nars velvet matte stick foundation, nars velvet matte foundation review, nars velvet matte foundation swatches, nars stick foundation, best stick foundations, best matte foundations, foundation for oily skin, review of stick foundation, how does stick foundation work, how to apply stick foundation

I’ll go ahead and admit it; I’m a foundation hoarder. I’m constantly searching for my new favourite and have tried tons of different variations. A few new options have landed on my desk recently (including one that I’m obsessed with – more on this to come) and I’ve been spending some time diving in and testing them to find out what works. One of the newest additions to my collection is the NARS Velvet Matte Stick Foundation, NARS’ first foray into stick foundation.

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This new foundation, available in a range of 20 shades, promises “instantly smooth, soft-matte perfection” allowing for full control of its use. It’s a double ended product, with the stick foundation on one end and a removable Touch-Up Blender on the other.

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Application is really easy with this foundation. I actually haven’t used very many stick foundations in the past, maybe 1 or 2, so this is still relatively new territory for me. I suggest starting off a bit light with this foundation, applying a few swipes over the face (try the cheeks, forehead, chin and nose) before blending in and building up from there. I found that applying less of this foundation was better, as it seemed to sit on the skin and didn’t blend in very well when I added a bit more for extra coverage. The blending tool included is great for quick touch ups on the go but I prefer to use a brush to really blend this foundation in properly. It has a nice velvety texture once it’s been applied and blended in to the skin.

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In terms of coverage, I find that this has a medium finish. It helps to even out my skin tone, cover redness and hide imperfections though I needed to use a bit of concealer afterwards to really cover the spots. It’s nice for daytime wear since it isn’t very heavy and blends in nicely. The finish for me isn’t completely matte; it leaves a little bit of a sheen, but I like to finish off with setting powder anyways so this isn’t a big issue for me.

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Before and after NARS Velvet Matte Stick Foundation application – wearing Mont Blanc with a bit of Barcelona

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multi-masking, how to use face masks, using multiple masks on your face, how to use more than one fack mask, best face mask for my skin type, vichy face mask, vichy quenching mineral mask, vichy pore-purifying mask, vichy double-peeling mask, best face mask to use, combination skincare

Masks have always been a big part of my beauty routine. I couldn’t even tell you the number of masks I’ve tried over the years – all I know is that they’re perfect for when my skin needs to detox or is ready for a pick me up. They’re relaxing, gratifying and help to bring the spa home for those times when I just need to chill.

Lately, I’ve been really into the multi-masking trend. What’s that? Using 2 or more different facial masks on different areas of the face to target the skin’s different needs. Sure, there are times when one mask takes care of the needs of your entire face, but there are definitely others where different parts of your face have needs that that a one-size-fits-all mask can’t hit. Combination skin, for example, doesn’t necessarily require the same care for all areas; an oily t-zone and dehydrated cheeks, for obvious reasons, require different attention.

Multi-masking helps to take care of the problem that arises when the different areas of your face require different care. By specifically targeting the needs of certain areas with masks that were designed for these, you’re giving your face exactly what it needs. The best part? You can do all of this at the same time – take a look at the face charts that Vichy created below for a few examples of how you can use multi-masking to your advantage to get the results that you need.

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Lately, I’ve been using three Vichy facial masks for my multi-masking needs:

  • The Vichy Quenching Mineral Mask, a gel mask that helps to restore much needed moisture to dry skin
  • The Vichy Pore-Purifying Mask, which contains Kaolin and Betonite for the removal of impurities
  • The Vichy Double-Peeling Mask, which exfoliates and brightens with fruit acids and vitamin C
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Vichy Double-Peeling Mask, Pore-Purifying Mask & Quenching Mineral Mask

What’s been working for me? The all-in-one skin refresher has been perfect for my skin as of late. The summer weather has been playing around with my skin a little, leaving my T-zone shinier and oilier than normal, and with my work hours I’ve definitely noticed some dullness. I’ve been using the Pore-Purifying Mask on my T-zone to help fight back against small breakouts and to tighten the skin in that area (see ya never, shine). I also apply this around the sides of the mouth – you can definitely play around with where you use the masks based on what your skin needs!

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A little hard to see because of the gel masks, but I’m rocking the all-in-one

I also use the Double-Peeling Mask on my forehead to exfoliate and brighten this skin, and the Quenching Mineral Mask on my cheeks as they tend to be a little more on the dry side. Again, take a look at your skin and what it needs and use that as a guide when deciding which type of face mask to use on the different areas.

What kind of masks would you use on your face?

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Disclaimer: This post may contain PR samples sent for editorial consideration, but as always opinions are 100% my own! xo

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benefit big beasy, benefit bb cream, benefit bigger than bb, benefit complexion perfector, benefit skin, benefit foundation

We’ve all seen our fair share of BBs, CCs & DDs (while the list keeps growing…) and it seems that every cosmetic company has found a way to put their own spin on this trend, with some coming out on top while others don’t seem to crack the surface.  Enter the new Benefit Big Easy Multi-Balancing Complexion Perfector, which they tout as being “Bigger than BB” – a big claim to make in an industry where everyone has thrown their hat in the double letter ring.

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So, what are the aspects of this cream that Benefit Cosmetics say make it “bigger than BB”?

  • Balances moisture & controls oil
  • Self adjusts on skin to your exact shade
  • Perfects & evens with liquid-to-powder finish
  • Protects with SPF 35 to help prevent aging

This cream is oil-free and non-comodegenic, with ingredients that are known to balance moisture & control oil while fighting free radicals. It’s available in 3 shades – fair, light/medium and beige – which are quite blendable and easy to match since they don’t provide full coverage.

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Benefit Big Easy swatches (L-R): Fair, Light/Medium & Beige

So, my take?  I love this stuff so far.  The formula is really thick and creamy and slides nicely on the skin.  They suggest applying it with your fingertips and blending in for a natural finish but I’ve been applying it with a foundation brush so it goes on smoothly and blends really well.  It doesn’t feel heavy on the skin but does a nice job of evening out the skintone and covering up minor imperfections.  Of course it’s not full coverage like a foundation but I find it to be perfect for day-to-day wear when you want a really natural look and want to enhance your skin.  As for the oil-control, this really does the trick.  I find myself shine-free for hours, especially when I couple this cream with the POREfessional products.  Oh, and did I mention is has SPF 35?? Benefit, you know me so well. There’s nothing worse than going out in the sun without proper protection for your precious skin, and this make it oh so easy to give yourself that shield.

Overall yes, I’m a fan of the Benefit Big Easy Multi-Balancing Complexion Perfector.  I’ve had really positive results so far from using it and love it for a quick and easy way to bump up my skin without stifling it.  Have you tried the Big Easy yet?

Price: $46

Availability: Shoppers Drug Mart, Murale & Sephora

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