Welcome to part two of a five-part series about our favorite foundations. Last week we told you about our current favorite minerals foundation. Now we’re onto a liquid. (Psst: There’s another liquid on the way! They’re both so nice we decided to do liquids…twice!)
Vapour Organic Beauty Soft Focus Foundation
I feel compelled to share the how-we-met part of my love story with Vapour’s foundation. Here goes: In late November I had the pleasure of speaking at a spectacular natural beauty event here in New York with a gaggle of inspiring women including Tata Harper, whose skincare we’re obsessed with, and Spirit Demerson, whose Spirit Beauty Lounge carries many of our favorite brands. Spirit had with her the lovely Anna Webber, a talented makeup artist who works with naturals and was on hand to help a roomful of women play with Spirit’s products at halftime.
I was feeling a little zonked and my skin was not exactly crystal clear (always awesome when you’re sitting in front of a roomful of people talking about beauty), so halfway through the day, I asked Anna to touch up my face. We chatted a little about color choice—even though I’m pink she advised me to try something neutral or with a little yellow in it, because pinks can look chalky after a while—then she reached for a frosted bottle of Vapour’s Soft Focus Foundation.
She gently padded it into the skin in the center of my face, under my eyes and on my forehead, then topped it off with something called the Instant Skin Perfector, presumably blending the two together. I say presumably because I had my eyes closed (a weird reflex for whenever anyone gets close to my face) but when I opened my eyes and looked in the mirror? Boom! A refreshed, dewy, even complexion.
I bought the product on the spot and wondered out loud if I’d be able to apply it as well as Anna had. I was delighted to find that it goes on like a dream and is pretty much idiot-proof! You need very, very little, and I just do the old apply-to-center-of-face-and-blend-outward thing, using my fingers.
And best of all? The ingredients are not only nontoxic, they’re also really skin-friendly, which means when you’re wearing it, your skin is being fed good-for-you ingredients, as opposed to being suffocated with silicone, mineral oil and other crap.
Have a look: Camellia Sinensis Oil Oil* infused with Boswellia Carteri (Frankincense)**, Ocimum Sanctum (Tulsi, Holy Basil)*, Nelumbo Nucifera (Lotus Flowers)*; Helianthus Annus ( Sunflower ) Oil*, Lecithin*, Cera Alba (Beeswax)*, Silica, Essential Oils and Natural Fruit Essences, Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E), [+/-: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, 77492, 77499), Mica (CI 77019)]
You can get it from Vapour’s site, or from Spirit Beauty Lounge.
What’s your favorite liquid foundation?
Lately we’ve been on a bit of a makeup kick. A couple of weeks ago I got a little emo about my relationship with makeup, and your comments were deeply moving and thoughtful, then I told you about our favorite new blush (slash lipstick). Next, we challenged you to give us your best, glammest clean-cosmetics face, and then Alexandra asked you to share your makeup horror stories with our friend Melissa Dahl.
Now, we’d like to tackle the most basic basics—the stuff we use to hide our zits, even out our complexions, and fake a good night’s sleep. In a word: foundation.
We’re going to do this in five parts, and the first one might raise some eyebrows (or crossbows!). Be gentle with us, and hear us out, because numero uno in the series is….
“Huh? Laura Mercier? But her line isn’t natural or organic—is it?” Heck no, but her loose minerals contain the same ingredients as almost any other mineral powder on the market, and hers is our current favorite. In fact, it’s the only reason we ever go to Sephora anymore! (No offense, Sephora—it’s just that your stores confuse people about what’s truly natural and what isn’t. Also, the perfumes make us kind of heachachy.) Like many other minerals lines, this one does contain bismuth oxychloride, so if you react badly to it, then this one probably isn’t for you. What we like about LM minerals are the colors and how finely ground they are—it just makes for a nice light touch, but with the same strong coverage minerals provide. As always, you must be very careful not huff the stuff. (One solution? Mix it with your moisturizer or face oil.)
What’s your favorite loose minerals line?
Come back Tuesday for the next!
Image of a pretty girl putting on powder (CC) from Flickr
Here’s part two from Virginia, who is taking us inside her beauty school experience. Yesterday she talked hair and today we’re going to find out what happened when beauty experiments were launched on her face. You can read more of Virginia on her awesome blog Beauty Schooled.
