REVIEW: Boscia Tsubaki Cleansing Oil-Gel

Usually finding face cleansers haven’t been a problem for me, since I always double cleanse at night: 1) using a cleansing oil to remove my makeup; and then 2) washing my face with a gentle face wash. In the mornings, I’ve been using Cetaphil and that’s been my number one choice for years now. Out of the blue, I wanted to try a cleanser and picked the Boscia Tsubaki Cleansing Oil-Gel because of the product description. Now that I’m really into anti-aging products more than ever, I’ve been thinking more and more about keeping my skin hydrated and plump rather than keeping it matte and free of oil as possible.

This cleanser is a “antioxidant-packed cleansing oil-gel formulated to remove impurities and makeup while protecting the skin’s moisture barrier, leaving skin smoother and baby-soft.” Because it’s an oil-gel cleanser, you don’t use it like a typical cleansing OIL. Keep in mind that when using a cleansing oil, you pump the product onto dry hands and rub it directly onto your dry face to remove makeup. With this cleanser, however, you use it like a regular face wash — damp hands and damp face — which makes it perfect for after my makeup removal.

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The Boscia Tsubaki Cleansing Oil-Gel “hydrates and replenishes, leaving skin silky smooth. A signature, lightweight botanical blend of tsubaki oil (camellia oil), wakame (Japanese sea kelp), and rice bran oil hydrates, smooths, and protects for the appearance of firm, youthful skin. Formulated for all skin types, allatoin, an anti-bacterial plant derivative, deeply cleanses and maintains moisture levels.” This cleanser is super light and gentle, which is exactly what I’m looking for when I’m just looking for something to wash my face after I’ve removed my makeup with a cleansing oil. While my face is still wet, I pump 3 pumps into my hands and apply it to my face. There is minimal lather, so don’t expect anything sudsy and fluffy! It’s just a smooth gel that almost doesn’t feel like anything.

As I smooth it onto my face and gently massage the product in, I like to concentrate it around my nose, chin, and my eye area. Then I sweep past my cheeks and forehead before rinsing the product off. My skin is left super soft and clean — but not squeaky clean and dry-feeling. I like that my skin feels hydrated and smooth, so it makes it easier to move onto my nighttime skin care routine afterwards. I don’t think that this cleanser alone will maintain the “the appearance of firm, youthful skin,” and I can’t say that this cleanser is responsible for “protecting” my skin by any means…however, it feels nice, cleanses nicely, and leave my skin comfortable in the end which I like. Occasionally, I’ve used this in the morning to cleanse my face instead of the Cetaphil and that’s been perfectly okay (not life-changing). As a single-step makeup remover, I’m not sure how it will do since I wear strong waterproof Japanese mascaras in the day. I recommend this cleanser if you’re looking for something gentle, hydrating, and soothing on the skin.

Made in USA.
Retails for $28.00 USD.
Item contains 5 oz.

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Bobbi Brown Skin Smoothing Pore Perfector

While I didn’t need another primer any time soon, I was tempted to get the Bobbi Brown Skin Smoothing Pore Perfector after I saw that it had released at my local Nordstrom and Sephora. I’m still a big fan of the Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer: Smoothing Primer, and I find that both of the primers work in very similar ways. For me, my primary concerns that I want to address are uneven skin tone and pores — so finding a primer that helps with that will be much more useful to me than anything else. This primer is a “lightweight pore perfector with a blend of powders that perfect the skin while skincare actives support improved texture and appearance over time.” I really like this as a primer; but, most of all, I like to wear it after my morning skincare on days I want to skip makeup in general.

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I’m not sure if it will really do anything ‘over time,’ but I’ve noticed a great deal of smoothness and oil-control with this primer. That’s why even though I may not need a primer in a tradition sense under foundation, I like to wear it on its own because it perfects my skin in a nice and comfortable way. “Visible pores can be a struggle for any skin, and this new skin perfector will not only blur the complexion, but also primes it for effortless foundation and concealer applications. Formulated with algae extract, glucosamine, and a unique blend of powder, it leaves skin looking smooth, even, and poreless while feeling natural and fresh.” There’s something about the powdery finish that absorbs some oil, I think.

