Thursday, May 31, 2012

Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation...Swatches and Review

Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation in BE-1 and OC-2...a perfect pairing.

The Japanese brand, Koh Gen Do (pronounced, "Cope Get Dough") features a variety of innovative, high definition foundations to suit every need.  While I have tried most of them, including the Moisture Foundation (in #123), Aqua Foundation, Triple Lightning Foundation (in BE-1 and OC-2) and Maifanshi Powder (and intend to share swatches and reviews soon!), this post focuses on the Aqua Foundation, which, in comparison with popular Maifanshi Moisture Foundation, is more liquid and sheerer in texture.  

Whenever I take pictures of product outside, Jethro gets madly curious and must stand in front of the lens!

According to the Koh Gen Do website...

Aqua Foundation is made with the deep sea waters of Rausu, Japan.
It balances the conditions of ions on the skin surface with rich minerals and nutrients.These minerals are close in composition of the human body which makes it easier to absorb and moisturize efficiently.

True ‘luster’ can only be seen on skin that is brimming with moisture. We achieved the proper balance of moisture to bring you this truly lustrous look. The golden ratio of 45% water, 35% emollients, and 20% powder combined for the perfect balance. Too much moisture does not provide coverage. Our goal was to create a beautiful lustrous skin with a translucent finish with enough coverage, even throughout the long, harsh film shots.

The effective use of light is crucial for a beautiful skin. Especially uneven surfaces that cannot be covered with makeup are mostly erased by light effects. We focused on the unique Strobe Illuminator formula with RGB Powder Technology.
Silicons and polarizing pearl pigments used in makeup emit light that are unnatural. In the studios when shooting, this will create shades of pores. Covering your skin surface with a film of light will bring you the natural translucent look.
The RGB Powder Technology uses the effect of the RGB color model (additive primary color model). Having this effect, in other words covering your skin with this thin translucent layer, will minimize pores and imperfections for that satin-smooth skin… under any light.

Sounds magical, right?

The Aqua Foundation features 1.01 ounces of product housed within a frosted glass bottle with a pump.

I love that this foundation does not contain fragrance, mineral oils sulfates or parabens while still providing SPF protection!

The sheerness yet buildability of the foundation enables it to be applied with a brush, sponge or even your fingers.

BE-1 is suitable for NC 20 skin with yellow undertones.
I first ordered OC-2 last summer when my skin was around an NC 30.  It has a lovely golden undertone! 
I own the KGD Aqua Foundation in BE-1 and OC-2...I originally ordered OC-2, which was great for my NC 30 summertime skin and later purchased BE-1 which is considerably lighter in tone thereby working well in the winter.  The Aqua Foundation has sheer to medium coverage and a luminous finish (think, Giorgio Armani's Luminous Silk with slightly better coverage and lasting power).  Even though this foundation retails for $62, thereby making it quite an investment, I love that I own two shades, which allows me endless mixing possibilities to suit my needs all year long.

While it is sheerer than other foundations I use regularly (By Terry Cover Expert and Rouge Bunny Rouge Milk Aquarelle), I prefer it when I seek lighter coverage and a glowy look.  Currently, with my late-spring skin, I mix one pump of BE-1 with one pump of OC-2 for a perfect NC 25 shade with golden undertones.  I first apply the Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Makeup Color Base Primer in yellow and then use my Sephora Airbrush to blend the Aqua Foundation into my skin.  I don't usually set this with powder, but may use some Sunday Riley Pressed Powder in #125 as a touch up about halfway through the day.

It has coverage sufficient enough to even my skin tone and conceal any minor imperfections, while still remaining light enough to look like basically real (albeit, refined) skin.  It is scent free, lasts about 8 hours (with primer) and my sensitive skin has had no negative reactions!

Side by side...BE-1 and OC-2.

