One of the benefits of working at a health magazine with a bunch of really smart women, and there are many, is that women talk. Get a bunch of us in the same room and you’ll quickly find us gabbing about everything from new recipes we’ve tried and how well we’re sleeping to new research we need to write about and what we think about acupuncture.
Women tend to share information; this has been documented by people who have far more initials after their name than I do. (I happen to have none, actually, so that’s not too hard.) And it’s one of the best parts about being a woman, as far as I’m concerned.
We also talk about things like makeup. And try if you can not to roll your eyes at that, because I actually think that’s a pretty special thing for women to do together. After all, it’s what we do here, too.
Was that a super weird set-up for what is ultimately going to be a review of a concealer? Because I mean every word! Anyhow, another really great benefit of my job: The beauty department has my back. Imagine you show up to work barefaced only to realize you’ve forgotten your makeup bag at home. And then, as if by some divine intervention, the beauty department has left a tiny lip-balm-like concealer on your chair. No note, no explanation, but implicit is: Try this and let’s talk about it. Also implicit: I hope this passes your really strict and sometimes annoying criteria for clean cosmetics. (My words!)
This happened. I got in to work and there it was on my chair: Therapy Systems Better Than Cover concealer. A brand I’d never heard of, and on a day when I really needed it. So how did it test out?
First thing I did, obviously, was google the ingredients, which, as you can see from the list below, are clean as a whistle (unless you’re a beeswax-free vegan, in which case I’m sorry). Second, I took out my little mirror and, with a clean finger, started applying the stuff to my face: Under my eyes, on some redness here and there, my nostrils—the usual spots. The first person who walked into my office once I was done took one look at me and said, “You look like you had a good weekend!” I mean, yes? I’d had a good weekend….
Now, I’m already a fan of creamy makeup. I’ve said—and continue to say—really nice things about W3LL People and RMS and Vapour for exactly that reason. Cream concealers do well on dry skin, and as long as the formula is right they don’t tend to look cake or maskey. I’d say that goes double for this one. It glides on like a dream—almost like it contains silicone, but it doesn’t. It also has just the right amount of pigment (from titanium dioxide, iron oxides and mica), but not so much that it’s ever gotten cakey or dry looking, which can happen with even some of my favorite cream makeup. It also lasts and sort of melts into the skin, so you don’t look like you’re wearing anything even when you are. And for me, since it doesn’t contain coconut oil, it’s good for spot coverage as well.
Ingredients: Organic brassica napus (canola) seed oil infused with organic camellia sinensis (green tea) leaves, organic rubus idaeus (raspberry) leaves, organic euterpe oleracea (acaii berry) powder; organic cera alba (beeswax), silica, citrus sinensis (blood orange) essential oil, tocopherol (natural vitamin E).
Have you ever tried it? Got another one you love?
A few weeks ago, as I keep mentioning for no reason, I visited the great state of Texas for the very first time! Another fun thing I did?
Hung out with our old pals at W3LL People, a natural beauty brand we fell in love with when we were writing the book.
We figure everyone who’s read the book (and you’ve alllllll read it, right?) knows how much we love them, but just in case: We love them! W3LL People was created in Austin by three people with very different backgrounds a common desire to create high-quality super-pigmented cosmetics that wear like a dream. There’s Shirley, who used to work at NARS—known for its gorgeous colors, especially for face (Orgasm blush, anyone?). There’s James, a charming environmentalist with a marketing background. And there’s Renee, an MD who helps with their formulations.
From the line, I have three favorite go-tos:
1. First up is the Narcissist foundation sticks (I wear color #2), which offers amazing coverage that isn’t too shiny and which is not coconut-oil based, thank god for me. Coconut oil is amazing, but it breaks me out on my chin, so it’s verboten for spot coverage. This one works well for me on undereyes, on my nostrils and on any other spots that need evening out. I also have a friend who uses it, mixed with her face oil, for all-over coverage, and she always looks terrific. So there’s that. Plus, it comes in a stick, making it great for surreptitious, on-the-go application.
2. I also love love love the Universalist multi-use sticks, in matte. These are blush and lipsticks in one, and the color is so concentrated that one sweep provides a bright shock of pink on my lips. I wear #7, and have for years. It’s so freaking pretty! My preferred method of application is to literally kiss the top of the tub, then blend with my fingers. (No, I’m not kidding!) If you prefer a more subtle color, apply then put some gloss or balm on top to dilute it. I’ve also taken to wearing it as a blush. Now, I’m generally averse to wearing blush since I’m pink to begin with, but as Shirley has told me, pink people can benefit a lot from blush because it offsets the natural hue, actually minimizing it. Turns out, she’s right!
3. The Nudist lip tints are also amazing. We wrote in the book about #2, which reminds me of Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in Black Honey, but while I was there I also got my paws on #4, which is a matte, nude pink that I find really chic. The color looks just like Brigitte’s lips in this picture—what more could you want (other than BB’s actual lips)?
Have you ever tried W3LL People? Found any other makeup lines you love?
I promised you guys a full review on this concealer, so here she blows: I am absolutely wild about Afterglow’s Triple Eye Treatment, which for me works as an all-around concealer. Under eyes, sure—though circles like mine never fully cover—but I also use it around my nose, chin, and over any scars and discoloration. It’s the amazing thing about clean products, isn’t it? They just tend to be all-purpose.
