Two “New-to-Me” Bases: It Cosmetics and Illuminare


I recently purchased two new base products that I would like to share—one is a traditional, department store base and the other one is a mineral base. Beginning with It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream, a product that I have been curious about for some time–particularly since Vivianna Does Makeup started raving about it. I purchased the travel size from Ulta about three weeks ago and it has become my go-to weekday base. I recently ordered the full size ($38 for 1.08 oz).

It Cosmetics promotes this as a “Full Coverage Color Correcting Cream, Anti-Aging Serum plus Broad Spectrum Physical Only SPF 50+ In One!” The skincare ingredients feature hylauronic acid, peptides, niacin, Vitamins A, C, B, E, etc. for long-term brightening and color-correcting benefits. I can’t yet speak to the skincare benefits of this. The immediate benefits I see from this are: medium to high coverage, very skin-like finish, hydrating, comfortable, does not crack or settle (was born with laugh lines and this is a must), good performance over a full work day and longer, high SPF.

Because this has an SPF of 50, I have been wearing it on weekdays where works keeps me out of the sun. I don’t use this on weekends because I do layer on a separate SPF and then use other products (just to keep up on using things so they don’t go off on me). Also, because this is acting as my SPF, I put on a generous amount. I spread it around using my fingertips and then go over all of it with a damp Beauty Blender to blend and thin it out. The result is my skin but better–as advertised! I am exited to move on to the full size too because it has a pump. One thing to mention—it is scented (lemony) which might be an issue for some.

Moving on to the other (very) new-to-me find is Illuminare Moisturizing Mineral Foundation. This one is at the “first impressions” stage. I got this after watching Phyrra review it earlier this month. I have used this a few times and like it! It comes in two other varieties: mattifying and concealing. The is very dewy. I powder it down more than the It Cosmetics. It has SPF 20–I do use sunscreen with this one. Illuminare’s founder created this—the first liquid mineral makeup—while working with patients who had received laser treatments. It is really gentle (and doesn’t contain bismuth oxychloride so no itching!). I found that this offered nice coverage, and sat well on top of sunscreen and under powder. It’s pricey at $29 for .5 oz, but it is highly pigmented so you don’t need a lot. I have applied it with a Beauty Blender and the Real Techniques buffing brush, both of which offer a nice result, but I think they eat up a lot of product. Illuminare recommend applying it with an oval fuzzy puff and when I did that I used a lot less. I like this a lot and I think I will like it even more when it’s less hot and humid out because I won’t be sweating through the setting powder. (There IS such a thing as too much glow.)

Both of these products have five shades and I use the second lightest in both on my NC20 skin. The Illuminare is a tad dark for me, so I top it with a lighter powder to correct that. In the photo below, It Cosmetics in light is on the left and Illuminare in Florentine Fair in on the right.

base swatches

Three Cleansers Reviewed


I recently finished 3 cleansers and it felt so GREAT. Is that weird? Skincare hoarders–you know what I mean.  The “I’ve gotta finish these before I get anything new” feeling transitions that miraculous moment when the pump sputters and you know it is time to shop! I even like the feeling of dropping empties into the recycling bin. All of it is so damn satisfying. I am not repurchasing any of the cleaners that I am writing about today–at least not at the moment–so if you have suggestions for new things to try, let me know! Here’s what I thought about each:

First Aid Beauty Milk Oil Conditioning Cleanser is a good buy at $26 for 5 ounces. It has a light, lotion consistency and not much of a scent. Coupled with a washcloth for removal, it really does get make up off–including mascara. It worked well as a first cleanse in the evening. It also lasted even though I pumped a ridiculous number of times (like 15) with each application. I want to say it’s mild–it really doesn’t irritate. However, something in it feels slightly cooling on my eye area–like in an alcohol or menthol way. Like I said, it doesn’t irritate, but I don’t like the way it feels around my eyes. Of the 3 it was the least hydrating.  Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Glycerin, Polyglyceryl-6 Distearate, Jojoba Esters, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Chrysanthemum Parthenium (Feverfew) Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, Cetyl Alcohol, Polyglyceryl-3 Beeswax, Tetrasodium EDTA, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Phenoxyethanol, EDTA

MV Organics Gentle Cream Cleanser was a splurge at $58 for 2.8 ounces. (Thank goodness for sweethearts and giftcards.) This stuff is lovely and gentle. This has simple organic ingredients and a faint mandarin scent. I will say it took me a bit of time to come around to liking it because it is a dryer, thicker cream. It doesn’t spread easily. Once I started applying, then wetting my hands to work it in, it started making sense. This is a “hot cloth” cleanser and I found that putting the hot, wet washcloth over it and removing it took off makeup and resulted in my skin looking really good/refined and feeling soft after cleansing. I mostly used this as a first cleanse. I know some people will think it’s nuts to use something so luxe for the gunky makeup obliterating first cleanse as opposed to a second messaging cleanse, but I like light gels for the second cleanse. (Hello, Yuli Halcyon!) I might splurge on this again someday, but for now I want to try new things and maybe spend less money removing makeup.  Ingredients: Water Camellia (Camellia Oleifera) Oil* Cetearyl Glucoside Vegetable Glycerin* Olive (Olea Europaea) Fruit Oil* Coconut (Cocos Nucifera) Oil* Glyceryl Stearate Vitamin E non GM (Tocopherol) Xanthan Gum Honeysuckle (Lonicera Caprifolium & Lonicera Japonica) Extract With essential oils of: Rose, Chamomile and Mandarin * Potassium Sorbate

Blissoma Mild Rice Cleanser
 was a Kimberly Loc made me do it. I keep this one in the shower for morning cleansing. (I don’t recommend washing your face in the shower if you take hot showers–I take cool to luke warm showers depending on the weather.)  This is moisturizing and has some crushed rice in it for exfoliating, but the grains to cleanser ratio is not high so it is really, really gentle. In fact, I wouldn’t even call it an exfoliating experience, so you can absolutely use it daily. This one is $39 for 4 ounces and I think it lasts quite a while as a morning cleanse. I only wish this one rinsed a little cleaner (see below for the ingredients, it does contain oils). I didn’t remove it with a cloth the way I did the others because it seemed like it might be harsh to take something slightly grainy off with a cloth. This is a really nice cleanser and it has really lovely ingredients and a very mild scent.  Ingredients: Infusion of Althea officinalis* (marshmallow), Stellaria media* (chickweed), Plantago major* (plantain), Rosa damascena*, Arthemis nobilis* (chamomile), Glycerin*, Helianthus annuus (sunflower) Oil*, Oryza sativa* (brown rice), Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Cocos nucifera (coconut) Oil*, Prunus armeniaca (apricot) kernal Oil*, Glyceryl Stearate, Salix alba* (willowbark) extract, Cannabis sativa (hemp) Oil*, Cetearyl Alcohol, Gluconolactone, Echinacea purpurea Extract*, Populus tremuloides (aspen) bark extract, Essential Oils of Lavandula angustifolia, Litsea Cubeba, Cymbopogon martini (palmarosa), Canarium luzonicum (elemi), Boswellia carterii (frankincense), Vetiveria zizandoides (vetiver), Xanthan Gum, Rosemary Oleoresin Extract, Grain Alcohol*+
essential oils in this product contain: linalool**, geraniol**, limonene**, citral**