Vol.1: Beauty Claim-Buster!🤓

Hi Friends!

I thought it would be a fun and (unique?) series to start on my site. I want to feature some of my new-ish products in my collection and review them strictly by answering the product claims from the Brand themselves. 

These can be products that I love, those that I really like, or feel kind of “meh” about, and even products that decide to move forward to candidates “with more experienced skill sets” than me.

Job Hunting Probs, amirite?

Think of the product claims as a sort of benefit “checklist”, and we can see how my experience coincides. I’ll also add in notes on things that I noticed that were really horrific or really awesome that may not have been mentioned. Overall, I’ll try to keep this concise and informative!

Keep in mind, these are my experiences. I’m not a perfect “test subject” and product claims are often purposefully vague. The claim that a cleanser can “Improve the look of skin…” is broad and open-ended, and ultimately left to the user to determine if the change is seen or not. I think there’s also a psychological component to the cosmetic industry, kind of like, “Hey, wait, this cleanser really did improve the look of my skin come to think of it!”

See what I’m saying?

The sometimes fuzzy language seen on cosmetic labeling has more to do with the lack of FDA oversight more than anything (here in the USA, anyways!).

*Takes off Pharmacist hat*

 


**For the purposes of this post, I’ll list each claim. Then my response as a True or False statement. Remember, the statement isn’t truly “true” or “false”, I’m just explaining my experiences with each benefit the brand is suggesting can be seen with the product


Ciate London Watermelon Burst Hydrating Primer 

The Claim: “A lightweight, multitasking primer to hydrate, brighten, and improve skin’s texture—all while prepping for long-lasting makeup. Featuring watermelon extract droplets that activate upon contact to quench and energize the skin, the silky cooling pink base actively brightens, while refining pores and texture.”

from http://www.sephora.com

T or F? Mostly all TRUE! Hydration and brightening effect were seen right away–my face felt very plump and had a very healthy look to it, it also looked brightened from the slightly dewy look of the primer (not oily/wet).

As for improving my skin’s texture…….I can’t say I’m confident it does. It may help minimize some pores around the center of my face/near my nose during the wear, but not enough to confidently agree with this claim. I don’t know what the brand was implying but, just in case–I certainly can’t see any long term benefits so far from using this product in terms of “texture improvement”.

 

 

The Claim: Delicately watermelon scented, this unique aqua serum primer grips foundation for long-wear and that just-applied glow”

From http://www.sephora.com

T or F? True—but just one thing- The consistency of the primer is definitely water-based. Ciate uses the word “serum” to imply that it is more of a thin consistency, I personally would have used gel. I don’t know if that even matters, but I felt it was worth saying.

  • It does “grip” foundation— I’m thinking of the Milk Hydro Grip foundation, but the Ciate is not as intensely sticky as the Milk one. This one does leave you with some degree of tackiness, but not nearly as much as Milk and I find the staying power also superior.
  • just applied glow” —this is absolutely true. I would almost describe this as a comfortable softening, gloss-like look to the skin. I can/have worn without makeup and I have also used it as a daytime moisturizer- it super refreshing and a nice pick-me-up to start the day.
  • And yes, it is absolutely true that this primer smells like watermelon heaven— if you’re a watermelon lover like myself, prepare to be a fan.🍉🍉

 

So with these features, I won’t draw any final conclusions. This is simply me, as a consumer, sharing my thoughts and opinions with another consumer. I think it’s interesting for you to read over my reactions to the claims, and think about what YOUR thoughts are. Do you think the claims were sufficiently met? Do you think the product had enough claims? Were they too vague, too specific, etc.? If you’ve used it, what was your experience?

I love when we, as a beauty community, can continue to challenge and engage each other. Rather than creating posts like “here’s the product, I used it, I loved it..”, (which I still have and will post,—no shade or judgement!!!), I want to more purposefully try to TALK about the products.

