Giorgio Armani Beauty Lasting Silk UV Foundation SPF 20 Twitter Giveaway

Ok, could that title be any longer? Well I am a wicked word master so probably but you get the point. :-D I asked you guys on the 'gram how you wanted some of the other giveaways to go and the popular vote was to spread it out throughout the rest of my social media channels and in smaller portions so more of you have a chance to win. I'm all about spreading love so that's what we're going to do!

Today, I decided to dip into the makeup goodie stash and I pulled out the Giorgio Armani Beauty Lasting Silk UV Foundation SPF 20 in shade 5.5 This foundation is described as an infallible, long-wearing matte satin foundation with SPF 20 sun protection. It was inspired by gabardine fabric, which is strong, durable, and made to withstand harsh conditions, this revolutionary new water-based foundation was designed to stand up to extreme backstage conditions. The formula features micro-fil high tech silk technology to provide 14-hour medium satin matte coverage that never smudges. This product is an Allure Best Medium Coverage Foundation Award Winner. It is suitable for normal to oily skin.

Now that we talked about the details, here's how to enter (please remember that this is shade specific - it comes in shade 5.5 - I received a PR package and clearly I'm not this light sooooo :-p). To enter, all you need to do is follow me on Twitter, RT my tweet and you're entered to win!

See you there and remember - we have tons of giveaways across all of the social media platforms so check it up!


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Make Up For Ever Water Blend Foundation - Review and Swatches of 13 out of 20 Shades

MAKE UP FOR EVER has released their new Water Blend Foundation - a new and reformulated version of their popular Face & Body Foundation. DSC00023 ccc

MUFE reformulated the foundation to "combine the comfort of a sheer foundation with the performance that pro makeup artists demand in the new Water Blend Foundation. The buildable, lightweight formula delivers a flawless and dewy finish with a beautiful, even complexion. Available in 20 shades, Make Up For Ever Water Blend Foundation is the reformulation of pro makeup artist’s favorite Face & Body Foundation, delivering the same results with an upgraded formula." The new results include:

  • Hydrating: 80% of the formula is purified water infused with vitamin B5 to provide hydration and improve skin elasticity.
  • Waterproof & Transfer-proof: Coated micro-fine pigments improve payoff and skin affinity with guaranteed waterproof and transfer-proof coverage.
  • Easy to apply: The unique, water-gel texture feels smooth and light, even when it dries to a resistant finish for flawless, all-day wear.

I first got to check these out early in April during the Makeup Show New York. As an ambassador to the show, I was able to get the sneak peek and behind the scenes on the foundation from the MUFE team and lead artist Nicholas Lujan. You can watch his mini demonstration and see live swatches of the shades here (I highly recommend watching this completely through as Nicholas gives some amazing talk through on the new foundation and some makeup artistry tips).


Nicholas says you can use Water Blend as a primer but also as foundation on your face and body. It's a light, transparent, buildable coverage that leaves the skin looking like skin. You can apply it with your fingers, a brush, a sponge or with an airbrush tool and you can manipulate the coverage depending on the tool that you use. Personally, I prefer to apply mines with my fingers. Just make sure that you let it fully dry before you add on additional layers.

Here are swatches of the 13 shades that I was able to get my hands on at the show. In the name - the Y stands for yellow undertones and the R stands for red undertones.

From left to right: R370, Y445, Y505, R520, R540DSC00025 ccc DSC00028 swatched cccDSC00029 swatched ccc

From left to right: R210, R240, Y325, R300, Y245DSC00030 cccDSC00031 ccc swatchedDSC00032 ccc swatched

From left to right: R250, Y305, Y405DSC00033 ccc DSC00036 swatched ccc DSC00037 swatched ccc

Overall thoughts: For reference, I wear shade Y455 (a more blended out swatch is posted below) and I absolutely love this foundation. Like I said, it is 80% water based so it gives me a very light weight coverage with a very natural looking look and dewy finish. I've been wearing this all throughout the summer for events and bbq's that require me to look a little bit more done up but without putting makeup on.

