bareMinerals Holiday Palette for Eyes

I was visiting a friend last week who works at one of those beautiful Bare Escentuals stores. Now keep in mind that I’m not a huge fan of the line or anything but the brightly lit chandeliers cascading over the candy colored powders is pretty mesmerizing. It’s not that I was in the market for anything BE, but the whole experience of being inside the cozy store sipping my Pumpkin Spice Soy Latte with holiday shoppers buzzing around is like taking an alcoholic to a bar and expecting them not to drink. So of course, while my friend was off helping a real customer and not just someone who came in to chat, I cracked and became like a dog with a bone over an eye shadow palette. I just couldn’t let it go.

I justified the $40 purchase by processing though the following emotions:

Fear: It’s seasonal so I’ll NEVER SEE IT AGAIN once it’s gone!

Guilt: I can’t just stand here and not buy something, I’d totally be wasting Corey’s time.

Reasoning: Whether I love it or not. I’ll at least squeeze a blog post out of it.

Anticipation: I can’t wait to use all of these colors every single day and do my makeup perfectly even if I’m just sitting around the house. Editors note: this did not, and will not never happen

Bottom line: I bought it and I remain absolute about my decision to purchase.

These pressed shadows are night and day different from their loose ones in a pot we all know so well. First, the color payoff is better and not just better than the loose ones, better than most shadows. I’d rank them up there with an Urban Decay for their intensity, blendability, and longevity – you get a ton of color in just one swipe. I also love ratio of bolds to nudes which way outnumbers most palettes. With only 2 ‘safe’ shades, you get colors you don’t have (like the green and mustard yellow) along with rich shimmery spins on a chocolate, maroon, and ivy. I like the damn thing way more than I thought I would – this along with my free gift of a Big & Bright Eyeliner (full review to come) has kinda changed the way I see bareMinerals. Aside from its really lame music based theme (it’s called READY Eyeshadow 8.0 – The Playlist) and even worse color names (Pumped, One Hit Wonder, Speaker Box, etc.) it’s pretty perfect.


The shiny bright red packaging reminded me of foil wrapping paper.


And the gold is bright like an ornament.


A glimpse of the shades – hard to capture and convey their intensity on a screen, check it out for yourself.

Click HERE to see the palette, and HERE for a glimpse of the plum version if browns aren’t really you’re thing.

Alima Pure Limited Holiday Collections

Let’s take a look at the limited edition holiday collections from one of my fav mineral lines, Alima Pure. I’ve been wearing the Warm Inside collection almost daily, Hot Toddy makes a gorgeous smokey brown look and also works as a liner for daytime. Check em out-


Cold Outside: Snowdrift Eyeshadow, Snow Angel Eyeshadow, Jack Frost Eyeshadow, Rosey Cheeks Blush (Sample sizes shown)


Cold Outside swatches


Warm Inside: Firelight Shimmer Powder, Candlelight Eyeshadow, Mulled Cider Eyeshadow, Hot Toddy Eyeshadow (Sample sizes shown)


Warm Inside swatches

Firelight Shimmer Powder is another fav for highlighting the cheekbones and the inner corner of the eyes. Click HERE to check out the color collections along with their limited edition vegan brush set.

Making Mineral Eye Shadows Last Longer with Temptu Mixing Medium

If you love wearing mineral eye shadow but hate the creasing and limited wear time, I have a perfect solution. I’ve slowly been replacing makeup mainstays in my kit with their natural or mineral counterparts when I find something that performs as well or better. My requirements? It has to show up well on the skin, blend easily, and wear 12+ hours to make the cut. Unfortunately, even though I wear them quite often, mineral shadows haven’t given me the confidence to be kit worthy until I recently found the perfect solution. It’s all about the Temptu Mixing Medium baby.

Temptu is really known as a professional airbrush line but maybe you’ve tried their wildly popular at-home airbrushing system at Sephora? The heart of their business is still geared toward professionals who use airbrush for their business which is where Mixing Medium is sold although you don’t have to be a professional to buy it (yay!)

Mixing Medium is a silicone-based multi-use lotion that can be used for a ton of different stuff that I’ll get to in a second, but in this case I’m using it to bring intensity and a much longer wear time to a mineral shadow.

Here’s how I use it.


I’m starting with my sample size of Alima Pure Catwalk Eyeliner, one of my favorite mineral makeup lines.


It’s a slightly shimmery, intense shade that I love. Here it is on its own just applied straight on.


Now here’s where the magic happens; see that tinsy little whitish dab on the lid? That’s the Mixing Medium and how little I use. Gather a little powder on your brush to scoop a little into the lid to blend it with the liquid making a thick paste.


Now the swatches side by side, on the right is with the Mixing Medium. You can see more of an intensity (especially in person where you can pick up the detail better than my lens did) but beyond that is how this newly formed cream gives such better wear. Like hours longer. Many hours. This turns any ho-hum mineral shadow into a more intense, long-wearing shadow fit for any Makeup Artist’s kit.

It also shines when you use it with mineral powder concealers turning it into a creamy one that wears well and doesn’t look cakey or powdery. It also gives glittery pigments something to stick to if you pat it on the lid before applying so they stay on without flaking away. If your foundation is a bit too heavy, mix a few drops in to thin it out and keep the color and performance just the same. Basically, it can turn any makeup powder into a longer wearing, more intense cream or thin out a cream so it isn’t so heavy on the skin. It does it all.

