Clé de Whoa!

Man, I was so ready to hate this stuff.  I figured that any concealer costing THAT much was pure hype; the next Crème de la Mer and whatnot.  I even had the perfect snarky French pun post title all ready: Clé de Peu.  See?  SO ready for mockery.

But I kept reading so many references to how great the famous Clé de Peau concealer was, and it wasn’t just on my usual trusty EDS — celebrity blogs and fashion mags have been trumpeting about this stuff for long enough that it finally got my attention.  So I swung by my local Nordstrom, and I asked for a free sample of the two palest shades.

I put on a couple dabs of both Ivory and Beige on my hand, and I was still scoffing since both seemed extremely yellow and unnatural.  “How can this be so great if they only have FOUR colors?  There’s no way that’ll ever look natural on THAT many people’s complexions.”  But being the diligent tester I am, I also dabbed a bit of the stuff on some blemishes once I got home.  Still scoffing — the obvious beige-yellow shade stuck out like a sore thumb.  But then, it disappeared!

I seriously have no idea how they did it.  The concealer sort of melts into your skin, and it stays opaque but the color almost camoflauges with the rest of your complexion.  Not 100% perfectly, but enough to give you really good coverage while not sticking out and being obviously the wrong shade.  And this worked all over my face, from my rosy cheeks to my pale-white forehead.  It was still a tiny bit detectable after a few seconds, but nothing like when you first put it on.

And the thing that REALLY surprised me is how good it was at concealing the dry flakiness that I sometimes get on my spots from using Retin-A.  Most concealers tend to highlight that and make it stand out more, but CdP helped keep it under wraps for the most part.  (Not perfect, but better than many other concealers.)

Now, it’s not 100% perfect, don’t get me wrong.  A lot of the raves were about under-eye use, and I actually don’t like it there — it seems to cause my fine lines to be a bit more obvious.  But I feel that way about any under-eye concealer, and it’s not an area that I tend to want to conceal very often.

I’m a little concerned that it won’t be stellar on my acne, since the ingredients don’t really attempt to be non-comedogenic.  But so far it doesn’t seem to have drastically worsened anything.  I’ll probably stick to my more acne-friendly Everyday Minerals custom concealer palette for normal cover-up situations, and bust out the pricy CDP for more drastic occasions.  However, I may have to use the stuff every day, lest it go bad on me — I’d be way too mad if something that expensive turned before I’d managed to get my money’s worth!

Borrowing from Bare Escentuals

I recently caught wind of the Rare Minerals acne-fighting mineral powder concealer by Bare Escentuals, and now I see that it’s been voted a Sephora best-of.

I’ve always wanted to avoid anything by BE, since they are notorious for including the chemical bismuth oxychloride in their formulations.  (Many people are quite allergic to bismuth, and it causes a rash-like reaction that takes ages to clear up.  I’m not eager to find out whether I should count myself in those ranks or not!)  And bismuth aside, this stuff definitely has some other ingredients (like dimethicone) that would aggravate my breakouts.

However, the idea of making a powder concealer that contains acne-fighting ingredients definitely intrigues me.  I’ve been trying to figure out a good BHA solution for ages and ages, and concealers that help dry up and bust blemishes definitely appeal to me.  And since my problem with salicylic acid was always figuring out how to get it to dissolve in a liquid base, the idea of being able to leave it in its powdered form is a definite bonus!

I’m going to try this out with my Everyday Minerals concealer set.  I’ll mix the shades that best match my skin for covering blemishes, and I’ll add a few drops of manuka essential oil (gentler than BE’s tea tree oil, and less stinky), and a bit of powdered salicylic acid.  I may also try adding some powdered zinc oxide, both for extra sun protection and for its soothing properties.  (I just have to make sure it doesn’t lighten the mix too much.)

If I can track some down, I might also add powdered sulphur, since that’s the acne-fighting ingredient that always shows me great results on individual blemishes.  However, sulphur’s smell really turns my stomach, so it may be worth while to leave that out of the mix.  It looks like I’ll be making up to four different batches to test this idea out, so I’ll post updates soon.  Thanks for the great idea, BE!

Dr. Hauschka Pure Care Cover Stick vs. Cover Stick Puncto

Dr. Hauschka recently released the new Pure Care Cover Stick in the US, but I only realized today that it’s meant as a replacement for their old Cover Stick Puncto. Had I realized this, I probably wouldn’t have purchased it — the old Puncto went bad on me surprisingly quickly, and the color was never quite right. (I’m much too pale for an 02, but just a shade too dark for an 01.)

I bought the Pure Care in 01 to try it out and see if it’s any better with my coloring than the Puncto was, but they look like they’re exactly the same. And they feel the same. And they smell the same. The only real difference seems to be the packaging — which is good, really, as it *does* expose the product to less oxygen, so theoretically it might protect it better from going bad.

Either way, I was pleased to learn today that my local Whole Foods allows you to return any cosmetics or skincare product you try and don’t like, as long as you keep the receipt. This actually really surprises me, but I’m thrilled — especially since they foolishly don’t have testers for many of their products. So I’ll be returning this, and thus returning to my Great Concealer Search.