NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation

This is a legacy post that I’ve given a facelift because who doesn’t want to be warned about shockingly bad foundation? Opinions are the same, but is formatted and edited for easier reading and flow.

I wore Nars Sheer Matte on my wedding day, and while it photographed beautifully, it was heavy. I felt it all evening. NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation came out earlier this year (2015) and, as it often happens, the blogger and vlogger world was abuzz. I saw a lot of positive feedback about the product (go figure).

I didn’t put any stock in it because it seems when a notable brand comes out with something new, everyone is hyped over it. Oh, and unlike its sisters Sheer Glow and Sheer Matte it has a damn pump – so that’s nice. I hadn’t seen amazing results on other people, though, so I ignored it.

NARS All Day Luminous Weightless FoundationNARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation

Skeptical Match

Fast forward to June, I had a wedding to attend to and a faux tan thanks to self-tanning…and no foundation that matched. I ventured to Sephora, did the silly ColorIQ thing and spent a lot of time with the ladies there trying to sort out my shade. I told them I prefer MUFE HD and UD, but could do NARS Sheer Matte. Instead, they matched me to NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation because I didn’t have a shade in the others. She assured me that it was fine for oily skin, can be applied with a brush or sponge without issue, photographs well, etc.

Application

I applied the product with a Sigma F80 flat-top kabuki on top of Benefit Porefessional; fairly standard procedure for special event makeup. I noticed that although it did not have the consistency of the Sheer Matte, NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation was on the heavier side. It also required significant effort to blend…and like the Sheer Matte, I had to bust out a beautyblender to help me do so. I set with translucent powder (Rimmel Stay Matte, what I always use) and Urban Decay All-Nighter – again, standard procedure for me for makeup that needs to last.

Wear

The ceremony was outdoors at 5PM (about 15 minutes after I finished painting my face), and brief; the weather was pleasant, not raining or even stiflingly humid. My husband and I headed in for the cocktail hour and he noticed that the foundation was:

  • Breaking up at my jawline
  • Beaking up between my eyes and
  • that it was making a dry patch (that I usually have NO ISSUE with) near my nose awkwardly visible.

I checked it out, and it wasn’t looking good – all the things my husband noticed were definitely the case, and more; it had settled into my smile lines and the lines on my forehead. I tried to blot it, thinking, “Maybe I’m just a bit on the oily side today,” nope – I’m wasn’t, a ton of foundation smeared and lifted when I blotted. I remained blotchy. What the hell?!

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MISSHA Perfect Cover BB Cream

MISSHA Perfect Cover

MISSHA Perfect Cover BB Cream

I was obsessed with a now-discontinued, American BB (or, you know, a tinted moisturizer being a poser). You may have seen one of my twelve thousand references to it. I’m now out of my backup stash. Although Naked Skin Foundation in 3.25 worked for me in summer, it doesn’t now – and I’ve decided to approach sunless tanning in a more casual fashion anyway. What came to mind was MISSHA Perfect Cover BB Cream – from Korea, it’s legit, and highly rated for a reason. You can get it stateside from Target ($22) or MISSHA’s site (same price usually, on sale at the moment), but I decided to take a chance on saving money and buy mine from Amazon Marketplace seller BeautyBest LLC.

The Packaging

The Box

…is a shiny, metallic gold and brown with normal things you’d expect on a product box. There’s a mix of Korean and English, and certainly enough of the latter for an English-speaking consumer to make sense of. Drug facts and ingredients are listed in English, too. I find it frustrating to buy foreign products and lose that easy reference to see if there are ingredients that disagree with you; I’m glad to have missed that with this. Some of the translated sections are a little shaky, but by no means incoherent (looking at you, Elma & Sana).

On the front, beneath the branding, it reads:

MISSHA M Perfect Cover BB Cream offers a novel skincare concept with BB cream which lightens skin tone by healing visible wrinkles and blemishes with excellent skin-cover ability and prevents skin aging through effective whitening and anti-wrinkle properties.

Ingredients are to the left of the front of the packaging, and can be found for each shade here. Other info, including product shade and directions are to the right of the front. The back is nearly 100% Korean. This guide on spotting fakes from SumWearCo is a good reference as well.

The Tube

…is an airless pump. This is exciting! Airless pumps have a few cool advantages:

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Mountain Rose Herbs Argan Oil

For a few years now, I’ve been shelling out for Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil from Sephora. I’ve only ever purchased the 0.5 fl oz bottles – and that amount does last a decent period of time. That said, I can’t pretend I’m happy with the cost-per-ounce…and the rationing I require of myself as a result of that cost.

