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Monday, 8 March 2010

Foundation Week Finale – Liquids

Chanel_VitalumiereI love liquid foundations, and have amassed a fair collection of them over the years. There are very many different formulations, and with liquid foundations, it can be a case of trial and error getting the right formulation for yourself.
There are two main kinds, ones that leave you with a dewy glow, and matte ones – but, of course, there are all kinds of gradations in-between.  Me being a dry-skinned kind of gal, I tend to favour more glowy kinds of foundations over the matte ones, but I’ll have a look at some good examples of both in this post.
Foundations that give you a dewy finish can be heavier in oils, and therefore they’re better for drier, or more mature skins.  My absolute favourite foundation in this category is Chanel Vitalumiere, which I find leaves me with a lovely “glowing” effect, without making it look like I’m either sweaty or greasy.  It last pretty well, too, but the shade range isn’t all that wide (I find the pale shades pretty dark, and they don’t really cater for darker skins at all, which is a shame), but I like the air-free pump bottle, which means no messy spills!
Bourjois 10 hour sleep effect foundation is another good one, but I find it can my my (only slightly) dry skin look a little too shiny, and so I find that setting it with powder takes the edge off that.
Nars Sheer Glow is one that a lot of people swear by, but I found in my recent Nars makeover that it just made me look sweaty, even after a good powdering!  However, if you have really dry skin, it might be a good one to try out.
I’m not the best person to ask about matte foundations, as I find that many of the “oil-free” formulations that abound, like Lancome’s Teint Idole Ultra (which is actually an excellent foundation for greasier-skinned people) suck all the moisture out of my face after a couple of hours and leave me looking a little desiccated.  I also recently tried Bourjois Mineral Matte foundation recently (which is cutely packaged with it’s own tiny kabuki brush) but again, it just dried my skin out that little too much to be comfortable.
So, can dry-skinned people use a matte base without resembling an Egyptian mummy by lunchtime?  Surprisingly, the answer is yes! 
I recently discovered Rimmel’s Stay Matte formulation (okay, I may not have been the first person to ever have bought this one) and I absolutely love it!  Now, the reason I love it is probably because it’s not really as matte as it claims to be.  Personally, I’d describe the finish as a “satin”.  It doesn’t give me as dewy a glow as Vitalumiere, but there is definitely a lovely sheen to my skin when I’m wearing this.  Over the winter, Rimmel Stay Matte has been my default foundation, and currently, it’s the one I use as a benchmark for ALL foundations, it’s that good!  I also purchased a couple of back-ups …
Another one with a great satin, or “semi-matte”, finish is Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation, which I like a lot, but the texture is a bit more liquid than the Rimmel, and I think doesn’t last quite as well.
With all my liquid foundations, I pour a little onto the back of my hand, and dab a flat-topped Kabuki brush into it, and use that to spread the foundation over my trouble spots (nose and T-Zone), then use the slightly denuded brush to blend it over the remainder of my face.  I then use my fingers to add a little more in place of concealer where I need it.  Sometimes, I finish with powder, sometimes I don’t, it depends on what I’m doing for the day.
That said, there’s no real right or wrong way to apply your foundation, the right way is simply the way that works for you.  For my makeovers, I usually use a disposable foundation sponge, but sometimes I use my fingers.  As long as you don’t end up looking like you’re wearing a mask, it’s all good!
What’s your favourite liquid foundation? How do you apply it, and what finish do you like?

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Makeover: Isobel

Another very quick makeover this week, featuring the lovely Isobel, who came to visit Chez Lippie recently.
Meet Isobel:
Isobel 1
Isobel wanted a very simple evening look.  One that looked polished, and elegant, but that wasn’t too dramatic.  We had a chat about colours, and discovered that muddy purples were the order of the day.
As ever, we start with the base.  Now, Isobel is 60 years old, and has skin that many a thirty- or forty-something would envy, barely any pores, and very minimal lines, I was in awe!  With this in mind, we used a very, very light base of Benefit You Rebel in Lite:
Isobel 2Then, onto the eyes.  We wanted to make them the focus of the look, so we picked out a Laura Mercier eyeshadow (one of my own personal favourites) in Twilight, and used that all around the eyes:
Isobel 3 I also used the same shade as a liner – applied with a liner brush – and followed this with a touch of Bourjois Ultra care mascara in black:

