FTC Disclosure: This product was provided for review.
Over the years, I have become borderline obsessed with trying to find the best concealer to hide the genetic dark circles that have tormented my face since childhood. I always thought it would be great if a product would emerge on the market that would help fade the dark casts under my eyes, and reduce the tell-tale signs of aging. Alas, such a product has emerged promising to “get even” with dark under eye circles, whether it’s caused by hereditary factors, aging or thinning skin.
What is it? StriVectin-EV Get Even Dark Circle Corrector - A breakthrough, targeted eye treatment, clinically proven to be effective on all types of dark circles. 90% of women said they saw visibly lighter dark circle in only two weeks after using the product.
What it does: StriVectin-EV’s proprietary NIA-114™ molecule enhances the effectiveness of Vitamin C Actives to brighten the skin and reduce the appearance of discoloration under the eyes.
How to apply: Lightly dab (do not rub) around the eye area.
What I like: The luxurious cream provides instant hydration, and blends into the delicate skin around the eyes smoothly. It doesn’t leave behind any residue or tacky feeling, and also acts as a nice primer, making it easier for concealer to blend into the skin without a cakey effect. For an extra special touch, the cream’s light diffusing micas illuminates the eye area with a subtle hint of shimmer, which makes it a great choice for special occasions or for days you choose to go without makeup.
Final Result: My dark circles didn’t completely vanish, but they are noticeably lighter. It also acts as a good de-puffer; as soon as I apply the cream in the morning, my eyes look instantly brighter and refreshed. I do not have any fine lines yet, but I am a huge believer in the concept of prevention, and will continue to use the StriVectin EV- Get Even Dark Circle Corrector daily.
If you’ve been reading this blog long enough you know that I have spent countless hours of time and money trying to find a perfect foundation shade for my hard to match skin tone (See Makeup Felony: Mismatched Foundation and In search of “The One”). I finally decided that it was best to try one final route: have my foundation custom blended. I searched online and came across GIELLA cosmetics, a makeup company founded in 2001 that custom blends cosmetics for the face, eyes, cheeks, lips, and nails. Everything is blended for you on the spot, so you can take home your brand new cosmetics to use right away. The company doesn’t only custom blend makeup, but also matches discontinued colors. In love with a lipstick shade that is no longer available in stores? Bring it to your nearest GIELLA location and they will recreate it.
I made an appointment with a GIELLA makeup artist in New York City a few months ago. I told her about my frustration of not being able to find a perfect match, and she explained that one of the problems with most foundations out on the market is that most of them have yellow undertones. Most people have blue undertones. She added some blue coloring into my foundation mix, as well as quartz mineral to aid in reducing the size of my pores. Three color mixes were made and tested across my jaw line. After we both agreed that the perfect match was created, the makeup artist painted it on one side of my face, and the result was amazing! I finally had a foundation that matched, felt lightweight, and gave just the right amount of coverage.
Next, we moved on to concealer. In order to make the concealer, the color base had to be melted. Once it was liquefied, my unique color formula was added and mixed. It was tested on me to make sure it perfectly matched, and then the liquid was poured into a small GIELLA container to harden into a creamy consistency.
I was very happy with my results, but when I used the foundation the next day, it no longer looked great on my skin. The color pigments separated, and no matter how much I mixed the foundation on the back of my hand, I couldn’t get the foundation to blend into one solid color. I emailed the makeup artist, who sweetly invited me to return for a do-over at no cost. At the dimly lit makeup counter, the newly mixed foundation looked perfect; but, once again, when I got home, it didn’t match. I didn’t bother to send another e-mail, so the search for the perfect foundation continues….
Hilary Lambert is a skin care consultant for Rodan + Fields Dermatologists. She also writes a beauty and fashion blog at http://simpleaesthetic.com/. Her goal is to bring the audience simple ways to wear the latest styles in fashion and make up as well as give advice about skin care that makes it easy to get the best skin of your life.
