May 26, 2019 – Days In (OOTD #508)

Even in the Eternal City, you can have a day where you just feel like going nowhere.

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greetings from the 1930s

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Or maybe you don’t even feel like going nowhere — maybe you do feel like going out, but you can’t muster the motivation to haul yourself out of the house. Maybe the day began by feeling like going nowhere, but by late afternoon, you realized you’d made a mistake. But by then, it was late afternoon, and it wasn’t going to be worth the effort to go anywhere.

Besides, you’re in Rome by yourself. You have no friends to go anywhere with, not yet at least. The best tourist sites have admission fees and huge lines, even on a rainy day like this.

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*dean martin plays in the distance*

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So instead, you content yourself with taking the time to do your hair and makeup as if you’re going out and as if you’re going to have your picture taken in fun locations with your friends. The problem, then, is that after you’ve taken all this time to look nice, you feel like you have to at least take some pictures to document all that hard work you did. To compensate for having a useless day, you should at least go out and scout for some good photography locations.

Oh, and did I mention you still have a partially twisted ankle from tripping on the steps to the metro earlier in the week? 

So instead of venturing off somewhere fun for pictures, you’re stuck in the garden of the place where you’re staying. To be fair — it’s a beautiful garden with a gorgeous view of the Colosseum, and you’d been meaning to get some pictures there at some point anyway. But it doesn’t really satisfy your urge to get out and do something, because ultimately, you didn’t really get outside of the garden gates, and you didn’t really do anything but get some photos.

Also, while you’re outside, you end up slipping in the wet grass and twisting your ankle again, which really sucks.

But that sort of thing has never happened to me, of course. I always start my day with a clear purpose, and I don’t waste whole days sitting around my room doing my hair and makeup when no one’s going to see me. That’s just silly.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life in Europe this summer. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!


Dress: Thrifted

Blouse: Forever21

REVIEW: BeautyBlender Bounce Kit: Part 3, The Bounce Liquid Whip Longwear Foundation

This is part three of a four part review. For part one, on the BeautyBlender primer, click here. For part two, on the BeautyBlender sponge, click here. For part four, on the BeautyBlender cleanser and my final thoughts on the whole set, click here.

That leads us onto our next review, the foundation. Of the four products I received, this was the one that excited me most. I already owned a similar sponge to the BeautyBlender, I wasn’t thrilled with the little foil packet primer, and soap is kind of inherently boring (more on that later). The foundation was the most unique item I received, if you ask me.

And I like it. It’s got a thick consistency, almost like a BB cream, which makes it buildable. It can be a little heavy, which is why you need the BeautyBlender sponge or a buffing brush to help blend it out. It’s not really one I’d recommend applying with your fingers. The color is a little orange-leaning for me, but most foundations are.

The coverage is medium-to-full, the consistency is buildable, and its claims to longevity are valid, if not magical. It lasted through a regular 8-hour day for me, though it was definitely looking kind of patchy at the end of the day.

The finish is described as “velveteen matte,” which I would very much agree with. It’s no Revlon Colorstay, but it’s far from having a dewey finish either. It has a creamy texture and a semi-matte finish, if that makes sense. I definitely wouldn’t wear it without a powder; it didn’t set well enough on its own for that.

I both love and hate the packaging. I love that it’s sturdy and chic-looking, and I love that there’s a switch where you can lock the pump to stop product from accidentally coming out (seriously, why don’t more products with pumps have this?). I think the little tray that you’re supposed to pump the product out onto is silly and gimmicky; I tried it once and I honestly can’t imagine using it again. I prefer just to pump the product out onto my hand, dot it onto my face, and then use the sponge to blend. By using the tray, you create an extra mess for yourself to clean up, which seems unnecessary to me.

Speaking of messes, what about the last product I received — the solid BeautyBlender cleanser? Click to go onto the last part of this BeautyBlender review series, featuring the BeautyBlender Solid Cleanser.

Have you tried the any of these products? Or do you have any suggestions for your favorite sponges, primers, or foundations? Let me know your thoughts below!

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

REVIEW: BeautyBlender Bounce Kit: Part 2, The BeautyBlender Sponge

Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are my own.


