02 February 2014

January Makeup Haul (Estee Lauder, MAC, Milani)

As the chilly Seattle winter continues on (it's been staying around 25F - 40F this whole season!), I'm constantly reminding myself to drink plenty of water and to stay moisturized. I have incredibly sensitive, acne-prone, combination skin, and having a lot of intense skin problems all my life, the kind of makeup I put on my face requires a lot of extra care in research, reviews, and plain old trial and error. When I first started wearing makeup (senior year of high school), my friend Liz took me to Sephora for my very first haul. I splurged on eye makeup, but as far as concealers and foundations were concerned I stuck with some of the cheapest drugstore brands (yikes!). Don't get me wrong, there are PLENTY of wonderful and quality drugstore products, but the ones I bought always gave me disappointing, little to no coverage after just 2 hours, with my skin being so oily by 6-8 hours that you could fry bacon on it in the summer. Not to mention constant breakouts no matter how thorough my makeup removing routine was :(! Since then I've wisened up and put full priority on quality foundation and concealer that works with my skin, even if I have to splurge a bit. Which brings me to sharing my most recent makeup haul with you guys!

First off is the new foundation (well, sort of not new... I've had it since October, oops). This is Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation (DWF) in 1N1. I stopped by the Nordstrom by my school, after spending DAYS researching relatively affordable foundation that boasted:
  1. Liquid foundation (powders only amplify my dry skin)
  2. Medium to Full coverage
  3. A semi-matte/matte finish
  4. Oil-absorbing properties (to counteract how much oil my skin produces daily)
  5. A formula that does not clog pores (the acne life....)
Through many beauty blogs, MakeupAlley reviews, Top x Foundations articles, and whatever else there was to read up on, I decided on Estee Lauder's Double Wear. I winced immensely when I had to fork over $40 for just one product, but I have to say I'm ridiculously pleased, and couldn't be happier with my decision. The foundation is silky, buildable, and applies beautifully with both a brush or by dabbing and blending with your fingers (if you just need to hide a few blemishes here and there). It's recommended to use a brush, though, especially for acne-prone/oily/combo skin -- using your fingers creates a lot of hygienic issues that could promote breakouts (them finger oils!) and make your skin even more oily than usual. Having your color matched accurately is super important, because of how well this blends in with the skin. For everyday wear, I only apply foundation under my eyes, on my cheeks, a dab on my chin, and a dab on my forehead -- and that's really all I need (unless my acne is particularly bad that week). My cheeks, chin, and forehead are where I breakout the most, yet the coverage that DWF, when matched with a great concealer, hides them completely for most of the day. The feel is very light and creamy on my face, and doesn't dry out, flake, or crack. Match this with a powder or oil-blotting paper for mid-day and night-time touchups, and I think I've finally found my HG foundation (thus far!).

Next up is a product I've actually never bought for myself: lipstick! I recently purchased Milani Cosmetics Color Statement Lipstick in Dulce Caramelo a few days ago. I've been going back and forth about whether to buy lipstick, as I have chronically dry lips (again, skin problems...) When I was a kid, my lips would get so dry that they would constantly crack and bleed within a few hours of not using some kind of salve or vaseline. I'm trying to stay away from chapstick as it has a habit of setting off my eczema, so nowadays I use vaseline and rose salve. When it comes to lipstick, it's not difficult to apply over a layer of vaseline/rose salve -- but what about later on in the day? How do I keep my lips hydrated without having to redo the process? Milani Cosmetics, a cruelty-free (but not 100% vegan) drugstore makeup brand sells lipsticks and stain glosses that boast hydrating and moisturizing properties -- at very affordable prices. I wanted to have a neutral color for every day wear, but when I tried it on at night it felt almost... too neutral. When first applied, I couldn't even tell I'd put it on, and worried that I chose a color that was way too close to my natural lip color. After it set in though, my lips had a very dewy, glossy look to it that was about 2 shades darker than my natural lip color -- exactly what I was looking for! Maybe it's because I'm super new to lipstick, but do they all take a few minutes to set in? I don't mind it -- just was surprised haha! Packaging-wise, I'm super in love with the glossy, reflective gold, despite the fact that glossy exteriors collect fingerprints like crazy. I can live with that! Having the color + color name on the end is a big plus too, both in convenience and aesthetic. I don't see a lot of lipstick designs do this, and I feel like it'd drive me crazy having to sift through multiple products to find the color I was looking for.
Close-up of the color on the cap. so cute!

