At the end of January I was off to Toronto for the annual national library conference. While I’m there, I always try to make time to do some of my favourites and sometimes try out new things too (like going to the Bite Lip Lab). I always make time to go to the Eaton’s Centre and hit the Sephora and MAC because there is no Sephora or MAC near where I live. I had a great trip to Sephora this year! Continue reading
Category Archives: Foundation & Primer
I really love Besame Cosmetics – the packaging, the whole vibe and philosophy behind all of their retro vintage-inspired beauty products. I’m also a huge fan of everything Snow White, as evidenced by my 2016 Halloween costume:
As soon as I saw the limited edition Besame Cosmetics Snow White Collection in my Instagram feed I just about nearly freaked out. The only problem? I live in Canada. I did order from Besame once before in 2013, and the brokerage and customs fees through UPS were $55.00 on top of the exchange rate from USD for the order. Although I loved the products (you can check out my post), particularly the Classic Color Lipsticks, I was reluctant to order from them again. Luckily, my Dad was wintering in Florida. So I had my order delivered to his address and then he mailed it to me through Canada Post. Hooray! Continue reading
In December, MAC had a sale of 25% off items from its permanent collection. My order only arrived two weeks ago. Living on an island in the middle of the frigid North Atlantic means that sometimes I have to wait ages for online shopping purchases to arrive, plus the holidays and some extremely stormy weather didn’t help matters. I wanted to share with you what I’d picked up at the sale. Continue reading
I love seeing what people chose to pick up at Sephora’s 20% off fall sale. I often use the sale to finally purchase an expensive item on my wish-list or to try out some new products. This year, however, I was totally practical. I decided to save money by restocking some of my staples. I ordered five items that are products that I use everyday. Continue reading
Welcome back to part 2 of my Did Samples Make me Want to Buy it or Skip it? Today I’m reviewing the primers and foundation samples I received.
Becca Backlight Priming Filter ($46 CAD): This primer claims to be “infused with 3 unique pearls to add light behind your complexion.” I like a glowy, dewy type of finish so I had high hopes for this Becca primer, a brand known for their highlighters. After an ingredients check, I was happy to see this was a mostly water-based primer, but then frustrated that it had added fragrance (urgh! #sensitiveskin #thestruggleisreal). Still, I gave it a try. After using this a couple of times under my MUFE Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation, I have to be honest, I saw absolutely no difference. No light. No glow. It did not create “an aura of light behind [my] foundation.” I prefer my Marcelle Ideal Skin Perfector instead which is a great, light, fragrance-free moisturizer/primer for dry sensitive skin, and about half the price. Verdict: Skip-it. Continue reading
I can’t believe its been ages since I last posted! I had an unexpected work situation occur: I had to take over a project in a sort of emergency capacity to get it back on track and it has seriously taken up all of my time for the past couple of weeks. Today was the start of the new semester at my university and even though I was busy with orientation events for new faculty and students all day and am exhausted, I really wanted to do a post and get back in the swing of things. I have several new products that I’ve been using that I’ve been dying to write about.
If you’re familiar with my blog, you know that I’m head over heels in love with the MUFE HD Foundation (read about how its the best foundation for fair skin imo). Its the only liquid foundation I’ve found that is light enough for me, that doesn’t oxidize, and also doesn’t irritate my skin or break me out. I tried a lot of foundations in my quest for a good liquid foundation as evidenced by my foundation graveyard. So imagine my horror to discover that my beloved foundation was *gasp* being reformulated!
Turns out, I shouldn’t have worried. The new Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation is
just as even more awesome as the original. I didn’t notice a huge difference in the formula, although MUFE claims the new formula “appears more invisible, comfortable, and natural-looking than ever before.” I think it was just so good to begin with that its difficult to notice a huge improvement. It’s still long wearing and sheer and natural looking, letting your own skin come through but also provides good coverage.
For me the two differences are 1. even cuter, and more high-end looking packaging, and 2. improved shade range. I really like the new silver band around the bottle versus the original black. I also liked the addition of the little MUFE lips holding a makeup brush logo on the cap.
I think the most impressive improvement is that the Ultra HD foundation comes in even more shades; an astonishing 40 shades! (compared to 26 in the original formula). I had been using the lightest shade in the original line, N110 Pink Porcelain, which I still found slightly too pink-toned for me. In the new line, the equivalent of 110 is R220, but there is an even lighter shade (which looks to be about 2-3 shades lighter than Pink Porcelain), Y205 Alabaster. You can see the difference in the swatches below:
Alabaster is an even better match for me! So the new Ultra HD Foundation gets a huge thumbs up from me. If you have a difficult time finding a foundation light enough for your skin tone, definitely check this out. I think its nice that they include a sample of the Step 1 Skin Equalizer Hydrating Primer with the foundation as well.
The Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation is $50 CAD.
Thanks for reading!
