I stumbled across these watercolour blushes recently…to be honest, I cannot remember how or why (yes, I research that much make-up!), but I just did okay. I was instantly intrigued. A liquid blush that stays put all day, even on oily skin…I am sold. At this point I have convinced myself that this is a product I need, and am hell-bent on finding the perfect colour for me. In my justification, when you wear full make-up; by the end of the day, other than the base, eyes and lips, everything else will have melted off. So, if there IS a blusher that will stay put all day to retain that healthy facial glow, of course I need it. There was a massive watercolour blush-shaped hole in my make-up kit that needed filling…asap.
Picking a Colour
First thing to bear in mind is what will suit your skin-tone…
I got the following rough guide directly from the Daniel Sandler website:
I only wanted to buy one at first, and in the end, I opted for Angel. I did not want a shade that was too pink or peach and this seemed to be in the middle of those two colours. The exact description from the Daniel Sandler website, for the colour Angel is: ‘Delicate, shimmery, medium-pink shade that suits all skin tones as a universal cheek highlighter. You can’t go wrong dabbing this pretty shade on top of cheekbones.’
Passion, Flush and the beautiful Rose Glow also caught my eye…
This is a very subtle blusher on my NC30 skin and I think on skin much darker it would probably be best used as a highlighter on cheekbones. Layering is not an issue with this product (as long as it is not used over powders) and the coverage is buildable. The consistency of this blusher is extremely watery (surprise, surprise) and the colour imparts quite sheer; it needs to be shook quite well before use. I use fingers to apply this (squirt a small bit onto my index fingertip and work into my cheeks); it is extremely runny so you do have to work quite quickly with it. It lasts better than powder blushers but would be even longer-lasting if set with powder blush over the top. Personally, I do not find myself reaching for this; but I would recommend this for people who wear minimal make-up and prefer a natural and dewy look. I imagine it is the perfect thing to spruce up your BB cream.
Overall, I do like this product but I would say choose your colour very carefully, make sure it is one that will actually show up on your skin-tone!
(Note: For my updated view, please see bottom of post…)
Thoughts in First Week
I have tried a fair few foundations as of late…trying to find that holy grail heavy-coverage wonder foundation for me. I wanted one for going out rather than everyday wear—a product that will provide the best, most flawless finish for my skin.
I tried Armani’s Luminous Silk and documented my experience here, but I decided it was not quite the one for my oily skin. However, I did not want to give up with Armani straight away, and I had heard good things about the Power Fabric product. It is marketed as a less cakey version of Estée Lauder’s Double Wear; boasting longevity, SPF 25 and heavy coverage.
I am a 6 in the Luminous Silk foundation, but was matched to a 6.5 in this foundation. I definitely think this is the correct colour match; I tried the 6 in Power Fabric and it is a lot cooler in tone. I was told by an counter assistant that the .5 shades are warmer than the round numbers. Shade 6.5 provides a warm, healthy, golden colour for my NC30 complexion (Tawny in Estée Lauder Double Wear). It matches my summer—slightly tanned—skin really well. Moreover, unlike Double Wear’s matte finish, this provides a beautiful lightweight and luminous finish—it just fuses with the skin so well. Honestly, after trying a few other foundations—I knew this was the one as soon as I wore it. It provided me with the best version of my skin and gives me the most flawless make-up base. It does not get shiny through the day and it is long-lasting too; it has lasted on my skin, even without any setting powder on top (just primer underneath.)
In fact, I have tried this foundation with the Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder on top and it really does spoil the look of the foundation for me; it nullifies the dewy, luminous complexion completely and makes the make-up look quite matte. So, after a couple of trials, I have realised that this foundation actually looks best when skin gets a little oily or, if you have dry skin, with a very hydrating moisturiser—it reacts well to a bit of moisture.
