Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Primped VIP: L'Oreal Paris Studio Secrets Primer

Once again the lovely ladies at Primped HQ have sent over another package of goodies for review.

First up this month is the new L'Oreal Paris Studio Secrets Professional Smoothing Resurfacing Primer
Released in Australia in around October 2009, L'Oreal's new range of Studio Secrets products are said to deliver 'all the secrets of studio make up to you'.

With the advent of mineral make up, and the drip down of department store brands to chain stores like Target (such as the NP Set range in Australia and others available in US locations, such as Jemma Kidd's JK Range, and Pixi by Petra Strand), the popularity of make up primers has grown ten-fold. Products such as make up primers are no longer expensive extras only to be found in department stores.

This new primer from
L'Oreal delivers superior results at a (relatively) pocket friendly price tag of $39.95.

While writing this I can hear you muttering "why do I need (another) product?"

Primer is a worthy investment as it creates an invisible barrier between your skin and make up - ensuring that your pores don't "eat" your carefully applied slap over the course of your busy day, and that it stays looking fresh all day long.

Primer not only improves the performance of your make up, but also improves the overall texture of your skin - diffusing wrinkles and open pores. Most formulas include silicone (dimethicone) which acts as a sort of "spak filla" for your skin, creating a smooth surface for make up application.

L'Oreal's latest offering is a great choice for anyone concerned about wrinkles, open pores or dry skin. It has a silky, light texture, and won't dry out skin over the course of the day. Make up applied over this product goes on smoothly and stays put. It diffuses wrinkles, and practically makes pores disappear.

Oily skinned folks beware - this does nothing to diminish shine. Prior to receiving this I purchased the oily skin variant from this range, which was only slightly superior to this one in terms of the shine factor. You will still need a powder retouch during the day.

After moisturising, apply a small amount of the L'Oreal Paris Studio Secrets Primer to problem spots, smoothing on in gentle circular motions. I try to focus on my cheeks and nose, which are my main areas of concern. Allow about thirty seconds for the product to settle, then you can proceed with the rest of your base. As this primer has a silky texture, it works well with both liquid and powder/mineral foundations.

The formula of this L'Oreal product is almost a perfect duplicate of Clarins' Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch Makeup Base, which was released around 2005.

As an aside,
L'Oreal Paris Studio Secrets Professional Smoothing Resurfacing Primer is quite a mouthful of a name. Which, I have to say is worth noting, beauty gods above!

Ever noticed the uncanny ability of fans of a product to abbreviate a name into something easier to remember, and easier to name when typing (particularly when sharing the love world-wide on blogs and bulletin boards)? A perfect example - Urban Decay's (famous) Primer Potion, or as you may know it - UDPP. I'm not sure "LPSSPSRP" has quite the same ring to it.

Long name aside, this is a nice product which delivers great results at a good price.

Available now from Priceline locations, AUD$39.95.

Please remember that when using silicone based products, you should always take extra time when cleansing, or use a cleansing oil (My favourite? Refer to this post). Primers are wonderful for filling in pores. Don't think these products won't stay there if you don't remove them properly! After all, it's what they're there to do.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The last emperor

I recently read that the average woman sees her first wrinkle aged nineteen.

Then I was browsing WWD and found this ...

Image via WWD

I can only conclude that no matter how many birthdays you have, faux tan is no substitute for the power of sunscreen, skincare and (kabbalah) water.


Friday, October 2, 2009

Girl Friday

Girl Friday / Tango Mango
Ordered from Head2Toe

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Style Rookie

I always wanted to skip school when I was 13.
But I never would have thought to go to Fashion Week.
See this and this and this.

First Base.

First base

Click for product information!

I am a creature of habit when it comes to the slap I put on every day. I rationalise that this is to be expected, given that I start each working day around 7am. While I am perfectly happy eating my breakfast at my desk, the one thing I cannot bear to part with in my morning routine is the make up.

As a result, I have whittled it down, to the point of sheer perfection. With the help of some friends ...

  • Nude by Nature Mineral Foundation - I was iffy about the marketing (A Home and Away actress? Come ON!) But I have to say this is a great find. Talc and bismuth free. Good colour choices (if you're not lily white or ebony hued) and well priced. Good coverage, lasts at least 10 hours or more (I kid you not).
  • MAC Mineralize Skinfinish - I use a shade called So Ceylon, which is sadly discontinued. But there's other goodies available online. Somewhere between a blush, highlighter and bronzer, I find a swipe of this is all I need to look less like death dressed as a public servant.
  • MAC 187 Brush - Use it for the MSF. Use it for foundation (dry or liquid). Use it for blush (cream, if you dare). Use it for everything!
  • Artiste by Manicare flat contour brush and bronzer brush - I like these for the Nude Minerals. See this post by Stephanie for the deets.
  • Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado - This sneaks into the 'first base' post, even though it's actually skincare. I use this under my eyes regularly, and found that applying it post moisturiser, leaving it to sink in while dressing, and then applying mineral cover on top gave flawless results! It was like super special lightweight non-cakey concealer. It works on all manner of other blemishes before the spackling of mineral foundation. Try it!
These are The Goods I use everyday - and they've served me well. I haven't deviated from this carefully coreographed bunch of products for months and for me that's quite a feat!

