Monday, October 31, 2011

Review: Laura Mercier Face Illuminator Rose Rendevous - Holiday 2011

As soon as I spotted the first promo picture of Rose Rendevous on the world wide web, I knew I had to set my hands on it. I've been extremely busy and didn't get a chance to play with it in store. But the exquisite design and the description "soft rosy gold" were encouraging enough! So I grabbed one during Sephora Friends and Family Sale. 20% off $42 for 0.2 oz! I felt more justified to blind shop for a deal :D

Let's take a few moments to appreciate the rose design! I love roses. The engraved roses look really sophisticated. 

Rose Rendevous is a soft rosy/champagne beige. It is very shimmery and heavily metallic. The texture is so velvety that it glides on my skin like a champ. Although Rose Rendevous is not the best finely milled shimmer powder of my acquaintance, it's fine enough to not emphasize my pores.  I use a MAC 109 type of brush to apply Rose Rendevous. Since it's highly saturated, you only need a very small amount. I imagine myself never hit the pan. 

On my skin Rose Rendebous looks natural. It saves me from chalky cheek bones that NARS Albatros will end up on me if I forgot to tap off the excess. The coupled rosy and golden makes Rose Rendevous a versatile highlighter for it compliments cool, warm and neutral undertones. The swatches seem to elevate the metallic finish much more than it looks in real life. 

Rose Rendevous stays fresh for more than 4 hours and becomes a subtle glow after 8 hours on my normal/combination skin. 
Rose Rendevous is a very nice highlighter overall. You ladies who share the same obsession of highlighters like me would definitely want it. I don't have anything in the rosy/champagne beige so I'm more than eager to own it. If you're on the hunt for a general good highlighter of the same price range, I'd recommend you check out Dior Skin Shimmer (reviewed here and here) and Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks (my favorites are here and here). 

Review: Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow - #4 Pulp Fiction

Random adds on my own blog sometimes come handy. Did any of you saw this very brief add? Giorgio Armani Beauty had a 15% off and free shipping for $50 purchase between 10/19-22. I jumped to the opportunity since I had my eyes on Eyes to Kill Eyeshadow #4 Pulp Fiction for a while. And I longed to lay my hands on Eyes to Kill Mascara.  Anyway, I grabbed both!.

Pulp Fiction ($32 for 0.14 oz) is a silvery gun metal mixed with red shimmery pigment. A brilliant idea, I think. It wouldn't be just another gun metal shimmer that we often see from every brand. But the red shimmery pigment brings warmth to the color that would be regular otherwise. The result is a beautiful silvery gun metal with just a slight tint of mauve. When I tested Pulp Fiction at the counter, I didn't see anything special about it. Perhaps the yellow lighting at Nordstrom killed the stunning mauve undertone. But even so, it is a very easy-to-use eyeshadow that can be either worn alone or paired with grey/taupe family colors.
Like other Armani Eyes to Kill eyeshadows (here and here), Pulp Fiction wears well without a primer, stays put all day, and no fall outs. I prefer to combine it with a soft cool brown in the crease. For a more sophisticated look, I love to layer Pulp Fiction on top of  an egg plant on the over corner and plum in the crease. Then back eyeliner and mascara. Rosy or even orange red lips will tight the look all together!
Pulp Fiction is my favorite Eyes to Kill eyeshadow among the bunch I've tried.  A must-have!

Have you tried Pulp Fiction? How do you wear it?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Review: Diorskin Nude Natural Glow Hydrating Foundation SPF 10

Diorskin Nude Natural Glow Hydrating Foundation ($46 for 1oz) promises a healthy glow and moisturized airbrush finish. It comes with sun protection though minimal, i.e. SPF 10, which is handy if you want to take flash pictures. It doesn't wash me out at all.

The numbering.

  • 7 depths of color from 1 through 7.
  • 3 undertones with 0 being neutral, 1 for yellow-undertone and 2 for cool undertone.
  • For example, my shade 031 is for medium skin tone with yellow undertone.

