A trio of indie foundations: Bravon, Idun Minerals and EX1. Duds or jewels?

What’s your vice? Do you have certain products that you can’t get enough of? I’ve got double vices – eyeshadows and foundation. Even when I find a foundation that gets a lot of love from me I still want to know what else is out there. Problem is that I end up with some duds among the jewels. Three foundations that I purchased in the last year haven’t gotten any attention on the blog so I’m going to rectify that today.

FOUNDATIONS from IDUN, EX1, and Bravon

All of these are from independent companies and IMO it’s great to support brands like this. They are mostly only found on their own website. The three I want you to know about are from BRAVON, EX1, and IDUN. Have you heard of any of these?

BRAVON Luminous Skin Perfecting Foundation

BRAVON is a brand I’ve neglected to write about in spite of the fact that I have quite a bit of the brand. I bought the Luminous Skin Perfecting Foundation over a year ago and have used it consistently since then. It’s the fullest coverage of the foundations I’m reviewing today. There are 16 shades to the collection and they do a good juob of helping explain the colors with their descriptions. ($29).

Bravon is the brainchild of Bravon Pascua who’s been in the industry for over 25 years and rose to prominence with Sephora and Bare Escentuals before deciding to create his own company. He’s well known on the west coast and is in a lot of independent stores where he does fabulous events too. Unfortunately for me I can only buy online but it’s worth it.

BRAVON Luminous Skin Perfecting Foundation in Alabaster

Bravon Luminous Skin Perfection foundation is considered to be a medium to full coverage. The nice thing is that it’s very light on my skin and doesn’t look heavy. It gives a radiant finish which is much more youthful than a matte finish. Some of the ingredients in this foundation are Indian Jasmine, White Water Lily, Vitamins C and E which all condition skin. There’s also “specially-engineered titanium dioxide diffuses and scatters light to help even skin tone for a glowing complexion.”

  • Alabaster– porcelain to fair skintones with cool undertones
  • Natural Ivory – fair to light skintones with cool to neutral undertones
  • Warm Ivory – fair to light skintones with cool to golden undertones
  • Golden Ivory – fair to light skintones with cool to rich golden undertones
  • Soft Beige – light to medium skintones with neutral undertones
  • Cool Beige – light to medium skintones with cool to neutral undertones
  • Warm Beige – light to medium skintones with neutral to yellow-olive undertones
  • Purely Natural – medium skintones with cool to neutral undertones
  • Cool Natural – medium skintones with neutral undertones
  • Warm Natural – medium skintones with neutral to golden undertones
  • Golden Natural – medium skintones with yellow-olive to golden undertones
  • Natural Tan – tan skintones with neutral to golden-caramel undertones
  • Tan – tan skintones with yellow-olive to caramel undertones
  • Golden Tan – tan skintones with rich golden-caramel undertones
  • Honey Bronze – tan to dark skintones with caramel to rich golden undertones
  • Chestnut – dark to deep skintones with neutral to rich golden undertones

Hypoallergenic. Paraben Free. Talc Free. Cruelty Free. Liquid Mineral Foundation. Made in the USA.

I have the shade Alabaster which is their lightest but I wish it were a little lighter. If I’m particularly pale on any day I have to avoid Bravon or else mix it with a white foundation to lighten it. Other than that I think it’s a wonderful product and one that lasts me well throughout the day. It’s not a fussy foundation – it likes any tool I choose to use.

Water (Aqua/Eau), Cyclopentasiloxane, Butylene Glycol, Phenyl Trimethicone, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Poly(Glycol Adipate)/Bis-Hydroxyethoxypropyl Dimethicone Copolymer, Aluminum Hydroxide, Stearic Acid, Tocopherol, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Nymphaea Alba Leaf Cell Extract, Jasminum Sambac (Jasmine) Leaf Cell Extract, Onopordum Acanthium Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Polyurethane-16, Silica, Silk Powder (Serica Powder/ Poudre de soie), Melanin, Dextran, Trifluoroacetyl Tripeptide-2, Octyldodecanol, Alcohol, Mica, Boron Nitride, Polysorbate 20, Xanthan Gum, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Phytantriol, Dextrin Palmitate, Pentylene Glycol, Ferulic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Methicone, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Sodium Chloride, Disodium EDTA, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol May Contain/Peut contenir ±: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Zinc Oxide (CI 77947)


EX1 Invisiwear Liquid Foundation

EX1 Cosmetics Invisiwear Liquid Foundation is said to be a lightweight, luminous foundation. But it isn’t that way on me at all. There are 14 shades without names, just numbers, and no descriptions on the websites that it’s available at. This is my dud. I had read a rave review on Byrdie and even though I knew that the shades ran yellow I felt that the lightest shade would still work for me. It costs $18 and LookFantastic has sales all the time so you can usually get it for less.

