Face Primer is a product I once considered a luxury of time. It was a step I could add to my routine only on those days when I could get ready at a slow pace and something I considered a “fluff” step… not really adding something of noticeable value. Over the last year I have changed my attitude about using a primer. I’m not sure whether it was because my skin needed extra help or because I wanted to extend the wear time of my makeup overall. Whatever the motivation was, I decided to start using one every day. I have tried many different primers over the years, including that Smashbox primer that everyone used back in the day. Gone are the days where your only choice is a slippery, silicone packed product that will surely break you out (as most all silicone primers do on me). There are so many options for every skin tone, type and purpose.
I have now found three really fabulous products that have a permanent place in my routine.
MAC Prep+Prime Natural Radiance- This is the best primer for skin that just needs a little boost. It definitely adds radiance, but in a way that my oily/combination skin can handle. It’s lightweight and feels like lotion-gel hybrid. It doesn’t feel like silicone and it’s not greasy. It has smoothing effect over my skin, but I wouldn’t say that it blurs imperfections. I have used up my entire tube and plan on getting another soon.
Becca Ever Matte Poreless Primer- This is not an all over primer for me. It is something that I lightly pat on my T-zone (or areas that tend to get oily). It really helps cut down on the shine, though it does not eliminate it completely. If you rub this into your skin rather than patting it on top you will get patchiness and flakes. It is kind of expensive and I don’t use it every day. I only use this when I need my makeup to be as shine free as possible for as long as possible.
Too Faced Hangover Primer- This is something I discovered a little over a month ago and I absolutely love how it makes my skin feel. I don’t know if I will need this in the summer, but during the winter it has been a life saver! It smells slightly of coconut (it has coconut water in it). It quenches my skin and makes it feel smooth and plump and healthy.
All of these products have a different purpose and all of them have completely changed my mind about using primers with their ability to make my skin a smooth and ready canvas for my makeup.
Wow! Has it really been two months since my last post?! I cannot believe how fast the fall went and that Christmas is already behind us! I’m sorry that I’ve been so absent, although if you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you’ll see more updates from me on a (pretty much) daily basis. To say that I’ve been busy, and really haven’t we all, is an understatement. With work, holiday celebrations, family and just plain LIFE, my “free” time has been pretty well sucked dry. However, as we approach the New Year I wanted to set some new goals for myself. I want to be more active with my blog- the way I used to be when I first started FOUR YEARS ago. Yes, that’s right. We just passed my 4 year blogiversary. I’m feeling like I’ve let you all down because of how absent I’ve been- but rest assured that is going to change. I also started filming YouTube videos again this year. I hope to do even more of that into 2015 as well.
Anyway, enough of my rambling. Let’s get to the good stuff. My favorite products of 2014. I tried to keep this as edited as possible and only include items I used A LOT. As in, for many weeks. Usually in a row. Let’s start with the more boring base products.
Primer/Powder/Concealer. I did actually finish my MAC Natural Radiance primer and it’s worth noting that I really enjoyed it. It was a recommendation from Karen over at Makeup and Beauty Blog and I can’t thank her enough for turning me on to it. However, as beauty lovers do, I am perpetually looking for the “next best thing.”
Too Faced Hangover Primer. It’s soothing like skin care but smoothing like a primer, and it smells like coconut :). It feels like a drink for my skin.
Becca Ever Matte Poreless Primer. Since my skin is decidedly combination, I also have areas of my T-zone that need some mattifying. For that I use the Becca Ever Matte Primer. I lightly pat this onto my forehead and around my nose. It does a great job of keeping shine at bay, but it doesn’t keep me completely matte throughout the day.
Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse BB. By far the best BB Cream I have tried. I also tested another one from this line, but it broke me out. I’ll stick to this version. It’s lightweight, wears well and evens out my complexion without looking cakey.
MAC Face & Body Foundation. This was by far my most used foundation of the year. It’s easy to build up or wear as a light layer. They have a wide range of shades and it sits so nicely on the skin. My favorite way to apply it is with a beauty blender. I have several bottles to mix and match my shade throughout the year.
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. I resisted trying this for a loooong time. Believe the hype about this product. My tube is almost gone (it lasted me around 3 months). The coverage and consistency is perfect for under the eyes. It doesn’t cake up and it does have a brightening effect. I’ll be repurchasing soon.
Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder. This is a simple, cost-effective setting powder that I dust over my T-zone pretty much on a daily basis. It doesn’t have a fragrance and it doesn’t look cakey. Did I mention it’s less than $5?
