How to prevent foundation from getting blotchy?

My skin type: Combination, acne-prone skin. Oily around the T zone and dry/normal everywhere else.

P.S. I try to post mini product reviews on Instagram and here is my Instagram ID: skincarejunkie_03 

I’ve been trying out a few new non-matte foundations in the past few weeks including the recently hyped up Wet n Wild Photo Focus Foundation (you can read my review on the Wet n Wild foundation here). My primary goal with my base makeup has been creating a long-lasting, low-maintenance look so I don’t need to reapply throughout the day. That’s why I mostly opted for all matte foundation. However, during winter time, I want a satin finish makeup base from time to time. The main challenge for me is that non-matte foundations (high-end or drugstore) usually will look blotchy around my T Zone after 5-6 hours. I’ve tried different powders, setting sprays and blotting papers, but none really worked that well.

What I found from all the wear tests I’ve done lately is that it might not have anything to do with the foundation, the primer, or powder! Instead, take a look at your skincare routine and consider trying a different moisturizer. This could completely change how the foundation looks and lasts on your skin. I was previously using Clarins extra firming day cream. It was very hydrating (I didn’t really see any firming results though) as a moisturizer but it turns out that it was the main reason why any satin/glowy foundations do not wear well on my face. 

How did I find out? After I used up the Clarins day cream, I switched to a deluxe travel size jar of Kale + Spinach + Hyaluronic Acid Age Prevention Cream from Youth To The People (I think I got it in a beauty box). I’d never heard of this brand or used its products before so I didn’t have any expectations. However, I was pleasantly surprised as this is probably the most lightweight moisturizer I’ve ever tried in the cream texture. It almost feels like a gel but does not peel or flake under sunscreen like most gels do on my face. Ever since I started using this cream, I found that I can pull off those hydrating foundations a lot better. They last longer on me (2-3 hours more at least) and my pores are not accentuated around my T Zone at the end of the day.

youthtothepeople_kale cream.jpg

I don’t think you need to go out and by this cream in particular. But if you are having trouble with your foundation, I do think it’s worth taking another look at the moisturizer you are using prior to applying makeup as that could be the ultimate differentiator in your whole makeup look that you might have overlooked.

Thanks for stopping by and hope this helps!

2 beauty empties & mini haul – feat. Makeup Forever, Smashbox & Mario Badescu

Today I wanted to share with you my thoughts around 2 recent beauty empties and what I’ve purchased to replace them with.

First up is a travel size Primer I received from Sephora beauty box: the Makeup Forever step 1 smoothing primer. I also included my review on this product in a recent everyday primer collection post that you can check out here. Given my oily t zone, I only need to use a tiny amount every time and this tube lasts me more than a month.

Instead of purchasing the full size one, I’ve instead bought the Smashbox photo finish primers – they came in a set and I am lining them with a sample I received from previous purchase so I have 3 tubes and I hope they perform better in minimizing my pores and wear well under foundation.

Next up is a toner spray from Botanics. I am not a fan of this product. Despite its claims to use all natural ingredients, the toner feels irritating and stings my eyes. The spritzer squirts out big water drops on my face instead of a fine mist so I ended up keeping it in my bath and only used it when I blow dry my hair or when I apply facial masks. From the products I’ve tried, natural skincare lines are actually more tricky and most of the products that work in this realm are expensive products (some of my recent favorites include Tata Harper & Evelom).

Anyways I’m glad I finally used it up and I’ve replaced it with another affordable natural skincare line: 2 toners from Mario Badescu. I’ve tried the rose water one in the past and I remember not hating the toner but was turned off by the spritzer. Similar to Botanics, the sprayer also fails to produce a fine mist on your face so I probably will use it after showering or exercises. You can also use it to wet your makeup sponges. I might pour it into some other bottles with better quality nozzles so I can make more use out it.

Have you used any of these products before and what are your thoughts around them?

March high-end skincare haul – feat. Drunk Elephant & Natura Bisse

The Drunk Elephant glycolic night serum is a repurchase, you can find my full review of this product when I compared it to the Sunday Riley Good Genes here.