So please, SHARE!! 😉


 

FYI: This Primer Retails for $28.00 USD for 40mL/1.35oz product at Sephora

 

Thank you for stopping by,

xo

Jena

 

 

 

 


FTC: This post is not sponsored and all opinions are honest and my own. No affiliate links used. Some statements were directly taken and sourced from http://www.sephora.com

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My Favorite Skin-Like Foundations

My Favorite Skin-Like Foundations

Hey everyone! 

As I mentioned in my previous blog HERE , I have a bit of a foundation obsession right now. Some of these I’ve loved for awhile and others are a newer discovery for me.

All of these foundations, in my opinion, provide an almost undetectable “your skin but better” effect. They all have a natural radiant finish and range from medium to full coverage. Any of these options would be great for everyday wear—they are all super lightweight and comfortable formulas.

***If you have normal/dry/combo skin—this is the list for you!

All product links are included below!

I’ll just hit the main points for each—if y’all would like a more thorough review, I’ll be happy to post!


Here’s my picks (In no particular order): 

 

bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Hydrating Foundation Stick— SPF 25

I CANNOT say enough good things about this foundation. Here’s a few specks for it:

  • Comes as 0.35oz/10gm stick for $32 USD
  • 20 shades available in the range with SPF 25
  • I find that the stick packaging is very sleek and compact (great for travel). It also has a magnetic closure to make sure product seals & doesn’t dry out
  • Blends effortlessly –I recommend using a brush for the most coverage

Y’all this foundation is gorgeous. It is the most weightless, comfortable formula and makes the skin look naturally hydrated and supple. It has more of a natural/radiant finish and builds up to a full medium coverage. It doesn’t emphasize my lines/wrinkles or build up on textured areas. As you apply this foundation, it has a gel-like cooling effect that almost feels like a skincare product. I didn’t expect this at all, but I think this one secured a spot into my top 5 all-time favorite foundations. Beautiful, beautiful stuff and I highly recommend for normal or dry skin! A++

**Check this foundation out HERE

  • Has SPF 18
  • Claims to achieve a naturally luminous and radiant finish (I agree)
  • Comes in glass bottle (no pump) with 1oz of product
  • Very affordable —(less than $6 USD) and available at a variety of retailers (Walgreens, Target, Amazon, Walmart, etc.)
  • I find it to be a very comfortable and lightweight formula

I have no idea where I’ve been these last few years, but I am just now trying this foundation and it is absolutely stunning. It definitely lives up to the claim of providing a super SMOOTH finish—it glides over the texture I have and doesn’t emphasize any dry patches or fine lines. The skin looks hydrated and perfected with no cakey or mask-like look. I think it looks great applied with a foundation or damp sponge and blends seamlessly. I usually do set it under my eyes and lightly all over my face with a light-weight powder to extend the wear time. Really, really love this one!!

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC + Illumination Cream 

  • Full coverage with SPF 50
  • Provides a radiant finish
  • Comes in a 1oz tube with a pump (I LOVE the packaging)
  • Also comes in the Original CC cream (more of a natural finish) and Matte formula (I have not tried this one)

This line claims to be a CC cream (it does color correct), but performs more like a full coverage foundation. I’ve loved and used the Original CC Cream for a while –highly recommend that one too! I was super curious when they expanded the product line for a while, so I had to break down and pick up the illumination one. I love this stuff for so many reasons! One of the best features about it is that it literally has it all in one step—it can serve as your primer, moisturizer, and sunscreen. Its just so easy and low-maintenance! This is the only foundation/CC cream that I apply with my fingers and it sets up beautifully. I can’t say this foundation will take you from early morning to night without a little fade, but it touches up great and can be refreshed with a hydrating spray or touch of powder. This one is just SO good!

Face atelier Ultra Foundation 

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my latest foundation love from Face atelier. I won’t rave too much about it–I did a full 2-day wear test HERE . This gem just blew me away. It truly has a skin-like finish and looks like a radiant dream. I love the dewy finish, but I would use a little setting powder in the T-zone for longevity in wear . I think it would look great on aging skin and doesn’t emphasize any uneven or textured areas. Try this one out, y’all!

