Monday, May 31, 2010

Review: Josie Maran, Finger Paints - 'Lovely'

Josie Maran, former Maybelline model (for almost a decade), launched her namesake cosmetics company in 2007. Her company boasts the motto, "luxury with a conscience", as the line represents organic products with chic biodegradable packaging. 

I'm going to be completely honest here -- I'm not very conscious about the ingredients in my cosmetics. Perhaps, not as much as I should be. In everyday life, I'm considerate of my enviro\nment. I recycle, never litter, and I use green household cleaning products. Still, my makeup is far from green. Except, I purchased Ms. Maran's finger paints online at Sephora, in 'Lovely'. I had a difficult time trying to find a decent picture that truly represented the colors. The 'Sweet' palette was too dark for my taste, so I crossed my fingers and went with 'Lovely'. Sephora describes Finger Paints as being a "A multi-use palette containing four feather-light shimmers that bring soft-glowing color to eyes, cheeks, and lips". So, here's what I received for $36USD:

The packaging is clearly beautiful. It's almost hard to believe that it's biodegradable! The surface is reflective with a hint of pink and the namesake is printed on the top. This compact comes equipped with a generous size mirror. I think that Josie Maran's aim was to create a line of organics that are equally as luxurious as non-organic high end competitors. Really, how many organic (and / or eco-friendly) cosmetic lines have you seen that can boast their pure ingredients AND luxury? Not many. There's Tarte and Jane Iredale, but unless I missed out on something, it's a rather small market.

Upon opening, I noticed holes, or tunneling, in the creams. Perhaps this is normal for organic cosmetics? This is my first organic purchase from a cosmetics line, so I'm not sure if this is due to the ingredients, or what. Anyway, the colors are gorgeous: beige, peachy-pink, gold and tan. I think that these colors would be most flattering on fair-medium skin tones and the 'Sweet' palette would be flattering for medium-dark skin tones (but could be suitable for fair skin as well). Then again, on her website, the description claims that the colors are selected specifically to suit all skin tones. When I swirled my finger into one of the creams, I noticed the gritty, sand-like, texture. I did not like it at all. I knew immediately that I'd have a hard time blending with these. Before purchasing, I've also read many complaints that they have no real staying power on the lids and they crease terribly without a really good primer. I rely heavily on other reviewers for an opinion (because nobody knows better than personal experience, right?). I like to use these (with the exception of the brown) in the corners of my eyes. The tan, I think, is beautiful on the lids, corners, and beneath the lower lash line. The pink and gold work lovely as highlighters. Lastly, the beige (brown) is meant to be used as a shadow color.

Bottom line: The colors are pretty, but that's about it. Unfortunately, it's not what I was looking for. I never reach for this palette.... what a shame!


Monday, May 3, 2010

Review: MAC Mineralize Skinfinish, Soft and Gentle (+ How to Use).

          If you're not a collector (like some women are) of Mineralize Skinfinishes (as they're expensive for many), but you're looking for must-haves, this one's for you. It's a gorgeous highlight color (shimmering champagne) that compliments those who are cool or warm toned, fair or dark skinned. As far as I know, it is part of the permanent line (along with Comfort and Gold Deposit). The texture of the powder feels velvety smooth and you don't need much to create a soft, beautiful glow. I've read a lot of reviews about this on Makeup Alley; some were good and some were bad. A few women referred to the shimmer as "chunks of glitter". Frankly, this MSF is all about shimmer and glitter, but not in an obnoxious or ugly manner. I think the problem lies with the actual application of the product. Perhaps for those with mature skin, it may seem too shimmery, but maybe it's not about what we're applying to our faces as much it's about how we're applying it. When I swatched these for photos, I caked it on my arm and this resulted in 'chunking', but I would never apply it to my face like that!

How to use Soft and Gentle

There are a few different brushes that get the job done. These tips can also aid in applying other Skinfinishes as well. For the sake of reference and lack of confusion, I'll be talking about MAC / Sigma brushes (same numbering system). 

For the most part, makeup addicts around the globe agree that the 182 buffer brush is the BEST brush to use when applying MSF's in general. A buffer brush allows you really blend the product into the skin, to create a natural flawlessness (and to prevent disco ball syndrome).

Another popular brush to use is the 188 short duo fibre. This brush is the little sister to the famous 187. It is smaller in comparison to the 187 -- allowing you to blush, highlight, or do whatever else within a confined area. The beauty to the duo fibre brushes is that they apply makeup in such a way, the end result is stunning and flawless. I personally use the 187 for liquid foundation and I never touched the 190 again (except that I la-love it to apply under eye concealer!) . My skin always looks as though it is airbrushed. It applies the product in very light layers which makes this brush 'goof proof' in the sense that the coverage is buildable. If for whatever reason you feel that Soft and Gentle is too glittery, you can make the most out of your MSF by using this brush with a light hand.

You can also use the 168 (large contour brush) or the 109 (small contour brush). I prefer using a Kabuki / buffer brush but I'd like to emphasize on the fact that you need to find what works best for you because in the end, that's what matters most. What I may prefer, may not be what you prefer. I don't use this powder wet because I'm so fair that it'll overpower my face BUT maybe it'd look beautiful on you. Again, play around and experiment. That's how we learn. If there's a different method that you use to apply MSF's, feel free to comment and tell me what it is!

Personally, I've established a good relationship with the 182 brush only because it works well for MSF's and buffing out harsh contour lines. I gently swirl the brush with a light hand and then I begin applying to the areas where the Sun's light naturally hits my face. This includes cheekbones, the area right about the eyebrows (brow bone), a little hint on the nose, and a hint on the chin. If you'd like, I think it even looks nice on the collar bones as well (especially when the skin is bronzed). Click here to watch a video from youtube beauty guru, lollipop26, on how to apply an MSF with this brush.

Temptalia offers a guide on five different ways to wear a Mineralize Skinfinish depending on the colors (highlight, blush, bronzer, etc.) and I found it to be extremely helpful.a

Bottom Line:

As I said earlier, I firmly believe that this looks beautiful on all skin tones (and undertones) alike. I'm loving this MSF! Mineralize Skinfinishes retail for $28.00 USD. You can purchase it at



**Keep in mind that I really layered it on, so that's why it may appear overly glittery or 'chunky'. I wanted to capture in depth detail of the pigmentation. So long as you're applying it right, it shouldn't look this crazy on your face!

Source(s) and other information: In this post, I've mentioned the following people / blog(s) / products:,,,, &

All photos were taken by me and are therefore, my property. Sharing is caring, so you're more than welcome to use them in your personal site so long as you give me proper credit. Thank you!