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.



Gimme Glimmer: Afterglow Cosmetics Eco Eye Shadow



Afterglow Cosmetics Organic Infused Eco Eye Shadow is one of the best finds I have come across since starting my personal campaign to go greener in the beauty department. I found out about this brand in a “what’s in my Z-Palette” post on Genuine Glow. If you’re not reading that blog, you should! I’ve been building my own palette, but I am too lazy to do a similar post because I’d have to cover about a dozen shadows at once. Instead, I am taking on the shadows in individual and small groups.

Today we’re talking Afterglow eye shadows in the Feather and Baroque shades. I’ve got a few other Afterglow shadows as well as Jane Iredale, Zuii, and Kjaer Weis. (See a review of Kjaer Weis Onyx here—I like it as a liner). Getting back to today’s shades—these are perfect, subtle colors: Feather is a pale, pearly pink and Baroque is a peachy-yellow-gold. Feather is perfect for inner corner and brow bone highlighting. Baroque is a lovely gold color that can be worn sheer or built up to more of a yellow-gold. I love them best mixed together. (Swatched above from left to right: Feather, Baroque, and a combo of the two we’ll call Faroque).  My photo doesn’t do it justice. It is so pretty and it’s the perfect complement to (faux) bronzed summer skin. I like to do a light wash over the entire lid using the Real Techniques Finishing Brush. I then tap a little of the Feather on the inner corner of my eye with my finger. (I know this brush is not really meant for shadow and that you’re all: You know nothing, Glossed in Brooklyn! And you’d pretty much be right when it comes to shadow. I tend to keep it simple and fast and this brush does the trick.) I used this combo shade with liner on the upper lid in brown, navy, plum, and soft black. All of those options look great with it—especially the navy or brown.

We’ve covered the colors and application. What about formula and performance? This stuff is good. Of the brands I own, it is the least powdery and the least dry. I almost want to say it’s creamy, but I don’t want readers to take that literally. It is undoubtedly pressed powder, but one that holds together pretty well. When you tap your brush in it, it doesn’t crumble or send powder flying. It’s well-pigmented, soft, and finely-milled. Think shimmery as opposed to sparkly. (I hate chunks of sparkles in shadows.) They also stay put and don’t crease, even on hot, humid days like we’re having today in NYC. (Keep in mind that I don’t use eye shadow primer.)

Here is what’s in it:

Manihot esculenta (organic tapioca) starch*, zea mays (organic corn) starch*, mica, zinc stearate, ricinus communis (organic castor) seed oil*, vitis vinifera (organic grape) seed oil*, punica granatum (organic pomegranate) seed oil*, euterpe oleracea (organic acai) berry*, lycium chinense (organic goji) berry*, hydrogenated glyceryl abietate, tocopherol (gluten free vitamin E), thymus vulgaris (organic thyme) oil*, rosmarinus officinalis (organic rosemary) oil*; May contain +/-: titanium dioxide (77891), iron oxide (77491, 77492, 77499), chromium oxide green, ultramarines

*certified organic

These cost $21 each. I went with the refills since I am using a palette. Those are $17 each.  There are about 20 shades. I just ordered Mingle, a soft teal that should work really when I am channeling mermaids this summer.

Off We Go: Studio 78 Paris Concealer


Covet. That would describe my reaction to reading the reviews of the Studio 78 Paris “Off We Go” concealer. The shade “at dawn” (which is the lighter of the two shades they offer) has been sold out for months. But patience is a virtue (especially when paired with the ability to stalk your most coveted items online). And my patience and stalking paid off–I recently scored one of these little suckers from ($34). After all, people are on the internets saying this is a holy grail concealer. Better than their dirty concealers. This had to be investigated.

So where to begin? The packaging, the color, the coverage, the ingredients? No. Let us begin with the texture. It’s unlike any concealer I have tried. It’s a cream, but not greasy. It’s dry, but it’s not too dry or too powdery. How? And can they please make a foundation version of this now. Now! It’s velvet. It’s cashmere. It’s…well, here is how they describe it:

 This creamy concealer lightly covers dark circles and imperfections while moisturizing, regenerating and revitalizing the eye area.

 The organic WHEAT GERM OIL contained in the texture is known for its anti-age effect, smoothing and revitalizing properties. Enriched in organic SESALINE and OLIVE OIL EXTRACT, this concealer moisturizes and regenerates the epiderm.

100% of the total of the ingredients are natural

20% of the total of the ingredients are from organic farming

More about the ingredients here.

The “at dawn” shade is suitable for light to light-medium skin tones. It has a yellow undertone. This cashmere-textured little gem requires some attention when it comes to application. Moisturize first and let it sink in. Apply with a fluffy concealer brush in thin layers. (See my review of the Ecotools Airbrush Concealer Brush here). Because I also place concealer in the inner corner and a bit on the lid, I find it helps to make sure there isn’t any excess on the eyelid in the crease area (or you’ll see some product bunched up there later in the day). The coverage is very natural and matte and lasts all day. I think the matte finish helps underplay puffiness and other issues. And I just prefer matte finishes generally, so this is right up my alley. We like!