Thursday, March 31, 2016

Review: Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24 Hour Makeup SPF 15 vs L'Oreal Infallible Makeup 18 Hour

Lancôme is owned by L'Oreal, so I've long wondered how the L'Oreal version of Teint Idole would hold up in a side-by-side comparison. Difficulty finding the right shade and periodic reformulations of both product lines kept me from getting the comparison done until now.

THE CONTENDERS


Lancôme Teint Idole 24 Hour Makeup in 140 Ivoire (N)  vs.
L'Oreal Infallible Makeup 18 Hour Liquid in Classic Ivory 603

The two foundations in natural light: Lancôme on the left, L'Oreal on the right. (Oops, sorry for the blurriness.)

Flashback test: Again, Lancôme on the left, L'Oreal on the right. Neither foundation flashed back.

Colors: The L'Oreal was actually a very slightly better match to my skin than the Lancôme.
Flashback: None detected with either foundation.
Texture: Lancôme had a smoother, more buildable texture. It was also far more forgiving when I applied makeup over it after it set.
Feel: The Lancôme felt much more comfortable on my skin. L'Oreal's version felt drier and tighter the longer I wore it. 
Wear: They wore just about the same, though the Lancôme coverage looked smoother. Neither one was as transfer resistant as Estée Lauder's Double Wear liquid. I had transfer even with setting powder and Kryolan setting spray.
Conclusion: If you can find your color in the L'Oreal Infallible version, and you'd like a drier texture, it's definitely worth a try. It was not as buildable, so if you want the extra coverage, or less dry finish, Lancôme is was a better choice for me anyway.

Below are the colors side by side on my face, before the rest of my color is applied, and after. Once the rest of my makeup is on, it's almost impossible to tell the foundations apart simply by looking. I could definitely feel the difference though, and that was enough to decide it for me. Even though the L'Oreal Infallible is a slightly better color, it's just uncomfortable for me to wear except maybe when it gets extremely humid and hot out.

Foundation only - Lancome on the left, and L'Oreal on the right.
With the rest of my makeup (slapped on rather quickly for this post), Lancome on the left, and L'Oreal on the right.
Teint Idole Ultra 24H Makeup Octinoxate Sunscreen Braod Spectrum SPF 15
Wear & Comfort, Retouch Free, Divine Perfection 1oz
Ingredients: Active: Octinoxate 3% Inactive: Aqua / Water / Eau, Cyclopentasiloxane, Polypropylsilsesquioxane, Isododecane, Dimethicone, C30-45 Alkyldimethylsilyl Polypropylsilsesquioxane Silica, Glycerin, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Dimethicone/Polyglycerin-3 Crosspolymer, Sodium Chloride, Nylon-12, Paraffin, Cyclomethicone, Aluminum Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Dipropylene Glycol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Acrylates Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol Chlorphenesin, Ethylparaben, [+/- May Contain / Peut Contenir/ Ultramarines, Iron Oxides / Titanium Dioxide]

L'Oreal Infallible Never Fail Makeup 18 HR - 1oz
Ingredients: Active: Titanium Dioxide (1.75%), Other: Water, Isododecane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Acrylates/Polytrimethylsiloxy Methacrylate Copolymer, Isohexadecane, Glycerin, Bis-PEG/PPG-14/14 Dimethicone, PTFE, Nylon-12, Hydrogenated Styrene/Isoprene Copolymer, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Phenoxyethanol, Magnesium Sulfate, Isostearyl Diglyceryl Succinate, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Caprylyl Glycol, Methylparaben, Propylene Carbonate, Magnesium Gluconate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate May Contain (+/-): Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide

Monday, March 28, 2016

Blending Sponges on the Cheap

Vixen can't believe what a great deal these makeup sponges were either! Btw, it isn't best sanitary practice to photograph your makeup sponges with your dog. These sponges were washed thoroughly after this photo was taken. (After explaining to Vixen that they were not, in fact, toys for her.)  :)

While I love Beauty Blenders, the price for one little hot pink sponge ($20) is ridiculous. Yes, they're as cute as an Easter Peep, and they work very well, but really - $20 for one sponge?

As usual (in my life anyway), Amazon.com to the rescue. I scored this little set for $22.98 (on Prime so I got in 2 days with free shipping!)


Party Queen Latex Free Makeup Sponge Blender Set 7 Pieces - with 1 Mini Sponge.
http://amzn.com/B0133CRGSU

While I think the shape choice for the brown color is a tad unfortunate, I am very pleased with the quality and the shapes of the sponges. They do every bit as great a job as the Beauty Blender sponges I have. It's just that frankly, I think Beauty Blender's made enough off of me by now.

The beige sponge at the top is a Beauty Blender Sponge, the white one is from Sephora's line, the pink and multicolored sponge are both from TJ Maxx.


If you have TJ Maxx or Marshalls stores near you, check out their beauty section for more Beauty Blender alternatives. I've had great luck there with sponges ranging from about $3 to $8 a piece. Some are more firm than Beauty Blender, some are about the same, and some are softer - so it's a matter of a little trial and error. You won't be out much dough, so it might worth picking up a couple of different brands/shapes.


Happy hunting!


Review: Bobbi Brown Corrector - Light Peach

Bobbi Brown Corrector in Light Peach. Picture and description below, courtesy of BobbiBrown.com


I hate it when a product I consider to be very over-priced ends up working out so beautifully that I find myself justifying the cost. That's how I feel about Bobbi Brown's corrector. (Shown above in Light Peach.)

From the ingredient label, it's a very standard petrolatum concealer/corrector in an almost laughably small container. This is even smaller than my Estee Lauder Double Wear concealer which is $25 for 0.1 oz. Bobbi Brown's version is 0.05 oz for $25 - half the size! For the record, MAC's Studio Fix concealer, which is identical to the Lauder version, is $19 for 0.24 oz. (For those who don't know already - both MAC and Bobbi Brown are Lauder Group companies.)

So here is the math for what a full ounce would cost:

MAC's Studio Fix concealer (identical to Lauder's Double Wear High Cover): $79.17 an ounce.
Estee Lauder's High Cover: $250 an ounce.
Bobbi Brown's Corrector: $500 an ounce!
(That makes Cle de Peau's luxury concealer seem like a better deal at $412 for one ounce. CdP's retails for $70 for 0.17 oz.)