I am glad that all the sample-testing has paid off as I think I may have found my HG summer foundation. On a regular day I am content with the coverage that Bare Minerals foundation provides…but I needed something for times when fuller make-up is in order…
I am a bit cautious with SPF foundations and flashback; but according to this Wayne Goss video as long as you use a coloured powder to set your make-up, this will counteract any flashback. You should take a test flash picture when you are sampling this foundation just to be 100% sure…
My Current Foundation Routine
This is my current, going out foundation routine for a hot day and I think I have nailed it in terms of longevity, oil-control and luminous, glowing skin. The mattifying effect of my moisturiser and primer is quite extreme, it is really effective for a hot summers day, but perhaps too much for an average day with English weather…On a cooler day, I spritz MAC Fix + all over my finished make-up to help my make-up to fuse.
Apply Algenist Multi-Perfecting Pore Corrector Gel Moisturizer. Apply a small amount of moisturizer and let it set into the skin for a few minutes.
Apply Algenist Pore Corrector Anti-Aging Primer. Apply 1-1.5 pumps and let it fully dry on your skin before moving onto foundation.
Use Armani Power Fabric in shade 6.5 with a brush. No powder is needed to set this foundation.
My Advice When Selecting the Perfect Foundation for You…
Diagnose your skin type and research foundations that complement that skin type.
Ask yourself, what do you want your foundation to do? For example, are you looking for light or heavy coverage? Long-lasting or more lightweight? Then research within this criteria. We all have our own opinions of what we want to achieve.
Make sure the foundation and primer is compatible. You want a silicone primer with silicone foundation, or water foundation with water primer.
Try samples of your shortlisted foundations with your own primer/moisturiser combo. There is no point liking how a foundation looks with another primer that you have no intention (or bank balance) to buy.
Try as many free samples as you can.
Although, this foundation is beautiful for oily skin, I think Luminous Silk is the better Armani foundation for drier skin types. Also, although this colour looked really warm on my skin, it looked really pale on my sister’s dry skin (she is a 6 in Luminous Silk too.) So I think it can be hit and miss…
This foundation game is a long and arduous process…and it’s all about trial and error. But it will all be worth it when you find the best foundation for your skin type.
Thoughts Over First Few Months
So although I really liked this foundation initially…there have been a few niggles since.
My above opinions were formulated in the extremely rare scenario of hot UK weather…the foundation didn’t fare so well during cooler temperatures. I have had to adjust the way I wear it: Moisturizer, Primer, Mattifying powder lightly dusted on T-zone, Power Fabric (mixed with some Sunbeam liquid highlighter), MAC Fix +, Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray
The issues I had with it:
Separation: I noticed some separation around T-zone & from reading reviews online it seems like a common issue with this foundation. I now apply mattifying powder on T-zone before foundation and this has helped combat the issue to a satisfactory degree.
Dull colour: I do not know what it is but I do not like this 6.5 shade that much, I feel it’s more peachy than yellowy—which is not the most flattering. So, I decided to mix in some liquid highlighter into it and I feel it works to lift the colour a tad and makes my complexion glow a little. I used Benefit Sunbeam…but I have my eye on Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops…
Powdery finish: In the hot, scorching sun this make-up just melded with the face for a beautiful and natural look…when we got back to the typical English weather, however, that fairytale abruptly ended. It looked powdery and cakey. I have tried spraying my face a few times with Fix + after finishing my make-up and this seems to resolve this issue a bit.
Final, final verdict. Promise. This is a complex foundation. To make it work for different skin types, weathers etc it needs specialised tweaks. It is annoying to fiddle with, but I was determined to make it work somehow because of the price tag. I think I have conquered the issues I was facing with it, and I know I can make it look really good on my skin come rain or shine…but should a high-end make-up product be this temperamental?
