While We’re On The Subject…

Let’s talk about concealer, foundation and SPF.

First off, the lip gloss recommendations were out of control. Out of control and totally kick ass. I love that we can all be so unbelievably shallow together. Shallow Lips Unite! I’ve received so many emails from you all about your new purchases and frankly, I have no idea how you made your decisions. Every attempt at sorting through the comments leaves me cross-eyed and drooling. I’ve decided I am momentarily way too caught up in lip gloss, so let’s get caught up in something new.

Shallow Faces Unite!

Ever since Wito came along, my skin has not been looking so hot. I’m a little red and blotchy, ladies. On most days, I don’t wear any makeup (except gloss or balm, of course!), but on the days I am out and about, I’d like a light and natural (SHEER) way to even out my skin tone. I currently use Bobbi Brown Foundation stick for my eye area and I just bought her compact foundation to use (VERY sparingly) to even out my skin.

I like it. I guess. I don’t know. This shit confuses me.

Here are my questions:

1) What SPF products do you use on a daily basis? Do you use a moisturizer with SPF included? Or do you use a moisturizer and a SPF product?

2) Are there any sheer foundation products/powders that you really love?

Criteria (get ready):

1. Right now, I am using Olay Complete SPF 15 moisturizer. It seems to work fairly well with my sensitive complexion, although I would like to find something with higher SPF in it. I am willing to spend more, but I always find myself happier with drugstore brands when it comes to moisturizers.
1. I do not like tinted moisturizers (drugstore OR fancy pants). Tried them all, hate them all.
2. Not a fan of Bare Escentuals. It makes my face way too shimmery/shiny/weird.
3. I do not want to use a brush to apply concealer. It needs to be in a tube or a stick or something.
4. Actually, I don’t want to use a brush for any liquid product. Fingers are good.
5. I am intrigued by powders. I’m happy to use a brush for powder, and I would really like to find a powder that gives coverage without looking all dry and seeping into creases.
6. Yes, a perfect powder would be great.

Basically, I want my skin to look fantastic with no effort. FINE, maybe a little effort.

What I DON’T want are steps. Swirl this, buff that, blah blah blah. I want easy breezy 1-minute application.

God, I’m fucking picky. How do you deal with me?

  • Emilie

    February 22, 2007 at 8:36 pm

    I might have scared you away with my novella on lip gloss, but what you are looking for as far as foundation goes is:

    Vincent Longo Water Base Creme-to-Powder Foundation. It’s like a wet powder, almost. It goes on completely sheer (with a soft sponge that you just dab like you would with pressed powder). It feels amazing — light and moisturizing. I had never been able to find the coverage that I wanted before I found this. It doesn’t crease or cake like powder, but it’s not thick like tinted moisturizers or liquid foundations are. It’s wonderful.

    Unfortunately, it’s $52.50. And the sponge is $5, and the travel compact to contain them both is $15. You could do without the compact but I would definitely buy their special sponge. Pricey, but looking at your criteria, I think you would love it.

  • janet

    February 22, 2007 at 8:39 pm

    Okay, I know you said no tinted moisturizer, but have you ever tried Prescriptives Traceless? http://www.prescriptives.com/templates/products/sp_shaded.tmpl?CATEGORY_ID=CATEGORY3285&PRODUCT_ID=PROD1028

    Step 1: Oil of Olay daily lotion (I am addicted)
    Step 2: with fingers, apply some Traceless. It’s so smooth, even, and sheer. You can’t mess it up, and it gives you even more moisture and SPF.
    Step 3: Swipe your cheeks with bronzer.


    PS you can go try it at the mall for free at a dept store counter

  • stephanie

    February 22, 2007 at 9:07 pm

    I’m thrilled you’re getting all the info on foundation so I can benefit from it. I’m also glad you described Bare Enscentuals for me – I was about to order it! Not anymore. For the moisturizer, I’m a fan of Eucerin Daily SPF 30. It’s really light, perfect for my post-baby wacky skin in our humid climate. AND it’s only $6.50 so that bumps it way up on my list!

