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Beauty editors far and wide sing the praises of Kevyn Aucoin’s cult-favorite, The Sensual Skin Enhancer. Naturally full-coverage, we usually recommended blending it with moisturizer or primer to give it a more sheer application. Not anymore. The folks at Kevyn Aucoin just answered our prayers, (and years of constant nagging) when they introduced the sheer coverage Sensual Skin Tinted Balm, $48 this month (available online soon). With the gorgeous velvety finish of the Enhancer (but more translucent), and the botanicals and peptides of a BB cream, it’s just what we’ve been waiting for. The Tinted Balm blends in easily and let’s my slight freckles peek through. It’ll be my weekend foundation go-to. And the packaging is über fabulous, with a silicone front that allows you to squeeze out just the right amount of product. The only downside? The shade range is slightly limited with only four options.
Reader Question: I’m looking for a new tinted moisturizer for the summer, but I’ve heard a lot about BB Creams. Should I try one? – Courtney
The Answer: Yes, yes, and yes! BB Creams (short for beauty or blemish balm) are kind of the same, but better than a tinted moisturizer because they are packed full of skin treatments and antioxidants. A multi-tasker’s dream. They basically act as a skin brightener, tone evener, moisturizer, anti-ager, sunscreen, primer and tinted moisturizer all in one. Seriously good stuff, right? They’ve been all the rage in Asia for years and are finally catching on — or blowing up, really — in the US because of the amazing skin benefits and coverage. We love Clinique Age Defense BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30, $37 for it’s sheer coverage and broad spectrum sun protection. Lucky for you, they are hitting the market faster than we can keep track. Here are more of our favorites:
Do you already know about BB creams? Would you try one?
– Carrie Stern Kleiner
As summer approaches, the beauty editor in me gets more and more giddy. It’s half because I was really inspired by the fresh makeup looks I spied backstage at the spring 2012 fashion shows and half because there’s something so liberating about ditching the full-coverage foundations and bright blushes I used to brighten my mood (and complexion) in the dreary winter months. Here are makeup swaps I’m happily making for summer. I hope they get you psyched too.
Practically every makeup look on the spring 2012 runways started with youthful-looking and glowing skin — especially at Alexander Wang. So I’ve already swapped my beloved Georgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, $59, for a lighter tinted moisturizer that will let my skin breathe in the New York heat. I recently fell in love with Aveda Inner Light Mineral Tinted Moisture, $28 for it’s sheer, natural look, but also for the fact that it stays on longer than most. Because a tinted moisturizer doesn’t offer up enough coverage to disguise my dark under-eye circles, I’m also using concealer.
My favorite application trick: Apply tinted moisturizer before concealer, so you can really see where and how much coverage you need. It’ll prevent your face from looked caked with makeup — something you definitely want to avoid come summer. Try Neutrogena 3-in-1 Concealer for Eyes, $8, which also contains SPF 20 to protect your delicate eye area — bonus!
Beauty Swap No. 2: Pink Blush for a Liquid Luminizer/Bronzer Combo
I totally dig the fresh, radiant faces seen at The Row’s spring 2012 show. All winter I dusted (and probably over-dusted) Nars Blush in Sex Appeal, $28, on the apples of my cheeks — it made me feel cheery and bright. But, now that I’m ready to look more beachy, I’ll be using this tip I picked up years ago: Mix a dot of liquid bronzer (I heart Laura Mercier Bronzing Gel, $38) with a dab of luminizer or highlighting liquid (try Stila All Over Liquid Luminizer, $20) on the back of your hand. Tap it right along the top of your cheekbones. It gives me a (faux) sun-kissed glow that looks totally natural.
Monochromatic bronze shades are not only easy (multi-tasking, anyone?), but using the same shade family on your eyes and cheeks is also totally on-trend. We saw the look at Diane von Furstenberg, Narciso Rodriguez and Alexander McQueen. So, I’m ditching my metallic shadows like DuWop Crush 18 Carat, $18, and instead sweeping my go-to bronzer Nars Bronzing Powder in Casino, $34 on my eyes from lashlines to creases. This trick ensures a natural look that works for day or night.
Full brows made a big statement at the Proenza Schouler and Derek Lam shows, so instead of worry about keeping my brows perfectly groomed, like I usually do, I’m going to let them grow out. To keep them tamed, I’ll use a clear brow gel, like Ardell Sculpting Gel for Brows in Clear, $4. I know, not touching your brows with tweezers sounds like crazy-talk, but I promise, after you get used to it, you’ll fall in love with the natural shape of your brows — I did. Also, a bold brow looks super chic when paired with a soft neutral lip, so don’t go crazy with the rest of your makeup if you have dark, look-at-me brows.
