What Makes You Glow?

The epitome of natural makeup encompasses 3 key enticing words: “illuminating,” “luminous,” and “glowy.” We associate natural looking makeup with healthy skin that is dewy because natural skin has a sheen to it. The key to proper illumination is to make it seem like the luminosity is coming from within, but really, it comes from a product.

1. CHANEL Base Lumiere Iluminating Makeup Base
2. Benefit High Beam
3. Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Illuminating Serum
4. NARS Illuminator in “Copacabana”

Here are sample dollops of each product. Notice all promise the same claims in its titles and roughly all look the same on the skin, apart from the Tarte Illuminating Serum, which is tinted.

Heavily swatched and halfway blended out, these products all cast an irridescent sheen that glimmers (not shimmers) and there’s no obvious chunks of glitter. All apply smoothly and blend well once applied to the skin.

1. CHANEL‘s Base Lumiere is a makeup primer. It is designed to be worn under your foundation to “light you up” from beneath the makeup. The illuminating facor is very subtle, but I think that’s what makes this product worth it. It’s undetectable, but in certain lightings and in pictures, there’s a hint of a glow that helps you stand out from the crowd in a natural way.

2. Benefit‘s High Beam can be worn two different ways: mix into your foundation on the back of your hand before applying the combo to your face; or, use it after foundation application and apply along cheekbones and down your nose bridge. Product control is key with this because using too much will make you look like you’ve got issues with blending your makeup. The product’s pinky-purpley hue has strong casts of white, so use a light hand.

3. The Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Illuminating Serum is my least favorite, but I included it in here for reference. For me, the tint is far too strong. I assume they were trying to mimic “natural skin tone,” but that’s really hard to determine since we’re all so different. On me, it applies like a self tanner and takes awhile to blend into the skin. Once settled, the “serum” makes my skin oily far too quickly.

4. I’ve written about the NARS Illuminator in “Copacabana” for quite some time now since it’s one of my favorites. Much like Benefit’s High Beam, you can wear “Copacabana” mixed into your foundation or applied separately on desired areas afterwards. To the naked eye, High Beam and “Copacabana” are nearly twins – however, in my opinion, “Copacabana” is thinner, therefore, it blends better into the skin. With “Copacabana,” even if I accidentally squeeze too much out of the tube, it doesn’t affect the makeup application process like High Beam.

For a powder option, my favorite is Dior‘s “Amber Diamond.” Despite the bronze tones, the color translates very well onto my skin – swirled together, it’s the perfect combination of a golden highlight, which I think is best for a natural effect. A highlight with a base color of frosty pink or white can be too dramatic and working with the colors can be tricky. But if your highlight is golden-toned, I feel that the color melts into your skin because it matches various skin tones the best.

I like to apply this after foundation and after I’ve powder my t-zone. “Amber Diamond” on top of your choice of blush is fantastic and it’s so easy to use.

As always, thanks for reading. I’m off to a lazy and a relaxing Sunday and will be treating myself to a pedicure this afternoon.

*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels)

Recent Favorite Products

Back by popular demand – some current favorite products! So I admit, as a product junkie, it’s hard to keep up with all the new releases by so many departments, companies, and brands. However, since I know what I like – and what my skin likes – I find good face products from time to time. For me, I focus a lot how the skin looks. In my opinion, no amount of expensive eye products, fancy colors, and professional-looking application – will cover up the fact that the skin/base makeup looks like ruddy, uneven, or discolored.

If you think about makeup as an artistry – the skin is the base – hence, the term “foundation.” It’s the basic canvas before you start getting into the technical work, like gradation in color, color application, etc. And, even from a painter’s point of view – before creating your masterpiece, you start with a clean, blank canvas, right?

Featured products:
L’oreal True Match Super-Blendable Power in “W1 Porcelain”
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 (oil-free) in “Porcelain”
Chanel Illuminating Base Makeup

The infamous tinted moisturizer by Laura Mercier in the oil-free formulation is what I prefer. “Porcelain” is the lightest shade that is offered, and is yellow-based – which is quite odd for a shade named “Porcelain.” However, for a tinted moisturizer, it gives good, lightweight coverage. This product is used on “good skin” days because the coverage isn’t going to be as thorough as a foundation. It’s long-lasting, lightweight, and evens the skin tone out beautifully without looking overdone. Perfect for every day wear and for when you want to sport the “no makeup look” on weekends or to the gym.

L’oreal True Match powder is a great alternative to pricey powder. “W1 Porcelain” is the lightest shade in their “warm” cateogry – and, yes, that’s what the “w” in this range stands for. L’oreal True Match powder is also available in cool tones as well. I use this with a fluffy powder brush to get a sheer application. This provides good oil control, and so this power is great for the T-zone.

Chanel’s Illuminating Base is great for a special occasion or night out on the town. The base is essentially a primer and is designed to be worn under foundation – or, for me as of late – under the tinted moisturizer. This product is gel-like in consistency and is clear, yet white-ish in color that contains small pearly, iridescent particles that cleverly disappears once you rub it onto the skin. It perfectly “lights up” whatever base product you decide to pair with this base.

Since it’s winter, a dewy look still looks healthy – however, it’s important to address our skin’s changes with the weather. Now, rather than oil control, I prefer to focus on retaining moisture.

What are you loving lately?

*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels)
*Click on images to enlarge.