I thought I'd do a round-up of all my face makeup--primer, BB cream, and foundation. These are all products that I use either everyday or very often. I like them all, none of them irritate my skin or break me out, and I'd buy them all again, so I really recommend them all. For the record, I'm very pale with warm undertones, with acne-prone combination skin. Oh, and there's a pretty nail polish at the end.
Primer: Korres Quercetin & Oak Age-reversing Primer, BB Cream: Garnier Fructis BB Cream:
A friend of mine gave me this primer. It comes in a 1 ounce, flexible tube, smells like grapefruit, and goes on feeling like a light moisturizer. I use a pea sized amount for my entire face in-between moisturizing and BB cream. It's chockful of anti-oxidants and other things that are supposed to be good for your skin, and it has no silicone! Yay! Silicone primers break me out like there's no tomorrow. I've been using it every day. I put my foundation on around 10AM, go to the gym, and bop around all day, and I've noticed that this definitely keeps my foundation lasting longer. It still fades off my blemishes by the end of the day, but in terms of overall lasting power and keeping redness at bay, I get about 3 hours more wear from using this primer. That makes me very happy! I think this tube is going to last me a long time, but I think I'd buy myself one when I used it up. After my primer I use a BB cream. I know that sounds silly since I also use a foundation, but I've noticed that with a lighter foundation, like Colorstay, the BB cream helps give me just a little extra coverage and a slightly nicer finish. I grabbed the Garnier Fructis BB cream because, well it was cheap. I have the light-medium shade. It's a pretty thick, moisturizer-esque consistency, with a yummy citrus-floral smell and SPF 15! Yay SPF! I love it for that reason alone. Light-medium is definitely dark on me. I couldn't wear this as my only coverage (both because it's too dark and it's too sheer), but it has a really pretty finish on the skin, and it's going to last me a long time, so I think it's a winner.
Drugstore Foundation: Revlon Colorstay Foundation in Buff Chamois 150, Nars Sheer Glow in Montblanc:
Sheer Glow I've reviewed before, and I still love it. However, it's still $42 a bottle. So that's difficult. I picked up Revlon's Colorstay foundation as a day-to-day alternative to save some money. Colorstay is about $12 at CVS and comes in a nice range of shades if you're pale, not so nice if you aren't. It has a pretty, natural finish, layers nicely (I need 2-3 layers for good coverage), applies easily with my fingers, and lasts almost all day. It's pretty liquidy and has a certain chemical smell, but I have no major qualms with it. Long story short, Sheer Glow is definitely a nicer foundation, but Colorstay is a pretty good buy. In terms of shade comparisons, Montblanc is slightly pinker and deeper than Buff Chamois, which is lighter and more neutral-toned. Either one is a good match if you're NW15-20, but Buff Chamois is actually a better color for me. Colorstay has a more natural, slightly matte finish than Sheer Glow, which has a very dewy finish. They're both pretty negligible in terms of SPF. Sheer Glow is a medium coverage foundation on me, and Colorstay is light-medium. They both last for the same amount of time on me, and both work equally well with my combination skin (not making me too oily or dry and not breaking me out). I wouldn't say that Colorstay is a dupe for Sheer Glow, but it's a viable alternative, especially if you want to save some money.
I know the Korres primer and Nars Sheer Glow are on the expensive side. They are lovely, and if you can swing them, I recommend them. However, the BB Cream does act as a decent primer and the Colorstay is a nice foundation, so they're good drugstore alternatives if you're like me and on a student budget.
OPI polish in Call Me Gwen-ever: Please excuse the horrible picture. Call Me Gwen-never is a really lovely, muted orange-coral. It's an opaque cream, covers in 2 coats, and lasts a full week on me with Poshe topcoat. I've been wearing it for weeks--it looks equally good on fingers and toes, and I think it would be flattering on a wide range of skin tones and hues. I got bored and did two stripes of Chanel Graphite with some tape. Yay attempted nail art!
Images via: sephora.com, amazon.com, drugstore.com.