P.S. I try to post mini product reviews on Instagram and here is my Instagram ID: skincarejunkie_03 

This night serum is part of a Drunk Elephant set that’s in a lovely pull-out paper box. Isn’t it cute? I’ve tried the vitamin C serum before (the small bottle in an orange cap) and it’s solid but not irreplaceable. I will share another brightening serum in my empty post that is a dupe for the c firma that I like it a bit better. I’ve not yet tried the B-hydra gel before and will share my thoughts if I end up liking it.

The other high-end item I purchased is an eye cream from Natura Bisse. I bought it after I was blown away by a sample I tried a while ago. It’s probably the most effective anti-aging eye cream I’ve ever used but also the most expensive eye cream. All the dry lines and fine lines under my eyes were gone when I was using a sample of this eye cream so I thought it might just be worth it (or not). I am currently using another high-end eye cream that I love and it’s less expensive than the Natura Bisse one so I might just switch between the two.


Wet n Wild Photo Focus Foundation Review – worth the hype?

Maybe it’s just me as this foundation is raved by so many people online but I have mixed feelings about the new Wet n Wild photo focus foundation. Yes it’s a good quality foundation that is extremely affordable (only $6), but it’s by no means my favorite foundation and I will not be reaching for it on days that I need reliable coverage. Below you can find my detailed review.

P.S. I try to post mini product reviews on Instagram and here is my Instagram ID: skincarejunkie_03 

My skin condition: Combination (oily around t-zone, dry on the rest of the face in winter). I have some acne scars and struggle with pores around the t zone.

What I like about it:

  • Light weight. It doesn’t feel heavy at all and is very easy to blend out with a beauty blender or any sponge. I haven’t tried it with a brush yet but I heard it also works well with a brush.
  • It has a pretty finish between matte and dewy when you first apply it and the look lasts about 4 hours on me before I have to touch up with blotting paper.

What I don’t like about it:

  • If you have pores, acne scars or skin texture issues, this will not cover these imperfection with 1-2 layers. It does not have high coverage and it no longer gives a pretty finish if you layer it up too much. This is not a big concern as I can always pair it with concealers but just thought you might want to know about its coverage level.
  • It is not long lasting on my combination skin. My cheeks still look very good at the end of the day but my t zone looks shiny and oily after 4-5 hours and I did try several powders with it (high-end and drugstore) but none really helped. I can stand the shine as I keep blotting papers around but the main issue is that the foundation enlarges my pores around my T-zone when the oil comes through, which is not flattering at all, and is something I haven’t experienced in a long time.

I think it could be a great foundation for normal skin with few flaws but people with that skin condition can probably pull off any kind of foundation, no? It’s a good foundation but I will only be reaching for it on days that I only need to wear makeup for less than 4 hours.

Have you tried out this foundation? What do you think?

My current 4 favorite muted red & nude lippies – Buxom, Smashbox, Kiko, Loreal

I’ve been using these 4 lippies below non-stop lately and I realized why after I swatched them side by side. Although they are different shades, they are definitely in the same color range: a somewhat muted red and nudish color scheme. 

Smashbox liquid lipstick in Driver's seat

From left to right are: 

  • Kiko smart pencil in 703 
  • Smashbox liquid lipstick in Driver’s Seat 
  • Loreal pro matte gloss in 318 Bare Attraction
  • Buxom lip pencil in Amsterdam

Best ingredients: Buxom (it is under the Bare Eccentual umbrella and uses nontoxic ingredients)

Best lasting power: Smashbox (it fades in a good way too)

Most pigmented: Smashbox – One light swipe and you are set! So rich of a color!

Most surprised: the Kiko lip pencil is very smooth and pigmented. It glides on so easily and doesn’t feel dry on the lips. The only downside is that it’s not very long lasting on my lips.

Favorite color: this is totally personal taste but I LOVE how the Loreal 318 color looks on my lips. It is very feminine and goes perfectly with an everyday makeup look. 

Question for all who have gone this far in the post: do you know a color dupe for the Loreal 318 Bare Attraction lip gloss? The gloss is not very long lasting and doesn’t have the best formula so I’ve been hunting for a different lippie with the same color but have not found it. Please let me know in comments if you have something in mind!

