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My Night Time Routine: How I take off my face and eye makeup

Hi all, sorry for the lack of posts! I started graduate school this week so everything has been a bit busy. Once I get settled into my new routine I will be posting more (2-3 times a week I am hoping!). Today I wanted to put up a post to show you how I take off my makeup. I want to stress how important it is to remove ALL of your makeup every night! I know sometimes you just feel tired and don't feel like doing it. Every time I have done that I have woken up with an unwelcome & unwanted bump. I always make it a must to take it all off before I head to my comfy bed (I call it my cloud...seriously it's that comfortable!) So please even if you don't do this full routine like I do, make sure to at least use a makeup wipe to do the work for you! :)

Removing: Face Makeup

I wrote a full description of my skincare routine a few posts ago. If you would like to read about what I use (it's pretty much all Kiehl's!) then click HERE.

  • CLEANSER: Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil Free Cleanser - This is hands down my favorite cleanser. It suds, is oil free, hydrating and doesn't strip my skin AND removes all of my face makeup. If for whatever reason I'm not home or don't have access to my full routine then I will just cleanse my face. 
  • TONER: Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil Free Toner - Toners have been a must for me since learning more about them working at a skincare store. Toners really give me the confidence there is no makeup residue left on my face. I highly recommend toners if you have acne prone skin.
  • MOISTURIZER: Kiehl's Abyssine or Ultra Facial Oil Free Gel Cream - I use the gel cream for the summer months (this is great if you have oily skin also) and a richer cream like Abyssine in the winter when my skin is a lot drier.
  • EYE CREAM: I'll be honest and say I don't use this every single night. I do try to use it a few times a week. Sometimes I will just use my moisturizer under my eyes.
Removing: Eye Makeup

This is almost a "favorite makeup removers" post too! Here is what I like to use...

  • Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Cloths - These are my favorite makeup wipe, and let me tell you...I have tried a lot. These wipes are hands down the best I have tried. They literally remove all of your eye makeup and with ease. The wipes remove stubborn waterproof makeup but are still gentle. They are probably similar to most makeup wipes, but these do stay damp and I haven't had an issue with them drying out (I'm talking about you MAC wipes!) You can buy them in a small packet like this or a box of them. I have both as I like to bring the smaller pack for travel and to keep in my makeup vanity. I highly recommend these!
  • Almay Oil Free Eye Makeup Remover Pads - These are my other go to eye makeup remover. They are a big hit and I love how they are small circular pads so they fit perfectly on your eye. I like to press them on my eye area and let them soak for a few seconds. Here's a tip: Store these upside down! They do a great job of removing your eye makeup. I do need something extra if I am wearing a lot of mascara. Check out the next product for that!
  • Mary Kay Oil Free Makeup Remover - This is also oil free so it's not greasy and does not leave a residue. I really like MAC cleanse off because it literally just wows me how easily it removes makeup, BUT I do get an oily residue and my eyes can get cloudy too. Anyway, this Mary Kay remover really does help get that last bit of mascara off. It's not a product you hear much about it but I will say it works well for me! I started using it because my Mom had it, so thanks Mom!

So that is how I remove all of my makeup from the day! I know it might sound silly, but I really enjoy doing this routine every night. I just feel so clean and refreshed after all my makeup is off. Especially because I know I have a "blank canvas" for tomorrow! :)

What is your night skin & makeup removal routine?

Thanks for reading,

Cargo BeachBlush in Echo Beach And ColorStick in Key West - Review, Photo, Swatches

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend! Today's post will be featuring two products from Cargo. Cargo was kind enough to send me four gifted products after reading my rave review on my holy grail face powder Cargo blu_ray Pressed Power. Click HERE to read that review. 

What Cargo sent me: Beachblush in Echo Beach, ColorStick in Key West, Contour Palette in Malibu & Cargo Liquid Foundation. 

Cargo BeachBlush in Echo Beach

What Cargo says:
Imagine the perfect marriage of blush and bronzer!  Four harmonious shades work together to provide perfectly flushed cheeks with a sun-drenched glow. Golden Goddess effects in a flash! Our BeachBlush™ has earned its status as one of CARGO’s most iconic products and even appeared as a question on Jeopardy!  Packaged in our signature tin with generous surface area for easy swirling.
Echo Beach is described as "a warm berry bronzed color medley" 


I had been eyeing these BeachBlushes at Ulta for awhile now, and have seen them on a few beauty blogs too. I love the idea of blush & bronzer "medley" especially because I usually wear both anyway.

