foundation

I gushed about how much I was impressed with the new Chanel Le Blanc Whitening Compact Foundation Radiance Thermal Comfort from the Le Blanc 2017 collection when I first bought it, and I’ve been trialing the new foundation over a few weeks now (so the honeymoon period is over!), and I can honestly say that it is one of the best compact foundations I have ever used. It has the finest creamy texture, and is the most moisturizing powder that works great for dry skin or in the cold months.

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The design is very minimalist – encased in a clean all-white case,  and comes with a sponge applicator. The sponge has 1 side of velvety texture, and it feels ultra luxurious and plush against the skin. It is designed for application for a better coverage and a more air-brushed finish. The other side has a normal sponge finish that gives a more natural and traceless finish.

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The powder is designed to work in all climate conditions as well as protecting your skin with SPF25 with PA+++. It is extremely finely milled that feels silky smooth and buttery upon touching. Best of all, the powder applies creamy and feels very moisturizing on the skin. It gives the skin a milky porcelain-like finish in a natural way that does not look overly powdery. It gives medium to high coverage without looking cakey. I personally prefer to apply it with my favorite Chanel Les Beiges Kabuki Brush, or with the sponge applicator for touch-ups.

It doesn’t enhance any dry lines and does a wonderful job to even out the imperfections with a hint of brightening effect and completely cover the pores. I have been using it solely as a foundation, with a sheer layer of primer underneath, and it stays put for the whole day (7-8 hours ) without creasing. Since it is a very moisturizing powder, it does not completely mattify the skin, and I notice some oil comes through on the t-zone after 5 to 6 hours of wear.

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Color: I bought the color 20 Beige (FYI I am NC15-20, GA 3.5/4) and this shade matches me perfectly.

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Swatch

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Overall I highly recommend this compact foundation whether you need it for touch up or solely as a foundation. The texture is perfection for all skin types and particularly for the dry skin, and it feels ultra comfort and blends seamlessly!

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Dior has had several cushion foundation releases over the past 2 years, and their latest is the Total Capture Dreamskin Perfect Cushion Foundation with SPF50. Since I am a big fan of their Capture Totale Dreamskin Serum, which is the best daytime serum I have used from all the high-end beauty brands in the $100ish price range, I had to get my hands on this cushion foundation. It is on the high price end, but the good news is that it comes with a refill!

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Dior claims that it is a hybrid of skin care and makeup that visibly improves pores, redness and shine, and leaving skin looking flawless and luminous. It boasts the same skincare ingredients as in the serum, so it works as a skincare and makeup that nourishes, protects as well as enhances your skin continuously throughout the day.

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I have been using it for the past two weeks, and my conclusion is that it is more of a skin perfector with the benefit of cushion foundation. It has the most hydrating (but not creamy) and lightweight formula compared to the others. The texture is ultra fine, and it melds into the skin as soon as you stamp the sponge. For the application, there is no sweeping and blending required, and it leaves absolutely no traces of makeup. The formula is so hydrating that it almost feels like I am spraying a hydrating mist, and it instantly makes the complexion appear more plump and dewy and takes away all the dry skin patches and fine lines. It also leaves a semi-matte finish with radiance and dewiness that looks like your-skin-but-better. The formula would work particularly well in humid weather condition as it controls oil and shine, as opposed to the other more creamy cushion foundations that tends to crease during the day.

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It blurs out the pores and evens out the skin tone exceptionally well for such a lightweight and silicone-free product. I am very impressed with how poreless, fine and smooth the skin texture looks with this product. The only shortfall is that it has quite a sheer coverage compared to the other brands such as YSL (reviewed here) and Sulwhasoo (reviewed here). It doesn’t cover the freckles nor the acne marks. For a flawless yet natural finish, I would suggest to apply a layer of tinted base first, then apply this cushion on top.

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Formula comparison

YSL Fusion Ink Cushion – most opaque with the best coverage

Sulashoo Perfecting Cushion – most creamy with a medium coverage

Dior Dreamskin Cushion – most hydrating with the best staying power, and works the best for oil control with a sheer coverage

Swatch comparison

I bought the Dior Cushion in shade 10.