My everyday face primer collection – Benefit, Makeup Forever, ClubClio, Embryolisse 

Today I wanted to share the few primers I’ve been using and my thoughts on them. 

  • My skin type: Combination skin (leaning towards the drier side in winter & oily side in summer)
  • My main purpose for using a primer: blur/smooth pores in my zone (primary) & prolong makeup (secondary)

First up is the grey travel size tube from Makeup Forever. It’s the step 1 smoothing primer. It is has a thicker texture and does a good job smoothing out my pores and skin texture. But it’s a bit too thick and slightly oily for my preference as I mostly use blurring primers like this one around my T-zone and I have combination skin so it’s feels just a tiny bit heavy even in the winter time. I almost ran out purchasing the full size as I like the smoothing effect but I am still on the fence.

  • Repurchase? Maybe not

Next up is the kill cover pore primer from the Korean makeup artist brand Club Clio. It’s not a cheap primer and it felt nice when I tried it out on the back of my hands but it’s not my favorite. It’s a bit more greasy than the makeup forever step 1 primer although it also delivers the smoothing effect, and does help prolong the makeup. I think it probably is a better choice for people with dry skin. The other primer I have from Club Clio is an anti-shine primer and it does dry out your face a bit so I’ve put it away until the summer time.

  • Repurchase? No.

The primer that’s still in the box is the Embryolisse primer that I received in a subscription box. It’s a famous French drugstore primer but I don’t know if I will end up using it or not after trying it out in store. It’s extremely hydrating so I don’t know how it will perform on my combination skin. People with very dry skin might love it.

  • Repurchase? No.

Last but not least is a classic that’s been around for years and my favorite in the batch: Benefit porefessional primer. As its name suggests, it’s also a smoothing primer to cover up your pores. As that’s my main concern for my base makeup, this primer delivers its claims and meets my expectations. It is the least greasy primer and it layers well under my foundation and over my sunscreen.

I know some people don’t like it’s slippery feel. Personally I don’t have an issue with it probably because I only use a tiny amount around my t zone. The other areas on my face are on the drier side in winter and do not necessarily need a primer after a moisturizer and sunscreen.

  • Repurchase? Yes.

The tube on the right is an acne friendly sunscreen from a Japanese drugstore brand. It’s a great everyday sunscreen and I use it before applying my primer.

What is your favorite face primer and least favorite one? Why? Would love to hear your thoughts!

Mini makeup haul – blender sponge, cleanser, lipstick, mascara 

Today I wanted to share a mini beauty haul of a few new beauty products I’ve purchased lately.

First up is a beauty blender solid cleanser and the new Loreal sponge. The bb solid cleanser is a repurchase as this is the most effective and convenient cleanser in market for beauty blender or any sponges. You simply swirl a damp sponge onto the solid soap and with flowing water and a quick squeeze action, your sponge comes out in mint condition. If you’ve never tried it before, I definitely recommend this one as I’ve not found a perfect dupe for this amazing cleanser yet.

The Loreal sponge was released recently and I’ve heard good reviews so I wanted to try it out. It does seem soft and bouncy when I tried it and I will share my thoughts after I have it a few more uses.

Next up are two lip products from Kiko. I love Kiko lip pencils. The ones I’ve tried are all very smooth, pigmented and long lasting on my lips. So I bought another one in a pink shade and a chubby lipstick in a muted red shade with a satin finish.

The lipstick packaging is cute, with magnetic closure and details, which is nice for its drugstore price point. I’ve swatched both below along two other red lipstick I have (the two colors on the left are Kiko shades).

Lastly, I am opening a new mascara from Beautycounter. It’s a black mascara that’s supposed to lengthen your lashes. I love lengthening mascara and I will see whether this can be worn along or needs to be paired with a volumizing mascara. Btw I’m currently using the Excessive Lash mascara from Makeup Forever and I like it a lot. It adds length and volume to my lashes while keeping them separate and curled. It doesn’t give you a dramatic look with one or two coats but it is flattering and doesn’t clump at all.

Thanks for stopping by! Happy reading 🙂