Favourites from the Boxes, January 2018

I wanted to share some items from my subscription boxes that I have been enjoying lately. It’s always fun to discover some great items!

Luxie Brushes 221T and 227T
Received in BoxyCharm November 2017

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I enjoy the quad of brushes received but these two are my favourites of the bunch. The Blender Brush (227T) is great because it’s fluffy and flat so it’s great for blending in the crease. The style is similar to the Sigma E25/MAC 217 although it’s a lot fluffier. I like that I can use it as a shader brush or a blending brush.

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I really enjoy the flat definer brush (221T) for applying shadow to my upper and lower lash line. It’s very flat so it creates a precise line.

The best part about both these brushes is that the handles are small. This makes them easier for me to hold and travel with. I really love them and use them all the time!

bareMinerals Translucent Powder Duo
Received in BoxyCharm July 2017

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I enjoy using the matte side for those rare occasions that I set my undereye but I’ve included this duo in my favourites because of the glow side.

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This gives just a hint of luminosity with fine glitter that my skin looks dewy when I apply it all over. Another thing I will do if I don’t apply this all over my face is to swipe it on the tops of my cheeks before I add highlighter just to give it that extra oomph.

Benefit Boi-ing Airbrush Concealer in No.1
Received in Topbox July 2017

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This gives decent coverage under the eyes and I enjoy mixing it with other concealers. I also love putting this on my lid before primer to cancel out the darkness and veins around my eyes and give me a base for my eyeshadows.

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It’s creamy and blends nicely around the eyes. I had originally likened it to the Becca under eye concealer but this one is not as sticky or shiny. I actually like this formula way better in comparison. My only drawback is that this is in a jar but I understand that this type of formula would not work in a tube.

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There you have it! Items I have been testing, using and loving from my boxes. If you get subscription boxes, what items have been standing out to you?

Have you tried any of the items I’ve listed above? What are your thoughts?

Lots of Love,
Dal

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First Impressions, Urban Minerals Loose Mineral Foundation

Usually, I gravitate towards liquid foundation as my preferred foundation type. However, I always want to try something new so when I was offered the opportunity to try out Urban Minerals Loose Mineral Foundation* I thought why not!

I’ve only tried a powder foundation once before but didn’t love it for my dry skin. I’ve never tried anything that was mineral and after finding that this is vegan, whole food based, cruelty-free makeup and I thought, maybe a more natural product could be good for my skin. Plus, none of my other foundations can claim to be this natural!  I also read that it will leave you with smooth and dewy, medium to high coverage skin and has a 12-hour wear! Yes and yes!

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What it is
Urban Minerals is a collection of luxe Mineral Cosmetics made for multicultural women of all divine and diverse backgrounds. (urbanminerals.ca)

I love the empowering nature of this brand and how it has very positive messaging throughout. I also love supporting Canadian companies and Urban Minerals is based out of Toronto! Not only that but they locally source each whole food ingredient. Below is more information from their website;

Drawing on the power of 8 herbs that come from Canada, our skin care minded foundations and more are hand made and infused with Reiki. This ties together a local Canadian economy, a reductionist approach to our carbon footprint, and an intuitive understanding of the body & environment, with style. (urbanminerals.ca)

Urban Minerals_LBL (5)The shade range is pretty good too (33 shades). I picked out the shade unfurled flowers which is described as fair, olive and yellow undertoned. That’s me!! I was a bit hesitant what my shade was at first because I felt like I might have been able to fit into a few of them but I’m really happy with how well this matches my skin tone. If you are shopping online you can reach out to Urban Minerals and they will help shade match you as well.

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Price
This costs $45.00 CAD (30 g). I think it’s on par with a lot of my liquid foundations.

