Hey everyone! I’m Marnie Goldberg. I’m a 42-year old wife, mother, volunteer, and former elementary school teacher/reading specialist living in San Antonio with my husband, two boys (ages 14 and 17), and three dogs. I discovered the world of fashion and beauty in my late 30’s and I want to share what I’ve learned with all of you!
The twice-annual Ulta 21 Days of Beauty is right around the corner, and I’ve had quite a few requests for my personal recommendations. I’ve gone through the list, and the only products I will recommend are ones I’ve actually tried myself OR someone I implicitly trust uses and loves the product. So, if your favorite item isn’t listed, it’s not because there’s something wrong with it-I just don’t know enough about it to give it my stamp of approval. If you see something is left out that you think the world needs to know about, PLEASE mention it in the comments! At up to 50% off, you can’t pass up these bargains!! There are 3 different categories: Hot Buys (they’re available every day during the event), Beauty Steals (those are only on sale for one specific day only) and the Buy-Three-Get-One-Free Travel Minis Sale (pretty self-explanatory).
If you’re a Platinum or Diamond Perks member, these Beauty Steals ship free through April 7th. It’s three weeks of beauty junkie heaven, so let’s take a look at my picks!!
These products go on sale for one day, and one day only, at 50% off the regular price. Some products are available in store and online, some are online only deals.
March 18 Lorac Pro Palette 3 $22 (online only)
Of all the Pro Palettes, this one is my favorite in terms of color selection. The longevity has some hits and misses, but at this price point it’s definitely worth grabbing!
March 21 Persona Identity Palette $16 (online only)
I have this palette and reach for it all the time. The colors were designed for brown eyes but great on everyone since they’re a warm-ish neutral selection.
First Aid Beauty Love Your FAB Skin $22 (online)
This is a 5-piece set that includes their cleanser, radiance pads, moisturizer, lip therapy and intensive peel. If you’ve ever wanted to try the line, you can’t beat this price!
Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara $13.75
I have loved each and every Lancome mascara I’ve ever tried. Don’t pass up an opportunity to get one at 50% off!
March 30-Happy Birthday to Me! Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Peel Pads $22.50
IF I could still use glycolic acid without breaking out, I would get this in a heartbeat. These pads also contain salicylic and lactic acids, along with a whole bunch of good-for-your-skin stuff.
March 31 Anastasia Brow Wiz $10.50
I’ll be honest-the spoolie always breaks off for me. But-at $10.50, it’s worth it-drugstore pencils cost the same and aren’t as good!
Welcome to a brand new year! Before we dive into 2018 and explore all the new stuff coming our way, I’d like to take a look back at 2017 and go over what were the standouts from last year. This post is all about beauty (and haircare and skincare), which will be followed by two more Best of 2017 posts/videos, so be sure you’re subscribed to the blog and my YouTube channel so you don’t miss a thing! All right, let’s break these down into categories, starting with makeup in the order in which I apply it, then hair care and skincare.
