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

Make-up Faves 2015


Sorry that I’ve been away! I changed jobs (loving the new job), prepped for the holidays, had lovely family visit from out of town and more–all good stuff that pushed blogging to the back burner. But I am back.  I’m starting with make-up that I’ve used a lot this year. Some green, and some not. As I’ve always said, this space is greenish! I hope you’ve all been enjoying the holiday season!

Mascara: This year, I returned to Tarte Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara. This is the ONLY mascara that doesn’t smudge on me. It stays put so well that I can wear it on lower lashes. I don’t even try that with others. It very black and provides great volume and length in just 1-2 coats. It can be clumpy, so you have to clean off the wand a bit before you start.

Concealer: Onomie’s A.C.E. Illuminating Eye Treatment and Bright Concealing Elixir were staples this year. Read my review of this under-eye circle brightening and concealing duo here. I also succumbed to the internet buzz about Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Weightless complete Coverage Concealer. I bought it during the VIB sale and, well, wow. It’s a high-coverage, lasting product that truly is weightless. It doesn’t crease and lasts all day. The internet was right about this one.

Eyeliner: I am still loving the Youngblood Dual Highlighter Pencil for brightening tired peepers. I should probably get a new one soon. Read my review here. I also love the soft, pigmented, smudge-able, and long-lasting Sephora Collection Contour Eye Liner. I have it in brown and use it a ton.

Base: This year, I made the biggest dents in bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream (reviewed here);  Nars Sheer Glow. (I’ve never reviewed it, but it’s the best foundation I’ve ever used. It’s not perfect, but pretty damn close as far as department store offerings go.) In terms of green bases, it’s Gressa Minimalist Corrective Foundation all the way. See my post about it here.

Powder: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder is perfect, you hear? Perfect. I especially love the yellow-tinged Diffused Light for finishing my makeup and setting concealer. You only need a touch on a fluffy soft brush.

Lips: I made the biggest dents in Ilia Lip Conditioner in Blossom Lady (reviewed here); Jane Iredale Lip Pencil (liner) in Peach (I use this with lip colors ranging from nude to watermelon); and the newest addition is Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in Fig (a peachy-nude-rose that is a tad bright, but in a very good way).

Tools: I own a fancy Japanese blush brush and I never use it. Instead, I go for the EcoTools Tapered Blush Brush. (Read about my most-reached for brushes here.) I also love the Real Techniques Buffing Brush, though this year I got a few of their Miracle Complexion Sponges and I love them. If you wanted to (specially when traveling) you could use this one tool for base, concealer, cream highlighter, and finishing powder. They work as well as a Beauty Blender for one-third of the price. Love.


bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream


Well, it’s been awhile since we talked makeup.Today, I have bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream up for review. I didn’t mean to add another base to my already crammed makeup drawer. I blame Ruth Crilly’s review. She made me curious. Curious enough to head over to Sephora for a sample. I was confident that I wouldn’t end up wanting it, so no harm in checking it out…wrong. I scraped every last bit of it out of the sample jar. Then Sephora’s VIB promo happened over July 4th and that was that. I got the full-size (regularly priced at $29 for 1.8 oz) for 10% off.

All about that base. From left to right: bareMinerals Complexion Rescue in Buttercream, Onomie A.C.E. Illuminating Treatment in shade 1, Onomie Bright Concelaing Elixir in shade 2.


This is a very good tinted moisturizer that offers sun protection (SPF 30) and a sheer wash of coverage. It can be layered for more coverage (approaching medium, I’d say) or you can add half a pump of foundation to it if you want to achieve medium or medium plus coverage in one layer. I do think this is a good skin day product–meaning that if you’re having breakouts, you’ll need a bit of spot concealing or a boost from adding foundation. A tad of foundation also prolongs the staying power on really hot or long days. However, my favorite thing about this is the gel texture. It slips and slides and blends easily–I apply with fingers. It is free of parabens, fragrance, oil, and silicone. (See below for full list of ingredients.) The finish is radiant and dewy. I like to set it with the barest amount of powder (patted on with a sponge before bronzer and blush, then I buff everything a bit with a clean brush). Those who seek full coverage or have oily skin might not groove with this. I have combo skin and appreciate the glow. I can see freckles and other imperfections through this, but I think skin that looks overly perfected isn’t necessarily a good thing. Plus it’s hard to carry off perfection in the sweltering heat! I’ve been using this every day since getting it. I especially like it after I’ve done some morning exfoliating or on the weekends when I really want to keep it simple. This stuff is a solid addition to the makeup drawer. (Okay drawerzzz, plural. I have a problem, I know.)


Active Ingredients: Titanium dioxide 6.2%
Inactive Ingredients: water, coconut alkanes, propanediol, squalane, trehalose, isostearic acid, glycerin, silica, agar, caprylic/capric triglyceride, globularia cordifolia callus culture extract, salicornia herbacea extract, melilotus officinalis extract, coco-caprylate/caprate, butylene glycol, lauroyl lysine, sodium hyaluronate, succinoglycan, polysorbate 60, cellulose gum, polyglyceryl-4 laurate/succinate, sorbitan sesquiisostearate, magnesium stearate, magnesium hydroxide, magnesium chloride, potassium chloride, calcium chloride, potassium sorbate, phenoxyethanol. may contain: titanium dioxide, iron oxides.