Best. Foundation. Ever. Chanel Vitalumiere

Chanel Vitalumiere Foundation Fond de Teint

This is a big call. I mean, how do you choose the best of something that is so specific, and so personal? After all, it is supposed to replicate the skin you’re in. And whilst this is my Number 1, (and 2, and 3) foundation in my kit because of how it meets the demands of my work, it may not be right for you.

But I do want to tell you why I love it so. For a start, it’s nice and dewy, just like gorgeous healthy skin should be. It blends like a dream and doesn’t get dry or cakey. I use this on everyone – models on shoots, real people, for the red carpet, for the shows, straight beauty, advertising – I can hardly think of a job I DON’T use it on. You can sheer it out or beef up the coverage, go all over or just where needed, use it with a brush or a sponge or your fingers. Sigh. Can you tell I’m still enamoured after all these years?

Oh sure I’ve toyed with many other foundations – in fact I have a drawer full at home! Even other Chanel foundations don’t rock my socks off like Vitalumiere. I flirted with Teint Innocence and had a brief decamp to Pro Lumiere (too heavy for winter, doable for those who like a more matte finish), but always, always I go back to my trusty VL (I’m Australian so we abbreviate everything, even things that shouldn’t be abbreviated, like Chanel products). Anyways…

It does have its drawbacks however – if you have very oily skin it might be too glowy for you. For me it doesn’t matter because I’m always there to top up with powder to keep the shine at the right level, but equally if you live in a hot or sunny climate (Australia and the American South, I’m talking to YOU!) it’s probably going to move around too much and be a bit heavy. In which case can I recommend something lighter like MAC Face and Body, or Chantecaille’s Oil Free Future Skin?

Chanel Vitalumiere only comes in 7 shades in Europe, so it’s great for lighter skintones, not so ace for black or mixed race people – this is the only downside of this foundation for me. So I keep Bobbi Brown and Becca foundations also in my kit to cover all the bases – so to speak!

Vitalumiere gives your skin the glow it wishes it had, and every makeup artist I know has this in their kit. For me as a makeup artist, it’s the Best. Foundation. Ever.

Best. Waterproof. Mascara. Ever. (at least for this week)

Cover Girl Waterproof MascaraCover Girl Volume Exact in Black

The fact that I’ve been kicking back and tanning, swimming in the pool and sipping frozen margaritas, you could be forgiven for thinking I’m on holidays. But I assure you that it’s a cover (a deep cover) for my real purpose, which is bringing you the best of American beauty – including finding the world’s best waterproof mascara.

I’ve been relentlessly testing, through sunscreen applications, evening cook-outs and trips to Austin’s Barton Springs in 45 degree heat, and this is the one that’s held up – Cover Girl’s Maximum Volume Waterproof Mascara.

It’s got a pliable rubber brush that gets to the base of every lash, and so far even with multiple coats it doesn’t create the dreaded Stick Lash.

And let’s be clear – this is no lightweight testing process. We’re talking underwater breastroke, twice-daily dips and margarita fuelled poolside frolics, and always, always I have smudge proof, splash-proof, sweet and fluffy lashes. Meaning I don’t have to look like an egg (my natural state without mascara), even though I’m poolside.

I’ll be continuing my stringent testing methods all this week and next, and there are a quite a few more things on my list, so I’ll keep you posted on what other little makeup gems I find. Sadly for my UK readers they will probably be mainly US products, since I plan to take full advantage of what’s on offer in the nirvana of the American drugstore. But if you do find something you really like, you can always buy it on www.drusgtore.com as they now ship overseas. Which is dangerous. Not as dangerous as my mascara testing, but someone’s gotta do it!

The.Best.Gloss.Ever. Lancome Color Fever Gloss in 206

Lancome Color Fever Gloss in 206Regular readers of MakeupMole might have noticed I’m not big on glosses at the moment. That’s not to say I haven’t been partial to them in the past – oh no! I have two whole drawers of them in the Vault that are testament to my crazy gloss-loving days, back when I never knew you could have too many of the suckers  and models looked like they had been shellacked – any job without a mixture of three different glosses to get just the right color – well I wasn’t on it.

