Wednesday, May 2, 2018

A Paris Packing List and Look + the New Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation, Sensai Highlighting Concealer and Armani Neo-Nude Collection

Elements on my Paris packing list. 
Happy May, lovelies! I hope your month is off to a marvelous start. I just returned from London and Paris and was able to document the experience both on Instagram and in photos that I'll continue to share over the next few weeks. In the meanwhile, I am excited to breakdown the products I used most while abroad, starting with skincare and makeup that masterfully took me through an 18-hour day trip to Paris. Additionally, I have thoughts and swatches of the newly reformulated *Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Aqua Foundation, freshly launched Sensai Highlighting Concealer and brilliant Giorgio Armani Beauty Neo-Nude Collection, which I hope will serve as a resource for your luxury beauty pursuits!

Kindly scroll on for more details, swatches and images of the products in action as well as the Bottom Line...

koh gen do aqua foundation new swatches
All shades of the *Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation 
At the core of my makeup choices for a long (and sweltering, I might add) Parisian day was the *Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation (also available at Violet Grey). This recently reformulated cult classic is remarkably lightweight while imparting natural coverage that needs little to no touch ups throughout the day. 

For those who were enchanted with the original formula (as I was), fear not, this new iteration has retained the stellar clarity, luminosity and overall performance that we've come to expect with KGD Aqua; if anything, the coverage and lasting power may be slightly increased and, to be sure, the shade range (I remember when there were only two shades available!) has massively improved, offering fair to deep skin tones the opportunity to readily find a befitting match.  

koh gen do aqua foundation new swatches

Shade Descriptions:
  • 002: Fair beige with rosy undertones @N/NW 10-15
  • 012: Pale alabaster with neutral undertones @N/NC 10
  • 013: Fair-light beige with rosy undertones @N/NW 15-20
  • 113: Fair-light beige with yellow undertones @N/NC 20
  • 123: Light-medium beige with yellow undertones @N/NC 23-25
  • 143: Medium golden beige with warm olive undertones @N/NC 27-30
  • 213: Light-medium beige with neutral undertones @N/NC/NW 20
  • 301: Rich tan with warm undertones @N/NC/NW 35-40
  • 302: Lush brown with warm undertones @N/NC/NW 42-45
  • 303: Deepest chocolate with neutral undertones @N/NC/NW 45-50+

koh gen do aqua foundation new swatches
Swatches in direct sunlight. 
koh gen do aqua foundation new swatches
Swatches in outdoor shade. 
Official details, courtesy of Nordstrom:

What it is: A long-wearing liquid formula that instantly illuminates dull skin and gives skin the same youthful glow you experience right after a facial.
Who it's for: All skin types.
What it does: Formulated with light-diffusing minerals to brighten and minimize pores, this lightweight serum foundation contains weightless skin-conditioning emollients that improve the hydration and health of skin for a flawless and comfortable complexion all day. It nourishes skin with minerals from the deep waters of Bretagne, and contains soft-focus pigments to brighten while reducing the appearance of pores and discolorations. It contains a signature blend of jojoba, olive and squalane oils and shea butter to leave skin soft and supple.
How to use: Prep skin with a base to create a smooth canvas. Apply foundation in sheer, buidlable layers. Pat the foundation into the skin at all angles to blur lines and pores. Allow each layer to set before the next layer is applied. Finish with powder if desired.
  • 1.01 oz.
  • Paraben-free; petroleum-free; artificial color-free; synthetic fragrance-free; mineral oil-free
  • Not tested on animals

 

Skincare Etc.

