I bought this as a last attempt to put some moisture into my skin after many fails with other products. My biggest problem with my skin is that makeup just looks horrid and cakey, no matter what I put under it, just plain bad. It looks much more natural and like good skin with no makeup, but since makeup gives that overall tone, I want to wear it especially for occasions. Years ago I didn't have this problem. But as I age, it's become a trial and error chore every time I have to wear makeup. Unfortunately what might be passable on one day, looks awful the next, so I couldn't count on anything to be consistent. So, I ended up with this product, and although I'm not pleased going chemical (I really prefer the natural ingredients on my skin), this is the only thing I've found that I can 100% rely on where my skin looks youthful and healthy with makeup. Every time, and every makeup. Clinique says over time the skin will actually adjust and repair. I don't know about that yet, or whether it's just a temporary thing until washed off. But I do know it has saved me time spent putting on makeup, the usual washing it back off, and going through this ordeal when trying to get makeup to look good. However, I still don't believe that chemicals can give the body the building blocks or make the body work in unison, because to the body, chemicals are always a foreigner. But at least this helps the makeup look good during the day.
Foundations -Maybelline - Dream Nude Airfoam Foundation
macmuse 11/30/2012 7:58:00 AM
Is very thin, but covers a little more than it looks like it would. What I didn't like is the ingredients—even though most traditional makeups aren't champs in this area, this one particularly was a red flag for me - propane, butane, etc. which I definitely don't want absorbing in my skin.
BB Cream -Maybelline - Dream Fresh 8-in-1 BB Cream
macmuse 8/17/2012 10:49:00 AM
I love this cream, and here's why: First, as my skin gets older, makeup looks more and more awful on it -- looks cakey, accentuates fine lines, sits in the pores, etc. Makeup that used to work for me 6 years ago doesn't anymore. So it's really important to me to have a makeup to cover while still looking natural like good skin, but very hard to find a product that achieves that on my dry-ish skin. This Maybelline BB cream has a very smooth texture. Looks very orange when squirted out of the tube, but it transforms really well to my skin tone when applied. It makes my skin look healthy, and like skin. It has absolutely NO look of makeup, cakey-ness, or look like anything is sitting on the skin. Beautiful. I am fair and veer to the cool side, and the lightest color in this BB cream looks great. I also tested the next color in the store, and also put it on my hand, and it seemed to transform a bit too, which attests that it must adjust a bit. But I bought the lightest one. It is not a matte look nor is it an over-dewy look like some makeups. It just has that look of really healthy hydrated skin. If you have very oily skin, you may need to blot during the day or wear a sheer powder over top. For my dry skin, this is all I need. I do have some slight red spots (old scars) and this doesn't totally cover them, but I will say even full coverage makeup hasn't always either. This does make the skin more even-looking, so even if the spots are slightly there, it still looks good. I should add that I'm not using this BB cream for any skin benefits.I have other products for that. Its purpose for me is a makeup that doesn't look like makeup on my skin, and this fits the bill perfectly. This BB cream does not irritate my sensitive skin or bring up those little irritation bumps. I do not break out from it either. In contrast, others have made my face itch. This does not. The other thing I really love about this is that it does NOT have parabens and the ingredients are much better than some of the more toxic ones out there. It also has a sunscreen. I have not used Asian ones to compare, but some of those do have parabens and other suspect chemicals. The final thing is that I do use copper peptides which is contraindicated with zinc, so I can only use the peptides at night (not wearing makeup) because most makeups contain zinc. This BB cream does NOT have zinc in it. This means I can use the copper peptides during the day along with this BB cream, whereas I could not if I used other makeup or creams containing zinc. EDIT: Another thing I found good about this one is that on days where you really want even more coverage but your mainstay makeup is just too cakey, mix a little of it with this BB cream. For me, it took away the cakiness of the regular makeup and gave it the natural look that this BB cream has, meaning no cake, no crepey texture, no accenting of lines, etc. :) Disclaimer: I'm no chemist so I wouldn't know if any chemical clashes could occur when mixing formulas. Any time I've done it though was OK.