While a tried out quite a few new foundations this year, three really stood out as favorites this last year, and one has been an ongoing favorite for some time now. I should start off by saying that I have dry skin, a bit sensitive, and I prefer foundations that add a “glow from within”, not exactly dewy or glittery. The first favorite is the Shiseido Synchro Skin Glow Foundation. I love that they have a shade range that includes three different undertones-golden, rose, or neutral. I wear it in the shade N1 in the winter and N2 in the summer. It has a medium coverage, satiny finish, and it lasts a good 10 hours on my face. My next foundation pick is from the drugstore. It’s the Maybelline Dream Cushion Foundation and I wear it in the shade 10 in winter and 15 or 20 in summer. Even though it’s a cushion foundation, I use a brush to apply it. I just dip my brush directly onto the cushion and then stipple/blend onto my face. The Maybelline Dream Cushion doesn’t have the best longevity for me-maybe 6-8 hours of wear time-but it does have the most beautiful satin/radiant finish. I look well-rested and almost radiant, but not shiny. If you find that you’re running out of product, just reach into the compact and flip the sponge over. It’s almost like a brand new package after that! My last pick is not new to 2017, but it’s my most-worn foundation of the year. It’s the It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream, and I could write a whole blog post just about this foundation. First of all, it’s not really a CC cream. It really wears like a medium to full coverage foundation. I wear it in the shade Fair in winter and Light in summer, it is so moisturizing and leaves my skin looking absolutely perfect. The coverage is so great that I almost don’t need to wear concealer! And the added SPF 50 makes this a winner all year round. Finally, I love mixing it with other foundation that I find are lacking in one way or another-it makes other foundations behave so well! I need to also mention my two favorite tools I use to apply foundation, and they’re both from It Cosmetics. The first is the It Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Flat Top Buffing Foundation Brush. The only negative thing I have to say about it is that the name is too long! It gives a beautiful, smooth application to any liquid foundation. The other is exclusive to Ulta and it’s the Airbrush Complexion Perfection Brush. It’s a little bit softer than the first one, has an angled head and is half the price, so if you can only get one I’d recommend this one.
I use concealer for two different purposes-one to brighten my undereye area and one to cover blemishes. For undereyes, the standout is the Urban Decay All Nighter Concealer. I wear it in the shade Fair Neutral. If you want something that has the coverage of the Tarte Shape Tape but is a little lighter in how it goes on, you’ll like this. For the record-I ALWAYS apply Mac Prep+Prime Highlighter Pen in Radiant Rose under ALL my undereye concealers to cancel out any darkness I have under my eyes. For blemishes, I have two that I like for 2017. My all-time favorite since December of 2016 is the Cle de Peau Beaute Concealer in the shade Ivory. It’s a stick concealer that covers so beautifully, blends so well, AND stays put, especially in humidity. If I’m wanting a more traditional liquid concealer that is a bit heavier, I reach for the Lancome Effacernes Waterproof Protective Undereye Concealer. Don’t let the name fool you-it works GREAT on blemishes too!!
This is a bit of a cheater category because I threw a few random picks in here. The only powder I’m recommending for 2017 is the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Pressed Powder. It is the most finely milled powder, so much so that it feels like nothing yet makes my skin look airbrushed (hence the name). It also doesn’t hurt that the packaging is just gorgeous!! The next 2017 Favorite just really didn’t fit anywhere, so I stuck it here. It’s the NYX 3 Steps to Sculpt in the shade Fair. This multi-use product can be used on the face and as eyeshadow. It’s a great all-in-one product that has been very much used this year. And finally, this next one sort of functions as a finishing step, so I put it in the “powder” category. It’s the Makeup Forever Mist & Fix Setting Spray. I find that this really does a great job of setting my makeup and the delivery system is excellent-it squirts out a very fine mist that doesn’t leave me sticky. I’ve gone through two of the travel sizes so far, so now I just need to suck it up and buy the full-sized option!
For me, there’s only one. Everything else pales (ha, ha) in comparison. My favorite bronzer for 2017 is the Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer. It’s not really a matte finish, but it’s not shiny at all-it’s actually the only satin bronzer I’ve ever seen. It applies evenly, and even though I’m heavy handed, I’ve never overdone it. On top of al that, it smells lovely. Just don’t grab it in the “light” shade unless you want to look like an Oompa Loompa.
I have two favorite highlighters, one from the drugstore and one from the department store, but they’re both very budget friendly. From the drugstore (ok, Walmart), it’s the Flower Beauty Shimmer & Strobe Highlighting Palette. This palette contains three of the most buttery soft, pigmented, in your face highlighters. This is not for those that are looking for subtle. It has a golden shade, a pink shade and a champagne shade. If you don’t already have this, you NEED to try it! The second pick for this category is any Jouer Powder Highlighter, although I’m partial to the shade Skinny Dip. If you like the Becca highlighters you’ll love these, and the price point is a LOT more budget friendly! Plus they have a bunch of color options.