Nerdy Librarian Girl ❤
I’ve been looking for a good foundation primer for ages. I’m noticing my pores more, especially around my nose and on my chin which primers help conceal and generally give your skin a smoother appearance. The problem is, most primers I’ve tried, like the Smashbox Iconic Photo Finish, Hourglass Veil Mineral, BareMinerals Prime Time, all contain a lot of silicone (that’s what gives them that really “slippery” feel) and have irritated my skin and caused breakouts. Many other primers contain oils, also not a great thing to put on acne-prone skin. Since I found my all time favourite foundation, the water-based MUFE HD Invisible Cover Foundation I’ve avoided silicone and oil based primers because a water-based foundation isn’t going to work well over a silicone or oil primer.
My search for a non-siliconey, oil-free, fragrance-free primer led me to discover Marcelle Ideal Skin Perfector Complete Daily Corrector. Marcelle is a Canadian brand based in Montreal and their products are made in Canada. Marcelle is known for being a fragrance-free, hypo-allergenic brand that is formulated especially for sensitive skin. The Ideal Skin Perfector “perfects and corrects the appearance of uneven skin tone, dark spots, pores, and fine lines” and can be applied on its own or under makeup.
Water-based, there are no oils listed in the ingredients. It isn’t completely silicone free, but it doesn’t have that heavy silicone feel to it like a lot of primers do. It feels like a moisturizer. Its also paraben free for those of you avoiding parabens. I’ve been using it around my nose and on my chin. I don’t really need a primer all over my face.
It hasn’t irritated my skin, or caused any clogged pores or breakouts. I do find my foundation applies more smoothly over it and my pores are not as accentuated.
The Marcelle Ideal Skin Perfector is $24.95 CAD. Marcelle is available in most drugstores and major chains, and online through the Marcelle website, Well.ca, and London Drugs. Its available in the U.S. through their American site.
Let me know if you’ve found any other oil-free, fragrance-free or non-silicone foundation primers.
Thanks for reading!
Nerdy Librarian Girl ❤
When I was last in Sephora, a super friendly SA demoed the new NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation for me and gave me a generous sample to try. I’ve given up on buying high-end foundation without trying out a sample first, if possible. The All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation is $57.00 CAD, so I definitely wanted to test out a sample before buying! I’ve been wearing it to work all week and I feel like I have made up my mind about it.
I asked the SA for the palest shade, and she gave me the shade Siberia. On the Sephora website, its described as “light w/ neutral balance of pink & yellow undertones.” There’s also two other very light shades: Mont Blanc, “light with pink undertones” and Gobi, “light with yellow undertones.”
Siberia is probably one of the palest, whitest (not pink or yellow toned) liquid foundations I’ve ever seen which is amazing! I have a really difficult time finding foundation light enough for me, and the first day I wore this someone told me, concerned, that I “looked pale.” I also have a difficult time with foundations oxidizing on me and shifting colour throughout the day. This did not happen at all. The colour really did stay true the entire time I was wearing it.
The foundation is described as “An oil-free foundation that delivers full, natural-looking coverage with one drop, for lightweight, 16-hour wear” and that “builds and blends effortlessly.” I would totally agree that it is full, yet natural looking coverage and not a thick mask of makeup (and I’m not always a big fan of full coverage). It also stayed on literally the entire day. But here is where the negative part of the review comes in. Before I cover the negatives, just to be clear, this is a foundation that you are supposed to shake. The SA said to stir the sample before each application, which I did.
This stuff did not blend effortlessly for me. I cannot imagine trying to blend out “one-drop” over my entire face. It reminds me of Revlon ColorStay only it “sets” even faster. It dries in place very quickly to the point that it took a lot of work to blend in and look natural. I tried several different methods of application: Beauty Blender, fingers, foundation brushes, including the Real Techniques Buffing Brush (normally a good one), but nothing really worked for me. I didn’t enjoy fighting with this foundation every morning 😦
Another negative for me was the finish. The word “luminous” may be in the product name, but this foundation is pretty much completely matte on me. I prefer a liquid foundation that gives a more dewy, hydrated appearance to the skin. I have fairly dry skin and this foundation really accentuated that. It even made my skin feel dryer.
So to summarize…
- Very light shades available for fair skin!
- Colour stays true and doesn’t oxidize
- Natural, not heavy/opaque combined with full coverage which is rare
- Long wearing
- Probably a good foundation for those with oily skin
- Difficult to apply and blend
- Sets too quickly
- Matte finish, accentuated dryness
- Not a good foundation for those with dry skin
I don’t think this is a bad foundation necessarily, it just isn’t the type of foundation I prefer and I don’t think its a good one for dry skin. If you’re looking for something extremely light and haven’t been able to find a foundation that matches your fair skin, this might be for you. If you have oily skin and are a fan of foundations like Revlon ColorStay, you would probably like this. My skin is super dry right now with the crazy cold, dry winter weather we’ve been having. I don’t think I’ll be purchasing this one.