  • LVGurl

    February 22, 2007 at 9:28 pm

    I’m with Janet. I LOVE Prescriptives Traceless. I’ve been using it for day-to-day coverage for almost six years.

    I don’t use powder, my skin is so dry. Powder makes me look crinkly.

    The one thing I CANNOT live without is concealer. I love MAC Studio Finish Concealer, SPF 35. It’s a little cakey, but I often use a dab of moisturizer to smooth it out. The coverage is great, an it stays put.

  • Angella

    February 22, 2007 at 9:31 pm

    OK – I have converted many a friend. MAC STUDIO FIX. It’s concealer and powder blended all in one handy compact. It’s AMAZING. And it’s just one step. Seriously. Get some.

  • Luisa

    February 22, 2007 at 11:44 pm

    Ahh.. I was blessed with horrible schizophrenic skin, so choosing a moisturiser/concealer/foundation was always a nightmare.

    I think Olay is fantastic as a moisturiser. I was perfectly happy using it until recently, when I was given a pot of Estee Lauder’s DayWear plus, which is SPF 15. It’s good, but only if used quite sparingly.

    As far as foundations are concerned, i’ve been using Stila’s “Illuminating Liquid Foundation” since forever. It’s not too thick, not too sheer, and not greasy at all. The only thing that’s annoying about it is the “Illuminating” part, as for someone with oily skin, is the last thing I need. I use a Lancome press powder to cut out the shine.


  • nabbalicious

    February 23, 2007 at 6:14 am

    I use Kiehl’s Ultra Protection Water-Based sunscreen, SPF 26. My skin is like a giant vat of oil, and this product is oil-free, and it’s perfect. It blends right in, but gives me just the right amount of moisture. I also use their avocado eye cream, which is also heavenly. It doesn’t run all over your face, which I like.

    As for foundation, I will vouch for MAC’s Studio Fix, too. It gives amazing coverage. But I think it might be a product better suited to the young’ns — it’s a tad thick and my own feeling is that it could exaggerate any wrinkles. Since I’m not 25 anymore (whaa!), I switched to their face & body foundation. I was skeptical at first, but now I LOVE it. It goes on like a liquid, then thickens up as you smooth it in and becomes super blendable. And it lasts forever. I had my first bottle for about 8 months and just got my second a few months ago and it’s not even halfway finished.

    My skin is naturally blotchy and red, too, and this just covers it right up without looking cakey. Then I put on blush to add color. Voila!

  • Amanda

    February 23, 2007 at 6:14 am

    On my wedding day, my makeup artist used Benefit’s “Some kinda Gorgeous.” I usually use Prescriptives concealer stick to cover up under my nose (blood vessels!) or small blemishes but this Benefit stuff kicks ass! It’s a very VERY sheer foundation that actually changes with your skin tone so it’s appropriate for EVERYONE! I know, I’m still not over it. I have gotten so many compliments on my skin when I have worn it, I love it. No grease, no shiny just super light coverage. (I had to “feel” anything on my face).

    The Prescriptives concealer stick is great for spot coverage if my skin is looking pretty good on its own. I’d never put it all over my face (I don’t think it’s meant for that anyway.)

    And as for moisturizer/SPF…I adore ROC’s combo. It comes in a little metal tube and I think the SPF is 15…or is it 30? I can’t remember. It’s not greasy and doesn’t smell and get this…it also works on fine lines. It might not get any better than that. If I’m just moisturizing and not going out, I use the moisturizer in my Dr. Perricone acne kit. It does a great job and is again, super light and non greasy.

  • Courtney

    February 23, 2007 at 6:52 am

    I am like you and incredibly low-maintenance when it comes to foundation. The most fantastic product out there, in my opinion, is MAC Studio Fix powder (NOT the liquid foundation they sell- that is TOO heavy). It is called powder, it is compact, but it is like gliding foundation over your face, in powder form, of course. The coverage is perfect – flawless. Not thick or heavy, just enough to conceal imperfections and balance uneven skin tones.
    I used to use Clinique but I will never go back again. MAC Studio Fix powder is where it’s at!

