Brow Gels: Jane Iredale and Tarte


A couple of months ago, I picked up Tarte’s Colored Clay Tinted Brow Gel ($21). It comes in taupe, medium brown, and dark drown. I went with medium brown. (I have dark brown hair and light skin with warm undertones). I like this product a lot. Since my brows are fairly thick and well-shaped, I am able to use it in place of brow pencil. I find it’s faster and has the benefit of adding color in the couple of spots where I need it while helping to brush and hold each hair in place.  The tiny brush is great for precision application. The formula is also really nice. It is light and doesn’t leave brows feeling crunchy. It is  pigmented, yet subtle. This product has an Allure Best of Beauty seal and it’s well-deserved.  Tarte’s formula doesn’t contain parabens, triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate, and phthalates.

Here is what is in it (for medium brown): Water/Aqua/Eau, Cyclopentasiloxane, Talc, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Butylene Glycol, Magnesium Sulfate, , Disteardimonium Hectorite, Phenoxyethanol, Dimethicone, Silica, Methicone, Aminopropyl Dimethicone, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Ethylhexylglycerin, Alumina, Kaolin, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Montmorillonite, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Digenea Simplex Extract, Laminaria Japonica Extract, Undaria Pinnatifida Extract, Glycerin, Myristoyl Pentapeptide-17, Mica.  May Contain/Peut Contenir/(+/-):  Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Titanium Dioxide(CI 77891).

The Tarte Colored Clay Tinted Brow Gel in medium brown on the left; Jane Iredale PureBrow in blonde on the right.

I recently picked up a Jane Iredale PureBrow Gel ($17). I thought I would give it a try as my Tarte Brow Gels tube is beginning to dry out. This one boasts “a proprietary blend of high-tech sea minerals that condition and protect brow hairs, our gels will make your brows smoother, healthier and more manageable.” I can’t speak to improvement in brow hairs. I haven’t noticed any change–I don’t think I needed it anyway. This  comes in blonde, auburn, and brunette. I was concerned the brunette would be too dark, so I went with blonde. As you can see above, it’s slightly lighter and warmer than the Tarte gel. I like this formula as well though it’s a wetter and thicker than the Tarte. (This might not be so noticeable if the brush wasn’t so BIG.) It also dries with more texture to it than the Tarte, which feels softer. The ingredients list, however, is much easier to digest:

Aqua/Water/Eau, Algae Extract, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Stearic Acid, Glycerin, Copernicia Cerifera Cera, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Oleic Acid, Raphanus Sativus (Radish) Root Extract. [+/- (May Contain) Iron Oxides (Ci 77489, Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Chromium Oxide Greens (Ci 77288)].

I could totally do with this as my cleaner formula–even though I don’t like the formula as much as the Tarte. That brush though. It may turn out to be a deal breaker. I really hope they rethink it.



Quick Take: Gressa Minimalist Corrective Foundation


I recently purchased Gressa’s Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation. I have worn it several times already, but since this is a corrective formula, I will do another post on it after I have used it longer. I just need to talk about it now…mainly because I don’t get why the blogosphere isn’t totally freaking out about this foundation. Is it because it doesn’t have super-fancy designer packaging or the name of a famous makeup artist attached to it? It has gotten some attention—it got my attention and I had to have it. (You can sign up for their e-news and get 15% off your first purchase.) I think it deserves even more attention though. Because this stuff… to start, it performs as pretty much as advertised. I have been testing out some of the new serum foundations from the major lux brands and haven’t liked any of them. I’ve found they make my face feel tight as the day wears on or they’ve made me break out. The Gressa has a similar texture and coverage to these and it feels really good on the skin. I think it’s a big deal not just from the overall serum foundation perspective, but from the green foundation one. I’ve tried quite a few green foundations (liquid and cream green formulas) and they always left me wanting. Specifically, they left me wanting to throw them away because when I looked in the mirror, I didn’t see enhancement. I saw the product on top of my skin, in my pores. There was no your skin, but better. This is why there’s STILL some Dior, Armani and Koh Gen Do in my makeup drawer. Foundation is why this blog is “green-ish.” Because the green options couldn’t compete. But now we have a contender. Now Gressa is sitting beside those fancy bottles in my collection.

How they describe it: It’s a serum. It’s a foundation. It’s a multivitamin for your face. Perfect your face with long-term benefits of this revolutionary serum to powder foundation. GRESSA Healing ComplexTM is a proprietary powerhouse blend of carefully selected botanical extracts that care for your skin by providing it with overall balance, radiance and clarity. Minerals provide a tone-correcting coverage natural finish.

In terms of coverage and finish, Gressa reminds me most of the Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation. I would consider it a light to medium coverage product with a skin-like, glowy finish. Thus far, I prefer not to build it up because I find it gets glowier and I prefer a more matte finish. I suspect that it dries down more matte, but I never have time to wait, so I set it with a bit of Alima mineral foundation. The Gressa disappears into the skin—no cracking; no settling in pores. I notice that I don’t get shiny as the day progresses, which is good. Of course, the weather is cold now and this may be different in the spring/summer. I use about 4-5 drops to get the job done (who are these people who say it just takes 1-2 drops for my whole face!?). I place it in the palm of my hand (it is very runny); then I remember I was supposed to shake it (imagine how good it is when you shake it?); and then dip the brush and buff it in from the center outwards. It applies beautifully with a flat-top foundation brush. You can thin it out and work it in without the brush getting all draggy on your skin. Of all my products, this feels nicest during application. It glides on like a dream. (FYI, I apply this over Pratima Neem Rose Sunscreen. Reviewed here.)

What’s in in it: *Brassica oleracea (Broccoli) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Silica, GRESSA Healing ComplexTM *Silymarin, *Neem (Azadirachta indica) Extract,*Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) Extract, *Lemon Balm (Melissa officianalis) Extract, *Barberry (Berberis vulgaris) Extract, *Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) Seed Extract, *Elder Flower (Sambucus nigra) Extract, *Bitter Melon (Momordica charantia) Extract, Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate Non-GMO, Coenzyme Q10, Ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate, (Vitamin C), *lecithin, *glycerin, mica, iron oxides, titanium oxide. *CERTIFIED ORGANIC

Oh so you noticed it is made with broccoli seed oil? You might get a tiny whiff of broccoli as you apply but it is gone before you know it. Or maybe you won’t notice. I happen to have a keen nose—not the most glamorous super power, I know. Broccoli seed oil is full of antioxidants–it’s good for your face in the way eating is good for your body. On top of that, it has a texture similar to the slippy silicones that make dirty foundations work so wonderfully.  And isn’t it just so nice to recognize the ingredients going on to your face? To be able to pronounce them? Hey, Gressa, if you’re reading this, I’d love to know more about how you selected these ingredients and how you feel complement one another. In the meantime: color me very impressed thus far. More to come as I continue to use it!