Clarins Splendours Bronzer. I picked this up in 2013, but it’s remained one of my all-time favorite bronzers for its color, texture and design.
Edward Bess Daydream Bronzer. This is a late-comer but has been on my wishlist for ages. I only got it a few weeks ago, but I haven’t been able to use anything else since. I understand why this came on such a high recommendation. It is the perfect bronzer color and the formula is beyond. It has a nice fragrance to it.
RMS Living Luminizer. Easily my most used highlighter of the year. You can see just how much of a dip I have put into it. It’s natural, slightly subtle and just makes your skin glow. It’s not shimmery or glittery. It’s the most appropriate highlighter for anyone anywhere. Period.
Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight. If you read my initial analysis of Candlelight (and the RMS one) you are probably wondering why it’s being featured here. The answer is simple; it’s all in the application. I finally found the correct brush (Real Techniques small tapered) to apply it. It’s fool proof. Glowy enough to be noticed, but subtle enough to make people wonder just what makes your skin look so healthy. Believe in the magic of this powder, because it does exist.
Guerlain Meteorites Perles d’Etoile. These are easily my favorite Meteorites I own (I have 4 shades in total). I love the gentle luminosity they give my skin, and the gold tin with pinky-red pearls just gives it something a little extra.
Chanel Joues Contraste in Jersey. Otherwise known as the blush I couldn’t put down. I have such a serious love affair with this blush. It reminded me of how much I fell for Chanel’s Rose Ecrin. It’s so wearable, soft and gives the perfect amount of definition to your cheeks without being over the top. Just plain LOVE. I blame Rachel from Makeup Never Sleeps fame for enabling this purchase.
Amazing Cosmetics Blush in Pink Chocolate. Natalie from Flowerbomb31 on YT inspired this blush purchase. I bought it earlier in the year and kind of tucked it away for awhile. I rediscovered it late in the summer and had such a hard time reaching for something else…especially during #30blush (which I meant to do summary post on, but haven’t….yet). It’s a great formula and the color is, as the name implies, a rosy-brown tone that is effortlessly flattering.
Tom Ford Eyeshadow Quad in Cocoa Mirage. This was my very first Tom Ford Quad. I absolutely love the silky formula and this quad in particular is so versatile and useful to me on a daily basis. I can use it on it’s own, or pair the matte shades with other palettes or singles. I’ve made dents in the pans!
Charlotte Tilbury Fallen Angel Palette. If you buy nothing else from my entire list of favorites, please, do yourself a favor and get this. No, I mean, stop reading, open a new tab and order this palette. It’s stunning. I can’t speak for the permanent range of Charlotte Tilbury shadows but this palette is hands down the best eyeshadow purchase I have made this year. All of the colors are pigmented and blend like a dream on the lid. The shades are dimensional and the formula is reminiscent of a gelee. Except, I experience ZERO fall out with these. I’m in LOVE.
Benefit Gimme Brow. The lazy girls guide to no-time-for-this brow enhancement step 1- Use Benefit Gimme Brow, step 2- See step 1.
Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper. Game changer for winged liner. The best liquid eyeliner I have used to date. Beats out Marc Jacobs, Stila and Lancome. You need to try this.
Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks. Pictured above are two of my most used shades, Sugar Frost and Sand Glow. I have tried pretty much every eyeshadow in stick form on the market: Urban Decay, Sephora, Mally, MAC, Chanel, Marc Jacobs, By Terry….the list goes on. The ones I return to again and again for the wear time, color selection and reflective quality are the Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks.
Dior Mono Fusion Shadow in Mirror. This shade is so sparkly and such a dainty gold. It’s really unique to my collection and I can use it layered over other shadows to transform them or wear it on it’s own. It’s not very pigmented, but it gives your lids such a stunning glowing sparkle that it’s beauty just cannot be denied.
Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Liner in Espresso Ink. This was my first Bobbi Brown liner and I quickly picked up another shade after falling for the formula. It’s the right mixture of dry and pliable. What I mean is it’s not at all goopy or messy. It’s easy to work with, sets quickly and the shade is perfect for everyday wear.
Dior Addict Extreme Lipstick. This remains my favorite lipstick formula of all time. It’s comfortable, has a decent wear time and the colors are all gorgeous. I love the shine these leave and how luxurious they feel both in the tube and applied. The shade pictured is Cherie Bow (a long-time wish list item after seeing it on Tiffany from Will Work For Makeup) but I couldn’t possibly pick a favorite shade.