Swatches Below: Some shades match better than others 😂😂

Swatches from Left to Right: bare Minerals Stick (Cashew); IT Cosmetics +Illumination (Medium Tan); Maybelline Dewy +Smooth (210 Sandy Beige); Face atelier (Shade 5)

So that’s my “foundation that doesn’t look like foundation” roundup. I’m super curious if anyone has tried these or is planning to? Also, let me know if you have any other must-have foundations!

Have a great weekend!!

xo

Product Links:

  1. bareMinerals foundation stick: bareMinerals.com
  2. Maybelline smooth + dewy: at Amazon
  3. IT Cosmetics CC Cream +Illumination: at Sephora
  4. Face atelier Ultra Pro Foundation: at Amazon

 

 

 

FTC: This post is not sponsored. Opinions are honest and my own–I will never link a product that I don’t love, recommend, or use myself.

*Some links are affiliate

Let’s Talk Spring Lips + Tip Tuesday

Let’s Talk Spring Lips + Tip Tuesday

Hi Everyone!

Today I am feeling all sorts of spring vibes! I’ve been really inspired by color lately and am loving a specific makeup look of soft eyes paired with a pink lip!

Anytime I’m wearing a bright lip, I instantly feel so brightened up and fresh. You can look super polished and put together with just adding a pop of color on the lips. I took a deep dive into my lipstick collection and found a few shades that feel especially Spring-y!

*Obviously I am having a major pink/berry moment, the colors I gravitated to ended up (unintentionally) being somewhat similar in color but different in textures and finishes. 

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Here’s the Round-Up…..

1. Milani Color Statement — “Plumrose”

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I am completely in love with Milani’s Color Statement Line! This feels like a nourishing lip balm that provides some hydration and gives gorgeous color to the lips. It is super easy to apply and glides effortlessly right on (it also has a yummy watermelon scent). Because the consistency is lightweight, it gives you the ability to build up to your desired level of color. As a bonus, this formula is infused with vitamins so you get some skincare benefits! I love the “Plumrose” shade, it’s just so versatile and can put together just about any look. This shade is universally flattering for any skin tone and it doesn’t seem to emphasize lip texture or dryness. [Side note and random, but I love pairing berry-tinted makeup with mustard tops or dresses at the moment—-it feels like my color palette inspiration right now]. This is such a good addition to your spring makeup collection– its an effortless pick-me-up!

 

2. L’Oreal Color Riche Shine — “Glassy Garnet” 

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This shade might look pretty similar to the Milani mentioned above, but it does have more of a rosy, cool tone to it. This is just one of those shades that instantly makes me feel pretty and brightens up my whole complexion. The Color Riche line from L’Oreal might be one of the best non-matte lipsticks I’ve tried! The shine and dimension these give to the lips are stunning. “Glassy Garnet” is a great name for this one—it literally has a reflectivity to it that resembles glass with ultra-shine.  The pigment is comfortable and hydrating (it is formulated with nourishing oils). If you are on the hunt for a super glossy, hydrating lipstick—give this one a try! I know I have several other shades from this collection I need in my life.

 

3. NARS Matte Lipstick Pencil — “Let’s Go Crazy’

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Ahhh I swear NARS can do no wrong! I absolutely love the Velvet Matte Lipstick Pencil line they have. If you are ever intimidated by color because it can be tricky to apply —give this line a try! The color selection is beautiful and I do have several ones I love, but “Let’s Go Crazy” just spoke to me today. It is a stunning bright, vivid pink with a matte finish. These come in a pencil form, so the consistency is creamy (you don’t get the dried out lips effect) and glides effortlessly. Highly, highly recommend y’all check these out if you haven’t yet. Another favorite shade in this line is “Dragon Girl” if you’re in more of a red mood (I call this one my power red)!

 

4. Milani Color Statement Lipstick — “Blushing Beauty” 

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I didn’t plan on featuring 2 lipsticks from the same brand, but the heart wants what the heart wants! This one is another home run from the Color Statement line. “Blushing Beauty” is more of a true pink shade. It’s just such a sweet, feminine shade that makes you feel really pretty and polished. This shade would also be a great choice for brides as well— it’s such a timeless shade of pink and would look great in photographs!