Crazy right? Who would pay so much more for such a tiny pot??

Well.
About that. . .

I tried a sample.
It was perfect.
I slapped it on under my eyes and then got distracted by something. I can't remember what. I didn't cover it with my regular concealer the way they recommend. I didn't set it with powder. I just left it there for several hours and forgot about it. When I looked in the mirror again, I couldn't believe my eyes. First, it matches my skin without concealer over it - I don't know how that happened. It just looks like my skin. And even without powder, it didn't crease or budge or slide or fade one little bit.

I wasn't going to post before and after pictures because I've slept especially badly, and my skin is doing the Rein-A molting/peeling/angry thing right now. Still, even with all that going on, and no foundation or powder or even primer - this stuff is amazing. So here ya go. Pictures.


Before Bobbi Brown Corrector
After Bobbi Brown Corrector.

Even my lines look better. And honestly, that was a pretty half-assed application. If I'd actually taken the time to prime, blend well, apply concealer over it or even just powder, it would be even better.

That said, it does not feel as silky and spreadable as other concealers. It feels almost tacky, and a little thick. Use very, very little or you'll be trying to blend it out for ten minutes. Tapping it in took a little more effort than with my other concealers, but once it was in place - it was fantastic.

So, let the justifying to my pocket book begin . . .


From the website:
https://www.bobbibrowncosmetics.com/product/14460/15905/New/Corrector/SS11

"Waterproof, sweat and humidity-resistant, this long-wearing formula boasts a uniquely creamy-smooth texture for perfectly smooth coverage that’s easy to blend and won’t crease. Infused with skin conditioners to protect the delicate undereye area and available in 16 skin-tone-correct correcting shades (so everyone gets a match).

"For maximum coverage, wear Corrector under Creamy Concealer (not included). Using the Concealer Brush (sold separately), apply Corrector as close as possible to the lash line, and also on the innermost corner of the eye. Gently blend with your fingers. Layer Creamy Concealer directly over the Corrector. "

Ingredients:

Petrolatum, bis-diglyceryl polyacyladipate-2, octyldodecyl stearoyl stearate, methyl methacrylate crosspolymer, tribehenin, tocopheryl acetate, retinyl palmitate, oxokerite, lecithin, propylene glycol stearate, sorbitan laurate, polysorbate 20, propylene glycol laurate. May contain: titanium dioxide (ci 77891), iron oxides (ci 77491, ci 77492, ci 77499), mica, ultramarines (ci 77007), carmine (ci 75470).

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Review: Mehron ProColoRing Concealer 505-C Correcter/Concealer Palette

While consumer products are the easy to find and so they are easiest for me to recommend to dancers on the go, I think it's worth taking a look at the professional products - especially since they can have a far better range of colors and can be much more economical. The packaging may not be convenient for consumers - there are usually no mirrors or brushes included, but the cost and versatility may make them worth the effort.

In this post I'm reviewing Mehron's ProColoRing Concealer 505-C palette which I got from Amazon. There are often great deals to be had on professional cosmetics through Amazon.com, but check prices carefully to make sure you're getting the best deal. Also read the reviews as there are counterfeit products and old/expired products being sold on Amazon (and eBay) as well.

Here is how Mehron's website describe's the product:

"Mehron's ProColoRing™ Concealer was developed to correct any shadows or dark circles on the face or body of performers when performing under the lights. The creamy formula of Mehron's ProColoRing™ Concealer guarantees maximum coverage; the five new colors can be blended to accommodate every skin tone. This is an essential tool for Makeup Artists to have with them when doing makeup for pfoto shoots, music videos, film work or theather makeup. Mehron's ProColoRing™ Concealer is made to accomplish a natural cover by blending the colors and achieving the perfect hue of the performer’s skin color without looking like cover up. 1 oz."



 
This is the 505-C  palette - the lighter of the two palette's available. Visit Mehron.com to see the other palette and products available.

The three lightest colors in the palette match me very well - just different parts of my face. For example, the second lightest shade matches the skin under my eyes. The 3rd darkest matches my cheeks and chin. The lightest color matches my eyelids and temples. This illustrates why it can be so difficult to find a concealer we like for everything we want to cover - our faces are not one color. Palettes like these can be the perfect solution to that problem. The two darkest shades are appropriate for contouring with my skin tone, and while I don't use contour very often, it is handy to have the colors in the same palette.

As far as performace, I was very surprised at how well the Mehron concealers looked and lasted. They are a little sheer for professional concealer, and very silky. To get the most coverage I had to use two layers with a light dusting of Laura Mercier's setting powder in between layers. Once it was on however, it stayed and stayed. No creasing, no oxidizing to a different color, no fading. It also felt very comfortable on my skin. Best of all, it didn't look like makeup. It looked very natural - very much like my skin, but without the dark circles and spots. I could have just has easily blended it out for foundation. With colorless setting powder and setting spray, it was transfer-resistant and waterproof. On it's own without those two steps, however, it did transfer.

I don't have a picture this time but I did do a flashback test for these colors and there was no flashback at all.

The only reservation I have with ProColoRing is the inclusion of Isopropyl Myristate and Mineral Oil which aren't great for acne-prone skin types. If these are problem ingredients for you, then there are better options.

At $11.25 for a full ounce of product, it's a great deal. Even at $15.95 on Mehron's website, it's a bargain. That works out to 0.17 oz for each color in the palette. Estee Lauder's high cover concealer costs $25 for just 0.1 oz (just over half as much as the Mehron single "pie" slice, and Bobbi Brown's corrector costs $25 for half of Lauder's size only 0.05 oz.  If you can make the packaging work with your routine, and the colors are good for your complexion, this is a steal.


Ingredients:
Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Isopropyl Myristate, Ozokerite, Mineral Oil/Paraffinum Liquidum/Huile Minérale , Silica, Kaolin, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Ethylhexyl Hydroxystearate, Propylparaben , BHA, Talc. May Contain [+/- CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 (Iron Oxides), CI 77007 (Ultramarines), CI 77489, CI 77288 (Chromium Oxide Greens), CI 15850 (Red 7 Lake), CI 15850 (Red 6 Lake), CI 19140 (Yellow 5 Lake)].

