First, a quick introduction. I eat, sleep, and breathe fashion from ready-to-wear to accessories all day, every day. Beauty has never been my thing. Sure, I've been playing with makeup since I figured out how to use my opposable thumbs, but I was by no means an expert. This is why I rely on the expertise (and kindness) of others.
In this case, I'm referring to the one woman I trust above all others when it comes to beauty and skincare recommendations (note: this coming from a girl who worked down the hall from the Neiman Marcus beauty buying offices and has connections with account executives currently working in some of the top cosmetic spots in NYC; read: Chanel, Nars, etc.)
Meet Aneen Skandar, the latest contributor to The StyleShaker, and our new (it's official) Beauty Guru. I couldn't think of a better individual to serve up her no-BS reviews on the top beauty products out there. For her first round, Skandar goes on a hunt for the best, and I mean best, replacement to her Kiehl's Tinted Moisturizer that they took off the shelves moths ago (up until I got this review I have been reeling; no joke, I know the Kiehls' Customer Service number by heart; yup, I was THAT girl, and no, I'm not proud of it).
So without further adieu, meet your new favorite tinted moisturizer (whether you knew it or not) & your new favorite Beauty Guru:
When I was asked by Brittany at The StyleShaker to provide a regular beauty contribution to this site I immediately had a moment of panic. How could I, of all people, be considered ANY kind of expert in this particular genre?? My day job couldn't be any further from the world of fashion or beauty. I spend my day surrounded by mostly men, a lot of who carry guns and wear uniforms.
But then, as the panic slowly faded away and I started digging in to my first topic, I realized a couple of things:
#1- I LOVE any and all things makeup/beauty related. I can spend hours in Sephora, Ulta or the makeup counter at my local department store. I have been obsessed with all things beauty since I was a little girl coveting my grandmother's lipstick and my mother's beauty creams.
#2 (and more importantly)-I'm a cheap skate. It's that simple...I like a sale, a deal, the bigger bang for my buck the better. And when I find something wonderful I have to shout it from the rooftops. Ask my friends they will tell you that if I find a deal, you as my friend, like it or not, WILL know every detail of my latest discovery. I will go out of my way to make sure that the product I'm getting is the best quality for the least amount of money. And who wouldn't want to hear about that?
So where to start? We will begin at the beginning, at the foundation of it all. Your canvas...Let's start with your skin.
Years ago I discovered Kiehl's tinted moisturizer. It was, for me, a life-changing discovery. After years of using heavy foundation I was finally free of the acne that plagued me in my teens and early twenties and was ready for lighter coverage. Tinted moisturizer, especially Kiehl's, was the next step. It gave me the level of coverage I needed all the while providing me with an amazing amount of moisture and conditioning for my extra dry skin. I was an instant convert and not long after that, a complete and utter addict.
You can imagine my utter shock and disappointment when I was informed that my perfect tinted moisturizer had been discontinued. With half a bottle left, I set off to find the perfect replacement. Easier said than done...
I started with one of the best selling tinted moisturizers with the best on-line reviews out there: Laura Mercier's oil free tinted moisturizer.
I'm going to level with you, the color was perfect, but the consistency was so thin and felt water-based to the point that it required I use gobs of product with each application. Although it comes in a fairly large tube, for that price, it hardly seemed worth it to me. One of the best things about Sephora is its return policy, so back to the store it went.
Being that one of my requirements is talc-free makeup, my options are limited. Tarte (my sister's tinted moisturizer of choice) makes a fairly nice talc-free tinted moisturizer with a decent texture. I found the consistency and coverage to be an improvement to that of Laura Mercier's moisturizer, not to mention, the Tarte line has plenty of shades to match any skin tone, even my olive complexion. However, halfway through the day, my winter-blasted skin (residents of D.C., you know what I'm talking about) was left feeling dry and in desperate need of moisture. Back to the drawing board...
Option number three came from a brand I've had very little experience with, Bobbi Brown. For years I've heard friends and co-workers, absolute, tried-and-true brand loyalists (they use it religiously) sing praises of all things Bobbi Brown. While not cheap, the more I read the more intrigued I became. I headed off to my local department store, B-lined it to the Bobbi Brown counter, and after 30 minutes with a lovely ( and patient) rep, I walked away with my new favorite product. Third time's the charm. It's so true.
Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce the newest love of my life: Bobbi Brown's Extra SPF 25 Tinted Moisturizing Balm:
Both images provided by www.macys.com
This balm is absolutely, hands-down the best tinted moisturizer I have ever had the pleasure of slathering all over my face. At just under $55.00 for an ounce, it may seem extravagant, however, a little goes a long way.
It comes in a chic glass pot that looks lovely sitting amongst my other products on my vanity. One, teeny con would be that this glass pot probably won't lend itself to the jet-setter. It's a bit heavy and clunky.
Back to the pros: It has a light botanical smell with ingredients that range from evening primrose oil, chamomile, geranium flower oil and citrus oil. I found that patting it across my face and letting it sink in before applying any other makeup or powder is the best way to go. My skin glows, and this is not me exaggerating. Recently, I started using just a touch of bronzer for contouring, but not too much. I want to let my happy, hydrated skin shine through.
With eight shades to choose from, matching almost any skin tone is actually a possibility. Genius.
I would suggest keeping it away from eyelids when applying or you will find any eye-makeup you apply sliding halfway down your face by midmorning (not the best look). It also seems that it might be a little too thick and heavy to use during the hot sticky summer months, but since most of us are darker in the summer and have to rematch our colors anyway, moving to a lighter tinted moisturizer seems logical. With a tinted moisturizer and a BB cream offered by Bobbi Brown, I expect to be finding something better suited to summer humidity.
There is also a non-tinted version of this balm for use as a night cream if it seems like too much moisture for day. Thanks to my new BFF Bobbi, my extra dry winter skin is once again happy. With my mid-thirties looming, the importance of deeply moisturized skin and daily SPF protection is vitally important to my battle against aging.
Bottom line: I'm a very happy girl with very happy skin.
Until next time...
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