Have you tried the NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation yet? What do you think?
I’ve also never tried NARS Sheer Glow, so please let me know if you think I’d like that foundation.
Thanks for reading!
Nerdy Librarian Girl ❤
I typically have a long wait to receive nearly anything I order online (the joy of living on an island in the middle of the North Atlantic – lol), but this order seriously took ages. Normally when I place a Sephora order I get a second email that it’s shipped within a couple of days. This time it took 10 days before it even shipped. I guess the volume of orders was extra high because of the big sale.
So I was super happy when it finally arrived. I re-stocked on some favourites that I was nearly out of like:
- MAKE UP FOREVER HD Invisible Cover Foundation in “110 Porcelain Pink”: This is my third bottle. For a full review checkout my post on why this is the best liquid foundation for fair skin.
- MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Microfinish Powder: Love this powder for setting my under-eye concealer. I featured it in my Most Re-purchased Products of All Time post. I only ever order the 0.14 oz “mini” size because you use so little it lasts forever (for me, nearly a year). I was surprised that they changed the packaging on the HD Powder though. What I really liked about the mini size was that it was so mini it barely took up any space and was perfect for traveling. The new container is much bigger. Not lovin that so much.
- Guerlain Maxi Lash Mascara: The best mascara ever. They aren’t lying when they call it a “volume-creating and curl-sculpting mascara”. It also doesn’t budge or flake on me. A mascara worth $34 CAD? Absolutely! For more pics see my Guerlain Store shopping post.
- Laura Mercier Secret Concealer 0.5: Also featured in my Most Re-purchased Products of All Time post. Best under-eye concealer ever IMO.
Now on to the new stuff. I could not resist ordering the Tony Moly Bbo Bbo Lip Balm. I mean, look at this packaging!
Here’s the description from the Sephora site: “It is a cult-favorite amongst Korean pop stars, and ‘Bbo Bbo’ means ‘kiss’ in Korea. This clear-colored balm is infused with hydrating ingredients that include vitamin E and either honey or blueberry extract. Its soft fragrance leaves lips with an irresistible scent.”
I love the packaging, but I am not in love with the lip balm. Its heavily scented (and doesn’t smell like honey) and the perfumeyness lingers and it was all I could taste. Ick.
Speaking of cute packaging though, I love the free Sephora tote that came with the order!
I’m going to do separate, full reviews on my other two purchases – Benefit’s World Famous Neutrals Most Glamorous Nudes Ever eyeshadow kit and the NARS Audacious Lipstick in “Liv”. So check back for those soon!
Thanks for reading ❤
Nerdy Librarian Girl
As I mentioned in my last post, I just bought a house and have to sell my current house, so there’s lots of de-cluttering and packing going on. As I go through my makeup collection, I have been trying to be ruthless about tossing out things I really don’t like and probably won’t use anymore. This post is about some of those “unfavourites”: things I have tried (and in some cases tried and tried and tried) to like, but just aren’t working for me. It was time to say goodbye to:
Revlon PhotoReady Translucent Finisher: Since I switched to liquid foundation, I have been searching for a light, non-cakey touch-up powder to powder my t-zone with, as it can get a bit shiny throughout the day. This powder is definitely NOT non-cakey and looks very obvious over my foundation. I also hate the ginormous packaging which is way too big for my purse and looks ridiculous to use as a compact for a in public touch-ups. $15.99 CAD.
Revlon PhotoReady Concealer in “Fair”: I bought this to conceal occasional blemishes (find out how my skincare routine has dramatically reduced those). Again its NOT non-cakey, looks obvious on the skin plus its slightly too dark for my fair skin tone and its their lightest shade. $10.99 CAD.
bareMinerals Ready Touch Up Veil: I was soo excited about this product because I was a big fan of bareMinerals, but the loose powder can be a pain to carry around and use for touch ups. What could be better than their mineral veil in pressed form, I thought? Hmm…a lot of things apparently. I have really tried to make this work (different puffs, brushes, etc.) but this powder just looks awful on me. Its cakey, breaks down and looks patchy, and doesn’t help reduce shine at all as claimed. Its available at Sephora for $28.00 CAD.
theBalm Sexy Mama Anti-Shine Translucent Powder: I have had this a while (I got it last year in my theBalm haul). I haven’t been able to part with it because the packaging, like all theBalm packaging, is just so cute. This is yet another touch-up powder that is not working for me for similar reasons as above. And although this is allegedly “translucent”, it does oxidize on me and go a bit orangey. As a stylish, portable compact I give it an “A” but I give the powder inside “F”. It’s also pricey at $26.00 CAD.