 

**Bonus QUICK TIP TUESDAY

I’m not sure if I’m the only person in the world that has never used a detailer brush for lipstick application but y’all…..it’s life changing!! This is especially key if you’re wearing a super bold or bright lip that tends to smear or get all over your mouth. You can apply your lipliner/lipstick, then go in with a small-tipped brush to perfect the outline, or “smudge” the lip line to give a blotted, blurred out effect. You’ll be amazed at how much precision this achieves! It’s also great to blend or create an ombre look for 2 different shades. Try this technique if you haven’t before! Get my favorite small detail brush HERE. 


I hope y’all got a little bit of spring color inspiration from these shades! I’m just ready to to say goodbye to this gloomy winter and welcome the spring sunshine!

What colors for spring are you loving at the moment? Any specific products you recommend? Please comment and let me know!

Thanks for stopping by!

xo,

Jena

 


 

 

 

 

FTC: This post is not sponsored. Opinions are my own, honest thoughts. Some links are affiliate

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.

Face atelier Ultra Foundation: A 2-Day Wear Test

Face atelier Ultra Foundation: A 2-Day Wear Test

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Hey y’all!

Lately I’ve been on a foundation kick. I’ve been searching my collection to rediscover old favorites and purchasing a few new ones to test out. Although I’ve seen an improvement in my acne, I am struggling with a few textured and dry areas on my cheeks and between my eyebrows. My lines on my forehead and around my eyes are more prominent than usual since I’m overdue for Botox (first world problem). All that being said, I need a foundation that addresses all of these “issues” and won’t cake or dry me out. I want to look in the mirror and still look like myself.

Cue: FACE atelier Ultra Foundation. I’ve heard about this foundation from a ton of glowing reviews on YouTube and it has had me curious for a while. It’s more of a pro makeup artists’ brand and is less known in mainstream beauty communities. You can definitely tell it is geared towards makeup professionals with the minimal packaging and availability to purchase all the shades for bulk pricing. I so appreciate the toned-down, sleek look of the packaging. You are paying for the QUALITY of the actual product, not the pretty plastic it comes in. FACE atelier is a cruelty-free, PETA approved Canadian brand and is exclusively sold on their website [linked below], QVC, and Amazon [check reviews to make sure product is authentic—I did purchase mine from Amazon with no quality issues and fast shipping].

A Few Things to Know……

  • This foundation is oil and fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, and claims to not require the use of a primer (it is silicon based).
  • It comes in 2 sizes; I purchased the smaller one– 0.68 oz. or 20mL for $36 USD that comes in a plastic bottle with a pump.
    • A really cool feature that the FACE atelier website offers is that you can purchase a sample size in any shade for only $1.00.
  • Comes in a range of 18 shades, with some of them being “adjusters”, where you can deepen/lighten or adjust the undertone of another shade.

***I think that this customization option will help most skin tones find a shade that works, the formula is also pretty forgiving and seems to adjust with your natural skin tone as you blend it in. I purchased the shade #5 sepia –“cool-medium skin tone with yellow undertones”. It is pretty spot on shade-wise for me, but I feel like going up/down a shade could work just as well.

One of the claims for this foundation is that it doesn’t require a primer. However, I always use some kind of primer and I had just received a new one from Sephora I was dying to test out. I started out with a full pump of the foundation and dotted it equally all over my face, then blended with a foundation brush. [Note: I think that a damp beauty sponge would work with this, but a brush will give more coverage using less product]. Once I got the first layer blended, (with minimal effort), I was seriously BLOWN away. It instantly looked like a second skin with an absolutely stunning natural finish. My deep-set lines weren’t emphasized and meshed with the foundation perfectly; the textured areas looked smoothed and blurred. I used another full pump to provide an additional layer of coverage. The overall effect for me is a solid medium coverage, with a very lightweight and breathable feel. I can’t emphasize enough how beautiful of a skin-like finish this foundation provides, y’all. The website describes the formula as flexible to your own skin, which is an absolute perfect description of it. It blended seamlessly with my bronzer/blush and looked like I was having an awesome skin day. It is probably most ideal for normal/dry skin, as it does give a natural glow. Oily skin might require the use of matte primer/powders and more maintenance touch-ups throughout the day.

