When it comes to makeup and skin, though, I have experimented with so many brands and foundations and scrubs over the years that if I were to try and make a list, it would consume the remainder of my graduate career (note: I graduate in September). Part of the trouble, I fear, lies within how picky I am. It's nearly impossible for me to be happy with foundation, be it in liquid or powder form. I HATE color lines, for one, and most liquid foundations (if not matched to irrevocable perfection) will leave a sticky, gunky line of color right where face meets neck. And I'm sorry, but I just don't like the "it looks like my face went through a hideous spray tan experiment" look. Up until this point, NARS has probably produced the powder foundation I feel most comfortable with, but even that is far from light and airy. Because I love the natural look, light and airy are pretty essential. Remember that episode of Full House when Becky tells a teenage D.J. that the key to makeup is looking like you aren't wearing any (yeah, I'm a '90s kid)? Well, when it comes to my foundation, that is the rule I try to live by.
Then there's my skincare. I've (knock on wood!) never suffered from acne. The thing that plagues my skis is often excess oiliness, but luckily the worst that does is cause blackheads on my nose. Most skin products I have tried (even those that claim to be oil-free), only make that oiliness worse, and make me feel like a grease monkey. I also have really bad dark under-eye circles that no cream or gumf have ever managed to save (though Paddy thinks they make me look like an owl, which I take to mean wise).
So anyway, when I received an exclusive press makeup bag by Mark Fast for bareMinerals, meant to help fashion bloggers and journalists survive the series of Fashion Weeks that just roller-coaster-ed away, I didn't know what to expect. Friends (both in the fashion/beauty world and otherwise) have been recommending bareMinerals since I was 14 (ALMOST 10 YEARS!). I've been told time and time again that it's the brand for "people like me" due to its ability to emphasize natural beauty and not be incredibly over-the-top. But because I have a slight tendency to disregard things that I am told are just "for people like me" I had been skeptical to try BM. Since getting the makeup bag, though, (an empty version of said bag is actually being given as a free gift upon purchasing TWO bareMinerals products at Selfridges in Manchester [sorry U.S. readers!], at bareMinerals boutiques or online at bareminerals.co.uk), I've totally reevaluated my thought processes and hopped on the bareMinerals bandwagon.
Inside the press bag were lots and lots of goodies to try:
- READY Foundation
- READY Touch-Up Veil
- Stroke of Light Eye Brightener
- Well-Rested Face and Eye Brightener
- Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss
- Precision Face Brush
- Renew and Hydrate Eye Cream
- Active Cell Renewal Night Serum
First off, I have to say that I was pretty stoked that there were skin products to help rejuvenate and hydrate the face after wearing makeup all day. I am such a believer in letting your skin breathe and relax at night, and though Kiehl's has always been my face wash of choice, the renew and hydrate eye cream has been a blessing for my perpetual dark circles, and the night serum has definitely stuck true to its name and left me at least visibly less tired-looking in the mornings.
But the makeup... oh the makeup. Seriously, I couldn't be more thrilled about how natural both the powder foundation and finishing powder look on my skin. I'll leave it to you to decide if I am exaggerating, but honestly, I don't feel like it's super obvious I am wearing any makeup other than my staple cat liner and lipgloss (speaking of which, the Moxie lipgloss is sort of like a Burt's Bees -- the kind of thing that makes your lips feel instantly less chapped):
See... natural. As someone who truly believes that all women possess natural beauty, a makeup brand that believes the same (which I know sounds like an oxymoron considering makeup is meant to alter/cover the natural look, but in the case of bareMinerals, really isn't) is such a great thing to come across. The foundation and touch-up veil still let me look like me, and that's something that no foundation has ever managed to do so perfectly. I will say that the Stroke of Light Eye Brightener does a good job at hiding my dark circles, and thus (I guess) altering my appearance more so, but it still isn't overwhelming or obvious. I didn't get as much out of the Well-Rested Face and Eye Brightener, but that may just be because it's SO light that there was no visible difference after it had been applied (although maybe it's working it's magic beneath the surface?).