This is part two of a four part review. For part one, on the BeautyBlender primer, click here. For part three, on the BeautyBlender foundation, click here. For part four, on the BeautyBlender cleanser and my final thoughts on the whole set, click here.

Now, onto the sponge and the foundation: I really like these, the sponge in particular. I remember back when the BeautyBlender first became trendy on online beauty circles back in 2011-ish. It was a funny shape, expensive as hell for a literal sponge, and unlike anything anyone had seen before, but all of the YouTube beauty gurus were raving about it.

Back then, I bought a little knockoff sponge from CVS, which I still have (not with me here in my DC apartment, unfortunately, or else I’d provide a comparison photo). It was squishy, bouncy, and held water like it was supposed to, and it was half the price of the BeautyBlender. It was my favorite way to apply makeup for a while, before I discovered the RealTechniques buffing brush which changed my life forever.

So now, in 2019, is the BeautyBlender sponge worth it?

Eh…it’s worth it to buy an egg-shaped sponge, absolutely. There’s really nothing better than a wet sponge for liquid foundation application, if you ask me, if you have the time in the morning to wet a sponge and spend a minute or two sitting there and bouncing it on your face. It’s not a part of my daily makeup routine because it takes too long and I’m usually in a rush (hence, the buffing brush), but I like one for special occasions where I want my makeup to look really flawless.

For size comparison, here’s the sponge dry…

…and wet.

As you can tell, it really swells up with water.

I appreciate the BeautyBlender for being the first of its kind and totally revolutionary, but the thing is, you can buy similar makeup sponges There’s no reason in this case to buy name brand, if you ask me. Go buy a knockoff. Like I said, the CVS generic brand one is pretty good (or at least, it was when I was in 8th grade and I first bought it). As I hear, RealTechniques has a comparable makeup sponge too.

So how about the foundation itself, the product that this sponge is supposed to complement? Click here to go onto the next part of this BeautyBlender review series, featuring the Bounce Liquid Whip Longwear Foundation!

Have you tried the any of these products? Or do you have any suggestions for your favorite sponges, primers, or foundations? Let me know your thoughts below!

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

REVIEW: BeautyBlender Bounce Kit: Part 1, The Leveler Pore Minimizing Primer

Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are my own.


This is part one of a four part review. For part two, on the BeautyBlender sponge, click here. For part three, on the BeautyBlender foundation, click here. For part four, on the BeautyBlender cleanser and my final thoughts on the whole set, click here.

A half a year later, and I’m back with another Influenster VoxBox review!

My last one was way back in May 2019, back while I was still on Notre Dame’s campus. That literally feels like a lifetime ago now, at this point in August 2019. I’ve been all through Europe, a part of South America, a part of the Middle East, and moved into a new apartment in Washington DC in the span of time between those dates. I know only four months have gone by, but it seems so long ago!

I actually received another VoxBox in between the last one I wrote about and this one, but I never got around to posting a full review of it. The way Influenster programs work, you’re not actually required to write a review — all you have to do is take the brief survey in the end, and you’ll remain eligible to continue receiving boxes. I like to write the reviews, both for the sake of having content for this blog and because I think it helps me to get more boxes, but last time, I just wasn’t able to get to it in time. I mean, I was literally in Rome for most of the time the campaign went on; you’ll have to excuse me for not having a chance to write a review for a facial scrub.

But I’m back, with more time than ever (at least for now, until my internship in DC begins) and there’s nothing that would make me happier than to write a review for you. So let’s dive in to my latest Influenster package: a BeautyBlender package consisting of the classic BeautyBlender sponge, their Bounce Liquid Whip Longwear Foundation, The Leveler Pore Minimizing Primer, and BeautyBlender Solid Cleanser.

I’ll begin with the primer, as it’s the first product I put on my face. It came in this little foil sampler package which I was admittedly not impressed by. Look, I’m really appreciative that I was sent a full-size version of the foundation (a $40 value itself), the cleanser, and the sponge, but I’m really not a fan of receiving a foil sample that I could’ve received for free from a makeup counter and then being asked to review it, as if I could give a detailed, honest review for something I can only use two or three times.

But that’s beside the point — what do I think of the primer?

