The Latest Favourites

The Latest Favourites

It's been quite a while since I have been really excited about beauty products but after a recent clear out I fancied picking up a few new bits. A new foundation was top of my list and somehow buying one opened the floodgates! A new fragrance & beautiful pressed powder found their way into my hands within 15 minutes.

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Benefit POREfessional Matte Rescue Primer

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Benefit POREfessional Matte Rescue

As someone who suffers with more than just a little shine and skin problems in general, I have tried countless primers in my makeup wearing career. The result of all these tests & trials - I hate primers. The vast majority of them have thick, silicone-laden and slippery textures that do not agree with my skin at all. Amidst all that I was able to find a couple of primers that I love - they are weightless and make my foundation look and last longer. One of those is the new Benefit POREfessional Matte Rescue. 

Just in case you are wondering the other is the Clarins Beauty Flash Balm (not technically a primer but I'll write more about it another time).

Back to the Matte Rescue. The product is basically a very lightweight, water-based gel that takes care of shine and helps absorb excess surface oil, leaving a natural-looking finish. What I love about the product is that it doesn't feel like a mask on the skin, it sinks in very quickly and leaves the skin fresh and even. I swear, if you touch your skin you can't even feel it's there!

Benefit POREfessional Matte Rescue

It gives a blurring effect and makes pores visibly less apparent (but wouldn't be as dramatic as the original POREfessional - which I really like). The Matte Rescue has added a good few hours to the lifetime of my foundation, something I have always struggled with. I get a good 7-8 hours of decent looking foundation which seems like a miracle (pre this discovery it was more like 2-3 hours)!

I used to be a very occasional primer wearer as I found most primers clogged up my skin and felt really gross after a little while. Buy ever since I got the Matte Rescue I've been wearing it every day under my foundation and I absolutely love it! It hasn't broken me out or affected the condition of my skin in any way.

If you are not a fan of traditional primers and need a little help in the shine department I highly recommend you try it at one of the Benefit counters.

The POREfessional Matte Rescue is €31 and available from all Benefit counters

What is your holy grail foundation primer?

Alex Signature

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That Summer Base

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That Summer Base

Just like most women I am very picky when it comes to my foundation. Even though my skin is far from perfect (I get hormonal breakouts around my chin and jawline) I hate bases that are too heavy and cakey. Foundations that visibly sit on top of my skin are not my thing. I do use slightly higher coverage foundations in winter, but in summer I go for the lightest bases that give me a natural glow.

The trick to using sheer bases when you have a good few imperfections to cover up is to use a very good, high coverage concealer on the blemishes - this way you cover what you need without camouflaging your entire face (more about this soon).

That Summer Base

At the moment I am using two products that get me that glowy, fresh-faced skin: the Omorovicza Complexion Enhancer and MAC Face & Body Foundation.

Omorovicza is a luxury brand and the Complexion Enhancer is a complete splurge at approx. €90 (available in Space NK). It can be used completely on its own as a very sheer, natural base but I like using a very thin layer under my foundation, as a make-up / skincare hybrid. It gives my skin that extra bit of glow without actually making it darker. It also provides hydration and blurs our minor imperfections and fine lines. If Omorovicza is not within your budget there are tons of great lightweight skin enhancers that would do just as lovely a job, the Bourjois Bronzing BB Cream would be a great substitute here!

That Summer Base

My other favourite product is the MAC Face & Body foundation. It's not everyone's cup of tea - the texture is a mix between liquid and gel and doesn't feel like any of your other foundations. It really is worth trying as it is super long lasting (in fact it's waterproof, which makes it perfect for summer) but still gives a very sheer and glowing coverage. It can be built up a good bit but I love just a thin layer worked in with my fingers for a natural effect. I love that the texture of the skin still shows through this foundation making the whole look very youthful and summery.

What are your favourite glow-inducing products? Let me know!

Alex Signature

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L'Oreal Lumi Magique Foundation

L'Oreal Lumi Magique Foundation

Everyone loves a bargain and for me finding a foundation I love that costs less than €40 is a double whammy in that department. I found it hard in the past to buy foundations on the highstreet (other than from Bourjois) that would be as good as the high end ones. My new find is the Lumi Magique foundation by L'Oreal, and frankly, I am surprised I haven't picked it up sooner as I have been using the Lumi Magique highlighting pen for ages!