Rachel K CC Cream in “Fair”: I ordered this from LisalisaD1 for $39.00 USD plus shipping. I will admit I generally don’t have any luck with primers. I have yet to find one I like that doesn’t irritate my skin and/or cause breakouts (I think I’m likely sensitive to the silicone in them). I didn’t like the smell of the Rachel K, a heavily scented, old-fashioned “makeupy” smell. It didn’t work under my bareMinerals foundation or under my Make Up For Ever HD Foundation. Maybe the ingredients were at odds with each other, but this seemed to repel both foundations and make their application less smooth and even. I am passing this one on to my Mom who really likes primers and maybe she’ll have more luck.
Thanks for stopping by ❤
Nerdy Librarian Girl
When it comes to favourites, a good indicator that you really love a beauty product is when you use it up entirely and then buy it again (and again!). I had an idea to do a post about the products I have repurchased the most. When I thought about it, I came up with a list of my 12 most repurchased products of all time, which I could also have called the makeup products I am most obsessed with. So, in no particular order, here they are:
Bare Minerals Original Foundation SPF 15 ($35.00 CAD): I’ve been using this powder foundation for over 10 years. Its a great match for fair skin, and when my skin was really break-out prone this was the only foundation that wouldn’t exacerbate the issue. It never irritated my sensitive skin.
Too Faced Shadow Insurance eyeshadow primer ($24.00 CAD): I prefer the Too Faced over the Urban Decay Primer Potion. I find it creamier and smoother and it lasts longer on me. When I discovered eyeshadow primer it literally changed my (makeup) life!
Benefit Benetint Cheek Stain ($36.00 CAD): This is another product that I’ve been using for at least 10 years, maybe more. I use it everyday under my foundation. It gives fair skin a beautiful, glowing from within flush. I couldn’t even guess how many of these little bottles I’ve gone through!
Three of my most repurchased products are MAC eyeshadows in Patina, Omega and Brule ($12-19.00 CAD). I have hit pan on all three multiple times.
Laura Mercier Secret Concealer ($31.00 CAD): This is my absolute favourite under eye concealer. I used to buy “1 – for light complexions with pink undertones” and then Sephora started carrying “0.5 – light beige for fair to light complexions” which I like even better.
Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder ($22.00 CAD for 0.14oz size): I use this to set my under eye concealer. I always buy the mini size because you only need to use a tiny amount. The mini size lasts forever and I’ve still gone through three or four of these.
NYX powder blush in “Angel” ($6.00 CAD): This is my favourite blush ever! It lasts longer on me than any other powder blush (Nars, MAC, Tarte…) and is the prettiest shade on fair skin. The blushes are small though, so I go through them quickly. I’ve gone through a lot of these.
MAC Eye Kohl in “Powersurge” ($19.00 CAD): This flattering, wearable “bronzed-brown with golden shimmer” is the perfect eyeliner. I first heard about it from Pixiwoo. I use it on my lower waterline and smudge it out on my lower lash line. I literally have like 3 back-ups of this and I’m also constantly buying it for other people so they can discover the eyeliner goodness that is Powersurge!
Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara ($12.00 CAD): I have been loving this little mascara since it debuted. I’d never worn mascara on my lower lashes because I could never find anything that would stay on there. This doesn’t smudge or flake and stays put until I wash it off. And the little brush is so cute!
Blistex Daily Conditioning Treatment SPF 20 in the peach pot ($3.99 CAD): I’ve been using this lipbalm since I was in highschool, but I won’t say how long ago that was, lol. I suspect that if I could stack up all of the empty pots of this lipbalm that I’ve gone through, the tower might reach the moon.
I’d like to tag anyone reading this to do this post too! I’d love to hear about your most repurchased products.
Thanks for stopping by! ❤
Nerdy Librarian Girl
In terms of liquid foundation, I’m really happy with my Make Up For Ever HD Foundation, but I am such a fan of bareMinerals I wanted to try their new bareSkin foundation. This is one of the things I picked up while shopping in Vegas.
The bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation is “Clinically proven tone-correcting mineral foundation and brightening serum in one…this ultra-thin, skin-perfecting fluid provides seamless adjustable coverage, a natural finish and the look and feel of beautiful skin while delivering a noticeably brighter, more youthful appearance. Made with the bare minimum ingredients and formulated without oil, silicone, parabens or fragrance.”
I got the brush designed to go with it, which has a little “reservoir” in the center where you’re supposed to drop 1-2 drops of foundation and buff onto your skin in circular motions. bareMinerals says to add more drops to increase coverage.
So here is the overview of what I liked and disliked about this foundation.
What I liked:
- Good colour match! bareMinerals has 20 shades and the lightest one, “Bare Porcelain 01”, was light enough for me which hardly ever happens with liquid foundation. And it didn’t oxidize or darken after applied.
- Squeeze bottle. Very sanitary!
- Didn’t irritate my skin or cause any breakouts.
What I disliked:
- The smell! It has an indescribable, unpleasant smell in my opinion.