  • The color "Echo Beach" is a really pretty berry that does lean more red than pink.
  • This color I think would work all for all skin tones (especially tan skin), however very fair skin would need to use a light hand for application. 
  • The texture of this product is excellent as it is that "buttery" feeling just like my beloved blu_ray pressed power
  • "Echo Beach" blends well too and can easily be built up (as you will see in the swatches)
  • I like the tin packaging. I know this has been (and probably will be) a downside for some. I actually really like the packaging because it's simple and unique. I also like that I can remove the lid too and it is not attached
  • Price is $30 and you can find it at Ulta & Cargo's website. I honestly do think the price tag is a little steep.
  • Cargo offers a ton of color combinations in their BeachBlush line. Here's a link to look at them HERE
  • Would I recommend: Yes, the BeachBlush are a fantastic product that has a lot of pluses. The product itself is high quality so no wonder they are popular sellers for the brand. I probably would go with the shade "Coral Beach" instead of "Echo Beach" because I prefer more peachy blush/bronzers because I do have a lot of redness in my cheeks. "Echo Beach" does not accentuate my red cheeks, but I find I tend to look better in peachy shades. I really suggest heading over to Ulta and playing around with the testers. I know I will be going back to swatch! Thank you Cargo for giving me a chance to try it out!


(left to right) Echo Beach heavy swatch & Echo Beach blended

Cargo ColorStick in Key West

What Cargo says:
An oil-free, cream color stick that blends effortlessly to eyes, cheeks and lips, for a natural, monochromatic look.  The velvety, ultra-light texture blends flawlessly onto the skin for an “airbrushed” finish.  Cheeks appear smooth and flawless.  The cream-to-powder formula sets for an exceptionally longwearing finish and never settles into fine lines.  The dial-up stick makes application a breeze. Available in 5 shades:  Santorini, Key West and Maui give a natural and pretty color to the cheeks, eyes and lips.  

  • I would describe the color "Key West" is a bright baby pink. It does lean more to the cooler toned side but would still work for warm toned girls.
  • I have always liked the concept of stick cream blushes. The application is easy and always less mess (I love my MAC creme blushes but they can be so messy!)
  • This product is easy to blend which is a common trait for stick blushes. As you can see in the  swatches below, the bright color stays true even after being blended out.
  • The texture is very smooth and NOT sticky at all (huge plus!)
  • I really think more mature women would love this product OR anyone will drier skin types as I find this product hydrating. Oil skinned gals can still use this as it's oil free, but will most likely need a powder to set it.
  • I like to use this on top of a bronzer. For example, I will put on my Cargo Medium Bronzer or Benefit Hoolah and then add a few swipes of this on top of it. I usually don't wear pink blushes...especially this pink, but when used in combination with a bronzer it works. 
  • I know a ton of ladies out there love pink blushes. To be honest, I don't really wear shades of pinks on my cheeks often. I will usually use them on others when I do wedding or special event makeup. I think this color will be a great addition for that purpose, as I don't see myself reaching for this particular shade on a daily basis.
  • The tube packaging works and you will twist the product to come out. Make sure to twist slowly as it is a little hard to get the product to go back down (a common problem with twist products like this)
  • Price is $28 and you can find it at Ulta & Cargo's website. I do think the price is a tad high but cream blushes like this usually go for this.
  • Cargo offers a ton of color combinations in their ColorStick line. Here's a link to look at them HERE
  • Would I recommend: Yes. As mentioned above, I would suggest this to mature skin types or those with drier skin. Cream blushes tend to be "sleeper hits" in the blush world and tend to be overshadowed by traditional powder blush. This product is oil free and I know that is hard to find in cream blushes! I really do think a lot of people will really like the color of this product too. 

(left to right) Cargo ColorStick in Key west blended & heavy swatch

 Thank you everyone for reading this review! I made sure to point out different aspects of the product itself so you can get a "well rounded" review. I thank you all again for reading this! The review on the two other Cargo products will be up soon!

