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Friday, 22 June 2012

Beauty Base Zero Products

Being the stuff what I use to fake human.

Incidentally, for the ...three? of you who don't know: 'Beauty Base Zero' comes from The Hunger Games trilogy and describes a perfected but pre-styled 'bare face'. Ultra-natural, like.

We all know that depending on season, sleep-deprivation and skin-nightmarishness (not to mention all the other bad things beginning with 's'), 'zero' can take a lot more work than seems fair. I personally also find it, like skincare, basically just a dull necessity, so my approach involves spending a lot of time testing aaaall the products to find the ones that take no time at all to apply, and do all the work themselves (since they go on before the coffee's kicked in), and do it reliably day after day after day.

Current favourites, in order of application:
  • base: Kiss Mat Chiffon UV Base Moist 01
  • undereye concealer: Burberry Sheer Luminous Concealer 01 Light Beige
  • spot concealer: Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer SX-01 (depot)
Kiss (not to be confused with Kiss Me Heroine Make) is a girly Japanese drugstore brand owned by Isehan (who, okay, also own KMHM as well as Sunkiller, Sudahafit, Elizabeth and Heavy Rotation). They're most famous for their Mat Chiffon range of primers and powders, which which have ranked highly on @cosme for years.

The UV Moist Base released in 2011 is a matte-but-moisturising [actually satiny], very sheerly tinted primer which promises major pore-coverage and to prolong the wear-time of makeup. It contains hyaluronic acid, no fragrance or alcohol, and has an SPF26 PA++ rating. There are two shades, and I estimate the cut-off point to be ≤NC20 // ≥NC25.
¥1680 for 37g in a sanitary plastic pump bottle, made in Japan. (For oilier skins, there's UV Whitening Base N.)

One pump of UV Moist Base 01 looks scarily dark at first...

...but with blending (which is easy, it's a lovely light gel-cream texture with lots of slip)...

....pretty invisible, right?

Scary macro face close-up (the after also features Burberry concealer under eyes):
The base's peachy tone is great at evening out redness in particular, and the high-silicone content is magic on pores. It sets to a satiny but perfectly skin-like finish, remains exactly so through a 16-hour day in 30ºC and high humidity. In extreme close-up you can see 'texture' around my nose but believe me, this is as good as any product looks there, such is my skin. I live with a tradeoff between redness or textural issues.

The close-up should also illustrate the magical texture of the Burberry concealer pen, applied under my eye all the way to the patch of redness at the outer corner and patted in with a finger. Sheer Luminous Concealer (2.5ml for £26) while containing no sparkle/shimmer does bounce the light away effectively from my fine lines and chicken skin. In fact, it's the only concealer I've tried that not only doesn't make my skin texture look worse, but actively makes it look better. It's unique in combining impressive moisturising* properties (more moisturising than Ellis Faas, ByTerry, YSL) with a sets-to-nothing creaseless finish that's most comparable to Armani's cult High Precision Retouch (sadly too drying for me) or Lunasol's Under Eyes Base (just unworkably dark).
*I actually bought it after a Burberry MA applied it to my drier-than-the-desert lips as an eraser... and it looked and felt as nice as a weightless Japanese lipbalm.

The Burberry pen replaces these products in my wardrobe:
  • Lunasol Under Eyes Base 00 (review/swatch)
  • Ellis Faas concealer S201 (my constantly-repurchased favourite for the last few years)
  • Bobbi Brown corrector in Light Bisque

A bonus is that the Burberry brush and click-mechanism are both far superior to those on the Ellis Faas pen. The Burberry brush is finer overall and also in terms of the individual hairs; it's almost impossible to get this to streak even when I deliberately attempted (it should actually be evident in the swatch the EF and Lunasol stripes are slightly less even than the Burberry). One click always dispenses the same amount, and dispenses it neatly and immediately.

