Posts Tagged ‘Primer’

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Tale of Two Primers…


It was the most inflamed of times, it was the shiniest of times, it was the age of visible redness, it was the age of large pores, it was the epoch of angry skin, it was the epoch of visible shine, it was the season of dryness, it was the season of t-zone troubles….

Ok, you get it.

What I’m trying to say (aside from my poor attempt to Dickens up my post) is my skin is going through two very ugly phases right now:

1. Tons of redness and irritation that tends to flame up from stress (good luck avoiding that), a glass of wine (I have a better chance avoiding the stress), and coffee (I would rather pull my eyelashes out one by one than give up coffee)

2. My pores are huge and I seem to get shiny in my t-zone regardless of the weather or situation

Luckily, I found two primers that are helping me through these woeful times. Yes, it sucks that I have to apply two separate primers but it’s better than the unsightly alternative. First, banishing the redness…

I tried CLINIQUE Redness Solutions Daily Protective Base SPF 15 without expecting much. I’d heard it all before — soothing, redness-reducing, blah blah blah. I’ve tried almost every green-tinted skin product out there, all of them made big promises to correct my angry red skin.  So, I wasn’t expecting much when I slathered the creamy, green dill-scented primer all over my face.  It felt cool and comforting upon application. Then I looked in the mirror and noticed my skin looked borderline normal! Sure, there was still some visible pink but it wasn’t the usual “I just walked through a chemical fire” face.


Clinique’s Description:

Protects skin from the UVA/UVB exposure that can aggravate skins with Rosacea or reactive redness. Does it without chemical sunscreens. Comforting, oil-free makeup primer with a sheer green tint visually corrects redness, evens skin tone.

Overall, my skin looked healthy and dewy. This definitely isn’t the type of primer to give you that flawless airbrushed finish. My pores were still large and in charge and obviously the dewy finish wasn’t doing my shine any favors.

Enter primer #2…

Tarte Timeless Smoothing Primer is a blurring primer to help fill in fine lines and enlarged pores, and put the kibosh on shine. If you have oily skin, this primer is your new best friend. It literally melts into the skin giving you an airbrushed, “blurred” finish.

blurTarte’s Description:

A melt-in smoothing primer with innovative blurring and filling technology for a youthful appearance perfectly primed for makeup application. 

Product Performance: Turn back the hands of time with tarte’s new timeless smoothing and filling primer formulated to fade out your biggest beauty boundaries such as large pores, fine lines and wrinkles. The antioxidant-rich formula infused with vitamins C & E and green bean extract gently melts into the skin delivering a surge of moisture, peptides and other naturally-derived elixirs for a firmer, smoother appearance. You’ll love the lightweight texture and fresh powder scent as it provides the perfect blank canvas to enhance the look and wear time of makeup. It can also be worn alone as part of your skincare regimen, blurring out skin imperfections and signs of aging for a flawless, soft-focus finish. 

Powered By: vitamin E: natural preservative that also acts as an anti-inflammatory emollient and antioxidant

vitamin C: antioxidant that fights free radical damage and premature signs of aging while brightening skin

green bean extract: known for anti-wrinkle and pore minimizing properties

mineral pigments: soothe and soften skin

A word to the wise… If you have combination skin like me you only want to put this mattifying primer on your trouble spots or your skin will end up looking flat.  And as Dickens may have said himself, had a been a beauty blogger…

“It is a far, far better primer that I wear, than I have ever worn; it is a far, far better skin that I have, than I have ever known.”