Review: Estee Lauder Perfectionist Serum + Concealer and Double Wear Powder Foundation


Estée Lauder Perfectionist Youth-Infusing Brightening Serum + Concealer (1C Light (Cool), pictured with Lauder's Double Wear Pressed Powder Foundation in IN2 Ecru.

It seems most social dancers I know, who wear makeup anyway, are looking for products that can pull double-duty, or at least do their job taking up as little space as possible. For me, it takes several products to remotely cover my under-eye circles. I am constantly looking for a way to reduce the number of products I have to carry with me for that particular issue. Lauder's Perfectionist Youth-Infusing Brightening Serum + Concealer (what is it with Lauder and these ridiculously long names??) seemed like it might just be the thing I needed. If nothing else, maybe they would be a good "I'm in a hurry" solution to carry with me in my bag.

The serum isn't much of a serum as it's shiny and pink, but it does diffuse the darkness of the circles pretty well. It has some nice skin care ingredients in it as well, but how those will do any good getting through the shimmer and the pigment, I really have no idea. The serum does seem to keep my eye area from feeling especially dry, so that's a plus.

The concealer on the other end is a silky concealer that has minimal-to-medium coverage. The base, Glyceryl Triacetyl Ricinoleate, is an excellent skin conditioning ingredient so it doesn't make the eye area feel dry at all. It is a little "slippy" though, so I recommend setting the serum underneath with a colorless setting powder like Laura Mercier's Secret Brightening Powder (don't use a finishing powder for this, since we need to apply the concealer on top.) A setting powder will keep the serum from mixing with the concealer and creasing or "moving" on the skin.

Once I applied the concealer, I found I needed additional coverage from my powder and Double Wear powder worked great. Without the powder, the coverage isn't quite enough, but the Double Wear powder was just enough to lock in the color, mattify, and diffuse the circles just a little more.

I accidentally included the Serum+Concealer duo in my Double Wear post, and photographed it with that group. The Serum and Concealer are pictured 3rd from the right, below.

Swatches after dry down and in natural light. The Perfectionist Brightening Serum+Concealer is 3rd from the right.

During the flashback test I found that the brightening serum, likely due to the mica shimmer, did flashback somewhat. With concealer over it (and powder) however, I doubt it would be much of a problem.

Flashback test swatches:  The Perfectionist Duo is pictured 3rd from right - the top dot is the Brightening Serum (more of a shimmering cream), and below is the Concealer in 1C Light (Cool).

Several people have asked how the serum compares to YSL's Touche Eclat. Lauder's Brightening Serum is more peach-toned, while Touche Eclat #1 is more cool pink. The color is almost in between YSL #1 and YSL #2 in the pink-to-yellow range. The Lauder serum also has more shimmer and "flashes" more than the YSL Touche Eclat colors (except for the "Strobe" version.)


Lauder's Brightening Serum between YSL's Touche Eclat #1 Luminous Radiance and #2 Luminous Ivory. (Unblended)

Lauder's Brightening Serum between YSL's Touche Eclat #1 Luminous Radiance and #2 Luminous Ivory. (Blended)
Lauder's Brightening Serum between YSL's Touche Eclat #1 Luminous Radiance and #2 Luminous Ivory. (with camera flash) You might have to enlarge the picture, but under brighter light, the mica shimmer in Lauder's brightener is more obvious.

In conclusion, I like the pair and I enjoy using both products. Both products are great for touch-ups. For coverage though, on their own, they're not enough and I need to put powder foundation over it to get the even color I want.


Ingredients:

Brightening Serum: Water, Methyl Trimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Glycerine, Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Dimethicone, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimetylsiloxethyl Dimethicone, Trehalose, Zinc Stearate, Chlorella Vulgaris Extract, Cladosiphon Okamuranus Extract, Hydrolyzed Fish (Pisces) Collagen, Whey Protein, Cholesterol, Lecithin, Sorbitol, Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Artemia Extract, Dextrin, PEG-30 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Lauroyl Lysine, Trihydroxystearin, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Laureth-7, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Sodium PCA, Triethoxycaprylysilane, Sodium Hyaluronate, Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, PEG-8, Sodium Chloride, Xanthan Gum, Tocopherol Acetate, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Dipropylene Glycol, Tin Oxide, Sodium Dihydroacetate, Sodium Citrate, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxethanol, [+/-] Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77981), Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Iron Oxides (CI 77499).

Concealer: Glyceryl Triacetyl Ricinoleate, Octyldodecanol, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate, Polyethylene, Ozokerite, Kaolin, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Barium Sulfate, Bisabolol, Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate, Tocopheryl Acetate, pentaerythrityl tetra-di-t-butyl hydroxyhydrocinnamate, [+/-] iron oxides (CI 77492), Iron Oxides (CI 77499), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Mica.

Double Wear Stay-in-Place Powder Makeup: Talc, Isostearyl Palmitate, Silica, Calcium Silicate, Methicone, Phenyl Trimethicone, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Boron Nitride, Methyl Methacrylate, Crosspolymer, Polypropylene, Phenoxyethanol, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Bismuth Oxychloride, Carmine, Chromium Hydroxide Green
Synthetic Fluorphlogopite
Synthetic Fluorphlogopite
Synthetic Fluorphlogopite
Synthetic Fluorphlogopite


Estee Lauder's BB Creams - Shades and Flashback

I've decided to investigate more skin care and cosmetics for potential flashback during flash photography. Since I'm already swatching products while preparing articles like this one, comparing product features, it's easy enough to look for flash as well.

For this series I will be looking at products in the same range, or of the same type, preparing swatches, and comparing ingredient lists. Today's range is Estée Lauder's broad, and somewhat confusing, line of BB creams.

My biggest question while researching this is: Why, if there are 5 different BB products of the same intensity ("Light" in this case), can't one of them match me well? If I blend them out until it's no longer obvious they don't match well, I lose much of the sun protection. Of the products below, only the Enlighten EE Cream in 01 Light actually matches my skin.

(NOTE: There are two shades of the same Double Wear BB Cream shown in pictures below, making six bottles in the line-up.)