It’s nice. I’ve never used a tinted primer before, and part of me thinks it’s a nice thing (who says no to extra coverage?) and another part of me thinks it’s pretty unnecessary. The best primers, if you ask me, have correcting properties in addition to helping your makeup to go on smoother/last longer. And by correcting, I mean a correcting color — for example, using a green-toned primer to counteract redness. My normal go-to primer (Revlon Photoready) is pink-toned, to help with brightening. Your foundation is for matching your skin and concealing imperfections; you don’t need your primer to do that too.

I personally prefer a thicker, slicker primer than this one, but I know a lot of people don’t like the feeling of a heavy silicone-y product on their face. This one’s pretty thin and lightweight — good for avoiding heavy, cakey makeup, but bad for doing much to help your makeup glide on smoother. I didn’t really feel like my skin texture had changed much after application.

So how about the foundation itself, the product that this primer is supposed to complement? Click to go onto the next two parts of this BeautyBlender review series, featuring classic BeautyBlender sponge and the Bounce Liquid Whip Longwear Foundation!

Have you tried the any of these products? Or do you have any suggestions for your favorite sponges, primers, or foundations? Let me know your thoughts below!

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

REVIEW: Lancôme Visionnaire Skin Solutions Collection

Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are my own.

It feels like it’s been a while since I’ve done an Influenster VoxBox review, yeah?

I seem only to get one at a time, and each one takes about a month to complete (with the exception of my BareMinerals foundation one, which took two months), so at that rate, I have a new VoxBox about once a month.

I’ve been really lucky recently, though — I’ve gotten some really good products to review for free. In fact, one of my holy grail eyebrow products, the Lime Crime Bushy Brow pen, was something that I received in my last box.

But I think this most recent box takes the cake for some of the best full-size products that I’ve ever received to review — this time, Influenster pulled out the big guns and sent me products from Lancôme.

Let me give you a little background on my history with Lancôme: there basically is no history. I’ve never purchased any of their products because I can’t afford them (well, I suppose I could spend the money if I really wanted to…but I’m just not enough of a makeup person to justify it. I’d rather spend the money on clothes, to be honest), and so the only Lancôme makeup I own actually comes from my grandmother’s collection. She buys classier makeup than me.

Anyway, I dug into this box with very little in terms of preconceived notions about what Lancôme products should be like. I knew they were pricey, and so I hoped for something of good quality, but that’s about the only expectations I had. I actually calculated the total monetary value of everything I got in my box — $211 — and so I hoped that the products would be worth someone out there spending $211 on them.

I received the Vissionnaire Skin Solutions 15% vitamin C concentrate, the Vissionnaire Skin Solutions 2% Retinol night corrector, the Fix It and Forget It setting spray, and the Long Time No Shine setting powder. As far as I could tell, all of the products were their full-size versions.

Long Time No Shine Setting Power

I’ll begin with the Long Time No Shine setting powder because of the four products I received, I probably used this one the most.

Overall, I liked it. It’s a good setting powder — maybe not almost-$40 good, but still very good. I liked the packaging it came in — it felt much sturdier and of better quality than my ELF HD setting powder or even my BareMinerals Blemish Rescue powder. My one complaint is that there’s no way to close off the holes where the powder comes out, which can be very problematic when you’re traveling and the container gets bumped around in  your bag. Sure, you have a lid, which should prevent the powder from leaving the container, but that doesn’t prevent the product from spilling into the space in between the main storage compartment and the lid. My BareMinerals loose powder has a simple mechanism for closing the holes; you’d think that for $40 Lancôme could do the same.

The powder itself is good, though I’m still not a huge loose powder fan for everyday use. In general, I do like it more than pressed powder, but given how messy it is to apply, I usually only use loose for special occasions. I’m afraid this Lancôme powder hasn’t changed my onion. I like it, don’t get me wrong — but I don’t like it enough to get over my hesitations with loose powders as a whole. But it’s a good loose powder, as loose powders go.

Fix It and Forget It Setting Spray

This might be my favorite of the products I received from Lancôme, or at least, the one I see myself using the most. I found the staying power of this stuff to be really fantastic. I have long days — I go to class in the mornings, and I often don’t take off my makeup until late at night. By the time night rolls around, my makeup can look pretty awful.