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If you have severe hyperpigmentation, acne scars or serious break outs, this may not be the best foundation for you to use right now because the coverage just isn't there for that (or to be applied over layers of color correctors and concealers). As mentioned earlier, it has a gel like formula so you want to try using a denser brush or your fingers - try to stay away from using a beauty blender because I found it to just absorb the foundation on me (beauty blenders suck up water and this is 80% water).IMG_2026 cccComparison: Yes, for the same price, you can get the Ultra HD foundation which provides fuller coverage, however, I do recommend having a bottle of this in your shade for those extremely hot days when nobody has time for a melting face. This also make a great transitioning foundation for a younger teenager who is just starting out with makeup.

Purchase: The MAKE UP FOR EVER Water Blend Foundation retails for $43 is already available on and in Sephora stores.


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Thank you to The Makeup Show, the Make Up For Ever Team and Nicholas Lujan for allowing me to film his segment.


AJ Crimson Beauty Review: Creme Foundation in 4/6.5 + 4.5/7, Nude Lipsticks and Loose Finishing Powder Review and Swatches

AJ Crimson has created an amazing line of foundations for colors of all skin tones. When we visited his last event - Beyond Beauty, Building Your Beauty Business – a Multicultural Beauty Event - AJ spoke about the creation of his beauty brand and how it was borne out of necessity. "I felt like there was an absolute need to bring product to women that actually worked and didn't oxide or change. I wanted to create a product inclusive of women of all ethnicities, a product all women could find ownership in and believe in. So often, makeup has been designed with a one size fits all mentality, and with black women and women of color, my cosmetic line contains shades for women of every ethnic background and skin tone." - AJ Crimson There really isn't much more that I can say that AJ didn't so let's dive into some swatches and review shall we?IMG_1211 ccc

I ordered two of dual skin creme foundations in the warm 4/6.5 compact and the deep 4.5/7 compact along with 3 nude lipsticks and a loose finishing powder.IMG_1229 ccc

First, let's look at the dual skin creme foundation compacts. Here is the warm 4/6.5 compact. 4 & 6.5 ccc                                                                    Photo taken with LED lights and flash

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IMG_1397 ccc(Photo taken outside in natural lighting)

Here is the deep 4.5/7 compact.

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IMG_1414 ccc(Photo taken outside in natural lighting)

Here are all 4 shades swatched next to one another for a better comparison. This gives you a better idea of which ones have more of a yellow, golden or red undertone.

IMG_1422 ccc(Photo taken with LED lights and flash) IMG_1434 ccc(Photo taken outside in natural lighting)

And as usual, here is a live video of the foundations in different lighting (inside and natural sunlight to help you).


Next, is the loose finishing powder in neutral matte. You can use this to set your foundation and absorb shine.IMG_1243 ccc IMG_1443 ccc IMG_1448 ccc(Photo taken with LED lights and flash. I blended it out as we move further right in the photo so you can see how it it applies once you pick it up and how it blends out.)

And now for the unfiltered test (oh the things I do for you guys). Here is a super upclose (unfiltered and unedited) photo of me testing out the warm 4/6.5 compact and loose finishing powder. I only set my underneath my eyes with the neutral loose finishing powder and didn't set my face because I wanted to see how the creme foundation performed on its own. I love the full coverage that you get with this foundation and contour shade, especially because I didn't put on any concealer and I have extremely dark circles that were covered with just the "4" foundation shade. The only thing that I would change in the future is to make sure to use a mattifying primer and mattifying setting spray because I felt "too shiny" in this photo - however, it was very hot the night I reviewed this foundation and my studio lights are insanely hot - so I am going to test it out and post a few updates once I do that.


Lastly, I picked out 3 lipsticks that were designed to be the perfect matte (creamy) nude for any skin tone. From left to right, we have #Nude, #PerfectSelfie and #NoFilter. IMG_1230 ccc                                                          (Photo taken with LED lights and flash)

IMG_1241 ccc(Photo taken with LED lights and no flash)

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IMG_1373 ccc(Photo taken outside in natural lighting)

I must is refreshing to wear some creamy matte lipsticks that aren't liquid lipstick! My favorite of the three nude shades is definitely #NoFilter.

Whew! This post was definitely photo heavy but I really wanted to feature these foundation shades to help some of you that are having a hard time finding the right match for your skin tone and undertone. If you are or looking to try something new in your routine, definitely head to AJ Crimson Beauty.