The challenge with Koh Gen Do foundations in general is to get an accurate color match...unless you live near a Barney's or the Sephora in NYC, you simply must guess what is the best shade for your skin (and the shade descriptions online are not stellar, I might add!).  The images below feature some popular shades for reference.  

The PK shades are definitely suited to those with rosier/pinker undertones and the BE (at this point, there is only one BE) and OC (OC 1, 2, and 3) shades cater to those with yellow/golden undertones.  I like to think of BE-1 as the "great neutralizer" since it neutralizes redness and is also a utilitarian offset for foundations that, at some point in the year, may be too dark on their own.  PK-3 is a newer shade (released earlier this year) and tends to lean more towards a true light-to-medium beige with neutral undertones (as opposed to obviously pink or yellow undertones).

A mixture of equal parts BE-1 and OC-2 on the face in outdoor lighting.  This was picture was taken at the end of a long day of lasts for well over 8 hours with primer, but does get a bit "glowy" with time!

A mixture of equal parts BE-1 and OC-2 freshly applied in indoor lighting.  Note the more matte finish that comes with a fresh application.  I am also wearing a bit of Rouge Bunny Rouge Bronzer in Netherway Cove and the Spring 2012 Laura Mercier Lip Print in Nude Pink with a dollop of Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Orange Tulip (fast becoming a new favorite!)

Bottom Line:  Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation, which comes in eight shades, offers SPF 15 protection and sheer to medium buildable coverage that gets more luminous as the day goes on.  It can be applied with a brush, sponge or even fingers and seems to just "melt" into the skin after a few moments, making its texture virtually imperceptible to the naked eye.  The science, quality and innovation behind this foundation make it a worthy contender!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Rouge Bunny Rouge Feline Gaze in Salome

As promised, here is a quick review for Rouge Bunny Rouge Feline Gaze Eye Khol in Salome.  Retailing for a reasonable $20, this pure black eye pencil promises to be...

A darkly elegant seductive feline? A mystical flower-of-the-hour doe-eyed beauty? A deliciously sinful sultry almond-eyed goddess? Be pure temptation itself, as you purringly write your own manifesto with this eye pencil that adorns you. So soft that it almost melts on application, but will stay put day or night, inviting closer inspection... dancing in the memory of those who met you long after you've left the room and inviting all manner of thoughts.

Salome is a jet black eye pencil that requires traditional sharpening with regular use.

I am shocked by how long I can go between sharpenings...even with daily use (on my lower waterline), I only need to sharpen it once every two weeks or so.

Salome is a jet black that applies smoothy without dragging or pulling.  It is so creamy and long wearing!

Salome on the upper and lower waterlines.  A beautiful natural black that really stays put.

Bottom Line: I am beyond pleased with my selection...RBR Salome is a potent black that makes eye pop in a sophisticated way.  It is creamy, long lasting and completely utilitarian thereby earning a permanent home in my makeup bag.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Rouge Bunny Rouge Love Trick...Not All Glosses Are Created Equal

Here is a brief overview of Rouge Bunny Rouge Gleaming Temptations Lip Gloss in Love Tricks for this beautiful Monday.  I received this particular gloss as a gift with purchase with my rather hefty order at Beauty Habit earlier this month and couldn't be more pleased.  Often, "gifts with purchase" are obscure colors and rarely what I would pick out for myself.  Love Tricks challenges this status quo by being a very flattering, wearable light pink.

Retailing for $24, Love Tricks is described as a sheer pale lilac mauve with a fine milky-white opalescence.  This is a fairly accurate description though I would say that some might just call it a really pretty pink gloss!  According to the Beauty Habit website, the RBR Gleaming Temptations Lip Gloss...

All Rouge Bunny Rouge glosses are anti oxidant and anti-aging with the addition of Vitamin E. Depending on the formula; these temptations hydrate, nourish and regenerate with a cocktail of botanical goodies such as Sesame, Neem and Boswellia Oils; Lotus Flower Extract, Gingko Biloba, Green Tea.