The drugstore products carried this category. Again, Flower Beauty is putting out some great products, and their Flower Pot Blushes, primarily in Warm Hibiscus and Sweet Pea, are some of the best. Aside from the elegant packaging, the creaminess, pigmentation, wearability and blendability (that’s now a word) are better than most high-end blushes. If you’re looking for a drugstore dupe for Nars Orgasm, give Warm Hibiscus a try. If you’d prefer a matte pink, then Sweet Pea is for you. Another great brand that puts out dependable, fabulous products is Physicians Formula. I’m a huge fan of the Butter products, especially their blushes. I only have two out of the four, but I’d like to round out my collection soon. I currently have Natural Glow and Plum Rose, both of which are very subtle yet glowy. Neither of these shades are too pigmented, and you can’t go overboard with them. I can’t recommend the Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Blushes enough. Finally, even though it’s relatively new to me, I know I’m going to continue to use and love the Milani Color Harmony Blush Palettes. I have one in Berry Rays, but I’d really like to get them all! Again, these are soft, glowy, pastel type blushes. I definitely have a particular kind of blush that I like and I tend to stick with it!
EYE PRIMER & BROWS
I’m squeezing all three of my recommendations for these two categories into one for the sake of space. My all-time favorite eyeshadow primer is not fancy, it’s about $2 and it blows away the competitors. It’s the Wet n Wild Photofocus Eyeshadow Primer and it does everything I need it to do. It provides a smooth canvas for my eyeshadows while also covering up the veins and uneven skin tone on my lids. For brows, it’s a two-step process. First, I fill in my brows with the Benefit Precisely My Brow Pencil in the shade 02. I have blonde hair but dark brows and this shade marries the two perfectly. Then I groom them into place (and lighten them a bit) with the NYX Brow Mascara in Blonde. It doesn’t leave my brows crunchy, washes out easily and yet it holds them in place all day.
I have three palettes to recommend, all drugstore, and then two stand alone products that are well worth the splurge. First is another pick from Flower Beauty, and it’s the Golden Natural Palette. This palette contains 10 warm, neutral/natural shades in a mix of shimmers and mattes. The shadows are buttery soft, pigmented, and blend nicely. If you’re more of a cool-toned shadow person, they have one of those, too! Then there’s the collaboration palette from BH Cosmetics-the BH x BubzBeauty palette. Again it’s a mix of shimmer and mattes, warm toned, neutral colors, with a few outliers thrown in. All of them are wearable shades and the palette is my go-to for traveling. The last palette is all matte-it will serve as a great companion piece to anything else you want to throw on your lids. It’s the Makeup Revolution Ultra Eye Contour palette and it’s a great dupe for both the Tarte Clay Shaping Palette and the Kat Von D Shade and Light palette, but at a much lower price point and more wearable (in my opinion) than the Tarte offering. From the department store, my most reached for eye product was the Chanel Illusion D’Ombre Longwear Cream Eyeshadow, specifically in the shade Convoitise. It adds the most beautiful pale gold sheen to the lids, and can be worn alone or on top of any eyeshadow primer (or under it for that matter). I can’t live without it and plan on picking up more shades in 2018. Finally, if you’ve always wanted to wear glitter eyeshadow but were afraid of the application process and the fall out, then give the Stila Glitter and Glow Liquid Eyeshadows a try. They are truly a grown-up’s version of glitter eyeshadow and are stunningly beautiful, yet SO easy to slap on!