Thanks for reading,

Disclaimer: I want to note that although these products were sent to me for free, that will not effect my review of them. As noted in my "About My Blog" page at the top, I do accept PR samples of products, but do not guarantee a positive review OR ever accept monetary compensation. All of my reviews are 100% honest! 

Top 3 brushes for foundation - for light to medium to full coverage!

LEFT TO RIGHT: Sigma F82, MAC 109, Real Techniques Stippling

Hi all, today's post will be about my 3 favorite foundation brushes. All 3 essentially do the same thing (put on my foundation) but the application and finish is different. At times I'm not feeling like wearing a lot of foundation so I do a light application, but sometimes I want that mega full coverage. So instead of relying soley on the foundation, I use one of my 3 fav brushes to get the job done. Some folks may just use their fingers or a sponge to apply and that is fine too! I personally prefer using brushes for a few reasons: gives the most "airbrushed' look, makes the application go a lot faster, more hygienic, and always looks even! 

My top 3 brushes for foundation:

$9.99 @ Ulta (Use that $3.50 off $10 coupon!)

This brush is an awesome drugstore find! Samantha from Pixiwoo on YouTube created her own line of brushes, and let me tell you...they are fantastic! She has a whole range of different eye, face, brows and all that good stuff. I am a huge fan of the stippling brush!
  • This is a dual-fibered brush so that means it will give you that "airbrushed" look
  • I really like the handle shape and how easy this glides on my foundation
  • Easy to wash and shape 
  • The price is affordable (compared to other dual fibered brushes!)
  • This brush will work for your foundation needs. I like to use this for when I want light to medium coverage. Some people may put the foundation right on the brush, but I prefer to dot foundation on my face then swirl and blend. I find I never look cakey this way!
  • This brush works great with a tinted moisturizer too
  • This might sound like an odd thing to mention but I like that you can see when it's dirty. It helps me know when I need to clean it!
  • This would be my pick for someone who is just getting started with foundation and wants a goof proof way to apply. Also, this would be great for someone who wants buildable coverage but does not want full!

Sigma F82 Round Top Synthetic Kabuki
$16 @ Sigma Beauty

This is my go to brush if I want to look flawless & airbrushed. The brush seriously does it all!
  • It blends extremely well and hides every imperfection (works with the foundation for that of course!)
  • Same thing as above, you can see when it needs a wash
  • Super easy to wash (I use ELF's brush wash...only $3!) and stays in shape!
  • I like the round shape so I can get around all the smaller areas of my face
  • The price is affordable and this brush will last a long time.
  • All of my Sigma brushes have been with me for awhile, but haven't experienced any wear & tear
  • This brush is very dense and rounded this is what helps with coverage!
  • This is my favorite brush to use with my Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation
  • This would be my pick for someone who wants to look flawless, as well as anyone who wants full coverage and needs to cover a lot!
MAC 109 Small Contour Brush

$35 @ MAC (I know I know...I have a PRO card @ MAC so that cuts the price!)

I bought this brush because of Temptalia's review on it. Her makeup always looks great and she is dead on with her reviews. Honestly, if I didn't have a PRO card (you get 40% off) I would have a hard time shelling out $35 for a brush...let's be real here. So that is why I provided you all with a link to Sigma's brush which is almost the exact same thing. 
  • This brush is natural fibers (the other two brushed mentioned are synthetic)
  • It is easy to work with, but I noticed it works better if you put the foundation ON the brush rather than do the dots on the face
  • The downside is that I have experienced some shedding with this brush and it's annoying. It also can dry in an odd shape if not shaped properly while washing. 
  • This is usually my go to brush when my other brushes are dirty (like right now...) because it works well, but isn't the love of my life. I owned this brush before the other two so honestly I just moved on...no bad feelings
  • This would be my pick for someone who wants medium coverage. This brush is nowhere near as dense as the Sigma F82 but it does work well! I would say this is the younger sister of F82 if you will.

LEFT TO RIGHT: Real Techniques Stippling, Sigma F82, MAC 109
Yes, I'm sorry they are used!