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Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation and Concealer Review and Swatches - Y415, Y445, R40, Y41

There has been so much hype within the beauty community about the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation - an Allure Best of Beauty winner of 2015 - that I decided to get some samples to test it out myself. This liquid foundation is a super light weight foundation that provides medium to full coverage that is best applied in small thin layers. It is designed to give you an airbrush-like finish on and off camera. There are 40 shades available. I also got a chance to try the Ultra HD concealer. There are 10 shades available and Y41 is the deepest shade.

Here are swatches of the foundation in Y415 and Y445 and the concealer in R40 and Y41.

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Burt's Bees BB Cream with Noni Extract SPF 15 - Review & Swatches

One thing that I want to talk about more on here is more affordable products whether it be fashion, skin care or beauty related. So I was thrilled when I received the new Burt's Bees BB Cream from Ricky's NYC to add to our foundation review series.IMG_5761 cccSomewhere between a lightweight foundation and a moisturizing face lotion,  Burt's Bees has released a new BB Cream with Noni Extract and SPF 15 that is designed to simplify your morning routine into one easy step. It offers 9 clinically shown face care benefits that are available in 3 mineral-rich shades - Light, Light/Medium and Medium (shown more below). 0f30dde7-156c-429c-885e-20b3d53d1478.jpg.w96080f84a89-c9fd-4a9a-9246-2a5d714b8ff8.jpg.w960

The formula was designed with natural ingredients, like antioxidant-rich Noni extract to moisturize your face to leave it feeling soft and supple. It doesn't contain any parabens, phthalates, petrolatum or SLS - basically all natural - about 98.9% natural. The SPF 15 will protect your skin from UV damage, while the mineral pigments provide sheer and lightweight coverage - basically making this perfect to wear in the Summer or in very humid climates.

Now onto the live swatches. I swatched and wore all three of the colors for this review.

IMG_5801 ccc The Light shade has a pale grey and pink undertone. The Light/Medium shade has an orange and yellow undertone. The Medium shade has more of an orange and red undertone.

Here is the video which shows how the product swatches and wears live.


It does have a distinct citrusy aroma to it so if you're sensitive to smells than I would suggest looking for a different kind of tinted moisturizer or at least picking up a sample of this before making the full purchase. I really wish that Burt's Bees would have created and released a wider shade range when they developed this. If you're lucky enough to find a shade from these three that suits you then I definitely recommend giving it a go. Make sure that you apply the product lightly and build it up if you need to. Also, be sure to give the color a few minutes to warm up and settle into your skin.

Overall, I love the idea behind this product, however, I am a little bit dissapointed in the color range as there isn't an shade that has my undertone. Hopefully, there will be additional shades added to this product as the beauty portion of the brand develops.

You can get these from Ricky's NYC for $14.99.


-PR Sample-

Tarte Rainforest of The Sea Water Foundation Review and Swatches

If you're looking for a new full coverage and lightweight foundation for summer that has SPF sunscreen built into it then you may want to check out the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation.

IMG_5574 copy Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation Review

The Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation comes in 12 shades. It is infused with Tarte’s Rainforest of the Sea complex and includes a non-chemical SPF 15 sunscreen. It is designed with 20 percent water to quench dry skin, soften the look of pores and fine lines, and will cover and mask any redness, dark spots, and uneven skin tone. It's hypoallergenic formula will also help to restore, brighten, and defend skin from free radical damage.

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There are 12 shades and I have 4 of them to show you for our foundation review series:  Light neutral, Light-medium honey, Medium honey and Tan sand.

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Unfortunately, there isn't a shade that is deep enough that matches my skin and under tones so I won't be able to give you a thorough photo review of it on me. However, I wore Tan Sand for about 3 hours around the house as I did some spring cleaning. It is in-fact a very light weight and thin foundation, that kind of reminded me of the NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation just without the luminous glow. The coverage is sheer to medium and can be built up upon for a fuller coverage but I recommend using this like you would a BB cream.

Again, this is going to be great for the hot summer months when you don't want to wear a heavy foundation and it has SPF sunscreen built into it already. Tarte Cosmetics is running their 30% off friends & family sale from April 12-15 so this is the perfect time to check it out. xoxo1

NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation Review For Cadiz and Macao


How many of you struggle to buy a new foundation online? Yes, brands do their best to provide high resolution photos of the shades in their true form alone (liquid, cream, powder) however, most of the time, the images that are used online are product images (packaging) or CGI images.