***A few more details to note about my experience with this foundation: I wore it with a very hydrating primer that I was also trying out for the first time— the MILK MAKEUP Hydro Grip Primer. I can say that I would not recommend this combination of foundation + primer, I would reserve the primer for more matte, full coverage foundations. With the exception of my under eye concealer, I did not set my face with any powder or setting spray.

Here’s the Breakdown: 

I applied the foundation at 9 AM–took the pic at 9:30AM — it looked beautiful!

  • ?IMG-2250

By about 1 PM/1:30PM, I did notice that my face was getting shiny and my pores were more visible, but the foundation was intact and not broken up. Here is a pic about 2:30ish later that day, let the meltdown begin.  Woof!

  • IMG-2272

By 3:30PM (6.5 hours in), my face was way too shiny and I noticed the foundation broke up a little bit above my eyebrow and near parts of my hairline. I was genuinely horrified when I saw the amount of shine. EEEEK!!  I really, really think that the primer was the culprit of the excessive “dew” here. My husband said he thought I had on some type of gel face mask! 😂😂😂

  • IMG-2275

I did touch up at 3:30PM with a light dusting of Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder all over my face—this really eliminated the shine . Here is a photo after the touch up at 3:45PM. A little dry looking, but better!

  • IMG-2286

Finally, here is the last photo of the day, at about 8:45PM. This was almost 12-hours of total wear. It was expectedly more broken down and the shine is definitely back; However, It did hold up really well most of the day after my one touch-up. As mentioned before, I think I might have over-applied the primer or the 2 products simply don’t play very nice together.  Don’t mind my smeared eye-makeup– I’m having terrible allergies and issues with my contacts. There’s also flash here since the sun was gone for the day!

  • IMG-2340

On to Day 2……

I wanted to give this foundation another go to see if I could increase the staying power and avoid the literal meltdown again from the day before.  I knew I would have to change my application approach so I did a few things different this time:

        • I did NOT use the MILK Hydro-Grip Primer (it was in time-out for bad behavior—I will bring it out another day).
        • Instead, I used the Maybelline Facestudio Master Blur Stick in light/medium. I just applied this in my T-zone (still relatively new to this product but it has some very promising results so far).
        • I did not set my face with powder. However, I did use a setting spray—-I am absolutely LOVING the Wet N Wild Photofocus Cucumber Setting Spray. The sprayer is goooood.

I wore the Face atelier for a little over 8 hours on day 2. It wore significantly better with different primers—it didn’t get nearly as shiny throughout the day (just some shininess on the forehead as per usual). No touch ups were required, but I would not categorize this foundation as long-wearing—- not a deal breaker for me since it looks SO pretty most of the day and keeps my dryness at bay.

Here are 2 photos of me, one in natural sunlight and the other a little darker light. This was about 5 hours after initial application. (That hairstyle, though 🤣🤣)

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Lesson learned: Primers can make or break you, guys. (Sorry, another first world prob) 

Final Conclusions:

I really, really like this foundation and I’m very pleased with the effect it has on the overall look of my skin. I think it looks beautiful and natural and I’ll definitely continue to reach for it. It is SO wearable for day-to-day and would look amazing on skin of all ages—it is very nice to fine lines/wrinkles. If you are in the market for a new foundation to play with, pick this one up or try a sample from Face atelier’s website. (I also love supporting less-known, cruelty-free brands.) If you have tried this before or plan to, let me know. I’m so excited to hear your thoughts.