Additionally, this primer is really light in texture — allowing it to spread and blend out easily on the skin. It’s slightly cooling upon contact, but disappears instantly once smoothed out. I like to concentrate this on my nose, cheeks, and my chin. Since my forehead normally doesn’t have issues, I like to leave it alone anyway. This product controls oil well and keeps my skin less of an oily mess. It’s slightly powdery feeling too, but doesn’t dry out or look flaky on the skin.

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This is great for under makeup as well, however, I’ve found that it’s best to pair it with powder foundation. Maybe it’s the slightly powdery texture, or maybe it’s that adheres well to the skin. But it creates a smooth surface for the powder foundation to ‘stick’ to. That way it appears that your makeup isn’t powdery upon initial application. Most days when I’m opting for a makeup-free or a really minimal makeup look, this is great to wear as the last step in my routine. It seals off everything and keeps everything smooth and in place — kind of like Spanx! Lol.

Anyways, I recommend this primer. It feels fresh and light and the skin, and blends out easily into a powdery finish. It fills in pores and lines, and the smoothing effect is pretty instant on the skin — which is a plus when you’re going with minimal to no makeup. The primer somehow gives you finished look, even without foundation which I really like. The this tube with a thin opening at the top allows for ease of product control, since you don’t need a whole lot of product. However, so little product comes in the tube. At 0.85 oz. per tube, it’s really not that budget-friendly if you think about it — I was hoping it would be more fair to at least get a full ounce like most products. Even though you don’t need a lot of product to begin with, I think we’re getting screwed with just 0.85 oz at nearly forty bucks.

Retails for $38.00 USD.
Made in Belgium.
Item contains 0.85 oz.

REVIEW: Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate

It’s not a surprise that I appear to ‘collect’ skincare products since I’m a total skincare junkie. However, when it comes to serums and essences (as they’re called in Korea), I’m very particular in what I’m looking for. As with many women my age, anti-aging products are at the top of my list — especially since I believe in preventative measures more than anything else. Lately, I’ve been using the Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate as a part of my morning routine, and I’ve been very happy with its performance and the results I’ve been getting.

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The Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate is referred to as a “one-of-a-kind, boosting, power-infusing face concentrate for youthful-looking skin.” It’s designed to be “the ultimate treatment for enhancing skin’s essential multidefensive power against visible signs of aging, environmental factors, and daily stress. It restores skin’s powers to resist, protect, regenerate, and strengthen, leaving skin smooth and deeply nourished.” Pretty much all of that is catered towards what I’m looking for in a skincare product right now.

Since it’s a “booster” product, it is recommended that “when using with other serums, use Ultimune first to enhance the serums and moisturizers that follow.” Generally, for me, since I layer on skincare product more typically at night, I stick to using this product in the mornings after cleansing and toning the skin and before moisturizing. Other days, I apply this alone after toner and proceed to using my sunscreen.

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I’ve noticed that this serum is great at hydrating and plumping my skin, which I think is pretty common in anti-aging products. For these reasons, I think it gives the anti-aging effect by allowing the skin to look healthier and smoother since lines and wrinkles are not as visible. I also found that it really keeps my skin hydrated. The gel-like texture is kind of like a mask, only this product sinks in really well without feeling tacky or sticky. I think that’s why I feel like my skin is so hydrated!

I recommend this product if you’re concerned about preventative measures for your skin, but you’re not experiencing heavy wrinkles and lines. I like this for daytime since it protects against environmental factors, it does work to keep your skin nourished and strengthened. It works well under makeup, daytime moisturizer, and nighttime moisturizer as well. It’s a great preventative product, but I’m not sure how it would be as a corrective product.

Made in USA.
Retails for $65.00 for 1 oz.

Yves Saint Laurent Baby Doll Kiss & Blush Lips & Cheeks in 02 “Rose Frivole”

Now that the weather is much warmer, I’ve been really into glowy cheeks and dewy skin lately more than usual. In the colder months, I’m not a fan of glowy cheeks typically and I’m insanely picky about cream blushes to being with anyway! Recently, after watching YouTube videos I got my mind stuck on YSL products and decided to try the Yves Saint Laurent Baby Doll Kiss & Blush Lips & Cheeks after watching some tutorials. Initially, I passed on these products awhile back because I was skeptical about its use. However, I think the one I have in 02 “Rose Frivole” is great, and I’m looking forward to purchasing more colors in the very near future.