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Bottom Line: If you prefer coverage, this product does not deliver unless you combine it with other complexion products.  I see it as a skincare product with a sheer coverage that I can use any time of the day to hydrate, refresh and even out my complexion. On the other hand, If you have good skin with little skin concern, and after a ‘no-makeup’ feel, then this product alone will make your skin look like absolute perfection.

 

 

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Finally posting a review for the much raved Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) Le Cushion Foundation Encre De Peau Fusion Ink.  Cushion foundation has been around in Asia for years and it finally got picked up in the west, as we are seeing waves of western beauty brands such YSL, Bobbi Brown, Clinique etc  launching their versions. One thing to note is that the YSL Cushion is made in Korea, but both the packaging and formula is much better than what you can find from most local Korean brands. I have been using it everyday for weeks and I am very convinced that I will re-purchase this over and over!

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The YSL Fusion Ink Cushion Foundation is Asia Exclusive, and is also available in Australia which retails for $88  including the case, and you can also purchase the refill individually for $57. If you want to skimp you can purchase the refill only and fit it into other cushion compacts (not all compacts fit so you need to do a bit of research). But I highly recommend you not to miss this gorgeous black and gold case! Different to a normal bottled foundation, cushion foundation will start to dry out over 6 months as it is not completely vacuumed, so it’s best to use the product within several months after opening. I also find that a standard sized cushion foundation lasts about 2 month of daily use, as opposed to a bottle foundation which normally last me years. A tip for you is that you can flip the cushion to get more product out from the other side.

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Ever since I posted a picture of this foundation on my Instagram, I received a lot of questions about how is this different to the other cushion foundations on the market.

– Most cushion foundations I have used have a very diluted opacity with sheer coverage. The YSL has a more creamy and opaque consistency that offers sheer to medium coverage with a weightless feel. This is a true foundation with coverage that is on par with any sheer to medium liquid foundation – it covers up pores and mild imperfections, and evens out skin tone beautifully.

– A little product goes a long way, as I only need to gently dab the applicator onto the cushion, and it is enough to do half of the face. For application, the enclosed flat sponge is still the best tool for applying cushion foundation, as it is designed for patting it into the skin for the most natural and seamless finish (don’t blend!). I’ve tried applying it with different foundation brushes and rectangle sponges but the results were not the same.

– Most cushion foundation gives a very dewy finish and is more suitable for normal to dry skin. The YSL also feels hydrating and fresh, but gives a creamy semi-matte finish with a soft glow that doesn’t look artificial. It makes the complexion look very clean, and this formula also works better for people with normal to oily skin as it does not crease as easily as with other more dewy formulas. I have normal to dry skin, without the loose powder and this foundation will hold for 4-5 hours. I normally dust a little powder just over my t-zone and the foundation lasts a whole day with a little oil coming through in an indoor environment. No oxidation as well!

– Also loving the fact it has SPF 23 and PA+++

lots of product from a gentle dab

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The only flaw with the foundation is that the sponge applicator is not the softest.

I bought the foundation in shade 10 which is the brightest shade. It has mostly a neutral undertone with tiny a hint of pink. I am normally MAC NC15, YSL B20, and this shade runs true to its color as it is a tad brighter than the B20 range in YSL foundations. On me there is a slight brightening effect for my NC15 complexion, but it’s not making me look pale.

Here is a swatch comparison with YSL Touche Eclat Foundation in BR20 (the old formula – reviewed here), YSL Youth Liberator Serum Foundation in B20 (reviewed here), and Sulwhasoo Cushion Foundation in shade 21 (reviewed here).

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My blogging mojo is finally back after a much-needed lazy but wonderful short holiday break! Starting the new year with a new foundation review – the latest Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation (also available on Chanel.com ). This new range came to my radar as soon as I saw the preview picture last year, and I am thrilled to find that this is officially my favorite foundation by Chanel as of now!