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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

7-Minute Makeup Routine (Yes, I Timed It)

I know you all think I plop myself down in front of my vanity every morning and spend a good hour putting on my face — using several different concealers to camouflage my puffy eyes, carefully sculpting the perfect winged eye, prepping and painting on the perfect statement lip — ok that’s me on a big night out, but not during the week. I mean come on, I live in crunchy Northern California now so I’ve kind of been forced to embrace the “Fresh Face Look”. The good news? I found that I can actually look surprisingly good after dedicated  5-7 minutes to my makeup routine. And for those of you mommies and worker bees who don’t have more than a few minutes to slap on your makeup in the morning, you are going to love me forever:

5 Minute Makeup Routine

Photo courtesy Dogwithbeards via deviantart

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Saturday, December 29, 2012

It’s Official. I’m Obsessed: Tarte Clean Slate Creaseless 12-Hr Smoothing Eye Primer

We all know I’m the primer police.  It’s the one beauty product that every makeup artist and beauty blogger swears by yet it’s astonishing how few women actually use it. Shame on you ladies. Listen to the wise Beauty Binge and stop crying about your visible pores and the fact that your makeup disappears after a couple hours and get yourself some primer! Enough scolding… For now.

Before I discovered  Tarte Clean Slate 360 Creaseless 12-Hr Smoothing Eye Primer ($19) I was forced to use my face primer on my eyelids followed by concealer to ensure my eyeshadow blended evenly and stayed on until I took it off.  I have tried the popular eye primers that everyone raves about like Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion ($20) and Too Faced – Shadow Insurance ($18), but both made my eyelids look crepey and old once I applied shadow.  It didn’t matter that my shadow lasted all night since I hated the way it looked.

I got a sample of the Tarte Clean Slate 360 Creaseless 12-Hr Smoothing Eye Primer  from Sephora and thought I would give it a try since I’m a huge fan of the Tarte Clean Slate Poreless 12-Hr Perfecting Primer for the face.  I applied the thin creamy primer to my eyelids (of course I let it dry while I applied foundation to the rest of my face) and followed it with my base shadow (Bobbi Brown Eye Shadow Ivory). I could tell immediately we had a winner.  It created a perfectly smooth canvas and my lids didn’t look puffy or heavy. I can also vouch that the “12 Hour” also didn’t disappoint. After a long rainy day my makeup looked pretty much the same as when I applied it.

Pure. Magic.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

It’s Official. I’m Obsessed: COOLA Tinted Matte SPF 30

For those of you who read Beauty Binge regularly, you know I became obsessed with COOLA several months ago after a delightful facial at the The Biltmore Four Seasons in Santa Barbara (yes, I lead a tough life). After the esthetician assured me COOLA ($36.00) is suitable for sensitive skin she applied the matte, primer-like SPF  (which by the way I usually say no to after a facial because my skin is so friggin’ sensitive I tend to breakout fast and badly) and upon looking in the mirror I instantly fell in love.

You all know I am a preacher of primer — you should be wearing it every day regardless of if you wear makeup. It seals in your skincare and most importantly mattifies and makes your skin look airbrushed.  COOLA has that dry touch feel of a good primer with the added bonus of being an organic mineral anti-aging SPF.  You can imagine my elation when I found out COOLA came out with a TINTED version of their matte SPF! The tint is one of those shades that looks good on every skin tone and helps to mask any imperfections like redness or blemishes.


Defend your skin from both the sun and environmental pollution with a chemical free, mineral matte shield. This unscented, lightly tinted formula delivers broad spectrum SPF 30 protection as it fights the damaging effects of free radicals. Antioxidant-infused Borage Seed Oil and Evening Primrose Extract will rejuvenate skin, targeting early signs of aging. Shea Butter hydrates and softens sun-exposed skin while restoring elasticity. Plankton, a naturally water-resistant phyto-protector boosts SPF protection, making this the perfect beach companion.

  • Ideal for normal or oily skin
  • Lightly tinted
  • Preservative free formula
  • Infused with Certified Organic Ingredients
  • Water Resistant (40 minutes)
  • No nano-sized particles

Ladies, BB Creams are for the uninformed masses… You want a multi-tasker that’s great for your skin? Get yourself COOLA – Face SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen Matte Tint and thank me later.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Celebrity Beauty Blind Item: Who Displayed a Blackheads Bonanza on the Red Carpet?