According to EX1 Cosmetics the foundation is great to conceal imperfections since it uses ‘true color’ pigments and light diffusers that work in harmony with your skin tone.

#1 is the lightest shade and has a light yellow undertone to it. It’s not the color that makes this a no-go for me. It’s the texture. It just doesn’t apply well on me at all. My fingers are the best tool to use; a brush or beauty blender sponge makes it bunch up so that it looks uneven. I’m not sure what skintype this is best for. I am dry but not overly so and it just looks like a flat matte on me and it doesn’t last well throughout the day. I’ve read that it bunches up on oily skin too. But if you have normal skin and like a matte finish then it might work for you. When I look in the mirror after I’m done applying EX1 I find that I can see the foundation and that it’s not even on my skin. I try to even it out but I don’t feel I’m that successful at it.

Oil and fragrance free. Non-comedogenic. Clinically and dermatologically tested.

  • Water (Aqua), Cyclopentasiloxane, Triethylhexanoin, Pentylene Glycol, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Dimethicone, Propylene Glycol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Peg-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Dimethicone/Peg-10/15 Crosspolymer, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Methicone, Acrylates/Dimethicone Copolymer, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Propylene Carbonate, Tocopherol, Disodium Edta.[+/- (May Contain) Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Ci 77491, 77492, 77499 (Iron Oxides)]

IDUN MINERALS has two formulas but when I bought mine they just had one. If you’ve read Phyrra’s blog then you know that she is crazy about this foundation. As someone who is extremely light she found a great match in the shade Jorun. It’s not easy picking a color online and I was torn between shades. So I emailed the company and told them my dilemma (not as fair as Jorun but definitely fair with cool undertones). They suggested the NORRSKEN formula in SAGA and the shade is just right! They have a great chart though for recommendations to help you decide.

IDUN NORRSKEN Pure Mineral Illuminating Foundation (Saga)

IDUN Minerals Norrsken is a Pure Mineral Illuminating Foundation ($28) and is considered to have light coverage. Their new formula Nordic Veil is a fuller coverage. With Norrsken though I can build up the coverage if I want so I’m content.

Why do I love (yes love) IDUN MINERALS NORRSKEN?

It has a pure water base with purified mineral ingredients. This Swedish brand follows the strict guidelines of their pharmacy authority. They are a vegan, cruelty-free brand with a wide range of shades for all skintones. They are proud to be Scandinavian and they use a touch of concentrated lingonberry oil in their formula to keep skin hydrated and radiant.

IDUN NORRSKEN foundations

In my opinion they’ve done just that, hydrated and radiant. IDUN Norrsken has a dewy finish that looks very natural on. Sometimes I’ll use a finishing powder but I don’t have to at all. I find that I can use any method I want to achieve a smooth visage – a rounded brush, beauty blender sponge, or fingers. The foundation lasts well all day for me and I don’t have to touch up when going out at night. It feels good and it looks good.

Aqua / water, Isononyl isononanoate, Cera microcristallina / microcrystalline wax, glycerin, Octyldodecanol, Caprylic/capric triglyceride, Tocopheryl acetate, Silica dimethyl silylate, Disteardimonium hectorite, Vaccinium vitis-idaea seed oil, Mica, Peg-30 dipolyhydroxystearate, Octyldodecyl xyloside, Phenethyl alcohol, Magnesium sulphate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Caprylhydroxamic acid, Disodium edta, Helianthus annuus seed oil, Rosmarinus officinalis leaf extract.
May contain (+/-)?C.I. 77891 (iron oxide), C.I. 77492 (iron oxide), C.I. 77491 (iron oxide), C.I. 77499 (iron oxide).

dried down

Two jewels and one dud. IDUN wins the gold medal with Bravon skating in right behind for the silver. EX1 has been eliminated for this dry skin dame.  —  Marcia

Put some POW! into New Years EVE with IT Cosmetics!

