover-up is especially wonderful for those with dry skin, I find it very moisturizing.

When using the “un” cover up as a foundation, I first mist my skin with a moisture mist, my current favorite is this one from Sanitas. However, this product will blend whether or not your skin is pre-moistened. I then place some concealer onto one area of my face at a time with my fingertips. With a lightly moistened compact foundation sponge I blend the product into my skin using a light rolling/dabbing motion. I continue this all over the rest of my face. I layer extra product, using my finger, where more coverage is needed. (this is all that I have done in the image below) You can see that the concealer provided a very natural all-over look with a radiant finish. It also concealed a small pimple I had on my cheek rather well.

To set the “un” cover-up, I used a translucent loose setting powder, like this one from Laura Mercier. I then sprayed my face again with the Sanita’s moisture spray to melt the powder and bring back the luminous finish. This product is very creamy and I find that it does not set like a liquid foundation would. I find that I have to use more powder to rid of any remaining tackiness. The only thing I disliked about this product is the weight it seemed to carry on my skin. Otherwise the end result is quite stunning. I personally opt to use this foundation on my days off to treat my skin and to give it a break.

Have you tried the “un” cover-up?

RMS “un” cover-up

RMS “un” cover-up is “formulated to reveal and enhance healthy skin. “ This creamy, hydrating concealer provides nourishment to the skin while concealing imperfections. It can be used to cover  the under-eye area, dark marks, and blemishes or used all over as a foundation. Due to its creaminess, it provides a dewy, radiant appearance while not settling into fine lines. The finished look is incredibly natural. The “un” cover-up won Allure’s “Best of Beauty” award for ‘natural wonder’ two years in a row as a natural concealer.

The “un cover-up” contains all natural and certified ingredients. RMS creator Rose-Marie Swift has an incredible philosophy towards beauty and cosmetics, sourcing only the highest quality ingredients and taking “extreme care in the use of minimal heat in the manufacturing process of this product in order to keep all nutrients and healing properties alive.” This is why you are going to have to drop $36 for this product if you want it. These ingredients are:

cocos nucifera (coconut) oil*,
ricinus communis (castor) seed oil*,
cera alba (beeswax)*,
theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter*,
simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil*,
tocopherol (non-gmo),
rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) extract*

I picked up #22 for light-medium skin with warm, olive, or neutral undertones. Upon first impressions I was quite certain that #22 was going to be far to dark for my skin tone especially considering the intention of using this product mainly as an under-eye concealer. However, after applying, it seemed to blend rather well under my eye area, matching the rest of my face quite flawlessly. The creamy consistency blended beautifully without any dragging. I used a concealer brush then pat the area with my fingertips to thoroughly blend. There was no settling into the creases under my eye area.

My under-eye circles are a bit of a stressor for me. My dark circles require a full-coverage concealer. While the un-cover up provided exceptional coverage, it was not quite ample enough for my requirements. Ultimately, I highly recommend this concealer to those who don’t have similar needs to mine. I think this concealer would suite the average persons needs very well. The consistency, as well as it’s and beneficial ingredients are the tops for your everyday concealer.

Despite my reservations, I tested this product as a foundation. I was beyond impressed with it versatile performance. After moisturizing skin, and before applying the “un cover-up”, I moistened my skin with a mist (RMS  un cover-up doesn’t require pre-moisturized skin). I dabbed the concealer using my fingers onto areas of my face. I then continued to blend the product using a compact foundation sponge. I was fascinated by the way this product blended seamlessly into my skin, matching perfectly to my skin-tone. The end result was flawless and exceptionally radiant with a highly-natural look. I hadn’t anticipated such a fabulous blending capability with a “concealer-like” formulation. The product did however carry a bit of weight on my skin.

I can imagine using this as a luminizer as well, incorporating it into my highlight/contour routine. It is also fabulous to drop in your purse for touch-ups.

I provided before and after photo’s to help show the pigmentation issues that I have. I am wearing only mascara in the before photo, and RMS “un” cover-up and mascara in the after photo. I applied the cover-up under my eye area and in the inner corner of my eye blending slightly on to my lid. The “un” cover-up did a beautiful job, but their still remains some discoloration that I wish to further disguise.

I highly recommend RMS “un” cover-up to those who wish to conceal light to moderate dark circles, light skin discolorations and acne, or to those seeking a natural makeup with medium coverage.