Rouge Bunny Rouge Gleaming Temptations Lip Gloss in Love Tricks.

I found Love Tricks to be suprisingly not sticky while still having decent lasting power.  Additionally, I got one for my mom and she asked me if this gloss had any plumping properties because she noticed that her lips appeared fuller...that is never a bad thing. The hydration power of this gloss is remarkable and its smoothness makes it a joy to apply!

Love Tricks is a sparkling pink with complex silver shimmer and a slightly lavender undertone.

Rouge Bunny Rouge Gleaming Temptations Gloss in Love Tricks alone on lips.

Bottom Line: The Rouge Bunny Rouge Gleaming Temptations Gloss in Love Tricks is a unique and delightful pink gloss that looks fetching alone or in combination with other lip color.   It features the best that lip gloss can deliver...saturated color, hydration and a luminous non-sticky finish!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

FOTD Featuring Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation

Quick FOTD for this windy sunny I am wrapping up semester grades at home, I thought it would be a great time to try my newly procured Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation  in 6.5 which is for light/medium skin with yellow undertones.  It is designed to be long lasting, provide medium coverage and mimic the finish and look of natural skin which sounds amazing, but I needed to do a commitment-free test drive at home in case it doesn't quite live up to its purported properties.  Few things are worse than being stuck out all day with a foundation "fail!"

I applied Skin Base with my Sephora Airbrush (which is my favorite foundation brush, hands down) and found that it, even in direct sunlight, does indeed perfect skin while still looking natural and believable.  The shade match is also spot on and in the same vein as other foundations I love (swatched HERE, HERE and HERE).  I plan on using this product for a few more days before crafting a proper review but am happy with the results thus far.

In addition to the Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation, I am also wearing:

1.  Rouge Bunny Rouge Bronzing Powder in Netherway Cove, 
3. Anastasia Brow Duo in Brunette (review to come soon!)
**Being at home today means no eye makeup necessary!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Beauty Blog Coalition Weekly Roundup for Friday 5/25/12

Behold, a collection of posts from the finest beauty blogs on the Internet!  Read on and enjoy...

--Beauty Professor 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Has blush ever mystified you? Retrodiva takes a look at some tips and techniques to make sure your blush is perfect for you. 

Is the skin around your nails in bad shape? Would you do anything to fix it? Jessika from polish insomniac shows you her latest Holy Grail item - but would you spend that much $$$? 

BlushingNoir has gone on a Revlon Swatch-A-ThonClick to see 70 products from Revlon used in eye looks, as well as swatched and reviewed!

The Lacquered Lady shares with us her best tips for staying beautiful and confident this summer. What will be her number one tip?

Glitter.Gloss.Garbage shows off swatches of theBalm palette

Beauty Info Zone can't get enough of Eyeko Skinny Brush mascara. Both Marcia and Lisa are in love!

Phyrra shows you her newest lust, the Sugarpill Heart Breaker quad. She compares it to some of her other favorite shadows, too! 

 Lola from lola's secret beauty blog has rediscovered just how much she loves the Hakuhodo Kokutan M & MLL eye shadow brushes - they are gorgeous, effective, and joyous to use! 

The Beauty Professor shares three luxury beauty products that effortlessly take you from Spring to Summer…it is time to glow! 

 Laura from My Newest Addiction Beauty Blog is hosting a giveaway for Minerals Mate, a handy tray for mixing and applying any form of makeup! 

OPI, ORLYs and Color Clubs, Oh my! Confessions of a Sarcastic Mom is co-sponsoring a super awesome fantastic giveaway! 

The Stepford Witch swatches and reviews a lovely cream cheek product from The Face Shop. 

The Crumpet started a 66 day Summer Nail Challenge going all the way through to September. Take a peek or join in! 

Perilously Pale shares with us the complete set of four new limited edition Rouge d'Armani lip glosses from the Armani Beauty Summer 2012 collection. 