I started researching sources of reliable argan oil. After the Elma&Sana incident, I had no intention of buying some seedy, third-party Amazon seller special. Two sources of repute came up – Garden of Wisdom and Mountain Rose Herbs. Reviews skewed in favor of the latter, so that’s who I went with.

Dotcom

The Mountain Rose Herbs site is relatively low-frills, but comparatively far more modern than GoW’s. That much doesn’t matter to me; the important thing is that it is secure and easily navigable. Regrettably, they do not accept payment via PayPal, but they do accept all major cards and, interestingly enough, checks. I’m not sure who would be ordering things on the internet via check in 2017, but…hey.

In addition to what I came to find, Mountain Rose Herbs has a smorgasbord of herbs, spices, teas, aromatherapy items, and natural ingredients for your own natural DIY beauty adventures. I’m not in the market for those items at this time, so I didn’t do much exploring.

The Goods

Mountain Rose Herbs’ Argan Oil comes in four sizes; the smallest of which (4oz) is the most expensive at Sephora.

 

Mountain Rose Herbs Argan OilMountain Rose Herbs Argan Oil

4oz – $26.50
8oz – $46
16oz – $80
1 gal (128oz) – $544.00

This puts the smallest bottle at roughly $6.60 per ounce – which is quite easy to swallow in contrast with Josie Maran’s $24 per ounce for the same size bottle (or $34 per ounce for their 0.5 oz bottles).

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FOREO LUNA Mini

This spring, I purchased a FOREO LUNA Mini in an attempt to troubleshoot my misbehaving skin. Worried I was overdoing it with my Clarisonic Mia 2, I wondered if a movement-free, bristle-free option might treat me better.

Size

FOREO LUNA Mini in my palm. My ringfinger there is a size 5 for reference.

The FOREO LUNA Mini is about the size of the palm of my hand. On the front of the device, low in the horizontal center, is a power button. This single button controls on/off, as well as switching between cleansing modes, of which there are two.

The splotchy shine on the surface of my Luna in the picture there is due to my hard water. I can clean it and make it pristine, but it really doesn’t make a difference – and this is the Real World, not Magical Blogger World where everything is picture-perfect 100% of the time.

Ergonomics

This is one area the device falls flat for me. The round, disc-like device is awkward to hold; it doesn’t feel natural in my hand, and I’m always worried I’m going to drop it. Furthermore, it’s shape is awkward to navigate around the contours of the face. The FOREO LUNA Mini 2 is going to have the same issue, unfortunately. I assume the full-sized LUNA (including the LUNA 2) devices perform a bit better in this area because instead of being a little disc, they’re somewhat oblong.

Cleansing Surfaces

Foreo Luna Mini Skincare Gadget

There are three different types of silicone cleansing nubs split between two locations. On the front, the majority of the surface is made up of thinner, fine nubs. These are the gentlest of the three, and are suitable for your entire face. At the top, the nubs are a bit larger and firmer. They are better suited for more-focused exfoliation without being over-the-top or uncomfortable.

On the rear, also at the top, is the Deep Cleansing surface which features the largest and firmest bristles. Frankly, I don’t use this surface often because it can be a bit much – but when I do use it, I’m using them to work out stubborn sebaceous filaments around my nose.

Cleansing Modes

The FOREO LUNA Mini features two cleansing speeds. When you turn it on, it’s at full tilt; press the power button again to get it to calm down.

LUNA Mini is outfitted with quadpacer functionality that those of you who use electric toothbrushes will be familiar with. It fusses at you to move to a different area of the face every fifteen seconds. It automatically shuts off after 3 minutes so those of us who are absentmindedly overzealous don’t rip our faces up.

Battery & Charging

FOREO LUNA Mini Waterproof (!) Charging Port

On the back, there is a waterproof charging port. This is an interesting choice in this wonderful world of induction charging that we live in but it works just fine. So yes, that’s right – this can live in the shower or at your sink and water getting in the port doesn’t really matter. Give it sometime to dry before charging, though, just to be safe.

The LUNA Mini is fully charged within just an hour. So far, I’ve had no issues with the battery, and have only charged it twice – the initial charge when I unboxed it in April, and in November. The claim of 300 uses (or about 5 months) per charge doesn’t seem inflated or unreasonable based on its performance so far or the performance of the ISSA Mini. I was able to go longer per charge since I switch between this and my Clarisonic.

I have yet to notice degradation in performance that is commonly linked to battery discharge in such devices. A big win here, and that makes it awesome for travel, especially for a week or more – you can do so without bringing your charger.