Great features
Diorskin Nude provides very smooth finish, covering my uneven complexion. One pump for medium coverage and two if you want full coverup. It evens out my skin tone and stays put for 8 hours.

Diorskin Nude is oxidized A LOT during the day with or without setting powder. You may want to match with a slightly lighter shade than your actual skin color. Although named "hydrating" it's rather dry and sets in matte finish. I always prep my skin with a thick moisturizer. Even so this foundation emphasizes the flakiness around my chin in the winter. I've found this the major issue I have with Diorskin Nude.  It also sets in my fine lines. I need to sheer out these areas more than other areas
Application tip. Shake well first. Your fingers are much suitable than brush or sponge for whatever desired coverage. Dior Skin Nude dries fasts, a brush wouldn't melt and blend it as good as the body heat.

Dior Skin Nude used to be my holy grail foundation. I finished half of the bottle and just to run out of patience with the mentioned downsides. Since the discovery of Chanel Mat Lumiere, I don't reach for Dior Skin Nude as often.

Swatched with few other foundations. 1) Giorgior Armani Luminous Silk 6.5; 2) Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk 5.75; 3) Chanel Mat Lumierre 4.0; 4) Dior Skin Nude 031; 5) Bobbi Brown Moisture Rich 3.5; 6) Nars Sheer Glow Stromboli.
Bottom line. Dior Skin Nude is a good foundation for oily kin and not-so-dry weather. With proper techniques and a little practice, it can give you a long wearing, smooth coverage.  If you have dry skin then I wouldn't recommend it.  But check this out next time you swing by a Dior counter. It's at least worth your try!

Preview: Dior 5-color Eyeshadow Quint Rosy Tan

No longer am I able to resist Dior Rosy Tan! While Sephora Friends and Family Sale is still rolling, why not? I though Rose Nude would be it for Dior summer collection 2011. Not really. The concept of Rosy Tan seems more versatile, day to night, warmer month to cooler month, whereas I would wear Rosy Nude more in the warmer months.

My Dior Rosy Tan quint arrived a few days ago but I haven't played with it long enough to report all details. I'm not sure how Rosy Tan behaves on my lids. Hopefully you would find some snap shots of the quint entertaining. Gorgeous isn't it!

Side by side with Rosy Nude

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

TAG I love eyeshadow palettes

My love for user-friendly eyeshadow palettes is one of the main motivations behind this blog. So when Delicate Hummingbird has a tag post on eyeshadow palettes I naturally tag along :D.

1. How must a palette be like to convince you?
My favorite palettes are those that are versatile. The color coordination of the palette always catches my eyes first. I love monochromic color scheme but unexpected color combination would do too. It also needs to possess different color depths for highlighting, contouring, and eyelining. The texture must be soft and smooth. It's important for me that the palette offers great pigmentation. I love palettes that have various finishes - matte, satin, frosty, or shimmery. But a palette of solely satin finish will be just fine for me. If cream eyeshadows are included, they need to be separated from the rest to avoid cross-pollination. I don't like eye-face-lip kind of palettes like those travel compacts sold at international airports.

2. Is the packaging important?
Not really. As long as the palette is sturdy, I can deal with lack of artistic design or a mirror.

3. Do you use applicators or brushes that come with it?
I used to and still do occasionally. I keep them in the palettes and only use them if I don't have a brush in hands, which is quite rare.

4. What's your favorite brand of eyeshadow palettes?
Dior. Hands down. Especially their 5-color quints. Beautiful color combination. Colors are true to the pan, soft and smooth texture without being overly soft. Some quints are much better than others but they are generally great. Chanel comes close.