What to wear for New Years Eve…take a quick trip to Ulta and spend those gift cards that Santa gave you on some IT Cosmetics and you’ll have all the cosmetics you’ll need for superhero-worthy beauty that lasts all night. Of course, you’ll want to pick up my ultimate favorite concealer – I can’t believe it has even surpassed my precious favorite, Bye Bye Undereye (which is still freaking fantastic). I think I love this one even better now that I’m older and my skin is a little dryer, the Bye Bye Undereye Concealing Pot is slightly creamier and man is it good.

samples affiliates Next, use the CC+ Color Correcting Full Coverage Cream – no need for any primer – and you have the perfect base for everything else.

IT Cosmetics CC+ Color Correcting Full Coverage Cream

For cheeks, I adore the Bye Bye Pores Blush in Sweet Cheeks, which makes pores disappear. Some blushes seem to settle right into pores and make them look like huge craters – ugh, you know what I mean. This pressed powder does the opposite, leaving skin looking practically poreless thanks to Optical Blurring Technology and anti-aging silk, hydrolyzed collagen, antioxidants and peptides. Sweet Cheeks is such pretty peachy/gold/pink.

Now, let’s talk EYES.  No one does eyes like IT Cosmetics! Their Superhero Palette is, in my humble opinion, outstanding. It’s divided into three sections – one section with very subtle, nude shades, one with what they call neutral shades but they do have more oomph, and one that has lots of drama and can be used as liners. All sections have a lovely buttery texture with lots of pigment and fantastic lasting power.  Marcia did an excellent review of the shades HERE which I won’t repeat, but here are some pics for you:

Nudes Eye Base

Nudes Eyeshadows

Nudes swatched

The Nudes shades are indeed subtle, and give a very natural but finished look. You can wear them by themselves or else combine them with other colors in the palette.

IT Cosmetics Eye Foundation Neutral

Neutral Eyeshadows

Neutral Eyeshadow swatches

The Neutrals are beautiful shades are a little more than neutral, really – I think they pack a punch. I love them – particularly the golden shade that plays well with my hazel eyes. Beautiful!

IT Cosmetics Liners Eye Foundation


Liner swatches

The Liners shades are beautiful. You can use them wet or dry. They are fantastic accents for the crease as well.

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Superhero Brush

The perfect brush, by the way, for this amazing palette is the IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Superhero Brush ($29). This is an amazing brush totally worthy of its name!! Goodness knows I love a multi-tasker, and this takes multi-tasking to a new extreme.

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Superhero Brush Liner side

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Superhero Brush All Over Brush

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Superhero Brush Crease brush

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Superhero Brush Smudger brush

One side is the liner brush, and the other side slides to become three different brushes – an all-over shadow brush, a crease brush, and a smudge brush. This is the perfect travel brush.

IT Cosmetics Superhero Liner

IT Cosmetics Superhero Eyeliner swatch

Of course, you also need a superhero worthy eyeliner and IT Cosmetics has that too – the Superhero Liner ($24). This is one of the easiest liquid eyeliners I have ever used. It goes on with the ease of a marker but it still has the power of a liquid liner. It also really lasts without peeling or chipping. The brush is like a felt tip brush and it keeps its quality without fraying or bending.

IT Cosmetics Superhero Mascara wand

Superhero Mascara ($24) finishes out your look with super thick, super long, super black lashes. I love this mascara. It has something called Proprietary Elastic Stretch Technology that I can’t even pretend to understand, but somehow it wraps each lash in a ‘black cape of power and color’ which sounds pretty darn cool. Whatever it does, it makes my lashes look fantastic, which is good enough for me!!

Valencia Key Shero Earrings

Now that your face looks AH-MAZING, why not accent it with this fabulous Valencia Key earrings? Valencia Key Earrings are for Dreamers, Believers, and Achievers.  Check them out at valenciakey.com.  Not only are these earring gorgeous, they come with this message:

Valencia Key Shero Earrings

You are courageous!  You are inspiring! You are extraordinary!  On your journey to achieve your dreams and live your life’s purpose, wear these beautiful VALENCIA KEY Shero Earrings, infused with sunshine, joy and love.  Shine bright in life!  Sending you lots of love and light!

