Concealer Update

Sometimes concealers can make or break the way your skin looks. If I’m lucky on a particular day and my skin is doing pretty well, I skip foundation all together and wear concealer with a light dust of powder. Not all concealers are equal; and, as with all makeup products, it’s important to choose one that suits your skin and its needs. For me, I like to have an array of formulas since it depends on my mood and my skin needs. I’ve learned that powder foundations apply well over a creamier concealer; stick concealers are portable and convenient; and, liquid concealers spread easily so it’s best to use that on areas of coverage that more wide.

Now, pigmented concealers are all over the market — whether it’s high end or low end. Indeed, the coverage is important, but for me, the texture and formula are essentials as well!

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Benefit Boi-Ing $20.00 USD – SHADE 01
The Benefit Boi-Ing is an “industrial-strength concealer” that “camouflages dark circles, shadows, and discoloration without creasing or fading.” It’s smooth and lightweight and provides strong coverage. It spreads easily, so I like to use it when I have a problem area that needs extra attention under base makeup. Usually, I don’t like to wear this alone because I like to pair it under powder foundation or over liquid foundation. While this isn’t my favorite go-to concealer, I have it on hand for days when my skin needs kind of creamy formula.

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer $28.00 USD SHADE Vanilla
This is by far my favorite concealer. It is a “creamy concealer with hydrating, multiaction skincare benefits and light diffusing technology to create a softer, smoother complexion.” It is a “multiaction formula that instantly obscures imperfections, blurs the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and hides dark circles and signs of fatigue. Hydrating and luxuriously smooth, it layers lightly for buildable medium-to-full coverage and a natural luminous finish.” The formula “hydrates, firms, reduces redness, and strengthens the skin by helping its barrier retain vital moisture. It also delivers antioxidant protection to protect the skin against damaging free radicals.” The texture is smooth and light; and, best of all, it blends easily.

Cle de Peau Beauté Concealer $70.00 USD SHADE Ivory
As a “perennial makeup-artist favorite, [the] Clé de Peau Beauté concealer is highly editorialized and continues to win major awards year after year.” It is also the most expensive concealer I’ve ever owned and re-purchased. While there are other concealers that are more budget-friendly, there’s something magical about this formula and there is not dupe for it. “Enhanced with Revitalizing Moisture Complex, this concealer is designed “to lock in moisture, smooth out texture, and blends sublimely to expertly conceal dark circles, spots and imperfections.” The “high-performance powders ensure flawless skin in any light, providing maximum coverage with a smooth, even finish that does not crease.” It’s lightweight, blends easily, and stays perfect all day.

Candy Doll Concealer Color SHADE 01
This concealer’s peachy undertone is important to me since none of my other concealers have it. It’s great for cancelling out pigmentation like a healing pimple or darkness under the eyes. I would say that this is the concealer that provides me with the most coverage; however, it’s difficult to use because you only need a teeny tiny bit to achieve full coverage. For this reason, I think I tend to waste this product because I keep having to wipe it off. When in a pinch, even when I’m skipping foundation, this concealer can provide me with enough coverage. You have to order it on eBay, but because a little bit goes a long ways, it’s not a bad trade-off.

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If I had to recommend one concealer out of the ones I’ve written about, I’d say go for the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. It’s way more versatile and the price is decent for the brand. Generally, I tend to prefer the NARS concealer because it’s always performed so well.

What are the concealers in your makeup arsenal? Are they essentials?

Recent Favorites

Since my monthly favorites posts are so infrequent, I think it’s quite exciting when I can devote an entire entry to just my recent favorites. Pretty much all of the products here are items that I’ve had in my collection (except for one), and they’ve stuck around even after I’ve rotated products. I’m itching for warmer weather to get here, so I may be jumping the gun here in some ways; but nothing says spring like a new flirty scent and some bright blush!

