Foundations -Dermablend - Smooth Indulgence long lasting matte finish
J_cool 3/31/2009 8:02:00 PM
Long-Lasting Matte finish - HA! Dermablend's Smooth Indulgence Foundation was nothing but a disaster and anything but "matte and longlasting." The colors are actually not that bad, the color I chose complimented my natural color quite well. And the high-coverage and overall look is really nice... for the first half-hour or so. After about an hour, this stuff seems to vaporize off the face. This ugly transition causes the foundation to separate and pool into pores, lines, scars, etc. It's also highly transferable, as it rubs off on everything and anything - phones, collars, pillows, other people!! I'd like to elaborate more, but you get the idea. It's low-grade crap. Even the formulation is cheap. You always have to shake the tube prior to application. If you don't, the formula comes out separated - an oily fluid comes out first and then a watery color base follows. Definitely not recommended for people with oily skin.
Upon reading dozens of reviews on NARS’ Exhibit A blush, I was really excited about purchasing it. After several days of using the product, I can honestly say that it is, indeed, different than any other blush I’ve tried. It’s negative attributes far outweigh it’s positives. Wait - is there anything “+” about this controversial blush, whom many claim to be one of the best things to have happened to makeup in the last decade? Well, read on... Exhibit A is a very densely packed and hyper-pigmented blush. The initial color in the pan is a bright crimson color, like tomatoes. Yet, when applied to my light-medium yellow-toned skin, it shows up more like a bold, reddish-pink, with pink being more apparent. The color, in a muted state, is a very nice, natural flush. However, this is where the praise for Exhibit A ends. What is most frustrating about this blush is that it is so difficult to apply! With the lightest touch of my brush, the pigment just annoyingly clings to it. Same thing happens when applied to the skin. It just drags on the skin, clings to it, and is MOST difficult to blend, which results in obvious demarcation (which could easily be mistaken for an extreme case of roseacea). This occurs even on a primed, matted, smoothed foundation surface. The only reason I can give for this is that one of it’s ingredients is lanolin, an animal fat of sorts. This could explain why it lacks the blendability of a true powder blush. It streaks and sinks into the skin (people with larger pores take notice, this will severely draw attention to them sooner or later)! What’s even more frustrating is that because it contains a lubricant (!!), it gradually tends to melt away any makeup it comes into contact with (foundation, concealer). At the end of the day, my foundation is gone but my cheeks are stained reddish-pink; and my pores are also way more apparent. Why? I even primed! It’s a terrible sight! I’ve used the standard, common approach to applying this blush. I’ve heard that it’s takes special tools and techniques to reap the real benefits of Exhibit A. Many of us, however, don’t have the time to “research” on how to apply a certain blush; we’re not professional makeup artists. We pay NARS a bundle to manufacture a blush that is to be applied with ease and with great results. If they don’t want to manufacture practical makeup, then they should only sell to professionals. This seems to be the stuff for photo-shoots and run-ways; it certainly performs that way, it’s hardly functional. I like makeup that’s simple to use and effective and long-wearing. I can’t stand fussy cosmetics like NARS’ Exhibit A that demand too much of your time and effort with very little or no payoff. As already mentioned, Exhibit A has a comedogenic fatty oil as one of it’s ingredients. Why? I have no idea. Is a reputable, pricey makeup line really that stupid? And why include it in a POWDER BLUSH?? So, no surprise that after a couple days, i developed acne bumps under my skin. You know, the ones that hurt. This blush was the only new thing I’ve incorporated into my daily skin regime, so, of course, it must be the culprit. Oh, and when I stopped using it, the acne stopped “bumping” up. The reasons I listed above are enough for this blush to be condemned in many circles. But, many still love it and it remains an insider favorite. If they’re skin is strong enough to wear it, then, wow, I envy them, because the color payoff is nice (after you really “work” with it, that is) and the color remains virtually unturned after long wear - bear in mind that it’ll be the *only* thing on the cheeks at the end of the day. Maybe drier skin types will respond much better to it? But for $26+, I expected much more, especially from NARS. Trust me, there’s much better formulated, affordable, more advanced options out there, many available at the drugstore. In my case, it was very difficult to apply, time-consuming, appeared somewhat patchy, removed my foundation (due to it’s heavy, oily properties), exposed pores like nothing else, and caused painful acne. It deserves nothing more than a one-and-a-half star rating.