I love guessing blind items in the gossip rags, but why should the tabloids have all the fun?  If you see a celebrity commit a major beauty faux pas make sure you email me at so we can run it as a blind item and help the offending celeb fix the issue!

Which gorgeous starlet, famous for her unique multi-cultural looks, who got her big break on a popular late night “news” show and now is gracing every red carpet because of her role on Aaron Sorkin’s “news” show, showed up in red carpet close ups with a face covered in glaring blackheads??  When I say blackheads, I’m not talking about a sprinkle over the nose… Let’s put it this way, they were so big and black, completely blanketing her forehead, nose, cheeks and chin, at first I thought they were freckles!  Our starlet does in fact have some freckles but they’re tough to find in the oil fields. She also had an unhealthy dose of greasy shine to keep the blackheads company. GROSS!

So what should have our pretty starlet done prior to hitting the red carpet??
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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Makeup Meltdown Mayhem! Battle the Heat with a Few Tricks and Tools

I can’t get over this f’ing heat!  Okay, I know I just wrote about a melt-proof eye, but with this ungodly heat you’re going to need more than just a waterproof eyeshadow stick.   We’re officially in crisis lock-down mode.  When my husband and I traveled to Columbus, Ohio this past week for the 4th, I was genuinely traumatized (and I hate to admit it but visibly sweating, gross!) by the humid 97 degree conditions.  We went to my 20th high school reunion (yes, I’m old) at around 7 pm and I was a disaster by 7:07 (and by disaster I mean fellow classmates were picking little pieces of napkin off my sticky face because I was couldn’t stop blotting with taco truck napkins).  BUT despite the Vietnam-like conditions, guess what?? MY MAKEUP ENDURED!  
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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Shocked (and Dismayed)… No Primer, REALLY T?

Yesterday I was catching up with my glamorous friend T and I was appalled to find out that this makeup-loving diva (she’s the type of woman people stop on the street to ask her how she did her eye makeup) doesn’t wear primer!  I just couldn’t do the math.  She was wearing perfect makeup but NO primer.  She started asking my opinion on powders and I simply couldn’t pay attention. I was too engrossed in staring at her primer-free skin:

T: “I’m thinking about going to pick up some new pressed powder. What are your thoughts?”

Now, keep in mind T has great skin, but I see the incumbent powder sitting on her skin over her visible pores (yes, everyone has pores, but thanks to primer, no one has to see them).  I look again. I can’t seem to grasp that this woman who can rattle off at least 50 eye shadow and lip gloss colors isn’t wearing primer.

T ignores my penetrating stare, “So what do you think?”

Me: “I’ll tell you what I think. I can’t believe you’re asking me about powder right now when you’re clearly not wearing primer.”

T puts her hands on her hips. I fear her attitude is about to make a sneak attack.

T: “Primer? What does that have to do with it?”

Me: “Primer has everything to do with it!  How can you think about putting on powder without prepping with primer?”

T: “Girl, I don’t need an extra step.”

An extra step?  Ladies, primer isn’t extra credit. It should be part of your core regimen!  T put her attitude away when she found out the following: 1) I wear primer on days I go makeup-free because it takes away the shine, fills in my pores and fine lines, and protects me from environmental agers of mass destruction.  2) Most primers are multi-taskers.

See my list of favorites below:

Bare Escentuals bareVitamins Prime Time 1 oz: I go through these so fast, I buy them three at a time.  This is my go-to everyday primer. It has a clear gel-like consistency that’s mattifying without being drying.  It fills in my pores, makes my lines less visible, and gives my skin an airbrushed-like quality.  It’s a total multi-tasker — In addition to the above, it protects from pollution and weather warfare, it has SPF, and, it’s “infused with soothing plant extracts, antioxidants, and nourishing vitamin C and E.”

When I Wear it Most: Workdays when I’m not wearing foundation (I only wear foundation if my skin is blotchy or has some redness.  Or, I have a meeting or drinks/dinner after work).  It’s also a staple on weekends and vacation when I don’t wear any makeup at all.  Not only does it control oil in warm climates, it covers my imperfections without wearing makeup.

