Category Archives: foundation

Never Get the Wrong Foundation Color Again

Senna Cosmetics Mineral Mix FoundationI recently discovered Senna Cosmetics, and glad, glad, glad am I!

So far, I’ve tried a plethora of goodies from Senna, each of which I’ll be reviewing soon. But, first up is a Senna best-seller, Mineral Mix Cover & Finish Foundation.

Mineral Mix marks the end of getting the wrong foundation color. How so? It contains a beautifully blend-able loose mineral powder foundation in the base along with a darker pressed mineral foundation powder in the lid. Simple and smart.

Mineral Mix isn’t just a color-matching miracle. It’s also smart in other ways. A special milling process gives this mineral foundation a supremely silky smooth texture that glides onto the skin. The neutral color range looks fresh,  clear…more natural than any I’ve tried before. Natural minerals supply the dewy soft light reflection needed to diminish lines, wrinkles and flaws while also providing chemical-free sun protection. Plus it completely covers blemishes, discolorations, redness, even rosacea and is gentle enough for the most sensitive, problem-prone skin.

I really love that Mineral Mix is chemical free. Not only that, but it’s also free of talc, oils, fragrance, waxes, and dyes. So if you’re looking for a super-natural foundation that actually lives up to its promises, you’ve finally found it.

Moreover, Mineral Mix is great for all skin types, but it’s particularly good for oily skin. In fact, makeup artist Wei Lang gives it two thumbs up, saying Mineral Mix “gives the ultimate soft-focus finish.”

Don’t forget: GET 10% OFF AT SENNA THROUGH TODAY (8/30) by entering “tweet10″ at check-out.

Beauty Q&A with GirlPaint: Free Advice for A More Beautiful You

Q&ARecently I became a member of MakeupTalk forum. I LOVE posting on forums, and not because I want to promote myself or my blog (although that’s a nice benefit if other members like my posts), but because I really, honestly like giving advice, tips, tricks and product reviews. It’s the reason I started blogging in the first place. I was working in an industry that cut me off from the beauty world, and I desparately needed to connect to my makeup-loving sister (and brothers).

Following is a condensed Q&A excerpted from my MakeupTalk forum posts.

Q. I’m African American and have desert hair that desparately needs moisture. Recommendations?
A. Coconut oil, definitely. And use a deep conditioner (recommended: Mizani Fufyl) when you shampoo.

Q. Should I tip beauty school students?
A. You should tip 10%. If they do an especially good job, you can tip more than 10%, and be sure to find out where they’ll be working when they fiinish school. If you split the tip, tip 10% of the TOTAL, and split it between the students based on the work they did.

Q. I’ve heard Bio Oil is good for your skin, but I don’t like the feeling of oils on my face. Can you recommend on something to put under my mineral makeup that will not clogs pores or cause break outs?
A. Try Korres Pomegranate Moisturizer. It’s light formula is made for people with oily/acne-prone skin, plus it contains SPF (bonus!).

Q. How do I get rid of dark circles under my eyes?
A. Lessening (NOT getting rid of) dark circles can happen, but it takes time. Many good products are out there to address the issue, but you’ll need to use them consistently (that means at least once a day…twice is better) for 3-4 months. I’ve been using Skin Actives Scientifics Bright Eye cream for over two years. It contains the best active ingredients known to help fix the problem, plus it’s only $17.50 and the .5 oz. jar lasts forever (for me anyway). I believe in SAS Bright Eye 100%, but realize that dark circles are, in large part, hereditary and you may still have to use undereye concealers if you want to camouflage them.

Q. Does anyone believe the Clarisonic Brush is worth it?
A. I’ve used a Clarisonic Brush myself, and on top of my own “thumbs-up,” I’ve also heard rave reviews from just about everyone who’s used one. But $200 is a lot to shell out for a face cleaning appliance. QVC offers a payment plan ($40/payment) that might be the way to go. Either that or purchase one locally and that way, if you don’t like it, you can return it (be sure you check out your retailer’s return policy).

Q. (Non-beauty related) When sending out resumes, should i put my cover letter and my resume all in the body of the email? Or should I send the cover letter in the body and attach the resume?
A. Send ONE email with the cover letter at the top and then copy and paste your resume underneath the letter. NO ATTACHMENTS unless the company specifically asks for them. Always send your resume in the body of the e-mail message, not as an attachment. Put the resume right in the message so the recipient will see it as soon as he or she opens the message. This technique also helps you get through e-mail systems that reject all attachments in this day of rampant computer viruses.