Over the last few months I was hell-bent on finding the perfect primer…I sat researching online for hours upon end. Even when I should probably have been doing other things…in fact at times, this obsession probably left my small children crying and hungry—that is the extent of it. Okay, I am slightly exaggerating here, before anyone feels the need to call social services…
With make-up products, the key is finding something that suits your particular skin type: Just because a make-up product looks amazing on someone else, do not expect the same results on your own skin. My sisters have dry/combination skin and use the Laura Mercier Radiance primer and it looks absolutely beautiful on them. At one point, when I was a lot more ignorant about this make-up malarkey, I was adamant that I wanted the same primer. However, I have since come to terms with my skin type. The reality is that I do have oily skin with quite large pores and I need to concentrate on remedying that before prioritising shimmery, glowing skin.
There were a few different primers that seemed to be highly regarded: Hourglass Mineral Veil, Smashbox Photo Finish Primer and Benefit Porefessional. I have previously tried the Smashbox and Porefessional primers; they are extremely silicone-y and quite thick, they almost act like polyfiller for the pores. They are definitely effective in creating that smooth canvas, there is no denying that. But, I was questioning how they would affect my skin and whether continuous use would make my skin even worse. The Hourglass Mineral Veil also seemed very silicone-heavy in terms of ingredients, with no skin-nourishing ingredients at all. I wanted a primer that could potentially benefit my skin as well as blurring pores and increasing longevity of my make-up. Yes, I do expect miracles with my make-up. My research directed me to the Algenist Pore Corrector Anti-Aging Primer.
This primer includes the following ingredients:
Alguronic Acid – this promotes skin’s cell regeneration
Salicylic acid – gently exfoliates skin and unclogs pores
Lentil seed extract – visibly tightens pores
Soybean extract – helps to smooth skin
The primer does also contain silicones (which will help its effectiveness in each application), but I figured that the above skin-enhancing ingredients could actually do something to improve my skin long-term. There seemed to be more to it than just the silicone.
My Experience So Far…
I purchased this primer online from the Feel Unique website for £34; I do not think this is particularly expensive for something that delivers both short- and long-term benefits. I find this primer definitely helps to blur out my pores and make my skin appear a lot smoother. I use 1-1.5 pumps per application and allow it to dry completely before applying my foundation. It does not fill out pores as well as Smashbox Photo Finish or Benefit Porefessional…but I actually do not mind that. The formula is like a light moisturiser…it is not as thick as the aforementioned. Based on that consistency, it is sort of expected that it’s pore-filling properties probably will not be as effective. It does help to make my make-up last longer and it helps to mattify my face. I like that there may also be some long-term benefits with this primer too…and after a few weeks of using it, my pores do look visibly smaller, even without make-up on (I have recently added the moisturiser from this range into my routine…so I do not know which product, or if the combination of both, should be attributed with this feat.)
I have tried this primer with Estée Lauder Double Wear, Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk, Giorgio Armani Power Fabric and Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Foundations and it seems to work well. I have also tried it with Bare Minerals Original foundation and again it increased the smoothness and longevity of my make-up. However, I tried it with my Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 35 and it made it split and separate on my face…they just were not compatible together. This BB cream does look amazing with the Smashbox primer though…so I have no idea what is in this primer to react so badly to it.
In a nutshell, I am extremely happy with this primer. It fulfills it’s purpose as a primer exceptionally well, whilst also providing added skincare benefits…what more can I ask for?
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk…the name ring a bell? I am sure it does as it has been everywhere, and actually for quite a long time – I admit I am very late to jump onto this particular bandwagon. Kim Kardashian loves this foundation, and over on our side of the pond, the beautiful Michelle Keegan swears by it too. I had to try this legendary foundation for myself.
Lightweight and does not look cakey
No SPF means no flashback
Dewy, glowy complexion
It is extremely expensive, retailing for £40 in the UK
Can get very shiny on oily skin
This foundation looks amazing when first applied – it provides beautiful glowy skin and it just fuses onto the skin to look quite natural. I was a shade 6 (I am NC 30 in Mac and 3W1 Tawny in Estée Lauder); this was a beautiful match for my skin tone. Although I must admit, when I first put it on it looks like a bit of an odd, almost dull, slightly greyish colour. Once all of the highlighter, blusher, bronzer and whatever else has been applied over the top…the colour is a lovely healthy warm shade. At this point it was all looking extremely promising…had I found my HG foundation?