Cost per Use

Obviously depends heavily on how much you pay for it. When I purchased mine, the regular retail was $99. I got with a Platinum Perk coupon and only paid $79. At its regular retail, assuming once daily use for a year = roughly $0.27 per use. This doesn’t include the cost of the power to charge it because a) it’s negligible and b) electricity rates vary a lot.

These devices will last longer than a year, though. Add in the consideration that there are no brush heads to replace and the fact that you essentially only need to charge it twice per year, and the value skyrockets from there.

Two Years – $0.14

Three Years – $0.09

Five Years – $0.05

My Skin after 8 Months

I didn’t exclusively use the FOREO Luna Mini. My desire to be flexible and pursue what appeared to be working overpowered my desire to approach things scientifically, unfortunately. But I can give you anecdotal evidence.

  • The LUNA Mini is not an exfoliation beast. It DOES exfoliate a bit, but you are not going to get Clarisonic-like results from it. It does clean thoroughly, though, and the silicone bristles feel gentler on the skin. Their construction also feels more like a facial massage than a Clarisonic brush head does.
  • The LUNA Mini can stand up to annoying, stubborn sebaceous filaments. Hallelujah! That’s really my only persistent skin annoyance; and it isn’t really a problem – in fact, they’re present in totally normal, healthy skin…they’re just unsightly to some of us.
  • You do have to apply some pressure with the LUNA Mini to reap the benefits that those odd-looking silicone cleansing nubs can give you. If you’re coming from just washing with your hands, a soft cloth, or a powered brush like a Clarisonic, this will take adjusting-to.
  • I was able to comfortably switch between the LUNA Mini and my Clarisonic Mia 2 without my skin having a conniption.
  • My skin isn’t ‘more radiant’ with it than it was with what I was doing before, but it is cleaner and clearer than when I have a weird day where I just wash my face with hands or a cloth.

The Bottom Line

I’m fairly satisfied with the FOREO Luna Mini. It is significantly more challenging for me to overdo exfoliation with this device because, well, that isn’t what it is intended for – so my goal was ultimately achieved. That said, don’t know that I would repurchase this model or its successor, the LUNA Mini 2. Why?

The ergonomics of it are annoying to me. Furthermore, although it is better suited to travel than my other device, they now have a smaller LUNA better suited to this. (I am referring to the LUNA Go not the LUNA Play. The Go is not disposable! More on that in another post). I would, however, buy a LUNA Go to replace my LUNA Mini. Same functionality, smaller package.

Given my stance on repurchasing, this is one rare instance where my recommendation(s) aren’t entirely aligned. I would recommend the LUNA Mini to the following:

  • Young people who are into skincare and want a device. A fourteen year old doesn’t necessarily need to go Clarisonic-hard on her skin!
  • Mature individuals with delicate skin. A powered-brush might be too hard on this skin-type. and exfoliation at this point is (usually) best addressed with a chemical regimen established with a dermatologist.
  • If you travel, it’s viable…but again, I’d recommend the LUNA Go over the Mini for those with travel needs.

Have you tried a LUNA device or are you considering purchasing one?

Sonia Kashuk No 4 Synthetic Flat Top Buffer

Sonia Kashuk No 4Sonia Kashuk No 4

Over the last two years years I’ve given my F80 quite the workout. It’s on its last legs, and could use replacing. I planned to. Then, Target offered 25% off all beauty products; I struck out and bought the Sonia Kashuk No 4 Synthetic Flat Top Brush (reg $16), which is widely suggested to be a dupe for the F80. I had my eye on it for a while, but with no reason to buy, I refrained.

Ergonomics

The No 4 features the same weird, ergonomic handle that many of the, “nicer,” SK brushes do. For some, that’s great – but unfortunately, this brush was awkward for my to hold and felt very unnatural. My hands are somewhat small, so your mileage may vary with the handle. I’m sure some people would find it comfortable to hold.

Bristles

This is the crucial part. So as you can see below, the bristles are different lengths (pardon the smudged eyeliner on my index finger)…

 

Sonia Kashuk No 4 Synthetic Flat Top vs Sigma F80

This isn’t a bad thing per se. Depending on the type of bristles and the rigidity with which they were bound, the length could be irrelevant. Here, however, it is not. Because more of the length is exposed, the bristles flex more during application. This impacts buffing and can, at worst, lead to streaks; at best, your application could take longer as you work to even out the product.

Like the Sigma F80, Sonia Kashuk No 4’s bristles are all synthetic (read: cruelty free). That said, there is a marked difference in texture. Compared to the F80’s Sigmax bristles, the Sonia Kashuk No 4 feels rough. It is not rough and does not irritate my skin; its bristles just seem so when compared with something softer.

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