Since lipstick and lip liner have been taking centre stage again, I readjusted my kit and ditched a lot of my shiny stuff, in favor of matte and satin lippies, MAC lip mixes and Make Up For Ever Matte Lip Creme. But I do still carry a few lip glosses for those moments when you need it – clear MAC lipglass, some randoms I NEVER use but I have in case I have a pastel or cream colored lip emergency, and this fella, which still even in these gloss-starved times, seems to come out to play – Lancome Color Fever Gloss no 206. It’s a sparkly (but not too sparkly) pinky beig-y nude that was one of the earlier holographic lip glosses which normally I’m not too fond of – Acid Trip on your Lips, anyone? But this one just gives superior shine in a great color that looks gorgeous either on its own or layered over lipstick. I’ve used it on beauty shoots that were all about the skin and red carpet appearances alike, and it’s always a winner.

So if they’ll be prying your gloss out of your stiff cold hands (and let’s face it, for mere mortals a little bit of lip sheen is just prettier than a dry, dusty mouth) then this could be the gloss or you.

The. Best. Mascara. Ever. Chanel Exceptionnel

Oh how do I love thee, let me count the ways:

 1.    Your fat, squidgy brush snuggles against my lashline and oh so gently follows the curve of the lashes until, hark! All the lashes are evenly distributed with a dense, perfect pigment, and not in any way spiky, clumpy or Liza Minelli-esque. The brush itself is like Chanel Inimitable on steroids – it solves the problems of that brush by adding in an extra layer of bristles so you don’t get spiky prongs for lashes.Chanel Exceptionnel

 2.    You don’t flake, smear or end up needing to be repaired halfway through a shoot (or a long day at work since I love you so much you are also in my personal makeup bag, which I might add is gradually improving since I shamed myself in a previous post with the sadness of my personal makeup collection).

 3.    You can be layered, for multiple coats that give full, glam lashes and not the crunchy ones that you can’t drag the wand through. (That is nasty!)

 4.    As well as brown and black you come in gorgeous colors with a hint of color, like Smoky Violine and my favourite, Smoky Marine which is amazing on blue eyes.  It’s not obvious that it’s a deep navy, it just makes blue eyes pop (fear not those who think this might be straying into Lady Di territory, it’s a deep, rich cobalt, not an electric Duran Duran turquoise).

 5.    Your packaging is exactly what we would expect in one of the greatest fashion brands ever – sleek, slick and iconic, and makes you feel like a rock star every time you pull it out.

 6.    Apparently it is an “intense volume and curl mascara”, which makes sense as thick, gorgeous lashes is what we’re all craving – it’s hard to bat your eyes seductively with a fringe that is stick straight and stumpy.

 7.    The ad, which can be viewed below is gorgeous enough to make me do pretty much anything this mascara asks. (Except maybe volunteer to talk to a clown at the circus, because I’m really scared of them).

 You really are Exceptionnel (Chanel that is)

 

 

The. Best. Red. Lipstick. Ever.

No really.

MAC's Ruby Woo
MAC's Ruby Woo

Why is this little red bullet of perfection so good? I love it for its dense matte color, and the perfect blend of orange and blue so that it looks amazing on every skin tone. I’ve seen it working on a shoot on seven different people, from the English blue-eyed beauty of Karl Lagerfeld’s muse Amanda Harlech to the olive gorgeousness that is Yasmin Le Bon. How many other red lipsticks can say that, huh?

If you’re looking for glossy it’s not that guy, although you can soup it up with a clear or red gloss to take it to a whole other place, where Michelle Pfeiffer waits for Al Pacino in a smoky bar. But I love it with a bit of MAC Cherry or Redd pencil underneath – real siren lips at their best.

Sick of waiting to find out what it is? It’s (drumroll please!) MAC’s Ruby Woo, the classy older sister to MAC’s brash Lady Danger which is also great, but younger and edgier as it’s more on the orange side. (The fabulous London makeup artist Andrew Gallimore used Lady Danger on Lily Allen who loved it.)

But back to our star, Miss Ruby Woo? Well you can take her anywhere.

 

Mac Redd Lip Pencil
Mac Redd Lip Pencil