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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Makeup of the Day – Spring Brights

Ok, let’s face it.  Here in the mountains, it’s definitely still winter at the beginning of March.  But it’s in the 70s today and everyone is outside going spring crazy.  (Unfortunately, we’ll get at LEAST one more snow when nobody expects it!) I simply could not resist getting out some bright makeup since it’s so sunny out. 

  
The stars of my look today are Sephora Countour waterproof eyeliner in Summer Cruise, MAC Pink Swoon blush, and MAC Girl About Town Amplified Creme Lipstick.

What are you wearing today? 

Kat Von D Shade + Light Two Tone Blush in Morticia + Gomez

So, a few days ago, I gasped and said, “OMG!” My husband was like, “What?”  I showed him the new Kat Von D Shade + Light Blushes and pointed to one in the most beautiful mulberry and rose tones and said, “THIS one is called Morticia and Gomez.”  His eyes widened and he said, “YOU NEED THAT.  Matter of fact, it’s an early Valentine’s Day present; I’m getting it for you!”  I was waiting for him to exclaim “Cara mia!” and grab my arm and start kissing it, but I digress…

Today, this bad boy showed up on my doorstep.   

 

The packaging is lovely, of course, even the box (look for the hidden stars). 

  
The compact is huge and holds a ton of product.  It’s about the size of my MAC Sculpt and Shape Duo – impressive!

 
The product comes with an insert that shows you different ways you can blush and contour with the colors.  

  
And of course, the name just gets to me.  (Not all of the names are happy or sweet – that goes with the dark/light theme of the Shade + Light line).

  
I swatched these shades very heavily on a moisturized arm, to really show the shades.  Also keep in mind that I’m around a MAC N10-NW10, so this won’t look as deep on deeper skin tones.  The third swatch is the colors mixed together.  

  
STUN. NING.  I may just have to do a monochromatic look using that deep shade on the eyes as well! I looooove the look of both shades swirled together.  

I’m so ready to see more Kat Von D spring launches!  Be sure to check out the rest of these blushes on Sephora – with names like “Sid + Nancy” and “Mickey and Mallory,” they certainly are a nod to pop culture, as well as being gorgeous.  

And now…my husband and I last Halloween!  

  

Don’t we all want a love like Morticia and Gomez? 

Kat Von D Lock-It Featherweight Primer — First Impression

I got a sample of this foundation primer with my last Sephora order and kept forgetting to try it!  I finally got around to using it today.  Here’s what Sephora has to say about the product:

What it is:
A lightweight, water-based face primer that hydrates, smoothes, and protects skin while it reduces the appearance of pores—creating the perfect canvas for long-wear foundation application.

What it does:
Get locked-in hydration, locked-up comfort with this fast-absorbing, water-based primer. It’s the ultimate prep step that hydrates, protects skin, and smooths the appearance of pores for flawless makeup application. This innovative, lightweight formula is formulated with advanced polymers that help even out the skin’s surface while it provides a flexible, protective barrier to prevent foundation from settling into fine lines and pores. Scentless, colorless, and weightless, it delivers essential hydration and its infused with vitamin B5, aloe vera, jojoba, and shea to bring nourishment to the skin’s surface, leaving it feeling refreshed and comfortable all day—even underneath long-wear, full-coverage foundation.

My take:

I sort of had a feeling this product was not going to be for me, but I wanted to give it a shot.  I felt like maybe this was going to be more suited to normal to dry skin types and I am more normal to combination.  This is a water based primer, but I was not prepared for it to feel like…well, it just feels like lotion.  Just plain old straight up…lotion.  Like lightweight plain old buy-it-at-the-drugstore lotion.  I guess I’m not used to primers that don’t feel…primer-y.  Like, oil controlling, or siliconey with some slip, or something.  I was putting this product on and kind of not seeing the point?  It didn’t really blur pores or minimize fine lines or anything like that.  It definitely felt hydrating, which is nice, but I get properties like that from my skincare, which I always use before I use a primer.  I suppose if you are extra dry and need that little boost of moisture, this could be great.  But, this is an extra step for $32.00, and as far as actual foundation priming, I didn’t see it doing much.  It did give a dewy look to the skin, which can be nice.  In my case, in the summer, I need something that will control oil and fill pores, so this product isn’t right for me in the first place.  If you’re very dry and like a dewy look to the skin, you may love this.  I would definitely get a sample first!  I for sure was shiny in the t-zone in no time and I had to powder my face more often throughout the day than I do with my Smashbox Photo Finish Primer.  Like I said, I’m not really the target audience for the Kat Von D Lock-It Featherweight Primer, so give it a shot if you’re looking for a water based primer for dry skin.  (Note, this is water based but it does contain dimethicone halfway down the list, so it is not totally free of silicone based ingredients.)

