Tuesday, April 1, 2014

March FOTM: Rimmel Stay Matte

If you're new to my Foundation of the Month (FOTM) series, here's the scoop: I'm on a quest in 2014 to find my perfect foundation.  What do I consider "perfect"?  My goals/parameters for an "ideal" foundation are that it be long-wearing (especially on my peskily-oily chin) but not break me out.  It must not be too fussy to apply.  And it must come in under $40.  

March's Foundation: Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Mousse

I originally planned to try out the much-adored Rimmel Match Perfection in March.  Then the Rimmel Stay Matte foundation hit the shelves to some initially good reviews (and a great sale at Walgreens), and since you already know that the Rimmel Stay Matte Powder is my go-to, I decided to give it a try, and who wouldn't with a description like this?
A feather light, oil free formula with an airy mousse texture that won’t feel heavy or greasy. Delivers all day shine control and blends flawlessly for a natural looking matte finish. Minimizes the appearance of pores. The weight is over – finally, shine has met its matte.
Before you get too excited, this one was a fail.  So much so that I abandoned it by mid-month and reverted to using to February's FOTM.

While the initial look is indeed beautifully matte, it did not hold up without a primer.  On a cold day (high of 42) in early March, I already had some slippage around my nose and on my chin by 1:00 in the afternoon. Additionally, the parts of my face that did stay matte took on a cakey appearance throughout the day as it settled into my lines (which are thankfully not numerous, as of yet - I'm 34 - but definitely noticeable).  This effect was even worse in subsequent days when I used a primer underneath.

Some other, more general, cons:
This foundation is a mousse texture and as such, does not apply well with a sponge.  It didn't apply all that great with a regular foundation brush, either.  I finally had the best results applying with a stippling makeup brush.

Because the packaging is a non-translucent tube, there is no way to gauge what shade you should buy.  This did not concern me initially.  Since I'm pretty consistently the "fairest of them all", I bought Fair Porcelain, It was much too pink and much too pale to be a usable match.  I had to use bronzer just to make it wearable for the day (bronzer is typically discretionary for me).  I went back and purchased the next shade up - Light Ivory - better but still a bit too light (and at a time of year that many are beginning the transition to a darker shade).  I finally found a match with my third try: Ivory.  But ultimately, for a foundation I couldn't try-before-buy, it was very inconvenient.

I found this foundation to be fussy in the way that it plays (or doesn't) with other products.  I typically apply concealer immediately following foundation without any kind of a waiting period and without any problems.  However, when I went to blend in my usual Maybelline Age Rewind concealer, the foundation underneath smeared completely off the under-eye area (I did not have this problem using the same concealer with the Revlon and em cosmetics foundations I tested in January and February).  I had to pair it with the Rimmel Match Perfection Concealer in order to get a wearable look.  (Ultimately, I'm not too sad to have been forced to try this new-to-me concealer - I've been very happy with the coverage, brightness, and longevity, and it looks like it might be a great bargain dupe for the legendary YSL Touche Eclat - but am still taking points off of the Stay Matte foundation for being fussy: I shouldn't have had to use a new concealer to make this foundation work for me.)

Overall grade: F. This foundation was too high-maintenance all around without the payoff of a great look.  It may work well for someone younger, completely devoid of fine lines, and with more time to baby it during application, but if you're time-crunched and over the age of 30, skip this one.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Fitness Friday: Refuel

There are a million theories out there on the best way to refuel after a workout.  Since my Whole 30 I've continued to eat a more Paleo diet and have been on the lookout for smoothies that fit those parameters (even though smoothies themselves are considered by many to be un-Paleo), since smoothies are my favorite form of post-workout fuel.

I created this Chocolate Banana Recovery Smoothie very loosely based on this banana split smoothie recipe I saw over at Well + Good last weekend, and it hit the spot after my Sunday run.
  • 1 banana - ideally frozen, but I always forget; fresh is fine
  • 2 TBSP flax seeds
  • 1 cup almond milk - or other milk, dairy or non-, of your choice
  • 2 dates, chopped or 1TBSP of honey - I do NOT have a fancy blender that could pulverize the dates, so honey is the better option for me
  • 1 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 ice cubes - you may need less if you planned ahead with that frozen banana
Simply blend and enjoy!

What is your favorite way to refuel after getting your sweat on?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Welcome Lent {2014}

It sounds strange to say that I look forward to Lent, but the truth is that I do.  This year I'd been running around hurry-scurry so much that I didn't get much time to prepare for the season until yesterday.

I am, however, happy with the intentions I've made for this Lenten season, so I thought I'd share a few of the resources that I bumped into yesterday that really spoke to me, just in case there's anyone out there still searching for a little direction for the next six weeks.

  • Megan Tietz over at Sorta Crunchy started a new series - Waiting Tables - focusing on fostering a servant's heart.  The series, like Megan's blog, promises to be inspiring while down-to-earth.
  • Kate Wicker's post yesterday on not choosing one's sacrifice struck a particular chord with me as I continue to work through physical therapy (and the increasing likelihood that there is something more systemic going on with my body that is slowing me down).  (If you click over to Kate's, she also has a MUCH longer Lenten resource list you may want to check out.)
  • If you're looking for a broader template, this short thesis on Lenten Observances from Fr. Charles is compact but meaty.  
  • The Magnificat publication is always a wonderful resource, and their Lent edition is no exception.  The print version is sold out, but Moose's Godmother generously gifted me the app.  While I don't always embrace the move to digital and I would prefer quiet contemplative time with a tome, there is something to be said for accessibility - my morning prayers got said over a pot of eggs I was waiting to boil.
Do you have any hints, tips, or resources that help you get into the Lenten spirit?