Not quite. I found my face was getting shiny after a few hours, it was such a shame. This foundation looks amazing on my sister, who has dry skin; her pictures come out beautiful as well. Part of me was still so adamant that I could make this foundation work for my skin that I contemplated buying the Luminous Silk Powder Compact along with it: It can be used to set the foundation as well as blot during the day. The sales assistant assured me that you can apply the powder multiple times during the day and you still will not get a caked-up look as this powder is very sheer. I did try powdering this over my foundation once the shine had started coming through and it does make a difference – but I feel I would need to powder quite regularly to keep the shine at bay. I was recommended shade 4.5 in this powder. It retails for £38 but this is only for the refill…to buy the plush Armani compact case to store it in, costs an additional £18. Because this is the best Armani foundation for flawless photos, the sales adviser still recommended this foundation for occasions (despite my oily skin) and advised the use of the powder to quell any shine that decides to creep through. Although, this is an option, at a combined price of nearly £100; I decided there must, surely, come on be another foundation option on the market which can offer me a shine-free, healthy and flawless (or at least less flawed) complexion. So I have decided to continue my search…I am thinking of trying the Power Fabric Foundation by Armani next. It is one that a different sales person at Armani recommended for lasting, shine-free coverage and apparently it is a less cakey alternative to Estee Lauder’s Double Wear. Sounds like it could be a contender…
My relationship with Huda’s liquid mattes so far…head over heels in love with some of the colours in her initial offering (Venus, Trendsetter and Icon.) Then I ordered one of the special effects shades, Socialite; a shimmery, peachy, pink which I was not bowled over by.
However, I was confident that I would love any of the nudes released by this brand so I ordered 3 out of the 4 new shades that released as part of the Nude Love Collection; Sugar Mama, Girlfriend and Crush. I could not get hold of Wifey as it was sold out on Cult Beauty…it seems to be in high demand! I was eagerly anticipating my parcel…
Pav kindly tried these colours on for me…I have posted pictures below with a short description of each colour:
Sugar Mama—a warm peachy nude.
Crush—the lightest colour of the three. A very light nude with cool, pinky undertones.
Girlfriend—this was a lot lighter than I had anticipated. It is a light, very warm brown—with yellow undertones.
I would say that Crush, Sugar Mama and Bombshell are extremely similar in the undertones and hue…in fact, Crush and Sugar Mama just look like lighter variations of Bombshell, with Crush being the lightest shade.
These new colours are lighter than the lightest nudes in the previous product offering by the brand—Bombshell and Venus. Bombshell and Venus were nudes that were still dark enough to wear with minimal make up, and were able to make my face look more polished regardless of the amount of make up I was wearing. But in my opinion, when a nude gets light enough, it becomes the kind of colour that looks best with a full strong-eyed, bronzed look; I feel these new shades that I purchased fall into this realm.
They are the kind of very muted, light colours that look amazing offsetting a face of full make-up, but they are not colours that you wear on the days when you have little or no make-up on. The application of these was also a tad streaky I found (Crush, in particular )…which was not the case with her previous shades. Crush is pale and chalky on me so to avoid it washing me out I would need a very bronze, warm, full face of make up to make the colour work. Also, I like to draw a little around my lips to make them look bigger, and these shades are a little too light for that trick to have any impact. I am sure I could use these to mix and blend with other Huda shades that I have, to make them a bit lighter and experiment…but I wouldn’t intentionally pay £18 each, for this particular use. I have seen that a recommendation from the brand is to use a darker shade of liquid matte to line the lip and to use these lighter colours in the middle for an ombre look; again that does seem like a faff and not something that instantly appeals to me. I still love the formula; it is long-lasting, wears well and feels comfortable.