Urban Decay Complexion Primer Potion-Pore Perfecting:   It has a non-oily cream-like consistency which “sticks” to your pores, wrinkles, and other nooks and crannies. “Sticks” may be a strong word, or even the wrong word, because it doesn’t have a sticky feel, it’s more about the action of “sticking” to the skin. Does that make sense?  It is the perfect canvas for foundation.  It “sticks” the foundation to the sealed and smoothed skin.  My makeup can last through rain, hot subway stations, long days that lead into long nights, etc.  I will say it does seem to have a lightening affect, which I don’t love.  But, if I’m wearing foundation and bronzer, it’s inconsequential.

When I Wear it Most: Every time I wear foundation

While the above two are my favorites, I’ve heard gushing reviews from other beauty addicts and makeup artists about Napoleon Paradis Auto Pilot Pre-Foundation Skin Primer.  You will simply have to wait until I give in and buy it.  Something tells me you won’t have to wait very long.


Photo courtesy =Muse1979

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Go Naked! 7 Easy Steps to Perfecting the Perfect Makeup-Free Face!

For those of you who think leaving the house without makeup isn’t viable, I have news for you… There are a few steps you can take to looking gorgeous without a speck of makeup on your face! (You will find these steps are especially vital to leaving the house the morning after too much partying)

Step 1:  Cleanse your face before your shower with a gentle creamy cleanser like Fresh Soy Cleanser and then apply a quick-acting reviving  mask like bliss triple oxygen™ instant energizing mask ($54).  This mask is like a stiff triple shot of espresso for your weary skin, adding back color to cheeks and taking away the grease.  I leave the mask on while I shower to let the steam help the product penetrate.

Step 2:  Swipe a gentle alcohol-free toner-soaked cotton pad over your whole face (recommended toners: to pick up any stubborn debris and balance the PH of your skin.

Step 3: Pat on any morning serums.  Right now I’m using SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF and Hydrating B5 gel.  Then, since I am prone to redness, I apply First Aid Beauty Anti-Redness Serum ($34)  to problem areas.

Step 4: Follow my puffy eyes regimen. Thn pat on a nice morning eye cream like Neocutis Lumiere Bio-Restorative Eye Cream or if you’re feeling a bit Walking Dead under the eyes apply Estee Lauder Idealist Cooling Eye Illuminator.

Step 5: Either apply a nourishing moisturizer with SPF (obviously I use my FAB 5-in-One ) or if you are feeling very blah a nice tinted moisturizer (I like Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20-Oil Free in Bisque).

Step 6: This is the MOST VITAL !!  Primer! Primer! Primer!  I am shocked and dismayed by the volume of ladies I speak to who do not incorporate a primer into their daily ritual. Ladies, not only does a primer make any makeup you put on last all day, but most importantly it hides all those ugly pores and fine lines! I personally swear by Bare Escentuals BareVitamins Prime Time  which is pure vitamins, fills in every imperfection, and also mattifies all those moisturizers and SPF creams I slather on my skin every morning.   Makeup Artist Caitlin Murphy Miles (who also does the best brows I’ve ever seen) works out of the Eva Scrivo Salon, says that Napoleon Perdis Autopilot Skin is the “be all, end all” of primers because of it’s luxurious texture and staying power.

Step 7: Finishing touches! Give your eyelashes a curl (I recommend a heated curler. The cramping style is too aggressive.), comb your eyebrows up, pat a little of the  Estee Lauder Idealist Cooling Eye Illuminator on your cheekbones for definition, and then apply your shade of Fresh Sugar Tinted Balm  (This will always be one of my favorite products; I always have 4 or 5 of them in different bags, coats, and around my desk to ensure I always have one on hand. ).

Now I know this sounds like a lot of steps, so if you’re pressed for time, just moisturize as usual, prime, curl those eyelashes, and put on a nice lip balm.  Done!

Picture via allshewote

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