Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre 24 Hour Miracle Cream

Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre 24 Hour Miracle Cream is nothing short of a cult favorite among Makeup Artists and celebs alike. If you haven’t tried it, you’re missing out.

Lait-Crème Concentrè

I first saw it in action backstage at Fashion Week at every show – see the squished up tube behind the Rosewater spray (which I also went out and bought shortly after.)

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And here again, next to Eve Pearl, one of my favorite foundations at a different show. Every artist it seemed was carrying it.

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Even Gwyneth Paltrow gave it some Goop love a few years back touting its big time Makeup Artist following. But why is it a staple in most pro’s kits? Because I’ve yet to find a skin type it doesn’t work on. Oily, acne-prone, dry, and even clients with skin so sensitive they bring their own moisturizer because they’re afraid that whatever I’m using might trigger a reaction. But it never has. On the contrary- it calms, softens, and evens out the skin in a subtle but complete way. I’ve been using fewer silicone-based primers these days because this primes the skin so well that I don’t need the added step. At Fashion Week, I also saw it used as a makeup remover for the girls who came in full makeup from other shows. Without sinks and water, the artists were able to get the girl’s faces totally clean using this cream and tissues alone.

A 1oz tube is just $16, but I get the larger 2.6oz since it’s only $28. Yup, it’s a French drugstore line so not only is it free of nasty chemicals (Europe bans most of the ones we still use here), but it’s also cheap!

Kiehl’s BB Cream

I feel like a BB Cream expert at this point. There aren’t too many out there I haven’t tried so I can tell right away when one is good, or if it’s just a cleverly marketed foundation thrown out there to join the BB craze. I knew I’d like Kiehl’s BB Cream from a skincare perspective, because that’s what they do so well but would it hold its weight as a good foundation? Surprisingly, yes.

The first thing I noticed is how smooth the formula is, almost like a good moisturizer it glides into the skin which makes it really easy to put on and blend using just your fingers. I also love the SPF 50 because I’m outside so much during the day that the extra protection is worth it. The coverage is as good as any daily foundation and better than most BB Creams actually. It hides imperfections so well that I don’t have to go back in with a concealer for minor things and it wears nicely all day long.

I find that the shades run a hint darker, so look for one lighter than you normally wear. Also, because of its hydrating nature, it might be too moisturizing for really oily skin, but those with combination, normal, and dry will  appreciate the smooth feel and natural looking finish.

kiehl's bb cream

Hawaiian Tropic Island Radiance Creme Lotion Self Tanner

I was getting my brows done by Denver’s best brow guru Carla Gray yesterday when we starting talking about self tanners. My last bottle of Jergens gradual was a disaster, totally streaky with a stronger odor. Carla agreed that it wasn’t a formula that worked for her either- too orange. She was loving a self tanner recommended to her from our hair stylist friend Kim who, like us, is a total product junkie. They love it so much that they stock up when it’s on sale at Ulta (as it is now.) 4 hours later I was at Ulta. I’m impressionable, what can I say?

The girls were right, Hawaiian Tropic Island Radiance Creme Lotion Self Tanner is where it’s at.

I grabbed the Medium/Dark without even looking to see if there were other options (there is a medium but I’m glad I chose this one which I’ll need to use less frequently), and then promptly used it yesterday after my shower then again today. The color is amazing, completely realistic and rich. The scent is very faint, virtually undetectable  and nothing that I could see being a real problem for anyone. It’s a thick cream that comes out of a mousse-type spout quickly so beware. Unless you’re really dry, don’t apply too much because the heaviness of the cream makes it hard to rub in completely leaving some dry time until it sinks in. I wasn’t as careful rubbing it in as I could’ve been yesterday so I have a place on my wrist and ankle where it isn’t perfect, but nothing over the top terrible that I even notice. Today’s application should even things out.

I wouldn’t recommend using it on your face because of the weight of the cream, but if you carry it up your neck a good face bronzer should take care of the discrepancy.