Isobel 4
To highlight those lovely cheekbones, I used Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips as both a blush and a highlight.  I love these US-only versions of Bobbi Brown’s shimmer bricks, the quality is astonishing for a “drugstore” product, and they’re very flattering.
Isobel 6
I added a touch of lipstick (sorry, very, very sorry, I can’t remember which one) and used MAC Behold eyeshadow to darken Isobel’s eyebrows a touch, for added definition.
Here’s the before and after:
Isobel before after
Apologies – as always – for the terrible photographs in this makeover, this was a nighttime makeover, and we struggled with the lighting.
Thank you, Isobel for taking part, it was great fun, and I really hope you enjoyed your new look!

Friday, 5 March 2010

Foundation Week - Tinted Moisturisers

Yes, I know that tinted moisturisers aren't strictly foundations, but I'm doing this post by request! During summer, I'm actually a big fan of tinted moisturisers, as they're lighter, and generally offer better sun protection than traditional foundations. Nothing worse than looking a bit dry in the summer sun.

One of the most famous tinted moisturisers is Benefit You Rebel. Long touted by Benefit as the ultimate "suits all" shade (three words that always make me suspicious, whether it's a foundation, a lipstick, blusher, or whatever), they brought out a "Lite" version not all that long ago - why would they do that?  It's a "suits all" shade! - and I thought I'd show a comparison of the two:

The original formula is at the top, and the lite version is at the bottom.  As you can see, there is actually a massive difference in the two shades, for me, the original is the one I actually prefer! But, I cannot tell a lie, I tend to use it more as a bronzer, or faux tan, than a tinted moisturiser.  This is, however, actually my third tube of it! The lite shade is actually just a little bit too light, and can upon occasion make my NW20/25 skin look a bit washed out, but it's good for winter.

Here's how they look blended out - and many apologies for the poor quality of pic in advance -

As you can see, on my winter-skin, the lite version disappears completely, but the original leaves quite a distinct tide mark ...

Much as I like You Rebel (and I've been using it since back in the days when it was still called I Am Rebel), it's not, actually, my favourite tinted moisturiser, mainly because whilst it's nice and pigmented, I find I still need to use a moisturiser underneath it.  That's mainly, of course, because I have stupid flaky and sensitive dry skin! For oilier skins, I doubt you'd need another layer of product with it, to be honest.

No, my favourite tinted moisturiser - and I bang on about it at any opportunity I get - is Bobbi Brown Tinted Moisturising Balm (above).  I like it because it has a decent level of pigment, is available in quite a large range of shades, from extremely pale through to dark, and it's quite possibly the nicest-smelling tinted moisturiser I've ever found.  Also, I find it gives a nice dewy sheen without making you look sweaty.  It is more suitable for dryer skins, but Bobbi also offers a more traditional tinted moisturiser, in a tube, that's not quite as heavy on the oil content.  I'm out of this at the moment, but at the first sign of spring arriving proper, I shall be investing in a pot, and discarding all the moisturisers + foundations I've been using all winter!  Fickle?  Mebbe ...

I occasionally also like to wear Estee Lauder DayWear Plus Multi Protection Anti-Oxidant Moisturizer SPF 15 Sheer Tint Release Formula (catchy!) which starts off a rather unappetising grey shade straight from the tube, but transforms on contact with the skin to a sheer (and quite light) tone, that isn't quite as pigmented as the other moisturisers in this review, but is well worth a look if you're looking for something that's a bit lighter in texture.  It also smells rather delightfully (if somewhat artificially) of cucumber, which is  very refreshing on a hot day!

What's your favourite tinted moisturiser?  Or do you think, as a couple of my housemates do, that they're a complete waste of time?

