Tag Archives: Foundation

cult beauty trio

BESAME VIOLET BRIGHTENINGBésame Cosmetics Brightening Violet Powder

SEPHORA AIRBRUSHSephora Perfection Mist Airbrush Foundation


Bobbi Brown EXTRA Repair Foundation

Last month I hit up the Bobbi Brown friends & family event and used the discount to justify trying a few new products.  Always on the look out for an amazing new makeup moment, I splurged on Bobbi Brown EXTRA Repair Foundation.  This ultra-rich base contains shea butter, evening primrose oil, broad spectrum SPF 25, and color corrector.  It seems like I’d love it, but I don’t.  

I’m a fan of Bobbi’s tinted moisturizer, but occasionally crave more coverage.   Bobbi Brown EXTRA Repair Foundation definitely provides it, but the richness of the formula makes it difficult to blend.  Furthermore, the seemingly genius notion of adding color corrector in practical application doesn’t really work.  First, we don’t need color corrector everywhere.  Second, it compromises the integrity of Bobbi’s otherwise usually flawless foundation shades.  Meaning the shade “Warm Ivory” in Bobbi’s tinted moisturizer isn’t the same “Warm Ivory” of Bobbi Brown EXTRA Repair Foundation.  The latter has a decidedly yellow cast.  Lastly, the SPF burns my eyes.  These broad spectrum sunscreen ingredients irritate me to the point of tears. 

Tickled Pink Airbrush

For years I have been flirting with the idea of investing in my own makeup airbrush system.  A few things have held me back.  First, many systems on the market have proprietary mechanisms which only allow you to use their very expensive makeup in their airbrush system.  Considering the relative simplicity and ubiquity of airbrush technology, purchasing such a limited device makes no sense.  All these airbrushers are basically the same whether you are decorating a cake, making miniature models, or painting your face.  Don’t let those sneaky cosmetics companies convince you that you need to pay several hundred dollars for a device that is widely available for well under $100 bucks. I did consider purchasing an airbrush system originally developed for crafting or cake decorating, but during my dithering fate made my choice.  This Christmas I received the Tickled Pink Airbrush System.  At first, I was off-put by the cutesy-ness of it all.  It was just so pink and precious and that shit makes me heave.  Also, the makeup looked cheap in the bottle, and I was skeptical I could blend a color that would rival the natural look of my perennially favorite base Bobbi Brown.  So the system sat on my shelf for several months.  Only when a photo shoot threatened to expose my skin’s most obvious flaws did I pull Tickled Pink out and give it a whirl.  My prejudices rarely work in my favor.  I need to learn to give things a chance because Tickled Pink is the absolute bees knees bitches. Ignore the cheesy cheap packaging and focus on the splendid makeup.  Mix the colors in your range to create the perfect customized shade from day to day.  Super duper weightless yet full coverage, with Tickled Pink you are living the dream (right Lisa?).I know you are thinking that learning to airbrush your own face could be tricky.  Yes, it takes practice, but it isn’t that hard.  Five times and you’ll find your fluency.  With the awkward angle of self-application, I personally find using my thumb to pull back the trigger helps with control and steadiness. Prepare to enjoy weightless, airy, flawless coverage glowiness all day long with Tickled Pink Airbrush.  Once you’ve had airbrush, traditional methods just won’t do. 

BB Cream Invasion

Popular for many years in Asia, particularly South Korea, BB Creams have invaded the American market in a major way over the last 24 months.  Just what is a BB Cream you ask?  Short for “blemish balm,” BB Creams are soothing, medium-to-full coverage products packed with beneficial skin improving extras.  The “extras” vary, but typically include sunscreen, vitamins, and lighteners.With many high-end and mass options popping up, should you buy in to the latest trend?  With the all-in-one nature of these products you will get some bang for your buck.  The major drawback?  Very limited color choices.DC favorite Bobbi Brown just came out with her own version of BB Cream.  I ordered two colors to transition through fall.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  


Anybody else notice Bobbi Brown has been hiking her prices every 6 months for at least the last three years?  That greedy gouging is chapping my ass and has me on the hunt for alternatives.  Having enjoyed TheBalm’s Bahama Mama bronzer, I took a risk and tried their tinted moisterizer BalmShelter. This product has a thicker, more luxurious consistency than most tinted moisterizers.  The rich cream provides above average coverage within its category.  BalmShelter creates a plump and smooth surface for layering other products and doesn’t encourage migration.  With broad spectrum SPF 18 and a $25 price tag for a generous 2.25 oz, it is a competitive alternative to Bobbi Brown’s tinted moisterizers (1.69 oz for $40!).  The main drawback?  Color selection.  BalmShelter needs a variety of inclusive shades to lure more ladies and gents their way.

Kevyn Aucoin The Radiant Reflection

You bitches know I love a good stick foundation.  Usually, I’m loyal to Bobbi Brown without deviation, but an online coupon deal lured me to try Kevyn Aucoin’s The Radiant Reflection Solid Foundation.  I’m a fan of Aucoin’s Sensual Skin Enhancer for its intense coverage, so I looked forward to seeing what this brand could do in a convenient stick format.

