Wednesday, February 25, 2015

bareMinerals Complexion Rescue - Review and Swatches

A few weeks ago, I heard that bareMinerals was launching a new product that was likened to a BB or CC cream....only better.  It's called Complexion Rescue and is a tinted hydrating gel cream.
Not only does it have SPF 30, but it also contains energizing electrolytes, antioxidants and a unique blend of hydrating humectants that are said to give skin instant hydration.  Sounds pretty good, huh?  Well, I was intrigued and decided to give it a try.

I purchased the shade Buttercream 03 which is the lightest shade for those with golden undertones.
After using it for about 3 weeks, I've decided this truly is unlike any other "tinted moisturizer" I've ever used.  The gel consistency gives it such a lightweight feel on the skin and yet provides really amazing coverage.  It blurs imperfections and you can layer more product in areas that you need more coverage/hydration and it won't look cakey.  This can be applied with fingers but it's best applied with a synthetic brush like this one from Sedona Lace (#480).
While this is not promoted as a foundation, on days when I just want something light, I have used this on it's own with just a little setting powder and it works great!

Now let's talk about the pros and cons....

Pros:
  • Great ingredients - no silicone, oil, parabens or fragrance 
  • No breakouts or reactions on my sensitive skin
  • Provides amazing hydration - no need to put on another moisturizer first before applying like I typically have to do with other BB and CC creams
  • Lightweight, barely there feel
  • Great blurring technology
  • Buildable medium coverage
  • Gives skin a beautiful healthy radiance and glow without any shimmer particles
  • When layered under a foundation, I use less foundation
  • Skin feels hydrated and soft
  • Provides broad spectrum SPF 30
  • $29 price tag is on the lower end for a non-drugstore BB or CC cream 
Cons:
  • Not for those with oily skin
  • On my combo skin, if used alone with just a setting powder on top, my skin has a lot of "glow" within about 4 hours and I feel the need to blot my skin with more powder.
  • It does oxidize slightly (gets darker). I use the lightest shade for golden/yellow undertones (Buttercream) and immediately after application, it matches my neck perfectly.  However, after it sits on my skin for about 30 minutes, it darkens a bit and no longer matches the shade of my neck.  If you are in between shades, I'd recommend going with the lighter shade to allow for any oxidation.
Summary:
I highly recommend this product, especially for those with Dry or Normal-to-Dry skin.  For those with combination skin like me, I think you will find this works best paired with a matte foundation over the top, like the L'Oreal Infallible 24 hr foundation or the Estee Lauder Doublewear foundation.  Not only does it provide extra sun protection and added coverage, it hydrates the skin and keeps those matte foundations from looking too "mask-like" or cakey.

Where to Buy:
*There are no affiliates links in the post.  Product was purchased with my own moola :-) All opinions are my own and I have not been paid or compensated for this review.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Quick Tip Tuesday: How to Revive Tarte Brow Mousse


Problem:
Tarte emphasEYES Waterproof Amazonian Clay Brow Mousse has become stiff and dry and you're contemplating throwing it out


Solution:
Use a wooden stir stick or the handle of a small eye brush to stir the brow mousse.  This reactivates the clay, moistening the product and returns it back to a fluffy, mousse-like texture.
I've not tried this trick on any of Tarte's other Amazonian Clay products, such as gel liners, cream eyeshadows, etc.  But if you have one that's dried out, before throwing it out, give it a try!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Favorite NEW Products...July - Dec 2014

It's that time again for another round of favorite NEW products!  Some of these products were new to the market and others were just new to me.  I know this blog is a little late, but there were a number of last minute products that entered my "testing lab" in December and I needed ample time to see if any would become favorites.  Now that I've finally narrowed down the list, let's get to it!
  1.  Lorac PRO Matte Lip Color - Pink Taupe - Super pigmented, comfortable matte formula with a delicious vanilla scent.  Color is a cool toned, pinky nude.
  2. Nars Audacious Lipstick - Anita - Extremely pigmented, emollient formula with a satin finish and no discernible scent.  Color is a warm, rosy nude.  This is one of those "splurge products" so I'd recommend waiting for Sephora's 20% off VIB sale :-).
  3. Nars Lipgloss - Limited Edition Shade Soleil D'Orient - Opaque , non-sticky formula that has great lasting power and is not scented.  Color is a beautiful, shimmery gold that looks great alone or layered over any lipstick color.  Available now only on Nars Website.
  4. MAC Sheen Supreme Lipstick - Can't Get Enough - Moisturizing, sheer formula with a glossy finish and delicious vanilla scent.  Color is a warm, brown nude.
  5. Maybelline Color Sensational Lip Color - The Buffs Collection - Nude Lust - Highly pigmented lipstick with a satin finish and a slight "lipstick" scent.  Color is the perfect peachy nude.
1. Smashbox Cherry Smoke Photo Op Eyeshadow Palette
This was the first time I'd tried the Photo Op formula and I am super impressed!  Great pigmentation and blendability with little fall out and the color lasts all day.  The colors of this sleek, travel friendly palette are so beautiful and come together to create a multitude of day or evening looks.