What’s your favorite primer?  Do you even use one?  Sometimes I skip it altogether, but lately I’ve been switching between the Smashbox one (thanks, Ipsy) and NYX Photo Loving Primer (the two are very similar).

Sephora Birthday Goodies! 

So, every year I grab an item or two from Sephora around my birthday to treat myself and to get their yearly birthday freebie.  This year, it’s this awesome NARS duo of lip crayons:


Sephora Beauty Insider birthday gift, NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella and Satin Lip Pencil in Rkugen

Cannot wait to try this!  They look interesting.

I ordered myself two rather luxe items.  First, I ordered something I’ve been wanting to try for ages, but I’ve been waiting to use up another product (took me a year to use up my MAC Mineralize Concealer).  The object of lust is NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantillty, and oh my gosh…it appears to PERFECTLY match my ridiculously pale skin tone.  If it covers and wears well like the reviews say, I’m thinking this is worth the $29.00 for the color match alone!

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly

Next is something I have lusted after since before it was released (thanks, YouTube), the Urban Decay Afterglow 8-Hour Powder Blush in the shade Bitter Sweet.


Urban Decay Afterglow 8-Hour Powder Blush in Bitter Sweet

Dat packaging tho…


AHHHH GAHD!  Can we talk about purple?  Let’s just talk about purple.  Purple is my favorite color and you can easily find purple eye shadows and lipsticks.  Blushes?  Not really.  You can find the rare lavender, but they usually end up reading as pink on the skin.  I can’t tell you how excited I am that UD is bringing back the COLOR with this blush line.  Check out the other shades and you’ll see what I mean…not everything is nudes!

SO EXCITE.

Anyway, Sephora was having a deal with a coupon code where you could get 3 deluxe samples, so I jumped on that.  Here’s what I got:

Deluxe samples of Fresh Sugar Lip Scrub, Jack Black lip balm, and Dolce and Gabbana Passion Eyes curling mascara

How awesome is that?  I usually make my own lip scrub with sugar and coconut oil, so having one from Fresh is always awesome when they have these samples (it’s a very nice product).  The Jack Black lip balm has SPF 25, so that’s going right in my purse!  I have tried the Dolce and Gabanna Passion Eyes mascara, but not this curling version (I liked it, just not $30 worth, LOL).

Sephora also always offers 3 free samples so I got this Urban Decay card sample of the blush trio in Naked Flushed:


Urban Decay Naked Flushed sample card

I also received a Christian Dior Diorshow mascara sample and a sample of the Kat Von D Lock-It Featherweight Primer (I’m excited to try this, since it’s a water based primer):

Samples of Christian Dior Diorshow mascara and Kat Von D Lock-It Featherweight Primer

All in all, I would say with all the deluxe samples that this order was a great value for the money and made my birthday feel rather special!  I cannot wait to share how these things work for me with all of you!

What do you guys do for your birthday?  Anything special?

SEPHORA BIRTHDAY SHOPPIN’!  

Ok, so I don’t wear only high end makeup, but I do wear some.  Every year, I make a birthday order from Sephora to get myself their yearly freebie.  I look forward to it every year!  This year, one of the choices is a NARS lip crayon duo, which I have been excitedly waiting for for months!  I was just about to make an order, when I saw this ad on Facebook for a promo code:


Dude, really? So, I hopped on it.  Some are saying they didn’t get the exact samples they chose, but I’m hoping for the best.  I ordered the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly and Urban Decay Afterglow Blush in Bittersweet and alllllllll this stuff in the photo are freebies:


Items 2, 3, and 4 are from the promo code and items 5, 6, and 7 are part of their regular 3 free samples deal.  I was *this close* to getting a Beauty Insider 100 point item, but you guys.  So done spending for a while.  Which sucks since I’m really lusting after MAC Lightscapade…wait, I’m getting off track.  FREEBIES.  Look at the freebies!!

This will actually get here a couple days after my birthday, but that’s cool…this week will be the party that never ends!  And who wants to pay for shipping, anyway?

Are you going to get anything with the code?  Do you ever do a birthday haul at Sephora or Ulta?