October 19, 2013

On my face at the moment

After a Summer of wearing minimal makeup, partly because of the heat, partly because I was uninspired, I felt a strong need to re-invent my makeup a bit.
Nothing wrong with wearing a cream blush and a cream eyeshadow day after day after day, but at some point I got bored of it. And possibly, the size of my stash just felt overwhelming rather than inspiring. I had to dig into it and found some loved-then-forgotten stuff that I should start using again.

After having found a foundation that works for me and my current skin needs,  I moved on to the eyes. 

I have found a technique that I like and that is a great compromise between being quick, looking fresh and giving a lot of definition. It is perfect for daily wear, for office wear, and for a night out you can easily vamp it up.

What I use:
- a light to medium shadow on the mobile lid, it can be matte or shimmery
- a medium to dark color in the crease, that I blend up, but that I do not join with the outer corner
- a khol pencil applied between the upper lashes and closely to the lashline before applying mascara
- a matte highlight shade under the brow, which for me is usually identical to my skintone

Favorite products for this look: my Inglot palette,  my Burberry shadows - Pale Barley, Gold Trench, Midnight Brown and Taupe Brown- or my Makeup Geek shadows. For khols, nothing beats the Mac ones in my opinion, Teddy, Prunella and Sense of Style being my favorites.

If you want to make this more dramatic, you can:
- add a dark shade on the outer corner, either just on the crease and blended a bit down, or joining the outer corner
- more khol, possibly smudged, for example on the lower lashline, or in the waterline

Colors can be picked according to your mood, clothes (if matching is your thing), eye color...

With that, flawless skin, defned brows, fresh looking blush (Illamasqua Naked Rose, of course) and lipbalm or very natural lipstick. I currently enjoy the Clarins Instant Lip Perfector in the pale pink shade. On the whole this takes me 15 min and I don't rush into it at all.

What is your current favorite look?

October 11, 2013

Foundation Review #38: Clarins Extra Comfort

I can't believe I haven't reviewed a foundation in almost a year! I was not completely happy using what I have,  because my skin wasn't perfectly happy until Summer began (and it didn't begin before late June!) but I couldn't find something better on the market and thought it was pointless to try.

After a great Summer of wearing next to nothing, or anything I wanted, just like a clock my skin started freaking out as we hit the October mark. Dehydration, redness, tightness, little inflamed breakout on the cheeks and on the other hand, a very oily t-zone: it was a disaster.
I tweeted the lovely Stacey @PixiwooHQ and she recommended trying the new Clarins foundation, Extra-Comfort. I ran and bought it without trying it, out of despair.
Out of despair as well, I bought shade 105 Nude because my country doesn't carry 103 Ivory which is normally my color in Clarins foundations. I'd rather fake-tan my neck in Winter to match my face than not know what to wear at all.

What the brand says.
Treatment foundation: illuminates the complexion, nourishes the skin.
Its exclusive anti-ageing formula plumps, moisturises and nourishes the skin deep down with a combination of organic Argan oil and the Global Age-Defying Complex. The skin instantly feels suppler and more comfortable. Wrinkles and fine lines are smoothed. The complexion is left glowing with youth. AF
My experience with the product.

Let's start with the obvious: the packaging. A glass jar. Seriously, Clarins, couldn't you fit this cream texture in some other kind of container, like the Ever Matte's tube for example? It's bulky, it's heavy, not travel-friendly and not really hygienic, although you get a spatula with it. 

The formula is a thick cream. I was worried that due to its thickness and to the Argan oil in it, it would be too heavy for my T zone, so I decided to do 2 things: not moisturize the T-zone, and apply with a stippling brush (Real Techniques) so I could use the smallest amount on that area. Clarins recommends applying with hands but I was afraid it would make me apply too much.

Now this foundation is obviously much more coverage than I usually like to wear, I would say it's medium to full. But let's face it, when your skin is angry and red, a sheer foundation doesn't hide it anyway, you end up piling on the concealer and you might even not succeed at hiding everything you want to. With this foundation, everything is evened out pretty well. Where I am red and need more coverage, I just stipple a bit more, and redness gets covered. But you can use really a smaller amount and blend it very well to get a really thin layer where you don't need much coverage. I did not build this up to full coverage and still used concealer under the eyes and on a few zits.

The finish is satin, I would say, slightly luminous but not dewy. I do set up with powder on the T-zone only. The product doesn't look heavy on the skin at all, nor does it feel sticky or extremely hydrating (if you're dry, this won't allow you to skip moisturizer at all).

And here's how it looks like.

Luckily, the color ends up blending rather well with my neck!

Well, after 2 weeks of wearing this daily, I can tell you: I am in love. Not only does this look really well right after you applied it, but it still looks really good after 8 hours, and it doesn't turn into an oil slick at all on my t-zone. I just touch up my powder a tiny bit mid-day but it's not even that necessary.
Another very important thing: this doesn't aggravate my skin, which now feels much better. I wouldn't say it cured it, but a lot of foundations would just destroy during the day the good results I was getting from skincare during the night. With this one, after 4 days of night treatments and this during the day, my skin wasn't irritated at all anymore. 

A little downside, though: titanium dioxide being very high in the ingredients list, this will flash back in flash photography. I personally don't care too much, I can wear something else once in a while if I have my picture taken.

Bottom line: if this weren't in a stupid packaging, and were available in more shades (only 9 in total), it would be perfection.

 Clarins Extra Comfort foundation - 30ml - £35 - $56 -€43