Pav liked Sugar Mama out of these 3 shades…she has NC35 skin and I have to agree with Pav on this one. I guess Sugar Mama is the warmest…(healthiest?!) looking colour of the 3—compared with the other 2 you do not need loads of make-up with this one. It is the nicest and most flattering of these 3 nudes. Girlfriend and Crush are pretty with the right make-up—but would look awful with the wrong or too little make-up. I think Crush is probably too light for any skintones above MAC NC30, it may look too washed out. Bombshell, Trendsetter and Venus are definitely more versatile nudes which will flatter a greater range of skin tones.
Next time Huda releases any more colours, I think I will have to test before buying…as these were a lot lighter than I was expecting…you live and learn.
Hi all, as I mentioned in my previous post I went a little crazy recently when I discovered this fantastic, all-natural make-up brand…I was extremely excited to find a UK company specialising in natural make-up. The sheer fact that a lot of self-confessed make-up junkies in this country have never heard of this brand, highlights how little natural make-up has flourished on these isles.
Lily Lolo do not use use a lot of the nasty ingredients typically used across the make-up industry; no parabens, silicone, talc or mineral oils. Plus, they have kindly chucked in some excellent, nourishing ingredients into a lot of their products. The lipsticks have lanolin so are extremely moisturising; the illuminator includes argan oil, a superfood for skin. Whereas the brand’s eyeliners are infused with jojoba oil and other conditioning ingredients to make them perfect for sensitive skin.
I wanted to try their entire make-up range; every single type of item that I would wear on a normal day, everything from a highlighter to a lipstick. Luckily for my bank balance they do samples of some of their products for £1-£1.50, so I opted for these where I could. In the end I ordered: A colour correcting powder, Peepo (£9); a loose mineral blusher, Sunset (£9); a loose mineral bronzer sample, Bondi Beach (£1.50); a loose mineral highlighter sample, Star Dust (£1.50); a brown eyeliner pencil (£7.50); a lipstick, Intense Crush (£9.50); a mineral foundation sample, Butterscotch (£1.50); a powder brush (£11) and two finishing powder samples (£1.50 each), in tinted and matte variations, Flawless Silk and Flawless Matte. I also wanted a mascara but there was a two-week wait on that item!
Verdict on Individual Items
Corrector, Peepo: After I ordered this I realised Lily Lolo also do a creamy concealer which I would have probably preferred. Although this does look quite yellow in the pot, it does cover my under-eye darkness to a certain degree and I will continue to use it. It obviously has nowhere near the coverage of my Kevin Aucoin concealer but I didn’t expect it to; I wanted this product for days where I don’t need flawless make-up.
Loose mineral blusher, Sunset: I am not in love with the shade I picked. It is quite a dark pink and I would have preferred a more contemporary colour. I do, however, think this colour would look quite nice on darker skin tones. Longevity- and pigment-wise it provides a good, buildable coverage.
Loose mineral bronzer, Bondi Beach: Beautiful, shimmery bronze colour; a good colour for my NC30 skin. It stays put quite well throughout the day.
Loose mineral shimmer, Star Dust: This is an extremely subtle, natural highlighter which you could probably build up if you prefer. I find it’s too lightly pigmented for days when I would want a full make-up look…but nice for everyday make-up.
Lipstick, Intense Crush: A beautiful, wearable, light pink/peach colour. I am extremely happy with the colour; and for me, that largely determines whether I will ever wear it. It is not too bright and is a muted enough colour to wear on a daily basis. In terms of the formulation, I am impressed. And I am not easily pleased when it comes to my lipsticks, let me tell you. It is a highly pigmented, creamy matte colour, with a subtle shine. It feels so moisturising on the lips and the staying power is actually better than I expected too!
Eyeliner, Brown: The black coloured one had a waiting list, but actually I prefer brown anyway. Again, I am surprised at the pigmentation of this product. It also lasts quite well, and doesn’t smudge too much in a really bad way…basically it is not all over your face by the end of the day, just to reassure you.
Powder brush: I haven’t really tried any expensive brushes so I cannot compare this brush to high-end alternatives. I do however, use EcoTools brushes, and this one is so much softer and silkier. In fact, I want to purchase a few more.
