In My Makeup Kit – NARS Radiant Creamy Concealers

Ayaana Aschkar-Stevens

I know I’m late to the concealer party with this post as I can’t believe how long I managed without these creamy little sticks of goodness in my kit. I only discovered them a few months ago after a makeup friend kept raving about them, and then I tried one and now… well I’m hooked. I’m up to 6 shades so far and not looking back.

NARS has really upgraded all its formulas for foundation, concealers and powders in recent years and I find that the more I use them, the more I like the shade range and the coverage. So the Radiant Creamy Concealers are wands filled with high-coverage liquid – a product type that has been around for ages and I stopped using years ago because I got into stick formulas that I would sheer out (Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage, I’m talking to you). But I’d never tried the NARS wand version, and now I can’t believe I’ve done without it all this time.

Since I’ve been back working in London I’ve had to change my kit a bit to accommodate different skin tones, and different skin issues. One thing that is different to working in Australia is that people generally have darker circles under their eyes, probably due to less sunlight (I guess). So darker circles became my bête noire for awhile, until the Radiant Creamy Concealers came along. Because the product is a liquid it goes on really easily without getting cakey, and a little goes a long way but covers a multitude of sins. Also it’s colours for darker skin tones are really great, perfectly covering the deeper end of the skin shade spectrum with ease (which let’s be real, not all the brands manage to do). It’s also great for super fair, almost white skins if you are of the fairer persuasion. I also love it for any discolorations around the nose and chin, or even veins and broken capillaries.

One small word of warning though – it is a radiant concealer and this has some light reflection to it. So don’t go too crazy with it or you run the risk of looking like J Lo on the red carpet c. 2001, like a deer caught in the headlights. A dab will generally do you, and you can always layer it with another matte dense concealer if you want straight up extra coverage. Perfect skin can now be yours! (Well at least look like it is).

www.narscosmetics.com

Ayaana Aschkar-Stevens
I used NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer on stunning Ayaana Aschkar-Stevens from Premier Models. Photographer Zoe Economides, Stylist Phillipa Kaye and hair and makeup by me.

In My Makeup Kit: RMS Un Cover-up Concealer

Miranda Kerr

I’ve blogged recently about how sensitive my eyes are now. As in, a great day is when I can wear hypo-allergenic eyeshadow as a liner! Wooh! Party patrol – push that makeup boat out.

So as seeing as my eyes are now special needs, I’m trying to reduce the chemical exposure on everything that goes near my eyes – including my personal concealer.

Which has led me to RMS Un Cover-up concealer. RMS is the brain-child of celebrity makeup artist, Rose-Marie Swift. After having some personal health issues a few years ago, she discovered that her blood contained high level of toxic chemicals and heavy metals, many of which can be found in cosmetics. She realized she could use her in-depth makeup knowledge to create a better, non-toxic version. And thus, a brand was born.

I’d heard great things about her products before and I know Aussie supermodel Miranda Kerr is a big fan of her whole range (Rose-Marie is her go-to makeup artist in NY.)

The concealer which you can get from Cult Beauty (WARNING! This is a very dangerous site. May lead to losing hours off your life browsing and significant amounts off your credit card. You will emerge prettier though).

The concealer is lovely and dense, so It covers well, definitely better than other organic and natural concealers I have tried. Even though its texture is dense it still melts into the skin so it doesn’t look cakey or masky – even in the delicate under eye area. Best of all, it doesn’t hurt your eyes, which some of my other non-natural concealers do when my eyes are bad. And let’s face it, when your eyes already look like you could be auditioning as an extra in Watershoip Down, they don’t need to feel like you’re surrounding them with toxic waste, let me tell you.

It comes in a beautiful glass pot which is great for real life when it lives on your dressing table, not so great for makeup artists who have to carry a chunk of glass around (although I have the solution to that one – Decant, baby, decant. Or you will look like the HunchBack of Notre Dame by the time you’re 30 lugging all that makeup around).

Its moisturizing (but not nastily shiny) texture comes from its natural ingredients including raw coconut oil, cocoa butter, castor oil and jojoba oil.