I’ve had such a hard time with self tanners lately that I’ve just avoided them altogether, so I’m happy to have found one that works so well- I finally have some color! I’m still researching using a self tanner while pregnant, (I haven’t found any cons so far) so I think I’ll be on board for a once a week application throughout the summer.

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Check it out at Ulta now on sale for buy one get one 50% off.

Makeup Before and After: Glam Mom

Recently I got to work with Nicole, a busy mom who (like the rest of us) rarely has a reason to get all out glam. I made her up for a shoot she did last week and the before and afters were so great I couldn’t wait to post them! I can’t wait to see her final images from her photos which I know will be amazing. Check out what I used below to get her look.

Click all images to enlarge:

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Her eyes: Copper is such a perfect way to add tons to depth to any look- even for everyday. Her dropped liner on the bottom was Pixi’s Copper Glow smudged out for a more dramatic look. I used Neutrogena’s cream shadow all over under her powder shadow to prevent creasing and to really give the shadow something to stick to. Stila’s Ebony and Kitten were her two main shades, which gave the perfect amount on contrast and pop.

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Her face: A silicone primer sometimes isn’t enough moisture (often the case here in Colorado), so I used Miracle Skin Transformer’s Heal Everything Balm which absorbs quickly but leaves the skin hydrated and primed so blending foundation is easy and it sits beautifully on the skin. I mixed together shades 1 and 2 in Koh Gen Do’s Maifanshi Foundation which as you can see gives a ton of great coverage without looking heavy. I buffed in Dermablend’s Mineral Powder on top to chase away any shine without a hint of a dull or powdery look.

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Her lips: These lips are the kind most women pay for- big and full and just begging for color. I mixed together two nude shades over a pinky liner and skipped the gloss. The sheen was enough and without the gloss her color would wear longer.

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What are BB Creams?

Have you heard about the BB Cream craze? BB Creams (short for blemish balm or beauty balm or beauty base) were first developed for women whose skin was left bruised, raw, and red from lasers and other surgical treatments. These creams were made by doctors to soothe, heal, and protect delicate skin with the added bonus of breakthrough invisible coverage to hide the irritations without having to use any traditional concealers or foundations.  Essentially they’re unique, lightweight coverage creams with sunscreen and other skin benefits built right in. BB Creams are a true marriage of skincare and color – and are often found in the skincare section and not with makeup. They’re traditionally offered as a one-size-fits-all in terms of color using a universal shade that blends into your skin tone perfecting and seamlessly covering redness instead of masking a it the way a foundation does – it reminds me a little of Philosophy’s The Supernatural which gave similar instant results (see my review and photos HERE). You’ll also see some with a PA+, PA++. or PA+++ sunscreen rating (+++ being the best) which tells you how effective the SPF is in guarding against UVA rays – the nasty ones that breakdown collagen and age the skin.

If you like a full coverage foundation you might find that these aren’t enough so use them as a primer to get more skin benefits than what basic silicone formulas provide.They’re really different from anything else out there so go to Sephora where the selection is the best and ask for samples of a few before you commit. I also want to try Lauder’s new BB Cream they’ve incorporated into their Daywear collection which I’ll review separately once I give it a try. For now, here are the 3 I sampled at Sephora and the pros and cons of each.

Clinique Age Defense BB Cream $37:

-Pros-

Oily skin can benefit from its mattifying properties.

SPF 30

A good shade (01) that would work for very fair skin tones – the lightest I found.

-Cons-

It was the heaviest of the 3 and it settled into the skin making pores look more noticeable.

No PA rating.

I couldn’t figure out what the added skincare benefits were (what a BB is all about).

Their site refers to it as a ‘weekend makeup’ along the lines of a quick tinted moisturizer, but it’s called a BB. Not sure if it’s a true BB or just marketing.

Its radiance was a little unflattering (at least on my skin) where it bordered shiny instead of healthy.

