What's On My Face Today

It's been a month since I last posted! Sorry about that - I've been going through some health issues that have taken up a lot of time and energy. It looks like I have a lot of catching up to do! (I have been updating a little more frequently on Instagram, so be sure and follow me at @lipstickpanic.)


  • Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick in Vanilla: I finally got this in a shade that works a little better with my summer complexion - just as the cool weather is finally starting to roll in! I've had the same experience with a couple of foundations this year: It used to be that I could just buy the fairest shade in a range and not have to think about it. Now that companies are broadening their shade ranges (which is a great thing!) it looks like they are also adding one or two shades on the lighter side of the spectrum as well, so I need to be more diligent about testing rather than just assume a fair shade will work for me.
  • Givenchy Prisme Libre Loose Powder in Mousseline Pastel


  • Jouer Blush Duo in Coquette: I have to point out that this blush duo is NOT as cool as it's pictured in any of the photos I've seen online. I was expecting some pink with a little bit of pop, instead I got a fairly ordinary plum/dusty rose combination. That said, this blusher does blend well and holds on a long time without fading, so it works well for an everyday look.


  • MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly (eyelid primer)
  • Tarte Gifted Mascara in Black
  • Maybelline TattooStudio Brow Tint Pen in Medium Brown: This has been out in Asia for a few months now, but I finally found it in Target this past weekend! I like the applicator a lot - it draws natural-looking groups of lines instead of making you sketch in one tiny line at a time. I'd like to see a luxury brand tackle this style of brow liner though - the applicator is great, but the inky formula is a little inconsistent in that it doesn't always flow from the pen tip at the same rate, so it can be difficult to get both eyebrows filled in evenly.
  • NARS Hardwired Eyeshadow in Lunar


Today's fragrance:

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What's On My Face Today

  • Cover Girl Simply Ageless Foundation in 205 Ivory and Hourglass Vanish Seamless Foundation Stick in Blanc: I really love the Hourglass stick foundation. The finish is so weightless and natural-looking - if you're expecting something thick and heavy, you'll be surprised. The stick I bought a few weeks ago is their lightest shade and it'll be perfect for my winter complexion, but for summer I need to blend it with something a smidge darker, so I'm using up this Cover Girl foundation that I don't reach for often enough. Luckily, the Hourglass foundation is creamy enough that it blends well with the liquid formula. This was going to be a foundation experiment, but I'm really happy with how this combination turned out.
  • Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer (concealer) in SX01
  • Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder: I'm working through a sample of this powder, and it probably won't turn into a purchase. It's finely milled but very matte, and I like my powder to finish a little bit glowy.
  • Viseart blush palette in 02 Rose Coral: The palest coral shade on the upper righthand side of the palette
  • MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly (eyelid primer)
  • Stila Glitter and Glow Liquid Eye Shadow in Beauty Junkie: I love these Magnificent Metals shadows. I've got six of them now, in shades across the spectrum. This newest one, Beauty Junkie, came out a few weeks ago and I just got around to trying it. As glittery as these shadows are, I think they're perfectly fine for daytime wear (especially in the summertime!). Beauty Junkie is no exception. It's a shimmery coral-pink, leaning perhaps a little more coral than it appears in Stila's promotional photos but still very pink. It's hard to get a bead on the color in photos with all that gold shift. And despite all that flash, Beauty Junkie still feels like a neutral that you could wear with anything. (Note: The purple-ish shade on the right in the photo below is 'Gypsy'.)

  • Benefit They're Real! Lengthening & Volumizing Mascara in Black
  • NYX Tinted Brow Mascara in Chocolate
  • Urban Decay Revolution High-Color Lipgloss in Failbait: With today's shimmery eye, I went low-key everywhere else. 'Failbait' is a pale rose that's moisturizing and has just a little bit of pigmentation, perfect for a minimalist look. I love this formula - unfortunately, the shade has been discontinued, but you can find similar products over at Temptalia's Dupe List.
  • Today's fragrance: Guerlain Aqua Allegoria in Rosa Pop

Bits and Bobs

I did quite a bit of shopping last week, between Sephora, the drugstore, and even the health foods store, so it's time for a catch-up post!

I had a sample size of the AmorePacific Enzyme Peel on my bathroom shelf for ages, but I didn't want to use it. This is one of those powder products that you have to mix with water to form a paste, and I was convinced it was going to be too messy. When I finally tried it, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it is. I just pour a little water in the palm of one hand, sprinkle some of the powder into it, then rub both hands together and onto my face as the paste forms. It's effective and gentle - my skin really glows once I'm done scrubbing, but I've never seen any redness or irritation. I got the full size ($60 for 2.5 oz.) and now it's the first step in my routine every morning.

Buxom is always coming out with cool new lip stuff. This weekend I picked up their PowerPlump Lip Balm in Flushed (a cool berry color). Flushed is a pretty color, a little more opaque than I would have expected from a lip balm. It was moisturizing and comfortable to wear, but I didn't feel any plumping action. I wore it out on a date with the boyfriend last night - it needed to be re-applied after dinner, of course, but otherwise it left me with a comfortable rosy lip all night.