From Left to Right:
  1. Double Wear All-Day Glow BB Moisture Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 30 - Intensity 1.0  ($38 - 1oz)
  2. Double Wear All-Day Glow BB Moisture Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 30 - Intensity 2.0  ($38 - 1oz)
  3. DayWear BB Anti-Oxidant Beauty Benefit Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 35  - 01 Light ($40 - 1oz)
  4. Clear Difference BB Complexion Perfecting BB  Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 35 - 01 Light ($40 - 1oz) - Available at Sephora.com but not on EsteeLauder.com.
  5. Crescent White BB Creme Broad Spectrum SPF 50 and Brightening Balm - (one color) ($50 - 1oz)
  6. Enlighten EE Even Effect Skintone Corrector Broad Spectrum SPF 30 - 01 Light ($40 - 1oz)

Review:

The differences between these BB creams, despite their claims, are minimal. They are thicker than most BB creams I've used, and difficult to blend, with the exception of the Enlighten EE Cream. That one blended very easily and looked most natural on my skin. The Double Wear BB cream does wear a bit longer than the other BB creams, but it takes some work to blend in, and the colors are, like all the BB creams, are very limited. The deciding factor between these BB cream sub-lines will likely be finding a color match rather than deciding on "beauty benefits."

I have found that the Crescent White BB Cream blends very well with my SPF 50 moisturizers, so I am going to hang to that one and the Enlighten EE Cream. The others might have great benefits for the skin, but the colors just don't work for me.


Flashback Results:



The above pictures shows the flashback seen in a flash photograph in a dark room. Only the lightest color in Double Wear BB Cream (Intensity 1) appears to have the potential for flashback. Even though the products are still a little wet on my skin, the Double Wear BB "Light' seems to grab more flashback than the others.


For reference, these are the colors in natural light:
.
After waiting about 15 minutes for the creams to oxidize a bit, I blended them down more and took another flash photograph in a dark room.




It's hard to see, but the first cream, Day Wear BB Cream in Intensity 1.0, is the only one that looks a little bright - the others show no flashback at all on me.


Ingredient Lists:

Double Wear All-Day Glow BB Moisture Makeup - SPF 30: Active Ingredients: Octinoxate (7.5%), Octisalate (5%), Titanium Dioxide (5.2%), Zinc Oxide (3.2%). Inactive Ingredients: Water, Squalane, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Butylene Glycol, Propanediol, Glyceryl Stearate, Behenyl Alcohol, PEG-40 Stearate, Polyglyceryl-10 Pentastearate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water, Trehalose, Thermus Thermophillus Ferment, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Caffeine, Stearic Acid, Sorbitol, Polyglyceryl-6 Polyricinoleate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Lecithin, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Linoleic Acid, Alumina, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Silica, Tin Oxide, Glycerin, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Dehydroacetate. May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Iron Oxides, Iron Oxides, Ferric Ferrocyanide, Yellow 5 Lake, Chromium Oxide Greens, Chromium Hydroxide Green, Carmine, Blue 1 Lake, Bismuth Oxychloride.

DayWear BB Anti-Oxidant Beauty Benefit Cream SPF 35: Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 7.5%; Octisalate 4.0%; Oxybenzone 2.50%; Titanium Dioxide 1.1%; Inactive Ingredients: Water, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Phenyl Trimethicone, Glyceryl Stearate, Behenyl Alcohol, Trioctyldodecyl Citrate, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, PEG-40 Stearate, Polyglyceryl-10 Pentastearate, Gentiana Lutea (Gentian) Root Extract, Polygonum Cuspidatum Root Extract, Thermus Thermophillus Ferment, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract, Fumaria Officinalis Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Hydrolyzed Rice Bran Extract, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Hydrolyzed Rice Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Artemia Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract, Cholesterol, Caffeine, Propylene Glycol Stearate, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Polyglyceryl-6 Polyricinoleate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sucrose, Glycerin, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Linoleic Acid, Lecithin, Squalane, Sodium PCA, Urea, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Ergothioneine, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Polysorbate-20, Sorbitan Laurate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Citric Acid, Propylene Glycol Laurate, Glycyrrhetinic Acid, Trehalose, Polyquaternium-51, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Fumaric Acid, Alumina, Palmitoyl Hydroxypropyltrimonium Amylopectin/Glycerin Crosspolymer, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Cyclodextrin, Nordihydroguaiaretic Acid, Ascorbyl Tocopheryl Maleate, Xanthan Gum, Stearic Acid, Silica, Fragrance, Ethylbisaminomethylguaiacol, Manganese Chloride, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Iron Oxides, Yellow 5 Lake, Chromium Oxide Greens, Mica, Ferric Ferrocyanide, Chromium Hydroxide Green, Carmine, Bismuth Oxychloride, Blue 1 Lake

Clear Difference BB Complexion Perfecting Cream SPF 35: Active Ingredients: Octinoxate (7.5%), Octisalate (4%), Oxybenzone (2.5%), Titanium Dioxide (1.1%). Inactive Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Phenyl Trimethicone, Glyceryl Stearate, Behenyl Alcohol, Trioctyldodecyl Citrate , Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, PEG-40 Stearate, Polyglyceryl-10 Pentastearate, Gentiana Lutea (Gentian) Root Extract, Polygonum Cuspidatum Root Extract, Thermus Thermophillus Ferment, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract, Fumaria Officinalis Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Hydrolyzed Rice Bran Extract, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Hydrolyzed Rice Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Artemia Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract, Cholesterol, Caffeine, Propylene Glycol Stearate, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Pentylene Glycol, Polyglyceryl-6 Polyricinoleate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sucrose, Glycerin, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Linoleic Acid, Lecithin, Squalane, Sodium PCA, Urea, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Ergothioneine, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Polysorbate 20, Sorbitan Laurate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Citric Acid, Propylene Glycol Laurate, Glycyrrhetinic Acid, Trehalose, Polyquaternium-51, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Fumaric Acid, Alumina, Palmitoyl Hydroxypropyltrimonium, Amylopectin/Glycerin Crosspolymer, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Cyclodextrin, Nordihydroguaiaretic, Ascorbyl Tocopheryl Maleate, Xanthan Gum, Stearic Acid, Silica, Ethylbisiminomethylguaiacol Manganese Chloride, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Iron Oxides, Ferric Ferrocyanide, Yellow 5 Lake, Chromium Oxide Greens, Chromium Hydroxide Green, Carmine, Blue 1 Lake, Bismuth Oxychloride.