Application & Wear
I’ll start off by saying that this feels silky and finely milled. The suggested application is to use a kabuki brush and buff this in a circular motion over the skin. I used my Sephora 56 brush which is a small, dense kabuki style brush. I loved the way this foundation applied with the brush because it buffed out so easily and because the brush is dense I was able to build up my coverage. I was even able to use a little bit more of the foundation under my eyes and it doubled as a concealer!

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You can also mix the loose mineral foundation with your beauty oil or serum or can apply it with a wet beauty sponge. I haven’t tried it with a serum but I found it applied evenly using a damp beauty blender. I think both methods work for me but the brush technique was quicker.

My skin looked even without looking like I had a lot of foundation on and I appreciate a medium coverage look. Within the hour it melted into my skin and looked even better! I have to say that for someone with dry skin this did not make me feel or look dry at all. I would always start off with moisturizer and if I felt I was feeling particularly dry that day I would spray some setting spray and that worked out great.

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I wore this for about 10 – 13 hours on a given day and it held up nicely. After a long workday that’s something that I can feel good about. It’s so lightweight I forget I’m even wearing anything.

My Thoughts
It’s such a pleasant surprise to try something that’s so different from what I usually wear for foundation and have it work so well for me. I did have some hesitation at first because I do have dry skin but it didn’t leave me feeling dry. I think it’s worth giving this a try and seeing how it might work for you. I also like knowing that what I put on my face is actually made with good ingredients that are full of vitamins and antioxidants!

You can purchase Urban Minerals on their website at UrbanMinerals.ca

Have you tried a mineral foundation before?

Lots of Love,
Dal

*I received this product complimentary for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Review: Grande Cosmetics GrandeLASH™ MD Lash Enhancing Serum

Who doesn’t want long, thick lashes! I know I sure do. If you didn’t know, a long time ago I worked at a medical spa and had the opportunity to try out Latisse. I actually saw a difference in my lashes. I had to stop using it after a few months because it was too expensive to be repurchasing and my lashes went back to their normal length. Since then, I’ve been intrigued by how many other lash enhancing brands have hit the market.

I was browsing through the Sephora website back in September when I stumbled upon Grand Cosmetics and their feature enhancing items. I decided I would try the GrandeLASH MD serum and see if it would do anything for my lashes. According to the directions, it takes 3 months to achieve the full results of the product.
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I’ve been using this for 8 weeks, just over halfway through the 3 month period and I thought I’d share my experience up to this point.

What it is
A revolutionary lash enhancing serum that promotes longer, thicker-looking eyelashes. (Sephora.ca)
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Price
$87.00 CAD (2mL). This is pricey, but it’s supposed to be 3 months worth of product.

My Lash Progress

Week 1GrandLash_Review_week1

Week 2
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Week 4
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Week 6
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Week 8
GrandLash_Review_week8

Application
You are supposed to apply this like eyeliner, close to the lashes but not on the lashes themselves every night after washing and drying your face. You apply one stroke on each eye. The applicator itself is very similar to a brush tip liquid liner. I’ll admit that I  have missed days here and there but for the most part, I’ve been pretty consistent with the application. It feels like a wet liquid eyeliner for the first few minutes before it dried.
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Did it make a difference?
When I look back at the photos above I don’t see a huge difference in the appearance of my lashes. Granted, because I was trying to stay consistent, the photos were taken in the morning in my bathroom which probably doesn’t have the best lighting. However, when I look at my lashes in person, I see a slight difference and when I apply my mascara I see an even bigger difference.

My lashes before are a standard length but the tips are blonde so they look shorter than they actually are. Now, I feel like when I look in the mirror, my lashes look darkened from root to tip. My Lashes feel really soft and almost thicker too.
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It hasn’t had an adverse effect on my lashes, so I feel safe to use it until the end of the 3-month treatment.

I can see a difference if I compare week 1 to week 8. I’m not expecting a huge difference in my lashes, but even the smallest amount of change is a good one for. I’ll continue using this until I’ve reached three months and share an update on my progress.

Have you tried a lash enhancing serum? Do you think this will even make a difference on me in 3 months?