I expected a lot from Prescriptives Virtual Matte oil-free foundation, considering it's price and that it was formulated by a (seemingly) high-end line. I was excited about this foundation because of it's large selection of colors and the fact that it claimed to be matte and provide medium-to-full coverage. After trying this foundation in three colors and testing it's wear, I can honestly say that this is something that I wouldn't dare put on my face again! As mentioned above, the color selection looks good; however, once applied, they look just wrong. I purchased three colors to get a precise match: Fresh Peach, Fresh Ivory, and Fresh Vellum. None of the colors provided a shade close to my natural skin color. Peach was too ashy, Ivory was way too dark, and Vellum was just a flat, pasty, yellow mess. Actually, you shouldn't even worry about which color to choose, 'cause it'll oxidize within a matter of a few hours, anyway. When the foundation dries, it looks very odd. The finish is semi-matte and soft, but also very heavy. It will be obvious that you plastered foundation on your face, even if you used a light hand. Let's just put it this way: it doesn't resemble skin at all, but more like you applied tons of light/sheer liquid foundation and powdered like crazy (!), which brings me to the coverage aspect of the foundation. The coverage is definitely medium and would probably look better staying that way. If you layer it to achieve fuller coverage then prepare for Cakes-Ville, USA!! Despite it's heaviness (or weightiness) on the skin, it doesn't entirely cover pigmentation or freckles or the more severe acne scars. Honestly, it just looks like a cloudy veil of dense BLAH color. It reminded me of M.A.C.'s Studio Fix Fluid in that it slightly burned my face when I dabbed it on. I use a retinoid on my face daily and this made my cheeks burn slightly. It also made my neck sorta itchy. Definitely not recommended to the more sensitive-skin types! Lastly, this stuff gets a bit greasy on the face and will, without a doubt, rub off on anything it comes in contact with, especially blotting papers! This foundation was a real hassle. Even if I found a decent color, I still wouldn't wear it again. The finish of VM looked bad and dated, it irritated my face, and it felt uncomfortable and heavy and greasy. I had not ever had a foundation oxidize this rapidly on my face! I hated the way my shirt collar color looked at the end of the day (as I did my face). Exercise CAUTION with this stuff!
EL's Double Wear isn't a bad foundation, just dated (or lacking, perhaps?). There are some full coverage foundations formulated today that feel better and, more importantly, look better. I used it for about a year and then found some better alternatives. The color of DW was a problem for me. And that's a huge blow... because I really liked it. None of the colors matched me precisely. My closet match was "Sand." However, it was a bit pasty and flat in most lighting situations. I later tried Desert Beige, which although looked gorgeous in the bottle, left my skin looking like cardboard. Tawny was way too dark. For light-medium skin tones, especially those with pronounced yellow/golden/olive undertones, it is definitely a struggle to find a decent color in this line. Maybe it's a lack of decent "warm" pigment? What kept me using the foundation was it's great coverage. Rarely does a liquid foundation give coverage this good. It covers pigmentation, acne marks, and redness very well. I find that a concealer isn't necessary when using DW. This stuff really evens skin tone. The finish can look quite dry, mainly because it's so matte, as to resist oil and moisture breakthrough. It can appear flat as well, because there virtually isn't any iridescent properties in it (nothing to make you glow). Using blush or bronzer is a good idea, otherwise, you'll look one-toned and fake, especially if you use it as a full coverage base. The lasting power is quite impressive. It stays on for hours and hours. BUT, if you have oily skin, please moisturize lightly and prime, or else at the end of the day this stuff will look n-a-s-t-y! Your powerful natural oils (that will eventually breakthrough, but can be held at bay for quite some time with moisturizer and primer) will cause it to noticibally separate, and your face will look like a highway road map!! But even with these steps taken into consideration, it still doesn't look that great at the end of the day - some fading and the typical "cracking effect" common with most overly matte foundations (esp. around the mouth and nose, where there's lots of oil and jaw movement). It's still the only makeup that remains pretty much intact after an intense, sweat-filled jog, though! When you wear DW, it feels heavy. It's not too comfortable, but you get used to it. I didn't notice how heavy a foundation this was until I started using Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet +, which gives about the same coverage without the heavy feel and clay-like finish. I used DW and was satisfied with it for awhile, but as I looked more into what other full coverage foundations had to offer, I found that DW was actually pretty subpar. It's dated, reminiscent of what 90s women wore to mimic the looks of supermodels. It can produce a tacky look if you do a full-face - red lips, striped blush, spider-eyes, contour lines). I hope Estee Lauder will reformulate it soon and make it lighter feeling and a bit iridescent; and expand their color selection. If you find a match that's 100% spot on, consider yourself l-u-c-k-y. 2.5 stars (recommended. sample first, however)
