Filed In: Foundation

NARS x Charlotte Gainsbourg Hydrating Glow Tint & Nuit d’Encre Kohliner, Summer 2017 Collection

 

The last instalment of my NARS x Charlotte Gainsbourg Summer Collection series is the limited edition Hydrating Glow Tint — a product that’s pretty much in a category all its own, being neither a foundation nor a BB/CC/DD (or any other letter of the alphabet) cream but something almost hybrid-like, inspired by Charlotte’s signature effortless fresh-faced style. Also squeaked into today’s post is Nuit d’Encre, the Kohliner shade that had been missing in my first review … and now my OCD self is happy that the set’s complete.

 

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MAKE UP FOR EVER · New Ultra HD Face Products

 

The latest releases from MAKE UP FOR EVER’s continuously-growing range of HD products are all about prepping & finishing, but the best part is that you don’t need professional skills to accomplish the job. Adding to the list of their cult-fave Stick Foundation lineup, are 5 new shades that offer skin tone options to suit pretty much all complexions across the spectrum.

On a side note, the media kit I received was mind-numbingly gorgeous (the 2-tiered case, shown below) and along with all the new products, it also came filled with more foundations and concealers than you can shake a stick at (whatever that means). Blown away, I tell you. #gottalovetheseperks

 

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Elizabeth Arden · Prevage City Smart, Prevage Anti-Aging Foundation & Always Red Femme

Some brands seem to fly under the radar, yet in my opinion, they also happen to release some of the most amazing products out there. Elizabeth Arden is one such brand, and apart from some pretty awesome colour cosmetics (some of their past bronzers are to die for), they also happen to make one of my absolute favourite skincare ranges, Prevage.

 

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Bare Minerals · BAREPRO Powder Foundation & Core Coverage Brush

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I’m a big fan of liquid foundation, but there’s no denying that a powdered version is simply easier to use, as well as throw in a makeup/travel bag for any on-the-go touchups. That said, powder foundations in the past have tended to feel a little heavier upon the skin, along with leaving behind a visibly powdery finish — something that I was pleasantly surprised to see was definitely NOT the case here. Bare Minerals, a brand who’s cornered the market on mineral-based cosmetics, has created BAREPRO™ Powder Foundation, a product that not only gives coverage but does so in a way that helps your skin feel good about it while doing so.

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Core Coverage Brush (CAN $38.00) | An angled retractible face/powder brush with an inner dense core of softer synthetic bristles. Created to be used in conjunction with the BAREPRO foundation, this brush is effective in that regard especially for applying product to larger expanses of the face; on smaller and/or more detailed areas such as around the nose, it becomes a touch trickier to use because of its wider size. Personally, I prefer applying these foundations with a sponge such as a beauty blender or even the one included in each compact, then going in with the Core Coverage Brush to buff out any excess product and to give my skin a seamless-looking finish. My issue with this brush is that the outer ring of bristles is much stiffer than I’m used to using and when swirled over the foundation, it does kick up quite a bit of product. That said, it’s also a very useful brush to have with you for on-the-go touchups due to the fact that it’s retractible and thus hygienic — just make sure to not apply too much pressure to the pan during application.

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BAREPROPerformance Wear Powder Foundation (CAN $36.00/each) | Created with over 90 percent vitamins and minerals as well as having been dermatologist tested, noncomedogenic, nonacnegenic and hypoallergenic, these foundations claim to provide 12 hours of crease-free wear, although to be honest, I personally rarely wear my foundation for that length of time. Still, it’s nice to know that if I did, the product would last.

Made with skin-matching mineral pigments, there are 30 shades to choose from although I noticed that they do seem to apply a touch lighter than what’s seen in the pan, so it’s definitely best to try and swatch in person before selecting a match. The fairest to the darkest complexions along with variations in between (those with pink, beige, or even yellow undertones) all seem to be covered as well, making the range truly inclusive.

Of the five shades I was kindly sent to test, two of them (Golden Nude and Pecan) are the most wearable for my skin tone, although I was able to make use of both Hazelnut and Truffle as contour/bronzer. Fair is significantly much too pale and pink-tinged for me to try and pull off — even when I tried to use it as a matte highlighter. After having played with these for several weeks now, I have come to the conclusion that they work much better on me when used as a setting-type powder over a liquid foundation; this method gives my face a truly poreless & air-brushed finish. But then again, this is purely personal and I recommend you test them out on your skin to see how you like the effect. I will say that they are very lightweight and I experience no breakouts whatsoever – a major bonus.

