My make-up collection is divided into two groups- the lines with the bold colors and those with the subtle, fresh colors. I’m happy to add the followings to my collection for the subtle, feminine colors. At first I was hesitant. But then I decided to take a leap of faith. These are the products that I tried and how I felt about them. My skin is combination (sensitive cheeks, oily T-zone) and my coloring is medium/light neutral with yellow undertones.
1. Hydro-Touch Foundation
This is a water-based foundation with medium coverage. I had problems getting even coverage at first since the water in the foundation made the product dry before I could finish blending. After some practice, I found the best way to apply this was with a disposable latex sponge (using a new one each time prevents bacteria from collecting on it and causing breakouts). Using short, fast strokes, apply the products and blend quickly. Once I got the hang of it, I liked the way the color was true and didn’t turn orange on me. The coverage is good in that the foundation works nicely as an under-eye concealer. Setting the Hydro-Touch with powder afterwards is probably your best bet since this isn’t a cream-to-powder foundation and doesn’t give your skin a “silky” look. The texture may not be for everyone, but I would definitely recommend it for someone with oily skin.
2. Fine Finish Foundation
This is wet/dry foundation. I used it because the liquid foundation would slip right off my skin. I always use this as a dry finishing powder since I am using the Hydro-Touch and don’t like wetting powders and letting them dry. When I got my makeover, the powder was applied wet to my blemishes which worked nicely, but I didn’t like the way it sort of collected in my laugh lines which I don’t even have yet! As a powder, it has a nice translucent quality and since I found the perfect match for my skin tone, I love this pressed powder.
I use concealer underneath my eyes when I have dark circles and constantly use it on old acne scars. The concealer is fairly dry (again, minimal oils), so the trick is to blend well. With a good brush, I find this is fairly easy to do. Once I land the concealer on my blemish, patting it down and blending it creates a nice opaque cover-up without looking fake. Applying the make-up to my eye circles is trickier- since the concealer is dry, it is key to apply a good eye cream. After letting the eye cream dry, the concealer glides on. Without eye cream, you risk getting uneven coverage with your concealer which defeats the whole purpose of using it. 8> Bonus for me: The Sand concealer is also conveniently slightly lighter than my Sand Fine Finish foundation!
I am an eye make-up addict (more so than for lips, foundation, etc.) so I was very critical of shadows. The texture is just as nice as any high-end line. I really like some of the shimmered shadows that Awake has- wearing them on browbones, all over the lids, etc. None of the colors really struck me as being unique since I could find copy-cats of the colors in different line, but I got some anyway because they are so pretty and feminine- a nice complement to all the Make Up For Ever eye make-up I have! The colors vary from Moondance and African Violet (two gorgeous dark shadows (iridescent brown and shimmered dk purple) that make nice liners) to Rose Ivory and Rose Dawn (light shimmered shadows), to Ocean Surf (a bold in-your-face royal blue). The eyeshadows can be popped out into Awake’s duo eyeshadow compact or can be put into Stila 9-pans and Trish inserts. They come in a cute recycled plastic container though if you prefer carrying around 1 shadow at a time!
My favorite blush from Awake is Raisin – a sheer plum which doesn’t look like that I just got hit in the face with a soccer ball. It works nicely as a shadow and a contour color. I also like Candy (a bubblefum pink- think BB Pale Pink or Versace 2008 blush), and Rose Flesh (a heated apricot/pink blush).
These lipsticks have a texture which will turn off those who like rich, emollient lipsticks. The lipsticks are rather dry- they remind me of trying to apply NARS lipsticks. The best way to work with them is with a brush, making sure that you have a moisturizing lip base. Despite the texture, I couldn’t pass up on some of the colors. My favorites are: Daybreak (sheer frosted pinky lavender), Glazed Honey (sheer frosted light beige), and Cantor (new for fall ’98 – a great nude beige that I love with a darker lip pencil.)
7. Lip Palette
The lip palette comes in a small plastic case with 6 dips of color. The price isn’t bad, but the colors aren’t wearable for everyone. My favorite was Sheer Blackberry (sheer plummy purple). The other colors (wild raisin, snapdragon, sheer scarlet, sunset, apricot blonde) can be either too pink or too apricot and would work well if blended together. It’s a fun product to have, but in my opinion, these aren’t best lip colors. Then again, that’s how I felt about my Trish lip kit #5- looking at the colors in the pan, I would never have picked them out, but they are quite pretty when blended together.
8. Lip Pencil
Standard lip pencil in the industry… I got the lip pencil in Pine since most of my clothing is mauve/purple based. It goes very well with the Daybreak and Canter lipsticks.
9. Lip Gloss
Again, standard lip gloss in wand form. I didn’t bother purchasing these since my favorite glosses are Dior’s.
1. Nano Essence Moisturizer
High in anti-oxidants and fragrance-free! The downside is that it is one of the priciest lotions I’ve ever used. ($60 for 0.8 fl oz.) I use this at night since it doesn’t contain an SPF. It moisturizes my skin nicely but it probably wouldn’t be emollient enough for drier skin. Also, the feel of the lotion is sort of tacky- it’s not greasy like the creams, but is more gel-like. It doesn’t bother me as I’m sleeping, but I wouldn’t want to apply makeup over it.
2. Vital Express
Unique powder-to-liquid Vitamin C treatment. For $60 for 4 ampules that so far look like they’ll last me for over half a year, I like this product! I don’t know if the Vitamin C is even doing anything for my skin, but I love putting a little powder in my hand and after touching it, having it turn to liquid. This is a good alternative for me after having breakout due to Lancome’s Vitabolic. I was warned when purchasing this product that it could dry some skin out, but I’ve been using this all over my face (including sensitive cheeks) and haven’t had any problems.
3. True-Matte Finish
This product is supposed to matte out oily skin, but I don’t think it does anything more than what witch hazel would do. I didn’t like this at all since it wound up messing up my make-up coverage, and within 30 minutes, my T-zone looked like it needed blotting again.
4. Clean Gel Wash for Combination Skin
A wonderful gel-foaming cleanser. I normally use Estee Lauder’s Splash Away, but I recently treated myself to the Clean Gel Wash- it works just like the Estee Lauder only it didn’t leave my skin tight and it was unscented. If I ever finish my Splash Away stash, I will switch to using this cleanser full-time. 8> The sample I got was thicker than the product in the full-sized bottle I got, so I was a little disappointed in the gel when I bought the full-product, but the cleanser works the same way.
5. Eye Gel
This is a water-based eye gel that has a cool blueish tinge to it! It has a wonderful moisturizing effect and doesn’t irritate my eyes. I generally don’t have puffiness, so I don’t can’t vouch for its de-puffing powers, but I like applying this eye gel day and night. It makes my undereye concealer go on evenly which I can’t say for tackier eye creams that I’ve tried.
6. Lotion Refresher
Awake’s toner- this is a mild toner. It doesn’t strip the skin, but just lightly takes away dead skin cells. Although I like the fact that this is a great mild toner, I wouldn’t recommend it for oily skin since it doesn’t feel like it would help prevent those blackheads.
7. Clean Sheets
These are like baby wipes, but they come in resealable packets of 10. I like taking these on trips when I don’t want to take a load of eye-makeup remover with me. Also, they’re handy when riding on the subway and stepping off the train with dirty hands.
8. Blotting Papers
Your average blotting papers- nothing special here.
Overall, I like my Awake make-up and skin care although I am probably not going to get too wrapped up in switching *all* my stuff to Awake. For those who like their skin care to be truly fragrance free, this is the line for you!