MAC Studio Fix Powder

Thursday, 6 March 2014

You know when you're 16 and you're not really sure what you're doing with your make-up, but you've just earned your first wage and you decide to splurge on some make-up that's so completely wrong for you? No? Just me, then. I distinctly remember ordering this online and blindly choosing the shade NC35 because I was delusional and in complete denial that I was actually paler than the entire MAC shade range. Yeah, it was never going to end well. I used to apply this stuff like it was going out of fashion, and I must have looked like an actual oompa loompa. Since then, I've steered clear of this product but for some odd reason, I had an urge to purchase it a few weeks ago - in a much more suited shade, I might add.

I popped into my local store and, after standing there coughing and looking utterly lost for a good 10 minutes trying to catch the attention of the MAC assistant, I got matched up to NW20. I'm still not entirely sure what this product is. It's described as a powder foundation, but it doesn't provide enough coverage for me to use it solely as a foundation so I've been using it as a setting powder in places where I need a little more coverage than the average setting powder provides. I find that this powder does go a quite chalky and makes my skin feel dry and slightly tight if I over apply it (definitely out of the question as a foundation, then!), but a quick spritz of MAC Fix+ sorts that right out.  What I do like about this powder is it's impressive oil control. I can get a good 5-6 hours shine-free before I need to top up my t-zone. The packaging is also really convenient, with a large mirror and an applicator sponge (don't use it, cakes like a mother...), and it feels sturdy so I can chuck it in my handbag and not worry about it smashing into smithereens. 

I'm not sure why, but I'm not totally sold on this one. It's just okay. It does the job, and it does it as expected, but it doesn't wow me. Then again it's a powder, not a miracle worker, so maybe I'm expecting a little too much.

What do you think?

Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Ah, full coverage foundations... I've never really been a huge fan of them, especially for everyday wear, as I find them too heavy and feel like I'm wearing a mask. But for special occasions or nights out, I do tend to favour a full coverage foundation with impressive longevity and coverage. Enter, Laura Mercier Silk Creme foundation.

I managed to grab this at a bargain price in a blog sale, but typically it's not quite the right shade for me. I have the shade Soft Ivory, which is the palest going in this range. Since travelling America last summer, my tan is still lingering around ever so slightly, and I'm not pale as a ghost like I used to be. I could really do with the shade one step down from this one, but topped up with some bronzer, this does the job for now. When I first tried this foundation, I was far from impressed. It was thick and heavy and seemed to accentuate any blemishes and flaws in my skin - pretty much the opposite from what I wanted to achieve, really. I tried blending it with my fingers, a buffing brush, a damp sponge... and I still hated the results.

However, I persevered. I knew that this foundation was hyped by so many people for some reason, and I was determined to find out why. And now I do. Priming my skin with Becca Rejuvenating Primer, and then Clarins Instant Smooth primer provides a lovely smooth base to work with, and really helps this foundation to sit nicely. This time, I took a tiny amount of product - literally the size of a very small pea - and used my fingers to apply. The results were much more satisfactory. No cakey-ness or flakiness in sight, just a smooth and flawless base. The coverage you get from this really is great, I barely need to use any concealer and it lasts an impressive amount of time. The only thing I don't like is how this wears throughout the day. It seems to separate on my skin and it wears really patchily on me. But, for a night out or a special occasion, this is my go-to purely for the high coverage it offers. It's definitely not one for everyday, casual daytime wear for me, anyway.


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