So if I had to pick only one to have? I would probably go with F82. Sigma F82 does it all and honestly who doesn't want their foundation to look flawless everytime they wear it? The other brushes are great too. That is why I made sure to write who I would suggest them to AND for what coverage purpose.

Have you tried any of these brushes? What is your go to brush for foundation?

Thanks for reading,

Everyday makeup products and NEW storage

Hi all, today's post will be about my everyday makeup storage. I like to keep my everyday makeup and then everything else separate. I prefer to keep the products I use daily in this nifty plastic 3 drawer system. No it's not fancy aryclic, but I can't afford to spend $100+ on the Kim K storage unit. Besides I heard that the drawers are very shallow! This little organizer is perfect and is exactly what I was looking for. The drawers are deep enough to fit a ton of stuff in them and everything lays nicely. I also got it really cheap for $8.99 at Container Store. Here's the link 

*If I did a review on a product it will be a clickable link*

Top Drawer ~ Eye/Brow Products

Urban Decay Eden Primer Potion
Urban Decay 24/7 Pencil in Zero
Lash Curler
ELF black cream eyeliner
L'Oreal Lineur Intense Felt Tip Liquid Eyeliner
NYX brow wax pencil
Benefit Creaseless cream eyeshadow in Birthday Suit
MAC Painterly Paint Pot

**I switch up my eyeliner look all the time so I like to have every form (cream, liquid, pencil) that you can use! 

Middle Drawer ~ Powers/Bronzers/Eye Concealers

Cargo OneBase in #02
Garnier Rollerball Tint
Toofaced Wrinkle Injection
Cargo Bronzer in Medium
Palladio Mosaic Bronzer in Sunkissed
**got this at Bed Bath Beyond for 50% off and I really like it!

Bottom Drawer ~ Foundations/Primer

Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray
Cargo Tinted Moisturizer in Nude
L'Oreal True Match Concealer in W4-5
Laura Mericer Silk Creme in Hazelnut Beige (Sephora sample)
**I have this in shades Medium Ivory & Bamboo Beige but am testing out a darker shade. A post on this foundation will be up sometime next week!

Does anyone else sort their makeup like this? 

Thanks for reading,

My Top 15 Favorite MAC Eyeshadows

Hi everyone! I hope your weekend is off to a good start. I decided to start doing more of my "favorite" products. I myself am a huge fan of reading posts like that so I hope you are too! Today I will share with you my top 15 MAC eyeshadows. I own quite a few so in the future I can do a full collection perhaps. We shall see! Anyway, above is a photo showing you how I store my MAC eyeshadows. I like to keep them sorted by color family to stay organized. Most of my favorites are housed in the "Neutrals" palette.

My top 15 MAC eyeshadows (no order!)
*All eyeshadows will be linked to swatches at Temptalia. She has excellent photos so please make sure to use those for color & swatch references. Thanks Christine for all effort you put into your photos!!*