Q. Optical Illusion Dresses – Yea or Nea?

A. Optical Illusion Dresses look perfect….if you have a PERFECT body. Consider yourself warned.

Q. Did anyone else absolutely hate Bare Minerals?
A. I’ve never been a fan of BE/BM — too orange-y for me, plus it’s cakey on me. I make my own mineral foundation. It’s soooooo easy and sooooo inexpensive. I literally mix a little titanium dioxide w/ red oxide mineral powder with a mortar and pestle. You’d think it would be too pink, but those two ingredients work perfectly for me, plus the titanium dioxide gives me added sun protection.

Q. (Follow-up question) Where do you buy the ingredients to make your own mineral makeup? Does it provide any better coverage when you make your own?
A. Do a Google search for “mineral makeup ingredients” and “mineral makeup recipe.” You’ll find tons of info. And the mmu coverage can be customized, so you can make yours with light, medium or full coverage…or one of each!

Want to look flawless? Here's the 1-2-3

Flawless Faces1. Apply a good foundation, like Make Up For Ever’s new HD Invisible Cover, to your cheeks, forehead, and chin using a foundation brush or round sponge. Then BLEND the foundation all the way to your natural hairline with long, light strokes. Check your face and neck in natural light to make sure the foundation is completely blended in all areas.

2. If under-eye circles or red spots remain, do not add more foundation; it can look heavy and cakey. Instead, try a concealer. Yes, you can apply concealer over foundation.

3. Set your foundation with a light dusting of powder like Benefit’s “Hello Flawless” blendable powder. BONUS: “Hello Flawless” has an SPF 15 and can be applied dry or wet.

Tip: Choose the shade of your foundation carefully. When testing shades, pick one that matches the tone of your jawline exactly.

Tip: Begin by applying a small amount of foundation then increase amount to achieve the degree of coverage that suits your skin. But beware: don’t apply too much or you end up in cake city…definitely not flawless.

Tip: For daytime, mix your foundation with a light SPF moisturizer before applying for a smoother, more sheer application. GirlPaint loves Sharps Barber and Shop Daily Prep Oil Free SPF 15.

Flawless-finish tool:  Beauty Blender at Cult Beauty LTD.

image courtesy of Make Up For Ever at Sephora

Got the Economy Blues? Beat 'Em with These Beauty Values

Economy got you down? Have you — like most everyone else — had to pare back your beauty regimen to just the basics? I’m here to tell you that just because there’s less money in the coffers (or in your pocketbook) you don’t have to give up on having the latest cosmetic finds.

Here are a few AMAZING values for your beauty box that won’t break the bank.

Smashbox Try Me collection
Smashbox Try Me collection, $29

Smashbox gives us sooooooo many options when it comes to looking for a great bargain. One of their best is the Try Me collection featuring best-selling signature items, all in portable trial sizes to give you a flawless face at home or on-the-go. For $29 (!!!), Smashbox generously includes Photo Finish Primer, Photo Op Under Eye Brightener, Brow Tech & Cream Eye Liner Pallette, Double-Ended Eye Liner & Brow Brush, Lip Enhancing Gloss in Crystal (sheer), and a special instructional DVD.

Sephora Deluxe Palette
Sephora Deluxe Palette, $32

Sephora’s Deluxe Palette (only $32 but valued at $200) is a sleek, triple-tiered compact that opens to reveal eyeshadow, blush, lip gloss, and powder on stackable, sliding trays. A selection of applicators and a mirror embedded under the lid give you all the tools to create a polished, impeccable look anytime, anywhere. This savvy, multitasking set has it all: 18 eyeshadows, two cream eyeshadows, two blushes, two compact powders, 24 lip glosses, two double-sided sponge applicators, a double-sided blush/powder brush, two lip gloss brushes, all in a chic black case.

Bare Escentuals Go Bare Kit $32
Bare Escentuals Go Bare Kit, $32

Bare Escentuals helps us beat the bear with its Go Bare Kit, a six-piece set of mini BareMinerals must-haves. This set features a miniature versions of Eyecolor in Joy, Blush in Golden Gate, Mineral Veil, Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Polish in Eva, a Contour Shadow brush, and a Flawless Application brush, all housed in a portable box with a built-in mirror.