  • eM

    February 23, 2007 at 7:15 am

    The best powder I have ever found (and the only one i like/will use/ever) is Clinique stay-matte sheer pressed powder oil-free. It’s awesome & works without other makeup or with it.

    In general i loathe make up and rarely wear it, but when I need a small boost, this is awesome.

  • Lyndsay

    February 23, 2007 at 7:20 am

    I am addicted to Olay Complete Sensitive Skin moisturizer with SPF 15. My derm told me that SPF 15 was the highest I needed given my limited exposure to the sun.
    The BEST foundation if you want a quick swipe, decent coverage and you don’t want to look like a Geisha is MAC Studio Fix. It stays on all day, does not seep in to creases and you don’t have to reapply. It’s also decently priced.
    As far as concealers, I like Mary Kay. Call me crazy, but their Ivory color is an exact match to my skin – good for under the eyes and blemishes. Not that I ever get them.

  • Lyndsay

    February 23, 2007 at 7:22 am

    I totally wrote that before I read the masses of MAC Studio Fix lovers. Unite!

  • paisley

    February 23, 2007 at 7:28 am

    I have very sensitive, fair skin and it gets blotchy. I was using foundation, but it all started sticking in weird places (MAC). So, I got a recommendation from a friend and I am HOOKED!

    Physicians Formula Mineral Wear in Translucent. Not shimmery. Packed, not loose so you don’t waste. I apply it with a brush and my blotches are evened out and it works just as good as foundation. I heart it. If you want to try it,make sure you pick up the mineral wear and not the powder as they almost look the same. You can get it at Target, Ulta, wherever.

    As for sunscreen, I mix my sunscreen face lotion with Neutrogena Oil Free for sensitive skin. I use Paula’s Choice. If you haven’t heard of her, I feel so sorry for you! Her eyeshadows rule my world (as does her BHA solution for exfoliation)!! http://www.cosmeticscop.com She’s the one that wrote The Beauty Bible and Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me (Paula Begoun) two MUST READS since I gather you like makeup as much as I do.

  • Jora

    February 23, 2007 at 7:45 am

    I know you said you don’t like tinted moisturizer, but the only think I wear everyday is Laura Mercier TM — it has the lightest consistency and smooths everything out for me. And it’s SPF 20, so it’s a little more coverage. I have tried so, so many products in this department and Laura Mercier is the only way to go in my opinion (for coverage).

    For a moisturizer with SPF, try Kielhl’s. Again, super light-weight (it doesn’t have that goopy sunscreen feel either).

    And last but not least, Jane Iredale pressed powder is awesome for your purse for touch-ups. It’s a mineral formula, but there’s nothing to it; you just use the little sponge to dab it wherever you need it.

    I’ve been using all these products for years and am finally no longer on the quest for something better!

  • rebecca

    February 23, 2007 at 8:22 am

    It’s like you are reading my mind. I am in the market for a powder-based foundation that doesn’t look all chalky or masky. Powder-based, because I am lazy and I want ONE step in order to make my skin look fabulous. If that is indeed possible. Possibly not.

    Anyway, I was thinking about investigating Stila’s Illuminating Powder Foundation, but haven’t tried it yet.

    So, basically, I’m no help. But will be checking back frequently to hear about all the recommendations.

    p.s. I also love Olay moisturizer – have used for years and haven’t found anything better. They have an SPF 30 version now, I think.


    February 23, 2007 at 8:27 am

    Technically it’s a moisturizer, but I swear by Chanel Hydramax tinted (in sunlit). It’s light, has SPF 15, keeps my face moisturized through the evil Boston winters and more importantly, makes me look like a had a good night’s sleep. It gives a really nice, matt finish.