Here she talks about how to transition your skincare regimen from warm weather to cold…
It’s that time of year again! Time when the cold fall/ winter weather tends to cause major changes in our skins look and feel. For most of us, cold weather dries out our skin leaving it rough, dry, cracked and red. For others, issues like eczema or acne are heightened by these weather changes. I’m a consultant with Rodan + Fields Dermatologists (the new Anti-Aging line by the doctors who created Proactiv) and here are some suggestions on how to combat the effects of cold weather and improve the overall look and feel of your skin at the same time. I’ve also made some recommendations for the skin care products you need to arm yourself with this fall /winter season to stay looking your best even when the weather isn’t optimal.
We all know that when you look good you feel good so read on…
First and Foremost…
It’s a great time to get rid of the sun damage that you may have done during the summer months and throughout the years. We’re outside all of the time during the summer and there’s only so much protection that sunblock can give us before we start to see the obvious and not so obvious signs of aging that comes from time is the sun. This exposure causes brown spots, dullness, hyper-pigmentation and melisma which are tough to get rid of without a trip to the dermatologists office. The doctors at Rodan & Fields have made it a lot easier to rid yourself of these problems without an expensive trip to the doctor’s office.
To get your young-looking skin back, pre-sun exposure, try the Reverse regimen.
This regimen will actively fade sun-spots and other damage caused by the sun by evening out your skin tone. This system has been clinically proven to be effective by doctor’s studies and by many before and after photos taken by clients.
For example, after 2 months of using the Reverse regimen this client looks 10 years younger. (more…)
For centuries, Geisha’s have been looked at as the exemplification of flawless, perfect skin. Underneath the heavy layers of performance makeup, a Geisha’s skin remains baby soft and clear. These women do have a secret to maintaining their highly coveted porcelain skin, and now, TATCHA, a new skin care company is sharing their beauty secrets. TATCHA’s founder Victoria Tsai rediscovered the daily regimens of Geisha’s in a 200-year old manuscript, and used the foundation of their skincare regimen which included precious green teas, Okinawa red algae, rice bran and indigenous extracts, to create a luxurious 4-step skincare routine everyone can do at home.
Intrigued, I tested out the ritual for 4-step Normal + Combination Skin.
Step 1: PURE Camellia One Step Cleansing Oil
At first, this light cleansing oil, made with camellia and rice bran, didn’t feel like it was doing much, but once rinsed, I saw that my makeup had been gently cleaned away.
Step 2: POLISHED Classic Rice Enzyme Powder
The core of this enzyme powder is rice bran, which has long been used in Eastern beauty regimens for brighter, ageless skin. You pour a small amount of the powder into wet hands until it becomes a creamy paste that you massage onto your face. This was my favorite step in the entire routine. I loved the way the lather of the cleanser felt, and could not stop rubbing my face. Once I convinced myself to stop my mini massage and rinse the powder off, my dry skin was polished off and felt baby soft.
Step 3: RADIANT Deep Brightening Serum
After the skin has been prepped, it is ready to receive the benefits of TATCHA’s Deep Brightening Serum, which targets melanin production to even out skin tone and fade imperfections. My skin looked instantly hydrated and more luminous as soon as I applied the light serum, which absorbed very quickly.
Step 4: SUPPLE Moisture Rich Silk Cream
The first time I used the Deep Brightening Serum, I felt my skin was hydrated enough, so I decided to skip the moisturizer. But, now as the temperature is dropping, and my skin is drying out a lot faster, I’ve started using the silk cream, which seals in moisture and protects the skin from environmental elements. It comes with a tiny little gold spoon to use to scoop the product up; this is great because it prevent contamination from fingers. It didn’t feel heavy, and effortlessly melted into my skin.
Other: PETAL FRESH Original Beauty Papers & PETAL FRESH Evening Beauty Papers
I keep the oil blotting papers with me everywhere I go. No matter how many times I powder my face, I can still see the reflection of my forehead against shiny surfaces. The Aburatorigami all-natural leaflets, gently absorbs oil without removing makeup. Plus, they contain gold flakes, which definitely makes you feel a little regal.