Saturday, March 1, 2014

February FOTM: em cosmetics "love me for me"

Welcome to the second installment of FOTM: Foundation of the Month!  If you missed the launch to this series, you can catch up here.

The Reader's Digest version is that I am spending 2014 searching for my perfect foundation by intensively testing one foundation per month. My goals/parameters for an "ideal" foundation are that it be long-wearing (especially on my peskily oily chin) but not break me out.  It must not be too fussy to apply.  And it must come in under $40.

February's Foundation: em cosmetics "love me for me"

This foundation wasn't even on my radar when the year began.  I decided to take the leap after watching Michelle Phan's #NoFilter tutorial - her result was beautiful and, the foundation was FREE with purchase of the "love me for me" powder compact.  (Note: As of 3/1/2014 it appears that this deal is still in effect; if you add the powder compact to your cart, the foundation will appear at no cost in your cart; however, it also appears that the foundation is not available separately for purchase.)  As it currently stands, you can get BOTH the foundation and powder for $25 - an absolute bargain! 

No bones about it: I love this foundation! I've never worn a foundation before that looked so incredibly natural! It fulfilled all the marketing slogans I've ever read promising a product that is "you only better".  My office mates commented on the very first day how much they loved the look (we're all closet beauty junkies).

"love me for me" scores huge points for ease of use.  It comes in a mess-free pump container, and a little bit goes a very long way (a pump and a half easily gets the job done).  It applies and blends easily with pretty much every method you might use.   I treated myself to the pointed foundation brush from em cosmetics and utterly loved it.  I dutifully tested with my makeup sponge and fingers as well, and it was virtually impossible to mess it up.

I tested this foundation over unprimed skin, with the t-zone primed with MAC primer, and also experimented with a new L'Oreal primer/pore reducer (that broke me out - argh!).  I had the best results with the MAC primer.  I generally paired it with the matching powder but tested it with my typical Rimmel one with comparably flawless results. 

Overall the coverage is slightly less than I thought I wanted: in my mind, my long-wearing requirement seemed to assume full coverage as well.  However, I learned that it's not necessarily the case!  Love me for me is a beautiful medium-coverage foundation that stands up all day without needing extraordinary measures to remove it at bedtime.

My biggest trepidation - and the only way I figure someone could go wrong with this foundation - was choosing a shade. The em cosmetics website offers 24 photographs of real women's faces with the idea being that you chose the shade corresponding with the woman whose face best resembles yours.  I was very nervous not to order the lightest shade (I ended up with bare 04), but went with my gut and ended up with a winner.

Overall grade: A! With extra credit for giving me a fuller coverage powder to dust on over BB Cream on the weekend!

Oh, and this foundation officially replaces the Cover Girl Outlast as my fallback foundation as my FOTM experiment continues . . .

Thursday, February 27, 2014

February Shareworthy

I discovered a new-to-me vocal artist that I'm really loving.  I was watching a beauty tutorial by Samantha Schuerman and heard Mindy Gledhill for the first time.  I've had this song on replay ever since! Click PLAY while you read on!

For Your Reading Pleasure . . .
I've been loving The Deliberate Reader blog (I wish I could give credit to how I found her, but I already can't remember).  This latest review, of Women Heroes of World War II sounds intriguing (and in small, bedtime-accessible chunks - mommy bonus!).

This post by Jen Fulwiler on the Courage to Rest has given me a lot of food for thought (especially with Lent fast approaching).

If you're a casual (or not so casual) Kate Middleton follower, and you haven't discovered What Would Kate Do?, it's time to become acquainted!

For Your Eating Pleasure . . .
I'm looking forward to trying out some of these Paleo slow cooker recipes!  I already tested the roast chicken and gravy from Nom Nom Paleo and it was a winner - quick, easy, delicious and healthy - whether you follow a Paleo diet or not! (I used the leftovers in my Buffalo Chicken Salad!)

This Paleo-friendly green smoothie (I know, in some folks' books that's a contradiction in terms) was delicious and made a nice on-the-go meal that didn't involve a boiled egg.

This Paleo banana pudding hit the spot when I needed a sweet treat. My second batch was even better with a tablespoon of Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips thrown in!

On the nutritionally naughty end of the spectrum, Daddy M and I enjoyed this classic (and so easy!) margarita recipe on National Margarita Day (February 22nd).

Pure Girly Pleasure . . .
I'm always on the lookout for a good make-up tutorial to achieve a Kate Middleton/Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge look.  This one won big points from me for achieving Kate's cool, smoky eye without going too smoky (as many do).  The natural pink lip is also spot on (and uses a very-affordable Rimmel lipstick!).

If you love Downton Abbey like I do, you MUST see Michelle Dockery's {spoof} new series preview on Funny or Die!

For the Kiddos' Pleasure . . .
We've started planning a playroom for our as-yet-nonexistent new house.  I love this wall decorating idea from Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy. I'm also in love with the idea of a tent/nest/book nook like this one or this one.

I've been ogling Olliblocks for months and months and haven't gotten my act together enough to purchase the materials to make a set for Moose and Mouse.  Happily, they've recently come out with four pre-made block sets called Mixmates!  I ordered the Animals and Careers sets to surprise Moose and Mouse on a plane trip we're taking in April.

Disclosure: The Amazon links contained in this post are affiliate links.