- Greasy, oily texture. I didn’t like the texture of this foundation at all. It reminded me of trying to rub in greasy sunblock. Even after shaking it well, it almost seemed like the ingredients were trying to separate.
- The brush. The Perfecting Face Brush didn’t do it for me. No amount of “circular motions” could get this stuff to look blended and streak free. Once I gave up on the brush and switched to my Beauty Blender sponge, I had better luck. SKIP THE BRUSH!
- Difficult to apply/blend. Even with the Beauty Blender, this foundation took a lot of work to look blended and natural. I didn’t particularly like how it sat on my skin.
As you’ve probably guessed, this foundation was a “miss” for me. I have tried to make it work, but I just don’t care for it. The bareMinerals powder foundation is amazing, but I am disappointed by their liquid foundation.
I paid $29 USD for the foundation and $28 USD for the brush. In Canada, the foundation is $36 CAD and the brush is $35 CAD.
SUBSCRIBER GIVEAWAY: If any of my fair-skinned subscribers would like to try this, I would be happy to mail you the foundation and brush for free (Canadian addresses only please). I’m not going to use it, so I’d love to be able to pass it on, and maybe you will like it better than I did! First subscriber to leave me a comment, it’s yours! [UPDATE: It’s been claimed]
Thanks for stopping by ❤
Nerdy Librarian Girl
I didn’t have a lot of time to spend in the Fashion Show Mall but I was so excited when I saw they had a whole bareMinerals store. I had never even seen one before. I had been to the Sephora in The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace specifically to get bareMinerals’ new Bareskin liquid foundation because I haven’t been able to get it in Canada. I visited a Canadian Sephora about a month ago and they weren’t carrying it yet, and on their website they don’t have all the shades (like the lightest shades which would match me). The Forum Sephora was sold out of the shade that matched me (although the SA was kind enough to give me a sample).
I was soo happy to finally get the Bareskin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation in Bare Porcelain 01. I bought the accompanying Perfecting Face Brush as well. The girl who worked there gave me a really nice Bareskin canvas tote bag too!
Before I left, I had to take a picture of the display of loose pigment eyecolors because they were so pretty!
I haven’t used the foundation yet and want to use it for a little while before writing a review, but I will definitely be reviewing it for you!
Thanks so much for stopping by!
Nerdy Librarian Girl
A sample size of the LORAC Behind the Scenes Eye Primer came with my LORAC Pro Palette. Eyeshadow primer pretty much changed my life (well my makeup life anyway, lol) but they are not all created equally. I love my Too Faced Shadow Insurance Eye Primer, so I wouldn’t have gone out specifically in search of a new eye primer.
I have tried to give this one a good go, but I have to say I really don’t care for it. I don’t think it works very well at all. My eyeshadows were creasing midway through the day and it didn’t help them stay put at all. I felt like I might as well of not used a primer. I would recommend the Too Faced or the Urban Decay Primer Potion for sure over the LORAC. They are all the same price, $24.00 CAD, although you do get more in the LORAC tube (0.5 oz VS the 0.35 oz Too Faced and 0.37 oz UD). This is my first disappointing experience with a LORAC product.
Thanks for stopping by! ❤
I’m a bit late reviewing my Ipsy Glam bag this month. The March cosmetic bag was my favourite so far – a super cute, original design by artist Klari Reis. The bag contained:
- NYX Love in Rio Eye Shadow Palette in “Segredos De Giselle”: $6.75 CAD
- bareMinerals Marvelous Moxy Lipstick in “Get Ready” (1.5g sample size): $23.00 CAD for full 3.4g size
- Pixi Flawless Beauty Primer (12ml sample size): $25.00 CAD for full size
- Chella Indigo Blue Eyeliner Pen: $26.90 CAD
Retail prices are in CAD and don’t include taxes or applicable shipping.
There were only four products in this month’s bag, which is slightly fewer than normal, but three of them were higher end brands that would be over $20 each to purchase on their own.
I love NYX eyeshadows, and I’m happy with the trio I received in “Segredos De Giselle” – a peachy pink, a beige, and a bronzey-brown, all shades that I would wear. The same with the bareMinerals lipstick shade; it’s a super wearable pinky-rose. The shade “Get Ready” seems to be exclusive to Ipsy, as it isn’t available on the Canadian Sephora site. I am also loving the Pixi primer, a water-based, fragrance-free primer that works well with my MUFE HD Invisible Cover Foundation.
I haven’t used the Chella Indigo Blue Eyeliner Pen yet, which is a water-resistant liquid liner. I’m not really a blue eyeliner person.
The total retail value of the March bag if I were to purchase these products (not including taxes or shipping, etc.) was: $81.65 CND.