2. Limited Edition Stila Eyes Are The Window Shadow Palette - Soul

A neutral but beautiful eyeshadow palette with a good mix of shimmer, matte and sparkly shadows. Pigmentation is good and there's very little fallout.  Normally, I'm not a sucker for beautiful packaging but I must say the rose-gold packaging on this palette kind of sealed the deal for me ;-)

3. Coastal Scents Revealed 2 Palette

Shockingly, I think I prefer this palette over the Urban Decay Naked 3...what?!  Not only is the pigmentation incredible but there are several amazing matte shades that vary from plum to cool brown to vibrant grape that help me create even more stunning eye combos than I can with the Naked 3 palette.  Oh and did I forget to mention it was only $19.95?  Available on the Coastal Scents website.

Wet 'n' Wild Fergie Take On The Day Eye Primer
A fantastic drugstore eyeshadow primer that retails for less than $5!  It works well on its own, providing just a slight skin tone tint, but I especially love it mixed with a little MAC Soft Ochre or Painterly Paint Pot to even out the skin tone on my eyelids and cover any noticeable veins.

NYX Control Freak Eyebrow Gel
The best drugstore clear brow gel that I've tried, hands down! Helps tame unruly brows and holds them in place without making them hard and crunchy. Brush comes out of the tube with just the right amount of product....no need to wipe off clumps of product before applying to the brows.

  1. Limited Edition Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush Palette (No longer available) - Great array of colors; amazing, long-lasting pigmentation; 4 matte shades and 1 shimmery shade.  Before you tar and feather me for raving about a product that is no longer available, Tarte usually puts together a blush palette for the Christmas holiday season.  You can also buy Tarte blushes individually, but at $26 each, the palette is going to give you the most "bang for your buck".  So be on the lookout!  
  2. Bahama Mama Bronzer by TheBalm Cosmetics - Matte, cool-toned medium brown that blends beautifully and is perfect for contouring the face.  Also can be used as an eyeshadow. 
  3. BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector - Opal - A splurge product for sure but has a super smooth, almost creamy consistency that provides a beautiful glow when used to highlight various parts of the face.  Color is like a shimmering golden pearl. 
  4. Mally's Evercolor Poreless Face Defender - Unique in every way, this clear, silicon product mattifies the skin without the look of powder.  This is my favorite "touch-up product" to mattify any shine on my face throughout the day.   
  5. Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation - Before trying this, no other powder foundation came close to matching the results I get with bareMinerals foundation.  Not only does it provide medium to full coverage but it does not require a primer or a setting powder (i.e., Mineral Veil) which I find is a must with the bareMinerals foundation.  It's moisturizing and has more of a satin finish...great for those with combo or dry skin, as well as those with more mature skin.  This does not have sunscreen though so be sure to add that somewhere else in your beauty routine. *Note:  It's recommended to use this with the special Airbuki Powder Foundation brush but I actually prefer using the kabuki brush I already owned from Sedona Lace. 
  6. Silica Powder Spheres from Coastal Scents - Work great as a setting powder for my undereye concealer.  Prevents concealer from creasing but doesn't emphasize the lines under my eyes.  Look for this on Coastal Scents website under the "Make Your Own" tab.  This sample size was less than $1 and was enough to fill this cute little clear jar ($.69 - also sold by Coastal Scents) more than 2 times. 
  7. Makeup Geek Blush - Spellbound - Smooth, talc-free formula with great color payoff.  Color is the perfect neutral toned pink...not too cool or too warm. Available on the Makeup Geek Website. 
  8. BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Trio (no longer available) - Beautiful, sheer-cream liquid shimmer in three shades:  Pearl (white), Moonstone (yellow pearl) and Opal (rosy golden pearl).  Melts into the skin and provides a luminous glow without any trace of glitter.  While this trio is no longer available (another limited edition holiday set), these are available to purchase individually in full-size bottles.