With this product, though, I found I could get my makeup to hold up pretty decently. I didn’t do a test of how many hours I could get my foundation to last or anything like that, but I can say that it made it though a day — and a day for me can go from 9:30AM to 2AM the next morning.

My one complaint is, again, the packaging. The way the spray mechanism works gives you a very fine mist — so fine that it’s hard to perceive it on your skin. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing, I guess, but I found that I was often confused as to whether I’d gotten any of the spray on my face at all, or if I’d completely missed. I’d end up going through several pumps of the product, just to realize that the spray was hitting my face but I couldn’t perceive it. Compared to heavier sprays, like the famous Urban Decay All-Nighter stuff, it’s a little difficult to get used to. Regardless, it’s still a great product, and one that I would recommend the most out of all of these.

Vissionnaire Skin Solutions 15% Vitamin C Concentrate

It’s a little hard for me to review the Vissionnaire Skin Solutions 15% vitamin C concentrate (as is the case with the 2% Retinol corrector as well, which you’ll see below), as I don’t really think it’s a product that’s meant for me, a 20 year-old woman. From what I understood from the package, it’s meant for people dealing with aging skin, which, while I guess my skin is technically aging constantly, is not really an issue that I’m worrying about right now. I still get acne sometimes — I’m not ready to worry about wrinkles! I suppose it might be useful for preventing wrinkles in the future, but don’t want to lie and pretend that this product does something for me that I can’t see yet.

So I can only speak to what I did experience with the product — and that’s that it kind of smelled lousy. I mean, I’ve probably used smellier products before, but I was kind of hoping for something better out of Lancôme. As for the actual effect on me, I did find that it had some moisturizing properties. It didn’t sting going on, like some serums do, and apart from the scent, it was an overall inoffensive product. Am I sold? No — but like I said, I don’t think it’s meant to be sold to me.

Vissionnaire Skin Solutions 2% Retinol Night Corrector

And that’s the case with the Vissionnaire Skin Solutions 2% Retinol night corrector too. Again, Retinol is an ingredient known for its anti-aging properties — and my skin just isn’t aging that badly yet. Retinol is also supposedly a very strong vitamin; in fact, the box that the tube came in even warned me against using it more than once a week when I was first trying it out. I’ve heard about people having some pretty negative reactions to Retinol, and with my sensitive skin, I didn’t think it was a good idea to chance it.

I did try the product, though, if only in a very small quantity. My impression was that it smelled kind of chemical-y, and that it stung a little bit (or maybe more like a tingling sensation?) going on. I had no strong negative reactions the next morning, but no miracles went on either. Maybe I could speak to strong negative reactions or miracles a little more after I’d used the product for longer, but with only a month to review all of the products in this box, and with the restriction of using the Retinol night corrector once or twice a week, I didn’t really notice anything. Sorry if this is an anticlimactic review, but I can’t speak to what I haven’t experienced .


Have you tried the any of these products? Or do you have any suggestions for your favorite soaps, brow products, primers, or serums? Let me know your thoughts below!

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at Notre Dame. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

 

REVIEW: Influenster Showstopper Voxbox (Clarins, Lime Crime, VDL, and Copper + Crane)

Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are my own.

Influenster sent me a box full of assorted skincare goods, and I’m not really sure what to make of them.

Don’t get me wrong — I’m always super appreciative when Influenster sends me things for review. It’s just a little weird this time, because the products seem to be mostly unrelated. I got an eyebrow pen, eyebrow gel, soap, serum, and two primers. I suppose they’re all beauty products, but they’re all different brands and don’t really seem to have a common theme. They’re just supposed to make me into a “showstopper,” whatever that means.

Welp, I don’t really know if I’m a showstopper now, but I do know know that I’m a reviewer, so that’s what I’ll do.

First up, I’ve got the Copper + Crane spa bar. For context, I’m usually more of a body wash and loofa kind of a person. I’ll use bar soap for my hands, but it’s rare that I”ll ever use a bar soap for my body.

This soap has me considering changing my mind, though. It smells heavenly — like sweet roses — and feels luxurious and creamy to the touch. It doesn’t lather quite like a good body wash, but the scent is so beautiful that I can look past that. I’m a fan. You can bet that I’ll be looking into more bar soaps.