I’ve always had a difficult time finding a foundation to match my skin tone (read my foundation horror story here). My mixed ethnic background has produced a shade that’s darker than medium, but lighter than olive. Even when I tan, I still find it hard to find a foundation that matches, which is why I tend to stick to tinted moisturizers. My quest for a perfect match foundation may be drawing to and end with SEPHORA + PANTONE COLOR IQ, a new technology that uses a device to scan the surface of the skin and reveal a foundation shade within Sephora that matches the skin precisely.
I practically ran to Sephora in Time Square, giddy with anticipation at the thought of finally meeting “the one.” I dreamt of how it would feel to look in the mirror at my flawless complexion, while holding the smooth surface of a bottle that held my liquid skin. I arrived amongst the bright neon light of Times Square, dashed into the store, and bee-lined for the SEPHORA + PANTONE COLOR IQ counter.
A helpful consultant held the Pantone’s CAPSURE™ up to my forehead, cheek and neck, and produced my unique PANTONE® SkinTone™ number. He then punched in the number into a fancy iPad® that houses SEPHORA’s Universal SkinTone Library, which was to reveal all my foundation matches. It took about 30 seconds, and during that wait time he explained that some people had hundreds of matches in a variety of coverage and formulas. We both eagerly leaned in close to the screen as my matches began to appear one by…one? One. Literally. I knew my skin was hard to match, so I wasn’t surprised to see that out of thousands of foundations that are sold by Sephora, only one shade from one brand is my perfect long-awaited skin mate. It turned out to be Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24H Long Lasting Foundation with SPF 15 in 410 Bisque W. Unfortunately, this product was out of stock at the Times Square location, so I was not able to test the match. I was able, however, to e-mail myself the foundation so I can order it online.
Unable to be discouraged, the Sephora consultant showed me that the SkinTone Library gives you the option to select shades that are darker or lighter than your natural hue. I chose darker since I tan a lot in the summer, and it produced Sephora Perfecting Tinted Moisturizer Medium 28 Camel SPF 20. This choice matched me very well, so it looks like I’m back to wearing tinted moisturizers - at least until the Lancôme foundation arrives in the mail for testing.
*I should note that my sister went into the store the day after me, and her PANTONE® SkinTone™ number produced several different perfect matches, so I think my skin tone really is “special.” They told my sister to ask me to return, since they are constantly updating the system.
** The exclusive SEPHORA foundation service is only available at SEPHORA 5 Times Square in Manhattan and SEPHORA Powell Street in San Francisco.
***The service is free of charge, and no purchase is necessary.
Warm, golden skin never goes out of style. Learn how to get the ultimate summer glow all year round without looking like an Oscar statue.
I am obsessed with bronzer. Something about its healthy-looking flush of color and ability to illuminate skin makes bronzer utterly addicting and a staple in my makeup pouch, regardless of the season. When I was first introduced to the product I fell madly in love with the sun-kissed luminosity it created, and doused loads of it all over my entire face. This is, until I saw a picture of myself looking more like a oompa loompa than the golden goddess I was envisioning in my head. After years of trial and error, I’ve now mastered the way to correct my past beauty mistake, and can apply bronzer in a way that makes it appear as if it’s radiating naturally from the contours my skin.
Putting on a fake glow properly is key to staying out of Loompa Land, but the task is easier said than done, especially when there are so many different types of bronzers to choose from. Here’s how to avoid common mistakes, and look naturally tanned without the risk of sun damage.
Mistake # 1 Wearing the Wrong Shade
Solution: You should select a shade that is at least one or two tones darker than your natural skin tone. Women with light complexions can illuminate their skin with bronzers in the honey and peach family. Rose and earth toned bronzers accentuate medium complexions beautifully. And, dark skin looks absolutely radiant with true golden bronze colors like cinnamon.