I bought this in Gunmetal and Iconic Ivory. I LOVE the Gunmetal. It is the most beautiful shade of gray with stunning sheen to it. I have blue eyes and cool skin and this gives me the most beautiful looking eyes. It's not chunky glittery but does have a refined look. I'd venture a guess it's not the most refined shimmer compared to high-priced eyeliners but it definitely DOESN'T look cheap. The Iconic Ivory is a nice white but it isn't a smooth looking one. It is definitely shimmery but you have to apply carefully otherwise it is just too much white. I find it works best for me to put a little bit on a fine brush and then dab it on the eye. Is a bit more foolproof that way. But the Gunmetal.... Just lovely lovely. I also had Revlon's Pewter which is more a sheen than a shimmer. It's a little darker than the Gunmetal - it does look a little more refined than the Gunmetal but the Gunmetal looks much prettier on my eyes.
I had bought two of these, to keep one as a spare. For minerals, I had stopped using Everyday Minerals because it just didn't look natural, and always had a cakey look on my skin with other brushes I've tried — kind of crepey and such.. Interestingly, this kabuki makes Everyday Minerals look good! But then, the other day I was wondering if I needed the second brush after all since it's not the only kabuki brand I have. I was going to package it up but then I realized they felt different. So, I thought I'd test them, so I used one for one side of my face and the second one for the other side. Well, they actually are different! One is denser and kind of made my face darker, like more circulation in the skin. The second brush felt looser and less dense and put a nice light coating of minerals on the skin. In any case, even the denser one is not dense as the MAC 182, but I do really like the way it applies the powder. It feels really soft on the face and now I see that there may be a variance between brushes, because my two are definitely different in the way they apply and in the way they feel on my face when I swipe or buff it. I even buffed my hand and they felt different. However, both can be useful. I've come to the realization that all brushes do different things with different makeups and different skin, so it really is a matter of experimenting before jumping to any kind of conclusion. Many times I have dismissed a makeup for being lousy (or a brush being lousy) but that same thing might be incredible when paired with the right tool.
I love this mascara! First I will say I love a natural look that enhances my eyelashes without making them look like spider legs, clumpy, or dry. So many mascaras I've tried either are awful right away, or they are nice for the first two applications then they start clumping or worse. I've used expensive department store ones, natural ones, drug store (Maybelline, etc). and they have been either OK or not so OK... but none that really impress me enough to stop me from shopping around. There was one mascara I tried that was good but it was expensive. Because mascara is one of those cosmetics that should be thrown away after 4-6 months, I just can't see spending a lot of money on it especially since it won't even be empty when I throw it away. I really hate that. So anyway, I saw this mascara when I was buying a couple e.l.f. items. I am amazed at this thing. It is just beautiful; and each time I use it there are still no clumps. And the price makes me very comfortable when it is time to discard it and repurchase. And another thing... this mascara does NOT make my eyes water or get red like some do. It just gives me clean looking, smooth, defined lashes that are just perfect. Hey e.l.f., please do not discontinue this ever. It has become my favorite, hands down. Amazing!!
This brush is perfect for applying blush—both the highly-pigmented and the sheer ones just look gorgeous! In fact, I really haven't seen my blush look so nice. It looks so much more natural than with my other blush brushes. It is absolutely beautiful. I also have the MAC 187 (which I feel does a good job with liquid foundation) but the bristles are more dense on the MAC. I had always used fluffy brushes which work OK, but after trying this little e.l.f. gem, it's now my go-to. The bristles are a little more sparse than the 187 (but not too sparse) which makes them flex just enough for blush and put the most lovely silky-looking strokes that just seem to automatically become blended well. I really was quite blown away at how my face looked with this. Seriously. I had to order these directly from e.l.f. as my Target does not carry them. Since I've been introduced to e.l.f, I've bought quite a few of their brushes (powder, complexion, kabuki, and some various eye) to add to my "had-to-try" brush collection, and the ones I bought have not shed at all. The e.l.f.'s wash and dry really well, too, quicker than most. I'm kind of thinking also that the taklon is maybe better for my sensitive skin than my older animal hair ones, so I'm enjoying that switch as well. I also have a few EcoTools but was not too impressed with how my blush looked with any of those that would be applicable for blush. Just didn't look right, IMO. The only one closest to looking pretty good was my SK black handle blush brush which has the kind of head that I've always loved - fluffy and not tight. However, this new E.L.F. has taken over. I don't know that this would be the same stippling application of liquid since it is not dense and firm as the MAC, but I can't really say because I haven't tried it yet. But from what I see, it is definitely beautiful results for blush and I would say for highlighter and perhaps bronzer too. Love it!