Finishing powder, Flawless Matte: I used this after moisturiser and before the mineral foundation…it has kaolin in it which absorbs oil so when layered directly over moisturiser it should mean a less slippery surface for the foundation to adhere to. It worked! My make-up lasted around 6 hours; despite not using any primer or finishing powder over my make-up.
Note: I have not yet tried the Flawless Silk finishing powder (which looks a little pink..!) or the mineral foundation.
Wow, I am blown away. I had almost accepted low coverage and weaker pigments as a given, but still wanted to try these product because I thought they would allow my skin to breath. I was wrong. These products combined (I wore with my Bare Minerals foundation) provide a nearly flawless look. Based on performance alone, these rival normal, chemical-ridden, high-end make-up products. Peepo didn’t entirely get rid of my dark circles…but I think I am meant to combine with a mineral concealer – I was under the possibly wrong impression these performed the same function. But, to be honest, I am happy with the coverage Peepo alone provides for the everyday make-up that these products were intended for.
My make-up (minus lipstick) lasted around 5-6 hours – which is pretty good. My Bobbi Brown BB cream (with a primer) typically lasts me for less than that. I think it could have been the Flawless Matte foundation placed in the order that it was, that made all the difference.
In conclusion, I am in love with Lily Lolo. Affordable, nourishing make-up that is free of so many nasties that are prevalent in make-up these days. This company is a breath of fresh air and I am sure they will go from strength to strength as more people find out about their gorgeous product offering.
I am on a quest…two things that I am trying to find. Firstly, that perfect set of medium-full coverage make-up products to make me look airbrushed and look my best for those photo-ready occasions. A set of go-to wonder products that just work on my oily/combination skin, for days when I need my make-up to last and look flawless. Secondly, I want to amass a selection of completely natural, no-nasties make-up. Products which help to perk me up and improve my complexion, but do not have to be as long-lasting or full coverage. I would like make-up for everyday use that does not clog up my pores and which could potentially even improve my skin over time…I don’t ask for a lot do I? 😉 I haven’t got a massive budget…so I want to love every product I get…rather than get loads of different options. I can’t afford to buy a whole heap (2 heaps even) of expensive items – I want to be able to achieve the above while purchasing the fewest number of products possible.
Some of the high-performance items that I am contemplating…(after a lot of research!):
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation (in shade 6)
Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation (in shade 3W0 Warm Creme)
Dr Brandt Pores No More Primer
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder (not sure about colour yet)
Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer
The all-natural, no nasties make-up that is looking good to me:
Lily Lolo – the entire range looks impressive and extensive… And they sell samples 🙂
I do not know a lot about natural make-up products…I have only just stumbled onto the concept and am looking to take my first step into this magical new world. The trigger for me is that my skin is looking worse than ever before. Surely, all of these harsh chemicals and additives, although they may provide short term results, could be dramatically harming our skin in the long term. I feel like I need to do something now, as in right now (yes, I have literally just made an order on Lily Lolo in the last few hours..! ) to prevent any further damage to my skin. ‘BB creams are fine though right? They aren’t as heavy as foundation, so my skin is able to breath.’ Wrong. I used to think like this. But when your BB cream contains silicones your pores are getting clogged…even on your no-make-up days.
I am looking for natural products free of silicones, parabens, silica, talc. It is so much harder than it seems – these ingredients are everywhere. It seems like the Australians are miles (light-years in fact) ahead of us on this…so many big players are Australian, which can make products difficult to get hold of here and expensive to ship I then stumbled across what could be my saviour, Lily Lolo. A rare UK-based company specialising in cruelty-free products with all-natural ingredients, and they are very reasonably priced too with outstanding reviews!! I do not understand why I have never heard of them before now – they look really promising.
Me and Pav (she is looking for an alternative, natural make-up routine too) are looking forward to trialing some of the products mentioned above over the coming weeks/months…