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01 Fair | pale flesh shade with pink undertones

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13 Golden Nude | light neutral nude shade

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18 Pecan | warm mid-tone nude shade

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25 Hazelnut | warm tan shade

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29 Truffle | deep tan shade

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For those with sensitive or break-out prone skin, you should definitely give these foundations a test-drive; they deliver professional looking results and you’re sure to find a colour match with such a large range. As to the brush, I’m not sold on it and find the sponge include with each foundation to be a way better method of application – but that’s also a matter of personal preference. At the end of the day, foundation is a very tricky beast to master and something that needs to be explored slowly, never rushed — but it doesn’t hurt to try something new either, since you may be pleasantly surprised to land on a new fave or interesting way of using a specific product, such as I did here. Yay! to new discoveries!

Available at Sephora

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PR samples/As always, all opinions are my own

Giorgio Armani · Night Light Eyes and Face Palette

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Released as part of the Giorgio Armani Holiday 2016 Collection, the limited edition Night Light Eyes and Face Palette is positively stunning. Housed in the brand’s signature black-lacquered ovoid shape, it bears Mr. Armani’s signature in gold lettering across the outer lid and comes complete with a velour carrying sleeve and two sponge-tipped applicators, but the real magic lies with the actual shades.

And I thought last year’s version was amazing; the Night Light Palette has just blown that right out of the way …

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Night Light Eyes and Face Palette, limited edition (US $140.00) | All-in-one type palettes seem to be exceptionally popular around this time of year and while several have landed across my desk that I’m quite impressed with, I confess that the Night Light Palette really made my heart skip a beat … and not only because I happen to have a soft spot for A) neutrals and B) luxury beauty (shameless, I know).

Created in two tiers, the upper level houses 10 eyeshadow shades in a variety of finishes: matte, pearl, satin, and shimmer with the black hue also doubling as a liner (applied with a dampened brush for major intensity), while the bottom level holds a healthy-size Luminous Silk Powder (one of the brand’s cult-fave products) and two complimentary shades of Maestro Fusion Foundation that can easily perform double-duty as concealers. While the eyeshadows appear to be relatively warmer-leaning, there’s an excellent mix of both cool and warm tones that depending on the shades selected, can be made to work on a broad range of complexions. As to the face products, those two can cover a wide variety of skin tones as well — all dependant on how heavily or not you choose to apply them.

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Top row:

  • champagne, shimmer
  • soft gold, pearlized
  • warm brown, satin shimmer
  • taupe, satin shimmer

Centre row:

  • black, matte
  • gold, metallic

Bottom row:

  • bone, matte
  • soft taupe, matte
  • milk chocolate, matte
  • deep brown, matte

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The top portion holds a neutral shade of Luminous Silk Powder and can be used either alone to help even out the complexion, or applied over foundation and used as a setting/finishing powder. The texture is incredibly fine-milled and blends seamlessly into the skin, without leaving behind any obvious traces or settling into fine lines.

The two bottom Maestro Fusion Foundation shades have an ultra-creamy texture that make them ridiculously easy to use as concealer as well, with a nice slip in the formula that helps provide smooth coverage. Their emollient nature is also perfect for anyone with dry skin; those with oilier complexions may need to set them with powder — that’s where the Luminous Silk Powder (on top) can help. Due to their smaller pan size, it may be difficult to use either as a full-face foundation since I can see them running out quickly that way; one way around that is to combine the two for a customized hue and thereby extending their lifespan as well.

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Face palettes can be hit or miss and sometimes I feel like brands race to get something out there without really considering what the consumer would like to see; something that’s definitely NOT the case here. Created with the same exacting attention to detail as everything else in this range, Mr. Armani is not the type to put his name upon anything that isn’t 100% exquisite, clearly evident by the level of perfection found in this Night Light Palette. Each and every eyeshadow along with the face products, perform superbly and if you’re a fan of neutrals like I am, you’ll find yourself reaching for this palette over all others. The downside is two-fold: availability and price, so if you so happen to come across this lovely, I recommend giving it a test-drive. Then go ahead and add it to the very top of your Christmas list (highlighted and with bold lettering, while you’re at it).

Available at select Giorgio Armani counters and online

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PR sample/As always, all opinions are my own