Too Faced Primed and Poreless Bronze

I’m so pale lately. Ok, I’m always pale. I don’t tan and wear SPF every single day of the year but I dunno, I’m just feeling a little lackluster like my skin needs a boost. I see photos of myself and I’m all ‘What’s up Casper?’ See, here I am with Harper chillin on the floor the other day. Maybe I’m not crazy ghost face, but a little color wouldn’t hurt.

carissa

The problem though is that when I use a bronzer it sometimes looks way too obvious because of the difference in my light skin and the bronzing powder. Too Faced has a bronzing primer that I haven’t tried, but they’re known for their bronzers so I might give it a shot. Since I’m not using foundation every day anyway, a little boost of bronze in a primer shouldn’t be too heavy so it might be all I need to wake up my skin and give it some glow. Just keep in mind if you’re going to try a liquid bronzer that you might need to also use a little on your neck to keep the look consistent.

too faced primed and poreless

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Primer with SPF 50

Drugstore skin care doesn’t get much better. Now available at Walgreens, La Roche Posay has a new sunscreen/primer duo to add to their popular Anthelios sunscreen line that’s sure to become a huge hit. It’s a broad spectrum SPF 50 that’s as much a true primer as it is sun protection. It has the feel of a Smashbox or professional grade silicone primer that fills in fine lines and blurs out skin imperfections instantly. It works so well to prefect skin that you might need a lot less foundation after using it- or even none at all. It’s that fantastic.

I love everything about it and can’t wait to use it as my new daily sunscreen especially after my skin treatment tomorrow that I can’t wait to tell you all about!

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Kiehl’s Facial Fuel

Kiehl’s Sky Flyin’ Foaming Facial Fuel is pretty genius. Realizing that most men wash their faces with Irish Spring or whatever bar soap is in the shower, Kiehl’s created a shave gel that doubles as a facial cleanser to keep their routine nice and easy. Its light lather coats the skin for shaving and pumps it with caffeine and vitamins to hydrate and clean without stripping and drying the way soap can. Mike liked the clean scent and how his skin felt without taking an extra step that he probably wouldn’t otherwise do.

Vapour Organic Beauty Stratus Instant Skin Perfector

Don’t be confused by the stick applicator, just think of it as a makeup primer/skin perfector with a hint of moisture. Infused with 70% certified organic ingredients and 30% vitamins and natural pigments, it’s the first naturally sourced primer that I can actually use in my kit because it gives a professional result as soon as it touches the skin. Use it as a quick primer under makeup, or because of its soft focus pigments that blur pores and imperfections, as a perfector in place of foundation so your skin looks really great without adding color. Great for for hitting the gym or for days when you just don’t have the energy for a full face of makeup, which for me is admittedly most days.

It comes in 3 very subtle skin tone balancing shades, but the one I have is 903 the yellow-based one that I’ve used successfully on all skin types. The carry less of a ‘color’ and more of a ‘tone’ that’s so slight that the yellow cast disappeared immediately.

I especially love it for crow’s feet pre-makeup to blur out fine lines and give a good base that makeup doesn’t settle into. For a while my go-to for this was L’Oreal Studio Secrets but I honestly get a better result with Stratus not to mention how much better I feel about using a chemical-free formula.

I also found that if you rub a little onto your finger tips, you can press it on top of areas where your foudation looks heavy or chalky to help it warm into the skin a’la Mercier’s Secret Finish.

Check out Stratus and all things Vapour HERE.

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.

My Face Serum May or May Not Contain Foreskin; Advances in Skincare

Scanning over the ingredients of my super luxe TNS Essential Serum I see that it has Human Fibroblast Conditioned Media at the top of the list. Could this strangely sounding element really be why the serum is know to be so effective (not to mention pricey at $260 a pop)? And is it the skincare equivalent of Soylent Green? Is it really made from humans?

Actually, I think it is.

SkinMedica, the company that makes TNS calls Human Fibroblast Conditioned Media ‘ A physiologically balanced, naturally secreted and stabilized growth factor blend that helps improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and overall skin tone and texture.’ Googling around gives some mixed results; it’s thought by some to be derived from newborn babies’ foreskin (!), but I can’t find a clear explanation about its origin and the company isn’t giving details so the jury is out. Since it’s listed as ‘human’ on the ingredient lineup, I’ll assume it’s something of the sort however it’s derived.

While the use of young stem cells is gaining some serious traction on the scientific front in age reversal research, some companies who can afford to purchase the technology (like SkinMedica) are starting to offer products that are more cutting edge than ever. TNS Essential Serum isn’t new and has developed a bunch of crazed loyalists claiming that it has made their skin look 15 years younger and that they’ve tried to do without it but because of the cost, but they eventually return when they discover nothing else works as well. Its function is to repair and protect by fading discolorations, improving skin tone and texture while also preventing future damage – it’s a do-it-all (better be for the cost right?) replacing other creams and serums and narrowing down the steps to your routine.

I’m only a few weeks into using it during the day, it replaced my C serum and moisturizer and does a good job of hydrating and priming the skin for makeup. It has two separate chambers inside so when you pump it out you get a serum from one side of the bottle and a light lotion from the other that you mix together and apply. I hear the scent has recently changed which is good because it stinks. Really stinks (like foreskin?). But the scent fades and you don’t smell it any longer after it’s blended in.

It’s too early to tell if it’s making a difference, but it’s worth a shot. Because I’m pregnant I’m off Botox and my skin has been lackluster to say the least so I’m hoping for a miracle in a jar. I’ll keep you posted with an update in a few months to see if it works as well as they say.