Before Beauty U, I washed my face during my morning shower, slathered on some SPF moisturizer, and left it at that. And my skin was pretty awesome. I got the occasional breakout around my period and kept a tube of benzoyl peroxide on hand to dab on the odd trouble spot (not clean, I know!) but otherwise, I’ve been extremely lucky to have the kind of skin where strangers would stop me in stores and ask me what I used on my face. And be annoyed when I would say “ummm, whatever is in my shower?”
Then, on my very first night at Beauty U, Miss Jenny demonstrated the Daytime Face makeup application using me as the model. She stippled on a thick liquid foundation from the school’s motley cosmetics collection. “I don’t even know what this stuff is,” she said. “I prefer mineral makeup, but we’ll work with what they give us.” My skin looked like it had been spray-painted. I went home and scrubbed it all off the best I could with my random drugstore brand facewash—and woke up the next morning with a pile of monster zits on my forehead. Which proceeded to go forth and multiply all over my face for the next 10 months, because four nights a week, I would have to pile on yet more skanky makeup, cleansers, toners, glycolic peels, mineral masks, you name it.
My skin’s panic attack became the focus of many a class—Miss Jenny forbade me from using what we all agreed was a super questionable liquid foundation, used me to demonstrate the school’s fanciest acne-fighting facial (think masks that smelled like synthetic dog poo and led to yet more breakouts), and even tried zapping my zits weekly with glass electrodes from the high-frequency machine. This is a gadget (like this one) that uses a sinusoidal electric current of 60,000 to 200,000 Hertz frequency to vibrate the water molecules in your skin, producing heat that manufacturers claim will stimulate circulation, oxygenate the skin, and kill acne-causing bacteria. In reality, it does nothing whatsoever except buzz loudly and sting like hell when someone turns the current up too high. I was also everyone’s favorite guinea pig for extraction practice since I had so much to squeeze out. This resulted in my developing an abnormally high pain threshold for pinching.
And I wasn’t the only one struggling with skin troubles. While the teachers liked to attribute my breakouts to my infrequent hair washing, frequent phone use, and not changing my pillow cases often enough, it was a widely accepted fact among the students that the process of learning professional skincare would result in a period of weeks or even months of hardcore skin rebellion. “We’ve all been there,” the senior students would say as they painted the synthetic dog poo mask on my face. “You’ll get better once you can practice on real clients instead of each other.”
Stay tuned for part three tomorrow!
This is our favorite makeup application trick because it appeals to our completely lazy side while also working and looking nice. Here goes: Instead of layering on your lotion or sunscreen (or both) and then finishing with mineral powder, foundation or heavy concealer, try a two-fer! Squeeze some lotion, argan oil, coconut oil or suncreen into your palm, then sprinkle about a quarter teaspoon of loose mineral powder into the goop. Rub your hands together to blend, and then sweep your hands over your face, starting at the center and moving outward.
You basically get the effect of a nice tinted moisturizer (with SPF!), but with a few perks.
First, because the minerals market is so huge, it’s easier to color-match perfectly to your skin tone. It may take some doing, and you might want to combine two different colors to get it just right, but it’s doable.
Second, the pure oils and the minerals are known quantities. There won’t be any surprise reactions to mystery ingredients.
Third, because minerals can look like garbage on dehydrated skin, this eliminates that problem altogether by building in the moisture and adding a little sheen.
And finally, because you get a nice light coverage, you don’t have to worry about the maskface that sometimes comes with foundation or poorly applied powder.
As always, make sure your minerals are clean—no parabens, silicone or extra crap in there—and same goes for whatever you’re mixing it with.
Have you tried it? Got any other application tips to share?
We went on the Leonard Lopate Show today to talk with Julie Burstein about our book No More Dirty Looks. Julie had great questions for us, as did those who called in. We’re thrilled to see the number of comments on WNYC’s web site, and would have loved to answer each and every question or comment (especially the one from “Jeb in Brooklyn”).
Questions from listeners included: What’s the deal with mineral makeup? What’s so bad about deodorant? What’s DMDM-hydantoin and why is it in my shampoo? And then something about oils from animal carcasses.
You can listen to the whole shebang here. May we suggest you put on some tea or make yourself a snack? It’s 40 minutes long.