5. High end or high street?
High end.

6. Now show me your palettes!
Sure. Tah dah!

Dior 5-color quints
1. Dior Jazz Club (Fall 2009); 2. Dior Stylish Move; 3. Dior Smokey Design; 4. Dior Pearl Glow (Spring 2010); 5. Dior Sunset Cafe ; 6. Dior Rosy Tan; 7. Dior Rosy Nude

Chanel 4-color quints (Vanites, Prelude and Murano)

Inglot customized palette (reviewed here)

Paul and Joe limited edition (Left to Right) Silver Moon; Lady's Slipper; Purple Clover; Empire State

Urban Decay Naked Palette

 Miscellaneous 1. Bobbi Brown Peony and Python Palette (LE 2011); 2. Stila Talking Palette Saphire; 3. NARS Cordura; 4. Guerlain Place Vendome

And my favorite shot ....

Thank you to Trang of Delicate Humming Bird for this wonderful tag idea! Hope you enjoy this post. 

Review: Tocca Giulietta Eau de Parfume - My roman holiday and a bonus review

Well, not literally a vacation :D. But that probably gives you a hint of how intriguing this fragrance to me. Rarely do I stick with any perfume more than the 1.5 ml of their samples although I occasionally mingle a little longer with some (listed here).

My heart set  on Tocca Giulietta Eau de Parfume ($68 for 1.7 oz) as soon as I dabbed it on my neck. Giulietta is elegant, soft, refreshing and sweet but not overly sweet. The light scent felt really relaxing and laid back like how I would feel on a vacation to the Mediterranean coastal villages. I can feel the deep blue sky, the sun, the earthy colors between the white stones, the endless flower fields, and the deep green vines on the house walls. Very much like a Roman Holiday with Audrey Hepburn!

What makes Giuletta extra special is the timeless floral and green apple scent that is almost impossible to get bored with. I've been wearing it every day since last month and deeply in love. You can never overdone with it and yet Giulietta lasts at more than 4 hours on the skin (this may very on skin types though). And you don't have to submerge in the perfume, just a few dabs on your necks and wrists. Can't describe enough how much I adore Giulietta!

Even the bottle lends a classic and romantic feelings.
" The Tocca name is synonymous with chic European style and old-world romanticism. Launched in 1994 with its wildly popular sari dress, the clothing and beauty brand continues to be a go-to for the perfect frock, luxurious indulgences, and sumptuous fragrances. Tocca is renowned worldwide for creating distinctive, exquisite scents with feminine sensibility that are also reminiscent of familiar places. Each unique fragrance inspires and surprises in multiple mediums—candles, fine fragrances, and luxurious bath and body products—all of which have a precious appeal that makes these small indulgences simply irresistible". (Sephora)

Notes: Bulgarian Rose, Ylang Ylang, Green Apple, Pink Tulips, Lily of the Valley, Iris Pallida, Vanilla Orchid, Lilac, Heliotrope, Cedarwood, Musk, Amber, Sandalwood.

I found the visual presentation of Giulietta! Just kidding but I think Gwen Stefani's "Cool" music video should be the Giulietta ad:)

If you're into feminine and classic fragrance, you can't skip Giulietta. Highly recommended!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

How to find the perfect foundation

Foundation match (by match I mean shade, texture and finish) is arguably the most important step to achieve a naturally flawless complexion. A mismatched foundation gets my vote for the worst makeup fault. Foundation is the platform for the rest of the makeup you put on your face. And do I need to emphasize on the words “your face”? Finding the right shade is just one part of a perfect match. The ingredient (e.g. SPF vs. non-SPF), the formula (e.g. cream, liquid, powder, aerosol, oil vs. oil-free), the application method (e.g. brush vs. sponge) and the reaction of your skin to the foundation can turn things up side down.

I practiced, tested, failed miserably and finally succeed to find my holy grail foundations, yes plural! Why did I take trouble of developing a tactic? Having a professional matched your foundations doesn’t guarantee the desire outcomes. Trust me it happens all the time especially when you’re uncertain about your own skin or under the unrealistically flattering lighting inside the stores. Here are a few things I think crucial in matching foundations.