Cleansers -Avalon Organics Botanicals - Q10 Cleansing Milk
macmuse 6/4/2012 9:15:00 AM
My face loves this cleanser. My facial skin is extremely sensitive and I have a really hard time finding things that will not make it red, make it blotchy, make it sting, and break it out. I have used a lot of the more natural cleansers and while my skin tolerated a couple of them, this one makes it just lovely. I had bought it a couple years ago on a fluke because I had a leftover credit so looked around the store for something quick to buy, figuring I'd try it. My skin just loved it. It's not totally chemical free (which I wish it were), but my skin stays even-toned and this doesn't bring out the usual red blotches that happen when I wash my face. I am surprised to read some people had burning with this because my skin reacts to everything, including things that are supposed to be anti-inflammatory, but it doesn't react to this for some reason. When I ran out of it, I tried others and the redness immediately returned. So I bought another of this CoQ10 and no red. I even have one cleanser that is totally pure that my skin is OK with (and the ingredients are better), but my skin just doesn't look as healthy as it does with this stuff. Go figure.
Highlighters -Physicians Formula - Mineral Glow Pearls- Translucent Pearls
macmuse 5/22/2012 3:03:00 PM
I second what the last person said. I particularly get great results with the E.L.F. angled brush because it puts it on very sheer. Some of my other brushes make this look a little cakey and a bit too metallic of a sheen. The elf brush makes it perfect.
I don't use this brush for concealer but where I feel it excels is for a smudger with eyeliner (both mineral eyeliner and pencil). Going lightly, it will make the pencil line look less "pencil-y" and you can smudge it out just slightly or a lot, what ever you choose. It works so much better than using a Q-Tip or my finger or even one of those foam sponge smudgers. It does a perfect job every time. Every time!! I love love love this little brush. It also doubles as a great eyeliner brush.
Makeup Brushes -E.L.F. - Professional Bronzing Brush
macmuse 5/21/2012 11:56:00 AM
I have the MAC angled blush brush, and have felt the Studio line's angled brush The bristles in this aren't as soft as the Studio line, however, what I like better about this one is that it is not as dense. For my purpose (bronzer, some highlighters) this one is just perfect. I also have the MAC angled brush which is animal hair and denser than the E.L.F, but it doesn't apply in the same sheer way as this one does. I really like this brush and went back and bought a couple more so I can each one for a different thing. What I've observed about the E.L.F. line is to take into account what purpose may suit it best, which may not always be what it is targeted for. Some people may not like a brush because it is too sheer, or not dense enough, but for other purposes or certain powders, it is absolutely perfect. For example, I have a mineral foundation that none of my brushes really applied very well (too cakey), but because the same brushes worked OK with other mineral brands, I was blaming those minerals for being cakey and not the brushes fault. But when I used the ELF kabuki, which is not as dense as regular kabukis, that mineral foundation went on beautifully. So what I've learned with this line of brushes is that what some people think of as a "fault" can actually be an asset for another purpose.
Love this brush! I have many many brushed but the thing I love most about this one is that can give a very sheer in application. My skin is drier and slightly textured these days. Too many of my brushes apply heavy which results in a cakey look with powder but not this one. It is soft and sweeps a very natural finish whether with finishing powder, foundation, blush, bronzer, or whatever. I love it so much I bought 4 so that I have one for powder, one for blush, etc.