  • don't call me ma'am

    February 23, 2007 at 8:37 am

    Sorry… no suggestions from me then. I LOVE Bare Escentuals. It’s the only thing I can wear through any season, hot or cold, and know that it won’t melt off my face or dry me out. And I don’t think I look shimmery or weird, do I? ;-)

    I do agree with Paisley, though. I’ve used Physicians Formula Mineral Wear, too… it does wonders for evening out blotchiness!

  • Andrea

    February 23, 2007 at 8:45 am

    Hi Whoorl,
    I’m delurking to tout the benefits of Origins. I, like you have dark hair and fair sensitive skin. I have used tons of different products and this is the only line that works for me. I use their liquid foundation which has SPF 15 and their loose powder. Love them both and feel like I get the coverage I need without looking cakey or shiny. I actually use their skin care line as well, and I wouldn’t use anything else. Good luck!

  • della

    February 23, 2007 at 9:00 am

    When I got pregnant, my skin also went haywire and got kind of blotchy and red–not to mention the fact that my skin was already pretty sensitive to begin with. So I started using Aveeno Ultra-calming lotion, which also has spf in it.
    I think it works really well.

    And for foundation, I use a powder-based one because liquid always felt a little heavy to me. The one I’m using now is Prescriptives:
    http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/2910573?Category=&Search=True&SearchType=keywordsearch&keyword=prescriptives in Beauty&origin=searchresults
    It’s similar to MAC studio fix, which I used to use, but not as heavy, in my opinion. I think it can also be used wet, if you want to go that route. Another bonus is that it has spf in it, too.

    And lastly, even though you didn’t ask about this, at night time, I use this:
    It’s a moisturizer with salicylic acid, so it helps prevent zits. I swear that I haven’t gotten a single pimple since I started using this. Just wanted to share because I love this product so much. And it’s so cheap, too!!

  • Mysh

    February 23, 2007 at 9:15 am

    Until the day I die, or until they stop making it — whichever happens first — I will swear by Stila’s Illuminating Powder Foundation.

    I have had Rosacea for a few years and tried many moisturizer/concealer/powder combos and my face HATED me for it. Whatever I tried, it rebelled.

    Now I have a happy complexion and FAST morning routine with Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Moisture For Sensitive Skin, Maybelline’s True Illusion Concealer and Stila’s Illuminating Powder Foundation.

    The powder is very light but gives enough non-shimmery and very matte coverage to blend away the red/ruddy spots and even everything out. The company says it can even be applied with a damp sponge for heavier coverage, but I’ve never felt the need to try it.

    I’m also a huge fan of Stila’s eyeshadows because many brands give me another FUN skin condition called contact dermatitis…which in a nutshell means rashy, inflamed eyelids!

    Stila’s eyeshadows don’t irritate my lids at all (knock on wood) and I just can’t say enough about the powder.

    Thanks for letting me add my 2 cents! :O)

  • am'ti b

    February 23, 2007 at 9:48 am

    whoorl, i started using olay regenerist uv defense spf 15 when our derm buddy dr. ckf informed me to stay out of the sun all together to try and get rid of this patch of melasma. i do not love spf, but this smells good and is a bit more of a wrinkle fighter/all old skin issues than the one in the short stubby bottle.

    i know you are not looking for a tinted moisturizer, but if i must even out my skin i like paula dorf face tint, it is very thin and i sometimes use it under my eyes. it has an spf 15. leelee also recommends paula’s perfect glow. she says it is her best seller, it is very light, sheer, and you can use your fingers. i don’t love paula’s products, but these two ain’t so bad.

    i must try that traceless stuff and maybe the mac since everyone is so in love, but with my (leb.hair) condition i must only use light products. i do love origins youthtopia for night, good for confused skin. amo c uses burt’s day radiance and thinks it is good-which means he really likes it. it has a spf, smells lovely, and does something beneficial for your skin.

  • BeachMama

    February 23, 2007 at 1:57 pm

    Wow, the recommendations that come from your readers are awesome.