  1. Carbon - My most used black eyeshadow. I use this color for many different purposes but mostly for eyeliner or defining the outer V. It blends really well and has become a staple color for me everyday.
  2. Omega - This is in my top 15 for two main reasons. One reason is because I love this for my eyebrows. It's the perfect color to use if you have a blonde hair or even light brown hair. I fill in my brows many different ways, but this always looks the most natural I feel like. The other reason is that this works great as a blending & transition color.
  3. Expresso - This is a new addition to my collection and I am so glad I went with this color over some of the others I was looking at. This shade is described perfect as a neutral medium brown. I know a lot of people like this for their eyebrows (with darker hair than mine) and this is my new favorite for my crease. This shade is so versatile and works with a multitude of colors. I mostly wear neutrals & bronzes, but this works well with grays & silvers too! I highly recommend this shade if you are looking an awesome crease color. Just because it looks super boring in the pan don't let that fool you!
  4. Double feature 4 - I love this medium/yellowish/brown shade. It looks almost mustardy in the pan but it works so well with my green eyes. I really like this as a transition or crease color. I usually wear this shade when I am going lighter on the eyes. This color is similar to MAC Outre which I am regretting not picking up a few months ago in Vegas. Ugh! This was limited edition and unfortunately I can't get it out of this 2x2 packaging. If anyone can help please let me know! It is really glued in snug. 
  5. Satin Taupe - Probably one of many people's favorites. It is a beautiful shade that is a cross between taupe/brown/plum. This was one of first MAC eyeshadows and I use it often! It works great as a lid or crease shade.
  6. Antiqued - This was my 1st MAC eyeshadow purchase! In the pan it looks almost red and harsh. YET, when applied it is awesome. I love using this color to warm up a neutral or bronze look. It adds that "little something extra" when I apply it to the outer V. It also brings out my green eyes!
  7. Quarry - This was a shade I bought and loved, then completing stopped using it. Then, I saw it used in a YouTube video and I was like ooh I have to try that again. I have been using it a lot ever since. It a purple/brown almost mauve looking on my skin. It looks great as a crease color and blends well too. It's definitely one of those shades I haven't seen a lot of dupes of. 
  8. Jealousy Wakes - This was a limited edition shade designed by Christine @ Temptalia. It is a beautiful shade of emerald and I love wearing this on my lower lash line. It really makes my eyes pop and spices up the look! Make sure to check out the story behind how she created it...so interesting!
  9. Bronze - This is your standard bronze eyeshadow and it leans warm/red toned. I would recommend this to folks who are just starting to get into MAC eyeshadows. You can't go wrong with this shade, and you can complete a look just using this if you wanted.
  10. Romp - I believe I read this was discontined but don't have the details on that. I bought this just a few months ago at a MAC store and no one said anything about it going away. Anywho, this is a great shade. In the pan it looks very similiar to Bronze but it's not! This is more a true gold which has the warmth but stays more in a mix of bronze & brown. 
  11. Era - This shade doesn't get a lot of love! It probably looks super boring in the pan and I know I skipped over it a few times. This color is a soft champagne beige. I wear this almost everyday as a lid color. It doesn't add a ton of color but the little it does add really helps get my eye look started!
  12. Saddle - Not sure if this one is discontinued too, but this is a great red toned brown. I don't use it a ton, but it works well if you are doing a smoky bronze eyeshadow. I pair this a lot with Antiqued as both shades bring out my eye color.
  13. Patina - Another shade I think that needs more love! It's described as a taupe and I work say it is, but it the champagne beige tone is strong in it too. This is an excellent lid color and I would highly recommend it for all eye colors!
  14. Brule - I like this eyeshadow for just a soft wash on the lid, or as a highlight shade. I do use shimmer shadows for highlights sometimes, but I prefer a matte shade usually. This color is nice because it's neutral and doesn't lean too white. (side note: this isn't a MAC shade but Urban Decay Foxy is another excellent brow highlight shade and it's a soft beige yellow!)
  15. All That Glitters - I was debating what to pick for my last shade and I ended up going with this. I will admit I neglected this color for awhile before started to use it. It really is a great everyday lid color and works well with light eyes. This is one of those MAC eyeshadow starter shadows for sure. (note: I love this as a lid color with MAC Mythology in the crease!)
What are your favorite MAC eyeshadows? 


Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation ~ Review, Photos, Swatches of shades 2.0, 3.5, 4.0, 5.0

What does it do?
This formula helps skin achieve a natural, illuminated and bright finish— like the beautiful skin you were born with. Naked Skin is formulated with light-diffusing spheres, transforming you to look professionally retouched. Buildable coverage allows women to customize their look. 
A weightless and virtually invisible liquid foundation that creates a luminous, demi-matte finish.  
**taken from Sephora's website - <<< click to go to the product link 
My thoughts 

I will admit…sometimes I get super excited if a brand I like is putting out a new product. Well, this is probably everyone but I go the route of researching reviews, photos and especially swatches. Urban Decay Naked Foundation was no exception. I was really intrigued that Urban Decay was putting out a new foundation especially with the whole Naked name slapped on it. It was tough to find info on it and only a few beauty blogs have written about it. However, when it released at Ulta I popped inside to check it out.  I ended up purchasing the shade 5.0. I really was torn in deciding between 4.0 and 5.0. I pretty much fall right in between the two colors but decided 5.0 would work much better for me right now as I have been self tanning more. 4.0 is probably the most yellow shade in the line. 5.0 definitely has yellow tones but they are not strong. 