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Dior Rosy Glow Awakening Blush 001 ~ $44.00 USD
This item is semi-new to my collection, and I only reach for it when I’m in a particularly Dior-happy mood. As a “universally flattering, finely milled blush [that] adjusts to your skin’s chemistry,” this blush is not as gimmicky as I once thought. It creates “naturally flushed, rosy cheeks” and seems to flatter most skin tones. The “ultra-fine powder texture and irresistible rose fragrance offer a moment of pure indulgence with each application.” Simply put, it’s soft, pigmented, and long-lasting on the cheeks. On my skin, it applies a bright candy-pink that blends well without looking harsh. There’s a subtle glowy-ness that comes without any shimmer, glimmer, or chunky glitter.

Benefit Cosmetics Bathina Silky & Seductive Body Oil Mist ~ $34.00 USD
As a “silky and seductive body oil mist,” this is my newest item in my beauty collection. I purchased it randomly on a whim simply because it smelled good. I like to apply this directly after a shower, onto freshly cleansed and mildly damp skin. I spray and rub the oil into my skin and it absorbs right away — leaving my body feeling moisturized and smelling fantastic. Benefit promises that this “seductive sheen and a hint of tempting fragrance” is impossible to resist. The “super-fine oil mist absorbs [fast] for immediate hydration,” and “includes sweet almond, olive, and avocado oils to leave skin feeling soft.” Bathina also includes vitamin E, which is known to help keep skin firm. I like it because it smells great and stays on the skin all day. It’s also a great way to skip body moisturizer and perfume!

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in “Vanilla” ~ $29.00 USD
I’m still going strong with my NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in “Vanilla.” I love that on good-skin days, I can just skip foundation/BB cream in general and just dab this concealer onto needed areas. It’s a great way to save time, especially when I’m in a hurry. Recently, I’ve been pairing this concealer with the Laura Mercier Mineral Powder and I’ve been very happy with the combo.

Laura Mercier Mineral Powder in “Tender Rose” ~ $38.00 USD
My oldie but goodie — my old faithful — and my trusty mineral foundation that is always a re-purchased item: my Laura Mercier Mineral Powder in “Tender Rose.” It’s easy to forget about this powder foundation when I’m busy with other products in my collection. I admit, that most weeks, my LM mineral powder goes unnoticed. But, when I come back to it, I usually end up using it religiously for two months before moving onto something different. I always come back though; and, I like that this product is always there! I tend to gravitate towards this mineral foundation when the weather is warmer, since it gives me such a nice, warm glow without highlighters and bronzers.

Eco Tools Buffing Brush ~ $6.99 USD
Normally, I’m very loyal to either my natural-hair brushes or my Real Techniques brushes. But lately, since my obsessions has been my tried and true LM mineral foundation, I’ve found that a flat-top brush like the Eco Tools Buffing Brush is the best. I own a few Eco Tools brushes and I highly recommend them. This brush is ultra-soft, cruelty-free, and hand-cut to smoothly buff for custom coverage. It also features a recycled aluminum ferrule, a sleek bamboo handle. It’s lightweight so it’s easy to use; and, the bristles pick up the most perfect amount of product.

Shu Uemura Hard 9 Eyebrow Pencil ~ $23.00 USD
Another oldie but goodie is the Shu Uemura Hard 9 Eyebrow Pencil. It lasts for years and requires minimal sharpening. I’ve found that throughout all the eyebrow pencils I’ve tried, this one not only lasts the longest, but it’s the most natural looking on my brows. This product is difficult to swatch on the hand, but for some reason, when using it on eyebrow hairs this product is the best. Currently, since my brows are pretty much all grown out, I’ve got small gaps in the front that still need filling in. I also like to give some definition to the ends of my brows to they look a bit fuller. The Hard 9 pencil has been great option lately and I really love it.

Koji Dolly Wink Eyeliner in Brown
Normally, eyeliners aren’t really part of my every day routine. However, lately, I’ve been really into using a little bit of liquid eyeliner for some upper lid definition. While I favor black mascaras, black eyeliners have always been something I’ve skipped. The Koji Dolly Wink Eyeliner in Brown has been my go-to. You can find this product on eBay or at Asian grocery stores. The felt tip is thin and stable so it’s very easy to use — you can control the thickness of the line, so for most days, I like to keep it simple with a thin, non-winged liner.

