Posts Tagged ‘shine’

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Tale of Two Primers…

two

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

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, September 23, 2014

Revealing All My Secrets from Being Backstage at Fashion Week…

Backstage at NYFW - Photo by Janna Mandell

Photo by Janna Mandell

Oh, my loves… I hope you don’t think I abandoned you! I needed a little time to recuperate after a very exhausting fashion week.  I’ve also been a busy little bee, writing a follow-up piece for this coming week’s San Francisco Chronicle Style section (so if you’re in the Bay Area pick up a paper on Sunday!) and a fun piece on Huffington Post 5 Things I Learned from Being Backstage at Fashion Week.

You should definitely check out my Huff Po piece for a little dose of fun and honesty  (and the rest of my NYFW photo diary). But, I thought I would add a couple bonus backstage secrets for my beautiful Beauty Bingers:

giphy

1) Kell on Earth? Not so much.  The reality show, starring Kelly Cutrone (above), the founder of the public relations, branding and marketing firm People’s Revolution, may have only aired for one season on Bravo back in 2010 but I can assure you I’ve watched all eight episodes multiple times. As a devoted fan, you can imagine I was a bit intimidated when requesting show invites from People’s Revolution since, well, the name of the show should say it all. Sure enough, at 11:30 the night before Day 1 of fashion week I got an email from a People’s Revolution intern, cc’ing Ms. Cutrone, asking which media outlet I would be covering the shows for. Totally valid since I’m a freelance writer. When I told them I would be covering beauty for the San Francisco Chronicle’s style blog I didn’t hear back. I frantically kept refreshing my inbox, terrified that I would get to my first show of fashion week, Nicholas K, and find that my invite had been rescinded.

The next morning I timidly walked up to the check in desk to get my seat assignment. Of course I wasn’t expecting an actual seat rather I expected to be standing behind the seats in gen pop. You can imagine my surprise and elation when I found out that not only would I be attending the show but I even had a front row seat! Throughout fashion week, People’s Revolution was amazing to me – giving me seats at all their shows, obliging plus one’s, party invites etc.  And, of course I loved seeing Ms. Cutrone in her element – working the crowd, kicking seat poachers back to gen pop and directing the show from the production box.

2) This isn’t so much a backstage secret more a fashion week revelation… I can’t handle heat. NYC was boiling hot and humid as it was, then you get under the lights at the shows and backstage and it feels like the temperature goes up about 50 more degrees. No bueno. In fact, sweat-related drama…

On the first morning, after emerging from the criminally hot subway station I tried blotting away my practically dripping face with blotting sheets. What a joke. My face was way past shine and trying to fix the problems with blotting sheets was like putting a band-aid on a gunshot wound.

Once I got inside I was still shvitzing because of my Kelly Cutrone-related anxiety. I fervently dabbed my face with a tissue as I waited for to check in. Once I found out my seat, I practically skipped inside to the Nicholas K show waving my first row seat assignment.  I entered the dimly lit room, trying not to gape at the celebrities and fashion editors.  I hurried to my seat and first pulled the biggest fashion week rookie move ever — I looked at the black tote bag on the empty seat and asked the guy sitting next to it if the seat was open. He looked at me, looked at the bag and looked back at me like I had to be joking. “Sweetie, that’s your gift bag.” Whoops. I moved my gift bag and happily settle into my seat, drinking in my glamorous surroundings.

Then, I felt a gentle tap on my arm from the nice fashion blogger next to me. “Sweetie, you should know you have what looks like tissue stuck all over your face.” Wow. It took me a few seconds to register the ramifications of what he just told me. I had checked into a show, roamed the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week main lobby and sat down at a hot fashion show with tissue stuck all over my face. I didn’t have a choice but to ask the fashion blogger to help me pick the pieces of tissue off my face.  Luckily we got all the offending pieces off before the first model hit the runway.

Of course once the first model hit the runway, huge hot spotlights illuminated the front row. I basically sat there melting like a Dali painting.

Okay one more quick sweat-related drama… The next day I felt I had learned my lesson and judiciously applied Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Agent Zero Shine  to my t-zone. Now, I’m not a powder girl but I am prone to shine and this powder has totally worked in the past to keep me shine-free without looking powdery or cakey.  I had cursed myself for not thinking of it the first day! Needless to say, to make a long story short, I walked a few blocks in ungodly heat to get to the Kate Spade show. I checked in backstage and was totally swept away by the flawless models and the whole scene.

After I had gotten my interviews and photos I jumped into a cab, jubilant and ready for my next show. I grabbed my compact and found that I had three-dimensional droplets of sweat all over my face. They were just sitting there like boils. It was horrifying. I later divulged my mishap to good friend and makeup artist Maria Luxen and she said matter-of-factly, “the powder probably has silicone.”

Ahhh…  she was right. Lesson learned. Had I simply blotted my face (not with a tissue!), the powder would have kept my skin matte while paper towels or blotting paper would have absorbed the droplets. I end with one question… Why the hell didn’t ANYONE at that show say, “hey, you’ve got something going on” and handed me a tissue?? Perhaps they saw me at Nicholas K and felt I was better off with the droplets.

The good news? Next NYFW is in February so I can’t bitch about the heat!

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