And that, dear reader, is my holiday wish for you. Have fun shopping, shine bright, and always remember – you are extraordinary.  – Lisa

FACE atelier Ultra Skin, a foundation for those who want it light and lovely

We have been fans of FACE atelier for years and years but they sort of fell off our radar for a while. Thank goodness for the internet because we are now able to get brands easily that we have had trouble with in the past. If you don’t know much about the brand we have done some reviews in the past (concealer, lip glaze) and now we’re excited about sharing Ultra Skin Foundation.


FACE atelier Ultra Skin

Here’s more to know about FACE atelier and how the Ultra Foundations got their beginning:

FACE atelier is an innovator within the beauty industry, offering a collection of sophisticated, versatile makeup that simply works and works simply. It’s a unique age and race neutral brand that was designed to be the first consumer brand that was truly good enough for professional makeup artists.

Founder Debbie Bondar created FACE atelier in part because she couldn’t find a foundation that matched her skin tone and was overwhelmed by the multitude of choices. She decided to develop an edited line of sophisticated, versatile, age and race neutral makeup that simply works, and works simply.  FACE atelier emphasizes innovation over imitation, offering easy-to-use products driven by quality, performance and originality.  The star of the line – Ultra Foundation – has its own cult following that includes Billy B, one of the most sought after A-list makeup artists in the world.

There are 11 shades in this very inclusive line so that everyone from the very fair to women of color should be able to find a shade that matches them. You can even buy samples on their website for $1 if you aren’t sure.

Now let’s learn if their claims pan out for the BIZ ladies.


I’m so happy that FACE atelier remembered us very pale tone ladies with 0.5. The shade is recommended for “neutral, very light complexion, blush undertone” which describes me to a T. I bought Ultra Foundation previously in #1 (cool, light complexion, yellow undertone) and in zero minus (white adjuster) to create a shade as light as 0.5 in Ultra Skin Foundation. Now I have just one product to use each day.

Wonderfully this is a fragrance free product that is vegan and oil-free.

FACE atelier Ultra Skin Foundation in 0.5

My blog partner Lisa loves primer but I’m the person who owns it and forgets to use it. I remember to use a serum every day but forget about the primer. So knowing that this foundation doesn’t need a primer or even a setting powder elevates it in my mind (and on my face).

It’s very lightweight and at first I even wonder if I have any coverage. Once its blended though I can see how perfectly it covers my redness and pores. If I feel the need to build it up I can do so easily just where I need it – I don’t have to build up all over, just spot build.

FACE atelier Ultra Skin

As I’ve gotten older (and older and older) I realize that the heavy coverage I used to think looked so good no longer does. It ages me so sticking with a lightweight coverage that really does cover is the answer to my skin’s wishes. FACE atelier, in its wonderful travel ready packaging, is absolute perfection.


FACE atelier Ultra Skin

So, as a primer junkie, and as someone who prefers full coverage, this didn’t sound like a Lisa foundation at all. However there’s lots to love about FACE atelier Ultra Skin and this has quickly become a favorite for me.

First, I love my primers because they help my foundation stay in place and keep it from sinking into my pores. Ultra Skin has a built in primer so I can skip that step and I still get the effect of a primer, so I’m sold in this area. Second, I need coverage for hyper-pigmentation and red areas, so I go for full coverage foundation. This foundation has a lighter coverage, but it is truly buildable, and I just blend in a little more over areas that need it. The end result is a lovely satin finish that looks beautiful.  I really like the silicone-based formula; my skin has always taken well to them, although I know some people aren’t fond of them. The silicones blur fine lines and wrinkles, and goodness knows I take every little bit of help I can get in that area!

FACE atelier Ultra Skin in 3 swatch

FACE atelier Ultra Skin in 3 swatch

My shade, 3, is described as cool, light complexion, yellow undertones. It’s almost a perfect match for my skin. I’m also very impressed with my total lack of need for powder – no oily, shiny nose with Ultra Skin Foundation, not even by the end of the day. It’s a Christmas miracle!