The Small Print: I bought these, they're mine, I tell you, MINE!  No PR's were harmed in the making of this post.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Foundation Week - Cream to Powder

Now, as cream to powder formulations are the ones I have most trouble with, I invited two guest bloggers to try out a brand new foundation on the market, Urban Decay Surreal Skin.  Let's take a look at how Lina from Make Up to Make Out and Charlotte from Lady of the Lane got on with it:

First of all, Lina:

I was given this Urban Decay Surreal Skin Cream to Powder Foundation by Get Lippie as she needed a reviewer of darker skin and I greedily put my hand up for it! As the name suggests, it's a compact foundation that is cream in formula, but sets to powder finish. Having naturally dry skin (plagued with it my entire life - I was BORN with eczema, EW!) I was a bit dubious about how well I'd gel with this product; ordinarily, any kinda powder finish product (especially in compact form) is a massive no no. Looking quickly online to see any further info about it didn't really help much either in deciphering its target skin type.  Oh well, I'll give anything a shot!

The first thing I learnt when playing around with this was don't even bother trying to use the special brush it comes with; cheap, crappy, and scratchy. I don't even have much to cover and I could barely get ANY coverage with it. I tried a few other brushes and interestingly found my No7 Foundation Brush worked best (as opposed to my beloved Bobbi Brown one). It's quite a thick fluffy foundation brush so you could really work the product into it. And working the product into it I did! Unlike most foundations, where you start of with a little and build, I literally swirled my foundation brush in the compact, and the applied straight to my face. This worked really well and I managed to get a really good, even coverage .

What I noticed when applying it was that is it incredibly weightless, and feels really silky on your skin. It did dry to a powder finish, but luckily not so severely that it dried my skin out in the process. With a bit of concealer it made my face flawless, made up but flawless. A little bit unusual for me as I tend to go for quite light dewy foundations so this finish was fairly new to me.

The lasting power is pretty good, admittedly I found around my nose it wore off more quickly but I get that with every foundation so that's fine. I did feel the need to touch up just to freshen it up a little bit half way through the day, not the sort of product you can apply in the morning and then forget about it till bed time, but this led me to discover that it was great for building with - even hours after original application. Didn't cake in the slightest.  Neither did my skin feel particularly parched either, which was really surprising.

I'm not sure if my skin could take wearing this everyday, especially for days which start at 8am and finish at 1am, my skin would just collapse from dehydration on day 4, but it's definitely great for evenings where you want to look made up and have a powdered finish matte base. Obviously, if you have oilier skin then you could probably (happily) get away with wearing this everyday but dry skin needs a little bit more nourishment. However, in general this is good matte, powder finish product that even dry skin gals can get away with using on occasion! Just make sure you slather on the richest night cream when you go to bed to put back some of that moisture into it at night time!

Here's how Charlotte got on with it:

I’ve been using Lilly Lolo Mineral foundation for years, it works well and looks really natural which is great, but sometimes I want a more finished and polished look and so have been on the hunt for a cream foundation that suits me. Louise kindly offered to send me this one she had in return for a review as it was too pale a shade for her. So here we are.

The packaging is really rather nice. Heavy solid, transparent purple compact with inlaid design on the lid. Inside is a (very  shallow) pan of foundation and underneath that is a brush to apply it with.

Okay now brace yourselves, you need to see what I’m working with. Eeep!

I applied this on day one using the brush it comes with. It went on easily and smoothly, was easy to blend and gave good coverage to the spots on my chin, it wouldn’t need much touching up with concealer. However, I’m recovering from a cold and I have some dry skin around my nose – the effect wasn’t pretty. This stuff is definitely not for people with dry skin. The other thing I should mention is that within moments of application I started to come out in red slightly itchy blotches. These were caused by the brush. I don’t know why, or what the brushes that do this to me are made of, but an hour later the blotches were gone. I won’t use that again, but that’s not a massive problem except it loses the portability factor me as I’m unlikely to carry a foundation brush around with me.

 It lasted well throughout the day and I would describe it as light to medium coverage, it didn’t mask out my freckles and looked soft and natural.