The Chella website ships to Canada, but states “Canadian customers are responsible for all duties and GST”, and doesn’t say what shipping method they use. The Hudsons Bay Company logo is on their site under “About Us” so they may carry Chella products? For where to buy NYX, bareMinerals, and Pixi in Canada, checkout my Canadian Makeup Shopping Guide.
My last post, Foundation Graveyard: Fair Skin Foundation Fails listed all of the liquid foundations I’ve tried that really haven’t worked for me. So I thought I would give us fair-skinned girls some hope and talk about a foundation I am currently loving: Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation in “110 Porcelain Pink”.
I had mentioned this in a previous post along with some other things I’d been trying. I’ve been using it for over a month now and I can honestly say it’s working really well. The MUF foundation range has 26 shades! The lightest, 110 Porcelain Pink “for porcelain skin with pink undertones”, is the best colour match I have ever found. The best thing is it doesn’t oxidize or shift in colour throughout the day.
It’s also super long wearing. I don’t even set it with a powder, although I do use the UD Setting Spray. It’s sheer and natural looking, letting your own skin come through, yet also provides good coverage. I apply it with the Beautyblender. The foundation is water-based and very light. So far, I haven’t had any issues with it aggravating my skin.
The only negative is the price: $49 CND. But I have such a difficult time finding a foundation I am happy with, I really feel it is worth it to have something that looks good, matches my skintone, and doesn’t bother my skin. It is a thin consistency and a little also goes a long way, so I feel like it will last me a long time before I have to repurchase (I can keep you updated on that). UPDATE: I am finding that one bottle lasts about 3-4 months.
If you have a recommendation for a good foundation for fair skin, leave me a comment! For where to buy Make Up Forever in Canada, check out my Makeup Shopping Guide for Canadians. Thanks for stopping by! ❤
When I did my review of the Loreal Magic Nude Liquid Powder and Magic B.B. Cream, I mentioned doing a post on my “Foundation Graveyard” – about all of the other liquid foundations I’ve tried that have been fails – so here it is! As someone with very fair skin that’s also sensitive and prone to breakouts, I’ve always found it a struggle to find a foundation that is actually light enough to match my skin-tone (even the lightest shade is still not light enough) and that won’t irritate my skin. I have typically stuck with my BareMinerals Original mineral powder in “Fair C10”, but find that a powder foundation can be too dry for a Canadian winter.
Here is a quick run-down on why all of these liquid foundations were fails:
- Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup SPF 20 in “Natural Ivory 20” – WAY too dark. And orange. It looks soo much more orangey on the skin than in the bottle, almost as if some strange chemical reaction happened as soon as it made contact with the air. I was so disappointed because you can’t get Neutrogena makeup in Canada and I picked this up while I was in Florida visiting my Dad. It had gotten rave reviews, but sadly the colour range was not meant to include us pale girls 😦
- Revlon Nearly Naked in “110 Ivory” – Out of all of the liquid foundations I’ve tried, Revlon does tend to have the best colour range and is usually the closest match I can find. Although the Nearly Naked started off as a pretty good match, it seriously oxidized during the day to get increasingly darker and more warm-toned (I’m cool toned). I also wasn’t fussy over the finish of this one. It was too sheer, emphasized fine lines, and didn’t have much staying power.
- Stila Sheer Colour Tinted Moisturizer Oil-free in “Bare” – The Stila Tinted Moisturizer is very popular. A Sephora SA colour matched me for this one. As you can see from the swatch below it was WAY too yellow and probably the worst of the bunch in terms of a colour match.
- Revlon Photo Ready in “001 Ivory” – I actually really loved the way this one looked on my skin. The problem: it doesn’t last AT ALL. It was a very close colour match, had a beautiful natural finish, and is oil and fragrance free. But literally within an hour it was totally breaking down and looking patchy.
- Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Oil-free in “Porcelain” – I got this one after reading that the MUA for True Blood used it on actress Deborah Ann Woll who plays Jessica. That girl is PALE! I mean, she’s even a vampire. I thought – well, if it’s light enough for her… Sadly, the Laura Mercier foundations are all very yellow toned. This one is way too yellow and oxidized like crazy to just get darker and darker as the day went on. Even though it’s oil free, it also did not get on well with my skin and caused some clogged pores. Total fail.
- MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation in NC15 – I really really loved this foundation even though I had to finally admit it wasn’t the greatest colour match. It looked amazing and made my skin feel so soft. I spent a half hour with a MAC SA who tested out the NC15s from EVERY liquid foundation they made on me. They were all too dark except this one. Like the Nearly Naked, it would start off as a good match but then oxidize throughout the day. It was also too moisturizing for my skin and did start to cause some clogged pores and breakouts.
- Revlon Colorstay for Normal/Dry Skin in “110 Ivory” – The best colour match of them all (nearly perfect), the Colorstay was the only one that did not oxidize or shift in colour throughout the day. It’s also, as the name suggests, very long wearing. I can see why this makes a lot of peoples’ favourites list. The downside: it’s difficult to remove. After wearing it regularly (I used almost the entire bottle) I was noticing a lot of clogged pores and breakouts.