Overall, this is a very easy to use foundation in a terrific array of shades. We have nothing but raves for FACE atelier Ultra Skin – this is one to check out for sure!  FACE atelier is sold at Camera Ready Cosmetics and FACE atelier’s website.

Ready for something new? Try Voula, the Serum Foundation

About this time of year we are usually thinking about how we can make our visages more lovely. With so many celebrations coming up looking our best is a priority. With the new VOULA Beauty Serum Foundation ($50) we’ve found a friend that is providing us with skin that looks better each day and will help us through the holidays and more.

Voula, Founder & Owner of Voula Beauty

Created by Stavroula Fotiou who was inspired by Greek beauty she decided to create her own collection. Armed with a passion for bio-active botanical ingredients, high-performance formulations, and the belief that luxury cosmetics should blend perfect pigments, incredible finishes, and extraordinary ingredients, she created the brand she had always dreamed of.  This foundation comes in 8 shades:

01 – Very fair with neutral undertones; for very fair skin

02 – Fair with light yellow undertones; for fair skin

03 – Light with neutral undertones; for light skin

04 – Light-Medium with neutral undertones; for light to medium skin

05 – Tan with neutral undertones; for medium skin

06 – Warm honey tan with yellow undertones; for medium skin

07 – Caramel tan with peachy yellow undertones; for medium to dark skin

08 – Golden dark tan with peachy yellow undertones; for medium to dark

In addition to the shade selection, the formula is serum based with an ingredient called SEPILIFT DPHP, which hydrates, firms, and fights wrinkles, making it a terrific multi-tasker. It also has mastic, ‘an aromatic resin from the bark of a tree that grows on the Greek island of Chios and has been used for health and beauty since the time of the ancient Greeks.’ Mastic tighten pores and reduces shine, another reason to give this foundation a try!


Marcia wears both Shade 01 and Shade 02

With 8 shades to choose from and a terrific comparison chart I was able to find two shades that match me well. Both Shades 1 and 2 work well for me with 01 being the best match. VOULA compares 01 to MAC NW15 and Bobbi Brown Porcelain which are the exact shades I wear in those two brands. But I find that 02 (MAC NC20 and BB Ivory) also works well for me and I’m the only one who can notice a difference.

Voula Serum Foundation

Let me tell you why I like this Serum Foundation so much…

First it’s fragrance free which is a priority for me.

Second it blends so easily no matter what tool I use. I’ve used my fingers, my IT Cosmetics Heavenly Lush brush, my Artis brush, and a cosmetic beauty blender sponge (or two) and each one gives me what I want – coverage that’s light to medium weight that makes me feel wonderful.

Voula Shade 01 and 02

This is a water based serum foundation that doesn’t mask your face. My “freckles” show through but not my unevenness. It can be layered but I’ve never found the need to do so. I’ve been alternating between the 2 shades and different tools and find that I’m always happy with the finish. I don’t need to powder everywhere to set it either which is what I prefer. Shade 01 has a lighter, cooler undertone with a hint of peach while Shade 02 is a warmer more beige tone.

Voula Shade 01 and 02

This is a very happy find and one that I’ll be using for months to come.

Lisa wears both Shade 03 and Shade 04

I am totally bowled over by this foundation. It’s fantastic.

Voula The Serum Foundation in Shades 03 and 04

The shades I have are very forgiving. I can use either the 03 or the 04 shade. The 03 is lighter and slightly cooler in tone, so while it will be a perfect match for me mid-December, right now I use it with a bit of 04 mixed in, or I use the 04 all by itself.

Voula The Serum Foundation Shades 03 and 04

Voula The Serum Foundation Shades 03 and 04

I love the texture of this creamy liquid. It looks so natural on – Voula The Serum Foundation is a foundation that really melds with skin and becomes one with it; it doesn’t just sit on top of the skin. I also love the coverage. It covers everything that needs to be covered – my hyperpigmentation, my blue areas like that pesky vein, any blemishes that popped up just to annoy me. In fact, I don’t need to worry about much concealer, just a little under my eyes.

I love that I hardly need to powder my nose during the day. This foundation has amazing lasting power, and it really does make my pores seem tiny and practically eliminates my shiny nose syndrome, but it doesn’t make my skin look dry and flat like matte or powder foundations can.