// SKINCARE ETC. // Because toiletries can collectively weigh so much, I exercised great prudence and restraint when selecting what would serve me best across the pond. 
  • *Eleni and Chris ChroMin Set: This beautiful shampoo and conditioner duo is designed to be extra gentle for colored hair but, due to its lush hydrating properties, can also be very effective on uncolored hair (like mine) as well. It's choc full of premium ingredients and smells luxe. 
  • *Oribe Apres Beach Purse Size Wave & Shine Spray: Let it be know, I never hop on a plane without this mini haircare gem; it fights static, adds body and yields gorgeous shine on one's tresses...it's a packing must-have. 
  • *Ranavat Mighty Majesty Hair and Body Serum (reviewed HERE): I deeply appreciate the fact that this intoxicatingly fragranced oil can be used on the hair (for extra conditioning) and body (for serious hydration) alike. 
  • *Kate Somerville ExfoliKate: I generally need to seriously exfoliate 2-3 times during a longer trip and ExfoliKate has been one of my top formulas of choice for years...it makes skin crazy soft without irritation. 
  • *Orlane Cafeine Supradose: On mornings when my face is extra puffy (is it ever not when traveling?), I apply a couple of drops (which can also be mixed into moisturizer) of this genius concentrated caffeine formula; it helps to reduce inflammation and refresh and tighten my skin, prepping it for the makeup to come. 
  • *La Prairie White Caviar Creme Extraordinaire (reviewed HERE): Still on heavy rotation, the way this cream brightens, tightens and lifts made toting the lavishly weighty jar to another continent worth it. I used it day and night as my central anti-aging treatment. 
  •  *Bioderma Sensibio H2O: A European classic, this micellar water is excellent for sensitive skin (and eyes!) and its cleansing properties never cease to amaze me. 
  • *Endure Lash Cloths: Defying all reason, these diminutive cloths (that even have a pocket for your fingers for easy operation) adeptly remove all traces of makeup--including waterproof eyes makeup--without tugging, pulling or disrupting one's lashes. I use a touch of the above Bioderma as a companion to the Endure and love how the pair leave my skin immensely smooth and clean.
  • *Oribe Lacquer High Shine Nail Polish in The Nude (reviewed HERE): On my toes day after day, this is the perfect clean beige for nude lovers. 
  • *Luna Lacquer in Nudist: I recently became acquainted with this independent nail polish brand and am impressed with its vast range of shade offerings and finishes. Nudist is a beige-tinged fresh cream shade that, in a single coat, delivers shiny and minimalist chic to nails. 
Cleanser and nails. 
Paris makeup for the day.
Base + face. 
// BASE  + FACE // For a long day of exploration, I embraced an even and glowing canvas, a touch of warmth and lightweight textures that would blend with ease. 
  • Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter #4 (reviewed HERE): I have been using this multi-tasking formula as a glowing primer as of late and couldn't be happier with the even incandescence it imparts. It's a wonder product, indeed!
  • *Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Aqua Foundation in a mix of #123 and #143: One pump of each of these shades--blended with a Beauty Blender--gives me self-setting medium coverage and a tender radiance that lasts the day. So very good. 
  • Sensai Highlighting Concealer HC03 Luminous Almond: I concentrated application of this concealer in my under eye region and along any shadows/lines of my face for enhanced refinement. Keep reading for a closeup on the formula as well as swatches of all four available shades. 
  • *Giorgio Armani Neo-Nude A-Contour: Just a touch along my hairline and the bridge of my nose for depth and warmth. The doe-foot applicator makes precision contouring a dream!
  • *BY TERRY Sun Designer #06 Happy Sun (reviewed HERE): Resplendent and beyond, this bronzing palette has earned a permanent place in my handbag. I love using my *Surratt Beauty Artistique Cheek Brush to apply the matte shades on the right side of the palette to gently sculpt and warm up the face and use the radiant hues for additional dimension. In the look that follows, I also used the satin finish hues on my eyes.
  • *Giorgio Armani Neo-Nude A-Blush #50: This water-based blush feels like a veritable watercolor for the cheeks; it can be applied extremely sheer or built up for greater opacity. I applied to the apples of my cheeks for a touch of flush.
  • *Neo-Nude A Highlight: Pearly champagne in a purse-friendly tube, this highlighter (keep scrolling for swatches) is alluringly demure and flattering for all skin tones. 
  • Giorgio Armani Neo-Nude Compact Foundation in 5.5: To set my look (as well as for touch ups over the course of the day), I swept this powder all over my face, starting in the center and moving outward. Although it is barely visible in swatches (keep an eye out for a product overview later on on in this post), it offers just enough coverage to feel significant, making it one of my favorite product launches of the year thus far. I have been using it daily since buying and likely will need to pick up a backup. 
sensai highlighting concealer swatches
Swatches in direct sunlight. 
sensai highlighting concealer swatches
The Sensai Highlighting Concealer has a click brush applicator for precision and portability. 
Because I know how rare Sensai beauty swatches are on the Internet, I opted to quickly swatch the freshly released Sensai Highlighting Concealer. Designed to be applied anywhere one desires a touch of coverage and creamy brightening, this velvety smooth formula does something special to the skin. I like using it in my under eye region as well as in my laugh lines and around my nose to cast light on my face and the results are intriguingly effective. For reference, my best match is HC03 Luminous Almond (which will work well for medium/medium+ skin tones) and there are three other shades that cater to fair to light skin as well. 