Crescent White BB Creme: BB Creme SPF 50 and Brightening BalmActive Ingredients: Avobenzone 3.00%, Homosalate 5.00%, Octisalate 5.00%, Octocrylene 2.70%, Oxybenzone 3.00%. Inactive Ingredients: Water, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Neopentyl Glycol Dihepanoate, Aleurites Moluccana (Kukul) Seed Oil, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, PEG-100 Stearate, Butylene Glycol, Methyl Trimethicione, Glyceryl Stearate, Dipentaerythrityl Tri-Polyhydroxystearate, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract\Extrait D’Orge, Algae Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Whey Protein\LactisProtein\Proteine Du Petit-Lait, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Caffeine, Lecithin, Yeast Extract\Faex\Extrat De Levure, Oryzanol, Sorbitol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seedcake, Propylene Glycol Dicaprate, Cetyl Alcohol, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Saccharide Isomerate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Caprylyl Glycol, Ammonium Acrylolyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Potassium Sorbate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Dehydroxnathan Gum, Stearic Acid, Citric Acid, Tetrahecyldecyl Ascorbate, Silica, Fragrance (Parfum), Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Iron Oxides (CI 77499), Mica. Brightening Balm Ingredients: Octyldodecanol, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Synthetic Beeswax, Silica, Trioctyldodecyl Citrate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Jojoba Esters, Microcrystalline Wax\Cera Microcristallina\Cire Microcristalline, Polyethylene, Dipentaerythrityl Hexahydroxystearate/Hexastearate/Hexarosinate, Phenyl Trimethicone, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Lecithin, PVP/Hexadecene Copolymer, Caprylyl Glycol, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl, Hydroxyhydrocinnamate. May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Iron Oxides (CI 77499), Aluminum Powder (CI 77000), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090), Bronze Powder (CI 77400), Carmine (CI 75470), Chromium Hydroxide Green (CI 77289), Chromium Oxide Greens (CI 77288), Copper Powder (CI 77400), Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide (CI 77510), Red 6 (CI 15850), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Red 28 Lake (CI 45410), Ultramarines (CI 77007), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140).

Enlighten EE Even Effect Skintone Corrector Cream: Active Ingredients: Homosalate 5%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 2.7%, Oxybenzone 3%, Titanium Dioxide 1.9%. Inactive Ingredients: Water, Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Aleurites Moluccana (Kukui) Seed Oil, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, PEG-100 Stearate, Butylene Glycol, Methyl Trimethicone, Glyceryl Stearate, Dipentaerythrityl Tri-Polyhydroxystearate, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Cladosiphon Okamuranus Extract, Laminaria Ochroleuca Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Narcissus Tazetta Bulb Extract, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract, Whey Protein, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Yeast Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seedcake, Cholesterol, Oryzanol, Sorbitol, Propylene Glycol Dicaprate, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Dextrin, Cetyl Alcohol, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Saccharide Isomerate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Lecithin, Caffeine, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Dehydroxanthan Gum, Stearic Acid, Silica, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Alumina, Fragrance (Parfum), Tin Oxide, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Disodium EDTA, BHT, Phenoxyethanol. [+/- ] Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Mica.

Party 1: Lauder's Double Wear - Reviews, Swatches, Flashback, Ingredients


Continuing my product reviews, comparisons and performance testing, today's post is all about Estée Lauder's Double Wear line. 

As I stared at the huge array of products at the Lauder counter, I thought wouldn't it be great if I could count on one product line to meet all of my social dancing makeup needs? Unlike my friends (dancers and makeup artists alike), I was late to the Double Wear game. As with most "Heritage" cosmetic lines, I associated this line with my mother and my grandmother. I wanted to be trendy and hip. But after asking several fellow makeup artists and social dancers for their recommendations, I just couldn't ignore Lauder anymore.

Since I already have several lip, cheek and eye color products I like, I focused where I was having the most trouble finding high-performance products - foundations and concealers.



Pictured above from left to right:
  1. Double Wear Light Stay-in-Place Makeup - Intensity 0.5 - 1.0oz - $38
  2. Double Wear Waterproof All Day Extreme Wear Concealer - 1C Light (Cool) - 0.5oz - $25
  3. Double Wear Stay-in-Place Flawless Wear Concealer - 1C Light (Cool) - 0.24oz - $25
  4. Double Wear Brush-On Glow BB Highlighter  - 1C Light (Cool) - 0.07oz - $29
  5. (Perfectionist Youth-Infusing Brightening Serum+Concealer - 1C Light (Cool) - 0.16oz - $34 - included in this line-up by accident. The review of this product can be found here:  )
  6. Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup - 1C1 Cool Bone - 1.0oz - $32
  7. Double Wear Stay-in-Place High Cover Concealer Broad Spectrum SPF 35- 2C Light/Medium 0.1oz  - $25
The range is impressive - not only in texture of products offered, but also in color range. That said, the colors can be a little strange, and they do change color as they warm and oxidize on the skin. Most products went a little darker, and a little yellower, on me as they set. Double Wear powder (which I hadn't tried when I first started this writeup) and the High Cover Concealer did not darken, however.

Another benefit of the Double Wear line that I had not expected was the ability to touch up or add product later, after the original application had "set". This is something I was unable to do with other transfer-resistant products like Lancôme's Teint Idole (liquid).

Between the oxidizing problem, and the small, minimally helpful swatches on the very slow-loading website, online ordering is a bit of an ordeal. If you can get to a counter to try the colors on, so much the better. After getting the potential matches swatched on you skin, I recommend waiting a few minutes then going outside, or at least near a window to get into natural light and then checking the match before making a final purchase. I also strongly recommend shopping somewhere you will be able to return the product if it doesn't work out.

Keep in mind, in the pictures below, the makeup swatches are applied to my forearm which is much lighter and pinker than my face.


After 15 minutes, natural light - no flash.

Individual Reviews:

Double Wear Light Stay-in-Place Makeup in Intensity 0.5 is a fantastic match for my skin.  It has a very blendable texture with a slightly sheerer coverage than the original Double Wear liquid makeup. Of the Double Wear products, this one looks most like my natural skin. It is moderately buildable, though not as much so as the original liquid, and it feels very natural (no tight, "set" feeling) on the skin.

