Archive for category Comparison

Do *You* Prime?

Anonymous wondered if I use a foundation primer and if so, which ones I recommend.

I do ninety-nine percent of the time, and that final one percent is either because I was rushing and forgot, or ran out.  Depending on who you ask, you’re going to get a hugely varying answer on whether primer is necessary or not, but for me, it’s a step I’ll always keep in my routine.

Primer comes in two primary formulations-silcone “gels” and lotions.  A very few companies also carry primers in serum form, but this is a very few, and I’ve only tried two, so I won’t cover those.  Lotion primers act sort of as a dual hydrator and binder.  They create a layer on the skin that foundation clings to more evenly than skin.  Silicone primers create a web over the skin that serves a multitude of purposes-evening out minor texture issues, helping foundation cling more easily, preventing the skin’s natural oils from mixing with other products, and diffusing light and products to give your skin a more airbrushed look (which is why skin looks smoother when you use silicone primers even before you put foundation over it.)

Now, I only ever use lotion primers on people with the driest skin, as a silicone primer would simply flake off (it needs a bit of moisture to react with.)  There are some fantastic ones out there-my favorite being the one from NARS-but they simply don’t cut it when it comes to oily, troubled skin or even normal skin with more than a bit of redness. Read the rest of this entry »

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MAC Throwdown

Anonymous asked what I thought of MAC products in comparison to other popular brands.

This is a tough one.  I know that MAC is touted as the standard for makeup in nearly every category, and I’m very thankful for it because of that.  However, that’s all I’ve really ever used it as: a standard.

I find their prices exorbitant, and their products are rarely the best I’ve ever used.

For example, their eyeshadows have set the standard for pigment concentration in eyeshadows.  However, you pay $14.50 for only 1.5g of product.  About a year ago, I discovered Ben Nye Cosmetics, a stage and performance company, and ordered one of their eyeshadow palettes, and each of the shadows has as much, if not more pigment in them than the MAC versions, while only costing $6 for 2.7g!  I also find them a bit silkier and easier to blend.

This is a really tough question as MAC has such a wide variety of products.  If you had asked about a certain product, or even category, it would be much easier to compare.  Below, I’ll list some other companies that I think trump MAC in certain categories, and if you want, I’ll go into detail as to why in another post.  All in all, I’m very glad for MAC having established a base line for other companies to work off of, but I can tell you truthfully that my makeup kit does not contain a single MAC product.

Brushes: Sigma or Sigmax, Studio Tools, Crown

Eyeshadow: Ben Nye, Sally Girl

Liquid Foundation: Revlon

Cream Foundations: Graftobian

Lip Color: Revlon, OCC

Powder: Kett, Coty

Let me know in the comments if there are any of these you’d like me to go into more explicit detail about!


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