Liquid -Revlon - ColorStay Makeup with SoftFlex SPF 6 for Combination/Oily Skin
J_cool 7/17/2008 9:37:00 PM
Wow - this seems to work for everyone else. Not me. Not ever. I tried this foundation over and over for the past couple of years and I can't find one thing likable about it. If you're looking for a fuller coverage foundation that looks truly like skin, then STAY AWAY from this. I guess if you need to dab some here and there to blur minor imperfections, then maybe it's okay. I find that if I blend it in as I would a full coverage foundation, it hardly covers anything. It's more like a liquid veil, kinda similar to a tinted moisturizer (read: minimal coverage). Furthermore, it sets to a grayish color that looks ghastly, no matter what the shade. It doesn't necessarily dry matte, it remains sticky on the skin for the time that it's on. If you apply powder to subdue this, then it just cakes. Despite the line having numerous shades, none match me nicely. Warm Golden is the closest color I've tried that somewhat resembles my natural color - even though it's the color I am when I tan. But still, it has a grayish hue that makes skin appear rather dull and alerts most to the fact that you got (bad) makeup on. The smell stinks, too, kinda like old coffee. The texture is like a runny pancake mix, and it sinks into the facial skin as you blend, hardly covering anything, but exposing everything. If you have large pores, acne scars, lines, or any skin textural problems, this stuff will settle into such crevices and MAGNIFY them - with or without primer. I have large pores around my cheek area and this stuff calls attention to them like no other - very embarrassing! Though dated, Double Wear is a better foundation than this. The CS colors for medium skin tones are awful, they are a disappointing selection of stale, pasty beiges and reddish, orange-browns, hardly any decent "warmth" in any of their foundations. I fear trying lighter colors because they look like slate in the glass bottles. If you want a high quality, full coverage liquid foundation then try something from MAC or Make Up For Ever - they at least have researched their colors and provide much, MUCH more coverage (and pigment).
Liquid -Avon - Perfect Wear All Day Comfort Liquid Foundation
J_cool 4/10/2008 8:32:00 PM
Avon Perfect Wear All Day Comfort Foundation (V.2) with "built-in primer" is the newly formulated foundation to give better coverage and longer-lasting wear. Although it covers alright and lasts long, it leaves much to be desired. Let's just say that I wish Avon wouldn't have discontinued the old Perfect Wear formula. The texture of Avon PW (v.2) foundation is thick and creamy. It covers OK, is fairly blendable, and dries to a soft finish. The color selection is disappointing. The colors are either pasty pinks, heavy, brownish beiges, or flat, grayish neutrals. I cannot find a decent, lifelike color for my complexion. Furthermore, due to the foundation's thickness and lack of iridescence, the foundation can appear fake and somewhat mask-like, especially if you plan on building up the coverage. The color selection for the old PW formula reflected real skin. The creamy liquid formula glided over the skin, instantly melded, and left a fresh, glowing, super-smooth finish, without emphasizing lines, pores, pigmentation, and/or acne scars. It wasn't too matte nor "masky," just nicely (super)natural. The finish of Avon PW (v.2) is pretty bad, in my opinion. It bonds to the skin instantly, much like glue, and dries to a soft, semi-matte, pasty veil, where it then helps to magnify a number of skin textural defects. It highlighted a couple of my chicken pox scars and drew attention to my larger pores, as well as some of my indented acne scars. The initial application of this foundation is nice. It looks good when freshly applied, but as stated above, it dries to a chalky, wash-like finish, no matter what the shade. Despite it's thickness and advertised claims, it doesn't offer much coverage: medium coverage, at the most. What I find strange is that after the foundation dries, the color fades a bit, leaving the face looking ashy. Maybe there isn't enough pigment in the foundation? I experimented with 4 different colors in 2 different skin-tone categories-- medium and fair-medium. Each foundation left me disappointed and looking fake (and a bit ill). I would recommend getting your hands on the older PW line. It is much superior and looks way more natural and doesn't skimp on pigment or coverage.
