Thursday, June 13, 2013

First blush: Josie Maran at Sephora

All of the products Sephora sent me to check out are new to me, including a large selection of Josie Maran products. I don't think I've ever used Josie Maran before, so I was eager to give the line a test drive. Here's a look at a couple of the products I've been using regularly since last week.

Josie Maran Argan Matchmaker Serum Foundation

I have combination skin, and I'm picky about foundation. These days, I'm also pretty lazy about foundation. Once upon a time I had the energy to get up early and carefully apply with brushes or sponges, but now I'm seven months pregnant and exhausted, and I'd rather stay in bed an extra 15 minutes, so I'm a big fan of foundations that go on easily with just my fingers. I was especially wary of the Argan Matchmaker Serum Foundation because — well, I have combination skin, and there's the name of an oil right there in the product name. 


This product has a consistency you'll find familiar if you've used the L'Oréal Studio Secrets Magic Liquid BB Cream or other liquid makeups that adjust to match your skin tone (like Almay Smart Shade): white liquid with tiny little granules of pigment. The directions recommend applying it with the Josie Maran Foundation Brush 001, but I just went in with my fingers. 

At first I was concerned that the coverage was a bit too sheer. It does have some buildability, though, and for about a week now I've been applying one pump all over my face, then following it with a second pump. It's still not what I would call a full-coverage foundation, but since it's summer (and since my skin is in pretty good condition these days; thank you, pregnancy hormones, for sparing me your acne), I'm OK with that. (I also really like that it feels like nothing on my face. Seriously, like I'm not wearing makeup.) I still need concealer in a few key spots (under my eyes, around my nose, and on a couple of fading acne marks), but in general, the makeup evens out my skin tone and still looks nice and natural. I get some freckles in the summer, and I like that they show through this foundation. (In fact, my husband commented on it appreciatively.)

Sephora sent me the Light/Medium shade, which is fine for summer, but if I continue using this product into the winter, I'll probably need to switch to Fair/Light. The "Chameleon Pigments" do a pretty good job of matching my skin tone, but I do notice I oxidize a tiny bit tan by the end of the day. The wear is great, though, and I'm not sure if it's the foundation or the new setting powder I'm using or my new skincare routine (more on that soon) or the combination of all these factors, but lately my T-zone has not been getting oily in the afternoon, and that's a big change for me. If you have very uneven skin tone and prefer a full-coverage foundation, this might not be for you. The price is also a bit steep at $42. On the other hand, if you don't like it, it's Sephora, so you can always just take it back.

Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelée


First of all, I didn't want to touch these blushes, for a couple of reasons: 

  1. Look at how beautiful and glossy the unmolested surface is! Like tiny little pots of Jell-O. It seemed like a shame to mess with them.
  2. I really just wanted to eat them. Like I said, they look like tiny little pots of Jell-O.



Eventually I managed to talk myself into touching them. And even though the surfaces are no longer shiny and perfect, it was worth it. This is another argan-infused product, but these also contain coconut water (so trendy), and they're supposed to feel like "a refreshing sip of coconut water for your skin." I don't know about that, but they do feel nice going on, and more important, they look natural, build and blend really well, and wear all day long. I've worn one every day for a week, along with the Josie Maran foundation, and I'd say the promised 14 hours of color is a conservative figure. 

Getaway Red is my favorite. It's a true red that, on my skin at least, gives a very natural-looking flush. It goes on sheer but is easy to build up.


I was honestly a little wary of Coral Oasis. As you can see from the photo, it looks — well, orange. And I was nervous about how it would look on my cool-toned, pale skin. But I went for it this morning, and I was actually quite pleased with the result. This will be a summer color for me, I think; it's too warm for me to pull off in the winter, but it goes nicely with the freckles that are currently showing through my foundation.


Now that I've tried Coral Oasis, I'm ready to jump in to Berry Bliss, which seemed intimidatingly dark at first:



But now that I've gotten the hang of the product and how it builds on my skin, I think I'm ready to go for it. (Still, I'll probably try it for the evening before I wear it to work.)

Below, today's makeup with the Argan Matchmaker Serum Foundation in Light/Medium and Coconut Water Cheek Gelée in Coral Oasis. It's not as made-up as I'm used to looking (you can definitely spot a blemish or four, and I played it kind of fast and loose with the concealer this morning), but for summer — and for my current state of low energy — I'm happy with it, and I like that it looks natural and lets my freckles show through. 


The lipstick is another Josie Maran product, and I'll have more on it (and why my full upper lip isn't done; there's a bit of a design flaw) coming up.

And tomorrow morning at 10 a.m., I'll be ready when Alaska's first Sephora opens its doors! Alaska Dispatch's AK Shopgirl has more details on the new location.

Products in this post were provided for review by Sephora. Opinions are my own.

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