The Lumi Magique foundation is medium to full coverage but still looks very natural (not too dewy and not too matte - just the way I like it!!) It is a foundation that makes you glow from within without the glitter ball face effect, once you blend it it's barely visible and doesn't sit on top of the skin. L'Oreal promises 12h "magical" hold on their website which in my case was more 5-6 hours but that's still good for my combination - oily skin. The rose gold packaging also helps!

L'Oreal Lumi Magique Foundation

I apply this foundation either with a buffing brush if I want the coverage to be quite high or, my preferred and newly discovered method, with a damp sponge which gives a lovely natural effect.

All in all this is my new favourite go-to foundation and I have gotten a lot of compliments on my skin when wearing it. So if you are on the hunt for a luminous but still quite perfecting foundation make sure to check this one out!

L'Oreal Lumi Magique Foundation costs €16.49 and is available in Boots.

What is your favourite highstreet foundation of the moment?

A. xx

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Bourjois Happy Light Foundation - A New Favourite

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Bourjois Happy Light FoundationI have a bit of a foundation addiction... I am of the opinion that a good foundation is essential to a perfect makeup look. And by good, I mean a foundation that is pretty much traceless and invisible on the skin, one that enhances the complexion without covering up absolutely everything (that is what concealers are for!). I have tried a ton of foundations in the recent months and the Bourjois Happy Light has shot up to the top of my favourite summer foundations EVER!

I know I always say this, but in my opinion Bourjois make the best highstreet foundations and are up there, if not better, than many of my high end ones! The Happy Light Foundation is a very lightweight and luminous base that melts into the skin seamlessly! I have inspected it it in a magnifying mirror and it is completely invisible on the skin. It provides a light to medium coverage and a beautiful, luminous finish. I have received a lot of compliments on my skin while wearing this foundation (including a day when I was suffering from a little bit of a hangover...). It has this magical ability of brightening your face without the dreaded disco ball effect.

Bourjois Happy Light Foundation

I myself have combination to oily skin and find that this foundation stays on reasonably well but you need to set it with powder, it is quite glowy. I tend to only use a light dusting of powder through the centre of my face as I love a bit of luminosity on my cheeks. I need to reapply a bit of powder later in the day as I do get a small bit of shine, but in all honesty, that happens with all foundations so I don't mind.

The one thing to look out for with this product though is that the shades run quite dark, so if you are using a different Bourjois foundation, don't assume you will be the same shade in the Happy Light.

I am very impressed with this foundation and will be picking up the concealer from this range also! It is not the cheapest highstreet foundation but an amazing quality one! I highly recommend it if you are a fan of natural bases.

Bourjois Happy Light is €16.99 and available in Boots.

Have you ever tried this foundation? Let me know your thoughts!

A. xx

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Vichy Dermablend Launch Event

Vichy Dermablend EventI am sure you have all heard of the legendary high coverage foundation called Dermablend. It's been around for ages & has been very popular ever since it joined the Vichy brand. If you haven't yet seen the Zombie Boy / Dermablend video on youtube watch it now, it's incredible!

I have used the Vichy Dermablend Corrective Stick & Fluid Foundation as concealers for years, they are always in my professional make-up kit. I'm not going to get into a deep product review here (stay tuned for these) but it covers pretty much everything, from acne to black ink tattoos.

Here are some pics from yesterdays event where the amazing Irish make-up artist Zoë Clark was demonstrating the different uses & effects of the Dermablend range.

Covering Acne

Covering Tattoos

Dani has tattoos all down her arms and in the close up shot you can see that they have completely disappeared when Zoë used the Corrective Stick and Dermablend Powder! Any brides who want to cover tattoos for their weddings - you need these products! They're waterproof , transfer-proof & long lasting!

Covering Severe Redness / Veins

The event was lovely & very informative. Vichy have introduced us to a new addition to the Dermablend range: a waterproof, extreme coverage Corrective Body Foundation that will be available in May. We are testing the products and will be back with a detailed post shortly.

Have you ever used any of the Vichy Dermablend products? What are your thoughts?

A. xx

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The Casual Edit

The Casual Edit  The Casual Edit The Casual Edit The Casual EditOutfit:Gray T-shirt - H&M Blazer - Mango (old) Jeans - Topshop Boots - Dune

Accessories: Bag - Michael Kors (old) Watch - Michael Kors Necklace - New Look (old) Sunglasses - Reserved (old) Bracelets - Parfois (similar here and here)

Make-up: Revlon Colorburst Lacquer Balm in Vivacious (120) Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation in B10

A. xx

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The spotlight is on: Le Taint Touche Éclat Foundation by YSL

YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation

I have to admit, I was sceptical, to say the least, when I was buying this foundation. I have heard great things but as you may know already anything too luminous makes me look like a big grease ball very quickly – never a good look.

