01 March 2015

Sephora Natural Make-Up Mini Haul

This Christmas, I was fortunate enough to receive a gift card to Sephora which allowed me to try some make-up products I've had my eye on. Over the years I've transitioned to using all-natural beauty care products, and I've been trying to switch to more natural make-up as well. It's difficult to find natural cosmetics at the drugstore, where I do most of my beauty shopping, so I decided to take the plunge and experiment with higher-end products from three natural beauty brands I've seen buzzed about online: Tarte, OCC, and Josie Maran!

The products I've tried from these lines are mostly natural--the bulk of their formulas are plant-derived ingredients and they're free of parabens and phthalates, but they do contain some synthetic ingredients. Still, their ingredient lists are better than standard drugstore fare, and the companies I purchased from are cruelty-free.

I'm relatively new to concealer, having previously used my regular foundation to cover blemishes. When I decided to try tinted moisturizer to replace my full-coverage foundation, I knew I'd want some concealer on hand to cover any spots that might crop up. I was pleasantly surprised by how well Tarte's Marajuca Creaseless Concealer in "Fair" matched my extremely pale skin, since the shade didn't look all that light online. I also wasn't expecting the formula to be as thick as it is, with a rather waxy consistency similar to a soft lipstick. It's heavier than I'd like for using on larger swaths of skin, such as under the eyes, but it works very well on blemishes.

As I mentioned, I have very pale skin, and it's usually much lighter than the lightest shade of foundation offered in a given brand. When I saw OCC's tinted moisturizer in the shade R0, for pale skin with pink undertones, I thought that I might have finally found a good match. The shade and tone work perfectly with my skin, although as a tinted moisturizer the formula doesn't provide a great deal of coverage. Since I prefer a minimal make-up look anyway, I'm happy with the subtle tone correcting it provides, and use concealer where I want more coverage.

Side note: While I approve of OCC's general philosophy, approach, and practices, I do think that the name "Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics" is insensitive to those who have neuropsychiatric conditions. I know that as a culture we use terms like "obsessive-compulsive" and "OCD" as synonyms for high standards, but they're entirely different things and should not be conflated.

Blush is my favorite make-up product, and I especially love the natural look and feel of cream formulas. The idea of a gel formula instantly appealed to me when I saw Josie Maran's cheek gelée, so I gave it a try in the shade "Coral Oasis." Peaches and corals are my go-to shade for blush in warm weather, but I was a little intimidated by just how orange this particular hue appeared in person. However, the product goes on much lighter and softer than one might expect, with buildable coverage that begins as a faint peachy flush. The formula works a bit like a cheek stain, imparting color without any weight or feeling of a coating on the skin, which I think will be especially pleasant on hot summer days. Be warned, though, that the color stains the fingers as well, and can be a bit stubborn to remove!

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