Mistake # 2 Too much Shimmer
Solution: As a general rule, use matte bronzer in the day time, and upgrade to shimmer at night. Matte bronzers work best for contouring, as it mimics natural shadows. Smashbox Bronze Lights Skin Perfecting Bronzer ($29) is a matte powder lauded by Kim Kardashian who uses bronzer to slim down her nose and sculpt her strong facial features. Shimmery bronzers, frequently seen on Jennifer Lopez, work best for highlighting, and can be used to enhance features such as the décolleté area.
Mistake # 3 Using the Wrong Tools
Solution: If you are using a powder, invest in a wide, fluffy brush to help pick up the perfect amount of color and buffer into the skin. Lightly swirl the brush into the product and tap off the excess before applying. Gel, cream and liquid bronzers can be applied with makeup sponges or blended with fingertips.
Mistake # 4 Bronzer Overload
Solution: Only highlight parts of the face where the sunlight would naturally hit: the temples, outer rim of the face, nose and hollows of cheeks. If you’re more of an expert, an all-over coating can also be used to fake an overall tan, but be sure to blend it down to your shoulders and collar-bone, so it doesn’t look artificial.
Bronzer can give any skin tone a youthful, healthy look. It can be a tricky product to use, but don’t let that deter you. Avoid the above mistakes and you will be able to enhance, define and glow as if your own personal sun beam is following you around all day.
People with rich complexions are blessed with a natural SPF due to the pigment melanin, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t wear sunscreen. No one is invulnerable to the sun’s harmful rays, and although dark skin people are not as high-risk as their fair-skinned counterparts, all complexions can burn and have a risk of getting cancer. So, what’s a dark-skinned beauty to do? Apply sunscreen, of course! If your skin color ranges from tan to olive to deep dark brown, there is a new fabulous sunscreen available specifically formulated for dark skin called EXTRASHADE. Infused with a combination of vitamins, botanical extract and antioxidants, EXTRASHADE, focuses on repairing sun damage instead of just preventing sunburn. When dark skin is damaged, more melanin production is triggered, which causes uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation. The powerful combination of ingredients in EXTRASHADE protects the skin from sun damage, hydrates, prevents discoloration, and helps existing marks from becoming darker.
EXTRASHADE Daily Defense Hydrating Sunscreen SPF 30 can be purchased online for $33.00 here»
I swear that there is a foundation shade on the market for ever single person’s skin complexion across the entire globe, except mine. I’m not over-exaggerating. After years of unsuccessfully trying to find something that matched my medium to golden skin tone, I recently walked into a poplar beauty store and asked for help locating the perfect foundation shade. The makeup artist raced back and forth from the makeup aisles to my face saying “too pink,” “too gold,” “too light,” and “too dark.” Two and half hours later, the sun went down, and after trying on shades from ever single brand in the store, she victoriously held up my perfect match. I admired myself in the mirror and agreed that it looked great, so I went home and applied the foundation across my problem areas on the night of a special occasion. Following the event, pictures were posted online for all the world to see; and, what they saw was my face clearly looking paler in the areas where I applied the foundation, and completely unnatural. Wearing the wrong foundation shade is something that almost very women encounters during their quest for a flawless complexion. Here are some valuable lessons I’ve learned to prevent you from making the same mistake I did:
1. When applying foundation, blend, blend, and then blend some more. This is especially important if you are like me, and don’t own foundation that looks like your skin in a bottle. Use a wide brush to buff foundation over your face in circular motions, starting from the center, moving outwards, and then finally, down to your neck for a natural, even-toned finish.
2. When selecting a new foundation, apply and test the color out in the day time. Ask for a mirror so you can step outside and see the color in natural light. When the makeup artist applied the foundation on me in the store, the lightning was so dim it camouflaged the imperfect color match.
3. Always request a sample so that you can try the shade out for a few days, not only to make sure it really matches, but also to test its staying power.
4. Ask a second pair of eyes for their opinion, preferably eyes that are not vested in the commission they will receive from selling you the product. My mismatched face still resides in cyberspace as a restless reminder to ask people if my foundation is visible.
My final, most important tip is to keep your receipt so that you can return any foundation that is less that a perfect match. What is the worst makeup crime you ever committed?