But curiosity took the better of me and I bought it. I’ve been wearing it for a good while now, have tested it with and without primers, for day wear and in the evening and…. I LOVE IT!!!! I have to say it is becoming a little bit of a favourite of mine and I have rarely used my other staples.

The foundation is a very liquid consistency and has a light texture, which I really like. The coverage is light to medium and you can build it a little bit. It has an SPF 19, which is amazing for every day but you might get a bit of flashback when you are photographed in the evening. Having said that I used it a couple of times on a night out and it looked fine in most photos. It is best applied with a flat foundation brush or fingers for a natural finish.

Another fantastic thing about this foundation is the finish it gives. It is an illuminating foundation and leaves you with the most amazing, healthy looking skin. It doesn’t contain any glittery particles in it so you will not end up with a  disco ball face, which is unfortunately what a lot of illuminating foundations do.

The foundation is on the pricy side at €38 but well worth every penny and I will be including the range in my professional kit. Added bonus – beautiful packaging!!!

A. xx

My favourite foundations for combination / oily skin

FoundationsAs you may know from other posts, I have a combination to oily skin with the unfortunate tendency to breakouts every now and then. My skin is very awkward, it’s quite oily through my forehead, temples and the sides of my nose but at the same time quite dry on my cheeks and chin.

Combination skin can be annoying because oil free, mat foundations are too drying for me (I am also not too keen on a completely mat look anyway) and moist, dewy foundations leave my skin too oily and the makeup doesn’t last.

After years of testing and trying of different formulae, consistencies and ingredient combinations I came up with a fairly big collection of foundations that are a really good match for my skin. There are two reasons why I have several foundations (actually I have more than the below in my private collection but these are the ones I use on a regular, day-to-day basis):

  • I am obsessed with makeup and can’t resist buying lots of products.
  • My skin changes during the week / month, depending on temperature, moisture in the air, stress and hormone levels, etc.
  • Depending on the make-up look I'm after I will go for a different finish / coverage foundation

So, without further ado, let’s look at the foundations:

1. Vitalumiere Aqua, ca.€40

This is probably my favourite foundation that I tend to use most often for day makeup. It has a velvet finish, so it isn't really dewy but also doesn't give you a tight feeling mat skin. It has medium (buildable) coverage and looks very natural on the skin. Love this one! The only down side to these I can think of is that the lightest shade is not really that light... Otherwise really worth the money!

2. llamasqua Skin Base Foundation, approx. €33

This is a great foundation if you are looking for a good coverage without the mask effect. It sits beautifully on the skin if you use a stippling or buffing brush to apply it. I have tested with a lot of brushes and it doesn't work very well with a flat foundation brush, it sits on top of the skin and looks cakey. It has a medium to full coverage with a very perfect finish. With this one remember: a little goes a long, long, long way!

3. MUFE HD Foundation, approx. €39.50

This is a beautiful foundation, it leaves your face looking very perfect but still fresh and luminous. It is amazing for special occasion makeup, where you know you will be photographed a lot as it doesn't have any SPF in it (if you are using it during the day make sure your moisturizer has sun protection built in!!!). I think MUFE recommend to put this on with a regular foundation brush but I find it looks better when it's buffed in with a stippling brush.

4. Chanel Vitalumier Aqua Compact, approx. €40

This one is the sister of the Vitalumier Aqua liquid foundation. I love it for make-up on the go and touch ups during the day. It has slightly more coverage than the liquid version and I tend to use it with my fingers. Can also be used as concealer in an emergency. I couldn't be without it!

5. Nars Sheer Glow, approx. €40

This is a relatively new discovery for me but so far I am in love! The name of the foundation is a bit deceiving - it is neither sheer nor glowy! It has a velvety finish and medium coverage that can be built up. It looks amazing on the skin, it gives you the most perfect and healthy looking skin. This one also doesn't have an SPF and photographs very well. The colour range of this foundation is fantastic!

6. Clinique Anti Blemish Foundation, approx.€30

This is my go to foundation for the days when my skin breaks out. It has a velvet to mat texture and quite good coverage but is not cakey, you can thin it out on the edges of your face for a more natural look. This foundation contains salicylic acid  (the magic ingredient for acne prone skin) as well as other skin clearing ingredients. A life saver!

What are your favourites? Would love to try out some of your recommedations!

A.