Here's another Milani I threw in with the Color Statement Lipstick, this time a gloss stain! It's Milani Cosmetics Power Lip in Macaroon. Choosing between a lipstick, lip stain, or lip gloss depends on your personal needs and preferences -- there are many differing pros and cons to these lip color products, which as I understand is generalized to:
  • Lip stain: Lasts longest as it literally stains lips (8 - 12 hr lifespan, after it dries it must be removed with makeup remover). Not recommended for dry and easily chapped lips. Matte finish.
  • Lip gloss: Lasts shortest. Wipes off easily because it stays as a moist layer on your lips, rather than staining. Recommended if you want lots of moisturizing. Glossy finish.
  • Lipstick: Lasts long, but must be reapplied after drinking or eating. Has the most variety, as almost every brand carries many colors and finishes. 
My days are really busy, and require a lot of focus on the tasks at hand --- I hate thinking about whether my makeup is smudged or if I need to reapply something every time I drink or eat. When I found out there was such a thing as a gloss stain, I was thrilled. Something that supposedly lasted all day AND moisturized with a bold, glossy finish? I can't keep up with technology these days. The PL comes in 8 colors, and I was debating between Macaroon (pink tone) and Mango Tango (coral tone). Based on how the Macaroon felt, I figured I'd get the Mango Tango later, because I love how coral and peach lip colors look.
Not gonna lie, the PL applicator is very unusual for me... it starts out as a beautiful white brush, and in order to get the color out, it must be twisted a million times (so much clicking! I thought it'd never end), and then applied using that brush -- which is now the color of the stain gloss. Because of how long it took for the product to come out, I was worried I'd gone too far as it started oozing out really quickly. It reminded me of the way Shu Uemura's Point Concealer oozes out in beads of liquid, staining the pure white brush as well, which creeps me out to no end... (is that weird? idk. It reminds me of a certain phobia that I don't even like typing out...). Anything that has to ooze out kind of annoys me in general, because it's likely difficult to control. Thankfully, I didn't click too far, and had no troubles applying the stain gloss. and wow! There was soooo much color to my lips, and from my first impression, it felt glossy, incredibly moisturized, and spread beautifully without any excess. Compared to neutral, somewhat sophisticated Dulce Caramelo, with my skintone Macaroon is an incredibly playful, flirty barbie color. It took some getting used to the vibrancy, as I prefer muted and subtle. But I liked it at the same time, haha!

Last but not least, I'm trying out my new MAC Mineralize Concealer in NW20. Again, I stopped by Nordstrom and asked to get color matched for concealer. There's no point in a foundation that doesn't clog your pores if you use a concealer that does, so I asked a makeup consultant at the MAC booth which concealer would be best. He suggested I try this one, as it boasts minerals and botanical ingredients that nourishes and hydrates the skin and prevents acne breakots. As with anything and everything, only time will tell if this concealer does what it says it does. Since I specifically asked for full coverage conceal for my dark circles, I was matched with NW20. The orange/pink undertones in NW20 (versus NC20's yellow undertones) help counteract the cool tones (esp. purple) in my dark circles. And wowowow, does it help immensely! Before this, I was applying 2 layers of BB cream, 1 layer of foundation, and then a shimmer just to cover my dark circles (the consultant asked me, "do you really need all that coverage?" ahhh I don't know!) -- but with one layer of this concealer + my foundation it blends perfectly. It'd be best if this concealer was finished using a powder as well, because it's still a medium coverage concealer. Using a powder to set and blend the concealer into the foundation helps hide dark circles even better, and helps with creasing too (and boy, do my eyelids crease....) I also noticed that I don't like using this to conceal the acne on my cheeks because the orange is more apparent on my skintone, rather than neutralizing the redness to blend. Though it blends very well with my foundation, and doesn't leave me looking like a vampire, I may just use this exclusively for my dark circles, and try getting matched for the rest of my face. It's a long, long process! 

I took some shots at night after a long day at work + meetings! Makeup still rockin' after 8 hours with only a slight touchup. Here I am wearing all the products mentioned above. It's also a side-by-side comparison of the new lip colors. :) Left photo is the Color Statement in Dulce Caramelo, right photo is the Power Lip Stain Gloss in Macaroon. More than anything, color on my lips emphasize how huge my bottom lip is, which I guess will take some getting used to... geesh. I'm hoping to better showcase the colors and makeup using my DSLR when packing for our new apartment slows down (which may be awhile.. ahhh!). What kind of things do you look for in your makeup? Any recent purchases you're absolutely in love with (or even absolutely hate)? I'd love to know. :)

Makeup Details

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation (here)
Milani Cosmetics Color Statement Lipstick (here)
Milani Cosmetics Power Lip Stain Gloss (here)
MAC Mineralize Concealer (here)

1 comment:

  1. I like makeup that enhances natural beauty and isn't used as a way to recreate a face by caking it on. You're doing it right! A+ A+