Up next, I’ve got the Lime Crime Bushy Brown pen and gel. I’ve never used a brow pen either, though I think I’ve used just about every other brow product out there. Pencils, creams, powders, stencils — I own them all.

I am a huge fan of this brow pen. I’ve admittedly never tried another, so I can’t compare, but for a first try, I love it. My problem with filling in my brows is always that the hairs are dark but sparse. I need to fill them in, but I always run the risk of making them look too heavy and too dark. This pen avoids that problem. Because the strokes are thin, I can make them look like tiny hairs, making my brows look fuller without looking drawn-on. I’ll definitely be looking into more products from this brand.

For two small tubes of the VDL Lumilayer primers, I was a little less impressed. I received both the “fresh” and “original” versions. To be honest, I’m not really a primer person, so maybe I’m not one to write a review on this. For me, a primer should make my makeup apply more easily and maybe last a little longer. I don’t really know if I got that effect from these products — there’s just better out there. I’ve had good luck with the Revlon Photoready primer. Again, though, I’m just not normally one who wears primer — it deserves a mention because it came in my Voxbox along with the other products, but I can’t honestly say that I recommend it.

The last product I got — a sample of the Clarins Doble Serum and  — is a the most difficult to judge. I don’t struggle with aging yet, and that’s what this serum is meant to combat. Anti-aging products usually work slowly, and I only had a month and a few small sample  foil packets to test this product out with. I don’t really feel comfortable giving you guys a review on this one. I appreciate the sample from Influenster, but I’m just not able to offer an honest opinion here, as I’m not the kind of person the product was made for and I haven’t had enough time to test its effects. Also, full price, this 1.6 oz product will set you back $122. I don’t know, that seems rather overpriced to me.

Have you tried the any of these products? Or do you have any suggestions for your favorite soaps, brow products, primers, or serums? Let me know your thoughts below!

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at Notre Dame. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Review: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Lotion Sunscreen

Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Neutrogena for testing purposes. All opinions are my own.

Don’t get too excited, but I’ve got a new beauty review for you guys today!

I’m not sure why this is, but my beauty product reviews are always some of my blogs with the highest view counts. You’d think that with a fashion blog, it would be something to do with fashion, but no — my most popular blogs have to do with makeup and beauty reviews. Maybe I should switch to being a full time beauty blogger.

Actually, I find writing these beauty reviews  to be quite enjoyable. They’re a great respite from all of the OOTD posts. Don’t be mistaken, I won’t be switching to a new format any time soon, but maybe if I continue getting sponsorships with brands I’l continue posting these reviews.

Today’s review post comes from Brandbacker, a new influencer-brand connection service that, so far, I like about as much as I like Influenster. Maybe I’ll write more on Brandbacker in a different post, if you’d like to hear a comparison?

Anyway, Neutrogena sent me two sunscreens, one SPF 30 and another SPF 50, from their Water Gel Lotion line to try.  According to Neutrogena’s website, this sunscreen line “delivers powerful broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection with a water-light feel. This water-resistant sunscreen lotion with SPF leaves skin looking healthy and moisturized for up to eight hours without any greasy residue or white marks. The non-greasy sunscreen has a light, clean feel and layers invisibly under makeup.”

So how do these claims hold up?

Actually, I think pretty well. Sunscreens aren’t my speciality, and I guess I can’t speak to their chemical ability to actually protect my skin from the sun, but I can say that their claims of being light and non-greasy are valid.

I am a big sunscreen person — I’ve been incorporating it into my beauty routine almost every day since middle school. Still, I’ve never really found an absolute HG sunscreen that I’ve wanted to stick with in all of these years that I’ve been a regular sunscreen user. My biggest problem with sunscreen has always been how heavy and greasy it feels on the skin, and how it affects my makeup application.

That’s got to be my favorite part of the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Lotion Sunscreen — I don’t feel it after I’ve applied it. And that’s really how sunscreen should be, right? Totally unnoticeable. The point is to protect your skin from the sun and maybe add a little bit of moisture in the process; there’s no reason for it to be or do anything else, in my opinion. That’s what other skincare products for.

The Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Lotion Sunscreen is simple, but its simplicity is its strength. It doesn’t do much beyond its claims for being light and providing SPF  coverage, and I can appreciate it for that.