E.L.F. Flawless Concealer Brush
*Blends undereye concealer beautifully; no shedding of bristles and was only $3!
Sedona Lace Synthetic Flat Contour Brush #316
*Works like a dream to sculpt out cheekbones and contour the nose; super soft, non-shedding bristles.
Sedona Lace Synthetic Tapered Highlighter Brush #313
*Perfectly sized for applying setting powder under the eyes; super soft, non-shedding bristles.
Sedona Lace Synthetic Large Paddle Brush #916
*Love this for applying bronzer to my cheeks and forehead!  It picks up just the right amount of product and then diffuses and blends it perfectly on the face.  As with the other Sedona Lace brushes, the bristles are super soft and don't shed!

Acure Marula Oil
I love using this oil as my morning moisturizer!  It absorbs really fast and provides just the right amount of moisture for my combo skin.  Marula oil is rich in proteins and omega fatty acids, and reportedly words wonders on dry, chapped skin, reducing skin redness, scars and fine lines.

Starbucks Iced Coffee - Brewed to Personalize
Near the end of summer, Starbucks came out with 3 new options for the Iced Coffee lovers.  Available in Unsweetened, Lightly Sweetened or Caramel.  It has a bold, non-bitter taste and allows you to "personalize it" by adding cream, milk, flavor syrup, etc.  This became a staple in my refrigerator during the warm, late-summer, early-fall months for those mornings when I was running really behind or for when I needed an afternoon pick-me-up :-)
Ocean Spray Greek Yogurt Craisins
Oh my, are these delicious!  The slight tartness of the cranberries is the perfect match with the sweet, greek yogurt coating.  YUM!

Lindsay Naturals California Green Ripe Olives
I have always loved black olives.  But I could not make myself like green olives (unless they were stuffed with garlic cloves and marinated in chardonnay:-).  However, my interest in green olives was suddenly peaked when I read this on the can:  "Miles away from the tart “martini” olives, these freckled beauties have a smooth, buttery flavor - and no preservatives".  There is no better way to say it....these green olives are buttery and rich and more delicious (dare I say it?) than black olives!

Cascade Platinum ActionPacs
When I heard the commercial about Cascade Platinum Actionpacs removing hard water stains and making dishes sparkle like new, I was skeptical.  But, after my dishes had been put through 2-3 cycles through the dishwasher, the hard water stains were completely gone!  Months later, my dishes are still coming out clean and sparkly....no going back to my old detergent!

100% Pure Nourishing Body Cream - Coconut and Vanilla Bean
Not only is this body cream made from 100% pure, natural ingredients but the formula just melts into your skin, providing long lasting hydration and gives your skin the most beautiful glow!  In fact, it makes my pasty-white winter skin look healthy and beautiful! :-) The Vanilla Bean scent is a really light scent so if you don't like super sweet products, you'll like that.  Of course, you all know how much I LOVE coconut scented products so once I finished Vanilla Bean, I had to order the Coconut and it smells delicious!

My Favorite Outfit
Modbod Basic Long Sleeve Scoop Winter White Shirt - favorite shirts for layering under sweaters and jackets.
Steinmart - pale pink long cardigan sweater
Old Navy The Rockstar Mid-Rise Skinny Jeans - don't worry, these skinny jeans look and feel amazing, even if you have "non-skinny jean legs" like me! Sizing can vary slightly depending on the color so I'd recommend trying them on before purchasing. Thanks to my dear friend, Laura, for convincing me to try these! :-)
Tommy Hilfiger Riding Boots or Aerosoles Plush Lily Wedge Sandals, depending on the weather
Pier 1 Imports - Animal print ruffle scarf (who knew they sold scarves?)
Designs by Sharalee Jewelry :-)
Whew, we made it!  Hopefully this information was helpful to you and gave you some ideas of new things to try!  If you missed any of my previous favorites posts, I'll link them below.  Thanks for reading and I'll be back soon with a Quick Tip Tuesday and reviews of new products.  Have a lovely day!