So there you have it. It really doesn’t cost a fortune to look beautiful, or have the latest and greatest beauty buys from some of the best around….

Stila Shine On Gift of Glaze: another great value collection!

Take 10 Years Off Your Age Right Now, Pt. 1

Properly applied make up can make you look fabulous. But unless it’s done the right way and using the right amount, make up can actually add years to your face.

As a 37 year old former makeup artist, I’ve learned a few simple tips to follow that will help you look younger starting today:


  • Moisturize your skin–face and neck–with a light moisturizer before you apply your makeup…and allow it to sink in, about 5-10 minutes
  • Apply makeup primer BEFORE any makeup. The least expensive and one of the most effective I’ve found (it rivals Smashbox): Monistat Anti-Chafing Gel. It contains the EXACT same ingredients as most of the best makeup primers. Plus, you can pick up a tube at most drugstores for $5
  • Apply your concealer BEFORE foundation. Using your finger or a concealer brush, pat a little concealer under your eyes, around your nose and on any blemishes or discoloration. Concealer before foundation prevents you applying too much foundation.
  • Apply less foundation. And switch to mineral foundation. The better brands and newest formulations (Jane Iredale, Everyday Minerals are some of my favorites) give excellent NATURAL coverage with a light application
  • Apply blush to the apple (round part that pops out when you smile) of your cheeks. For a youthful glow, use a cheek stain or cream blush in a pink, rosy or peach-y color
  • Blend your makeup well and use a light touch

Take 10 Years Off Your Age Right Now, Pt. 2

A few more simple tips to follow that will help you look younger starting today:


  • Groom your eyebrows. Pluck only stray hairs (those are the ones that fall outside your natural eyebrow)
  • Apply eyeliner to the top lash line only. And unless you have medium-or-dark toned skin, DO NOT use black eyeliner. Brown, grey, plum and green are better for fair-to-light toned skin
  • Apply two coats of mascara maximum. One coat for daytime wear is best
  • Curl your lashes. If you don’t like the traditional lash curlers, use an electric version. Sephora’s is terrific and a great deal at $16
  • Avoid shimmery eyeshadow
  • EXCEPTION to above tip: Use a shade-lighter-than-your-skin-tone colored shimmery eyeshadow applied with a light touch to your brow bone (the area just below the outter two-thirds of the eyebrow), AND apply a dab of shimmery ivory shadow to the inner corner of your eyes. These tips really open up the eye area–young!
  • Also, avoid ‘cool’ eyeshadow colors like grey, blue, true green. Opt for colors like pink, peach, gold, warm greens (olive, moss, sage), plum, ivory, brown, taupe

Take 10 Years Off Your Age Right Now, Pt. 3

And even more simple tips that will help you look younger starting today:


  • Use lipgloss or sheer lipstick–NOT lipstick. Use a shade just deeper than your natural lip color. Avoid ‘cool’ colors and dark colors. Instead, choose a sheer pink, peach, rose, mauve or berry
  • Apply lipbalm or clear gloss when not wearing colored gloss. This will keep your lips moist and young-looking all the time

More Anti-Aging Tips:

  • Take care of your skin by cleansing, moisturizing and nourishing it every day using good skin care–P.S. good does not necessarily mean expensive
  • Wear SPF 15 (or higher) sunscreen every day
  • Drink a gallon of water every day
  • Go for a walk at lunch, shoot for 3 times a week. It’s a great excuse to catch up on your window shopping; just don’t take your wallet–debt makes you look and feel old
  • Smile, or better yet, laugh–a lot
  • Eat plenty of protein, complex carbs, fruits and vegetables
  • Manage your stress levels. Take up knitting, painting, piano, yoga or meditation. Find something you like to do and ‘just do it’
  • Get plenty of sleep–sleep is a proven fountain of youth

Protect Your Skin, Be Good to Your Skin…Everyday

Everyday…be good to your skin. Say hello to Everyday Minerals pure mineral makeup and say good-bye to inferior, damaging, expensive makeup.

What’s different about Everyday Minerals? It contains only 4 inert ingredients: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, and Zinc Oxide. This is 100% all natural mineral makeup, free from oils, preservatives, fragrance, talc, and all other binders that cause skin irritation.

What else? Everyday Minerals is the only major mineral makeup company in the world offering superior salon-grade mineral makeup at a price every woman can afford. In fact, their goal is to eliminate the need for mass-market chemical and plastic based products entirely so that every woman can enjoy the benefits of premium all-natural makeup. Wow!