I don’t use much, just a small squirt on my steel palette, then I use my IT Cosmetics foundation brush to buff it in – it takes about two minutes for perfect coverage that looks fantastic all day long. I am super impressed.

Wearing Voula The Serum Foundation Shades 03 and 04

You can find Voula The Serum Foundation online at voulabeauty.com – we hope you check out this beautiful foundation, we know you will be happy you did!

IT Cosmetics CC+ Color Correcting Full Coverage Cream (and my before and after selfie #ITCCchallenge)

IT Cosmetics CC+ Color Correcting Full Coverage Cream

IT Cosmetics is asking women to take the #ITCCchallenge – take a makeup-free selfie, then take one wearing just their CC+ Color Correcting Full Coverage Cream ($38) and post the before and afters on social media. For every before and after, IT Cosmetics will donate $1 to the Look Good Feel Better foundation which helps women with cancer! I am up for the challenge, how about you?

samples/affiliate links

I adore CC+ Color Correcting Full Coverage Cream – it’s one of my go-to foundations. Why? Well, there are seven great reasons why.

  1.  It’s a full coverage foundation, which is great for my uneven skin tone (on full display in my before pic).
  2.  Spf 50+ UVA/UVB broad-spectrum physical sunscreen
  3.  Brightening color corrector which makes my sallow skin tone look fabulous
  4.  Hydrating anti-aging serum…I mean, who doesn’t need that?
  5.  Poreless finish primer included making this a great multitasking product
  6.  Dark spot concealer which works great on my hyperpigmentation
  7.  It’s also a moisturizing day cream

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe™ Complexion Perfection Brush #7

I love the way it applies, especially with the IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe™ Complexion Perfection Brush #7 ($48). This is an amazing brush! The smaller end is fantastic for applying concealer (love the Bye Bye Undereye Concealing Pot) and the large end buffs in the CC+ Color Correcting Full Coverage Cream so beautifully it’s incredible. The coverage is fantastic but it looks so natural and lightweight! And the formula is chock full of wonderful ingredients that skin just loves. “The hydrating formula is infused with peptides; niacin; algae; vitamins A, C, B, and E; hyaluronic acid; and hydrolyzed collagen, along with antioxidants and exotic botanicals for brightening and color-correcting benefits.” (from IT Cosmetics via qvc.com).

IT Cosmetics CC+ Color Correcting Full Coverage Cream swatched from left to right:  Fair, Light, Medium, Medium Tan, Tan, Rich, Deep

Plus, there are a terrific array of shades available, seven in all from Fair to Deep. One is bound to be your best match.

IT Cosmetics CC+ Color Correcting Full Coverage Cream

Now, taking a selfie with absolutely no makeup on is not an easy task. It takes a lot of guts to put yourself out there like that – I won’t even run to the grocery store without makeup, but if it’s going to help my fellow sister in need I am happy to do whatever it takes. So here I am – just woke up. My goodness, I hadn’t even brushed my hair yet.

IT Cosmetics makeup-free selfie

And here I am after applying IT Cosmetics CC+ Color Correcting Full Coverage Cream – nothing else, no concealer, no primer, obviously no lipstick or mascara! But you can certainly see the difference in my skin tone, radiance, and overall healthy appearance. It literally took me about two minutes to apply my foundation for this photo.

My selfie with just IT Cosmetics CC+ Color Correcting Full Coverage Cream

I did end up putting some concealer on because I was rocking some seriously puffy eyes that morning and I promise I did eventually brush my hair!!

Ok, now it’s your turn. Take the IT Cosmetics challenge! Post your own before and after selfies using CC+ Cream SPF 50+ to celebrate your most beautiful you and help IT Fighters and IT Survivors everywhere! To learn more, follow @itcosmetics and #ITCCchallenge.  – Lisa

Be You, Be Beautiful with Osmosis + Colour Satin Foundation

Osmosis + Colour Performance Wear Satin Foundation

With the season change we’re ready to add in some new products to our routines and first on our mind is foundation, specifically Osmosis + Colour Performance Wear Satin Foundation. Osmosis is a trusted brand for skin care and their colour products have proven to be favorites of both Lisa and Marcia. This new foundation is available in 5 shades and is gluten-free and vegan.


