How to achieve the million dollar eye with a handful of Benefit products

Let's mix things up a bit

Let's mix things up a bit

I think it's safe to assume a few of you out there on Instagram enjoyed an impromptu image I posted yesterday of Benefits' The Porefessional, Fake Up, Ooh La Lift and Boi-ing!

In the name of beauty and general curiosity, let's breakdown Benefit's million dollar eye.

Swatches (from left to right): The Porefessional, Ooh La Lift, Fakeup in Medium, and Laura Mercier's Secret Concealer

Swatches (from left to right): The Porefessional, Ooh La Lift, Fakeup in Medium, and Laura Mercier's Secret Concealer

Here's what you'll need (equal parts).. 

  • A primer (The Porefessional) to help smooth any fine lines, and wrinkles,
  • An eye brightener/highligher (Ooh La Lift) to illuminate the eye area,
  • A hydrating concealer (Fakeup), and,
  • An industrial strength concealer (Boi-ing!), time to bring the big guns.

Feel free to use what you already own; I swapped Boi-ing! for Laura Mercier's Secret Concealer.

Tip: Depending on how much coverage you wish to achieve or for those who are budget-conscious, skip one of the concealers. 

Using your fingers or a concealer brush, combine the products, and mix them together until they reach an even finish. Next, take a small amount of product, and draw an inverted triangle within the under eye area. The points of the base should match up evenly with the corners of your eyes, whereas the apex will hit the tops of the cheeks.

So, what's up with the upside down triangle? The inner half works to conceal, whereas the outer half lifts and highlights. I went with an equilateral triangle as my cheeks are fairly defined, but feel free to make your triangle slightly more acute to accentuate your cheekbones further. That said, I wouldn't bring the apex of the triangle down as far as the end of your nose. 

Before: no makeup

Before: no makeup

The image above is about as bad as it gets - pre-makeup, ruddy cheeks, pigmentation, blech.

If you draw your attention to the right side of the image, you'll notice I've lightly painted on the "triangle of happiness," the gateway to perked up eyes. On the left side of the image I've blended, and buffed the triangle to soften the lines.

A little makeup really goes a long way.

After

After

Don't feel like playing makeup bartender? Check out YSL's Touche Eclat, Maybelline's Dream Lumi Highlighting Concealer, or Bare Minerals' Stroke of Light Eye Brightener.

Now, kick those under eye circles to the curb. 

*This is not a sponsored post, however PR samples (The Porefessional) were provided –  Thoughts and ramblings written here are completely my own.

My love/hate relationship with liquid foundation

Liquid foundation has always proven to be treacherous territory for me. The difficulty with pinpointing the perfect formula and colour can be downright intimidating. Then there's the recipe: primer versus no primer, concealing, highlighting, to bronze or not to bronze, contouring and blush all while avoiding the dreaded mask line. 

Give me a second, I need to catch my breath.

For years now powder has been my friend, because in all honesty liquid foundation scares the crap out of me. When it comes to powder foundation the guesswork is minimal and it's wicked easy to apply. The thing is when your skin is combination to dry, both pressed and loose powder magnifies flaky bits and well, that isn't cute on anyone. 

So I did my homework, watched loads of videos and picked two liquid foundations I thought could work for me.

Taking the good with the bad, let's start with the dud first.

Laura Mercier's Foundation Primer (left) and Silk Creme Foundation (right)

Laura Mercier's Foundation Primer (left) and Silk Creme Foundation (right)

Swatch of Laura Mercier's Silk Creme Foundation in Creamy Ivory

Swatch of Laura Mercier's Silk Creme Foundation in Creamy Ivory

On workday mornings I really don't like to muck about with my makeup, I'm more of a swipe on and go kind of gal and I can't afford any surprises. When Laura Mercier's Silk Creme Foundation proved difficult in the application department I had no qualms sticking it in the 'to bin' pile. Then I thought about the expense and took a different approach, so I binned the sponge instead and grabbed my favourite foundation brush to do the dirty work.

Wearing  Laura Mercier's Silk Creme Foundation in Creamy Ivory

Wearing Laura Mercier's Silk Creme Foundation in Creamy Ivory

The immediate result was just what I was after, read: smooth and natural. As the day wore on, however, my skin appeared mottled and slightly tortured.

Envision a safe haven for a million miniature, milk filled saucers. The primer and the foundation both failed to keep my skin covered and opted to pool within each individual pore. Yikes!

Can I bin it now?