I’ve tried several Everyday Minerals products, including their foundations, concealers and blushes. And I must say that the quality rivals i.d. minerals and Jane Iredale. And you still get the same wonderful, natural protective qualities (all-day-long SPF 15) that you get from the others…with fewer ingredients and for less money. For example, the large 8 gm. size of foundation is $12

Bonus: you can choose from Matte, Semi-Matte, Original Glo (a dewy, slight shimmer), and Intensive, featuring more coverage in an almost-matte formula.

Everyday Minerals gets major bonus points for their FREE Sample Makeup Kit and for their 100% Guarantee.

May Madness: 20% Off Everything at CherryCulture

I’ve been away for several days (unexpectedly!), but I promise to get back on track this week. In the meantime, I appreciate your patience and welcome you to enjoy an exclusive discount just for you.

Get on over to and help celebrate May Makeup Madness where we get 20% off EVERYTHING, plus free shipping on any order over $40. Be sure to enter code MM20 when checking out.

Have fun! And don’t forget, this is where you can get one of GirlPaint’s all-time favorite foundations for fabulous-looking skin, L.A. Colors Mystic Foundation, for $6 (minus 20%).

Three for May: Building a Foundation

As promised, my focus in May is on three makeup makers: Benefit, FACE atelier and Beauty Addicts. And why not get started at the foundation…literally?

First up is Beauty Addicts’ Mineral SheerTINT SPF20. A favorite of Oprah’s, A lovely light-to-medium coverage, lightly moisturizing and oil-free ‘foundation.’ So many tinted moisturizers tend to leave me a little (or a lot) greasy, but not Mineral SheerTINT…just nice, even and natural coverage. But don’t get me wrong, this ‘foundation’ is not drying, nor is it flat. It adds just the right touch of moisture and radiance. My favorite feature of Mineral SheerTINT is, in fact, the color–it’s downright glow-y. It mirrors your skin perfectly while giving a just-right amount of coverage. Plus, it has a very lovely subtle shimmery quality. Beauty Addicts’ Mineral SheerTINT is perfect for those days when you want a no-makeup look (while still having a nice boost of color and coverage). $35

Next up is FACE atelier’s Ultra Foundation. This product is the cornerstone of the FACE atelier line…and now I know why. It’s an amazingly flexible product. The level of coverage is dependent on the way you apply and what you mix with it. First of all, you can apply it straight out of the bottle with your fingertips. You can apply it with a brush or sponge…but you’ll get a completely different look with each application type. You can mix in a little moisturizer for a lighter finish. Or…and this is really cool…FACE atelier has created two very special foundations called Zero Plus (a deep caramel brown) and Zero Minus (white!!) with which you can adjust the color of your foundation by adding a drop or two. You can opt to apply Zero Minus before your foundation as a highlighter, or you can apply Zero Plus after foundation to contour. The texture of Ultra Foundation is deceptively thin, almost watery, but it packs a wallop of lovely, dense pigment; a little goes a long way. The colors tend toward the golden/yellow range, so if you long for redness reduction or if you have skin that begs for warmth, you’ll love the color selection.

Once you put Ultra Foundation on, it’s on. I tried a little experiment by putting a few drops of Ultra Foundation in the palm of my hand and then immediately ran water over it and attempted to wash it off…it smudged a little bit, but it stayed put until I grabbed the soap. FACE claims, “Ultra Foundation is a silicone-based emulsion that floats on top of the skin, doesn’t crease or flake, and lasts all day long.” So…because of the amazing silicones and high quality pigments, Ultra Foundation is a combination primer/foundation in one…and a heckuva good one, too. After a really long day, running up and down stairs, inside, outside (this is my life, by the way, as a full-time staffer at a four-star resort hotel–we run around for a living!), Ultra Foundation didn’t budge…and it looked REALLY good–smooth, pore-free–even at the end of my very long day. For a full-coverage foundation (which I usually don’t prefer), this is my favorite due it’s very high-quality, non-greasy, non-oily, lovely-textured formula. FACE atelier Ultra Foundation isn’t cheap at $39, but (I repeat) a little goes a very long way. UF will last much longer than much less expensive foundations, and I find it to be of such high quality that it truly is worth more than its more expensive competitors.

P.S. No review for a Benefit foundation (although I do love Benefit’s Non-Fiction…wonderful stuff).

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