Overall:

I liked the thick, creamy texture and easy blendability. It’s probably best for those with good skin who favor a tinted moisturizer or quick powder for their daily routine.

Boscia BB Cream SPF 27 PA ++ $38:

-Pros-

Great skincare benefits (help for fine lines, dryness, and large pores), which is what a BB should offer.

SPF 27 and a PA++ rating

It has a natural formula without parabens, phthalates and other chemicals.

It did give my skin an immediate boost.

Good coverage.

-Cons-

It has these tiny bits of shimmer that, although slight, might not be a fit for oily or mature skin.

Like most BB Creams, the one shade isn’t for very fair or very dark skin tones.

Overall:

This was my favorite and the only true BB of the bunch, it made my skin look better and covered redness well. It’s something I would buy and recommend to those looking for quick and easy coverage.

Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm Multi-Benefit Skin Care Makeup $32:

-Pros-

Shade range; if you have darker skin you’ll have the best luck finding a color to suit you here.

It gave the most coverage of the 3 I tried, almost as much as some foundations.

You’ll get a pretty glow from its finish.

-Cons-

It does contain some vitamins and minerals, but overall it really is more of a quick makeup than a true BB Cream.

No PA rating and an SPF 20, the lowest of the 3.

Overall:

These are along the lines of what you’ll begin to see more and more of – a foundation with a built in primer and less of a BB Cream but marketed as such. It’s not a bad thing since I really liked the look and coverage, but if you want more of the skin treatment this one will leave you wanting more. Best for those who want great coverage from a tinted moisturizer and don’t care as much for the added skincare bonuses.

A few others to consider:

Sephora now carries Dr Jart’s signature BBs which are favorites in Asia where competition is big. Check out their Premium BB SPF 45 PA+++ $39 for more mature skin and the Water Fuse BB PA++ $32 for normal to oily skin. They’re both great for the skin formulated without synthetics and are exactly what BBs are supposed to be – skincare/makeup hybrids.

Garnier launched the first drugstore BB for just $13 that comes in two shades – Light/Medium and Medium/Deep. I’m can’t find its skincare benefits (or SPF), but it’s getting some good reviews for its light, even coverage. Look for it in the skincare aisle, not next to the makeup.

What to look for in a BB Cream:

- Sunscreen, PA ratings are a bonus.

- Vitamins and minerals.

- Enough coverage so you aren’t using concealer or anything else over it (unless you want to use it as a primer).

- Adequate moisture for your skin.

- Added benefits whether it be for skin lightening, acne, moisture, or whatever- find one that’s helping to target what your skin needs most.

For a full listing of the popular Asian formulas, check out THIS article from 08′ before the US versions hit the stores.

Atopalm Daytime Undermakeup Moisture Cream

If Atopalm is good enough for the seasoned Makeup Artists who I saw using the stuff on model’s parched, overworked faces backstage at fashion week, it’s way good enough for you. Don’t take their word for it though, you can also browse the gazillian reviews on sites like Dermstore to see that people go wild for their moisturizers that perfectly prime the skin for makeup. As you can imagine, I was psyched to get a sample of their new Daytime Undermakeup Moisture Cream to see if it could stand up to the hype I’ve been giving it in my own head. Thankfully, it does.

There’s nothing too sexy about it – no big price tag, glittery presentation or sweet smell – just a fantastic light cream without parabens to calm and soothe even the most sensitive skin. Don’t let the undermakeup thing throw you off either, it balances the skin and holds in moisture so foundation blends beautifully but it’s completely fine for use at night as well. I found it to be one of the most neutral moisturizers I’ve ever felt on my skin, meaning my skin just felt like skin – not slippery or shiny or tacky, just the way it should without all the crazy stuff we tend slather on top that disguises our natural skin’s texture.

I like it and I like the price ($18). I think this and their best-selling original will be my new go-to moisturizers for my kit since they’re calming and suitable for all skin types.

Atopalm Daytime Undermakeup Moisture Cream found at Dermstore, Skinstore, and Atopalm.com