Dior Addict Lipgloss. It’s no surprise then, that Dior also makes my favorite lipgloss formula. Shine, comfort and luxury come together for the best gloss out there (at least for my tastes). If all of my other glosses went away and I only had Dior Addict glosses left, I wouldn’t be mad.
Chanel Glossimer in Seashell. This has sentimental value to me. I bought it on my honeymoon (we got married on the beach earlier this year) and it always takes me back to the beach that day. I hope they never discontinue it! It’s soft and girly and smooth. No stickiness, just shine.
Becca Ultimate Colour Gloss in Pink Lotus. A bright pink coral that is a dream to wear and apply. It’s not too much, but just enough. it took my from spring to summer with ease and I never wanted to put it down.
Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfector. This is not the first time this has been featured in a yearly favorites. I actually think it’s the 3rd time! One of the easiest lipglosses to wear alone or over anything. Any shade will do (I own three and they all function the same) and you will always find one in my handbag.
Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in Fig. This shade is so perfect. It really is my ideal everyday lipcolor. It’s slightly rose, slightly pink and absolutely face-brightening. The formula is nice and creamy, and not at all drying.
Fresh Sugar Lip Balm in Tulip. This was a new shade for this year and I am SO glad I picked it up. This lip balm is top of the top. It’s so silky and I keep one with me at all times. I have several shades, but this one stands out as a favorite for it’s bright pink color that instantly perks up the complexion.
Lip Per-fekt.* The lovely people at Per-fekt sent this to me months ago and it’s remained a staple in my bag ever since. It has a minty-fresh scent and feels slightly cooling on contact. It’s a grab-n-go formula that applies slightly glossy and with plenty of natural-rosy pigment.
That wraps up my favorite products for this year. And what a year it was! I also have to mention some of my favorite beauty Youtuber’s. I watch videos while I get ready, while I paint my nails, etc. Thanks for making my laugh, enabling me and keeping me so entertained! <3
Andie from TechnoCupcake (We actually got to meet and had a shopping day together Love love love!)
Sam from LipstickLady518 (Her personality is just so infectious! Her taste in makeup is just beyond!)
Tara from Tarababyz (Epic hauls, in-depth reviews and so down-to-earth)
CarrotFlowers (Oddly enough, I don’t know her real name! I love her hauls, humor and taste!)
Sara from Hapagirl8 (This is a more recent discovery but I love her voice, her style and of course, her makeup picks!)
Leslie from LipglossLeslie (Her bubbly personality is charming and I could watch her videos all.the.time).
Michele from Michele1218 (I have watched Michele for 4 years. Her favorites are my favorites and she’s just very classy).
Happy New Year!!!!
I swear that every single blogger and vlogger I read or watch has Tom Ford’s Cream Color for Eyes in Platinum. When this was first released a year or two ago I wasn’t into Tom Ford (and I still think the brand is mostly hype) I passed on it and I never gave it a second thought. That is, until EVERYONE started raving about how glowy and gorgeous and perfect it was. By then, however, it was long sold out and impossible to find.
surprise shock incredible excitement, then, when I found out Platinum was making a return in the Tom Ford holiday 2014 collection. I stalked online stores daily for news that it had arrived and also called my local Tom Ford boutique store more times then I’m sure they appreciated. I wasn’t going to let Platinum escape me….again.
And then the day came when it was available to order from the boutique store. None of the online retailers had it in yet so I didn’t want to blow my chance at snatching it up. I paid a ridiculous shipping fee (more on that later) and two days later I had Platinum. And all was right in the world again. Maybe.
In the pot, Platinum is definitely as gorgeous as I imagined, if not slightly darker.
That’s where the fantasy ends, unfortunately. You see, Platinum has the texture that (if you’ve watched my most recent haul video you already know this) can best be described as….gloopy. Yes. I said it. I don’t like it. I have loads of cream eyeshadows in different colors, formulas, brands and textures and not one of them has made me feel the way this does. It’s almost…gross? I hate to be so hard on this shadow, but for $42 I expected more, Mr. Ford. WAY more. I expected the glowy, shimmery effortless shade that everyone has been going on about for almost two years. And it just isn’t there for me. I have to be so careful when I apply because too much comes out (no using your fingers, here, folks!) and then I have a mess on my hands. I also feel like I experience significant shimmer fallout when I blend this onto my eyes. I have to use a synthetic brush and maybe that doesn’t help, but the texture favors that type of tool.