Lots of Love,
Dal

Favourites From the Boxes, November 2017

Did anyone do any Black Friday Shopping? I found myself on the Sephora website at 5:00AM going through their offerings for Black Friday but other than that I didn’t do any shopping. There were quite a few deals and the mall nearby my work was crazy busy. For me it just really feels like November is coming to an end and Christmas will be here before we know it! I’m soooo excited! Anyways, I wanted to share some subscription box favourites below.

Royal & Langnickle Brushes
Received in: BoxyCharm February 2017 and BoxyCharm August 2017

I am so impressed with these brushes. They are extremely soft and blend my eyeshadow perfectly.
20171125_123916I’ll start with the gold set of brushes which I use as shader brushes. This came together as part of the Omnia line. The natural hair large shader brush is great for putting eyeshadow all over my lid. I also really love the synthetic smudger brush for smoking out my eyeliner or blending out the lower lash line. These brushes look really fancy and are super lightweight.

The next brush I received from a later Boxycharm box is this synthetic crease brush which came in a set of three from the Moda Pro line.

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The other brushes are for the face and I really like them. This guy is becoming my go-to for blending out the crease. I like it because it’s really fluffy but the tip is tapered so it keeps the eyeshadow in the area I place it. I also really love the design of this barrel. It’s rubberized with a cushion style pattern that makes it super comfortable to grip.

Buff Her House of Exfoliation Vanilla Almond Crumbles
Received in: Ipsy Glam Bag September 2016

20171125_123626I use this whenever I want to turn my face wash into a scrub. I like that I can add in as much or as little I want of this so that I can either have a light exfoliation or a stronger scrub.
20171125_123644They are very large granules so if I do put too much it can be irritating to the skin but a little pinch like the amount I have in my hand below is perfect for me.
20171125_123700I love using this mostly with my foaming wash because then I get a little bubbly exfoliation action going. The scent is very natural too which I do enjoy.

Shu Uemura Essence Absolute Nourishing Protective Oil
Received in: Topbox July 2015

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I’ve had this for such a long time now but the oil has held up super well. I have so many hair oils that I rotate through so it’s not a surprise to me that I still have about half a bottle of this left.
20171125_123609While my hair is damp I put about two pumps of this into my hair. I then will let it air dry or I’ll heat style my hair. This leaves my hair feeling really soft and less frizzy. I think this is one of the best items I’ve received in a Topbox, ever!

These were the products I wanted to share this month from my various subscription boxes.

Are there any items you’re enjoying from your subscription boxes?

Lots of Love,
Dal

Favourites From the Boxes, October 2017

I have been loving the products I’m about to list below for a while now but somehow I never put them into a favourites post yet. These actually sit right on my vanity so that I don’t forget to use them each day. I’m really excited to be sharing them now!

Dr. Roebuck’s Polish 2 in 1 Facial Scrub
Received in: Topbox, February 2017
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I was beyond excited when I received this Prive box in February. This brand is geared for those with dry skin (ME!). This Australian based brand was started by two physician parents who developed Dr. Roebuck’s PURE to treat Eczema in their identical twin daughters. Today, the daughters continue to expand the line. There are so many awesome products and I so look forward to trying it all.

Whenever my skin is feeling extra tight and dry, aka winter time skin, I reach for this and I swear I’m instantly hydrated. I love this polish because it does something that no other scrub does for my skin – it exfoliates away impurities AND it leaves me crazy moisturized! If you have dry skin, this brand is a must!

Bella Aura Skincare (Eye Contour, Antioxidant Booster, Night Cellular Repair)
Received in: Multiple Topbox Subscriptions
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Another skincare line that I’m really loving, Bella Aura feels like it’s helped keep my skin feeling youthful. I really don’t need to use a lot, so these have actually lasted me most of the year. Now, I change up my skincare pretty often, but I always come back to these little guys at least once a week. I use them all both day and night. I love that through Topbox, I’ve had a chance to try this line altogether to get a feel for how well it works, and man does it work wonders.

