Dr.Hauschka Translucent Make-Up

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In my quest to clean up my beauty routine, I find that skincare has been easier than makeup. I think the key is that with skincare, we’re looking for results that ultimately benefit our skin which clean and green products provide but with makeup we’re mostly looking for the short term performance results, as long as our skin doesn’t get a bad reaction, I think a lot of us would opt for that holy grail non-green foundation over the alternative. My holy grail foundation at the end of the day is the Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation which gives that elusive barely perceptible your-skin-but-better look. It’s been challenging trying to find a cleaner formulated product as most foundations tend to be thicker/heavier and don’t wear as well throughout the day.

Enter Dr.Hauschka’s Translucent Make-up, a sheer coverage liquid foundation that simply enhances skins natural healthy complexion for a radiant, dewy glow. The pigment makeup is quite tinted, and I ended up using the lightest 00-shade even though I typically need one or two shades above the lightest with normal foundations.

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Despite a strong pigment, the coverage is very sheer so I wouldn’t recommend this as a foundation for those of you looking for something more concealing. I noticed that the formula applies very creamy and you only need a little. The scent is subtle but wonderful, not at all synthetic like most fragrances in foundations tend to be.

It’s rare for a cleanly formulated foundation to be light and high performance but thats exactly how I would describe this. Once it is applied onto skin, it feels very similar to a light tinted moisturizer in that your skin just feels very nourished without the feeling of added ‘weight’ that a lot of foundations can give. I truly felt that my skin could breathe under this. The results are subtle since this is a sheer coverage but it does what it says which is: enhance skin’s natural radiance and blend uneven pigmentation. I found that my skin looked refined, smoothed out, and had a natural luster without looking like I had makeup on my face. This is definitely something I will use regularly perhaps even in place of the Koh Gen Do foundation that I am so fond of.

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Now let’s discuss the clean formula – this product isn’t 100% clean by purist standards, it contains alcohol (does not specify if this is grain based which is much gentler), some fragrance enhancers that could potentially by irritants such as limonene and geraniol, titanium dioxide which some people have sensitivities to, and a sulfate.

Now onto the good part: this foundation is jam packed with nurturing essential oils including Macademia Seed, Avocado, Jojoba Seed, and Apricot Kernel, there are also botanical extracts including Carrot Root and Woundwort. The creamy texture is provided by shea butter, rose flower wax, and beeswax. These are all wonderfully rich ingredients that take care of the skin. You will rarely see this many good ingredients listed on the back of a foundation so I think it offsets the iffy-ingredients. If you don’t have any sensitivities to the ingredients, I definitely suggest you give this a try.

Dr.Hauschka Transculent Make-Up

(Reg. $36.95, Currently on-sale for $29.56 until 3/31)

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Full Coverage Foundation Review

I’ve talked about Tarte’s foundation before when I answered a tumblr message here. Tarte is one of those beauty companies that I consider similar to a makeup line equivalent of Origins – relatively expansive, try to use ‘better’ ingredients, moderately priced, found in similar distribution channels. 

Although I try mainly to discuss niche, high-end products on this blog, a good product is a good product and their Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Full Coverage Foundation is one that I’ve found myself picking up more and more. I tend to think of this as an alternative to the MakeupForever HD Foundation with skin-friendlier ingredients.

I use shade Light 04 – which is perfect for my slight yellow undertones. The box comes with the full ingredients list (SPF 15 actives are physical sunblocks, unfortunately for purists out there, this uses Titanium Dioxide), and I thought the features helped to make it stand out:

This really helps people pick in a busy store such as Sephora, the product is Cruelty Free, and has “Skinvigorating Ingredients” such as Hyaluronic Acid – a key skin plumper that draws moisture in, Vitamin E – an antioxidant that makes skin smooth, and Amazonian Clay which helps balance oily skin.

The foundation itself is housed in a plastic tube with wood top base which I thought was ‘charming’. It is different from the usual high-end foundations I’m used to such as the frosted glass from Koh Gen Do, but I can appreciate the durability of this packaging.

