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Products I almost purged, but I’m glad I didn’t.

Back From the Chopping Block

Yaby – World of Pearl Paints Palette

Ooft, blast from the past! You can find the swatches here. In a nutshell, a collection of freaking awesome brights and an utter inspiration to look at, but really freaking shimmery – some shades are downright frosty. This sat in the back of the drawer for yonks, occasionally I’d admire it for a moment… and become totally overwhelmed by the frost factor. I just couldn’t bring myself to blogsale it so one night at 3am I was creating garish looks at my vanity (I can’t be the only one?), determined to find a use and HELLO! A vast selection of tear duct and central lid highlights to transform an otherwise boring eye. Smokey eyes, glossy eyes, powerful brights – I have a reflective highlight that fits. Would I recommend purchasing a pricy palette for this purpose alone? Probably not, but I do reach for it and it inspires me so it STAYS.

Chanel – Vitalumiere Aqua in 20

If you read my original review, you’d know that I was on the fence with Vitalumiere Aqua; I love the second skin finish but it wasn’t a year round foundation for me, most months it made my my skin look parched and flaky. Flashback to the day of purchase: It was a rare occasion that I let a sales assistant apply my makeup (an absolute sweetheart, by the way) yet VA never looked as good on me as it did that day. I wracked my brain, she used Le Blanc de Chanel Sheer Illuminating Base… DUH. I own that. I mixed the two in a 50/50 ratio and the clouds parted, the sun shone and behold, beautifully creamy complexion. When used as a mixer, Le Blanc de Chanel also lifts a foundation shade (half a shade to a full shade, depending on the mixing ratio) which allows me to wear VA in shade 20 (which is now too deep for me, even in the midst of summer).

Chanel – 24 Brush

Imagine a 17 year old Karima, clueless about life makeup but determined to learn everything. There I am at the Chanel counter, Yes…This 24 brush. This would be a good crease brush.
A CREASE BRUSH. I kid you not. Turns out a typical crease brush is about 20 times that size and I even considered tossing it because I was a noob and what the hell. Years later, I was navigating my way around pin point concealing and holy carp, best pin point concealing brush of life. Incredibly tapered for precise application yet soft enough that a little scribble blends to perfection. I rush back to the counter to purchase a trillion more and they discontinue this mofo! Confused and lost at the Chanel counter, we’d come a full circle.

MAC – Prolongwear Concealer in NC20

I gave this a rather mediocre review in a concealer smackdown; it’s not hate but I strive for perfection and it reads a little dry on my under-eye area. After much trial and error, I’ve found that a thin layer of Sisley Black Rose Mask underneath helps to alleviate the crepey appearance to the point where I can wear it comfortably. The shade NW20 is clashing and jarring with my skin tone so that one goes but I’ve found an unlikely but awesome use for NC20 – the nose bridge. Strange as heck but it’s the only product that seems to stay put as I put on and take off my glasses multiple times throughout the day. So glasses wearers, if you struggle with migration around the nose bridge…. you’re welcome.

SUQQU – Dual Effect Powder Foundation in 002

The first time I tried this, I downright hated it; powdery, dehydrated-looking skin. Everything that you’d avoid in a powder product. I really liked the idea of some additional coverage on the nose (perpetual Rudolph here) so I experimented with different application techniques until my significant other announced – No, I can’t see product on your skin (my control test or reference point, he can stay). My findings: A minute amount pressed onto the nose (with a powder puff) sets my foundation, eliminates unwanted shine and provides an extra degree of coverage. A slightly heavier hand and it’s a hot mess so I couldn’t use this alone. Also, I steer clear of this powder if my skin isn’t in the best condition texture-wise because it will absolutely pick up on flakiness. It’s not perfect but it’ll do for now – any suggestions for an awesome, non-powdery powder foundation? Too much to ask?

xxkarima

Complete list of products mentioned

Pro Longwear Concealer
Pro Longwear Concealer
Dual Effect Powder Foundation
Dual Effect Powder Foundation
Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation
Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation
* Denotes products sent for consideration. I’m always honest with my reviews :)

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  1. Karima! Kanebo’s Media Powder Foundation is wonderful and does not look cakey at all. Upon first application, it looks a bit cakey but in a weird way, it sets to the most beautiful satin finish. You should give it a try sometime, though it might be hard to find as I only ever saw it in Japanese drugstores.