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Texture

It has a lightweight creamy consistency that is different to the usual liquid foundation. It is almost similar to a tinted cream consistency but applies more opaque with a better coverage. This creamy foundation melds into the skin with minimum blending required and leaves no streaks nor dry patches. It also feels weightless and breathable on the skin which is ideal for the spring and summer time.

Coverage

Like most Chanel foundations, the Les Beiges offers sheer to medium coverage. On me it requires less than a pump for a sheer coverage, and buildable to a fuller coverage with 1 and a half pump. Since this foundation has a thicker and more opaque texture than a liquid foundation, I find that half a pump of this gives the same coverage as with a full pump of a typical liquid foundation.  It covers most of the mild imperfections and redness, and also covers the pores exceptionally well. In comparison, I would say the coverage of this one is better than Chanel Vitalumiere AQUA, MUFE Ultra HD Foundation (review), and on par with Chanel Perfection Lumiere (review) or Dior Diorskin Star Foundation (review).

Finish

Every good foundation has one element that stands out, and to me the finish of Les Beiges is absolutely unbeatable. It is exactly what I am after from a foundation to use in the warm weather season, and I am completely obsessed with this healthy glow that it gives. Once applied, it settles into a dry finish so no loose powder is required after that. The finish is very natural and porcelain-like – it’s not dewy but it makes the skin look more smooth and creamy, and gives a radiant glow that doesn’t look so artificial. I like to apply this foundation with a sponge (highly recommend the Shu Uemura Sponge) rather than the foundation brush, and if I just tap the foundation into the skin with a sponge, it gives the best result for a more flawless finish.

Lasting Power

Thumbs up for lasting power as well. It controls the oil really well over 7-8 hours of wear, and keeps the complexion looking fresh with no oxidation. To retain the coverage, you will need a bit of retouch once a day.

Color Match

I bought shade 10 (the lightest shade) which has a neutral undertone and is a great match for my skin at the moment (NC10-15).

chanel-les-beiges-healthy-glow-foundation-review-shade-10-comparison-swatchpictures are taken under natural light

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chanel-les-beiges-healthy-glow-foundation-review-shade-10-comparison-swatch-2Bottom Line: If you are generally a Chanel foundation fan, you will fall in love with this new foundation. I actually think this is the best foundation Chanel has ever released for my skin type. The Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow retails for AUD$89, and is now available here and here in Australia.

 

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My previous post on my reader’s requests about how I clean my brushes was very well received, so I though I’d include a post that addresses some of the other most frequently asked questions. Today’s round-up is my picks for the base products for normal, combination to oily skin that have a great staying power in hot and humid weather and still look natural.

This is the list of my favorite products that are great for controlling the oil throughout the day, and most importantly they tick the criteria for not looking too matte, powdery and cakey on the face.

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1. MAC Prep and Prime -I bought the full size bottle of this after using a sample as I loved it so much. I am not a big fan of MAC base products but thumbs up for this one. It smoothes out the skin, covers and fills up the pores and creases, and slightly mattifies the skin without feeling silicony and heavy. The foundation sets beautifully on top of this primer, and gives an airbrushed finish of a more even and refined skin texture. It also helps to keep the shine and oil away for a longer time.

2. Make Up For Ever Smoothing Primer – Similar concept to the MAC, but more mattifying and covers the pores better. It has a heavier silicone texture than the MAC, and takes away excess oil and shine completely. Highly recommend it to anyone who has oily skin with large pores.

3. Chanel Mat Lumiere Foundation – My go-to foundation for the hot weather. It has a milky fluidy texture, feels lightweight, and offers a great coverage. It sets slightly more matte and powdery than the other fluid foundations, but it still gives the signature Chanel radiant glow from their Lumiere range. It also photographs beautifully – natural with a soft glow but not shiny.

4. Chanel Perfection Lumiere Foundation (reviewed here) – I wasn’t very impressed with this foundation at first as I was in a ‘dewy foundation’ phase back then, and fell in love with it during the summer time, as it has an amazing stay power and keeps my face looking fresh and clean for the whole day. It gives a velvety finish that is a tad more matte than the Mat Lumiere upon application, and it becomes more natural and luminous over time. Would only recommend this to normal to oily skin types.