It pains me to report The Radiant Reflection is a serious disappointment.  First, the colors are all named after six different supermodels:

Shalom Amber, Linda, Christy, Yasmeen, Beverly. The limited range makes finding the right shade challenging.

Some reviews complained of an odor; there are always some folks bitching about fragrance within the sensitive crowd.  I am not among them.  I have preferences, but am not wholeheartedly fragrance-resistant.  I mention this because I’m about to concur that this product does have a funky smell.  If otherwise the foundation performed beautifully, maybe the artificial smell would be less noticeable, but alas that is not the case.  Ultimately, the formula fails for lack of creaminess and blendability.  It applies with a cooling sensation, but then hovers on the skin without ever really sinking in to vanishing perfection.  This product takes work to look natural, and life is filled with enough work.  Back to Bobbi Brown, $4 savings per stick and foundation that melts into the skin providing flawless unspookable coverage.


Miracle Skin Transformer

Ya’ll know about Miracle Skin Transformer, right?  This tinted moisterizer glides on like a primer, benefits skin like a serum, and protects and evens skin like a foundation.  What its got: full spectrum sun protection, enzyme Q10, and vitamins A, K, and E.  What it ain’t got: parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, synthetic dyes, petrochemicals, phthalates, and triclosan.The formula comes in six shades plus translucent.  Why the shape of these color samples resembles an array of ethnically diverse vaginas is inexplicable. McNamara aimed to create a multifunctional product that would nourish skin, even imperfections, and provide adequate sun protection.  This isn’t a particularly new concept, but one she magnificently executed with this super-blendable, medium coverage mousse-like cream.  Do consider the all-in-one nature and the size (1.7 oz) when weighing the $48 price tag.

Bridal Makeup: The I do’s and don’ts

My dear friend Sam is getting married soon and she recently inquired about how to achieve a natural, dewy, minimalist look for her big day.  She cited Kate’s (Moss not Middleton, ya’ll) recent nuptials as inspiration.Wedding makeup is tricky business.  The bride must consider lighting, photography, and longevity.  Often what works on camera can look down right freakish in person.  Furthermore, who can be bothered with endless touch-ups on such an important occasion?Most brides aim for subtle enhancement to show their best selves.  The approach for each bride must be individually tailored to achieve optimal results, but there are a few hard and fast rules for wedding day makeup that simply should not be ignored.Despite what you might have learned from last weekend’s Jerseylicious marathon, a smoky eye doesn’t work for everyone.  Those with hooded eyelids or smaller eyes should stick to lighter neutral shadows.  A smoky eye can easily melt into a raccoon eye without proper preservation.  If you insist on breaking out some intense shadow for the big day, have at it, but for the love of Aucoin please no super bright colors.  Save the hot pink and purple; this is your wedding day and not a club crawl through the Jersey Shore.Keep shimmer to a minimum.  A little here and there to catch the light is fine – corner of the eyes, brow bone, a smidge on the cheek bones, a dab in the center of the lip or arch of the cupid’s bow (NOT all locations por favor).  Shimmer reads prominently in photographs.  If you go crazy with the highlighter all over; you’ll appear oily and shiny in your pictures.  Soft matte works best on camera.Dramatic brides may consider a red lip.  Proceed with caution.  Red lips are extremely high-maintenance.  Gotta keep it off the teeth, off the dress, and reapply often for maximum punch.  A scarlet smoocher can easily dominate the face and take over a photo.  The wrong shade of red causes the rest of the face to recede.  The tendency is to overcompensate with too much color elsewhere or look washed out.  Consider a subtle red wash on the lips to keep features balanced.Go easy with the foundation and concealer application.  Let your skin and inner light shine through.  Remember the aim of these products is to perfect the skin, not mask it.  Splurge on high-end foundation and concealer, even if you go budget in other areas.  Without a perfected base, the whole look crumbles.Invest in a primer.  A decent primer provides staying power.  Primer is the key to 8-12 hours of longevity, so you look as good at the end of the reception as you did walking down the aisle.


aero minerale

Airbrush makeup is the rage for good reason.  In addition to flawless, weightless coverage, airbrush lasts and lasts.  Interested in experimenting with airbrush?  Check out Aero Minerale Makeup Mist Hydrating Mineral Foundation.Aero Minerale isn’t the first foundation in a spray can, but it is one of the better mass market options.  Super long-wearing and matte, the finish and staying power make sense for the warmer months when emollient bases tend to migrate. A few words of advice when applying the poor woman’s airbrush.  First, go easy and work in sections.  This stuff dries pretty quickly.  Also, keep it off the hairline and work inward.  Blend with fingers or a sponge.  The full coverage and finish make powder optional.  With most budget foundations, the color range sucks.  Spray foundation requires a perfect match or it looks very masky, so this product isn’t going to be for everyone, but Aero Minerale also makes bronzer and colorless primer versions which require less color precision.