Double Wear Waterproof All Day Extreme Wear Concealer: While this has the same color name as the other products I use, it doesn't match well at all. It starts out ashy and then turns muddy as it oxidizes on my skin. On the upside, it blends very well with another foundation I have that is too pink, and the two combined make an amazing foundation. It does wear very well and didn't crease or budge all day. While it doesn't have as much coverage as Stay-in-Place Flawless Concealer or the High Cover concealer initially, it is buildable and it layers very well. Once it's in place, it doesn't budge. It isn't as creamy or easily blendable as its biggest rival, Lancome's Effacernes Waterproof Concealer, but EL's version creased less on me, and stayed in place better.

Double Wear Stay-in-Place Flawless Wear Concealer: The 1C Cool is shown, but it's the Light/Medium shade that matches me exactly. This, like Double Wear Light, looks very natural on my skin and it doesn't crease, move or transfer. It has a slightly more powdery, matte finish than the other concealers, but it doesn't feel tight and it didn't settle into lines.

Double Wear Brush-On Glow BB Highlighter: None of the colors work very well for me, and none of them seem to blend well either on top of, or underneath my foundation. They show up unnaturally no matter how much I blend. With Touche Eclat and my other rarely mentioned favorite, La Prairie Light Fantastic pen, as competitors, Double Wear's version just doesn't cut it.

Perfectionist Youth-Infusing Brightening Serum+Concealer - 1C Light (Cool) - was included in this line-up picture by accident. The review of this product will be posted shortly.

Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup (liquid)- 1C1 Cool Bone - I love this foundation, though I don't need it very often. It provides a very full coverage that is both waterproof and transfer-resistant. I can build it up or blend it out and wear it sheer - it does beautifully. I can even apply more later after the foundation has "set" and it just melts into what product is already there. As other bloggers have mentioned, the MAC liquid makeup pump fits this bottle, so if you prefer not to pour, just pick up a pump at a MAC counter.

Double Wear Stay-in-Place High Cover Concealer Broad Spectrum SPF 35 - While I love this product, and the coverage, I can't help but notice that it's formula is identical to MAC's Studio Finish Concealer which is $19 for 0.24oz. The Double Wear is $25 for 0.1oz.  The identical formulations aren't really a surprise as Lauder owns MAC, but the price difference for the amount you get is surprising. If you can't find your color in MAC, then the Double Wear might be your best choice, but I highly recommend trying the MAC selection first.

And now for the Flashback test. None of these were set with powder and it seemed the "flashback" was mostly due to products still being "wet" on my skin. Even the High Cover Concealer on the end, with the highest SPF, didn't seem to flash back very light. 

Flashback Test: Photographed in a dark room, with flash.
All-in-all, after figuring out my color match in the various formulations, I was very happy with the the Double Wear line looked and performed. As long as you can try before you buy, and return if it doesn't work out, it's definitely worth checking out.


Ingredient Lists:

Double Wear Light Stay-in-Place Makeup: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Butylene Glycol, Trimethyl Pentaphenyltrisiloxane, Phenyl Trimethicone, Silica, Magnesium Sulfate, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Tribehenin, PEG-10 Dimethicone, BIS-PEG/PPG-14/14 Dimethicone, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenyl Methicone, Sodium Hyaluronate, Dimethicone, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Laureth-7, Glycerin, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Hexyl Laurate, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria), Disteardimonium Hectorite, Methicone, Propylene Carbonate, Tetramethyl Hexyphenyl Tetrasiloxane, Cellulose Gum, Xanthan Gum, Dimethicone Silylate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Alumina, Sorbic Acid, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol. May contain: Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide, Bismuth Oxychloride, Mica, Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide.

Double Wear Waterproof All Day Extreme Wear Concealer: Water, Dimethicone, Methyl Trimethicone,  Dimethicone Silylate, Butylene Glycol, Neopentyl Glycoldiheptanoate, Phenyl Trimethicone, Polymethyl Methacrylate, PPG-12/SMDI Copolymer, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Lecithin, Caffeine, Triethyl Citrate, Methicone, Laureth-7, Silica, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Triethoxycaprylsilane, Polysilicone-11, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Chloride, Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Zinc Stearate, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, [+/- Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Iron Oxides (CI 77499)]

Double Wear Stay-in-Place Flawless Concealer: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Phenyl Trimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Boron Nitride, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Peg/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Tribehenin, Magnesium Sulfate, Titanium Dioxide, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Dimethicone, Methicone, Laureth-7, Glycerin, Cetyl Peg/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Xanthan Gum, Alumina, Trisiloxane, Dimethicone Silylate, Sorbic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, [ /- Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Mica]

Double Wear Brush-On Glow BB Highlighter: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Polydecene, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Chloride,  Dimethicone, PEG-10 Dimethicone, BIS-PEG/PPG-14/14 Dimethicone, Hexylene Glycol, Diglycerin, Nylon-12, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Hexyl Laurate, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Triethoxycaprylysilane, Polysilicone-11, Alumina, Silica, Laureth-7, Disodium EDTA, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, [+/- Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Mica, Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Iron Oxides (CI 77499), Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide (CI 77510), Ultramarines (CI 77007), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140), Chromium Oxide Greens (CI 77288), Chromium Hydroxide Green (CI 77298), Ferric Ferrocyanide (CI 77510), Bismuthoxychloride (CI 77163), Carmine (CI 75470)




Part 2: Lauder's Double Wear - Giving it a Workout

Like many social dancers, I've been looking for long-wear, transfer-resistant, waterproof makeup that will get through any social dance event. Summer milongas, worse - outdoor summer milongas - here in Texas put any makeup routine to the test. Finding cosmetics that can stand up to that kind of heat and humidity is pretty much like looking for one of these:





So far results have been great for eye and lip products, but mediocre for complexion makeup. However, after the 5th or 6th makeup artist recommended Estée Lauder's Double Wear line, I started to get my hopes up. I don't want to test drive these at a milonga, however. Seeing my makeup on my partner's jacket is not how I want to find out that the products failed. So I did the next best thing I could think of - interval training.