sensai highlighting concealer swatches
Swatches in indoor lighting.
My picks from the Giorgio Armani Beauty Neo-Nude Collection
Minimalist with maximum impact for a beautiful no-makeup makeup look, the Giorgio Armani Beauty Neo-Nude Collection (also available at Nordstrom) features delicate yet innovative formulas that create a fresh and polished canvas. From the ivory nude packaging to the universally flattering shades, this range is a stunning harmony of form and function. 

My choices from the collection include:
  • Neo-Nude Compact Foundation: This finely milled powder adds a surprising level of light to medium coverage with a radiant finish that makes skin look ethereally pretty and extra flawless. I have been using #5.5 nonstop as a setting powder and mid-day touch up formula since picking it up in Paris...it's simply divine and unlike any powder I have ever tried. 
  • *Neo-Nude A-Contour: A pure brown liquid cream that effortlessly contours while adding a subtle warmth to the face. Additionally, the doe foot applicators for the A- products is wise and easy to maneuver! 
  • *Neo-Nude A-Blush #50: A baby pink rose for a natural flush on the apples of the cheeks.
  • *Neo-Nude A Highlight: A gleaming champagne beige that looks at home on the high points of the face. 
armani neo nude powder foundation swatches
Heavy swatches of the Neo-Nude Compact Foundation in  indoor lighting. 
armani neo nude collection swatches
Swatches in direct sunlight. 
Eyes and lips. 
// EYES + LIPS // Warm neutral eyes with plenty of black fringe and a peachy pink lip with grand longevity for good measure.  
  • *BY TERRY Sun Designer #06 Happy Sun (reviewed HERE): I used this compact on my eyes as well, further emphasizing its utilitarian nature. Mixing the three shimmery shades on the left, I blended upward for a soft neutral effect. 
  • Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper: My mom has been raving about the performance of this liner for years and only recently have I begun to play with it; it truly lives up to her accolades, my friends. Jet black and completely indelible, I love it for a mini wing on my upper lash line. 
  • Tom Ford Fiber Brow Gel in Chestnut: Still my brow formula of choice, just a bit adds polish, color, feathery fullness and hold all day.  
  • BY TERRY Lash Expert Twist Mascara (reviewed HERE): Two coats will positively transform your lashes...it's all I've been using since January. Try it and you'll see why!
  • *Hourglass Confession Lipstick in No One Knows (reviewed HERE): This lively and opaque peachy pink has a lovely warmth and depth that looks great on a spectrum of skin tones. This is definitely my favorite hue in this genius lipstick formula. 
Swatches in direct sunlight. 
The following images reflect all products in action over the course of 18 hours in Paris...

Smiling on the Seine. 

The eye look.
In Saint Germain.
Wandering on Rue Saint Honore. 