Lightening up my lipstick situation has been a welcome change — one I’ve been waiting for since I spied the prettiest petal pinks at the Carolina Herrera fashion show. That’s why I’ll be stashing my matte bold lip colors for a washed-out pink that looks like a stain when dabbed on gently with a fingertip. My new go-to: Laura Mercier Cremé Lip Colour in Rose, $24. If you want a product you can just swipe on quick, go for the It Cosmetics Vitality Lip Flush 4-in-1 Reviver in Je Ne Sais Quoi, $20. It’s a stain, lip balm, lip stick and gloss in one.
What products are you looking forward to using this summer?
— Carrie Stern Kleiner
Main image: Style.com
I spent the weekend catching up with my cousin’s wife Sascha who is a vegetarian and sustainable life-leading goddess. One of those natural beauties you secretly hate because you wish you were born with her features (yes, that’s her pictured above). But, she’s not the bare-faced beauty you’d expect, well, not all the time anyway. She loves to play with makeup for dressed-up occasions like a wedding. We actually attended one together on Sunday where she sported a bronzy eye and deep burgundy lip color that could have rocked any red carpet.
But, earlier in the day when we were chatting over beet salads before our night out, she asked me which brands I thought made great natural makeup products. She has skin care items she loves, but makeup was a different story. She likes Urban Decay for their vegan ways, but wanted additional options. Here are the ones I suggested to her — along with a few more that I thought of after our conversation ended …
Korres: Try the Korres Lip Butter, $12 (it’s petrolatum free and made of shea butter, rice wax and other natural oils) and Korres Eyeliner Pencil, $16 (which has a 100 percent natural base with added herbs and vitamins).
Josie Maran: Try the Josie Maran Argan Bronzing Powder, $30 (it excludes fragrance and parabens and comes in a biodegradable compact).
Physicians Formula: Although this drugstore brand makes non-natural products, they have a good handful of 100 percent (or close to it) natural origin products. Try the Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Tinted Moisturizer, $11.95. (Along with SPF 15 this is formulated with 80 percent certified organic ingredients like jojoba seed oil, avocado oil and shea butter.)
Raw Natural Beauty: Try the Raw Natural Beauty Native Essence Pure Pigment Cheek Color, $26 (it’s free of chemical dyes, chemical preservatives and fragrance).
Jane Iredale: Try the Jane Iredale PurePressed Eye Shadow, $19 (the mineral powder is free of oil, talc, FD&C dyes, synthetic preservatives, parabens and fragrance, and it’s PETA-approved).
EcoTools: I recently waxed poetic about the EcoTools brushes, but I didn’t mention that Alicia Silverstone has her own branded sets of these tools, too. I know Sascha would love this due to her Clueless obsession. The EcoTools by Alicia Silverstone Brush Set & Bag, $16.99 includes a blush, foundation, powder and eyeshadow brush along with a brow brush/lash comb. They have bamboo handles, recycled aluminum ferrules (the thingy that holds the bristles and handle together) and cruelty-free talon bristles. The included makeup bag is made of natural hemp and a recycled PET lining.
Are you into living and beautifying naturally? I’d love to know, so tell me by commenting on this post.
The Product: Coola Mineral Face Tint SPF 20, $36
Why: Yesterday I ran in a Fourth of July 5K “race” — at 7am. Needless to say that I didn’t put much effort into my hair and makeup. I tossed my hair into a ponytail and threw on a red hat. But because I’m vain (aren’t we all?), I had to do something quickly to even out my skin tone. I have quite a few sun spots — and I’m not talking cute freckles. These are ugly, I’m-aging-and-these-are-proof spots. That’s when I grabbed this skin-protecting, tinted moisturizer. A ton of brands make these now, but I’ve tried many (Laura Mercier, Aveeno, Bobbi Brown, etc., etc.) and because I am fair but not super duper fair, it has been very challenging for me to find a formula that blends perfectly with my skin tone and offers enough coverage to make it worth using one of these over a basic SPF moisturizer sans the tint.
Well, this tube meets both criteria and it contains only chemical-free sunscreen ingredients (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) in addition to cocoa butter, grape seed extract and black tea (the last two both help fend off aging). And, it has a lovely scent (thanks to the “rose essence”) and is free of parabens to boot.
I slathered it on quickly and bolted out the door looking a little more put together.
Do you have a fave beauty product that’s helped solve one of your recent problems? Tell me about it — by commenting on this post.