I love brown eyeliner. That’s pretty much the only color I wear. So here are my three picks for best eyeliners of 2017. For the traditional, must be sharpened, true pencil, I have the Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Eyeliner in Burgundy Suede, and the CoverGirl Queen Vivid Impact Eyeliner in Truffle. Besides having a ridiculously long name in common, they’re both creamy, glide on effortlessly, and are very long-wearing. My third pick is also in pencil form and also has a very long name, but it’s self-sharpening, meaning you just twist it up to get more product out. It’s a relative newcomer to my makeup game since I just started using it in December, but it’s quite an impressive little eyeliner and I can’t wait to explore other colors from this range. It’s the Marc Jacobs Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner in Earth(quake). This eyeliner is essentially a gel eyeliner compressed into a pencil form, and truly different from any other formula I’ve tried. I have to include my favorite makeup pencil sharpener in this category-it’s also great for lipliners or any kind of makeup pencil. It’s the Urban Decay Grindhouse Sharpener, and at $10 with two different sized openings, you must have it. I’ve had mine for years and nothing else is as effective-plus it holds the shavings in place so there’s no mess!
The Givenchy Base Mascara Perfecto is really just a complicated way of saying Lash Primer, and this pale pink mascara primer is fantastic! It separates my lashes, thickens and defines my non-existent bottom lashes, and gives my favorite mascara something to cling to. Plus the packaging is adorable! The mascara that rose to the top for 2017 is the Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara. I want a mascara to give me longer, fuller, black lashes, and this one does all that without flaking, clumping, smudging, from the moment I open a new tube to 3 months later. I love it
Two brands stood out for me last year. One is an old fave and one I just started exploring this year. The first two offerings are from Estee Lauder. First is the Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick in Impulsive. It’s the most perfect, wearable everyday warm pink, and I’d say it’s a satin finish. I love the magnetic top-it will never pop off in your handbag! The next one is the Estee Lauder Pure Color Love Lipstick in the shade Crazy Beautiful. The name describes it perfectly-it’s another great everyday pink in a more muted, your lips but better shade, and the finish has a bit of gloss to it. The next two are both new to me this year and from Charlotte Tilbury. The first is the Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G. Lipstick in Bitch Perfect, which is a warm, pinky-nude. The other is the Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips Lipstick in Secret Salma, which I’d describe as a demi-matte muted everyday raspberry shade. I have it on in the picture above and in the video.
The main focus of my skincare in 2017 was to minimize occasional spots and to even out my complexion/skin tone. There were three new products that I added to my routine in 2017 that really helped with that. The first was the Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Regenerating Cream. I first started using it in January for a sponsored video and then it soon became a favorite. I immediately noticed an improvement in my skin tone, brightness, and less acne breakouts. I’m guessing that’s because of the retinol in it. I then added their Light Therapy Acne Spot Treatment to my anti-acne arsenal. It’s like a little light wand that emits two different color lights to reduce inflammation and kill bacteria on a specific blemish. It really is a game changer! Toward the end of the year I added the SK-II Facial Essence. It’s not inexpensive (major understatement) but the changes to my skin are even easily apparent to my husband, who has now thought numerous times that I’m wearing foundation and concealer when I’m not! If you want to save some money, you can order it online from Costco if you’re a member. You’ll save $100![show_shopthepost_widget id=”2972526″]
This was the year I chopped off quite a bit of my hair and changed up the way I style it. There are two styling tools I can’t live without and I picked them both up in the last half of the year. The first was the T3 Whirl Trio Styling Wand. It’s a wand base that comes with three interchangeable styling wands, plus you can buy more in different sizes, with or without a traditional clamp. I’m definitely going to buy more wands in 2018 so that when I travel, all I need to do is take the base and a few wands instead of two or three separate tools. The other tool is the Paul Mitchell Neuro Styling Iron, which was highly recommended by my hair stylist. It’s a flat iron that straightens my hair in one pass and leaves it so shiny and smooth. You HAVE to try it! The last product I absolutely loved in 2016, 2017, and will carry on into 2018 is the Aveda Shampure Dry Shampoo. There will never be another dry shampoo for me. It gives volume to clean hair and actually soaks up the oil on dirty hair. And it smells amazing!