Skin tone. I find it very helpful to know your skin undertone. Warm/yellow, neutral /peah and cool/pink are common references to your skin undertone. The most accurate indicator in my opinion is your wrist vein color. Under natural sunlight, warm tone skin has green vein and cool tone skin has blue vein. If you can’t tell whether you blue or green, you’re neutral undertone.  My favorite method is to try on a pale pink and a coral lipstick without foundation. If your complexion brightens up with a pale pink lipstick you’re cool undertone, otherwise you’re warm-toned. The perfect foundation should have the same undertone as yours.

Skin type. Oily, normal, combination, dry, sensitive or non-sensitive makes a huge impacts on the behavior of the foundation on your skin. If you’re oily-skinned, an oil-free formula and matte finish will extend the wearing and reduce shine on your face. Dry-skinned ladies would generally want a hydrating foundation with satin to luminous finish. If you have normal or combination skin, you can wear pretty much any types of foundations.  

Coverage. Do you want light/sheer, medium or full coverage? Full coverage foundations cover more blemishes than the others. I prefer medium to full coverage foundation, the first for good skin day and the latter for bad skin day.

Longevity. Similar to coverage, foundation longevity varies with personal taste. Long-wearing foundations work best for oily skin even though combination skin may also require long lasting formula.

Texture. Modern foundations are geared toward water-based liquid rather than oil-based. They are more light-weight, gliding on more smoothly and hence more comfortable to wear. But there are great foundations out there that’s not light weight or water-based. It’s your personal choice.

Formula. I find cream foundation is generally the smoothest due to its consistency. I prefer liquid to the other formulas as it melts on my skin easily facilitating even application. Powder foundation works best when you’re in hurry as it’s easy to blend and won’t require setting powder.  It also suits oily skin better than the others.

Finish.  Matte for oily skin and dewy/luminous for dry kin is the general rule. I don’t find it always applicable, though. The texture, the formula and your skin behavior can turn around the foundation finish on your skin.

Other benefits include SPF, lifting, hydrating, or nourishing with vitamins. SPF is generally a no-no for flash photography unless you desire a ghostly-white face. Mature skin would enjoy lifting and nourishing foundation. I don’t fancy those foundations that offer extra benefits beside moisturing. No matter how good the foundation it can’t replace your skin care routine. Since most of us do prepare our skin before applying makeup, I think this extra stuff is just a deal-maker (or sometimes a deal-breaker).

Price range. Headache I know. As cliché as it sounds I have no tips on how much should be spent on foundations. It’s not the matter of how much you spend but your personal taste. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not advocating for high-end products. You may pay a big buck and hate the foundation. I’ve never had good luck with drugstore foundations but many do.

After considering the above, it’s time to go shopping. Phew!

It's really hard at first to choose from an ocean of beauty brands. The next post will be dedicated to several beloved foundations from the blogosphere. So stay tune.  Now let's just assume you pick a brand (I recommend Giorgio Armani, Dior, Chanel, Estee Lauder, Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier, Makeup Forever, MAC, NARS, Lancome, Revelon, L'Oreal, Maybeline for their wide range of shades and foundation types to play with).

Trying 3 different shades under daylight is probably the best way to find your exact shade. Sometimes it’s best to have 2 shades for different areas or to mix for the most natural match. But the formula also affects the shades. Remember foundations oxidize when exposed to skin oil through out the day. Either a setting powder and blotting papers or a slightly lighter shade if you sweat a lot will do the trick.

Try 2 different formulas. It sounds troublesome but it’s worth every single penny you spend on the foundation. Chanel Matte Lumiere looks more natural on my skin even though it has exact same shade as the Chanel Teint Innocent I tried. 

Ask for the samples of your potential foundations and try them for a few days. Wear them under different lighting, take pictures, go to the beach, have a dinner and so on. Foundations are big investment so it doesn’t hurt for being patient (which is not myself at all when it comes to makeup). After a few days you can be ready to pick up (or exchange or return!)  your foundations. Hopefully it will be your holly grail until something suits you better becomes available on the market.

Other beauty bloggers/vloggers rave and rant about foundations.....