Because I always take the less is more approach with makeup, I looked to other like-minded bloggers and virtually shopped their stash and walked away with a goodie. Say hello to Make Up For Ever's HD Foundation

Make Up For Ever's HD Foundation in shade 118

Make Up For Ever's HD Foundation in shade 118

Swatches of  Make Up For Ever's HD Foundation in shade 118 - blended (left) and unblended (right)

Swatches of Make Up For Ever's HD Foundation in shade 118 - blended (left) and unblended (right)

In terms of consistency Make Up Forever's HD Foundation resembles Chanel's Perfection Lumiere Velvet Smooth-Effect, it sheers out just as well as Laura Mercier's Silk Creme Foundation, yet manages to stay put all damn day.

Wearing Make Up Forever's HD Foundation in shade 118

Wearing Make Up Forever's HD Foundation in shade 118

Make Up Forever's HD Foundation for me is the gateway to clearer looking skin without masking the stray freckle, I really don't mind them. Classified as medium to full coverage, HD Foundation tidies things up quite nicely with minimal effort and I can do it all with a single pump of product. To finish things off, I set my makeup with Chanel's Vitalumiere Loose Powder Foundation.

Semi-related side note: Sephora + Pantone's magical Color IQ gizmo really works. The sales associate captured images of my skin in three different places (forehead, cheekbone and jawline), applied a bit of math by averaging the swatches and spat out 2Y06. If you're unable to get matched in store, but have a bottle at home in a shade you really love you can also find your match online -- just make sure Sephora stocks the brand in question. Go on, give it a whirl.

Saturday night is alright

Getting my daily dose of Vitamin D

Getting my daily dose of Vitamin D

Here's a look at what I'm wearing this evening.

  • Lips: Dior's Fluid Stick in Pandore (applied for the first time today); review to follow
  • Cheeks: Becca's Damselfly 
  • Eyes: NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadow in Himalia and Clinique's Lash Power Mascara

Oh and I'm testing Laura Mercier's Silk Creme Foundation and Mineral Primer, too.

Got any special plans on this fine weekend?

I've got you covered: Laura Mercier's Smooth Finish Powder Foundation in shade 06

Laura Mercier's Smooth Finish Powder Foundation

Laura Mercier's Smooth Finish Powder Foundation

Recently, I hit the pan of Jane Iredale's Pressed Mineral Powder, so I took it as a sign to try something new.

At first, it started out rocky -- the finish and coverage was ok at best, appeared powdery and was slightly difficult to blend.  By mid-week we hit our stride, product was laying down easily, my oiliness was visibly reduced and it wasn't clear if I was concealing anything at all. 

Success! 

Shade 06

Shade 06

Swatch of Laura Mercier's Smooth Finish Powder Foundation in shade 06

Swatch of Laura Mercier's Smooth Finish Powder Foundation in shade 06

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Laura Mercier's Smooth Finish Powder replaces the much-loved Foundation Powder -- Rabid fans, give her newest foundation time and understanding, things will take a turn for the better, I promise!

Here's what you can expect from the Smooth Finish Foundation Powder.. 

".. offers a natural veil that imparts a color-true finish that lasts up to eight hours. It glides on effortlessly, camouflages, hydrates, and blurs fine lines, never settling into them. Ultra fine micronized pigments flex with skin for coverage that is even and flawless. Use it as a sheer to medium powder or build coverage using it wet."

Normally, I don't like messing with my skin's harmony in fear of poking the beast that is my rosacea. Thankfully, my skin has remained clear, calm and hydrated. 

In terms of appearance, Shade 06 is a "medium beige with yellow undertones." I truly took a punt with selecting this shade, but I feel as though it appears to be a match (made in heaven).

 

Wearing Shade 06

Wearing Shade 06

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To apply, I like using my Bare Escentuals Flawless Application Face Brush, because I find the bristles do a good job of agitating the product -- this disruption aids with picking up more, I really hate the back and forth (pan>face>pan>face). Once I've finished applying the rest of my makeup, I like to set my look with Avene's Thermal Spring Water.

The only negative thing I can say about Laura Mercier's Smooth FInish Powder Foundation is the size of the pan, it's too small diameter-wise. Although it might be deeper, I would rather trade that depth in for more real estate.

The Bagful breakdown:

Total amount for Laura Mercier's Smooth Finish Powder Foundation:

  • $59.00 AUS (Hits Aussie shelves this September) / $45.00 USD

Value for money spent (performance and quality):

  • 9 out of 10 bags — make the pan bigger, please.

Would another purchase be on the horizon?:

 

*PR sample provided –  Thoughts and ramblings written here are completely my own.