Liquid -L'Oreal - HIP Flawless Liquid Makeup [DISCONTINUED]
J_cool 4/2/2008 8:56:00 PM
The represented colors here look great, and will compliment a very diverse array of lovely ethnic skin tones, but be careful because the colors tend to dry a shade or two darker than what is seen through the bottle. I bought SAND and, although it's a gorgeous color, it dried to a deep brown shade of sorts and continued to darken later into the day; it didn't retain it's original creamy yellow beige color. Very disappointing. It's quite similar to a tinted moisturizer, but with more coverage. Thanks to it's iridescent properties, it looks fresh and natural and "glowy" on the skin (for at least an hour). Nevertheless, this foundation oxidizes quickly, gets greasy after awhile, and turns a bit muddy on the skin and doesn't look "just applied" as the day goes by. It is also not transfer-resistant and will rub off on clothes easily. Had this formula been more matte and hadn't oxidized so rapidly, then it would be worth re-purchasing. I believe it's been discontinued. Hopefully, L'Oreal is reformulating this line and making it more effective. It would be a shame if they canned the foundations for this line because the initial colors are gorgeous and rival shades made by MAC.
I tried Maybelline SuperStay Silky Foundation earlier and remember not being too fond of it. Then I thought that maybe I tried a wrong color. A year later, I saw it marked 1/2 off at the supermarket. I carefully looked at the colors and bought two that looked most similar to my skin tone: Nude and Classic Ivory. I initially tried some colors in the medium color line and found that they dried to a very muddy shade on my face and looked terrible-- too dark, I guess. Well, the new lighter colors went on great but, like in the past, they dried to an awful rusty beige shade that didn't resemble my skin in the slightest; the colors actually looked purplish, a deep pinky-beige of sorts... I have a hard time believing that people find success with the colors in this line. They look so fake. The foundation covered a good deal. But be careful because this foundation has the potential to look heavy and somewhat cakey, especially if you use sponges. The "primer" is too watery to be called a primer and probably serves to just thin out the really thick consistency of the foundation and make it blendable. I'm not sure why it must be pumped out separately, probably just for visual effect... (read: gimmick). The finish is not very natural, it's rather heavy, and will probably alert to most people that you have on a ton of makeup. I don't recommend this particular line for people with yellow undertones. The SuperStay line is definitely for people with pink undertones. Neutral and yellow-toned individuals will look laughable in these shades.
Crème -Pure Luxe Cosmetics - Whipped Creme Foundation
J_cool 3/20/2008 10:22:00 PM
I can't believe this isn't a joke! Pure Luxe's Whipped Cream Foundation is a strange, rather abrasive concoction that wears and feels more like a clay mask than an actual foundation. The texture of this stuff is a touchable, highly moist mousse with an 'earthy' scent. It seems to spread alright and blend to a very short extent, meaning: it dries very, very fast. It doesn't really cover anything, it instead leaves a dry, caked, pasty, tinted veil over the face, robbing the skin of it's natural color and luminescence. I would guess that the culprit in this foundation is kaolin. Kaolin is the base ingredient for clay facial masks. When mixed with water and applied to the face, kaolin dries and hardens, as it purges impurities from the skin. This would explain the highly uncomfortable tightening sensation produced by this foundation. It is not comfortable or, more importantly, safe to wear this foundation everyday or for long periods of time. Imagine walking around all day with a clay mask on your face! It could lead to extreme drying of the skin, dermatitis, and/or eczema. That "itch" you feel while wearing this is your face telling you to get this stuff off!! Just because certain cosmetics use "pure, natural minerals" doesn't necessarily mean that they're gentle or to be used freely without worry. Proceed with caution. I like Pure Luxe, but I can't believe they're marketing this stuff. It's a joke, and a harmful one, at that!! They make really nice mineral foundations, though. I'd recommend those. The colors they formulate for the mineral line are easily some of the best out today.
