Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Earlier this summer, my friend Shannon asked me to do her makeup for her wedding in August. I was really excited about this and I wanted to do the best possible job, which involved hunting down the best possible product for each piece of the completed look. After chatting with Aly of The Gloss Menagerie about setting powders for a while, I was convinced I needed to try Diamond Perfect Finish (by internet-based mineral makeup company Purely Cosmetics). However, Shannon had given me a supply budget that I'd almost exhausted and I was broke, so Robyn of Purely Cosmetics very graciously agreed to send me a sample. A week or two later, I received a small package in the mail with three Purely Cosmetics samples: Diamond Perfect Finish, Oil Absorb, and Silk & Pearl Primer. (All three are loose powders that come in plastic sifter jars.) So, I'm going to tackle each of these one at a time:
Diamond Perfect Finish: This is a very nice product, no questions asked. With that said, it was a bit of a letdown for me because I was expecting miraculous results, thanks to Aly's raves and my own unrealistic expectations (I should really stop thinking that any single product could ever give me red-carpet-ready smooth, even, and radiant skin!). Don't let that deter you too much, though. It didn't make my skin look 100% even and acne-free, but then again, it didn't claim to. What it does claim to do is "reduce the visibility of imperfections," and I do see that when I use it - my skin looks a little bit like skin in a photograph that's been lightly doctored with a "soft focus" effect. You can still see some of my red spots underneath, but your eyes glide over and away from them a little more easily.
I get this same effect from silica powder (and I did ultimately end up using the silica-based e.l.f. Studio High Definition powder on Shannon's big day because it also offered light oil control), but if you like the novelty of using a powder on your face that is made from real diamonds (!!), Diamond Perfect Finish is definitely worth your consideration. It's very, very, very finely-milled and I feel like I'm indulging in something luxurious when I use it, similar to how I feel when I use my Guerlain Meteorites Voyage compact (which retails for $170!). Thankfully, the luxury of Diamond Perfect Finish is only $18.50.
Oil Absorb: Now THIS stuff was what surprised me! WOW. I would consider Oil Absorb a very "heavy duty" product - not one I would use for touch-ups here and there, but one I can trust will completely, devastatingly wipe out my oilies when I need it to. Even the ingredient list struck me as something that takes itself very seriously: Oil Absorb is made out of bentonite clay, silica, calcium carbonate, and kaolin clay. Every single one of those ingredients is used cosmetically for oil control - I've spent years seeing them on ingredient labels for everything from oil-controlling powders to oil-controlling face masks. The first time I tried it out was about 30 minutes after washing and moisturizing my face one morning; I was mildly impressed. But I hadn't seen anything yet...
The second time I tried it out was more recently, while I was in the worst phase of mono, fever and all (yeah, being sick with that has sucked bigtime). I hadn't even gotten out of bed except to use the restroom - let alone washed my face - in probably 24 hours, and my face was so covered in sweat and oil that I was wiping my forehead with the back of my hand and pulling it away shiny and wet. (Gross, I know, but I want you to know just how serious of a product test this was.) Just for kicks, I grabbed a powder brush and buffed some Oil Absorb right onto my greasy face. Guess what? It turned matte and smooth. Instantly. My jaw actually dropped open. My face didn't even look ashy, claylike, or cakey, just... normal. And it stayed like that for at least a couple of hours (I can't say for sure how much longer, because I fell asleep again for a long time after that). This stuff is like dry shampoo for your face. SQUEE! Oil Absorb is $16. Like I said, this stuff is heavy-duty - it's way more powerful at combating oily skin than, say, other powders like Urban Decay De-Slick, MAC Blot, and Maybelline Dream Matte. Honestly, I'd recommend any of those three - they all work well, and all are in conveniently pressed form - but when it comes to serious oilies, none of them can even compare to Oil Absorb.
Silk & Pearl Primer: This is the only one I can't really speak to one way or another. I don't "do" powder primers; they don't make sense to me. I almost always wear tinted moisturizer or liquid foundation, and it doesn't work well to put powder primer under either of those. If I were to use mineral powder foundation, I can see how this would work nicely, but I can't really speak to that. I do use MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural sometimes, but I prime using my Shiseido SPF 55 Sun Protection Lotion and/or Fyrinnae Velvet-Gel Silica Primer to combat my oilies - I just can't see myself adding another product layer to my face before I've even started adding color! Maybe when I do my next blog sale, I'll offer this as a free extra in exchange for a short, honest guest review, and see if I get any takers. For anyone who's interested in buying, a full size Silk & Pearl Primer is $18.50.
Anyway, I hope this post was helpful. I've had quite a bit of fun testing and playing with the Diamond Perfect Finish and Oil Absorb powders, and would definitely recommend the former to anyone (seriously) and the latter to anyone with very oily skin (like me!).