If you’re a cool-toned (pink undertone) fair skinned girl like me, I hope this helps you out knowing some foundations you may want to skip. My next post will be about the liquid foundation I have found that ISN’T a fail…stay tuned!
I am a huge fan of the Bare Minerals Original Foundation. I have been using it for years. I do love it, but as I get older, I’m finding it a bit drying in the wintertime. When I heard Youtuber and fellow Canadian beauty blogger, essie-button, rave about the new Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation I just had to try it out. I picked it up at Sephora for $43.00 CND (but I did have a gift certificate my lovely sister gave me for xmas).
In the Bare Minerals, I use the lightest shade “Fair – for the fairest porcelain skin with pink undertones”, so I got the Tarte “Fair Honey – fair skin w/peach undertones” which is also the lightest shade in the Tarte foundation. I also got the accompanying Tarte Airbuki Bamboo Powder Foundation Brush for $31.00 CND.
The shade is a very good match for my extremely fair, cool-toned skin and it doesn’t seem to oxidize throughout the day (one of the reasons I love mineral makeup). I agree with essie-button that it looks very flawless and natural when first buffed into the skin. A friend’s teenage daughter literally reached up and touched my face while I was wearing this foundation and said “your face just looked so soft”. Can’t beat that kind of evidence! 🙂
However, at the end of the day, I don’t think this mineral makeup holds up any better than my Bare Minerals. It isn’t any longer lasting, and tends to look a little dry and patchy as the long, cold, dry February days wear on. I would say it’s about the same as the Bare Minerals in terms of staying power. I also am not as happy with the packaging. You really would have to splash out for the $30 Tarte kabuki brush because I seriously don’t know how else you would ever manage to apply this stuff with any other shape/size brush.
So, I like this foundation, but it’s quite a bit more expensive than other brands of mineral makeup and I’m not convinced that it’s worth the extra money.
Tarte cosmetics are available in Canada at Sephora.
Still on a quest to find a new wintertime foundation routine, I am currently trying out these four products: Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer (I bought the “travel size”), the Beautyblender sponge, MAKE UP FOREVER HD Invisible Cover Foundation in 110 “Pink Porcelain”, and Urban Decay All Nighter Make-up Setting Spray.
I received a Sephora sample of the Hourglass primer and absolutely loved it, and I’m not usually a big fan of primers. I generally find them too drying for my skin or they don’t seem to really do anything. Of course, the thing you like is inevitably one of the most expensive :P. I held out until I noticed that it does come in a smaller, more affordable size. The 0.33 ounce “travel size” is $21.00 CND. It really makes my skin feel super soft and smooth and works great with my Bareminerals powder foundation probably because they are both mineral-based.
The Hourglass primer doesn’t seem to get on as well with the MUF HD Invisible Cover foundation. I checked the Sephora site and sure enough the Hourglass primer is “water-resistant” and the MUF foundation is water-based. I love them both individually but they don’t seem to work well together.
I was impressed with the shade range of the MUF HD foundation (24 shades). The lightest, 110 “Pink Porcelain” is a really good match and does not seem to oxidize and darken or shift throughout the day. It seems sheer and natural but also manages to provide medium coverage. So far it’s getting along with my skin. I think it’s the best liquid foundation I have used. I should do a post on my liquid foundation “graveyard”. So many fails.
I finally am trying out the Beautyblender. I may be the last person to have bought one. I never use sponges normally because I am allergic to latex (Beautyblender is happily latex-free). Although I find washing it and squeezing the water out a bit more of a pain than washing brushes, I am liking the way it applies foundation. The Sephora site says they “can last up to three to four months if cared for properly”, and you can even mail it to Pennsylvania if you are a dedicated recycler.
My absolute favourite thing I am using right now is the UD All Nighter Make-up Setting Spray. I also discovered this by receiving a Sephora sample (I think it may have been a “deluxe” sample). This setting spray really works! I have previously used the MAC Fix+ and while I like it for other qualities and purposes, I don’t think it extends the wear of your make-up like the UD All Nighter spray. I feel like my make-up would literally stay on looking the same forever.
Thanks for stopping by & visiting my little blog ❤
Normally, I swear by my BareMinerals powder foundation, but the Canadian winters are long, dry, cold and hard on a girl’s skin. When my skin gets super dry, adding mineral powder can just make it look worse. For several winters in a row now, I’ve delved in to the world of liquid foundations, BB creams, and tinted moisturizers in search of something that will a) actually match my extremely fair skin, and b) not irritate my skin and make me breakout. My sensitive skin has a difficult time with liquid products.
I found myself in the drugstore purchasing two of the new Loreal “Magic” line products in the hopes of finding something that might work on my dehydrated skin. I love the Loreal MagicLumi Concealer/Corrector (I’m literally on my third one) so I had high hopes.