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The Baby Doll Kiss & Blush Lips & Cheeks is an “air-whipped, two-in-one mousse formula for lips and cheeks.” The “sensual, soft matte finish” sounded promising and the texture is super smooth and easy to work with. Surprisingly, as pigmented as the original swatch is, the product blends out smoothly and quickly without drying matte or feeling sticky. In addition, the color seems to be buildable, so I like to keep it sheer on some days and more bold others. The applicator is not the unique and resembles the applicators for the YSL lip glosses. I don’t find that they apply the product any better, but the pointy part of the applicator does give some precision and control.

I chose the shade 02 “Rose Frivole” which is a rosey, nude shade. The pink tone is cool but warms up on the skin as it blends out. The mousse texture gives it a soft texture and spreads the color on nicely without getting patchy, sticky, or uneven. For these reasons, I’ve found that the product is surprisingly easy and quick to use. I like this product only for the cheeks — even though it’s designed for the lips as well. I’ve found that even with lip balm underneath the product, the product sits in the creases and cracks of my lips in an unflattering way. It also feels dry on the lips but not the cheeks.

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As you can see, the product blended out is more subtle than the initial swatch. Additionally, it brings a lot of life to your skin because it glows on your cheeks without being greasy or glittery. It sets nicely on the skin and doesn’t smudge or move around — which was another concern of mine. While this color is more natural than some of the other bold shades in the range, it’s natural in a really pretty way. You may think that this is just another run-of-the-mill pink shade; however, there’s something about this on the skin that is just iridescent and healthy. I recommend this range of products and I’ve got my heart set on a few more colors. Because the product is so easy to use, I find that when I want to bring some life to my skin or I’m in a hurry, I apply BB/CC cream and then add 02 “Rose Frivole” on top. I blend it out quickly either with a synthetic brush or my fingertips and I’m done with my face makeup.

Retails for $40.00 USD.
Made in France.

REVIEW: Caudalie Instant Detox Mask

I think any product that promises any form of “detox” is an attention-getter for me. With my VIB Rouge perks, I was able to get the Caudalie Instant Detox Mask early and I’m so glad that I did. Designed to be a “detoxifying mask that draws out accumulated toxins from clogged pores to revitalize and invigorate the complexion,” this mask is the ultimate quick-fix product and another must-have from Caudalie. Quick-fix masks seem to kind of a thing now, so it’s nice that this one adopts the same concept!

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The “Instant Detox Mask brings life to dull, tired skin. It clears the pores of impurities and toxins, purifies from pollution, and invigorates lackluster skin. Great to use before a night out or after a stressful week, it is enriched with grape marc to detoxify, pink clay and coffee to clarify, and papaya enzymes for a boost of immediate radiance.” The color is really unusual since it’s pink in tone. Once dried on the skin, it turns into a darker pink shade that seems to easily wash off — thank goodness. Much like the rest of Caudalie’s brand philosophy, Grape Marc is one of the main ingredients that detoxifies and drains impurities, as pink clay and coffee are known to purify the skin. Also included in the main ingredients is papaya enzymes that delivers immediate radiance by lightly exfolitating the skin and lifting dead skin cells. The scent of this mask is earthy but non-offensive. In addition, it dries down pretty quick so I like to apply this mask after makeup removal and before my shower at night. That way, I can just jump into the shower which makes rinse-off much easier for me.

And, finally, eight essential oils within the mask nourish skin, so even after removal, your skin is left plumped and healthy rather than dried from the clay. I like to apply a thin layer 2-3 times a week on dry face, avoiding the eye area. I leave it on for 10 minutes, but sometimes I leave it on longer. When it’s all dried I rinse off the mask in the shower and let the steam and warm water continue to work its goodness on my skin. Afterwards, I follow with serum and my nighttime cream.