Summary:

Pros:

  • Light, non-greasy feel
  • Doesn’t feel heavy under makeup

Cons:

  • Tubes are kind-of small at only 3.0 FL OZ

Have you tried the new Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Lotion sunscreens? Or do you have any suggestions for your favorite sunscreens? Let me know your thoughts below!

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at home at Notre Dame. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

REVIEW: BareMinerals Blemish Rescue Foundation Collection

Here’s fun fact: the original BareMinerals foundation was one of my first high-end makeup purchases way back when I was in middle school.

I mean, okay — BareMinerals isn’t super high-end and it’s not budget-breakingly expensive, but it was to me when I was 13. I was getting $7 a week in allowance from my parents, so a $30 purchase like the BareMinerals foundation was a big deal — if you think about it, that was over a month of allowance for me.

The sad bit was that I didn’t really like it that much — the lady in Ulta who shade-matched me didn’t do a great job because I found that after I got home and actually started using it, it was much too dark and orange-y. I also remember oxidation issues, with the foundation durning even darker and more orange as the day went on.

It made it practically useless, so even though I didn’t have any problems with the product itself, I wasn’t able to ever really wear it. And since I was 13 and only getting $7 a week, it didn’t make any sense to take the risk of another month’s money on another shade of the foundation that still might not match me properly.

So I guess you could call my attitude towards BareMinerals when I received my Influenster VoxBox was fairly mixed. On one hand, I do remember liking the coverage and texture of the product itself, and I still do rather enjoy the stick concealer I was sent for review earlier this year, but on the other, I was never able to get my money’s worth out of the original foundation, and I’m still a little sad about that. I think it’s still sitting in the back of my makeup drawer, practically unused.

But I tried to go into the review with an unbiased mind — impossible, I guess, but still worth making an effort to do. It wouldn’t be fair for me to judge this new product using my bad experience from six years ago.

In my VoxBox, I received the new BareMinerals Blemish Rescue Skin-Clearing Loose Powder Foundation in Neutral Ivory,  the Skin-Clearing Anti-Redness Mattifying Primer, and Seamless Buffing Brush with Antibacterial Charcoal. Altogether, it’s about $83 worth of product, so I’ve got to give it to BareMinerals for being super generous.

Firstly, as these products are marketed for their skincare benefits as well as their general cosmetic use, allow me to give some background on my skin. It’s best described as combination. My biggest issues are mild acne and sensitivity. I’m 19, nearly 20, so my pimples aren’t quite as bad as they were when I was 13, but they haven’t really gone away entirely either. It’s mild enough that with good makeup, I can pretty much cover up everything I need to, but without, it’s pretty obvious that I have a smattering of pimples on my temples and between my eyebrows. The worst for me is when, due to the benzoyl peroxide spot treatment I use, I wind up with a patch of dry skin surrounding a pimple that hasn’t yet gone away. An ideal foundation for me would be light enough that I could use it on the parts of my face that don’t really have any issues to smooth away the mild imperfections, but buildable enough that I could apply it to my acne-prone areas and conceal them without highlighting the dryness there.

Now onto the review — I’ll go in order of application, so let’s begin with the primer. Out of the tube, it’s a green paste-to-gel -like substance meant to correct ruddy tones in the skin. I assume it would appeal to people with acne all-over as it would, in theory, correct the redness of pimples.

I’m no stranger to green color correcting products. There was a time in middle school where I used a green concealer religiously to conceal redness on my cheeks. I never really got into green primers though, as I generally found that the color-correcting properties of a green product were best when used sparingly, but in concentrated amounts, rather than all-over. I believe the same rings true for this product. I just don’t think the green is strong enough to do anything. As for the other qualities of a primer — texture, staying power, mattifying-effect — I’d say it’s just average. It’s not bad, but there’s better out there.

The foundation turned out to be the pleasant surprise of this review. I had wondered if I would have the same oxidation issues I’d had with the original Bare Minerals foundation, but I have not had that problem at all. The color is slightly darker than I would have chosen for myself, but it’s not so far off that I can’t use it.

The best part was easily the buildability and texture. It did just what I wanted it to — went on light on my less-problematic areas, and built up to heavier coverage with some stippling in my acne-prone areas. For that, I have to give it credit.