So right off the bat – my skin type as many of you know by now is sensitive, blemish prone- combination (oily to dry areas) – so I basically don’t have easy skin to work with. I found that this foundation was actually a great ‘balance’. I am able to wear this for around 6 hours without any issues or need for touch up, but I don’t think 12 hours on one application is achievable. I found that the foundation itself is not drying or oily at all, and balanced my skin nicely – but this is also because I’m experienced with knowing how much to put on based on the “weightiness” of the foundation. A few friends who have tried this foundation said it showed up dry patches or felt “heavy” and cakey. That’s the other thing – you don’t need that much of this foundation to achieve a decent medium coverage. 

A pea sized amount is suitable for giving a decent coverage, and you can build up afterwards on the trouble spots. The above is how much I use on my entire face for a “2nd skin with decent coverage” effect, using the Shiseido Perfect Foundation Brush. The foundation itself is best described as an airy cream. It is pretty light and blendable but definitely adequately pigmented. 

Once you blend out, you can see the texture is similar to a mousse foundation but it eventually blends nicely into your skin and just makes it look evenly toned and smooth:

This is definitely a good foundation for covering light scars, blemishes without making it look cakey. I’ve always been the type to wash my face as soon as I get home if I’m wearing makeup, and I sometimes just feel that this product is a little heavy on pores so I use the Vapour Organics Clarity Cleansing Oil  to remove all product before I use a normal cleanser. Afterward, I also douse my skin in YULI Panacea Elixir to make sure my pores are decongested and clear. I think this product really requires you to make sure your pores are clean otherwise it could potentially be a pore clogger with long term use – and my skin is just too sensitive to risk that happening.

For longer and more seemless wear, I also like to apply primer. I made the mistake of using Hourglass with my foundations during my initial foray into primers, but since then I’ve been careful to select primers that do not use silicones that clog skin (and break me out all over my forehead). Korres has a decent performer with their Vitamin E, Silicone Free Face Primer. It isn’t as “slick” as the common ones you’ll find from MAC, Nars, Hourglass due to the lack of silicone but I do notice that foundation spreads on better and lasts longer.

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Full Coverage Foundation and Korres Facial Primer both do not use parabens and are oil-free. However, this doesn’t mean they’re “clean & natural”. Instead of parabens, Tarte uses an actually large concentration of phenoxyethanol, another chemical preservative. Compared to foundations from Lancome, Dior, etc. the formula isn’t bad but just know that it has more similarities with those brand formulations than differences.

Overall, I have enjoyed using this as a quick and easy foundation to use. A little truly does go a long way. I think the best way to use this foundation is to only use a little, if you use more, the formula and clays might be a little “much”. For $38, this offers pretty good performance and is a good option for those of you looking to transition out of MAC and MUFHD.

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation ($38, Sephora)

 

Reader E-Mail: Full Coverage Foundation Recommendation

Hello Beauty Idealist,

I have regular breakouts and lots of redness. I currently use Make Up For Ever HD High Definition Foundation but I think it may be making my skin worse. Help! How can I hide my acne without giving myself even more acne?!

Sincerely,
Damned if you Do

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I LOVE receiving e-mails and having conversations with everyone. I can definitely relate to your situation, it truly is a damned if you do, damned if you don’t scenario! On the one hand a product like Make Up For Ever HD’s foundation truly does give full coverage for problem skin but on the other hand it is known to exacerbate the situation for many people. The ingredients list for MUFHD is a who’s who of skin irritants: silicones, PEG, petrols, parfum, etc. It is also just a really heavy product so while it hides a lot, your skin is also masked which isn’t healthy as skin needs to be able to breathe. While we’re on this page, you probably want to skip MAC Studio Fix as well.

To be honest with you, I’ve tried a lot of foundations from clean brands to varying levels of success but if your skin was anything like what mine was like when my skin was really bad, none of them will really work to cover everything. I can only give you the information I have, but I hope it is enough to help you make a clear decision on which product to try next, good luck!

Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation
($42, Sephora)

I’m sure we all are aware Laura Mercier isn’t a natural brand nor does it really try to be, but compared to MUFHD, it is substantially ‘lighter’ on the skin. The concentrations of silicones are slightly less than MUFHD while there are some ‘good’ things like Tea extracts. The primary reason it is on this list is because it provides long lasting coverage and really does conceal acne marks without making you feel like you have a heavy mask like foundation on your face. I think this might be a nice product to use sparingly and saved for major events where you only need to have this on for a few hours at most.

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation 
($38, Sephora

Not a product a purist site like No More Dirty Looks would get behind, but if you’re okay buying Make Up For Ever HD, this is a cleaner, better, formulated product. There are still ‘bad’ ingredients like silicones, PEGs, and phenoxyethanol, but it is free of parabens, petrochemicals, synthetic fragrance, and phthalates which are SO COMMON in most mainstream products. This is also cruelty free, just wanted to point that out since with mainstream products, a lot are unable to get this seal.

The best part of this foundation is that you only need a tiny dab of the clay-cream hybrid for medium coverage. My recommendation for full coverage is to first apply a thin layer with your fingers. Then use a foundation brush like Shiseido’s Foundation Brush (reviewed here) or Tarte’s own Airbrush Finish Bamboo Foundation brush to buff and distribute another layer for that flawless full coverage. This works to give skin full coverage while still maintaining a ‘natural’ not caked on appearance. Tarte’s foundation also feels lighter than MUFHD which at times can feel like a mask. In cooler weather, I found that I was able to wear the Tarte foundation for a full day without oxidation, while in warmer temperature sometimes I found that it did ‘melt’ off my face after about 6-8 hours. Overall a good, cleaner alternative.

 RMS Un-Coverup
($36, Spirit Beauty Lounge

This is a very cleanly formulated product that most pure-natural beauty lovers consider a cult product. It works as a concealer but I found that it is more a concealer-foundation hybrid. You can cover it over the areas that you think need a boost and it gives a wonderful degree of natural coverage. The formula is a nice creamy texture but for blemish prone skin, definitely ask for samples before buying because some people do say that it makes skin oily. I think the coconut oil and beeswax won’t do your skin any favors but if you are mainly looking for something clean – do look into this product, it might work for you.

Nvey Eco Creme Deluxe Flawless Foundation
($60, Spirit Beauty Lounge

At $60, I know this is quite a splurge, but this might be ever so slightly more suitable for your skin. There is also coconut oil and beeswax in here, but I think the concentration is less than RMS’s Un-Coverup product. You can really adjust the coverage with this foundation. For full coverage, apply with a foundation brush, add in concealer, then use a pressed powder puff to gently pat on another layer. The cream is a matte finish so it will not make you appear oily. I’ve been using this for the past two weeks and I have to say that it didn’t really un-balance my skin or give me breakouts. I did get the initial one or two bumps when I try new beauty products since my skin is still very prone to breaking out but they have since disappeared without turning into anything serious.

Vapour Organics Atmosphere Luminous Foundation
($34, Spirit Beauty Lounge

If there is any clean product that can compete with the silicone filled synthetic mainstream foundations in terms of performance, it is this Vapour Organics Foundation. It gives decent coverage without looking cakey. The only caution you should take is around any fine lines or creases as it can accentuate them (as can all stick foundations). The wear time for this foundation isn’t as long as all day foundations but thats because the formula is so pure, the good news is that re-applying is a breeze. The only ingredient in here that could be not bad for acne prone skin is the beeswax, but that is listed lower on the ingredients list than the other products on this list so there is less of it. I think of all foundations on the list, it might be the lightest coverage so some acne marks might still be visible, so I would suggest trying it out first and if you want slightly more coverage just use a concealer such as RMS’ Un-Coverup.
 

Product Review: Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation SPF15

I’ve written about Koh Gen Do’s Aqua Foundation on this blog before, but I wanted to dedicate a post to it as this has been my go-to summer foundation. I was first turned onto this through Emily Weiss of Intothegloss (watch the beautifully shot video here). I loved how buttery the texture looked and I loved even more how it blended in with the skin. I am not crazy about foundations that are too obvious or cakey, and I usually don’t take advice from beauty representatives who apply so much makeup you can’t really see their true skin- I feel like they have something to hide.