Ciate London Bamboo Bronzer in Palm Island
Received in: Ipsy Glam Bag, April 2017


I have a few bronzers in my makeup case, but lately, I’ve been really gravitating towards this one. This claims to have oil-controlling properties which should make me fear it might dry out my skin but luckily it doesn’t do that.

The packaging is really tiny which makes it hard to pick up with a big fluffy brush like I would like but if I want my bronzer to double as a contour I will use this. It’s slightly cooler than a lot of my other bronzers so it works really well on my neutral skin tone. It’s a very soft and fine formula which makes it easy to blend into my skin.
Favourites_October_LBL1Those are the products I’ve been loving from my boxes for a while now that I’m really happy to share. What are some products you’ve been enjoying from your subscription boxes? Have you tried any of the items I’ve listed above?

Lots of Love,
Dal

Review; NYX Cosmetics Jumbo Eye Pencil

A month ago I shared a haul from my first online purchase on the NYX Cosmetics website and today I’m sharing my thoughts on the two Jumbo Eye Pencils I purchased. If you’re interested to see the other items I got, you can read about them here. I figured these pencils would be great for quick eyeshadow or liner application, and to use as a base for my eyeshadow.

What it is
An eye liner that also doubles as an eye shadow. Made with a blend of mineral oil and powder. (nyxcosmetics.ca)
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Price
$6.00 CAD each. Part of the reason I was drawn to these eye pencils was because it is was affordable.

Packaging
I like the pencil style becuase it makes for easy application. The clear cap allows me to see the colour I’m picking up. One downfall to this packaging is that unlike what I first thought it’s not a twist up but instead it requires a jumbo sharpner. I luckily have a sharpener for the pencils but I really don’t like sharpening my makeup pencils because I feel I waste product.
Review_NYX_LBL4Colours
I purchased 609 French Fries which is a pretty bronze (the website describes it as a golden olive but it’s no where close to being olive). The second shade is 611 Yogurt which is a rosey shade. It has a pink pearl sheen (again, the website describes this as pearly light brown, but its not brown). There are 12 shades all together in this range and they all seem to be very muted everyday shades minus the blue and green shade which appear bright.
Review_NYX_LBL6I find the colours I have fantastic for everyday. It gives me a pearly and bright eye look. I wear Yogurt all over the lid and French Fries on the outter half to define. The look is a very simple one but great for when I’m looking for something that will go with whatever I’m wearing.

Application & Wear
These are super creamy pencils. The apply so easily without tugging on my eyelids. They don’t last too long on the lids. I find that at about the 5 hour mark it starts to crease on my eyelids. If I put a base down then they don’t do that and will last longer.

The Breakdown

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Creamy & blendable
  • Easy application

Cons

  • Need to be sharpened
  • not long wearing

My Thoughts
I probably won’t pick up more of these pencils but that doesn’t mean that I don’t like the ones I currently have. I like the formula and think it’s great for when I want a quick eyeshadow look. I just think the colours I have now are the ones I would wear most. Plus I have a lot of powder eyeshadow to get through too!

What are your thoughts? Would you pick up these jumbo eye pencils?

Lots of Love,
Dal

One Look, One Week Reviews; The Roundup!

This week was so much fun reviewing all the items I used to create my Fall go-to look. It was a perfect way for me to share my thoughts on some of the items that I have purchased over the last few months.

