Do you ever go through a phase where all you want to do is buy or research (insert item here)? I have gone through many phases that have become true interests like vintage clothing, decorating, and genealogy. After the initial phase slowed, I still had an interest. But one phase that never died is my love of all things beauty!
I realized last week that I am the ‘go to’ person for most of my friends and family when it comes to finding certain products. SJ asks me, DH asks, friends and even co-workers ask me my thoughts on makeup, hair etc. I guess it’s pretty obvious that I’m into that sort of thing. I started reading Vogue at 13 and was the girl who could watch the Oscars and know what designer the actresses were wearing before they were asked. Yeah, I’m a geek like that.
Liz and Dick at the Oscars, above. They’ve always been one of my fave Hollywood couples.
Which leads me to my post for today. I thought I would do a little series on my staple items. When I say staple I mean my ‘go to’ items. Things that I will rarely stray from. It took my a long time to figure out what will work for me and my skin. So for me to even consider trying something new, I have to read tons of raves for it. (Note: these are really the products that I use every day on my face. No one paid me for these comments—I’m telling you the whole truth!)
Today I’ll just focus on my all time fave products for face: primer, foundation, concealer, etc. Next time I update this series I will do another product group.
So let’s take it away…..
Some background: I have super annoying skin. It’s finicky and likes to annoy me. I had acne as a teen and I’m still fighting it today. I never thought I would be this old fighting oily skin! I also have rosacea and battle redness daily as well. If I don’t cover it, people usually ask me if I am sick because my nose looks red! I would love to have the rosacea treated with a laser but am put off by the cost (unless any Pittsburghers know a reputable place that is reasonable!). But I have found some products that help me look presentable enough to have gotten compliments on my skin.
First thing for me in my routine (and I do have one which DH makes fun of) is primer. I never really understood the need for primer until I tried it. I’ve tried quite a few and my faves are LORAC aquaPRIME and Bare Escentuals Prime Time Oil Control. I like both of these equally, but the LORAC is more expensive. Both of these primers are silicon free, which is really important to know if the silicon fillers in most primers and/or foundations make you break out. I found that out the hard way when I tried a new Revlon foundation on our vacation last year and broke out in little zits all over my forehead! EW. Anyway—aquaPRIME’s consistency is very water like and cool on the face, while the Prime Time’s is a bit thicker. Both of them do a great job of filling in pores and helping to keep skin matte (at least for a little while).
After I let the primer settle in, it’s time for under eye concealer. I never realized how hard it is to find a great concealer for under your eyes. One that doesn’t look cakey or crepey. I had tried several, including some really expensive high end ones, but none worked. When I was at Target a few years ago I randomly picked up Neutrogena’s 3-in-1 Concealer for eyes. Very impressive for a drug store concealer! This has SPF and eye cream rolled into the concealer. I just pat this under my eyes lightly and it covers beautifully with no caking. Seems to last forever too. I’ve had my current tube for at least a year!
Then it’s on to the rest of my face. As I said, I have redness on both my cheeks and my nose from rosacea so I need a little bit more coverage to even out my skin tone. Enter Kevyn Aucoin’s Sensual Skin Enhancer. I would consider this one of my ‘holy grail’ products and would NEVER be without it. It gives AMAZING coverage and you only need a teeny bit. I’ve had my little pot for well over 5 years and I’ve not even hit the bottom of the jar yet. You really only need a speck of this to cover almost your entire face. And it lasts all day long without changing color or sliding off of my oily skin. Plus, if you are having a bad skin day (as we all do), you can layer this to get more coverage. The price may seem high but how many products can you say last more than 5 years? Probably none. Kevyn Aucoin was a genius and still cannot believe he is gone. For more info, please stop by my fellow blogger Daena’s site brightly colored person and her post on the SSE here. She includes some great pics as well!
Are you still with me? I guess DH is right, this is a long process. But Dolly Parton did say in Steel Magnolias “It takes a lot of effort to look like this!”
Sadly, my next all time fave product has been discontinued. *sad face* Aromaleigh used to make this powder (actually marketed as an eye shadow) that was out of this world for concealing redness. The shade was called flaxen and I have used it for 10 years. Unfortunately the owner ending up selling her business (miss you Miss K!) and Flaxen was not brought back. Before it sold out I was able to get my hands on five little pots of it and I’m down to my last pot. If you’ve ever used minerals, you will know that their lasting power is second to none. It just doesn’t move from your face! I will shake a little of the Flaxen into the lid and apply with a taklon concealer brush to the redder areas of my face. The yellow helps to cancel out the red. I know green is supposed to as well, but I tried that and DH told me I looked like I was trying to attract Frankenstein! Not a good look. Since I’m down to my last pot I have started scouting out other replacements. The top of my list to try is Meow Cosmetics Color Corrective Concealer (pic below). This looks the closest to Flaxen plus I really dig their site and know some online friends who love them. I will have to start out with a sample to make sure my skin agrees!
Okay---last step for now. After all of this comes the actual foundation. I have been a minerals convert for many years now. Even before they became such a rage with cosmetics companies. My finicky skin really seems to love minerals so therefore I love you too minerals! I have tried a few brands. Bare Escentuals (which Salsa Judy really likes) but has bismuth as an ingredient and made my pores look huge and made me too shiny. No thank you! Also tried MAC Mineralize which I still use on occasion. But my winner winner chicken dinner is Lucy Minerals Oil Control foundation. I read about this on a message board I frequent (waves to Blingers!) and ordered a sample to test out. The thing that struck me is that the owner Annie is also a rosacea sufferer like me. She showed pics on her site of her without her minerals (she has more redness than I do) and then with her minerals. The coverage is astonishing! Once I got some to try out I have to agree. The coverage is outstanding. I just shake a little bit into the lid and apply with a taklon kabuki brush as pictured above. Then I buff into my skin until I feel it’s blended seamlessly. I only have to touch up to blot the oilies away with my Clean N Clear blotting sheets. Otherwise the makeup stays put. Annie also uses antioxidants in her minerals, which you can read more about on her site. She always has a special going on as well.
The next part in this series I’ll do fave eye makeup, which could even be longer!
Thanks for reading and feel free to let me know what your fave products are or if you have any secrets for covering redness!
I will be back soon with a post on another wine dinner at Casa Narcisi. This time with pics!!!