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Beauty Tips

The Latest, Greatest Face Perfecting Makeup

by Vincent Boiteau

I recently wrote about new foundations and how I adore foundation. But there are many other kinds of makeup I use to improve my complexion’s appearance. From primer to tinted moisturizer to concealer to powder, I’ve tried and tested some fantastic additions to the world of perfecting makeup. Today I have a review of new goodies from Smashbox, Global Goddess, Trish McEvoy, Neutrogena, Bobbi Brown, and Jane Iredale. These all excel at making my skin look much better without making me look like I’m cheating with makeup.


Primer is something that I only began wearing in the last decade. Now it’s hard to imagine life without it. It makes makeup go on so much more smooth and even, and helps it last longer. I apply it all over my face, including around the eyes and on my lips.

Smashbox Hybrid 2 in 1 Luminizing Primer does double duty. It’s a combination of their incredibly popular Photo Finish (foundation primer) and Artificial Light (a golden highlighter). It smooths on very nicely and gives my face a beautiful, lit-from-within look. It also contains vitamins, antioxidants, and botanicals to improve the condition of skin. You can apply it before makeup to prime and give skin a beautiful glow, or on top of makeup for additional highlighting. It’s wonderful applied to the tops of cheekbones and along the bridge of the nose. $34.

Tinted Moisturizer

Sometimes I don’t feel like bothering with full-on foundation or I simply want a lighter look. That’s when I turn to a tinted moisturizer. I began using these in recent years and just love them.

Global Goddess Geisha Goddess Tinted Face Duo smooths on and blends beautifully as it provides light moisture and just enough color to even skin tone. I can easily skip foundation when I use this tinted moisturizer from makeup artist Shalini Vadhera. It contains ginseng to brighten skin and conveniently includes a creamy concealer in the cap. The clever duo was honored with a 2009 Spring Makeup O-ward in “O” Magazine. Comes in three shades. $38.


I feel like I’ve been using concealer forever. I’ve always had thin skin under my eyes that reveals lovely, blue veins. And I’ve had more than my fair share of blemishes. Concealer is a dear friend to me.

Especially Good Around the Eyes

Trish McEvoy Line Minimizing Concealer is great, because it helps me conceal and minimize the look of those fine lines that are beginning to creep in around my face, particularly around my eyes. This concealer is especially creamy, blends very easily, and contains skin-brightening minerals and light diffusers to reduce the look of fine lines. Comes in two shades. $21.

Neutrogena Mineral Sheers Concealer Kit SPF 20 is a smart set that’s perfect for anyone on a budget. It comes with a concealer that provides lots of coverage, a translucent setting powder, and a wee puff in one convenient, little container. This is one of the few concealers I know of that provides sun protection. I really appreciate that, because I mainly use concealer around my eyes and that’s exactly where I most want protection from the sun. Comes in four shades. $13.99.

Perfectly Portable

Bobbi Brown Face Touch Up Stick easily fits in my purse and does a great job concealing redness, blemishes, and other imperfections that I generally need to touch up during the day. It has a very creamy formula that gives full coverage and works so well that it won “Best Undercover Agent” in “O” Magazine’s 2009 Spring Makeup O-wards. Comes in 17 shades. $22.

Jane Iredale Zap & Hide(TM) Blemish Concealer totally has me covered when I want to treat a blemish and make it look like it never existed. This eco-friendly stick is perfectly portable so I can hide the dots and help them heal all day long. On one end is Zap, a clear balm that contains antiseptic, anti-inflammatory botanicals that soothe and don’t overdry pimples. On the other end is Hide, a creamy concealer with lots of pigment. Both ends go above and beyond your typical concealer and blemish treatment. They both contain organic tea tree leaf and lavender oils to heal and soothe, and algae extracts to control oil. I found that Zap really helped chase away my zits. Some disappeared overnight. And Hide did a good job hiding the little buggers that didn’t leave right away. This duo is free of chemical preservatives, chemical dyes, perfume and alcohol, and has not been tested on animals. Comes in three shades. $25.


I use less powder than I did in the past. I prefer to use a light touch now so my makeup looks more natural and not like I’m wearing a mask of makeup. But I most definitely still use powder, because it makes everything else look more finished and helps foundation last longer.

Jane Iredale Mini-Matte manages to be super cute, super chic, and super effective all at once. The little, golden, bejeweled compact comes in a pretty, quilted, turquoise fabric case that fits in a pocket so it’s perfect for evenings when I don’t feel like carrying a purse or if I’m carrying a teeny clutch that barely holds anything. Despite the small size, this eco-friendly, sheer, mineral  powder does a bigtime job banishing shine. My combination skin stays matte for hours after using this incredible little powder made of highly absorbent rice starch. There’s no oil, talc, FD&C dyes, synthetic preservatives, or animal testing. $25.

Do Tell

So what kind of makeup do you use to improve the look of your skin? A combo of primer, foundation, concealer, and powder? Do you prefer foundation or tinted moisturizer? Do tell.

P.S. Check out our regularly updated Beauty Resources page for some amazing beauty deals from companies like Benefit, beauty.com, and spalook.com.

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4 comments for “The Latest, Greatest Face Perfecting Makeup”

  1. Dear Sonja,

    I am the Queen of undereye circles. They are Dark Purple and no matter what I do, I can not get rid of them so concealer is my only option. I have tried E V E R Y T H I N G. Right now, I think Bobbi Brown is the best for me. What would your #1 suggestion be for me to try?

    Deeply Concerned about Circles,

    Posted by Patricia | March 29, 2009, 10:00 am
  2. Ooh tell me about that hat!

    Posted by szaza | March 30, 2009, 10:04 am
  3. ❤ Patricia, strangely, it says that the new Bobbi Brown Touch Up Stick should not be used around the eyes. Have no idea why. But certainly the Creamy Concealer should work well, since it’s designed for very dark circles. Though I haven’t actually tried that one so I can’t say how it’s worked for me. One that I use consistently is Awake’s Invention Stretch Concealer. It has a good consistency, covers well, and stays in place. They call it “stretch,” because it has something in it to make it move with the skin so it doesn’t settle in lines, etc. Hope that helps!
    ❤ szaza, unfortunately, I have no info about the hat. We just picked the pic from flickr not an article. Sorry!

    Posted by Sonja | March 31, 2009, 5:38 pm
  4. ❤ Patricia, I forgot to mention that I’ve been using an amazing product with concealer that makes a huge difference. Terra Firma Bright Eyes Firming Eye Brightener is an eco-friendly brightener with optical light diffusers (more than any concealer I’ve come across) so it makes dark circles look brighter. It really works. I consider it a must-have to use in conjunction with concealer: http://www.terrafirmacosmetics.com/eyebrightener.html. Let me know if you try it.

    I’m also headed to the Bobbi Brown counter next week to shoot a tutorial. I’ll ask her to use the Creamy Concealer and see how it works. :)

    Posted by Sonja | April 2, 2009, 12:17 pm

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