I tried again today but this time used my own foundation brush, went on nicely with no irritation this time. My dry skin has pretty much gone today so the finish was much better without the clumping in the dry spots!

It’s a pretty good colour match for me and I like the finish, but it won’t be my go-to foundations for a couple of reasons:
I do get dry patches from time to time which this foundation does not suit.
The brush doesn’t work for me.
It’s not terribly buildable and if you try it can get a little cakey.
The quantity you get is tiny. It wouldn’t last me five minutes.

I take a lots of pics of myself (for my blog) and this gives you awful white face when a flash hits it, but in natural light it’s good.  I think it’s a pretty good foundation actually and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a handbag foundation compact just so long as they don’t suffer with dry skin and can afford to replace it often. I will definitely finish it, but I probably won’t replace. The search continues!

Now, in the interests of thoroughness - and because I hate to miss out! - I tried it myself, in the shade Kismet.  Actually, I surprised myself by liking it a great deal, normally with cream-to-powder formulations I find them cakey, and drying, and just awful. I didn't find it clung to any dry patches, and it gave a lovely natural finish. But ... but the brush is dreadful, don't even bother using it. It reminds me of those dreadful Benefit blush crushes, which are neither use nor ornament, I think it would be better to actually have more product and a separate, rounder brush with more bristles.  I do appreciate the packaging (it's very pretty, and portable) but the brush is only really fit for top-ups during the day, and not for a proper application. I use a flat top Kabuki (from Elf) which works way better, and I'll be talking about that a bit more later this week.

Urban Decay Surreal Skin Foundation will cost approx £18 and will be available from your usual stockists later this month.

Do you use Cream-to-powder formulations?  Which ones do you recommend?

The Small Print: Foundations used in this review were provided for review purposes.  All reviews are impartial, regardless of the source.  

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Foundation Week - Powder

Foundations come in all shapes, sizes and formats, I'm spending a day on each of the main types of foundation (powder, cream, and I'm splitting liquids into matte, and dewy, but I think a mousse might slip into at least one of those, so be warned!) and I'm starting with powder, as they can be a bit less scary than full on foundation ...


Trendy among powder formulations at the moment are mineral foundations, I know a lot of people find them difficult to work with - they're generally loose powders that you "buff" over the skin with a large brush to give you an airbrushed look.  The trick with these is to use a very, very light hand at first, and build up the coverage until you have a look you're happy with.  Use a very small amount on your brush, then knock the excess off before applying to your face.

Pros: It's very easy to get a nice, even, buildable coverage.  Many of them are made of natural ingredients, and contain nothing in the way of synthetic dyes.  They're supposed to be less irritating than traditional-style liquid foundations. They multi-task, as you can use the same product as concealer, if you use a smaller synthetic brush.

Cons: many of them contain bismuth, meaning they can leave you looking rather "plastic" or "artificial" (aka "fembot").  Bismuth can also make the product  feel a bit like you're wearing a mask.  Also, the buffing motion itself can lead to aggravated and irritated skin.

I like Bare Escentuals - even though it's trendy not to, but I'll be talking more about Bare Escentuals later on in the week - and Christopher Drummond is an excellent - albeit expensive - alternative.

Recently, I've been using a Cosmetics a la Carte powder foundation, Cover Tint in Sand.  I like the packaging, as it doesn't require an additional brush, and comes complete with a mirror (a proper mirror, not just a silver painted top, which you have to squint into) in the lid.  CalC foundations don't contain bismuth, and I've found the coverage to be extremely buildable, meaning that I've been able to use this both on it's own as a full foundation, and as a finishing powder over liquid formulations.  Basically you just dot this on your face, and then "smoosh" the puff around a little to distribute it, if you want a lighter look, or dot repeatedly, if you want to build up to full-face coverage. Priced at £30 for an off-the-shelf shade, or £45 if you want a custom blend shade made to your own requirements, it's very quickly become a makeup bag staple for me.


Pressed powder formulations have been around forever, and I recommend MAC studio fix to any of my personal shopping clients who are too scared to think about a "traditional" liquid foundation.  Benefit's Hello Flawless is also a good one, but it has a very small colour range, whereas MAC is outstanding in that area in comparison.