This brush gives a great application for minerals, not heavy or cakey. I get good results with just tapping it on the face or sweeping it a little. It seems like it also would be great to spritz it and do wet applications, although I haven't tried it.
I am loving this product! My skin has become increasingly more difficult over the years because of dryness and irritation with so many products. Makeup has been looking absolutely awful and my skin looks actually worse with it on that off (except for the uneven tone). I've gotten to the place where the skin looked better with just a little concealer overtop moisturizer only because that was the only way it looked like skin instead of pronounced dryness and crepey texture. So, I saw this product (along with the Airbrushed Talc-Free powder) and bought them both. I bought this Correcting Powder in Creamy Natural, which is just perfect for my fair skin. (However Creamy Natural in the Airbrushed Powder was just a little too dark whereas Translucent is perfect). I think the key here is to get the right shade, and when you do, it is like magic. I brush it over my face with my fluffy brush and it is like erasing the redness as it evens out the skin tone. I've read where people said it was too pale. I think since the point is to even out the skin, it will go on a little paler than the skin to even it out, which is why the right shade is important. I feel it is also crucial to use the right brush. I have tried this with a sheerer brush and it doesn't cover as well. With my fluffy brush, I just lightly swirl it around on the compact, then sweep / swirl it on my face. It covers perfectly but without looking thick. It is like watching the uneven tone go away. Sometimes I have had makeup get too beige on me, which tends to make the red spots of my face more pronounced. I think this Correcting Powder would be a good solution for that. When used on top of the Mineral Wear Airbrushed Talc-Free Powder, the result is gorgeous with the look of beautiful, real skin. So far I have not had a reaction to it, so hopefully I won't.
First, my skin is extremely sensitive and it doesn't like very many products. Bad reactions consists of breakouts and red blotches. My skin has reached a place where makeup just doesn't look good anymore. Makeup that used to work doesn't anymore. I spent the last few years with a multitude of mineral makeup which now doesn't work either. Too cakey looking, too drying, makes my skin look textured in a bad way. So when it's not irritated, the surface and texture looks better without makeup than with it. I thought perhaps I'm better off just dotting some concealer and calling it a day. That said, I've been using this Pure Blends. It doesn't have a total coverage, but here's what I noticed: I was in a store and passed by a mirror and had to do a double-take. My skin looked really good, and I haven't seen that in makeup for a long, long time. My skin can still look good texture wise but have a little more overall tone with this makeup. It tends to look good in pictures too, whereas my others did not. Important: I do find that whatever moiisturizer you use underneath this makes a huge difference in the look of Pure Blends, so for those of you who are on the fence, try it with a different moisturizer. It really does make a difference. Some moisturizers make Pure Blends look too glossy, others make it look a little metallic. Others make it look greasy. Earth Mama Angel Baby body lotion actually works well under this. I've also taken a big fluffy brush and used the Revlon Aqua (or Almay Wakeup but it seems a little darker than the Revlon) as a finishing powder. Because those seem more hydrating than usual mineral makeup, it gives a really nice finish to the Pure Blends. I just saw in CVS that Revlon came out with the Aqua finishing powder which one is translucent, so I'm going to try that too, since that won't impart more color. ADDENDUM: I found a couple tricks that deal with the reasons people don't like this: Too Shiny: When I dusted this with the Almay Wakeup or Revlon Aqua equiv powder, that matted the sheen without looking cakey, and made the coverage slightly better. But, the best thing that I discovered was: Coverage: I mixed a little of my mineral makeup with this and it gave perfect coverage without looking cakey or thick. I tried Everyday Minerals, Silk Naturals, and also MAD. Silk Naturals gave the best look but the others were very close and would certainly work. I have had a terrible time, and I mean a terrible time, finding foundation that works for me anymore. I truly look better with just concealer on the spots and no makeup. Foundation looks worse than my skin. But mixing this was amazing. It looked like my skin, but better. Only too bad now that I think they discontinued this line.