The Beauty Look Book’s impressive foundation review is here.
Delicate Hummingbird’s overview on foundations is here.

Marlena from makeupgeekTV  has an excellent video on both high-end and drugstore foundations.

Jen from frmheadtotoe extensive revew of BB cream (Part 1 below).

Pixiewood sisters’ favorite Chanel foundations. Some of the foundation reviewed here were discontinued though :(

Good luck finding your perfectly matched foundations! Have other tips on matching foundation, please share here ladies. I’d love to learn from you all. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Review: Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer - # 2 Shimmering Beige and #10 Golden Beige

Thanks to the lovely ladies at my local Nordstrom's Armani counter, I was able to stock up some sample of their famous Fluid Sheer. And I'm so glad I got samples. Let me tell you why.

Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer ($59 for 1 oz) can be used to add glow all over your face or highlight your cheekbones, chin, brown bones, and any other areas you want to bring forward. I grabbed the samples of #2 Shimmering Beige - a pinky beige and #10 Golden Beige - a golden/coppery beige. Both of them looked so so gorgeous on my arm and they seemed decently pigmented. On my skin, however, they add a very sheer veil of sophisticated subtle shimmer. No discernible color detected. I packed 4 or 5 layers but  it melt into my skin and disappeared as soon as I blent it out. Don't get me wrong, I'm obsessed with natural wearable highlighters. But this veil of shimmer is almost invisible.

Both #2 and #10 were swatched heavily for the sake of the pictures but on the skin it's much sheerer.

Under direct sunlight
Of the two I sampled, the shimmer of #2 is more obvious than #10 and therefore would be more suitable for highlighting. But the difference between these two on my skin is nuance :(.

To intensify the color I used a stippling brush to apply Armani Fluid Sheer then blend it out with my fingers. I add Fluid Sheer before setting powder to brighten up the whole complexion and after setting powder for highlighting smaller areas. Fluid Sheer last at least 4 hours on me, which I think decent.

#2 adds a veil of delicate shimmer, just purely glow.
An overall glow Fluid Sheer nails it but falls short as highlighter. Had they offer more pigmentation I would have splurged a few.  I really want to love them but I cannot justify spending $59 for a glow that can only be visible at haft-a-foot distance.

Have you tried Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer? Do you love them? Any other Fluid Sheer I should try?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sephora Friends and Family Sale 2011 - 20% Off

The highly anticipated Sephora Friends and Family 20% Off kicked off today and will continue through 11/02/2011. You need to visit the website at this link then enter your email address to get one single use promotion code. Yes, one code for a single checkout but Temptalia said you can use up to 5 different emails per computer. So chill out!

I entered two different emails and got two codes since the first one was wasted during heavy traffic. A dozen attempts later my order went through. Phew!

Happy hauling ladies!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Beauty First Aid - Chanel Rouge Coco Chintz and Paul & Joe Sailor's Delight

Nude lips and I seem to have rough relationship. It's hard for me to find good nude that doesn't make me look dead. Chanel Rouge Coco Chintz ($32 for 0.12 oz) held my hope high for it swatched so beautifully on my arm. It's a peachy nude that compliments warm tone well.

Ah, the color turns out not that lovely on my lips. My lips look chalky and my teeth lean yellow. Chintz dries my lips  more than any "regular" lipstick like Maybeline Color Sensation. Totally disappointed for a hydrating formula it claims!

Oh and I can't return it to the duty free shop of an Asian international airport. So when I discovered that Paul and Joe Sailor's Delight (reviewed here) would cancel the chalkiness and moisturizing my lips, my feet didn't touch the ground (well not literally). Sailor's Delight also adds a touch of subtle golden shimmer to Chintz, which I think would pair perfectly with smokey eyes.