*P.S.—– Let me know if y’all would like a more thorough review of the MILK Hydro-Grip primer. It has some interesting ingredients and warrants some further testing…

If you’re curious, take a look at the MILK primer here: Sephora.com

Product Links:

Face atelier Ultra Foundation: https://amzn.to/2Fk2sgI   OR https://www.faceatelier.com/

Maybelline Master Blur Stick (I have light-medium shade): https://amzn.to/2FmaWnL

Wet N Wild Photofocus Setting Spray (Cucumber): https://amzn.to/2W


 

 

 

FTC: This post is not sponsored. Opinions are my own, honest reviews and experiences. Some links are affiliate links and product images are from Amazon.com

EASY, WEARABLE St. Pat’s Day Green Eyes☘️☘️

EASY, WEARABLE St. Pat’s Day Green Eyes☘️☘️

Hello!

In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, I felt inspired to look through my makeup collection and put together an easy, wearable green eye look.

I am definitely not a person that wears a lot of color on my eyes, I keep it pretty neutral. I’m in the process of trying to get out of my comfort zone and create looks that are a little bit more creative and colorful. The goal was to put together a look that is super approachable and achievable for everyone. The end result kind of had Tinker Bell vibes which was totally unexpected and pretty!

Here’s the products needed: 

[Note: I try not to over-emphasize one particular palette, I think it inspires creativity to pull from different sources to customize your own look using things you might already own!] 

  • Your favorite matte bronzer [I used Marc Jacobs O!Mega Bronzer Coconut Perfect Tan–I LOVE and highly recommend]:Start with a matte bronzer. Using wind-shield wiper motion all over the crease and slightly above, build up color using a fluffy blending brush. The goal here is to create some dimension to your crease, using the bronzer as your transition shade. Don’t worry about being precise with this, its ok if you get color on your lid.
    • Next, go back in with the bronzer and gently tap (using soft patting motions) the bronzer to your outer crease with a a more defined, precise crease brush to further help define your eye and add even more dimension to your look.
    • Finally, use a clean blending brush to smooth out any harsh lines.
  • Optional Extra Step: Use a dark hunter/olive green shade to even further darken and add dimension to your eye by patting to outer crease. Use your bronzer to blend it all in and eliminate harsh lines. I used the Natasha Denona Pallet #8 with the shade “Dark Sepia” for this —again, this step totally optional. You can stop with the bronzer and have a beautiful look. If you’re interested, I’ll list other great dark green shades from other palettes you may own– I know ND is a splurge! Message me with questions about this.
      • Great alternative pallets I own with dark greens:
        • Too Faced Sweet Peach and Too Faced Chocolate Bar both have great dark greens
        • Makeup Revolution, Reloaded Basic Mattes has a green that would work–it just requires some building up!
        • ABH Sultry Pallet 
  • For the lid: ColourPop’s Super Shock Shadow in the shade “IRL” The last step for this look is to pat on this cream eye shadow shade to the lid, using a flat sided brush or your finger for more pigmentation.
    • “IRL” is a super gorgeous, unique shade that is described as a green-yellow/bronze duochrome.
    • (PSA: ColourPop.com is having a limited time site-wide sale–Everything is 20% at the moment!!)Get “IRL” here: Colourpop.com
    • Alternatively, you can use the green shade “Bombshell” in the Persona Identity Eye Shadow Palette (an absolute must-have!!) to achieve a very similar look. Love, love, LOVE this pallet.Get that pallet here: Ulta.com
  • Finally: Curl those lashes and apply mascara I really wanted the emphasis for this look to be on the green colors, so I decided to skip eyeliner (I have small eyes so liner tends to take color away)
    • Mascara really finishes off the look!
      • I love using the L’Oreal Lash Paradise for this
    • If you are feeling super glam and fabulous, add some falsies!

 

Here’s my final look: Same eye, different lighting

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Happy St. Paddy’s Day!!

xo,

Jena

****Please feel free to like, re-blog, or share my page with anyone you think would be interested! Thank you Soo much ❤️❤️❤️

 

 

 

 

FTC: This post is not sponsored and I am not getting paid to give my opinion. Some links are affiliate. I will never link a product I don’t love, use, or genuinely recommend.