What products have you been loving?

Face of the Week

Remember when I got the Urban Decay NAKED Basics Palette and I couldn’t stop using it because it was true love? Well, that routine went on for months and months — and, yes, there’s only so much you can do with the same palette and only 6 colors. Now, I’ve officially moved on after a little break from the Naked Basics Palette and my recent purchase of the Laura Mercier Artist’s Palette for Eyes. It’s ALL about the LM palette now.

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CHANEL Le Blanc Light Revealing Brightening Makeup Base & CHANEL Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour
As usual with many of my face of the day routine, my base makeup is quite basic. I used the Le Blanc Light Revealing Brightening Makeup Base before applying some concealer. Then I dusted on some Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour in N10 to seal the deal. Beautiful finish — natural, glowy, and just pretty.

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in “Vanilla”
My concealer of choice is still the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, and it’s great because of its creamy consistency and superb coverage. There’s really nothing more you can ask for in a concealer — sounds dramatic, I know. My shade in “Vanilla” is a great match and only a teeny tiny dot of product is all you need.

CHANEL Joues Contraste Powder Blush in “Espiegle”
A “shop my stash” find — I regrettably abandoned this blush so it hasn’t been in regular rotation. The silky texture is truly unique and will look so beautiful on the skin. I am re-obsessed with this and I’m reminded of how much I love Chanel blushes in general. Welcome back, old friend.

Benefit Ooh La Lift
For brightening the under eye area, I’m still relying on the Benefit Ooh La Lift to do the trick. I’ve noticed on days I don’t use this, I can tell! So, of course, with that said, this is an every day must for sure.

Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter
I haven’t used a Lip Butter in ages, so naturally, it was time to bust it out and put it back in rotation. A while back, I got the shade “Pink Lemonade” — not just because the name was cute — but because it’s a sheer, light pink shade that was pretty and hydrating. Originally, I wasn’t too happy with the Revlon Lip Butters because I felt that they made my lips flaky and appear dry even when they were not. But this shade seems to work for me.

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Laura Mercier Artist’s Palette for Eyes
Still the featured item on this post — the Laura Mercier Artist’s Palette for Eyes 2013 as previously mentioned. I love playing with the colors and the versatility of this palette is the one of the reasons why it’s worth the money. I don’t have last year’s version and I’ve read on blogs that there are some duplicates in this palette. Personally, I’d prefer this palette over any of the Urban Decay Naked palettes.

Shiseido Nourishing Mascara Base & Shiseido Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Edge Meister Mascara
I’m back to using my beloved Shiseido Nourishing Mascara Base and I’ve missed it for sure. I swear, layering this base before ANY mascara will help your curl stay all day. And, the best part is tat it will keep your lashes hydrated and nourished so it doesn’t get dried out from curling your lashes every day and using heavy-duty mascara. My tube will last 6 months without looking gross, so while it’s expensive at $24.00 USD, it’s worth having it around. And, yes, I’m still using my random no-name Japanese brow pencil and I’m still really liking it for now.

Probably by next week, I’ll be in a foundation mood so stay tuned. And, as always, thanks for reading. :)

This Week’s Face of the Day

Due to both external and internal stressors, I’ve had to invest a little bit more time to my morning routine to get me through the day. Even on days like this, radiance and naturalness are still my main skin-priorities. And, since I was short on time like most mornings, it was also important to use products that did multiple things at once — such as evening out skin tone and helping with pores, so my foundation can be applied sparingly.

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Kanebo Kate Lasting Base Cover
Because I didn’t want a heavy foundation, I needed a good 2-in-1 product like the Kanebo Kate Lasting Base Cover primer all over my face. The skintone like shade blends seamlessly — allowing my skin to show through, but covering lines and pores at the same time. Also, uneven pigmentation was also taken care of with one application of this.