I was gonna toss this stuff, but I wanted to give it just one more try... and thank God I did!! What a miracle worker, a real treasure!! As mentioned earlier, the first time I used BEN NYE Final Seal, I hated it. I sprayed it according to the directions on the bottle and the stuff burned my face and left noticeable droplet marks all over my makeup! It RUINED what it was supposed to help!! I was MIFFED and ready to toss it!! until I devised a way to make it work for me. I sprayed it at an angle up into the air and then I let the mist fall gently on my face (with my eyes completely closed!). I find that by doing this, the cool mist lightly coats my face evenly and gently (with no burning!) and I am left with no noticeable droplet marks. You can layer it onto the face this way as well, but be careful not to over-use, cause this stuff has alcohol in it. You may use a bit more product than necessary by doing this, but the results are well worth it! After a face-full of makeup (any makeup, it doesn't necessarily have to be theatre makeup), I "mist" this onto my face and it prevents my makeup from oxidizing, smearing, and wearing off throughout the day. My makeup stays nicely intact and looks rather good by the end of an 8-hour day... which is more than I can say for just using primer and powder alone. Since this contains alcohol, I would think that's crucial to protect your skin by using a good moisturizer and primer prior to it's application. The price is just right. If you live near a Ben Nye, just walk right over a get a big container of the stuff, cause the shipping costs suck. If you buy this online, get the big size, cause you'll be using this for the rest of your life!! Oh yes, the supplied spray bottle doesn't produce a fine mist. Just pour it into another cheap, mini-spray bottle and you'll get a finer spritz!
First off, this isn't necessarily a bad product, it just didn't meet my expectations. Kryolan's Dermacolor is marketed as a heavy-duty concealer and full-coverage foundation for any number of serious skin defects. In my case, I used it as a full-coverage foundation because I wanted it to cover marks from past cystic acne. I wanted it to conceal uneven skin tone/pigmentation, moderate redness, and to smooth over pores and scarred, uneven skin texture. It covered great and looked really good for the very short time that it was on, but it can not function as a long-wearing, everyday foundation. The texture of the cream itself is buttery soft and is far superior to many concealers out there right now. And for the record, it is way better than Dermablend. The color selection provided by Dermacolor is truly amazing. They have nearly perfected true-to-life skin tones for every skin tone and ethnicity out there. It covers a great deal and looks amazing, BUT since it consists mainly of waxes and various oils, like virtually every concealer on the market, it doesn't "dry" on the skin and tends to really shift on my face (even with primer and powder) and settle into pores, lines, and scars, thereby magnifying them. It contains mineral oil and petroleum... I'm not to keen on these ingredients because I've have bad reactions to them earlier in my life. But Dermacolor is thoroughly tested and there isn't any confirmed negative reactions to it being on the skin for long periods of time. For the small time, I wore it, it didn't cause any breakouts or irritation. Kryolan claims that it can be worn for long periods of time without wear or transfer, that is, when it is applied properly. I disagree. I can see this stuff wearing off within minutes, particularly on clothes, and leaving the face one big greasy, uncomfortable mess. This is the stuff for runways and photo-shoots, and just isn't practical for everyday wear. Perhaps my skin is too oily for this stuff? Maybe it will work for people with drier skin types? I don't know, but I won't recommend it as a full-on face foundation or for it to be used on a daily basis. If Kryolan develops a matte formula with minimal oil content (and no petroleum), then I may try it again, because the colors are so damn gorgeous!! But in the mean time, I'll stay away. If you use this on the body, where there is very little oil and/or pores, then maybe it would stay on better and look better throughout the day.