    For years I have used Clinique foundation and loved it. But recently I have found it not working so well so I have been thinking of trying something new. I will take these recommendations with me and try a few at the counters.

    Keep the lists coming, they are wonderful.

  • Audrey

    February 23, 2007 at 3:44 pm

    I use Aveeno moisturizer with SPF 15, which I love. I, too, prefer the drugstore moisturizers. I use the Lancome Photogenic (or something like that) powder. I bought it when I got married for the shine-free pictures and really like it. The coordinating all-over concealer is good, too, but I mostly just do under my eyes and call it good…less fuss = better!

  • Angie

    February 23, 2007 at 10:14 pm

    okay – delurking because i have a powder foundation that i absolutely love. it’s not cheap, but it lasts a long time and it’s just great – chanel double perfection compact. it’s spf 10 and it’s a matte reflecting powder makeup. LOVE IT! it use it sparingly to even out my skin and it’s smooth and light. you can put it on with a sponge or a brush. you should really try it.

    i also love my moisturizer – kiehls utlra facial moisteruizer with spf 15. they also have a spf 25, but i haven’t tried that one. and while i was just at the kiehls site i happened to notice that they have some new lip glosses that look pretty fantastic – “simply mahvelous” in lots of yummy colors. you might want to check those out – http://www.kiehls.com

    oh…and i would love to hear more about your decision to stay home – was it hard giving up your career and the money??? do you think you’ll go back?

  • nila

    February 24, 2007 at 4:05 am

    What a great question. So many great recommendations.
    I myself am a huge fan of Origins. I like their tinted moisturizer, it feels just like regular moisturizer. I’m very low maintenance too. I use a regular moisturizer with foundation or powder that has an SPF.

    Good luck. So many products, so little time.

  • christy

    February 24, 2007 at 9:32 am

    Clinique “almost makeup” foundtion LOVE IT! light, SPF 15, creamy, pretty. LOVE IT!

  • Danielle

    February 24, 2007 at 3:18 pm

    Can we do hair products next, please? I’m having a SAHM hair crisis.

  • whoorl

    February 24, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    You read my mind…now, that’s something I know about!

  • Tam

    February 24, 2007 at 4:38 pm

    Hi Whoorl,

    I too am delurking to tell you that those who have posted about the MAC Studio Fix do not lie. It truly is WONDERFUL. Both my sister in laws recommended it to me and I will never use anything else again.

  • Hilly

    February 25, 2007 at 1:36 pm

    Woah, crazy replies! I am not even going to read theres and just tell you what I use!

    I also use the basic Olay with SPF 15. I like it because it is light and I have skin that is oily when I don’t take care of it.

    I hate foundation but I use a wet/dry powder by Cargo that is light and lovely I also use their wet powder at night or when I can have more makeup on without feeling icky. Their OneBase is great for under eye darkness or splotches that need touch up. It is almost invisible!

  • kim

    February 25, 2007 at 2:54 pm

    Gorillabuns turned me onto your blog awhile ago and I am a regular reader. I had to comment this time to let you know how much I have loved the last 2 days. I have taken notes and am excited to try some new products. Our interests are endless………shoes, purses, etc. Keep em’ comin.

  • Emily

    February 26, 2007 at 4:51 am

    I am happy that you are doing all this research for me because I too am relatively unhappy with the ole face and body post baby.


    I also am here to tell you that over there? On the right? Is a very interesting ad for the Diaper-Free Baby. “Infant pottying can be fun!” I sincerely hope you’re going to give Anders an opportunity to try it out.

  • Tere

    February 26, 2007 at 7:57 am

    A word on the SPF issue: anything higher than 15 is pretty much unnecessary for daily use. SPF protection doesn’t increase proportionately with the SPF number. After SPF 15, the absorption percentage doesn’t change significantly (15 absorbs 93 percent of the sun’s burning rays, 30 absorbs 97 percent). So, I wouldn’t worry TOO much about that.