    1. Hey Julia!
      Sounds awesome, I’ve added that to my little wish list πŸ™‚ I’m sure I can purchase online, what’s the shade range like?
      xxkarima

      1. I’d say that the shade range is not impressive as it only has four shades. It goes from fair to medium. I’ve found from my experience, however, that you could work with it if your skin tone is close enough to one of the shades they offer. Here’s a link I’ve found for you. They’re not expensive at all, you should give it a go sometime. πŸ™‚

        http://www.ebay.com/itm/KANEBO-MEDIA-WHITENING-POWDER-COMPACT-FOUNDATION-SPF25-PA-JAPAN-/321155527802

  2. I’ve gone far and wide to hunt for lovely powder foundations! A must in a super humid hot sunny tropical country. Japan does it best, really. I quite like the Suqqu! Pair it with a moisturizing/illuminating/dewy base. My all time fave for a powder foundation base is Shu Uemura Tsuya Poreraser Mousse. It makes any powder melts into the skin looking undetectable. I also love Shu Uemura Glowing Fit Lasting compact. For a luminous finish, try Laura Mercier Smooth Finish. My holy grail is a Japanese drugstore product, Kanebo Kate Powder Foundation for Cover (the one with the black case). Ooh and Lancome makes amazing ones too! Their Blanc Miracle line is super. And Dior, both Nude and Forever. And a hidden gem in the South East Asian drugstore: Silkygirl Magic BB Powder.

    Whoa I’ve tried a lot! Hahaha hope you find something you like!

    1. Hey Attika πŸ™‚
      Lol I actually just sold the Tsuya Mousse in my blogsale! It really highlighted any texture on my skin and I don’t even think my skin is that textured, it was odd. I’ll check out the Kanebo and the Laura Mercier range, since a few other commenters recommended those, too!
      Thanks so much, I have lots of powders to try πŸ˜‰
      xx

    1. Hey Jess,
      Doing another concealer smack down soon! I’m still yet to find the elusive holy grail under eye concealer, I must be very fussy. For now, I’m making do with the Ellis Faas Concealer but something about the finish doesn’t quite do it for me :-/ x

      1. Look forward to the new smack down! I’ve been struggling to find my HG too. BTW have you tried the new Laura Mercier High Coverage Concealer?

  3. Hi Karima,

    Have you tried the new Smooth Finish Foundation Powder from Laura Mercier? I’m currently using and loving it, non-powdery, doesn’t oxidise, good coverage and great range of colours.

    Hope that helps,

    Z

    1. Hey Zeenat!
      Another commenter above recommended the Laura Mercier too, I haven’t tried it yet but I definitely will! Thank you so very much πŸ™‚ x

      1. I really like the Make Up For Ever Pro Finish powder foundation. I wear 117 (numbers are the same as the HD foundation). I have very dry skin with some flakiness and the MUFE powder foundation looks gorgeous on my skin. I’m not going to say there’s 100% no flakiness ever, but I find it to be smoother than most liquid foundations applied with fingers. Plus it gives a good amount of coverage.

      2. I will have to second this. Though I use Mufe’s Velvet Finish as suggested in one of Wayne Goss’ buffing technique videos. I am 41, fair and somewhat dry with the 1st signs of aging, but I love powder compacts (classy, chic, convenient). At first I tried the Duo Mat, but it enhanced dry patches/wrinkles, but then I tried the Velvet and it is fabulous. Especially with Chantecaille’s Vital Essence underneath (a Karima fave). Thank you Karima! πŸ˜‰ I alternate between the Mufe brush 124 and the Wayne #13 to apply it and I achieve gorgeous results.. and that means alot when you’re beginning to age. Whatever works!

  4. Would you do a video demo of applying the Chanel VA with the Le Blanc? I have the same issue with the VA looking parched unless it’s the summertime.

    1. Yep, I can do that in a future video πŸ™‚ It’s pretty straight forward, I just mix the two on the back of my hand and pat onto the skin using my fingers. xx

  5. Doesn’t it feel awesome when you somehow find a way to make an otherwise mediocre product work?

    You’re making me lem Le Blanc de Chanel so badly. I tried the L’Oreal Magique Lumi Primer and absolutely loved the effect it gave me, but it broke me out. I think I’ll pull the trigger on the Chanel. The pumpless bottle will bug me so much though. Any suggestions for something that has a similar effect? Perhaps Becca Pearl?

    1. Hey Jen!
      It does feel awesome, it takes me some time to warm up to certain products.
      I actually think the L’Oreal Lumi Magique is comparable to the Le Blanc De Chanel, can you get a sample of the latter? it is heavily fragranced. The pumpless bottle also drives me insane but I just use q-tips.
      Becca Pearl is entirely different IMO, there is discernible shimmer and I’d describe it as a highlight. I’ve cranked my head and inspected the Le Blanc De Chanel in sunlight and I can’t see any shimmer at all. The Le Blanc is a thin fluid (like the Lumi Magique) while the Becca Pearl is more of a viscous fluid.
      I can’t say that I’ve come across any other close alternatives, to be honest! If you find one, report back! πŸ™‚ x

  6. Try the guerlain lingerie de peau powder foundation (no Oompa Loompa effect but not that great of a shade range) or
    Chanel vitalumiere powder foundation. LOVE YOUR VIDEOS.

    1. Hey Sapphire!
      I haven’t seen the LdP powder foundation in stores yet (?) but I did try the Chanel Vitalumiere Powder and sadly, no shade match πŸ™ 10 was too pink and 20 too dark and golden. Sadface.
      xx