Cleansers -Clinique - Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm
J_cool 3/12/2008 10:28:00 PM
***UPDATE*** Although I still like the stuff and recommend it, it's just not on par with my budget right now. It goes really fast. I find that I finish one jar rather fast. It was getting expensive after while. And it's a bit messy, too. *** Wow! Remarkable! I use some pretty heavy makeup daily and this stuff just 'whisks' it away as if was never there... I was using FANCL Mild Cleansing Oil (in addition to numerous other cleansing oils from Japan) and, although it was good, it left my skin a bit on the drier side. The oil itself was gooey and just felt weird... Furthermore, it didn't last very long and was quite expensive ($21), especially considering that it's only available thru mail order with $5 s/h. Well, thanks to reviews here on MA, I decided to give this remover a whirl and thank goodness I did! It performs just like a cleansing oil but without the sticky, greasy texture. It smoothes and spreads well on the face, it deep cleans, and it removes virtually EVERYTHING (water-proof foundation, mascara, eyeliner, primer, skin-bonding sunscreens, you name it!), and thanks to it's water-soluble abilities, it's clean-rinsing! AND, it doesn't cause breakouts, excessive dryness, or any irritation as of yet (and I've been using it everyday for a week). What a miracle product!! I PRAY that it doesn't give me any difficulties in the future! Kinda pricey, but it's worth it if your a makeup fanatic like myself and want your face completely clean at the end of the day. Oh yeah, I follow this with a light cleanser, just to be sure that *everything* is gone. For now, I'm giving this baby "*****" but if it disappoints me later on, I'll update and be sure to tell!!
I liked the feel of Kose Sekkisei Emulsion initially. It was very milky, almost watery, yet made my face feel hydrated, soft, and comfortable; moisturized much better than anything OTC. It helped with my dry flakes and soothed other dry spots. But after using this product for a couple of days under my makeup, it gave me several pimples and red bumps. Once I stopped using it, the breakouts ceased and my skin returned to normal. My skin is oily and can be cranky at times so maybe I'm not the best candidate for the heavier moisturizers. But, nonetheless, it's a very good moisturizer, just not for me. If you want softer skin, quenched with just the right amount of non-comedogenic moisture, then may I suggest Kose Moisture Rice Power Extract. It's a liquid (much like a toner) that nicely hydrates and comforts cranky acne-prone sensitive skin. But if you have dry skin, then Kose Sekkisei Emulsion could probably help. But, once again, I don't recommend it for the more sensitive skin types.
A blush worth dying for, that is, if it wasn't shimmer overkill! While doing a brief scan in the makeup aisle at the local drugstore, the bright, deep peach-brick hue of Neutrogena's Apricot Mineral Sheer Blush blasted off the shelf. Without testing the product or having read any reviews on it, I instinctively knew this was the color I was searching for for quite some time and purchased it instantly. Forget the brush, it's rubbish. It's all about the pigment. The pigment is so rich that all you need is a few strokes across the cheek and you'll glow all day long with the most flattering, healthy flush. A true burst of sunshine! The product melts into the skin and, as someone has already said on MA, will make you glow from within. When I used this, I just put all the contents in a small sealable plastic containter and lighty dipped my brush in and swirled the pigment over my cheeks. This can be very messy due to the fact that the formula is so micro-fine that it gets everywhere. After a week of doing this, I found that areas around my sink were covered in glittery dust. This was all the blush that settled after my application. Everything about this blush is perfect, BUT it has a major low-point for me: SHIMMER SHARDS! If you have relatively smooth, unblemished skin, this blush will make you glow, but if you have uneven skin texture and/or large pores, acne scars, then this blush will magnify and highlight them. Had this formula been matte, or at least had small amounts of shimmer, then it would be pure magic! Anyway, it is still one of the best blushes out there, hence the solid 3 star rating.
Wow, what a horrid finish this foundation gave! After smoothing in on and blending for what seemed like an eternity, L'Oreal's Infallible foundation gave me the most disappointing outcome of any foundation in recent memory. It looked like a clay mask, seriously. It gave my face a gray/greenish ultra-flat finish that not even the best bronzer and/or blush could save. This is strange considering that I spent a good 5-10 minutes evaluating the color selection and picking the color I thought was my best match. I washed it right off after applying it, so I can't comment on it's wearability. The colors look alright in the bottle but once applied they are just awful. L'Oreal must think that people with medium-toned skin must have color akin to a cardboard box! These shades more suitable for a corpse, honestly!