What I liked
  • The display is really nice and structured well. It is also appeasing to the eyes visually. The display has the colors in order and has photos of a girl under them to help pick a color (good for those who have a hard time matching colors – didn’t mean anything to me though).
  • Testers are offered in stores! This is huge…I HATE not being able to compare colors!
  • I like that UD split up the colors in 2 categories – warm & cool. Those ending in .5 are cool/neutral tones and .0 are warm tones. This made it simple for me to narrow down the color selection (I know I wear warm!) See what I didn’t like about this part below.
  • The packaging is sleek and not bulky. The bottle has a pump so you can control how much you use. I prefer pumps or squeeze tubes (but will to deal with the bottle if it a great product – Hi L’Oreal true match!)
  • No SPF. This can either be a pro or con for people. I prefer that a foundation does not have SPF because my face always looks lighter in flash photos and I have noticed sometimes if a foundation has SPF the color dries down a tad darker. This could be just me though! I won’t write off a foundation if it does have SPF though of course!
  • The foundation blends well. I have used this with my fingers and 2 different brushes. It works well either way but I prefer a brush (Sigma F82 is my favorite foundation brush)
  • The coverage of the foundation is medium. If you wanted you could build it up but it won’t hide dark acne scars or any other major pigmentation. It will cover up minor acne or other skin imperfections.
  • UD describes the foundation as “demi-matte”. I like the texture of this foundation. The foundation is liquid but not runny. It reminds me of MAC fix fluid almost. I do agree with this description but I wouldn’t call it fully matte at all.
  • No breakouts!
  • It is lightweight and doesn’t feel heavy on the skin. It also dries down fast.
What I didn't like
  • 6 month life span! WHATTTTTT? I was surprised to see this and was disappointed when I saw it. Some people can finish up a bottle in 6months but me? No way!! This was a big thumbs down for me.
  • The price tag is $38 for 1oz. Don’t get me wrong…I don’t mind paying a pretty penny but if I do I want to be wow’ed! I would say that $28-30 would have been the highest I would have priced this if it were up to me.
  • I always wear powder & primer anyway, but I did notice this foundation did not last as well if I didn’t do those two steps. I like to test it out with powder & primer too to give a full review J
  • As I mentioned before, I had to think about what color I wanted. I am very good at matching my skintone, especially because it changes constantly because of self tanning. The 5.0 has been working for summer, but I am worried that it won’t match come winter time. 4.0 & 5.0 are NOT close at all so if you are a for sure warm toned gal you might have this similar issue with color matching. I will probably be exchanging my 5.0 for the 4.0 because 5.o is too dark when I don't have a dark tan.
  • I fell for the Urban Decay glitz & glam. It’s dangerous to shop like this because all you see is the “bright lights” and you may buy for the brand NOT the product. I usually don’t fall for this, but I did this time I’ll admit it!
Would I recommend?

Yes & Maybe...It would give it a solid B+ rating. It is a good foundation that was very hyped by Urban Decay.I was a sucker and fell into the marketing gimmick. Urban Decay is excellent at utilizing their social media and generating hype around their products. I don’t have anything super bad to say about this product, but I am not WOW’ed by this either. However, you should know I am very picky about foundations. And for $38 I want it all…I know it sound selfish but when I put on my foundation in the morning I want my skin to look flawless. I would say Urban Decay Naked is on the way to being almost there for me. I liked the fluid texture of this foundation a lot, but honestly it wasn’t anything unique from different foundations you have probably tried. I really wish this foundation had a shelf life of at least a year :( I would recommend checking this out in store & getting a sample first!  

Photos & Swatches 

FIRST PHOTO: (left to right) 2.0 & 3.5, SECOND PHOTO: (top to bottom) 3.5 & 2.0

FIRST PHOTO: (left to right) 4.0 & 5.0, SECOND PHOTO: (left to right) 4.0 & 5.0

Have you tried Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation yet? What did you think?

Thanks for reading,

Stay Connected...