The worst part is an issue not exclusive to this product, but that applies to all powder foundations — it’s messy to put on. If you’re looking for something to just slap on and go, this is not it. While application itself isn’t too hard — I just buff it on, with a bit of stippling for more coverage — it’s getting the powder out of the container and onto the brush that’s difficult to do with being messy.

As for the brush, it, like the primer, is perfectly serviceable. Not great — there are better buffing brushes out there for less money (I personally like the Real Techniques buffing brush). But this one’s soft, picks up product well, and is stiff-enough for buffing, so it functions as it is supposed to. My main complaint is the shape — it’s short and fat, so it doesn’t fit in my brush-holder with the rest of my brushes. I can’t really speak to the “antibacterial charcoal” claims. It sounds like a label they just slapped on there to make it seem more hygienic, but I don’t know — maybe the charcoal really is more sanitary.

Finally, what about the skincare benefits? Did I find that my acne improved thanks to using this product?

Well…I don’t know. To be honest, I didn’t use it for long enough to be able to assess its long-term skincare effects. Additionally, one’s skin condition is affected by such a wide variety of factors that I don’t know if I’d see the effects unless they were drastic and fast. Which, for this product, they weren’t — that’s not to say there wouldn’t potentially be benefits from long term use, but I just can’t say with the few days I’ve taken over the last month to test this out. Alternatively, maybe my acne would get worse. I just don’t know.

All I can assess this product fairly on is on its ability to function as a foundation. And you know what? It’s actually pretty nice. It’s way better than the original Bare Minerals powder I tried out six years ago, and I would say that if you, like me, didn’t really like that one, you may still find that this new one is a pretty decent product. You could probably pass on the brush and the primer though. They’re serviceable, but there are better options out there for less money.

Summary:

Primer

Pros:

  • Perfectly serviceable

Cons:

  • Why settle for serviceable when you could find something for less money that works better? (I’m personally a fan of the Revlon Photoready Primer)

Foundation

Pros:

  • Light-to-medium buildable coverage
  • Doesn’t oxidize!
  • Wide range of color selections
  • Smooths over my dry patches without emphasizing them

Cons:

  • Messy, time-consuming application

Brush

Pros:

  • Perfectly serviceable

Cons:

  • Why settle for serviceable when you could find something for less money that works better? (In my opinion, the Real Techniques buffing brush is a good substitute)

Have you tried the new BareMinerals Blemish Rescue collection? Or do you have any suggestions for your favorite foundations? Let me know your thoughts below!

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries and collars, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

REVIEW: BareMinerals Bare Pro Concealer

Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are my own.

Look at me! Doing more beauty posts and using my blog as a platform for testing and reviews products!

The thing I love best about doing Influenster reviews is that I feel no pressure to have an opinion, one way or the other, about the products I receive. While I do try to always provide my own opinions and thoughts for the other complimentary products I’ve received for promotional purposes on this blog, it would be a lie to say I don’t still feel some pressure to emphasize the positives over the negatives. With Influenster, since the products are being sent to me via a third party rather than from the brand itself with the stipulation that my only role is to review the product, that pressure is gone.

This is my second Influenster VoxBox (the first one being the L’Oreal Color Crave Hair Makeup and Semi-Permanent Hair Color), and with my experience so far, I’d definitely be happy to get more of these in the mail. They come packaged so cutely in these colorful boxes, and they always provide helpful instructions for what to do once you’ve received the box. If you’d ever like for me to review Influenster as a service for bloggers on LEDJ, leave me a comment below and let me know!

Anyway, the product I got from Influenster this time around was a little stick concealer from BareMinerals from their Bare Pro line, which claims to have 16 hour coverage. I received color 05, which seemed like a pretty good fit for my light-medium skin with neutral undertones.

Now to be honest with you, I don’t typically wear concealer. I much prefer to simply use a BB cream all over my skin, and then dab it on in a little more concentration on problem areas. If I do wear concealer, it’s probably because I’m running late to class and I don’t have time to do a full face of makeup, and I just want to cover up some pimples. Very rarely do I ever do concealer and BB cream/foundation — only special occasions.