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I really like this mask, but most of all, I like that it’s super fast and easy to use. It makes it great for traveling too since it’s quick and comes in a tube. I don’t think product is a real “problem fixer,” in that it won’t really address breakouts or anything like that. However, it’s great for maintaining your skin’s condition and pores. My skin feels cleaner and smoother after I use this, and I really like that my face doesn’t feel too stripped or dry either. I recommend this product as a routine mask to have on hand to help maintain the clarity of your skin, and to free your pores of impurities and oil!

Made in France.
Retails for $39.00 USD.

Make Up For Ever Pro Finish Multi-Use Powder Foundation in 115 Pink Ivory

I’ve been on a major Make Up For Ever kick lately and I’ve recently been looking into products that I’ve overlooked for some time now. I’m still a major fan of the HD Invisible Cover Foundation and the Step 1 Skin Equalizer: Smoothing Primer. Naturally, I gravitated towards the Pro Finish Multi-Use Powder Foundation, and I’m really glad that I did because I really like it. You can reviews of the Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer: Smoothing Primer here and the Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation here.

As its name should suggest, this product is truly a multi-use powder foundation. And, like the HD Invisible Cover Foundation, the shade I use in the powder foundation is 115 (Pink Ivory) as well. It’s described to be a product with “breakthrough multi-use formula that can be applied as a foundation or setting powder.” In addition, it’s “formulated with exclusive vegetal coated bio-mimetic pigments, [which is a] patent-pending formula [that] allows for buildable coverage with a natural matte finish.”

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On its own, this powder foundation is extremely lightweight. It’s not as “creamy feeling” as the Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Foundation Powder, but the light fluffiness of the powder still makes it super easy to apply. Additionally, you can apply this product quickly since it’s so easy to use, it blends easily, and stays put on your face without any slipping. Paired with a base product, this product is a great setting powder that doesn’t interfere with what you’ve applied prior. It does add a hint of color since this isn’t a translucent product; however, if you’ve found a good color match, it shouldn’t be a problem.

The Pro Finish Multi-Use Powder Foundation has “lightweight, non-chalky texture [that] blends seamlessly with your natural skintone for a long-wearing, flawless complexion. [With] mineral oil-free and enriched with nourishing ingredients, Pro Finish helps to prevent skin dehydration for the ultimate in comfort. This unique formula has unparalleled versatility: use as your primary foundation or layer on top of your favorite liquid foundation as a setting powder.”

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I really like this powder, but I like it best as a setting powder that gives you some extra oomph to your skin (when worn alone) and a sense of “finishedness” when worn in conjunction with liquid foundation. I feel that the powder helps to allow my foundation to last all day, especially on particularly sweaty or long days. It adheres to previously applied foundation really well, and better yet, it doesn’t look or feel cakey. However, on its own, I’ve noticed that it’s very light in coverage and it’s just not as long-lasting as it would be if I were wearing it over a proper foundation. I’ve used primer underneath, but I still feel that it doesn’t wear as long as with a regular foundation underneath. I still tend to wear the powder foundation on its own when I’m in a hurry, but if I’m in the mood for a reliable powder foundation, I still choose something else like the LM Smooth Finish Foundation Powder — for coverage and lasting ability.

I recommend this powder foundation for those who truly want a setting powder, and for those who are looking for some coverage and color to their setting powder. If you’re looking for a powder foundation the functions well totally on its own with lasting coverage, I wouldn’t suggest this one. However, there are others I’ve reviewed to choose from. I also think that for the summer months, this is a good compact to have in your makeup bag/purse since it’s not cakey and will do well for touch-ups.

Retails for $36.00 USD.

REVIEW: Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream

The newest craze regarding base products is the Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream, and rightfully so, given that it’s marketed as “the best of a BB, a CC, and a tinted moisturizer…with a 215% increase in skin hydration after just one week.” So far, the reviews have been phenomenal which is the reason why I had to try out the product myself. It’s been a long time since I’ve used Bare Minerals, and I’ve been perfectly happy with products I’ve found outside of this line. However, because I’m a base product junkie, I knew I was going to have to try this new product out.