Once again, this is the look that I created for Fall;

 

And here are all the items I used;

  • Eyeshadow – NYX Perfect Filter Palette in Olive you – review here
  • Mascara – Revlon Mega Multiplier – review here
  • Eye Brushes – Inglot 10S, 4SS & 26P, Artdeco Blending Brush – review here
  • Foundation – Tarte’s Rainforest of Sea Water Foundation – review here
  • Concealer – Tarte’s Shape Tape Contour Concealer – review here
  • Blush – Tarte’s Sheer Passion Maracuja Hydrating Cheek Tint – review here
  • Lipstick – Tarte’s Color Splash Hydrating Lipstick – review here

Lots of Love,
Dal

One Look, One Week Reviews; Tarte Sheer Passion Blush & Color Splash Hydrating Lipstick

To complete this week of reviews I will be sharing my thoughts on the blush and lipstick I used in my look. If you want to see the complete look I created head here to read Monday’s post.

Let’s start off with cheeks, shall we?

I purchased Tarte’s Sheer Passion back in January with other Tarte items such as the shape tape. The best part about it is it was on sale and I got an extra 30% off. That brought the total of this gem to $7.00 CAD!

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This is a really pretty pinky-red stain that I prefer to apply with my fingers. A little goes a long way so I like to apply this lightly with my fingers and then build up the intensity afterward by adding more if needed. Because I was wearing a darker lip I chose in my look to keep the cheeks sheer.

This blush does have Tarte’s famous maracuja oil to make this a hydrating blush which works for me and my dry skin. This also looks good with my skin tone because it enhances my natural blush. I love this during the Fall and Winter time because the colour is very light.Tarte Sheer Passion blush

I love the applicator style of this blush because it’s liquid so the twist style applicator dispenses a small amount of product at a time.

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I like to dot this on my cheek and then blend it out using my fingers. This surprisingly lasts long on me. It’s a perfect blush whether I wear makeup or on no makeup days when I just want to look alive.

The last item I wanted to review as part of this series and the last item I put on my face actually is Tarte’s Color Splash Hydrating Lipstick in Set Sail. I purchased this back in my April shopping haul.

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This is a pretty dark nude. I like how it really makes the look I created feel like Fall. This is described as a hydrating 24hr formula that provides full coverage.

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I do find this formula very hydrating and comfortable to wear. It appears matte which is really nice too. I don’t always wear lipstick so when a formula is a lightweight like this one I really appreciate it because it doesn’t feel like I’m wearing lipstick.

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It provides full coverage so one swipe is all it takes to create an intense lip. The only downside is that this does not last 24hr. I found after about 4 hours the colour started to fade and I needed to reapply. It’s not something I really mind because if I’m wearing a lipstick I will carry it with me to touch up throughout the day.

I really love these two items and I find I actually wear them more often than not in my everyday makeup routine.

Have you tried any of these items? What are your favourite blushes or lipsticks?

That rounds up my one look, one week of reviews!

Lots of Love,
Dal

One Look, One Week Reviews; Tarte Shape Tape

I have been wanting to post a review of the Shape Tape Concealer for the longest time. I shared my initial thoughts when I received my Tarte Cosmetics Haul. Since purchasing this I have had so much time to really test it out. I made sure to include this in my Fall look, you can see the completed look here.

I understand the hype around this concealer and know a lot of users swear by it. I, however, have love-hate feelings toward this. Depending on my makeup or how dry my skin feels that day this either works amazing for me or it doesn’t at all! Anyways, on to the review!

What It Is
A full-coverage, vegan, blendable concealer that brightens, smooths & shapes skin (tartecosmetics.com)

Price
$35.00 CAD. I only shop at Tarte when they have a sale and they were offering 30% off for Boxing Day so when I saw my shade come back into stock I picked it up!

 

Packaging
This is a large tube of concealer. The applicator on the shape tape is way too big in my opinion. When it comes to this formula, a little goes a long way and I find the applicator deposits more concealer onto my face than I might actually need. It also has a dip in the applicator to house more product which I personally don’t like.

Colour
This is the second lightest shade in the line and although it matches me well, I think I might be able to wear the lightest shade instead. Depending on the foundation I wear underneath, this can either look super flattering on me or terrible. I think it looks best on me when I wear my pink toned foundations. If I wear a foundation that is more yellow, it only brings out all the yellow in the concealer and I end up looking washed out.

