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

Empties: Spring ’16


Time to take out (recycle) the trash, lovelies. But before I do, here’s what’s up:

Andalou Naturals Lavender and Biotin Shampoo: I’ve said it before, Andalou Naturals is underrated. I’ve used the orange argan version of their shampoo before–it’s the moisturizing one. The lavender one is for building volume and it does that. It’s under $10 a bottle too! One thing to keep in mind–this might be drying for some. My hair is on the oiler side and I tend to focus on the roots when applying. If you do have dry hair, I suggest checking out the orange argan formula. (Repurchased.)

Yarok Feed Your Ends: This leave-in conditioner smells all kinds of amazing. I love it for days when I want to skip conditioning my hair in the shower. Yarok hair products are pricey but really nice. (See my Yarok product reviews here.)

Avene Thermal Spring Water: I cannot stop spraying myself with this soothing mist–especially now that it’s warm out. It’s perfect for spraying in between layers of skincare, for cooling off your face and neck, and for soothing irritated skin (sprayed it on my little one’s prickly heat for relief). Sometime, you don’t need fancy toners and this one is a good pick! (On my third bottle.)

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser: I recently reviewed this affordable cleanser. I am currently switching between this and Blissoma Mild Rice Cleanser for my morning cleanse. Reviewed here. (Repurchased.)

Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm: I purchased the mini of this cult cleansing balm because I wanted to experience a luxury cleansing balm. There’s such a fuss about this one, I figured it would be the one to try. It’s wildly expensive and so I am relieved that I didn’t fall in love with it. I didn’t like the texture. I warmed to an oil one your work it in, but with a really a waxy feeling that lingered. I recently got the Sunday Riley New Moon cleansing balm and like it much better–and while expensive, it’s not Omorovicza-level expensive. Review coming soon! (Not repurchasing.)

Drunken Elephant Lippe: I love this from it’s texture–not too shiny or thick–to it’s gorgeous clean ingredients. The packaging is adorable, but when I got to the end, I was scraping product out of the well at the bottom with my hands for a couple of weeks–so much was in there! I am hoping they revisit the packaging. See my review here. (Will repurchase this eventually–waiting for a sale.)

Tatcha Silken Sunscreen: I love that Tatcha has such a large selection of minis. I really liked this sunscreen. It is matte and velvety. It performed well as a day to day sunscreen and works well with makeup. I purchased it after trying the Coola Matte, which was so silicone-y it made my makeup slide off. That being said, I still have my ride or die, Pratima Neem Rose sunscreen on hand. (Not repurchasing at this time.)

Atelier Cologne in Orange Sanguine: I got this with Sephora VIB points. I am a sucker for citrus scents even though they have not lasting power. I love this because it smells of orange and white flowers so it’s not too sweet. Since this isn’t a green product, I spray it on my clothes. My birthday last month brought citrus sampler box of these. I am currently trying the grapefruit one, which I don’t like as much. (Not repurchasing at this time.)

Real Techniques Makeup Sponge: These are really good and affordable compared to Beauty Blenders. I don’t think they are as durable though (overall these are really, really good whereas BBs are great). This sponge has little cuts in it from my nails and has gotten a little too floppy with time. (Not repurchasing at this time–I have 2 others already.)

Tatcha Indigo Soothing Silk Recovery Cream: Another mini from Tatcha. I bought this because of BeautyIdealist. I adore her blog and her picks are spot on. When she said this product had the highest concentration of colloidal oatmeal of any product, I was sold. I got this when I had an uncomfortable windburn on my cheeks and this was very soothing. I do find it to be a bit thick, so I will repurchase in the winter.

Amala Rejuvenating Collagen Mask: This was a nice mask for moisture and soothing dry skin. It is a rich lotion that can also be used as a leave on mask and smells amazing–cocoa/citrus/rose/vanilla/ylang ylang. If you think the scent is complex, the ingredients list is huge–a blend of oils and extracts that are clean, It lasted me a really long time. I recommend for dry skin or winter skin. However, I am not repurchasing due to wanderlust.

Embryolisse Lait Creme: This french pharmacy cream is also a cult favorite. I had purchased it and left it on a shelf in favor of greener, cleaner products. When I started expanding from oil to cream and balm cleansers, I decided to use this up as a cleanser so I could recycle the tube. It works great as a first cleanse with a washcloth, but I don’t recommend it. If you’re going to cleanse with a “cold cream” and you don’t care what’s in it, there are cheaper things to try that will likely work just as well. Hell, there are cheaper green brands to do cream cleansing with. (Not repurchasing.)

Onomie A.C.E. Illuminating Eye Treatment: I bought this with the Onomie concealer. This is a vitamin a, c and e infused treatment that is a pearly pink. It is a brightening layer that is also addressing fine lines. I liked it, but found myself skipping this step a lot since I use Drunken Elephant C-Firma every morning anyway. (Not repurchasing.)

Ilia Lip Conditioner in Blossom Lady: I love this lip conditioner–the formula, color, effect, ingredients–all of it!  Reviewed here. (Repurchased.)






Current Everyday Lip with Jane Iredale and Bite Beauty


I am often tempted to purchased the Lip Cheat lip liner from Charlotte Tilbury (in the shade Pillowtalk, if you’re wondering). But I resist. My lip collection is pretty damn clean (RMS, Ilia, Bite and Jane Iredale). So instead, I have been reaching for the combo of Jane Iredale lip liner in Spice and Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in Fig. Jane Iredale’s Spice is pretty close to my natural lip color–perfect for a little “cheating” with over-lining. I sometimes line and fill in my lips with it and just top with a little lip balm or Bite Beauty Lip Mask–I have the one with a bit of shimmer. The thing about Spice that I love is its versatility. I can use it with bright corals and watermelon reds in the summer and my nudes, peaches and pinks all year. I have my eye on the Peach liner from Jane Iredale next because I think that one will be really lovely on its own.

Most days,  after lining and filling in, I’ll dab on the Fig and really press it in. It’s not too thin or shiny and can be pressed in for a lovely matte. I think it’s a perfect rosy nude that just has more life to it than most nudes. I really like my Bite Beauty acquisitions (in addition to the lip mask and Fig lipstick, I have another Luminous Creme Lipstick in Vouvray–a ballerina pink and a High Pigment Pencil in Syrah–a nude peach). Next I want to try their Matte Lip Crayon. I also want to go the Bite Beauty Lab and make a lipstick. I think that might be a perfect birthday gift to myself this spring! (By the way, I found this post by to have great photos of many of the colors worn on the lips.)