First Impression – Josie Maran Vibrancy Argan Oil Foundation 

With my last Sephora order, something unexpected happened – I actually received a foundation sample that was (gasp) pale enough to work for me!  That product was Josie Maran Vibrancy Argan Oil Foundation Fluid ($45).  The sample card had many shades to try, so if you get a chance to grab one of these, you may want to do so!

What Sephora has to say about the product:

What it is:
A revolutionary medium-to-full coverage skin care foundation fluid powered by 100 percent pure argan oil and nutrient-rich pigments for vibrant, glowing skin.

What it is formulated to do:
Activate your skin’s vitality with Vibrancy Argan Oil Foundation Fluid. Like a fresh squeezed juice, Vibrancy utilizes a revolutionary cold-pressed process that preserves the powerful, hand-selected ingredients for the freshest, most effective skin care foundation. Vibrancy energizes your skin with the essential nutrients it craves and is designed to interact and adapt to the movements of your skin with delicate fluidity for a radiant, dimensional finish. The breathable, lightweight, medium-to-full coverage formula features a powerful blend of moisture-enhancing ingredients that help soothe, smooth, and restore skin’s luminosity.

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
– Parabens
– Sulfates
– Phthalates

What else you need to know:
This product is dermatologist tested and clinically proven to hydrate and smooth even the most sensitive skin. Find your ideal shade with confidence. First identify your undertones: R is for rosey undertones, G is for golden undertones, and RG is for neutral or rose gold undertones. Next, you’ll choose the depth of your shade, with 5 being the most fair and 85 being the most rich.

Research results:
In a clinical study after 4 weeks:
– 100% of subjects experienced a significant increase of skin moisture by 106%
– 98% of subjects experienced a significant increase of skin smoothness and softness by 111%

In a consumer study:
– 100% said that their past feelings about foundation improved after experiencing Vibrancy
– 93% agreed Vibrancy helped visibly calm their skin condition, specifically scarring, inflammation, and rosacea

My take:

When first applying this to my skin, I loved the light neutral shade of RG5; however as I was applying this to my face and blending in with my fingers I noticed two odd things:  It felt somehow very heavy, but did not provide full coverage.  I definitely had to go in with concealer around my nose and on my acne scars, but I do with most foundations.  I would call this medium coverage at best.  This foundation feels very oily, which I suppose makes sense since is is an argan oil foundation.  However, it really doesn’t seem to say anywhere in the description that is is for extremely dry skin, which is the only type skin I could really see benefiting from this type of texture.  It is extremely dewy, almost moreso than MAC Face and Body foundation, but feels more heavy than that and has more coverage.  I set it here with MAC Invisible Set Powder for a little mattifying and in hopes that it would keep it on my face!

And then…OH NO!  Complete and utter meltdown in only FOUR HOURS.  Now, I have somewhat combo skin, but it’s combination leaning on the drier side, so this just floored me!  Look at the breakdown around the nose where my glasses were.  The coverage around my nose and mouth is basically gone and my redness is showing.  My chin is a greasy, hot mess!  OH.  Oh hell no.


I feel like this foundation could really only work for someone with super dry and dehydrated skin, especially in colder or dry climates.  However, there is nothing in the description that says that this is for very dry skin.  It does mention increased hydration, but that’s it, really.  I feel like a better description of what type of skin this is for would be beneficial in helping customers chose.  I also feel that calling this full coverage is really stretching. All in all, I’ll not be shelling out $45 on this, especially knowing a humid and hot NC summer is around the corner!

Have you tried any new foundations lately?  What did you think?

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Hard Candy Glamoflauge Foundation – Oily, Pale Folks Rejoice!! 

HAY GIRL HAY!  Or guy.  Whomever is reading, LOL!  I have been away for a few days having a great 4th of July here in the U.S., which for us mainly means cooking things on grills even if it rains, drinking too much, and blowing shit up.  WOO, AMERICA!  *ahem*.  ANYHOO.  Now that I’ve reinforced some stereotypes (giggle), I’ll tell you about a few things I picked up at Walmart from the Hard Candy line.

  
(Glamoflauge Foundation in Porcelain, Glamoflauge Concealer in Ultra Light, nail polishes in Bachelor Party and Crush on Lava)

So, something bizarre and REALLY unusual happened to me with the Hard Candy Glamoflauge Foundation in Porcelain.  Not only did I find a cheap ($7.00) drug store foundation light enough for me, this foundation is TOO light for me.  This stuff makes MAC Studio Fix Fluid in NW10 look positively TAN.  This is why I had to come on here and tell you folks about this stuff.  You guys, this is LIGHT. 

  
I ended up with the Ivory shade in the Glamoflauge to try, and I did some swatches.  The bottom swatch is MAC Studio Fix Fluid in NW10.  The one above that is Hard Candy Glamoflauge in Ivory (this too is lighter and more yellow than NW10!).  The one on the top is Hard Candy Glamoflauge in Porcelain – you can see it’s super light and very yellow.  Just for fun, over to the left I put Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless in Porcelain.  It’s also very light and yellow, but not as extreme as the Hard Candy (also much lighter coverage).