When I went to my local Barneys to try this product, I noticed these gorgeous girls stop by to pick up this foundation. They all had bright, even toned skin that looked natural and it was only after chatting with them that I learned they had Koh Gen Do on. The seemless, translucent, but improved skin effect is definitely what I want in my foundation. You know that Dolly Parton saying, “it takes a lot of money to look this cheap?”- I feel like with beauty, “it takes a lot of money to look this natural”. 

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Koh Gen Do is a Japanese cosmetics line that does both beauty and skincare. This foundation is said to have the perfect ratio (water, emollients, powder) to impart a glow that only healthy, moisturized skin can give off. In addition to this skin technology, they also use pure mineral water that balances ions on skin, and also delivers nutrients. Although many foundations claim to feature skin benefits, I feel like this actually kind of does what it says.

When I applied 2 pumps of this product to my face (the Rep advised using KGD’s own rubberized sponges) using just my hands, I noticed how quick it blended in without drying. It felt so light, almost like a light tinted moisturizer. Even at $62 a bottle, I knew I had to get it.

In my regular use, I’ve noticed that although it is a very light, near sheer foundation, it greatly improves the subtle look of skin to give you a glow that only comes from being well rested. My skin just looks healthier while maintaining a very natural appearance. In the summer heat, I’ve noticed the light texture is especially favorable as it doesn’t melt off or get messy over my face. It also did not dry or make my skin oily which some foundations do (Lancome Teint Idole dries me out so much). Although this isn’t a full coverage foundation, it does last for a substantial amount of time, if you aren’t too active, you can easily get 6-7 hours out of it which is perfect for dinner and a night out.

Additional tip: The women at Barneys recommended using KGD’s Oriental Plants Skin Lotion Spray to help set the foundation and impart dewiness. I agree that using a mist takes the foundation to another level but the Oriental Plants Skin Lotion Spray had too many not-clean ingredients for me as well as lots of alcohol derivatives. I substituted that for YULI’s Panacea Elixir which uses organic and wild grown botanicals and flower hydrosols. Not only did it do the job of imparting dewiness, but it also literally makes my skin better with its fresh, bioactives. And at $36 for 3oz versus $22 for 1.7oz, I was getting a better deal for a better, cleaner formulated product. 

Current Favorite Products

Starting my 1st post off with my current favorites (which, as you will get to know me, changes every week)

KGD

Current Foundation: Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation SPF15/PA++

A deliciously smooth foundation from Koh Gen Do ($62, sephora.com) that is perfect for spring/summer. This light foundation goes on with medium coverage to add that ‘perfection’ without the caked on makeup look. I love that hydration is delivered through seawater minerals and botanicals. Putting it on makes me feel like I’m doing something good for my skin and not just covering it up. It stays throughout the day, but I would definitely remove and start with a clean face for re-application between day & night.

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Current Primer: Chantecaille Ultra Sun Protection SPF50 PA+++

Love the Chantecaille line, which boasts botanicals and naturals. This primer not only delivers a smooth base for your foundation, but also protects skin with SPF50. It also reverses damage and aging caused by sugar-metabolism, which is very interesting. I’m not sure if I noticed any anti-aging but I was thrilled to use this as a primer. It went on very very light, and absorbed easily without giving my skin any trouble. Also love the metal tube, great to put into my bag for flights

Current lipstick: Guerlain Shine Automatique ($35, neimanmarcus.com)

Guerlain is one of my favorite brands. I first fell in love with their foundations, but as they are a little heavy for me, I’ve started playing with other products in their line. The Shine Automatique is beautiful. It is creamy, decadent, and hydrating. It adds shine to lips through pearl infused particles so it is rather discreet. I found this to be the perfect level for me where it was enough to stand out from a being a flat color, but wasn’t distracting at the gym (yes I put lipstick on even when I walk to the gym). The tube is gorgeous and I love digging it out of my bag.

That’s it for now, next post- the cleansers I have on rotation!