(I was also considering one of the Buxom Holographic Full-On Plumping Top Coats but I couldn't decide on a color! They're all gorgeous, but definitely not practical for everyday wear.)

Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick: I had a hard time believing that a stick foundation could look natural - I'm old enough to remember the days when Max Factor stick foundation was still sold in drugstores, and it was as thick and unnatural-looking as you would expect stage makeup to be. However, I've been seeing so many raves about what a natural finish this has, I had to give it a try. As you can see, it comes out thick, but when it's blended across the back of my hand it does look very natural. I think the secret is buffing with a brush. Hourglass does sell a brush to accompany the foundation, but imho it's overpriced and the bristles are much too soft. I've been getting the best results with my Shiseido foundation brush. The shade I got (Cream, very fair with a cool undertone) is just a little too light, though. I might go back for a stick in the next shade up to mix. I did wear this foundation all day today, and the wear was great - I got a good eight hours out of it without any breakdown, and I probably would have gotten more but I decided to take it off so I could so some Sunday masking.

Sephora Collection Rouge Lip Tint in Violet: I went looking to test some of the new cream lip stains, but my local store only had the mattes out, so I'm glad I stumbled on this instead. For a shade named 'Violet' it's actually closer to a bright pink. This is a seriously good stain - it's lasted as long as eight hours (even through meals) on me. The only issue I have is that it sets very quickly, so you have to work fast to get it blended across your lips. My favorite look so far has been a sort of 'popsicle lips' stain - I focus the color around my inner lip area, blot a few times, then dab on some clear lip balm to give it a glossy look as it sets.

Peace Out Acne Dots: These are the real deal! I'm at that unenviable middle age where I have laugh lines around my eyes, but I still get pimples on my chin, and boy did I have a doozy going on Friday. But I stuck on one of these dots and within a few hours (just two, not even the recommended six) it was noticeably smaller in size and there was barely any redness. By the end of the next day it had grown again a little, but that just tells me that these dots are really more of an emergency, last-minute, "I've got a hot date and I need to hide this zit fast!" kind of solution. For long-term care, my favorite solution is still bacteria-killing tea tree oil.

My local health food store was having a sale on Andalou Naturals, so I picked up two of their tinted moisturizers, the Vitamin C BB Beauty Balm and 1000 Roses CC Cream. I've been a fan of Andalou's skincare for a long time - I use the foam cleanser from their 1000 Roses collection, and their Age-Defying Reservatrol Q10 cream, but this is the first time I've tried cosmetics from them. The CC cream had light, buildable coverage and was comfortable to wear, although it faded within a few hours. The Vitamin C beauty balm, though, was pretty much invisible on my skin. It had less coverage than Glossier's foundation, and I didn't think that was possible. It's really only good for someone who already has perfect skin and wants to give it that little extra glow.

Neutrogena MoistureSmooth Color Stick in Bright Berry: I swear by these lip crayons in the summer time. The colors are subtle, just enough to give you a healthy flush, so they look fresh and effortless on a warm day. And I can't lie - I love the fragrance. It's not overwhelming, but you do get just a hint of fresh watermelon or grapefruit or raspberries.

Wet'n'Wild MegaCushion Color Corrector in Green: I've had a lot of generalized redness around my chin and a few places on my cheeks lately. I've been using Urban Decay's Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid, but that stuff is almost too green - I have to be really careful about how much I use, or when I blend it out, I'll look like a ghoul. So I'm hoping this will give me some color correction that will be less visible, masking the red without leaving me with a green cast. On the other hand, I haven't had a lot of luck with lasting power when it comes to Wet'n'Wild products, so fingers crossed that this plays well with my foundation and concealer and doesn't get patchy over the course of a day.

Here's the one product from the past month or so that I've been really disappointed with: the Marc Jacobs Beauty Finish-Line Perfecting Coconut Setting Powder. I was so excited when the new coconut line dropped last month. I have a few favorite Marc Jacobs products - the Air Blush duos, a couple of the eyeshadow palettes, and when I do wear eyeliner (which is admittedly rare) I reach for his gel crayon liners. The products in the coconut line all looked like they were geared towards a warmer skintone, but at least I could wear the powder, right? So that's what I ordered.

But it's sadly mediocre. It's not finely milled at all, and although this is just a pet peeve of mine, it's in a jar with one of those mesh nets over the dispenser. I wish I'd thought to take a picture of the net before I cut it out, but I removed it with a craft knife so that I could more easily get to the product inside. As you can see, it's a little clumpy - I'm sure that's why the net is there, to make it seem smoother, but I'd rather have direct access to my powder. I want to be able to control exactly how much I have on my brush, and sometimes that's more than whoever designed this dispenser intended for me to have. Oh well. Anyway, I've also worn the powder a few times, and it's fairly drying on, so this is probably going to be shoved into a drawer, not to be seen again until a few months from now when I go on a cleaning binge and either throw it out or give it a more appreciative home.