Spontaneous Chick posted five MoroccainOil reviews

Curls N Pearls is all kinds of inspired by Miley's gorgeous look at the Billboard Music Awards, reminiscent of Brigitte Bardot. 

The Pink Sith broke up with her old eye primer in order to start a romance with LORAC Behind The Scenes Eye Primer. Her new love. 

Hello Dollface wants to know: do you want perfect hair? Get it with these products from Matrix

 Love free stuff? How about a free L'Occitaine facial…and a giveaway for your own Angelica Instant Hydration Mask? BeautyXpose has you covered. 

 Looking for an amazing summer neon polish? Nails and Noms shows us this great set of minis from the Orly Feel The Vibe Collection

 Mally Beauty claims that her Face Defender is so amazing, you'll never need to powder your face again. Check out Erin from Scandalous Beauty's verdict. 

Miss L found out if Mavala Eye-Lite Double Lash Night Treatment makes your lashes thicker and longer in 30 days. 

Prime Beauty finds a less expensive alternative to her beloved WEN Cleansing Conditoner with the Marc Anthony Oil of Morocco Argan Oil Collection in her latest Splurge v.s. Steal! 

 Mina Slater from Fabulous Awesomeness swatches Pretty In Pink color-changing nail polish by Del Sol

BeautyJudy reviews the Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask, and finds the best way to describe the experience is like this: gentle, soft Pop Rocks for your face.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Three Luxury Beauty Products to Effortlessly Take You from Spring to Summer

As the weather grows warmer, our need for beauty products that reflect this seasonal shift becomes undeniable.  There is something so uplifting, invigorating and summertime chic about a shimmery eye, glowing skin and a pinky peach lip. 

While all of our budgets may not be able to support the procurement of a collection of high-end cosmetics for every season, there are a few key products--three to be exact--that will infuse a sense of summertime luxury into your regular routine.  Even better, these products can be used year-round so your investment is a wise one!

The first product is the Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eye Shadow in #15Retailing for $32, this bronze-meets-copper cream shadow brightens up any skin tone with light reflecting golden flecks, and features a virtually crease-free texture.  I apply this with a brush in the early morning before a full day of lecturing and it is still going strong 10 hours later.  The shimmery effect is warm, inviting and definitely screams summer (although I love to wear it year-round)!

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Eyeshadow #15 alone on lids.

Glowing skin can be achieved through an ultra-healthy diet, an expensive facial or a week’s vacation on a tropical island. Luckily, for the rest of us, there’s the Edward Bess All Over Seduction in “Sunlight."Housed in a tiny compact and retailing for $38, this little case of liquid light yields the illumination we crave in the warmer months.  I like to use my ring finger to gently sweep it across my brow bones, upper cheekbones, down the center of my nose and dotted on my Cupid’s bow.  The highlighting ability of this product is simply exceptional and warm weather sunshine seems to exponentially increase its power.

Almost everyone can get away with a shiny pinky-peach lip and the spring and summertime call for it!  Retailing for $44, By Terry’s Terrybly Shine Lip Gloss in #2 “Honeymoon Kiss” offers a quintessential glaze that is both youthful and sophisticated as well as perfectly suited for the spring and summer months.  Though $44 can sound like a small fortune to spend on a single lip product, this multitasking gem earns its keep; it is lovely when worn alone (see images), but also enhances other lip color options (when worn as a top coat) by adding reflective shine, depth and moisturizing properties.  Honeymoon Kiss is always in my purse, bringing a cheerful and brilliant energy to the day.

By Terry Gloss Terrybly in Honeymoon Kiss alone on the lips.

 That’s it…three luxury products which bear endless possibilities, bringing you up to date for spring and summer, then subsequently carrying you through the entire year, all for less than $115!  Decidedly more pocketbook-friendly than a “procedure” or a lengthy trip abroad…what are you waiting for?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Face of the Day...Happy and Serious

Long week...finals, grading, editing, reviewing, conference calls, field trips and finishing a newspaper edition with my journalism staff...and it is only Tuesday.  In light of the madness, I wanted to share a quick FOTD (face of the day)!  More reviews (RBR Bronzer in Netherway's looking at you) imminently on their way as soon as I get out from under this "virtual" (thank you, ever-present laptop) pile of paper.