And then there’s the color. It’s warmer and darker than I expected once applied. Platinum? Not really. It’s more like a nude brown with a sheen. Like Urban Decay Naked but with shimmer.
Oh, and did I mention that the boutique store has what can only be described as the most mediocre customer service (if you can even call it that) ever? I had to pay $15 shipping (!!!) when their online store ships FREE. And I live not even 30 minutes from the store. Umm, ok? Also, they required a signature for delivery without even telling me or asking me. For an eyeshadow. This isn’t the holy grail. It’s an eyeshadow. And a lackluster performer at that. They did not call me to confirm my order as they assured me they would and when I called to check on the status they couldn’t even pull up my order history. To top it off, they had my address incorrect and Fedex had to take extra time to correct in their system. I know other beauty lovers who ordered from this store also had very poor experiences. Some even worse than mine. All of that could be overlooked (mostly) if they shadow had been, you know, all that. Sadly it’s a miss for me. I’ll keep working with it, but I doubt that I will ever feel that “spark” that so many others before me have. It just isn’t there for me.
Whew. So, let’s get onto the swatches and comparisons, shall we?
Clockwise from bottom left: Laura Mercier Gilded Platinum, Bare Minerals 5am, Jouer Organza, Tarte Slate, Tom Ford Platinum, Tarte Shimmering Taupe, Mally Saddle Shimmer, Chanel Moon River, Illamasqua Surge, MAC Superwatt
I included shades that are similar in swatch and also shades that I believe represent that actual color Platinum. At least to my eye.
Some of these like Laura Mercier Gilded Platinum, Bare Minerals 5am and Chanel Moon River were sadly limited edition. You may be able to find them somewhere- or perhaps you already own them.
Swatches L-R: Bare Minerals 5am, Illamasqua Surge, Laura Mercier Gilded Platinum, Jouer Organza, Chanel Moon River, MAC Superwatt, Tom Ford Platinum, Tarte Slate, Tarte Shimmering Taupe, Mally Saddle Shimmer
Although I didn’t find any true dupes, I would say MAC’s Superwatt and Tarte’s Slate are the closest. The first three swatches on the left represent what I believe the shade platinum to represent. Something cooler toned and more shiny. Not everyone will agree, but that’s my personal assessment.
You can see just how much warmth comes through the Tom Ford shade, especially when blended. It’s not a horrible shade, to be sure, it’s just not what I was expecting. I guess that’s the things about expectations though….
So there you have it. I tried to be fair, but I also have to be brutally honest. When it comes to throwing down $42 (or in my case, over $60) for an eyeshadow I have a really high standard level and the whole package from start to swatch fell short.
What are your thoughts? Have you tried Platinum? Do you think it’s worth the hype it gets?
I don’t normally feel compelled to post about National “fill in the blank” day, week, month, etc. It gets quickly out of control as I could be posting about something every.single.day. The world is full of problems and many of us face our own health-related issues. I think it’s human nature to connect with awareness projects that have touched you personally, in some way. If you had a mother or a friend diagnosed with breast cancer, or if your father died of heart disease (like mine did) you tend to associate with those groups because of your own battles.
While not necessarily life-threatening, eczema can be a huge obstacle to the people who suffer from it. My husband happens to be one of those people. I know first hand how embarrassed he feels when he suddenly gets a patch of eczema on his eye before a meeting. He has tried many different products, prescribed to natural, which all seem to only mitigate the damage, rather than actually solving the problem.
One of the products that has been working, and quite rapidly, is Hydraluron.
Hydraluron contains a pure form of hyaluronic acid and helps skin retain it’s moisture and in so doing stopping a sudden eczema outbreak.
My husband has been using this for about two weeks and we both have noticed a significant difference in the areas where he is prone to eczema. The texture of the product is like a serum and it’s very lightweight. The results were pretty instantaneous. Within 24 hours the area around his eyes was noticeably improved and hydrated, the flaky appearance was gone and his skin was smooth. I plan to start using this myself for added moisture during the coming winter months.
While Eczema cannot be cured (yet!) it can be managed. We both recommend adding this product to your daily routine if you are someone who battles with this skin condition. You can pick this up at Walgreen’s or Drugstore.com in the U.S.
Hello! I uploaded a new haul video over the weekend full of all kinds of shimmery, holiday things. Andie from Techno Cupcake visited me here in Chicago and we did some serious shopping. You can check out her video below as well.
I hope you had a great weekend!