The finish of this product is dewy with sheer-to-medium coverage for a radiant, soft, smooth finish. The gel cream texture looks and feels natural and light on the skin. It blends easily with no detection, sinks in nicely into the skin, and has a semi-matte/dewy finish. I don’t powder over this because I prefer that finish; however, I did notice that oil-control is pretty much non-existent and I have to blot after a few hours. In addition, as a tinted gel-cream product, this product is super lightweight and is considered to be more than a tinted moisturizer by providing “powerful hydration [with] marine botanicals to help replenish thirsty skin.” In addition, much like the concepts of BB/CC creams, skincare benefits are a part of this product’s promise with “mineral electrolytes to help energize skin,” “non-chemical, mineral-based broad spectrum SPF 30,” and “heart-leaf globe daisy, an antioxidant, helps protect against environmental stressors.”

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What I really like about this product is that it’s really soothing on the skin and it’s hydrating and comfortable on my skin. I also really like the natural finish that comes with the benefits of moisture and additional skincare additives. It feels and looks like no makeup on the skin and I love products that provide that naturally radiant finish/touch. However, coverage is extremely minimal, so in that aspect, it’s definitely not like a typical BB/CC cream either. When blending, it almost seems like nothing is happening and the product is just disappearing. it’s probably best to have some good concealer on hand if you’re looking for something more; however, if you’re looking for something quick for the gym or running errands, there may not be a need to apply additional products.

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The Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream is extremely sheer and is solely a product that seems to just even the skintone, boost the complexion a bit, and provide hydration. I got the shade Opal 01, which is good for fair skins with a cool undertone. It’s pretty forgiving though since it’s so sheer and blends out easily. I like that I can either use my hands or a brush, and for the most part, it’s pretty low-maintenance. I recommend this product, but I feel that it’s only really good for people with already semi-good skin; or, for those who need something light for the gym/weekends. If you’ve got issues with pigmentation, large pores, severe redness and unevenness, this product won’t be doing anything for you. If you have oily skin, this product will probably annoy you since there’s no oil control. But, if you’re willing to powder and religiously blot throughout the day, go for it! For me, I like to slap this on extremely lazy days when not much is going on. But if my skin needs something more I just reach for a real BB/CC cream, if my skin doesn’t really need foundation that particular day.

For the price and for being such a basic product (since it really doesn’t do that much), I think $29 is pretty fair. It’s really great for looking super natural and dewy, so I’m thinking this will be great for low-maintenance days for when I’m traveling and flying this summer. Other than that, you may want to just rely on base products that really give you the finish and coverage you want.

Made in USA.
Retails for $29.00 USD.

Fresh Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask

Overnight masks aren’t new to me and it seems that they’re really making a strong point recently in the beauty market. While Korean skincare “culture” has been implementing overnight masks for quite some time now, it seems that this “culture” has now made its way to the US and it’s gaining speed! If you remember, I’ve posted about these kinds of masks before: with the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Overnight Mask, the Nude Skincare Advanced Renewal Overnight Repair Mask, the Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask, the Dr. Jart+ Premium Firming Sleeping Mask, the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask, and the Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Water-Max Sleeping Mask.

Remember that as overnight masks, they are considered to be a treatment product that is applied as the last step in your nighttime skincare routine. After proper makeup removal and cleansing, be sure to tone, apply your nighttime serum, and a night cream. Allow for your products to sink in a bit before applying your eye cream and lip balm. Usually, at this point I also like to apply any spot treatment(s) or anything like that. Then, as my final step, I apply an overnight mask depending on what my skin needs that night.

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The Fresh Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask has been my newest obsession as of late. Primarily because it is an “intensely moisturizing overnight treatment that works in sync with the skin’s natural nighttime recovery process to achieve a lifted, firmer look by the morning.” This product truly makes a difference; and, unlike the previous masks that I linked to, this product is specifically designed to be for anti-aging prevention since its “moisturizing treatment has a corset-like effect on the skin.”

The product itself is extremely creamy and a bit chunky while trying to get it to blend into the skin. At first, it feels heavy but it sinks in within a few minutes and you can feel your skin just drinking this stuff right up. In addition, the mask really feels like it wrapping up my skin in all its goodness. While my skin my feel a bit sticky to the touch, I feel that it’s doing a great job at keeping all my nighttime skincare products in place, so that it’s not getting wiped off or anything like that throughout the night.