Chanel Rouge Coco Chintz swatched alone and layered underneath P&J Sailor's Delight.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Review: Giorgio Armani Lasting Silk SPF 20 Foundation

For my review on Giorgio Armani to be completed I will share my thoughts on another famous companion of Luminous Silk Foundation, i.e. Lasting Silk Foundation. The duo share several features in common. First, they are both incredibly light-weight and watery. Lasting Silk has SPF 20 but it doesn't prevent the foundation from being comfortable on your skin. Second, they smooth out and even my skin well but Luminous Silk does a slightly better job. Third, they have the same packaging except for that illuminating finish of Lasting Silk bottle. Forth, they are both retailed for $59 (1 oz).
Lasting Silk however last longer than Luminous Silk. It doesn't make my skin as oily as the other during the day but not a whole lot better. The color is lighter than the Luminous Silk of the same shade. You need to wait for about 30 minutes for the foundation to match your skin tone. When first apply it looks a bit off due to the SPF. It claims to not reflect the flash light although having SPF!?. I have no idea how it manages to do so but it doesn't sound logical to me. Nonetheless, testing Lasting Silk with flash light I see no serious wash-out but I do look a bit lighter than usual.

Lasting Silk provide medium to full coverage when applied with a foundation brush. My fingers or sponge will be useful if I want a sheer coverage. It looks very natural on the skin (when set with translucent setting powder, my favorites include Laura Mercier's and Giorgio Armani Micro-Fil). But heavy setting powder will make you look a bit cakey.
I still need to figure out the right shade. While 6.5 is too warm, 6.0 is too beige and ashy. I suspect 5.5 or or mixing both 5.5 and 6.5 would solve the shade matching dilemma. Compared to Chanel Mat Lumierre, Lasting Silk is more light-weight but this difference is not obvious. Chanel Mat Lumierre is so comfortable on the skin that I barely remember wearing a foundation. Plus, Mat Lumierre lasts longer and has a shade that matches me perfectly. So I don't fancy Lasting Silk at the moment.

Comparison swatches of Armani Lasting Silk and other foundations is here.

Armani Lasting Silk foundation, I like but do not love. Having to wait 30 minutes for the foundation to match in the morning drive me away from this foundation. It's generally a good foundation but I'd rather go with Chanel Mat Lumierre for long-wearing.

Review: Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow - #1 Blast of Blue and # 3 Purpura

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadows were introduced earlier this year. As soon as the first samples hit beauty counters they instantly became a new Armani signature star product besides their famous foundations. I reviewed some of the Eyes to Kill eyeshadows here and I thought that would settle my interest in sparkly eye makeup. But (there's always a "but") my electrified affection for their foundations and mascaras has brought me back to the brand. And once again, Eyes to Kill eyeshadow popped up. I got a sample from Armani counter and decided to share my thoughts.

Armani Blast of Blue ($30 for 0.14 oz) has an unique color mixing - a golden/khaki and deep blue. It doesn't look as much blue for it contains more golden shimmer than blue. When applied on my lids Blast of Blue doesn't look a lot different from Purpura. This observation triggered an immediate comparison of the two. Both have golden shimmer although the proportion of gold is larger in Blast of Blue. The nightime lighting does blur the distinction between Purpura and Blast of Blue on my lids. My warm medium skin tone must have muted the warm golden shimmer making blue and purple look a like. But under good lighting, I can tell them apart.

Like other Eyes to Kill Intense single eyeshadows I own, Blast of Blue is highly pigmented and smooth. No primer needed for a day-long wear.

Swatched under this angle both Purpura and Blast of Blue reveal stunning sparkles. Great for parties!
While I love blues I already have a handful blue eyeshadows of all texture and shades. Blast of Blue would be kind of redundant in my makeup stash. But since it's such a well-done shade, I'm not sure how long I could resist. 

Highly recommended! If you're new to Armani Eyes to Kill Intense eyeshadows and want something distinctive from other blues you have (for the price I think it's worth it), Blast of Blue may satisfy your curiosity. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Foundation swatches - Giorgio Armani, Chanel, Dior, Bobbi Brown, Nars, Stila, Misha BB cream

Finally I managed to swatch all the foundations that I (once) own(ed). Some of them went straight back to the store while the others will stay on my vanity counter for years to come.