There are lots of other products from the RMS line that I’m now keen to try – love the look of the luminzers, and the eyeshadows look like a good option for my poor makeup-resistant peepers. Maybe I am allowed to visit Cult beauty again – just this once?

www.cultbeauty.co.uk

In My Makeup Kit: Benefit Erase Paste

Benefits Erase Paste

So this really is the wonder eraser for the under eyes. Of all the concealers I’ve tried, this one covers with just one dab, so it’s perfect for those early mornings when your undereye circles look like they just want to go back to bed and curl up for a few more hours sleep. (A bit like their owner). But! Before you go racing off to invest, there are two drawbacks that you need to know about.

It only comes in three shades, so it’s nor for everyone. My skintone is literally the colour of Barbie (as in, melted plastic pink), so it’s perfect for me and this lives both in my kit and in my personal makeup bag, since it’s just so quick and easy. But you really need to be able to try it on to ascertain whether its amazingness is going to work on your skintone.

Also be careful not to overdo it – it’s a very creamy (yet covering) formula, but if you just blob it on, it can get a little bit goopy. Also it does need to be set with a loose powder to prevent creasing later on.

Having said that, if it IS a good colour on your skintone, it’s phenomenal as an everyday concealer. The little pot will last you a lifetime of early morning starts and undereye blitzing, and a little dab really will do ya. This truly is Erase Paste.

www.benefitcosmetics.com

Bin It: Laura Mercier Secret Brightener

Laura Mercier Secret BrightenerI am a big, big fan of Laura Mercier products as you might know from reading of my almost creepy love of her Translucent Powder and Secret Camouflage concealer. The Secret Brightener? Not so much.

The idea is that you use this under the eye before concealer in order to “brighten dark circles, reduce shadow and minimize discolorations”, according to the website. Which sounds great in theory except that this product is pearly pink. And I mean REALLY pearly pink. Even on my Mattel-doll complexion it shows up pink under the concealer. I believe it now comes in two shades, and to be fair I haven’t tried the second shade, so I can only comment on how Number 1 looks. Also I wouldn’t know how it reads on anyone else’s skin as it never made it near my kit.

However it could be used as a pretty highlighter on the cheekbones, just please, for the love of Mary, not under the eyes. It will give you that awful deer caught in the headlights look which you see when sometimes a celebrity is caught by flash photography with the paprazzi, and their makeup artist has been slightly too generous with the under eye highlighter. As a sweet highlighter pen it’s great as it can be tossed in your bag, and it’s easy for doing delicate spots like the tip of the Cupid’s bow.

For undereye highlighting I can safely recommend YSL Touche Eclat, Clinique Airbrush and Estee Lauder Ideal Light, but not this dude.

This one, I’m sorry to say, is going in the bin.

Bin it!*

* Does not affect my love for the Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder, nor her genius concealer and powder, which I’m still evangelical about.

Best. Concealer. Ever.: Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage

Best-Concealer-Ever-Laura-Mercier-Camouflage

I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for well over a year now, and I haven’t  mentioned this trusty little helper that comes on literally every job. It’s almost as if because it’s there, just when I need it for dark circles and nasty red spots, I don’t even think about it. All these other concealers step in and steal its limelight, when really, it’s the star of the show.

It’s super thick and dense (so great for spots and blemishes), and each colour has two pans of product, one more yellow-y skin coloured one and a peach, so it can be mixed up to just the right shade. The peachier tone is perfect for concealing under-eye darkness – let’s be honest, the scourge of women everywhere.

But the trick is, you need to know how to use it. You need a brush – the Laura Mercier concealer one is pretty good, and then use the brush to mix the colours up the right way on the back of your hand. Then apply with feathering motions (or dabbing motions if it’s a spot) onto the offending area. It can be sheered out or coverage built up until all imperfections just melt away under its tender ministrations.

For under eye circles it really is usually too thick, so I generally put a bit of basic moisturiser on the back of my hand (Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturiser is a favourite for this task), and dip a tiny bit on the brush, then onto the product. The moisturiser breaks it up slightly so you get sheerer coverage. Laura Mercier also makes a Secret Concealer which is more peach-y, and more emollient which I sometimes mix in too. And LM Secret Camo (for it is Secret Camo, and I am Australian, and I will abbreviate things even when it’s not appropriate) can be layered under other products too, for even more superior eyebag coverage.

It comes in 6 shades from really quite pale to reasonably deep tones, although if you are extremely pale or very dark I would stick with Becca as they have a wider selection of colours to choose from.

All in all it is my go-to concealer guy, and I owe it a major apology for not covering it sooner. I may even buy it a drink.

For more information visit http://www.lauramercier.com