About face.

I've noticed a lot of women spend an endless amount of time and money on products based on which celeb is spruiking it, the hype, and the shiny packaging.

I don't claim to be immune to this - certainly not, because nothing gets my attention like a bit of carefully placed bling, or a shiny haired, poreless spokesmodel.

But I've come to realise that over time I keep going back to a group of go-to products which has withstood the test of time.

These are the goods (IMHO), and are worthy of your attention.

The goods: Skin

Click for product information!

Here's some of my picks ...
  • Neutrogena cleansers - I like to rotate within the range. A personal favourite is the Deep Clean Cream Cleanser. I think I love it more cos you can buy it in the supermarket!
  • Neostrata Ultra Smoothing Lotion - An absolute winner. No nonsense. All action. I like it!
  • Paula's Choice BHA liquid - I've tried numerous other "skin smoothers" of this ilk, and The Paula's is still the best, naff packaging and all.
  • Kiehl's Microderm scrub - I'm sounding like an exfoliant addict now... But it's really good. And I use it (only) once a month.
  • Neutrogena sunscreen - See my review for Primped here
  • Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Gold Capsules - I apply one of these maybe once a week before bed, and awaken with amazingly soft skin. And they come in delightful capsules you can stash in your travel kit! A great choice for in-flight hydration.
It should be noted here that I have combination skin. This list makes my skin sound schizophrenic. And most days it is - so there's a little something in this list for everyone!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Primped VIP: Estee Lauder Ultimate Red

Images via Primped

Next up in the Primped package is some classy stuff from Estee Lauder - a Signature Eyeshadow Quad, Opulent Shimmer Gloss and Turbolash Mascara.

Updated product information (provided by Primped):
Ultimate Red is a limited edition Colour story launching in November and is a fun, party look that’s all about sexy reds and glimmering golds and smoky eyes and, of course, the shimmery gold lashes. There’s two looks, Ultimate Red, or Lavish Plum and also in the collection was the Opulent Shimmer Powder for highlighting the face and a Gel Eyeliner and the Signature Lipstick.

Face: Nude by Nature Mineral Foundation, MAC MSF - So Ceylon
Eyes: Urban Decay Primer Potion, EL Signature Eyeshadow Quad - Gold Opulence, Maybelline Colossal Volum Express Mascara - Glam Black, EL Turbolash - Gold Effects
Lips: EL Opulent Shimmer Gloss

I was pretty excited to see the Turbolash in the parcel - however in reality I find it lacking. Looking at this formula, I think it's intended to "gild" the lashes rather than lengthen or create volume. The gold flecked pigment is pretty - but not your go to if you want length or volume. As for the vibration effect ... I suppose it could be good for lifting and separating of the lashes, but that effect remains to be seen, as this formula lacks the oomph of a regular mascara. There's not really any need for the additional technology.

The eyeshadow quad will go to good use, but I found the colour payoff wanting - I'd actually use this during the day (with a restrained hand when it comes to the dark bronze and grey-black shades) for a natural but put together look. There wasn't quite enough pigment in the deeper shades to satisfy my needs when creating a smoky "evening eye".

The lipgloss offers plush texture - minus stickiness, and the colour I received is a very wearable orange-red which works for me. I like the brush applicator - for some reason sponge tip wands gross me out.

I wanted to like these products - I mean they're just so shiny.

They look very glam on my bathroom counter. I guess these are great finds for lots of consumers - I can see why everyone I know thinks of Estee and says "Oh, my Mum has always worn their make up" ... It's because there's something inherently "safe" about these products - no matter how much deep bronze or grey-black eyeshadow I put on, there was little I could do to increase the depth of colour.

I found these lovely to use and look at (because who doesn't like a bit of gold?) - but I didn't find anything here that I didn't already have from my usual go to brands.

In summary, some key points:

  • Colours - Nothing ground breaking, but definitely wearable. Colour pay off - Not convinced about any of the eye products, but the lippy is a keeper.
  • Packaging - Certainly a plus, if you like bling.
  • Technology - a vibrating mascara. Just call me "underwhelmed".
  • Textures - Good, particularly the lip gloss.
P.S - My eyeshadow looks really wingy even though that was not what it looked like at all. I think the lighting and angles were doing something a little weird here!