The names

  1. Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk 6.5 (great for 30 minutes then extremely muddy)
  2. Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk 5.75 (my perfect match)
  3. Chanel Mat Lumierre SPF 15 Beige 4.0 (my perfect match)
  4. Dior Skin Nude SPF 10 Sand 031 (my almost perfect match)
  5. Bobbi Brown Moisture Rich SPF 15 Warm Beige 3.5 (my kind-of match)
  6. Nars Sheer Glow Stromboli medium 3 (my kind-of match)
  7. Stila Illuminating 40 Watt (my so-so foundation)
  8. Giorgio Armani Lasting Silk 6.0 (totally off-color, chalky)
  9. Misha BB cream SPF 42 Beige 023 (just a no-no)

Foundation matching can be very tricky. Some look really good on my skin when first applied then turn ugly after half an hour. In contrast, some don't exactly match my skin at first then become a great match after few minutes. So I decided to do 2 sets of swatches, one fresh and the other after 15 minutes.

Fresh swatches

In mild shading

Under direct sunlight

After 15 minute, the foundations got oxidized

In mild shading

Under direct sunlight

Here is what I conclude.
  • The most light weight (hence most comfy): Giorgio Armani and Chanel
  • The smoothest: Giorgio Armani, Chanel, Dior, Misha BB cream
  • My best match (shade, texture, formula): Luminous Silk 5.75, Mat Lumierre 4.0 
  • The heaviest: Misha BB cream, Nars Sheer Glow
  • The driest: Dior Skin Nude
  • The most full coverage:  Dior Skin Nude, Nars Sheer Glow, Misha BB cream
  • All foundations with SPF looked great with frash even the Lasting Silk SPF 20
  • The only fragraned foundation I ever owned: Misha BB cream (definitely a deal breaker)

I hope this helps a bit on foundation hunting. Have a great weekend beauties!

Review: Chanel Mat Lumiere SPF 15 Foundation

A great beauty purchase tends to follow a satisfying beauty purchase. As funny as it sounds I find it very likely. When you're in good mood you tend to make good business decision. Here is an example. Only Chanel Vanites eyeshadow and Rouge Coco Shine were in my mind when I hit the beauty floor last month. I've been happy with my Dior Skin Nude foundation so I was fantasizing for a replacement. Then the sale associate just put some foundation to complete the makeup. And Voila! I got hooked and came home with Mat Lumierre (not to mention Vanites and Biarritz).

Chanel Mat Lumiere ($54 for 1 oz) has a satin rather than matte finish on my skin. It doesn't set on my fine lines. It's hydrating, light-weight, very comfortable to wear despite SPF and doesn't smear through out the day. It provides medium coverage though buildable for full coverage. The texture is so smooth in a way that is very similar to Armani Luminous Silk and Lasting Silk but less liquidy.
Chanel Mat Lumiere has limited shade ranges but fortunately Beige 4.0 matches me perfectly. I set it with either Laura Mercier translucent powder or Giorgio Armani Micro-Fil loose powder. I prefer the latter since it adds a tough of subtle sheen to my skin and doesn't look chalky on top of Mat Lumierre.

This foundation dries a little bit faster than Giorgio Armani foundations I've tried (Luminous Silk, Lasting Silk, Face Fabric) but is still very easy to blend. I loving using a foundation brush (like a Sigma foundation brush) to apply Mat Lumierre as either my finger tips or a sponge sheers it out too much.

Mat Lumiere (Beige 4.0) under mild shading. It is heavenly smooth!

Mat Lumiere under direct sunlight.
Overall I LOVE Mat Lumiere so so much! If you can find a good shade of Chanel Mat Lumiere for your skintone, I highly recommend it. Even if you have drier skin you might still like it since it is hydrating.  

Comparison swatches are coming up soon.... here.

Note: I have normal combination skin, i.e. oily T-zone and normal to dry cheeks. My complexion has yellow undertone. I prefer medium to full coverage foundations and translucent setting powder.
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