So the look I’m sporting here is, in truth, more makeup than I typically wear. I have on both a very light coverage BB cream and the concealer over top of a couple of pimples and scars scars I have on my temples and cheeks, as well as a little discoloration beside my nose. Otherwise, I don’t really have any huge problem areas right now (bless), so I didn’t need to wear it anywhere else.

I was pleasantly surprised with the blendability of the concealer, as its texture is harder and more chalky than some of the other stick concealers I’ve used, like the Revlon Photoready concealer. A few dabs with my ring finger, and it smoothed right in.

I think a large part of the easy blending is just how well this product matched my skin — I don’t typically find products that match me perfectly, as things tend to either look too pink or too yellow, but this concealer really fit my neutral undertones. Especially since I didn’t get to test this product in the store and selected it based off of some sample images I saw on the Internet, I got pretty lucky.

As for its claims of 16 hour wear, I did not get to test this, and I honestly don’t really care to. Who wears makeup for 16 hours straight? It’s not something that’s currently a part of my lifestyle, so whether it wears for 16 hours or not is truthfully not important to me as a consumer. Its staying power did seem pretty solid though for the full 12ish hours that I wore it — nothing spectacular or life-changing, but still serviceable.

Summary:

Pros:

  • Perfect color match (for me, an Asian with light-medium, neutral undertone skin wearing 05)
  • Blends easily
  • Paraben, sulfate and phthalate-free
  • Wears well (for an average 12-ish hour day)

Cons:

  • Costly at $25
  • Still not completely “all-natural” — though what really is?
  • Average to above-average quality

In the end, I liked the product. It’s no Holy Grail for me, but I found it delightfully average, and even a little above average in terms of color matching. Is it worth it for the $25 price tag, when you could get another perfectly serviceable drugstore concealer (Revlon Photoready and the Sonia Kashuk quads are two of my favorites) for half the price? That I guess depends on your views of BareMinerals’ ingredients — they do claim that this concealer is paraben, sulfate, and phthalate-free, and that its natural ingredients (though not all natural — there are definitely some chemical-y ingredients that I have never heard of on the label) “nourish” the skin, so if that’s something you care about, maybe it’s worth it for you.

Have you tried the BareMinerals Bare Pro Concealer? Or do you have any suggestions for your favorite concealers? Let me know your thoughts below!

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

January 27, 2018 – All Dressed Up and Nowhere To Go (OOTD #212)

You think I’m kidding? No – I really did get all dressed up here just so I could take some pictures and then sit in my dorm room the rest of the day trying to convince myself to do homework.

It started off with a very productive morning – I got up at 9:30 (which is fairly early for me for a weekend), then, I worked out and took a much needed shower. At that point, 11:00, I proceeded to spend an obscenely long amount of time on my makeup simply because I could and I was feeling it that morning. Most days, I roll out of bed ten minutes before class is due to start so I barely have time to draw on some eyebrows before I rush out the door, so getting to spend some quality time on my makeup is a luxury.

After making myself look pretty for nothing and no one in particular, I tackled the challenge of trying to find some good lighting and a decent background in my dorm room to snap some selfies. The end result, which I’m pretty proud of, bar the bunk bed background, you can see below.

By afternoon, though, all of my motivational energy from the morning was drained, and I was left with nothing but a dull sense that I probably ought to get some work done and the even stronger sense that I had no desire to get work done whatsoever. As I result, I wound up sitting around in my room for most of the day doing a whole lot of nothing.

In fairness, I did have a rather eventful evening the day prior. My friend, Michaela, and I decided to go to the Max Schneider concert on campus, which, while not as exciting to me as the Wombats, who were there the week before, was still pretty fun.

I wasn’t really familiar with any of his work before we went, but I wound up really liking some of his stuff, for pop music at least. He was an excellent entertainer with a ton of energy, and you couldn’t help but feel his enthusiasm for what he was doing, which was really neat to see. Plus, we arrived early enough that we were able to stand right up next to the barricade, which was an experience I’d never had at a concert before – but one that I’d love to have again, especially if it was for a band that I was really into.

All that excitement though completely wore me out, and now I’ve caught a cold. Since starting university, I swear I’ve gotten sick more times within just two semester than I ever was during the entirety of high school. I also just ran out of NyQuil, so I’ve been trying to cure the virus with cough drops and allergy nose squirts alone. I don’t think it’s working.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Dress: Missguided