If you’d like to hear (and see) even more about everything I’ve mentioned in this Best of Beauty post, please have a look at the video, too!
Best of Beauty, Skincare & Haircare for 2017 | MsGoldgirl - YouTube
One of the hazards of doing what I do for a living is that I often get sucked into the trap of wanting to use the latest, prettiest, most innovative new makeup products, but there is a set list of products that I really don’t deviate from using on a daily basis. I like to call them my Everyday Makeup Heroes because they do what they’re supposed to do, they’re incredibly dependable, and they don’t really change from look to look. I’ll obviously rotate eyeshadows, lipsticks and blushes, but these foundations, concealers, powders, brushes, eyeliners and the like are out on my makeup counter every morning. I have a selection from the drugstore to the department store. They’ve been repurchased over and over, dragged across the world on my travels, and frankly never get the recognition they deserve. Scroll down to see the full list (click on any product name to open a new window to shop) or keep scrolling to look at pictures of all of them. To hear me gush and rave, watch the video HERE.
I don’t feel like there are as many options from the Beauty Department during this sale, but the ones I have picked are definitely worth picking up if you have holes in your makeup collection! There are some great options for skincare, mens grooming, hair products and even some of my favorite hair tools at extremely low prices! I’ve listed the sale price first, and then what the price will be after the sale, or the value if it’s a limited edition release. If there’s no “after” price, it’s because these are limited-edition releases for the Anniversary Sale, and once they’re sold out, they’re gone!
I have been doing this monthly series for awhile now (you can watch the whole playlist of videos HERE) and I really look forward to making them. It’s always fun to share my new favorites with you each month, but it’s very satisfying to virtually travel back 4 years in time to revisit what I was loving then and if those products have stood the test of time! This month we’re taking a look back at March 2013 Favorites, which is a significant month because that’s the month I turned the big 4-0!
So what’s changed and what’s still around? You’ll have to watch the video to find out, but I can tell you that the blouse I’m wearing on the left is still in my closet! I got it at Loft and it still looks brand new! Obviously they are no longer carrying that exact top, but if you’re looking to spruce up your spring wardrobe I’d definitely take a peek at what’s in store at Loft! They’re constantly having some sort of sale, and I think they have some really cute pieces in stock right now. Here are a few items that are sitting in my online shopping cart:
So, please go watch today’s video to see what’s still around from 4 years ago, and let me know what you think! Any favorites of yours still in use after 4 years? Were you around for the original video in March 2013? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
Where Are They Now? March 2013 Faves | MsGoldgirl - YouTube
I’m a beauty junkie, and I love high-end products, but I’ll always have a soft spot for anything I can pick up from the drugstore. I love the immediate gratification of getting it right then and there, and I love that while there’s always an emotional investment, there’s not much of a financial one! I’m also thankful for online options like Ulta and Amazon, which help save me time (and gas!!) when I’m searching for that elusive must have product!
This last month I’ve hauled quite a few new goodies from the drugstore category, and I shared my favorites in a YouTube video this morning. You can watch the video by either clicking on the picture above or below this line, or by clicking HERE.
Let me start off this post by stating the obvious-I am NOT a makeup artist. However, I’ve been doing my makeup for awhile, and I’ve been doing it on camera in front of a lot of people for almost 7 years now, so I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks along the way. I started a video series on my YouTube channel focusing on how I apply my makeup for specific areas of the face. The first video in the series was on how I apply undereye concealer and if you missed it have a watch HERE. Today, we’re going to talk about how I apply mascara and the tips and trick I use to make my real lashes look as long, thick, and dark as I can without using false lashes.