Let’s start with the Loreal Magic Skin Beautifier B.B. Cream. I purchased the lightest shade, “Fair”. I did NOT realize that this is one of those adjusts-to-match-your-skintone products. Gotta read the fine print next time. These NEVER work for me, but instead alway morph into some kind of dark orange mess. Here is a swatch of what it looks like straight out of the tube next to what it looks like rubbed in:
I know what you’re thinking: Well, that looks like a pretty good match. Yeah but only for about 5 seconds, and then it continues to oxidize and gets darker and more orange as the day goes on. It also had a “gritty” texture that felt very strange and unpleasant to rub in.
On to the Loreal Magic Nude Liquid Powder foundation. Of course also bought the lightest shade, 310 “Light Ivory”. The colour match for this was much better and I quite liked the coverage (sheer to medium). But, unfortunately, a liquid to powder product was, in retrospect, perhaps not the best solution. I did find this rather drying and powdery. It clung to any dry patches I had on my skin and accentuated them.
While using these two, I also got a huge blemish on my cheek where I normally don’t even break out. I’m not sure which product was responsible. So, overall, the Loreal Magic was not at all magical 😦
The Loreal Magic Nude Liquid Powder and the Loreal Magic Skin Beautifier B.B. Cream both retail for $17.99 CND and are available in Canada at Shoppers Drug Mart, Lawtons Drugs (Atlantic Canada), Wal Mart, Target, London Drugs, Rexall, Pharma Plus and online at: Well.ca.
The selection of theBalm cosmetics on the Canadian Sephora website isn’t great, so when I had a chance to pick some up at a London Drugs (there aren’t any near where I live) I got a little excited.
I love theBalm’s cheeky retro packaging and product names. I picked up three of theBalm Girls lipsticks; the Shadow/Blushes in DownBoy and FratBoy; Stainiac Lip & Cheek Stain; Sexy Mama Anti-Shine Translucent Powder; and the “Meet Matt(e)” Matte Eyeshadow Palette.
Let’s start with the lipsticks. These are probably the nicest lipsticks I have ever used. They are so moisturizing and long-wearing. They do have a slight, almost minty scent that happily fades away almost immediately. I am obsessed with the pinky-nude “Mai Billsbepaid” which might be my favorite lipstick ever.
I am also impressed with the blushes, which are very pigmented and long-wearing. FratBoy is a wearable corally-pink with a satin finish (not too shimmery). DownBoy is more of a classic pink, slightly cool-toned with a satin finish.
As a matte eyeshadow fan, I am enjoying the “Meet Matt(e)” palette. The shadows are very high-quality, smooth, and easy to apply and blend. I would really like to get the “Meet Matt(e) Nude” palette, but the London Drugs I was in didn’t carry it.
I was surprised at how much I like the Staniac cheek stain, as I really love Benefit’s Benetint and find most other cheek stains I’ve tried can’t compare. This one is great and the packaging is super travel friendly.
The only one disappointing product was the Sexy Mama Anti-Shine Translucent Powder. Far from being translucent, it is quite dark and yellow-toned once applied, and it tended to oxidize and darken on me as the day went on.
In Canada, theBalm products can be ordered on the London Drugs website (but in-store selection is way better), the Sephora website (which doesn’t carry the full line) and NailPolishCanada.com. I wouldn’t recommend theBalm.com website because customs will be extra and can end up costing a lot.
theBalm Girls lipsticks: $17.00 CND
theBalm Shadow/Blush: $24.00 CND
Stainiac Lip & Cheek Stain: $17.00 CND
Sexy Mama Anti-Shine Translucent Powder: $26.00 CND
“Meet Matt(e)” Matte Eyeshadow Palette: $34.00 CND
I was really excited to open this. Besame is a unique, vintage-inspired make-up line. Although shipping it here was crazy (more on that later) and I probably won’t place another order, it was totally worth it.
I ordered two of the Classic Color Lipsticks in Portrait Pink and Noir Red; their Signature Compact in Porcelain; the Crimson Cream Rouge; and their 1930s Mascara.
I love the lipsticks. You really feel like you’ve gone back in time to the 1950s. Back then, lipsticks were smaller, so the Besame lipsticks are smaller than a typical lipstick:
Speaking of MAC…the Besame lipsticks are similar to the MAC cremesheen lipsticks in formula, finish, and even the vanilla scent.
The mascara packaging is so glamorous, but it was the only product that was disappointing. I didn’t think the formula or brush did much for my lashes. But, I loved the rouge and the compact. Again, you really feel like you’ve gone back to another era. I mean, just look at this compact:
My order initially came to $122.00. The problem was with the brokerage and customs fees which weren’t included. Besame ships using UPS and they charged me an additional $55.00! which means I am not likely to place another order. I will just have to enjoy these for now.