5. Chanel Natural Finish Loose Powder – A very mattifying powder, and a little goes a long way. I only dust a very sheer amount on to my t-zone on a normal day, and it keeps the shine away for the whole day. I brought this along with the Mat Lumiere foundation to my last tropical vacation, and they worked wonders keeping my makeup on without melting for the whole day in very humid weather. It can look slightly powdery if applied too much, and it is not the most finely milled powder (can slightly enhance the pores around the cheeks) compared to the other high end powders I have in my collection.

6. Cle De Peau Translucent Loose Powder – My absolute holy grail for so many years. The most luxurious, silkiest and finely milled loose powder you can find in the stores. It looks natural, non powdery, and gives a brightening and more refined finish as it helps to cover the pores and lift the dullness. It slightly mattifies the skin and guarantees to keep your makeup stay put all day.

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Over the years I have used tons of foundations, and the MAKE UP FOR EVER HD was one of the few foundations that I used up completely and was in love with it at all time. So when I saw the latest release – the MUFE ULTRA HD Invisible Cover Foundation (also available at the Sephora AU), I had to have it!

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Overall I am very pleased with my purchase, as this foundation impressed me considering the mass amount of foundations I own. It is a great foundation in all aspects, and it stands out in its signature ‘HD invisible finish’ that applies simply undetected on the skin with decent coverage.

Texture

It has a fluid milky texture and feels very lightweight on the skin. Compared to the original formula, this newer version is much more moisturizing and works better on dryer skin.  It melds into your skin effortlessly without the need of any primer (even for very dry skin and the under-eye areas), and it doesn’t enhance any lines nor dry patches.

Coverage

Coverage is about sheer to medium that is on par with most of the liquid foundations on the market. It covers redness, mild imperfections and evens up the skin tones, but you will need a concealer for covering dark circles, breakouts, and dark acne marks/pigmentation. Does an average job for covering the visible pores, so if you want to achieve a complete poreless complexion I would recommend using a pore smoothing primer over the troubled areas.

Finish

This foundation is absolutely amazing for its invisible finish. I always prefer using natural looking foundations, but this is the first foundation I have used that applies without blending required! I have tried many tools, and  the best tool for application would be a flat top kabuki synthetic brush. My favorites are the Dior Brush or the Marc Jacobs Beauty brush (review). With this type of brush, it feels like applying an eraser to the complexion as you are done with foundation application with only one stroke –  it leaves with absolutely no streaks and looks traceless in a semi matte finish with a hint of satiny glow. It is also buildable to a higher coverage whilst still looking invisible on the skin.

Lasting power

Without setting this foundation with loose powder, it lasts about 6-7 hours indoor and the skin becomes more dewy as the natural oil starts to come through. And you will notice the foundation creases a little around the t-zone and mouth areas.  I normally dust a sheer layer of loose powder which helps this foundation to last a whole day without creasing nor oxidation.

Shade

My shade is between NC15-20, and I bought the shade Y205 Albaster (comparable to Nc15) which is the lightest shade of the selection.

Swatch comparison

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Compact foundation is one makeup item to splurge on as the high end brands are far more superior than the drugstores. Whether you wear it as a full foundation or simply for makeup retouching, the new Tom Ford Flawless Powder Foundation ticks all the criteria for probably the best you can get in the market now.

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It comes in Tom Ford’s signature ultra luxury case. The enclosed sponge has two different textures – the smooth side for a sheer application, and the velvety side for a fuller coverage application.

Texture and Finish

I was blown away the first moment I felt the product at the counter – it has the silkiest, most finely milled powder texture.  The powder foundation blends in to the skin seamlessly, and applies evenly with no creasing nor patches.  The coverage is equivalent to a sheer-medium foundation. If you apply the powder foundation with the enclosed sponge, or a fluffy powder brush, it sets even more natural than a normal liquid foundation. The finish is a clean and poreless version of ‘your-skin-but-better’ and semi matte that lets your own skin’s radiance through. For a fuller coverage, I prefer to apply it with a kabuki brush (or a flat top brush)  that would cover most of the mild imperfections. The finish is flawless and porcelain-like in a natural way but not cakey and heavy.