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The Fresh Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask gives your skin the “appearance of a visibly more defined, contoured complexion” but morning. The mask is “a proprietary complex of black tea ferment, black tea extract, blackberry leaf extract, and lychee seed extract [that] inhibits damaging free radicals and helps to improve skin elasticity, while belle de nuit extract helps to soothe and rebalance the skin. The formula contains peptides to firm the skin and visibly defy the signs of gravity, and hyaluronic acid to help attract and maintain moisture to enhance suppleness.” It does a lot of good things at once. It doesn’t interfere with what I’ve already applied to my skin, provides intense moisture throughout the night, improves the suppleness and appearance of my skin by morning, and helps my skin look great/firm/bright the next day.

In the morning, I cleanse my skin with Cetaphil as usual and apply my morning skincare products before applying sunblock and my base makeup. I love the way skin feels in the morning when it’s had a particularly hard week. Because it’s a nighttime product, I find that it’s super easy to use since all you do is apply it, go to sleep, and let it do its magic on its own throughout the night. I can feel the difference in the morning and feel that sometimes my skin is missing something on nights that I skip this treatment. I tend to use this product Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights as a “end of the week pink me up.” I recommend this product; and, while the price of it seems steep, a little bit of the product goes a long ways so I’m thinking this will last me for the rest of the year.

Made in France.
Retails for $92.00 USD.

Clarins Instant Light Radiance Boosting Complexion Base in 01 Rose

I’ve been mixing iridescent primers with my base makeup for a long time now. It adds a subtle tint of glow to any base makeup and really helps the skin look dewy and glowy. I stopped mixing for awhile due to the cold and dreary weather, but now that the sun is out and I’m in the mood for light, glowy makeup, I’ve been back into mixing a glowy primer with my base makeup. Recently, I purchased the Clarins Instant Light Radiance Boosting Complexion Base in 01 Rose and I’m really pleased with how it works with my makeup and alone.

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Clarins Instant Light Radiance Boosting Complexion Base in 01 Rose is one of two shades. I feel that the pink shade is always more brightening, and it also highlights while feeling/looking more natural on my slightly pink skin. Clarins writes that this highlighter or “radiance boosting complexion base” is designed to “boost your natural radiance with Instant Light radiance-boosting complexion base.” In addition, the “moisturizing formula illuminates and corrects your skin tone while hydrating, soothing and brightening your skin. It’s available in two different formulas to suit your needs, whether you need to cover redness or just want to brighten your gorgeous skin.”

Shades include:
– Rose: brightens all complexions.
– Champagne: corrects redness.

Active ingredients:
Aqua/Water/Eau, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Phenyl Trimethicone, Alcohol, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Peg/Ppg-18/18 Dimethicone, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Bisabolol, Sodium Chloride, Silica, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Glycerin

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What I like to do with this is to wear over foundation, rather than mixing it in like I used to with other highlighting primers. I don’t necessarily wear this all over my face; what I like to do is after foundation application, I apply a few dots of this along my cheek bones, down my nose bridge, and right at the center of my forehead. Then, I blend it out with a small brush. I goes onto the skin beautifully and blends out without looking too harsh, too pink, or too highlighter-y. It disappears into the skin just right so that you don’t really detect it. Your skin has a subtle halo-like glow that blends in naturally with your skin.

When I am in the mood to mix this in with foundation, I just pump a little bit next to my foundation blob and mix it together. Then, I apply the mixture onto my skin and blend with my usual foundation buffing brush or the Beauty Blender. I feel that it does dilute the foundation a bit so it’s nice for when I want much lighter, but glowier coverage. The Rose shade is great at brightening the complexion and I feel that it really does add something extra to how my skin looks. It doesn’t really correct skin tone or act as a primer/base that helps my makeup last any longer. However, for the brightening and glowy effects, I’m happy with the product and I recommend it.

Made in France.
Retails for $37.00 USD.
Item contains 1.0 oz.