Style notes at the Louvre. 
// STYLE NOTES // A simple black tee, classic cut jeans and sneakers that feel like nothing...essentials for an 8+ mile walk around town.
  • Ragdoll LA Black Mesh Tee: I now have two of these in my closet and both are on heavy rotation...it's the perfect embodiment of understated chic.
  • Frame Le Original Jeans: Perhaps my most favorite jeans on the planet, this particular pair is the quintessential balance of casual and timeless. 
  • Gucci Leather Belt: I reach for this every time I want to take a basic outfit to the next-level. It's an investment piece well worth the pursuit. 
  • Vintage Gucci Bamboo Handbag: I found this pre-owned gem on The Real Real and couldn't be happier with its quality and performance. The bamboo handles are iconic and the cross body strap adds an additional element of versatility. 
  • Nike Huarache Tennis Shoes: Bouncy and extraordinarily comfortable, these are the shoes I reach for the most when I know that a lot of walking in store. 
  • Equipment France Cashmere Cardigan: Wildly lightweight yet exceptionally warm, this cardigan has pockets, making it my cocoon of choice for a long day out. 
  • Ray-Ban Clubround Polarized Sunglasses: Iconic and oh-so-easy to wear, this polarized pair blocks rays while keeping eyes relaxed and comfortable. 



With my husband at Le Marais. 
At the Seine. 
Last look.
--Shop the Post--


Bottom Line: I hope you enjoyed this glimpse at a super long day in Paris and all the products--including the *Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Aqua FoundationSensai Highlighting Concealer and Giorgio Armani Beauty Neo-Nude Collection--upon which I relied while exploring abroad. 

What may have caught your eye...do tell!

Good things ahead, including a new video tutorial, details for a BP beauty event in NYC (!!) later on in May and a host of new product procurements...can't wait to share.

xx,

--The Beauty Professor

**PR samples provided for review denoted by an asterisk (the rest purchased by me), however, as always, all of my opinions are expressly and unequivocally my own.  © 2012-18 Beauty Professor® All Rights Reserved. Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author's written permission.

9 comments:

  1. I love when you include outfit details as you have here, Rachel - you always look so effortlessly glam! Very grateful to have your thoughts on the new KGD Aqua - it's been my gold standard for years, and no one loves to hear a favorite is being reformulated! Do you find that the reformulated shades are consistent with the "old" ones? 213 was the most perfect olive-y light beige - any thoughts you have on the new 213 would be most welcome! xo

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    1. Thank you, truly, Suzanne! I am so glad that the KGD Aqua swatches and review were helpful for you, especially since you are such a fan of the formula! I have found that the shades are indeed consistent with the old ones--the only difference being that the range was expanded--and I think you'll continue to find perfection with 213! Do keep me posted...XO

      --The Beauty Professor

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  2. I have been waiting to see if anyone would post the Neo Nude collection. I have a bunch of it in my cart and am now able to make some choices. I thought the compact foundation stopped at 9! Glad to see there are more options in store; the formula looks awesome. KGD has gotten the eye roll from me in the past and I am pleasantly surprised to see some darker shades! I hope they continue to expand their range.

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    Replies
    1. Hello Indya,

      Thanks for the comment! Yes...I knew I had to share the Neo Nude Collection the minute I saw it in Paris and am thrilled that this post could help you decide. The compact is so worth it and I've continued to use it daily since picking it up. Also, it's fabulous news that KGD has expanded their shade range as the formulas are incredible and I, too, hope that trend continues!

      Have a beautiful week,

      xx

      --The Beauty Professor

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  3. Hi Gorgeous! Is the contour the lighter (#20) or the darker (#21)? Enjoy Paris!!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Amy,

      Thanks for the question and kind words! It's the darker!

      XO

      --The Beauty Professor

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  4. So happy you review new neo- nude collection- any chance you can swatch 4.5 and 5 of the compact as they would be my possible shades,.
    Thanks

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    Replies
    1. Thanks and will see what I can do in the coming days, Jodi! So far, I haven't seen 5 anywhere!

      xx

      --The Beauty Professor

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  5. Stunning as usual Rachel. Thanks for the best swatches of the neo-nude. Xo

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