Let's take the NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation as an example. This foundation comes in a 1 fl oz (.30mL) glass bottle and is a full coverage and luminous/natural looking foundation that is very light weight on the skin. On, Cadiz and Macao are shown as: Cadiz and Macao Nars.comWhile on, they are shown as: Cadiz and Macao Sephora

This can get kind of confusing right? As a woman of color, it's already hard enough to find a foundation to suit my skin tone along with my undertones but now, I have to fight against stock photography. So I wanted to show you live swatches of Cadiz and Macao to help you.

IMG_5242IMG_1532 copy IMG_1544 copyIMG_1542 copyIMG_1615 text IMG_1618First, make sure that you shake each bottle very well before using it. The foundation is a very loose liquid which may cause it to run on your hand and waste product if you do not shake it up well.

Cadiz is described as a medium-dark foundation with caramel & red undertones while Macao is described as a medium-dark foundation with yellow undertones. Neither of these foundations match me perfectly because I have more golden undertones, however, I can mix these two shades together (by adding one pump of Macao to 2 pumps of Cadiz) or just wear Cadiz on its own and warm up the perimeter of my face with a bronzer or my contour shade. 

So you guys can see exactly what I'm talking about and to see live swatches of these two foundation shades in action, make sure to watch this video:



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Marc Jacobs Genius Gel Super-Charged Foundation Review: Cocoa Light, Cocoa Medium and Cocoa Deep

Marc Jacobs Beauty - a luxury beauty line that still has a long way to go - as far as women of color is concerned. Don't get me wrong, I love the majority of the products in the Marc Jacobs Beauty line: the lipsticks are amazing, I love the new Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara but as far as the range in the selection of foundation - well there's not much to be desired. Let's take the Marc Jacobs Genius Gel Super-Charged Foundation as our example. This foundation is described as a "breakthrough gel foundation that easily builds from natural to full coverage. The Buoyancy Gel™ technology enhances the performance of this long-wearing, anti-aging formula, which includes antioxidant vitamin protection." Sounds great right? You want to try it out right? Awesome! Let's head online to shop.

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Hmm...there's only 16 shades? It looks like there are 3 made with African American women in mind...I think? Maybe?Cocoa Deep is the darkest that it goes?

So that's the problem. There is this remarkable foundation that you may want to try but unfortunately, there is not a lot of shade range to choose from. However, I wanted to review the 3 darkest shades in the line - Cocoa Light (Color 82), Cocoa Medium (Color 84) and Cocoa Deep (Color 86) -  in hopes that it may help you decide on what to do. So let's dive right on in...

Candycoatedclosets MJ Genius Gel Cocoa Light (Color 82), Cocoa Medium (Color 84) and Cocoa Deep (Color 86)

This foundation is a gel like formula that is designed to melt into your skin and not settle into your facial lines. It comes in this sleek glass bottle in 1.0 fluid oz and comes with a pump. It is a light to medium coverage which is great because you can lightly wear it to go out and run errands or you can build upon it for maximum coverage. It does has a light fragrance to it, so please keep that in mind if you are sensitive to smell - it is not a very powerful though.

Candycoatedclosets MJ Genius Gel 2Candycoatedclosets MJ Genius Gel 3

Cocoa Light will be well suited for you if you have neutral, light golden undertones. Cocoa Medium will be well suited for you if you have golden/orange undertones. Cocoa Dark will be well suited for you if you have red/deep red undertones.

And even though I give you guys as many swatches and review comparisons as I can, I always recommend going to the store and swatching these for yourself if you are able to. Don't forget to swatch any foundation that you're testing out on your jawline and let it settle in for about 5 minutes before making a decision. Also, make sure that you swatch a range of 3 colors so you can get a better idea for the color range and the one that finally disappears into your skin is the one that you want to go with.

If you're not able to make it to the store or you're just shopping online, make sure that you watch this video below so you can get the best view of the foundation colors on my skin tone under different lighting.

So what do you think of the shade ranges in this foundation line? Let me know below!