5 Great Silicone Free Face Primers - Reviews, Swatches, Photos

Hi all! Today's post will be about silicone free primers. I personally do not use silicone based primers as I have suffered breakouts in the past from them. I know many people love how silky and smooth silicone ones are, but I have found so many non-silicone primers that work great! If you have sensitive or acne prone skin you might enjoy the products mentioned below too! This post is very detailed & a tad bit long. This is the most worked on post I have done and I am really happy with the finished product for all of you to read :)

The 5 mentioned primers are:

Korres Pomegranate Mattifying Primer
Lorac AquaPRIME
Korres Quercetin & Oak Age-reversing primer
Cargo blu-ray Activating Face Primer
Korres Face Primer (Vitamin E)

Let's get started...

Korres Pomegranate Mattifying Primer

What does it do?
If your symptoms are visible pores, unwanted shine, and an overall makeup meltdown, then Korres has the remedy for you. This clinically proven, universally nude Pomegranate Mattifying Primer blends to an invisible matte finish while minimizing the appearance of pores, balancing skintone and texture, and preparing skin for smooth makeup application and long-lasting wear. The 94% natural, non-comedogenic formula is water-based so it allows skin to breathe and never clogs pores. The formula is loaded with antioxidant-rich pomegranate extract to help tighten pores, willow bark extract to balance skin, witch hazel water to mattify and tighten while removing excess oil and dirt, and rice starch to absorb excess surface oil and soften skin.
**taken from Sephora's website - <<< click to go to the product link

My thoughts 

I bought this at Sephora right before summer started because I wanted a primer that was more geared to oily skin. I don't have oily skin, but my skin does drastically change in the hot & humid months. I bought this and the Korres Pomegranate Mattifying  in a set for $15. Here's the link for it HERE. The primer tube is a lot smaller but has been perfect as I do not go through the full sizes that fast. It was also nice because then I didn't have to commit to paying for a full size tube either! There is a light tint when you squeeze the product out but it doesn't add color to your face.

What I liked

  • Smells good. It almost has a light lemonade scent to it. It does disappear after you put it on your face
  • Easy to work with & blend
  • I like ingredients like witch hazel and rice starch as those are known "pore minimizers"
  • Has a light lotion texture
What I didn't like
  • Expensive. Full size goes for $33 for 1.01 oz
  • Takes a minute or two to dry down and if you don't let it dry, you may have issues with cakey. This only happen a few times though when I was in a rush.
  • Not oil-free. Although this is not oil free I did not have any issues with breakouts!
  • Exclusive to Sephora. This isn't an issue for me, but for those who don't have a Sephora nearby or don't online shop OR want to test things out first that may hinder purchase.
  • 6 month life span. I understand it is a natural based product, but I have to work hard to finish up a full size tube in that amount of time!
Would I recommend?

Yes, but probably only if you live in warmer climates. I don't feel that it made a huge difference in controlling oil, however it has been a very humid summer. I prefer the Korres Vitamin E face primer!


Lorac AquaPRIME

What does it do?
Moisturizes and prepares your skin for silky smooth makeup application with a lightweight, colorless gel texture that's free of fragrance, silicone and oil.
aquaPRIME™ contains sodium hyaluronate, which hydrates and helps diminish the appearance of fine lines, creating an ultra smooth canvas for perfect, long-lasting, luminous makeup.

**taken from Sephora's website - <<< click to go to the product link

What I liked

  • Gel texture. It feels very lightweight on your skin and has almost a cooling effect
  • Absorbs well. The primer dries down quickly
  • I like that they didn't add in fragrance, silicone, or oil! Perfect for my picky skin!
  • Pump & Bottle. I am a huge of pumps as they make it easier to control how much product comes out! Of course this more sanitary too. 
  • Not sticky at all. Sometimes with gel products they have a bad rep for being sticky. Not this one!
  • Has worked with my dry winter skin & combination summer skin
  • Long life span. This primer is good for 12 months
What I didn't like
  • Expensive. Full size goes for $32 for 1.35oz
  • Go through it fast. I see to use this primer up a lot faster than the others...not sure why!
Would I recommend?

Yes! This is currently my #1 face primer. It works well for me so I don't mind paying a steeper price tag for it. I am very happy with this!