    That said, I have hideous under-eye circles and can’t function without concealer. Still, most of the thicker ones (usually the ones that come in compacts) tend to look cakey and fake on me, or make my skin look dry and old. The one I currently use is L’Oreal True Match concealer, which does a good job. It’s not thick and not sheer. It’s a brush applicator, but I just dot it on and either pat it with my ring finger or use a concealer brush (all the experts say is the correct way, so I try to do it).

    I too love the Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer, though I hate the price. My skin has never really recovered from my pregnancy. It can be red and botchy one day, oily the next – it basically sucks. And I hate wearing anything on my face on a daily basis, and coupled with having spent crazy-ass money on a ton of products that never delivered, I’m averse to anything now. On a daily basis, it’s just the Olay Complete and concealer, that’s it.

    If any of you live in the humid south, have wacky skin, and have figured out how to look natural and fabulous, I’d love you for sharing your secrets!

  • Lyndsay

    February 26, 2007 at 9:05 am

    Yes, let’s do hair products. I have much to contribute on this topic.

  • undercover celebrity

    February 26, 2007 at 4:40 pm

    Now listen carefully, because I am about to share a beauty secret of the ages — Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch sunblock. Works like a charm. I was working on a photo shoot a couple of years ago and of course I was using the opportunity to chat it up with the makeup artist who was absolutely gorgeous — she MAYBE looked 30 and told me that she just celebrated her 42nd birthday. I asked how she kept her skin so gorgeous and she pointed me to the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer sunblock. You can wear it under makeup and it’s awesome.

  • undercover celebrity

    February 26, 2007 at 4:41 pm

    sorry, here’s the link http://www.neutrogena.com/ProductsDetails_164.asp


  • Hilly

    February 26, 2007 at 7:59 pm

    I’m with the hair products vote! That is my bread and buttah…..

    We used to run a blog called Carrot Divas and now you make me want to get back into it!

  • guinness girl

    February 27, 2007 at 7:26 am

    I’m late joining the party here, but it’s okay because basically I’m just commenting to say I am at a loss on this category. I used to use Aveeno’s moisturizer with SPF, and recently decided to pretend money grows on trees – started using the Creme de la Mer (which feels divine on the face, but the scent is uber-floral to the point that I kind of hate it when I first put it on). But, this does you no good b/c I don’t think it has SPF in it. For foundation, I’m using Napoleon (http://www.napoleonperdis.com/). It’s okay, but nothing special. I am, however, fascinated by Emilie’s suggestion of the Vincent Longo stuff.

  • Sarah

    February 27, 2007 at 11:06 am

    Lorac oil free foundation is the best I’ve ever tried. It’s light/sheer, but it evens things out, STAYS ON, and looks natural. You can get it at Sephora. I top it off with translucent NARS loose powder.

  • Luisa

    February 27, 2007 at 4:19 pm

    Ignore everything I said in my comment about moisturisers (Comment number.. 5? Methinks). I’ve found the moisturiser. It’s only SPF 15, but it’s wonderful. It’s Lancome’s Bienfait Multi-Vital, and it feels like warm velvet on my skin. Seriously.


  • Hollie

    March 2, 2007 at 11:27 am

    I’m a product junkie, troubled skin and have tried everything. The best powder foundation and tube conceler I’ve found at a reasonable price are from Aveda. The colors blend perfectly and match several skin tones. Try it.

  • Erin

    March 9, 2007 at 1:27 pm

    I have tried everything, and I have had awesome experiences with Philosophy. I love their Supernatural foundation, it is powder based, takes less than a minute to apply, and looks awesome. I was a little nervous, because I have really fair skin and had a terrible time with Bare Escentuals, but it works great!

  • Erika

    March 10, 2007 at 9:21 am

    Wow! You’ve gotten quite a response. Although this is not available until next month, I am totally loving Estee Lauder’s new tinted moisturizer (http://makeupbag.net/?p=772). It moisturizes, protects from sun and environment, AND has a great sheer coverage.

    And like many of your readers, I do love MAC Studio Fix but sometimes need a one-step product.