MAC Mineralize Liquid Foundation Review (on sensitive skin)

A great find for me... if a little out of my usual make-up price bracket!

Finding the right foundation

I'll start my saying that I'm not really a big make up person. I don't wear it for the office, and probably only wear it a handful of times a month. I've always just bought relatively cheap products as I don't really get how different they can be and I don't want to feel like I'm being conned out of bucket loads of money. But I've always struggled with foundation; trying to find one that doesn't highlight dryness and flakiness seems impossible! And that's why I had a go at making my own foundation from mineral make-up and coconut oil. However I heard a blogger mention Mac Mineralize foundation on tumblr and asking for feedback - the overwhelming response was that it's no good on oily skin but perfect for dry and sensitive skin. Aha! I thought. This could be the foundation for me.

Perfectly pale

I took the opportunity of a recent holiday to visit the MAC make-up counter at Manchester airport. The lady tried two different shades on me, one on each jaw, NC20 and NC15, the latter being the lightest one they do. It was perfect on my pale skin. (The lady did say I could always 'warm it up with a bit of bronzer' oblivious to my gothy leanings and lack of anything resembling bronzer.) I decided to go for it - can't argue with duty free prices! I think it came to about £22 (it's £27 on the MAC website). It seems devotees refer to themselves by these codes - so looks like I'm an 'NC15 girl' i.e. pale and pasty.

No skin reaction!

The bit of make-up that the assistant put on me gave me no reaction whatsoever, and so I was looking forward to trying it out for myself when we got to our holiday destination. The consistency is quite different to the liquid foundations I have tried before. Usually they just glide on but this seemed to stick more to my skin so the best way to apply it was to pat it on with my fingertips, probably because it's better coverage than I am used to. It was really good at covering the spots on my skin. (Yes sadly I do still get hormonal spots on my chin despite having really dry skin.) People have described this foundation as 'very dewy', as opposed to 'matte' but this doesn't bother me in the slightest as usually I cover my skin in oil/ moisturiser anyway before applying foundation so my skin always ends up a bit shiny. I did I want to put some powder on to take a bit of shine off, and it did make me think I should invest in some better powder as the cheapy stuff I put on did end up looking a bit cakey. (Oh dear the marketing machine is getting to me... ) I do like a bit of a subtle sheen on my cheeks and on my brow bone though so I just took the shine off on the T-zone and just under my eyes.

A MAC make-up convert

I love the fact that this has SPF 15 in it, and though it is expensive, a little goes a long way and it's easy to dispense just a tiny bit. I must confess I have found myself perusing the MAC website and wondering what else I could try - this could get expensive! I'm tempted by the 'skin finish' powder which has rave reviews and the lip conditioner too as I always get dry flaky lips - especially in winter. I really like that they have so many in depth reviews on there and clearly lots of die-hard fans. If I treat myself to anything else I'll be sure to review it on here for you :) Have any of you tried MAC make-up? What did you think?

Lady Gaga's Moisturising Secrets... tested!

If it's good enough for Lady Gaga, it's good enough for me! Find out how I got on when I road-tested the superstar's skincare regime.

Celebrity Skin

Lady Gaga may be famous for her outrageous fashion choices and make-up looks to match, but as a recent make-up free photo shoot demonstrated, she also has amazing skin.

And while we're all familiar with outlandish and incredibly expensively beauty regimes of celebrities, what's really refreshing about the Gaga is that her skincare secret is nothing more than common or garden almond oil; not only extremely affordable, but also all natural.

Before my skin changed and my eczema got worse, I used to use almond oil every day as a general moisturiser and liked it very much. I would not recommend using it directly on broken or eczema-affected skin though, as I found out first hand.

Winning oil and moisturiser combo
These days my eczema is not so bad (none on my face any more) and I am a big fan of using Rio Rosa Mosqueta rose hip oil on my face, first thing in the morning and last thing at night. One thing I have found though, is that if you have dry, sensitive skin like me and your skin has that tight feeling after you have a shower, applying oil rather than a conventional moisturiser doesn't really take that feeling away. It leaves your skin feeling beautifully soft (something my boyfriend often comments on) but I guess it doesn't absorb down into the lower layers of your skin as quickly as a moisturiser that has been specially formulated to do so.

This is why I was so interested in Lady Gaga's approach: massage the almond oil into your skin, then apply your usual moisturiser. And I can confirm it works a treat! I have been using the Rio Rosa oil with my favourite moisturising lotion, Vaseline's Intensive Rescue Moisture Locking Body Lotion. It really gives you the best of both worlds - the incredible natural nourishment from the oil, which then gets pushed down into your skin by the more easily absorbed lotion.

Lady Gaga changed my skin care
I used to use the oil on my face and neck, and lotion on the rest of my body, but now I apply lotion to my face and neck after the oil and then anything left on my hands goes on the rest of my body, plus more lotion.

If you really want to enhance the absorption of your moisturiser, particularly overnight, I recommend sleeping on a silk pillow. Review to come! 

Wool allergy and eczema

As I've mentioned before on this blog, my skin took a turn for the worse a few years ago, and now I find that fabrics my skin used to be fine with leave me itchy, in particular, wool.

The story of a hat and scarf

A while back I bought a thick grey wool bobbly hat and scarf from H&M to keep me cosy and warm. I used to wear the scarf wrapped quite close around my face, but soon noticed that the skin all around my lower face started to get red, rough and sore. Sadly the lovely scarf had to go - I hope whoever bought it on Ebay likes it!

I've worn woolly jumpers and stuff as a kid and never had any trouble, but your skin does change, and mine has definitely got more fussy!

As well as my eczema getting worse, I have also suffered with an itchy scalp and seborrhoeic dermatitis/ cradle cap, for which I have tried all kinds of shampoos until settling on the Jason shampoo I know use all the time. However, maybe the wool hat was a partial cause too. I always found the hat ok to wear for short periods, as I have lots of hair as a barrier between my hat and my scalp. But I've been wearing the hat again recently in this cold weather and as well as eczema patches around my hair line/ sides of my face I have had a really itchy scalp.

But... this has also coincided with my trying out a new shampoo and conditioner! Ah, one of the most frustrating things about having atopic eczema is trying to determine what the triggers are when there are so many possible influencing factors.

So for now I have gone back to my regular shampoo and stopped wearing the hat until my skin calms down again.

Me and the hat in question

Why can wool trigger eczema?

It may seem strange that wool can irritate sensitive skin as it is a natural fibre; indeed cotton and silk are often recommended for sensitive skin in favour of less breathable synthetic fabrics.

However wool contains lanolin, a natural wax derived from sheep hair, which can cause an allergic reaction. I do also wonder whether the scratchiness of wool plays a part,  just like with dreadlocks.

It is a shame because when the weather is freezing, nothing keeps you warm quite as well as wool. But for me it's not worth it any more. I have bought myself a 100% acrylic bobble hat and I got some lovely leather gloves for Christmas. Now whenever I shop I check the fabric label to make sure there is no wool in there.

Do you find that wool triggers your eczema?


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