Before we get into the step-by-step process, I do have to add that while I don’t use false lashes or have lash extensions, I have been using RapidLash Eyelash Serum since the fall and it really works. I started off by applying it every night before bed and starting seeing results after 4 weeks. At this point I remember to use it 2-3 times a week just to maintain what I have. At $45 a tube (I’m still on the original tube) I’m very pleased with the cost, the effectiveness, and how long one tube lasts!! Here’s what my “natural”, no mascara on lashes look like: Now let’s get on to the application of mascara! I highly recommend using a spoolie to separate lashes and “brush out” any tangles as the first step in the mascara process. We brush out our regular hair before styling, why not our lashes? This will also help remove any shadow or foundation that is still sticking to your lashes. Next step is to curl your lashes. Do NOT do this after mascara-it will pull out your lashes. I have also been told by several pros that it’s best to just squeeze it and hold it in place for 10 seconds instead of pumping it open and closed a few times. The object here is to curl your lashes up and out to open up your eyes and make them look bigger. I’ve been using this one by Shu Uemura for years and I love it! If you’re worried about mascara getting on your undereye area, sweep some loose powder underneath your eyes with a fluffy brush. If you get any mascara down there, it will stick to the powder and not your skin, which you can then whisk away. Now we come to the sneaky part. This was LIFE-CHANGING for me!! We’re ready for mascara, but it is important to put it on in a specific order AND to hold your head in a certain way. You should always start with your lower lashes. This will avoid smudging on your upper lashes–and will make sense as you keep reading. So get your favorite mascara (I’m using Lancome Grandiose here) and TILT YOUR CHIN DOWN TOWARD YOUR CHEST. This is key!! The act of tilting your head downward forces your lower lashes to lift up and away from your face, which minimizes the chances of you getting mascara on your undereyes. How you hold the wand is up to you, but it is definitely easier to hold it horizontally. Do both eyes, and now we’re ready to move on to the upper lashes. I am exaggerating the position here, but to apply mascara to your top lashes, you do the reverse–tilt your head up and back. Can you see how my eye are open wide buy my top lashes can’t get anywhere near my brow bone? Again, this minimizes the opportunity for your mascara to get all over your eyelids and freshly done eye makeup! This is a little more realistic-and you can see that my upper lashes are no where near my lids. Earrings | Lipstick
I have always wanted to try the Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, since it has a cult-like following on the Internet. But I could never get the right shade match for me (everything skewed too yellow). So when Armani Beauty recently released the new Power Fabric Foundation, and I heard that they had new shades, I had to try it. I was a little hesitant to splash out $64 on a full bottle before I knew how it would work on me, so I headed over to Nordstrom to get shade matched and get some samples to try at home. The friendly sales associate gave me two generous samples, each size enough for 2-4 wears, and off I went.
Before I tell you how it worked out, let me tell you a little bit about my skin, because what works well (or doesn’t) for me may be very different for you. First of all, my skin is older. It, along with the rest of me, will be 44 years old at the end of March. So I’m definitely in the mature skin camp. I have dry, somewhat sensitive skin, and while it’s older, I don’t have a crazy amount of lines but I do have my share around my eyes, nose, and forehead. I generally prefer a satin finish, medium coverage foundation, and while it doesn’t have to be long-wearing, it does need to stay on for 10-12 hours. I do not have the time or patience to fuss with my makeup after I put it on.
Now some information about the Giorgio Armani Beauty Power Fabric Foundation. It’s $64 for 1.01 fluid ounces and comes in 20 shades and has SPF 25. Armani says it’s a velvet-matte finish with full coverage that should wear up to 16 hours. They recommend applying a small amount with a blender brush for best results.
The above pictures show me first with a bare face, then with just the foundation on, and then finally with a full face of makeup. Here’s the bare face in full frame so you can see what I’m starting with:
I haven’t done any editing to the picture-I just literally took a screenshot from the video review I filmed on the foundation. As you can see, I have lots of freckles on my cheeks (which I like), a few lines around my eyes and mouth, and some redness on my chin. Overall, I’m very pleased with the condition of my skin and I wouldn’t use a full-coverage foundation.