For my complexion makeup pictured below, I wore Estée Lauder's:
  • Matte Perfecting Primer, 
  • Double Wear Stay-in-Place Liquid Makeup (1C1), 
  • Double Wear Stay-in-Place Flawless Concealer.
  • Double Wear Stay-in-Place High Cover Concealer 2C Light/Medium
For finishing, and post-blotting later.
  • IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Poreless Finish Micro-powder - colorless. 
  • Mehron Setting Spray (Revlon, L'Oreal and Urban Decay make good ones as well, but Mehron just works a little better for my money and the Texas heat.)
For my eyes and lips, I wore my usual favorite waterproof and transfer-resistant colors:
  • Too Faced Shadow Insurance eye lid primer
  • Laura Mercier Eye Art Artist's Palette: Vanilla Nuts, African Violet, Truffle
  • Physicians Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eye Liner + Serum - Brown
  • tarte: the brow architect brow shaper, liner and definer in fair/light
  • L'Oreal Voluminous Superstar Mascara Waterproof Black
  • stila cherry crush lip and cheek stain - for blush.
  • L'Oreal Pro Last Lip Color:  "Timeless Rosé" #115


Let the challenge begin!
Me, with no makeup - moisturizer only.


Time for my Day Makeup Look. I applied my face makeup a bit more sheer than the foundation and concealer are capable of, but that's just personal preference. The products "set" well even after a few layers. Just be sure to use a colorless setting powder and setting spray.

My "Day" look - all of the cosmetics above, except for the Laura Mercier African Violet and Truffle shadows I used later for my "Evening" look.
Time to go work out!

I do High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) on the bike, for about an hour every other day. On this day, I went as far as long as I could - about 70 minutes. (I only wore makeup to test the performance of the cosmetics. Wearing makeup while working out is not something I normally do, or recommend.)

Post-workout. Flushed and sweating, but my makeup hasn't moved.

After my workout, you can see my face is flushed and sweaty, but the makeup is still in place. I blotted with bathroom tissue to see if anything comes off. Of course the sweat showed up, but only the barest trace of color. I had a little color rub-off mostly at my hair line where I sweat the most. To be fair, I don't normally wear makeup all the way to my hair line. If I decided to while dancing, I'd probably use a facial antiperspirant such as Neat Feat 3B Face Saver Antiperspirant Gel for Facial Perspiration and Shine found here: http://amzn.com/B00B5N1QFY, to prevent "sweat-off" better.

At this point, if I were out dancing, I would just blot really well and apply colorless setting powder. That's essentially what I did below, but added additional color for my "going out" evening look.


Bath tissue after blotting my face, post-workout. Not much color - mostly just sweat.


Let's really see what this makeup can take. I took a shower and washed my hair. Would the makeup last through that?

As a matter of fact it did (mostly) . . .

Post shower - makeup is still there.

My face makeup is mostly still there. I've lost my eyebrows a bit from washing my hair, but just about everything else, even my lipstick, is still going strong. I blot again to see what color comes off.



Post shower blotting - lots of water, but not much color at all. The makeup is still going strong.


After my shower, and blotting once more, I see if I can still apply more cosmetics over what's already present - without streaking, caking or flaking. I touch up my eye makeup and eye brows, my lipstick and my powder (with setting spray once again), apply a little bit more concealer and I'm ready to go. Thanks to the hot shower, and probably still from the work out - I don't need to reapply any blush.

After workout and shower, and application of more dramatic evening color, my face makeup still looks like it did a couple of hours ago.


I knew the products would hold up pretty well, but I was very surprised at just how well!


Monday, March 21, 2016

Powder Flashback in Flash Photography

Oh, the dreaded powder flashback during photo shoots!  You love the make-up. Your make-up artist loves the make-up. In natural or studio light, everything looks fantastic. And then the flash goes off. One look at the preview screen and the truth comes out. Everywhere powder was applied, your face is glowing white. It even happens to celebrities:  http://imabeautygeek.com/2011/04/07/mystery-solved-why-all-the-white-powder-on-that-celebrity-face/. What can you? How do you know if your beloved powder will betray you?

Know your powders and take a few minutes to test them for yourself.

It is a common misconception that HD powders are great for all kinds of photography. That is sadly untrue. HD powders (and makeup) were designed for HD video cameras, not flash photography. They look gorgeous in video and in person, so it's hard not to want to use them for everything.

If you love your HD powder, and don't want a second powder for photos, use your powder very sparingly and blend it well. I don't use HD powders for setting the whole face, just where I want to control shine or brighten and smooth the skin.

For social dancers, I strongly recommend colorless powders for setting long-wear make-up when transfer-resistance is essential. There are colorless powders that set long-wear make-up very well and make skin look beautiful. That's why it's so important to check how your own powders perform.

So how can you tell if your powder is going to flash white in flash photos?

First step, don't panic. If your favorite powder has the potential to flash white, due to high titanium dioxide or silica content for example, sparing use and thorough blending will minimize the effect. For better control, I use smaller brushes (blush or contour brushes, or even eye shadow brushes for powder under the eyes) rather than the large, fluffy kabuki-style brushes.

Second step, check your powders. On your bathroom counter, line up your powders. For loose powder in jars, make sure there is a fair amount of powder above the screen to show up in the picture. Then, turn off the light and take a picture with your phone, making sure that the flash feature is on.

This was my group:

From left to right, top to bottom: NYX HD Loose Powder, tarte smooth operator pressed powder, IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Loose Setting Powder, MAC Prep+Prime transparent setting powder, Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder #1 tarte smooth operator loose powder, Estee Lauder Double Wear in Ecru, MAC Light Plus Mineralize Skin Finish, Estee Lauder Lucidity in Transparent, Jane Iredale Pure Pressed Base SPF 20 in Radiant, Smashbox Halo Hydrating Perfecting Powder in Light.


As you can see, the tinted powders were fine under the flash, and most tinted powders are great in flash photos. High titanium dioxide content can cause it too lighten up quite a bit, so blend well if you're not sure - and take a test shot.

With the colorless powders, judging flashback is a little more tricky. The top 6 powders are white, so of course they're going to photography white. What I was looking for was a more telltale "glow". I was looking for bright, not just white.

The pressed NYX HD setting powder (top far left) is bright, but less so than the tarte powder next to it. There isn't a halo and it doesn't look so much like it's shining. Chances are that it will still flash white if applied very heavily, so a light hand and good blending are key.