In these photos, I am wearing...

2. Rouge Bunny Rouge Bronzer in Netherway Cove
4. Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Shadow in #15 
6. Rouge Bunny Rouge Feline Gaze Eyeliner in Salome
7. Anastasia Brow Duo in Brunette
9. Butter London Lippy in Teddy Girl 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Some Enchanted Evening...Deborah Lipmann Knows How to Do Glitter

Very rarely do I do posts on nail polish, not because I don't like it, but because my tastes in this department are simple, and I usually reserve varnish only for my toes (as seen HERE) in order to preserve the health of the nails on my hands.  Every once in a while, however, a unique color calls to me...such was the case with Deborah Lippmann's Some Enchanted Evening.  I bought this color as a part of a trio at Nordstrom's near Christmastime in 2010 and, upon most recent check, it still seems available on Amazon.  

Some Enchanted Evening is a glitter polish with both tiny specks of coral glitter and larger paillette discs of pale pink glitter suspended within a clear polish base.  

The visual effect of Some Enchanted Evening is spectacular...multidimensional pinks catch the light and make quite a statement.
Some Enchanted Evening applied alone on my thumb nail...I had to put on two coats to evenly distribute the glitter.
Bottom Line: The glitter effect of this polish is cheerful and unique; since I don't paint my fingernails anymore, I cannot speak to its lasting power on the hands.  However, I do like layering it over Dior's Beige Safari (the perennial shade of my toes) for an understated yet unexpected addition to my otherwise neutral pedicure.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

By Terry Rouge Terrybly in...Nude 100

Before I head off to a full day of activities...I wanted to share a quick image heavy post on By Terry Rouge Terrybly Lipstick in Nude 100.  Before I bought it, I searched the Internet for swatches and only found could be because this lip color is quite pricey (I got mine at the Space NK Boutique at my local Bloomingdales for $49).  Besides the neutrally-flattering color, the best feature of this lip color is its feels amazing when applied and my lips stay moisturized and balanced for the duration of its wear.

Rouge Terrybly comes in a lovely purple satin pouch for safekeeping.

According to the By Terry website, Rouge Terrybly is...

The first volume and firmness lipstick enriched with the By Terry exclusive and anti-anging Lumilip Technology to rejuvenate and embellish every smile with silky colors.  It features:

  • Kiss Me Quick Extract for a "Push Up" Effect
  • Hyaluronic Filling Spheres for a Hydra-lift Effect
  • Ceramids for a Tensor-Firming Effect

Nude #100 is a full coverage rosy nude that brings life to the face.  It is darker than some of the other nudes I regularly wear (Rouge Bunny Rouge "The Plot Thickens," Edward Bess "Sundown) but never deepens to an unflattering hue.  It is a quintessential blend of pink, rose and beige.  Better yet, it is also a fantastic treatment for my lips.

By Terry Rouge Terrybly Lipstick in Nude #100 alone on the lips.  Despite the fact that my lips were not in the best condition when I applied, this is so moisturizing and smooth that none of my dryness is accentuated.  My lips stay full, comfortable and hydrated all day!
A By Terry kind of day...Cover Expert Foundation in #7  and Rouge Terrybly Lipstick in Nude #100 (with a little Sunday Riley blush in Blushing for good measure)!

Bottom Line:  Rouge Terrybly in Nude #100 was the only color I really wanted when I visited the By Terry counter; the other By Terry lip colors are a bit too dark for my everyday tastes.  I am really pleased with the is ever so cushiony and my lips stay in great condition when I wear it.  Due to its unique color and overall effect, it has officially earned a permanent home in my purse!