Here are I am after applying two layers (they recommend building up the coverage) with an It Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Flat Top Buffing Foundation Brush. I also tapped a little extra underneath my eyes as an undereye concealer, since Armani markets the foundation as being able to do double-duty as an undereye concealer when mixed with a brightening liquid. I went a little crazy with the brush and got it al over my eyebrows and lips. You can see that it made almost all of my freckles go away, and it covered all the redness on my chin. The shade I used was #2 and I think it matched up with my body perfectly.
And now it’s 10(ish) hours later…and from a distance it looks pretty good! Some of my bronzer has worn off and my hair didn’t make it all day, but the foundation looks pretty good, right? WRONG! It’s very patchy across my upper lip, and it’s definitely settled into my forehead lines. What the heck is going on with my nose? Look at how dry and flaky it is!! This area was not good either. Granted, I did layer on extra concealer, so that’s not going to help, but I look like I could be cast in The Mummy AS The Mummy-there are some serious wrinkles going on under my eyes, next to my eyes and even onto my cheeks! This picture didn’t turn out as well as I’d hope, but I’m hoping you can still see the dry patches on my chin and nose.
FINAL THOUGHTS So I think it’s fairly obvious how I feel about this foundation, at least for someone with my kind of skin, but let me break it down for you. Armani says this foundation is suitable for all skin types. I’m going to have to disagree with that. It also says it’s buildable to full coverage. I’d agree with that, as long as you don’t have dry skin-otherwise you’re going to have dry, cakey, flakey skin at the end of the day. It’s recommended to use as an undereye concealer, but I would advise sticking with your favorite dedicated concealer for that job.
Even though this did not work for me (and I tried it TWICE), I DO think it will work for a large group of people-those with combination to oily skin. Long-wearing foundations in general just don’t work well with dry skin types, and I think we can see why in the above pictures. But if you have normal, combo, or oily skin, this may be your new hero foundation. Even for me, at the end of the night, it still photographed beautifully as long as you didn’t get too close up. So I can imagine with a different skin type it would look gorgeous. And with SPF 25 AND 20 shades to choose from, I think you get a lot of bang for your buck.
I’ve been playing with a few new undereye concealers over the last month or so, and I definitely have a clear favorite. But before I delve into which one made the cut, I want to go into how and why I use concealers. It seems a little complicated, but to me, if the “foundation” of your makeup, i.e., your skin, isn’t right, then it doesn’t matter what you put on top of it. So it’s worth it to me to spend a little more time (and money and effort) on the beginning steps in order to get the final effect I want. First of all, I use two different kinds of concealers-one for under my eyes, and one for blemishes on the rest of my face. The reason for this is that I want to brighten and/or highlight under my eyes, and I most definitely don’t want to do that to my blemishes! Also, the skin is different under my eyes-it’s drier and thinner than the skin on the rest of my face. So, two different concealers, and in this case, two different formulas and colors as well. I also do an extra step under my eyes. BEFORE I conceal, I correct. I ALWAYS pat in a layer of Mac Prep+Prime Highlighter in Radiant Rose, which is a peachy toned liquid, on the inner corners of my eyes where I get the most darkness. Once I’ve corrected the blue tones under my eyes with a corrector, then I conceal, or in this case brighten with an undereye concealer that’s a shade or two lighter than my skin tone. Since I’m very fair, it has always been a bit of a challenge to find a concealer that’s light enough to add that brightness!! And just to be clear, I put on my makeup in this order: moisturizer, eye cream, foundation, corrector, concealer, powder, contour, bronzer, highlighter, blush…then on to the eyes. But for the purposes of this post, I’m skipped the corrector so you can see how the concealers stack up when they’re working on their own!
I should also point out the type of skin I have, because everyone’s skin is different, and what works for me might not work for you. I have generally dry skin, and while it is considered “mature” (I’m almost 44), I’m pretty blessed as far as fine lines/wrinkles go. I have some, but not too bad under the eyes. So while this post is geared toward the “mature” lady, I think my findings can be helpful for any age range, if your skin type and what you’re looking for line up with me!