Korres Quercetin & Oak Age-reversing primer

What does it do?
This powerful treatment and skin-perfecting face primer in one instantly fills wrinkles and produces a smooth and perfected skin surface—ensuring long-lasting make up application. The formula is enriched with powerful antioxidant Quercetin and Oak extracts, which improve skin cell functioning, repair fine lines and wrinkles, and improve skin texture and elasticity. The revolutionary, breakthrough Quercetin & Oak Age-reversing Primer is clinically proven to improve skin texture by 97% and significantly increase skin elasticity by 88%.
**taken from Sephora's website - <<< click to go to the product link

What I liked

  • Smells good. It almost has a light lemonade scent to it. It does disappear after you put it on your face
  • Easy to work with & blend
  • Very hydrating. Great for those who have dry or mature skin.
  • Anti-aging benefits. I don't really feel like this primer gave me long term anti-aging results, but when I had it on my skin was for sure softer & smoother!
  • Has a light lotion texture. This primer was nice when my skin was super dry in the winter months.
What I didn't like
  • Expensive. Full size goes for $33 for 1.01 oz
  • Takes a minute or two to dry down and if you don't let it dry, you may have issues with cakey. 
  • Not oil-free. Although this is not oil free I did not have any issues with breakouts!
  • 6 month life span.
Would I recommend?

Yes, especially to very dry and mature skin types! I think this would be a great silicone free opition for those folks. This was a pleasure to work with in the cold months.


Cargo blu-ray Activating Primer

What does it do?
All the glow, none of the shine!  CARGO’s blu_ray™ Activating Face Primer reduces shine, refines pores and visibly reduces wrinkles.  This revolutionary formula is silicone-free and paraben-free.  See results in an instant and experience better-looking skin in 30 days!  Clinically-proven to improve skin’s appearance when used daily.  Use alone (we like to call it the colorless foundation) or under your favorite foundation.
**taken from Cargo's website - <<< click to go to the product link

What I liked

  • Gel/cream texture
  • AMAZING for humid & hot days & SUPER long lasting!
  • Huge fan of Cargo's HD Line. This is what made me want to try this! I got this as a sample in my Cargo Blu Ray Kit I bought at Ulta.
What I didn't like
  • Expensive. Full size goes for $34
  • Can be a little tough to evenly blend out because it is clear & texture. But this is worth the extra time because of it's long lasting.
Would I recommend?

Yes! I was really happy with this sample I had. It worked AMAZING on the days I used it when it was hot, humid & just plain nasty out. I was wow'ed (and surprised!) how great this held up. If you live in this time of climate all the time then check this out...maybe check out to if you are super oily! I will most likely purchase again next spring/summer and use a more hydrating primer in the winter.


Korres Face Primer (Vitamin E)
**Not my photo. Photo credit to Sephora! I finished this product up awhile ago and forgot to save the packaging. Swatch looks exactly like the other Korres primers (lotion looking)

What does it do?
Rich in skin-soothing botanicals and vitamin E, this 99 percent natural formula refines skin texture without silicone, minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and reduces pore size. Your skin will be primed and ready for a makeup application.
**taken from Sephora's website - <<< click to go to the product link

What I liked

  • Lotion texture
  • Fan of Korres primers. I have tried all 3 of theirs!
  • Lighter scent than the other 2 primers
  • Hydrating but overly so
What I didn't like
  • Expensive. Full size goes for $28 for 1.01 oz (so cheapest Korres primer)
  • Needs to dry down like the other Korres primers
  • Not oil free. No breakouts so not an issue!
  • 6 month time span. Do not like this! This might not be an issue if you use up face products fast.
Would I recommend?

Yes, this is great introduction to silicone free primers. The was actually the first silicone free primer I tried. I think I came across it shopping at Sephora and peeking around. I feel that all 3 Korres primers are similiar in a lot of ways, but this is the most "basic" of the 3 as the others offer more skincare benefits. Honestly, I would just go with this one if those things are not important to you. It will also save you a few bucks, and I didn't really see any major skin changes anyways! :)

Phew that was a long post!! I hope this was helpful for those of you who are breaking out from silicone based primers and looking for alternatives. Please let me know if you have any questions, i'd be happy to answer them for you!

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