I’ve been using RMS living luminizer for what seems like years – it was one of the first new makeup products I bought after I read The Book. I think I’ve used it nearly every single day since then. But I’ve noticed that one of the things that has changed about my product buying habits since going clean is that I’m more adventurous, and more tempted to try new things. I’ve had my eye on Ilia for a while, and finally took the plunge and bought both shades of illuminators. Let’s compare and contrast.
To begin, both brands are very clean and have never caused any problems for my skin, which is pretty picky about what goes on it. The cost is pretty much the same, and both feel high-end to me, in performance and packaging. So, what’s the difference?
RMS Living Luminizer: This product contains coconut oil, which my skin loves, though I know others feel differently. I’ve heard some say they are nervous because it can be easily overdone for daytime looks. The up side is that you only need a tiny bit of product for a big effect, so the cute little pot really lasts. And, if you do accidentally apply too much, it’s easy to fix. Just wipe any excess off your fingers and keep patting your skin gently until it tones down. Its creamy consistency and packaging make it very easy to scoop out and mix with other products for DIY creations. I especially like it applied to eyelashes (sans mascara, of course) and if I press into my lashes it gets to my lids as a nice highlighty liner/shadow too. I also love it on lips and collar bones. The effect is kind of silvery, and works well for my pale olive skin. It doesn’t stay on full force all day, but there’s always enough left to make a difference by the time I’m removing makeup at bedtime.
Ilia Illuminators: No coconut oil here, so that may be an important point for some. It comes in a stick, which in some ways makes it easier to apply. The consistency is much firmer and drier than RMS, and it seems to stay put longer, though it’s more of a challenge to apply to eyelashes. On the other hand, I like this consistency better for brightening under the eyes. One huge plus is that it comes in two different colors. Polka Dots & Moonbeams is the most similar to RMS, though the effect is much more subtle and I’ve found it impossible to overapply by mistake. The color is more beigey/neutral too, so if RMS is too silvery this may do the trick. The other color, Sway, is an incredibly subtle bronze. It looks very dark in the tube, but it is quite soft on. I can practically do a whole look with these two colors. Just some sunscreen and powder as a base, and between PD & M and Sway my eyes, lips and cheeks look polished without looking at all made up.
The swatches are a pretty heavy application, to get them to show in the photo. I tried to do a fade with Sway, so you can see it can be darker or more subtle. Bonus points if you know what my tattoo says.
My conclusion? Don’t fight, girls. You’re all pretty. I’ll keep buying both brands.
What are you using to get your glow on?
We’re getting ready to announce another challenge, but in the meantime we want to do a little crowdsourcing and I’d like to indulge in a bit of an overshare. Because thinking about makeup really got me…thinking about makeup. Specifically my relationship to it, and how that’s changed in the last, oh, four days.
So the other night I was faced with a bit of a social conundrum. I was feeling like garbage, but it was one of my dearest friends’ birthdays and he was getting people together for drinks. I obviously wanted to be there, but I felt so blah and my closet was full of stuff I all of a sudden hated. It was just one of those nights, and if I was going to get out the door, I was going to have to do some serious rallying.
I’ve always marveled at women who have a playful relationship with makeup and talk about the “transformative power” of a great bold eye or a blood-red lip (hyperbole above). But I’m more into the transformative power of a concealer that makes spots disappear, or a mascara that makes my blondish lashes show up on my pale face. My relationship to makeup has, in other words, always been rather functional. And while I do wear some makeup almost every day, and yes, I’ve had a brief romance with lipstick, there’s just no whimsy to what I do! No fun! And definitely no risks.
But that’s because I have some hangups. Like in my head, it’s okay for me to correct things I think of as flaws, but if I really go for it, I’m crossing some invisible line into abject fakery. It’s probably the same reason I’ve never worn pushup bras. It’s a not a feeling that extends to other women, mind you; I love seeing other girls in makeup and dressed to the bustiest nines. It’s a personal thing that probably has something to do with my rather late embracement of my own femininity, and I’ll stop there because I’m not paying you all by the hour to listen to me wax psychological.
But the other night, for whatever reason, I decided to totally do my face. I’m talking heavy blended liner, smoky shadows, luminizer, darkened eyebrows, matte skin and a bright red lip, courtesy of Chanel.* I slicked my hair into a high ponytail and for the first time maybe ever, I thought the person in the mirror looked alarmingly not like the me that woke up this morning. I felt…transformed!
I was surprised to find that with my fancy new face came a fancy new mood. It was a dramatic shift that I can really only attribute to, um, eye makeup. I can’t wait to do it again.
So we now have a question for you.
Why do you wear makeup? Like, do you wear it to correct things you think of as “flaws”? Do you wear it because it’s fun? Do you wear it because you feel more powerful/prettier/sexier/more feminine?
We know a lot of you don’t wear makeup, and we know a lot of you who do are more than willing to go without sometimes (yay!). But right now we want to hear from those of you who do paint your faces—even if you only use very little. So get crazy in the comments. We can’t wait to hear…. And we’ll announce the new challenge soon!
*Yes, yes I still have an old Chanel lipstick—don’t stone me! It’s probably gone off because it’s that old, and no, it’s not clean at all by our standards, but boy is it pretty…. Everything else I used was clean as a whistle, though.
Crazy Swan face via