Powder foundations are simple and easy to use, but they don't always work for dryer skins, and you do need to make sure that you're well moisturised if you are at all prone to dryness before using them.  But they're a godsend to our greasier-skinned sisters!

Do you use powder foundations? What do you recommend I should have a look out for?

The small print: I was sent the Cosmetics a la Carte foundation for consideration to review, all other opinions on foundations in this roundup are based on items I already own.  Opinions are impartial and honest regardless of the source of the product.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Foundation Week - Bespoke

It's foundation week here at Get Lippie, I'll be bringing you some hints and tips, and reviewing a few foundations (and the odd tinted moisturiser) from my collection for you too. If you have any questions, let me know, and I'll do my best to get back to you!

But I wanted to start the week off by mentioning Cosmetics a la Carte.  A lot has been written lately about the demise of Prescriptives, and people have been bemoaning that they're not able to get custom-blended foundations any more.

Well, Cosmetics a la Carte are, arguably, the company who Prescriptives got the idea of "bespoke" cosmetics from in the first place, and they've had a bespoke service for over 30 years! I had the pleasure of chatting to Lynne, the company's founder, a couple of weeks ago and was bowled over by her commitment to cosmetics and her enthusiasm for makeup in the first place.  I had a makeover from them, and loved their choice of items, too!

Cosmetics a la Carte will custom-blend your foundation to your perfect shade, in the format of your choice, matte, powder, satin or all of the above, if you so wish.  And best of all, none of that silly colour-matching nonsense with the yellow/red/blue and orange pencils, which only ever worked in proper daylight (and, not ever, in department store lighting), and was entirely dependent on the whim of the sales assistant in the first place ...

But I digress, if you want a bespoke foundation, Cosmetics a la Carte are the place to go, and the prices start at £45 for a foundation.  Take a look at the website, for more details, you can find it here

I'll be reviewing my foundation from them later in the week.

Do you have anything you'd like to see featured in Foundation Week?

Monday, 1 March 2010

New Giveaway! CLOSED

This Giveaway is now closed, and comments are no longer allowed on this post as a result. 

Remember my post about Lip Tars? I picked up eight of them at IMATS, and, I confess, there are still a couple I would like - mainly Grandma, but I could be talked into Vintage and Plum too ... the only thing that's been putting me off has been the faff of ordering from the US, to be honest.

However, I'm beyond delighted that OCC are now available to buy in the UK! The lovely people at The Makeup Artist Boutique have managed to convince OCC to let them be the exclusive source of Lip Tars in the UK.  They arrive on March 23rd, and I, for one, can't wait!

To celebrate this happy event, Makeup Artist Boutique are offering one of you, my lucky readers, the chance to win a Lip Tar in one of the four brand new colours that have just been released by OCC in the US.  These colours are so new, they're not even on the official US OCC website yet!

Here's a sneaky peek at the new colours:

Pictures taken from 

Not only that, but everyone who reads my blog can have a 10% discount off everything on the site up until the 23rd of March if you use the code LIPPIEOCC when ordering. Please bear in mind when ordering that any Lip Tars you order won't be dispatched until March 23rd. As well as Lip Tars, you can purchase Yaby cosmetics, which are a great brand too, check them out!

If you want to see more about the exclusive Lip Tar shades, you can see them on Enkore's video here.

If you want to take a look at the rest of the Lip Tar range, have a look here.

How to enter:

The competition is open to everyone, including internationally, whether you're a follower of the blog or not.  However, followers of the blog will receive TWO entries into the draw! Please leave a comment on this post stating which Lip Tar shade you'd like (Complex, Vapid, Hoochie or Demure only), and state whether you're a follower or not - I will be checking, and invalid entries will be disqualified.  The draw will be made on the evening of March 15th. If you are not a follower, then please ensure you leave your email address in your comment too. Thanks!

Good luck, everyone!

The small print: This is NOT a sponsored post -  I will not receive any remuneration if you click on any of the links in this post, or make any purchases for any products mentioned.
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