The pressed tarte smooth operator to the right of NYX is definitely "glowing" white. This one is better for 'out and about' make-up, and on film/video etc., but not appropriate for flash photography.

The top two pots in the group of four (right side), are a bit of a mixed bag. The top cream-colored powder is the IT Cosmetics Bye-Bye Pores loose powder and it didn't flash white at all. Next to that is the MAC Prep+Prime transparent finishing powder which, while white, dos not appear to flash or glow much compared to the others.

Below the other two, is Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Under-Eye Powder #1 (left) which glows mostly because of the slight shimmer in the powder. Next, the loose tarte smooth operator (right) which glows bright just as much as the pressed variety (pressed and loose powders have different formulations, even if they have the same name.) 

Testing on Skin

NOTE: The stripes were applied to bare skin. In hindsight, I should have applied primer and foundation first. With make-up applied first, the powder has more to "stick" to and the effect would be a bit stronger. The results and advice are the same, however - flash-test your powders, apply them sparingly, and blend very well.

I decided to check the 4 worst offenders, from the photo above, on my skin to see how bad it really looked. Here are four stripes, applied heavily and unblended. The picture is in a darkened room with a flash.

From left to right:

NYX HD Pressed Powder, tarte smooth operator pressed, Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder #1, and last on the far right, tarte smooth operator loose powder.

From this picture it looks like a little blending out might take care of much of the problem. 



The second picture below shows the powders blended out to a level I would normally apply (to myself or to someone else.)  The tarte smooth operator pressed powder and the Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder blend down quite well. Mercier's powder shows up mostly as shimmer at this point, so a light application is essential. NYX and tarte's smooth operator stayed looking brighter even when well blended.


This whole process took about 10 minutes, so it's worth using your phone and just double checking for yourself how your own powders perform.

One last note, for BB creams, foundations, contour creams and powders etc., especially those products with high SPF, it might be worth going through the same process as I showed above. Just take a few minutes to photograph swatches on your skin with a flash to make sure you won't get any surprises later.


Ingredient lists:


Colorless Powders:

NYX High Definition Finishing Powder (Pressed): Talc, Dimethicone, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Magnesium Stearate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol. MAY CONTAIN (+/-): Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, 77492), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090).

tarte smooth operator pressed powder: Mica, synthetic fluorphlogopite, silica, polymethyl methacrylate, glycerin, kaolin, carrageenan, xanthan gum, 1,2-Hexanediol, caprylyl glycol, hexylene glycol, phenoxyethanol.

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Poreless Finish HD Micropowder: Silica, Soluble Collagen, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopherol, magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Phytonadione, Collagen Amino Acids, Hydrolyzed Silk. May Contain: Iron Oxides (CI 77492).

MAC Prep+Prime Finishing Powder: Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Silica, Mica, Zinc Stearate, Caprylyl Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol

Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder #1: Talc, Silica, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethicone, Ethylene/Methacrylate Copolymer, Zeolite, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Sorbic Acid, Methylparaben Phenoxyethanol, Propylparaben Tetrasodium EDTA, Butylparaben, Orchis Maculata Flower Extract, BHT. +/- [May Contain]: MICA (CI 77019), Titanium dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Ferric Ferrocyanide (CI 77510), Carmine (CI 75470), Ultramarines (CI 77007), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Red 6 (CI 15850), Red 30 (CI 73360), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140), Yellow 6 Lake (CI 15985).

tarte smooth operator loose setting powder: Silica, talc, polymethylsilsesquioxane, phenoxyethanol, dimethicone, lysophosphatidic acid, lecithin, lysolecithin, kaolin.

Tinted Powders:

Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Powder Makeup (Ecru): Talc, Isostearyl Palmitate, Silica, Calcium Silicate, Methicone, Phenyl Trimethicone, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Boron Nitride, Methyl Methacrylate, Crosspolymer, Polypropylene, Phenoxyethanol, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Bismuth Oxychloride, Carmine, Chromium Hydroxide Green

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Powder (Light Plus): Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 7.50% Inactive Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, Triethylhexanoin, Squalane, Propylene Glycol Stearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Stearic Acid, Glycerin, Kaolin, Beta Vulgaris Root Extract, Haberlea Rhodopensis Leaf Extract, Tamarindus Indica Seed Gum, Yeast Extract, Magnesium Chloride, Sodium Chloride, Zinc Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Lysine, Tocopherol , Panthenol, Polysorbate 20, Lecithin, Tromethamine, Xanthan Gum, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Retinyl Palmitate, Caprylyl Glycol, Simethicone, Cetyl Alcohol, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Isostearic Acid, Hexylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol. May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Chromium Oxide Greens

Estée Lauder Lucidity Translucent Pressed Powder: Talc, Polyethlene, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Magnesium Myristate, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl stearate, glycine soja (soybean) Phospholipid, Lecithin, Phytosqualane, Tocopherol, Phytosterols, Linoleic Acid, Retinyl Palmitate, Fusanus Spicatus Wood Oil, bis-diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, C9-15 Fluoroalcohol Phosphate, Fragrance (Parfum), Phenoxy-Ethanol, Mica, Iron oxide, Bismuth Oxychloride, Titanium oxide

Jane Iredale PurePressed Base SPF 20 Mineral Foundation (Radiant): Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 14%, Zinc Oxide 3%. Ingredients: Mica, Boron Nitride, Dimethicone, Stearic Acid, Plankton Extract, Algae Extract, Pinus Strobus (Pine) Bark Extract, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract. [+/- (May Contain) Iron Oxides (Ci 77489, Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499), Ultramarines (Ci 77007)]

Smashbox Halo Hydrating Perfecting Powder (Light): Mica, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Isopropyl Linoleate, Synthetic Wax, Polymethyl-silsesquioxane, Water, Zinc Stearate, HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Silica, Caprylyl Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Barium Sulfate, Dimethylacrylamide/Acrylic Acid/Polystyrene Ethyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Ethoxydiglycol, Sodium Dehydroaceatate, Lycium Barbarum Fruit Extract (Goji Berry), Trisodium Edta, Peat Extract, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-14, Dimethicone, Gold. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides

NOTE REGARDING INGREDIENT LISTS: Product ingredient lists are subject to change without notice. Please check packaging for most up-to-date ingredients.