Becca Luminous Skin Colour Ultra Sheer Foundation SPF 25+ in “Porcelain”
After base application, I applied the Becca Luminous Skin Colour Ultra Sheer Foundation SPF 25+ in “Porcelain” to my cheeks, forehead, and chin — applying only a thin layer. This product is extremely sheer and translucent anyway, but I wanted it be layered lightly since it’s still hot outside in Texas. Normally, this product applied alone works fine for me. But on days I need more coverage but I don’t want to apply a traditional foundation, this is a great option.

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in “Vanilla”
I still needed some extra help around the my nose and some redness/spots on my face, so I used the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in “Vanilla” to conceal those areas. Surprisingly, a little bit of this product goes a long way, and it blends and stays — which, in my experience, is rare with liquid concealers since I also manage to blend it away and am left with no coverage. The slight pink tone of “Vanilla” helps cancel out additional pigmentation on my face.

NYX Cream Blush in “Boho Chic”
A review on this cream blush by NYX is coming soon, but I just had to jump the gun because I’m in love with the formula. Normally, when I’m in a cream blush mood, I automatically reach for the Illamasqua Cream Blusher in “Promise,” but I’ve been really into the NYX cream blush lately. The texture and formula are very similar, but the NYX one is $6.99 USD. Holla. :)

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in “Moonstone”
My current go-to highlighter is still the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in “Moonstone,” but it won’t be for much longer. I’m considering switching things up and using my Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks next week for some extra oomph.

Benefit Gimme Brow (Medium/Deep)
My main brow product is the Benefit Gimme Brow (Medium/Deep), and I even gave it some more praise when I wrote about my 9-month Eyebrowh Regrowth Update. This product is still going strong, but I fear that it’s already beginning to dry out. It’s only been a few weeks so I’m a little disappointed. I’ll report back if it craps out on me!

La Roche Posay Ceralip
The La Roche Posay Ceralip is an amazing lip product. Normally, I wear it at night so that I can wake up with smooth and soft lips. Occassionally, when my lips really need it, I’ll apply it during my day — usually, with no additional lip color.

REVIEW: NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in “Vanilla”

While the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer isn’t a newly released item, I finally allowed myself to buy it after finishing my Chanel Correcteur Perfection Long Lasting Concealer and the MAC Mineralize Concealer in NW15. Currently, the only concealer I have in my arsenal is the Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer, which I believe is worth the hype.

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Described as “a creamy concealer with hydrating, multiaction skincare benefits and light diffusing technology,” this concealer has been raved about since its release by beauty bloggers and makeup artists. So, of course, I was intrigued and my expectations were high. Supposedly, this concealer has the ability to “instantly obscure imperfections, blur the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and hide dark circles and signs of fatigue.” Some big claims, eh?

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I’d say that this is a great concealer because of its buildable medium-to-full coverage and a natural luminous finish. That’s hard to come by — a concealer that can do both. Also, it’s very smooth and hydrating — making it ideal for those who want to use this as an undereye concealer as well. The light, fluffy texture of this concealer allows the product to layer should you need additional coverage. I can’t speak for the “multiactive botanical blend [that] hydrates, firms, reduces redness, and strengthens the skin by helping its barrier retain vital moisture,” but I can say that it feels good and there seems to be SOME benefits (although not life changing) — like hydration. The product also contains “mineral tone balancing powder [that] works to optically correct, not mask, imperfections to keep skin looking flawless.” This — I can attest to because the concealer does a really good job at blurring imperfections seamlessly. Application is fairly standard — either I use my finger and pat the product in, or I use a small buffing brush to blend. Either way, the concealer does its job well.

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On lazy, barely-no-makeup days, all I need is this concealer to fake it ’till I make it. For me, layering this on top of foundation isn’t necessary, but I’m glad I have that option that I know is reliable — should I come across a horribly bad skin day in the future. Another important aspect of this concealer is that a little goes a long way. Just a few dabs here and there is best, because it can be obviously obvious when you’ve applied too much of this. I’ve also noticed I don’t have to “set” this with powder because it can stand on its own fairly well. Shade light 2 “vanilla” is the second lightest shade in the range and is described as a tone with a “tiny cast of pink for fair complexions.” It blends wells, stays well, and performs well so I’d definitely recommend.

0.22 oz.
Retails for $28.00 USD.