Shade Cream

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Lasting Power

As the weather is getting hotter in Australia now, I particularly love wearing this foundation as it is more mattifying than my other foundations.  Lasting power is about 6-8 hours on me with very little oil coming through at the end of the day for my dry skin. It also doesn’t oxidize, crease nor settle into the pores throughout the day. For makeup retouching, the powder foundation also applies well on top of your existing makeup. If you have cream based products underneath, I would wait till it dries then apply the powder foundation on top. Otherwise they will not blend well.

Shade Reference

I am between NC15-NC20, and I bought the Tom Ford Powder foundation in shade Cream which matches me perfectly. I pulled out some other powder foundations including the YSL Touche Eclat Powder Foundation B10 (reviewed here), Cle de Peau Beaute Radiant Powder Foundation B10, Tom Ford finish powder in Ivory Fawn (reviewed here) for comparisons.

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Comparison Swatches:

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Brush recommendations include (clockwise): THREE Powder Brush (more info here), Tom Ford Bronzer Brush; Suqqu Face Brush (reviewed here); MAC Blending Brush (similar here); CHIKUHODO Powder Brush

The Tom Ford Flawless Powder Foundation is available online here in Australia.

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I have about a dozen new foundations sitting on my dresser, so I thought I had better get my act together to resume my reviews for foundations as I haven’t done one for so long!  The Dior Diorskin Star Studio Foundation is the one I have been reaching out for constantly, as it just works really well with my skin and I love the naturally radiant and luminous finish.

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Texture and formulation

The Dior Star Foundation has a slightly thick milky texture (not as fluidy as other liquid foundations), and it is best to be applied with a foundation brush or sponge for an even finish. My top preferences are either the Dior Backstage foundation brush which gives an airbrushed finish with a fuller coverage, or with the beauty blender which gives a slightly more translucent and dewy finish. Except for oily skin, I think the formula works great for most skin types. I have used this foundation in extreme cold weather conditions, and the formula is ‘creamy’ enough to be used on dry skin as the light-reflective pigments makes the skin appear more plumped and it does not enhance any fine lines nor dry patches. On days that my skin behaves normally, this foundation holds nicely throughout the day, and it does not fade nor crease. However there is a little bit of oil coming through around my t-zone after half a day of wear.

Coverage and finish

For a fluid foundation, the Dior offers pretty decent coverage. I normally use less than a pump and it gives a medium coverage (dependent on the tool you use) that takes away the dullness, redness and most of the mild imperfections. It feels weightless on the skin, and it goes on seamlessly and completely blends into your own skin. It gives a semi-satiny finish with a soft luminous glow – like a soft beauty light shining on your face that helps to diffuse and reflect the light on your skin to camouflage the imperfections rather than masking them. If you look at the swatches below, you will see that the Dior has a velvety finish (not as dewy as the others) and once it blends into the skin it just looks really beautiful and natural but not dull and matte.

Color

I bought the foundation in shade 020 light beige which has a hint of pink undertone to it. It matches my skin well with a slight brightening effect which I absolutely adore. The brightening effect makes your complexion look radiant, healthy and well-rested but doesn’t make you look pale white. In a way the effect of this foundation is quite similar to the YSL Touche Eclat Foundation with an emphasis on “creating light” on your skin.

Comparison swatch (left to right): MAC Mineralize NC20 (reviewed here); Chanel Perfection Lumiere 20 ; YSL Touche Eclat BK20 (reviewed here);  Giorgio Armani Designer Lift 3 (reviewed here); Dior Star 020

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dior-diorskin-star-studio-foundation-review-swatch-020-light-beige-review-swatch-3dior-diorskin-star-studio-foundation-review-swatch-020-light-beige-review-swatch-4I bought the Dior Star Foundation and the Dior Backstage Foundation brush here and here in Australia. Always have my beauty blenders restocked on NAP.

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