So here are the contenders…
First up is the Too Faced Born This Way Naturally Radiant Concealer. It comes in 10 shades and is priced at $28 for .23 ounces. It comes in a clear plastic tube with a doe foot applicator wand. The description on the Too Faced site says it contains hyaluronic acid and coconut water so it also has skincare properties, and it’s supposed to blur imperfections. I got it in the shade Very Fair. I didn’t even bother taking pictures of what it looks like under my eyes…I have it in the lightest shade and it still too dark. When I wore it I also found that it never really set and that it creased after a matter of hours. So this was a no go for me!
The next one I tried was the Mac Pro LongWear Concealer. It comes in 16 shades and is priced at $22 for .3 ounces. It is packaged in a clear glass container with a pump dispenser. It claims to be sweat proof and waterproof, which I did not test. I bought it in the shade NW15, which I think is too pink for me, and may be part of the problem. This was also not a total favorite, although it has potential. I’m really not a fan of the packaging. I know too many people who have dropped the container and had it shatter all over their bathroom floor. I also don’t care for the pump dispenser-too much product comes out and you really don’t need a lot to do the job. Also, it does a pretty good job of concealing, but I don’t think it blended well into my skin and foundation as well as I would have liked.
I think that once I get over the packaging issues and get a better shade match, I may end up loving this concealer, especially once the hot Texas summer kicks in…somewhere around mid-March!
The last one I tried, and the clear favorite for me, is the Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer. It comes in 14 shades and is priced at $24 for .34 ounces. It’s packaged in a clear plastic tube with a large doe foot applicator. I got it in the shade Fair. The reason it was the last one to be tried is because it is REALLY hard to find. It’s carried in stores at Ulta, but unless you are a deeper skin tone, they never have it in stock. I have had luck lately finding it online at Tarte Cosmetics, and you can also find it online at Ulta, QVC, ShopSpring, but it’s not always in stock there either. Here are my reasons for this one being the winner: It is the most pigmented, so it really covers any discoloration and darkness. It doesn’t crease, especially if you set it with powder, so that’s pretty important. It comes in a shade that’s actually lighter than my very pale skin, so it brightens too! Finally, despite how pigmented it is, it does NOT accentuate any wrinkles or fine lines. The key to working with the Shape Tape is to pat, pat, pat it in until it is completely blended into your skin. I use a combination of a kabuki concealer brush and my finger, but I think a slightly damp beauty blender would be a good option as well. I’ve also found that it works best if I set it with a powder, and I’ve been alternating between the Guerlain Meteorites and the yellow powder from the e.l.f. contour palette. There’s no rhyme or reason for why-just whatever I feel like!
I know I’ve bombarded you with a lot of words, so here are some pictures to show you what they look like compared to one another! First, let’s have a look at me without any concealer on at all-although I am wearing foundation and eye makeup. Earrings | Shirt
I’m not sure what’s going on with my facial expression, but in the picture above I’m wearing Tarte Shape Tape on the right. I think my skin looks flawless, and we can see in the first picture that it’s not!
Here I am with both concealers on, and I think you can see that the Mac Pro LongWear isn’t blended as well with the rest of makeup, and it’s not for lack of trying!
A very wise viewer over on my YouTube channel commented that while she enjoyed watching the six different videos running through my favorites from the previous year, she would really like to have everything listed in one place for future reference. As someone who likes lists, I thought it was a brilliant idea, so here it is, all in one place, my Best of 2016: beauty products, clothing,accessories, lifestyle products, random beauty and viewer favorites, all here in one post. I’m going to dispense with the cute pics and just list them by category for you. If the item is no longer in stock, I will try to link it to a product that looks very, very similar AND is from the same retailer AND the same price point. I’ve also linked to the original blog posts (click on the heading) if you want to go back and “see” the products mentioned.