This looks the best with my favourite foundation, Shiseido’s Synchro Skin Lasting Liquid Foundation. You need to read my review of it here. It looks so good with that foundation in particular on me. It also looks good with Tarte’s Water Foundation which I reviewed in the post before because that shade is neutral.

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Application & Wear
This is the thickest concealer I own. If I’m wearing a full-coverage foundation I can’t wear this because it just makes me look cakey. I prefer to wear this with medium coverage foundation because I can blend this out easily and it will make the medium coverage feel more full coverage. That’s one thing I like about the shape tape, it does blend out really well and I can wear lighter coverage foundations with this.

One thing I mentioned before is that the shape tape does not completely cancel out my dark circles. It does make them less visible but not more than any of my other concealers. Also, this creases and looks dry on me if I set it with powder my under eyes. Now, I have natural creases under my eyes and my skin is dry. I have to moisturize well under my eyes anyways but this just makes it more apparent if I don’t. I find that using the Tarte maracuja oil under my eyes really helps. The shape tape has shea butter and mango seed butter, both of which are supposed to hydrate the skin but on me, it doesn’t do that.

When I use this to conceal my face I find it provides the best coverage for blemishes and redness around my nose. This is also extremely long lasting which I love.

The Breakdown

Pros

  • Blends easily
  • Works perfectly with my fave foundation
  • Long lasting

Cons

  • Doesn’t cover dark circles completely
  • Accentuates dryness and creases
  • Applicator is too large

Can you see why it’s such a strange concealer for me? Have you tried the shape tape? What do you think of it?

See you in tomorrow’s post where I review my blush and lipstick in my one look!

Lots of Love,
Dal

One Look, One Week of Reviews; Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation

Happy Hump Day! We are now halfway through my one look, one week of reviews! If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, please check out my Monday post here.

I have had this foundation for some time now and have been using it off and on so I knew it was about time that I reviewed it! I ordered this from the Tarte Cosmetics website and shared it in my blog post here.

What it is
Infused with Tarte’s Rainforest of the Sea complex, this is a full-coverage but lightweight foundation.

Price
$51.00 CAD (1 oz) regular price. I actually got this at 30% when Tarte was having its friends and family sale in April. For $35.70 I thought it was worth trying.

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Packaging
I like the dropper style of this foundation because then I can control how much I put on the back of my hand. I love that it has this gradient purple cap and the glass bottle. It feels really elegant.

Colour
I got this in the shade 02 fair neutral and it’s a great match for me. I can appreciate that this comes in 21 shades and Tarte does well to include yellow, pink and neutral tones.

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Application & Wear
For a full coverage foundation, this is very light and liquid. It really does feel like water so I tend to dot this all over my face first and then blend it in with beauty blender so that the foundation doesn’t get absorbed by the sponge. It easily blends into my skin and doesn’t look heavy. I apply one layer and I think it provides medium coverage which I like but I can imagine that this formula would work really well if layered up to full coverage without it looking thick.

I can wear this all day without it creasing or cracking. One only issue for me is that because it’s water based I find that when it dries it looks dry on my skin close up. I have to add a facial oil or moisturize before application. That’s an easy fix for me because I have to hydrate my skin regardless. From a distance though my skin looks super smooth.

The Breakdown

Pros

  • Great shade match
  • Blends easily
  • All day wear
  • Medium to Full coverage

Cons

  • Can make my skin look dry

My thoughts
I really enjoy this foundation. It’s hard for me to find a shade that matches me well especially since I’m at the fairly light end of the spectrum. The coverage is really nice and doesn’t look cakey. I will need to add moisturizer to keep my skin hydrated underneath.

Have you tried this foundation? If so, what do you think of it?

Next up, I’ll be reviewing the ever popular Tarte Shape Tape!

Lots of Love,
Dal