As many of you know Osmosis is known for their skin care so using this foundation is a benefit to your skin. Performance Wear Satin Foundation ($48) uses an ingredient called Dermaxyl® as an anti-aging feature. Dermaxyl® stimulates cell communication and helps repair age related skin damage. The foundation features both chamomile (for calming) and hyaluronic acid to add hydration to your skin.

Marcia wears this in Natural Light

Osmosis + Colour Performance Wear Satin Foundation in Natural Light

Of the 5 shades the lightest is Natural Light. Let me tell you that I really like this foundation but I do have a gripe and that’s with the shade range. The shades are Natural Light, Natural Medium, Golden Light, Golden Medium, and Beige Dark. This isn’t a wide enough range to cover all complexions. If you can find a shade that works for you you’re going to love it, but they’ve left out many of the customer base with such a limited range.

Osmosis + Colour Performance Wear Satin Foundation Natural Light swatch

Natural Light isn’t the lightest color that I’ve used in foundation. When I line it up next to others I see that it’s much warmer. But it works for me as long as I don’t I apply it heavily. I can add some of my Manic Panic White foundation to it to make it lighter and then the shade is wonderful for me. I’m enjoying how long-lasting this foundation is and that it doesn’t oxidize on my skin.

Osmosis + Colour Performance Wear Satin Foundation Natural Light swatch blended

The first time I wore the foundation I used too much (see photo above) and it was too dark. I was able to buff it down though and now I use much less to get the perfect coverage.

Osmosis + Colour Performance Wear Satin Foundation, Osmosis Pink Pearl blush, Hikari finishing powder

What I love most about the foundation:

  • it blends beautifully whether I use a blender sponge, an Artis brush, or my fingers
  • it lasts all day – I don’t have to reapply
  • there is NO fragrance!!
  • it looks like my skin but better. I get the coverage I want/need yet I’m not loaded down with foundation
  • I don’t have to use a finishing powder unless I want (typically just on my cheeks so I can use my all time favorite powder blush Osmosis Pink Pearl)

This isn’t a dewy finish, it’s a satin so it makes my skin look more youthful than a matte finish while at the same time looking lightly luminous. I’m happy to have this as part of my foundation wardrobe.

Lisa wears this in Natural Medium

Like Marcia, I think the color selection could be wider.  Natural Medium is ok for me, just a little on the yellow side.  My skin is decidedly neutral – right smack in the middle – so I just add a little bit of The Body Shop Lightening Shade Adjusting Drops and I get the neutrality I need.  It’s worth the extra step because I really dig the coverage and the finish.

Osmosis+Colour Performance Wear Satin Foundation in Natural Medium

Osmosis+Colour Performance Wear Satin Foundation in Natural Medium

What I love most about the foundation:

  • the coverage – I use it sparingly on my good areas, and build up for full coverage on my bad areas that have uneven skin tone.
  • the wear – this lasts all day on me without fading or oxidizing, which is often a problem for me.
  • it keeps my skin hydrated and looking great, and doesn’t settle into my fine lines
  • the finish is darn near perfect, satiny but not shiny.

Now if we could just get a few more shades this would be a perfect liquid foundation!  You can find Osmosis+Colour Performance Wear Satin Foundation online at osmosisskincare.com.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Cyclopentasiloxane, Phenyl Trimethicone, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Sodium Chloride, Dimethicone, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Polysilicone-11,Lauryl PEG/PPG-18/18 Methicone, Lycium Barbarum Fruit Extract, Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12, Sodium Hyaluronate, Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract, Ceramide NG, Tribehenin, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Silica, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Decyl Glucoside, Hexyl Laurate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Methicone, PEG-10 Rapeseed Sterol, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol. May Contain (+/-): Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499).

Lisa’s top five favorite repurchases!

Lisa's Top Five RepurchasesI don’t just repurchase my most favorite items. I am a little OCD, so I’m always afraid of running out. I repurchase my favorites in bulk. So whatever I know I can’t live without, I simply make sure I will never have to!! I have at least three or four extras waiting in the wings at all times. Here are my top five repurchases that have lots of brothers and sisters waiting their turn on my shelves.