Now, how this little gem came to be in my possession is somewhat muddled at this point. A few months ago we told you about our friend’s wedding. That day, somewhere between champagne toasts and waterproof eyeliner, Siobhan must have palmed me this little container of Praline-colored cover-up. [Siobhan's note: Yes, that's exactly what happened. Champagne, champagne, champagne, concealer swap, champagne.] I don’t think I used it then, but when I got back to Los Angeles I ended up trying it on a day when I was out of Jane Iredale and my RMS was in another bag.
Oh happy discovery! As luck would have it, I find this concealer to be a perfect marriage of those two other favorites: a little less thick than the “Un” Cover-Up, a little less liquid than the Jane. Which is not to say I won’t still have those in my arsenal or that I love them any less—but I’m having a bit of a “just right” moment with my Afterglow.
The ingredients are perfectly clean as well. Here they are:
Ingredients: cocos nucifera (organic coconut) oil, simmondsia chinensis (organic jojoba) seed extract, cera alba (organic beeswax), theobroma cacao (organic cocoa) seed butter, althaea officinalis (organic marshmallow) extract, camelia sinensis (organic white tea) extract, titanium dioxide (CI 77891), iron oxide (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499)
And don’t be confused as we were to see marshmallow—Wikipedia informed me that it’s actually a plant. [Siobhan's note: "Oh my god! It's a plant!"]
Have any of you tried this product? Discovered any other concealers that we have yet to mention?
When I mentioned this product in passing last week it occurred to me that I have yet to review it. Not cool! This concealer is off the chain—far and away one of my favorites in this category. And while it didn’t seem right to classify it as a foundation in our Five Foundations We Love Series, the truth is this: I kind of use it like one.
The affair started several months back. I was spending a lazy Sunday at Evolue with my buddy Jean—by the way, we’re having a party there next Wednesday eve and you should all come (details below)!—futzing around with makeup, as we are want to do. That’s when Jean suggested I try the Active Light® Concealer, which I did to humor her despite my reluctance…
See, the consistency read more like a liquid foundation to me, and because I’ve always had dark, somewhat deep-set circles under my eyes, I just didn’t think it would get the job done. Boy was I wrong.
They didn’t register the term Active Light® for nothing—this stuff actually brightens! It almost feels like some kind of trick, as though it’s reflecting the light (which is so something I’d hear in a beauty ad and make fun of). But given that it is more liquidy than your standard concealer, I don’t get why the folks at Jane Iredale don’t just promote it as an everywhere brightener. That’s how I use it! It covers light scars really well, and I apply it anywhere I have a little discoloration—like around my nose, on the inside part of my cheek (not the actual bone), and on my chin. If I’m really going for it, I’ll just spread it all over. Hey, it feels amazingly light—the antithesis of cakey—and it looks bananas.
Also, it’s all gold and pretty with that nifty brush applicator. You just twist and it comes out, swipe it on, and then fan it with your fingers (or as we like to call them: God’s intended makeup brushes).
Do you get dark circles? What’s your best trick?
PARTY DETAILS: Wednesday June 29th at Evolue from 7-9pm, I will be co-hosting a benefit to celebrate the relaunch of the EWG’s SkinDeep Cosmetics Database. A useful tool for all of us. There will be music and cocktails—not to mention you can test the concealer for yourself! If you want to come please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
You didn’t think we’d forget to include our first love, RMS, did you? It’s funny now to remember just how scared we were to switch to clean makeup when we were first writing the book. In fact, we wrote the Face and Makeup chapters last just to postpone this transition!
But I remember talking to Siobhan right after she interviewed Rose Marie Swift (the company’s founder) in New York, discovering RMS for the first time. She was giddy with excitement on the phone, and it marked a pivotal moment for us: We finally understood that everything was going to be okay—nay, better! If this was what natural makeup felt and looked like, we were ready to throw out our Nars at last. (Okay, maybe I’m being hyperbolic for storytelling purposes, we held onto our Nars for a while yet.)
The ‘un’ cover up in particular was a revelation to me, and it still is. Up until that point I’d been wearing mineral powder—pouffing like the best of them, just how they’d shown me to in the Bare Escentuals how-to video. There wasn’t really anything wrong with those minerals (though the over-zealous poufing part is a bad idea because of inhalation risk)—but as my skin got a little dryer, as I got a little older, I was starting to look awfully masky.
I still use minerals (these ones) but mostly for spot concealing, while the ‘un’ cover up is my go-to foundation. Many people don’t realize that this product is not just a concealer (the small container and rich pigment is deceptive). My favorite way to use it is to dab it around the center of my face—around my nose, on my chin, under my eyes—and then spread it outward. It’s very spreadable and you can control how opaque or translucent you want it (on good skin days I apply with a bit of moisturizer). And while it does even out skin tone, you never feel like it’s hiding your skin either—a testament to the good clean ingredients they use. And speaking of ingredients, here they are:
*Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, *Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, *Cera Alba (Beeswax), *Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, *Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Tocopherol(non-GMO), *Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) Extract, and may contain: [+/- Titanium Dioxide CI 77891, Iron Oxides CI 77492, CI 77491, CI 77499]
It’s available at Nubonau, Future Natural, RMS’s site, Spirit Beauty Lounge and elsewhere.
See? Food for the skin. Have you tried this RMS product?