I love Mixing Medium, I’ve had it in my kit for years. I did have to get used to thinking to grab for it, but now I use it all the time because it’s so cool. There are some things in my kit that are best suited for pro use, but Mixing Medium just isn’t one of them. Check it out- I think you’ll really love it too.

Temptu Mixing Medium

Makeup Before and After: Camille

Another great before and after with Camille, a bride I met recently for her makeup trial-run before her big day in October. She has huge blue eyes with a ton of lid space and a perfect crease- most women need surgery for lids like this. Her fair skin just needed a little bronzing, some pink lips, and taupe lids to get the perfect amount of pop. With fair skin, keep in mind that color is amplified so it’s easy to go overboard without realizing it. Sheer formulas and a light bronzer are your friends.


Beautiful Before..


…And Beautiful After

My Hero Products For the Look:

Estée Lauder: Pure Color Illuminating Powder Gelée from their limited Fall 11′ Modern Mercury Collection

Lighter in color and weight than most bronzers, this illuminating gel-powder gives the skin natural warmth without deepening the tone too much. I used it to frame her face, extending down her neck for a seamless transition. There’s no need for a spray tan on your wedding day, bronzer gives an even (and predictable!) application every time.

Alima Pure: Press Pass Limited Edition Shadow from their Fall Runway Collection

Alima’s Press Pass is a sheer, smokey taupe to punch up her blues without a heavy or smokey look – it’s a wedding not a night club. When looking for shadows to suit your skin, keep in mind the weight of the formula and not the actual color; fair skin is flattered by sheer shades and deeper skin tones can wear more saturated ones. Measure the shadow’s weight by applying swatches of the color on the back of your hand, if you can’t see any skin showing through from behind the shadow it’s not a sheer formula. The more skin that shows through, the more sheer it is.

Tarte: LipSurgence in Frisky

Camille, like me, isn’t a big lipstick wearer, but a lip color is essential when photographs are involved. I LOVE (and wear) Tarte’s Lipsurgence lip tints. They’re a sort of tinted gel balm that give enough sheer color   to avoid looking washed out. I have a more neutral one I wear daily, then a punched up version (like Frisky) that I wear for TV appearances.

Heavy vs Sheer. Keeping weight in mind when choosing color will open up new doors for fair-skinned ladies looking to keep it feminine without overdoing it.

The Best Mineral Foundation for Dry Skin

Women with dry skin want the benefits a mineral foundation but adding a powder to already parched skin doesn’t give the hydration or nourishment the way this combo will. I paired h.wood.beauty’s popular Mineral Powder Foundation with One Love Organics Skin Savior Waterless Multi Balm made with cold pressed oils of coconut, soy, mango, and a few other plant based good-for-your-skin essentials to create a custom mineral foundation balm perfect for dry skin. Check out my step by step guide on creating a soothing mineral foundation to treat and perfect your dry skin.

Pictured: One Love Organics Skin Savior and h.wood.beauty Mineral Powder Foundation. I chose h.wood’s powder because it carries a lot of pigment and its formula is non-drying, a natural fit for a dry skin treatment.

This balm is incredible for everything. Cleansing, makeup removal, moisturizing, and of course, making a custom mineral foundation balm.

Sprinkle out a pile of the mineral foundation on one side of the lid and add a dab of the Skin Savior to the other with a concealer brush and mix them together.

You’ve just created your very own custom blended mineral foundation in seconds.

Now, I tried mixing the foundation with a face cream which worked but not as well because the cream didn’t capture the pigment as densely so the coverage was very sheer and blended into the skin quickly leaving only a small amount of coverage behind. It’s the balm’s unique properties that really make this combo really work. I’m so in love with this custom creation that I’ve been pre-mixing a lid of it (like shown above) when I work with clients so I can have it ready if I want to use it to highlight the cheekbones, as an eye concealer, or to finish dry skin without using powder by pressing a bit over their foundation. I can pretty much drum up a reason to use it on everyone, no matter what their skin type might be.

bareMinerals Pure Transformation Night Treatment

My friends who work at bareMinerals swear that their Pure Transformation Night Treatment does it all. Literally, another employee there used it on some weird rash on her arm and it apparently cleared that up in days. Not that it’s meant for rashes, but a special ActiveSoil complex combined with minerals work to turn over skin cell production quickly the way an AHA, Glycolic, or Retinol would but without the use of chemicals so it’s meant to address skin clarity in general. In the past few months since I started using it, I’ve noticed that it also shrinks pores and gives my skin a healthy glow making it a good primer under my mineral makeup during the day too. It’s so simple to use and at night it’s meant to be the last step in your routine, even over moisturizer.

It’s mineral and soil based that looks like a tinted powder.

Give it a little shake when the lid is closed to transfer the powder to the brush, then dab the powder into each section of the face and go back with a clean brush and buff it all in. I’ll do this a few times, I like to use a lot.

Though it doesn’t matter since you’re technically supposed to wear it over night, it comes in different shades. I have it in light which blends in fine, but you will see some luminosity on the skin, it’s not meant to blend in like a makeup would. On top of smaller pores, I’ve also noticed that my skin just looks really fresh in the morning when I wear it overnight. It’s one of those products that works great with what you’re using already, and just makes your skin look great. Verdict; I’m not in love with the $60, but I’d buy it again.