Paula's Choice Gentle Touch Makeup Remover

Paula’s Choice Gentle Touch Makeup Remover

  1.  Paula’s Choice Gentle Touch Makeup Remover ($16):  This is the very best makeup remover I have ever tried and I buy this four bottles at a time whenever there is a sale. I usually wear full coverage foundation and my skin tends to break out especially in my t-zone. So I take cleansing very seriously, and the first step is always makeup remover. This dual-phase liquid makeup remover needs to be shaken first. After squirting some onto a cleansing pad you wipe off makeup prior to cleansing. It removes everything, even waterproof mascara and the most tenacious lipstick. It’s completely safe to use on eyes, and it leaves skin feeling moist and hydrated but not oily or greasy.

    Creation Pharm Jewelweed Topical Mist

    Creation Pharm Jewelweed Topical Mist

  2. Creation Pharm Jewelweed Topical Mist ($12.95) Creation Pharm has a store in Traverse City,Michigan and you can find the line in person in lots of cool little stores all over Michigan. They have amazing soaps, oils, tanning lotions, bath products, and skin care. Jewelweed Topical Mist keeps my skin clear and is the best thing I’ve ever tried for keeping blackheads and acne at bay. It also clears up just about any other sort of skin condition you can think of – any itchy, rashy skin like Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, food allergies, and even bug bites. My brother was playing softball and he accidentally grabbed some knee pads that had mold in them. During the game, he slid into home and scratched up his leg. Two days later he had the most horrible infection in his leg, and after three weeks of treatment by doctors it was just getting worse. I gave him my precious bottle of Jewelweed Topical Mist and his leg immediately began to heal. Three days later it was all cleared up. He won’t give me back my bottle. I guess I can’t really blame him. The ingredients in this secret weapon include extracts of Jewelweed, White Oak Bark, Comfrey Leaf, Witch Hazel and Aloe. Native Americans used Jewelweed because it has a natural antihistamine in it that is very quick and totally effective. I use my Jewelweed Topical Mist for so many things that I always have extras on hand.  My son has very sensitive skin that will get itchy for seemingly no reason, my husband gets welts on his skin from heat rash, and my daughter is always getting scraped up. Jewelweed Topical Mist takes care of all those issues, plus it truly is the best toner I have ever used.

    Dan Read Cosmetics Silver Screen Foundation

    Dan Read Cosmetics Silver Screen Foundation

  3. Dan Read Cosmetics Silver Screen Foundation ($33.50) Dan Read Cosmetics is a fantastic niche boutique line with one of the best full coverage foundations available. This is a cream to powder foundation that is well-known among stage and film performers because it lasts through anything. It’s bulletproof. Hot lights, wet weather, long workouts – this foundation holds up like a champ. It corrects uneven skin tone, dark under eye circles, red areas, any problem you’ve got, and it looks natural. It is extremely pigmented so you don’t even need a separate concealer. I always have four shades – my winter color is Soft Ivory 3, which is my lightest shade. Natural 1 is my typical shade, and I use Natural 2 and Natural 3 when I faux tan. Silver Screen Foundation is available in a shimmer version that I also always have on hand. When I travel, this is the foundation I take with me every time.

    Guerlain Terracotta Spray

    Guerlain Terracotta Spray

  4. Guerlain Terracotta Spray ($64)  So, this is spendy, I know. But wow is it awesome. It’s not even perfect — the aerosol sometimes gets gummed up – but I have never gotten the same utterly fabulous bronzed glow with any other product, ever. It makes my skin look perfect. The spray is super light and the effect is freaking fantastic. This is a secret weapon that I am happy to share. Once you try this you will never ever want to be without it again. By the way, I honestly don’t find there to be much difference between the Light and Medium shades.

    Coconut Hut Coconut Oil

    Coconut Hut Coconut Oil

  5. Coconut Hut Coconut Oil in various scents ($17, coconuthutbeauty.com) I have slathered this body oil on for years and years…I remember I found it way back when I first discovered the Internet, so it’s been a while! I just love this little Hawaiian body product boutique. I get different scents all the time, but they are always some variation of coconut. Some of my all time favorites are Coconut Kanantik, Tahitian Black Coconut, and Beach Goddess, and I am currently loving the limited edition Hawaiian Tropics, a mix of coconut milk and dark tanning oil.

I’m so happy to share my top five repurchases with you!  I hope you find something that works for you…and I would love to know what your favorites are too!! – Lisa