  
So, here I am in the Hard Candy in Ivory.  It blended out so easily over the NYX Photo Loving Primer I always use.  The Hard Candy foundation has a liquid texture, but has very high pigment and a solid medium coverage.  It dries quickly and is not really buildable after it dries, so you have to work fast.  I’m used to fast drying foundations so this isn’t an issue.  I used my Beauty Blender with this; I do not think it would blend as well with fingers.  It does not need to be set with a powder.  

Unfortunately, the formula of this foubdation does not work for my 44-year-old skin.  I’m combination to dry with some fine lines, and this foundation showed off every wrinkle I have.  I think, however, it would be a fabulous foundation for younger, oily skin.  It also really exacerbated the dehydrated skin of my cheeks and made them feel very uncomfortable and tight.  To be fair, Studio Fix Fluid does this too, just not this bad.  All in all, if you’re very fair and have oily skin, you may love this.  Sadly, there were not many deep shades, which really sucks.  Step it up, Hard Candy. 

I went out today looking for something more suited to combination/dry skin and came up with Rimmel Lasting Finish Foundation, so look for a new review in the future after I try that for a while! 

I’m going to try these nail polishes over the next couple of days.  Hope they are as awesome as they loo in the bottles. 

Oh!! Sad to say, the Ultra Light Glamoflauge Concealer doesn’t really color match the foubdation, so it’s sort of useless.  I exchanged it as it is just too dark.  If your shade in the foubdation is “Fair,” you may like it. 

What’s your go to foundation this summer?  Or is it too hot where you are to wear it?  (Looking at you Kristin) 

How I learned to love the MAC 190 foundation brush

I’m a former MAC artist…ok, that was many years ago, but I still use some brushes by MAC (as well as many by other less expensive brands).  The 190 foundation brush is a flat, paddle shaped foundation brush that has always vexed me a bit when I try to use it with liquid foundations, especially ones with a texture like Studio Fix Fluid that can be prone to streaking.


The MAC 190 foundation brush is a natural fiber brush (horse hair) and great for application of liquid and creams, but blending was where I was having a problem – this is because I was using back and forth “painting” type motions to work the product onto the skin and continued trying to blend this way.  Eventually, I became disenchanted with my somewhat streaky results and stopped using this brush altogether, which sucks, because it’s expensive ($34.00 USD).  One day I was feeling bummed out about it and started looking around YouTube for some tutorials on how to get better use from this brush.  Low and behold, Wayne Goss (I love him!) had tips including using the side/tip to stipple and pat any streaky texture away once the product is on the skin, working in small areas of the face.  This absolutely works wonderfully!  I feel like I’m having a renewed love affair with an old brush now, as I have gotten my 190 out and have been using it for days.

Awesome!


MAC 190 brush with Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation in Porcelain with MAC 134 brush and Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Powder in Translucent

Have you rediscovered any old favorites or learned to love something you thought you didn’t like?

Porcelain Means Porcelain, Dammit — Finding Makeup & Techniques for Pale Skin

Something that drives me nuts is trying to find good tutorials or reviews of makeup for pale skin. And I mean ACTUALLY pale, not “I wear MAC NC25” or your foundation shade contains the word “caramel” or “sand” or “tan”. You might have light-toned skin (in the “light” end of the spectrum, or “lighter than most”), but not pale. Finding a good, true “porcelain” shade is very difficult, and finding good ideas for things like highlighting, bronzing and contouring is even more elusive.

Here’s a great example: When I go to the MAC counter (or, well, many counters, actually!), they always want to match me to NW15, because it’s one of the lightest shades they offer What I’m wearing currently is MatchMaster 1.0, which is much better on me (I wear it daily and it looks very natural on me) – and they still tried to tell me it’s too light! Nope. I am porcelain, with pinky undertones, and the amount of “light” foundations that are far too dark is, well, most of them.

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Check out the difference here — on the right is StudioFix Fluid NW15 and MatchMaster 1.0 on the left. Blended all the way out you can barely see it on my arm, but the SFF is much too dark and yellow! The only time SFF NW15 is even close to matching my skin is when I get home from Burning Man after two weeks in the desert sun, and EVEN THEN it’s BARELY light enough! I do wear SFF in NW15 from time to time, but generally go very, very light with it (sometimes I blend it with moisturizer, it works quite well that way) and always powder over with StudioFix Powder in NW10 to lighten it up.

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It’s harder still to find a good shade at the drugstore, but I think I’ve struck gold with Rimmel Stay Matte in Light Porcelain 010. I don’t think I’d go quite as far as to call it a dupe unless you account for it being much more full coverage and slightly less yellow, but both look very natural on me and I’m happy with each! The MatchMaster blends down so naturally that it’s very easy to wear, the Rimmel Stay Matte takes a bit more paying attention so to not look unnatural.

But the search always continues for tutorials and new products, of course!

Have you found any great tutorials for bronzing, contouring, and highlighting truly pale/porcelain skin? What products do you like to use?