While ostensibly offering less coverage (light) than Ellis Faas' medium+, The Burberry shade incorporates the right salmon tones to work like an inbuilt corrector for my (current) circles, boosting the coverage in practice up to medium. 
It's basically what you'd get by layering Ellis Faas' cool yellow over Bobbi Brown's bisque:

Shadewise, I've found through trial and error always to opt for an undereye concealer that's darker than my skintone (within reason: half a shade up to a shade darker, let's not stray too far from our beauty-base-zero concept....) which also means less product for more coverage. And therefore, no need for setting, less potential for creasing and as close as we can get to uniting minimal effect with minimal effort.

Here they are compared with my face concealer, Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer SX-01, which is as exact a match [absolutely NO going darker or heaven forfend! lighter with face concealer] as I've ever found ready-made, though a little yellower than my face -- just a little, enough to deal with reddened blemishes without looking like jaundiced dots.

Like the Burberry pen, I love the Kevyn Aucoin concealer not only for its shade but for its uniquely effective texture: like rich whipped cream. Other products that provide this level of hardcore coverage are either aridly dry (all pigment, no base) or so claggy-creamy (lots of pigment AND lots of base) they often require a lot of work and expertise to even get out of the jar let alone blend to skinlike invisibility -- far more than I can manage on a good day, let alone a bad one. This stuff, I can just dab on, press in with a warm finger tip or damp beautyblender, and let it set on its own in the next minute or so. (Oilier skins may need to set with powder -- push&roll, don't buff&sweep.)

Magical texture, magical finish: somehow, this deliciously rich, blendable concoction never looks creamy on the skin -- really, who wants to oil up and shine a spotlight on a blemish? -- or like anything, but, well, skin. Based on raves from makeupalley (where this cult product has retained an unflaggingly high rating in ten years since its launch), it seems to work for a wide range of skintypes, so if you are combo/oily, please don't be scared off by my overuse of the word 'creamy'.

[Please note KA SSE has a somewhat powdery floral fragrance but its main scent is the 'creaminess' of the ingredients.]

So that's my current Beauty Base Zero stash, with somethings new, and something old (but definitely of cult status). Next post: many things borrowed and a few things blue.


Ingredients
Kiss Me Mat Chiffon UV Base Moist (my translation):
Cyclomethicone, water, zinc oxide, polymethyl methylacrylate, diglycerol, dipropylene glycol, PEG-9 dimethicone, dimethicone, distearylammonium hectorite, chamomile extract, sodium hyaluronate, rice bran oil, water-soluble collagen, rice bran sphingoglycolipid, sodium citrate, triethylhexanoin, phytosteryl/octyldodecyl lauroyl glutamate, aluminium hydroxide, methicone, trimethylsiloxy silicic acid, stearic acid, (Dimethicone / vinyl dimethicone) cross polymer, butylene glycol, Polyquaternium -51, glycerin, polyglyceryl-10 diisostearate, capric/caprylic triglyceride, lecithin, titanium dioxide, talc, iron oxide


Burberry Concealer


Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer (via dermstore.com)
Mineral Oil, Polybutene, Diethylhexyl Succinate, Polyethylene, Quaternium-18 Hectorite, Calcium Carbonate, Dextrin Palmitate, Honey, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Beeswax, Butylene Glycol, Cholesterol, Lecithin, Talc, Triethylhexanoin, Methylparaben, Fragrance (Parfum). May Contain (+/-): Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Iron Oxides (CI 77499), Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77491).

40 comments:

  1. Thank you for this post. I live in Japan and if wasn't for you I would never know about this. I just don't care about Japanese base makeup sometimes or foundations because they are always too dark for me. I'm super pale.
    Love your blog!

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    1. Hi SetLea, I envy you!
      I usually only get a match in brands that make a '00' shade (often not even then), but primers are often a surprisingly good bet. Try KATE's 'Bright Up Colour' in its Liquid Foundation range too -- it's meant to be a highlighter / primer / corrector.

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  2. great post, I'm in desperate need of a concealer and the Burberry one looks fantastic. I shall give it a go forthwith

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    1. You get extra cookies for use of forthwith.

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  3. You make me want all the things! Off to google the Kiss base now :)

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  4. Base make up is so important. you know I have my problems with the EF concealer (hello packaging? bah!), my Burberry lady pushed this concealer so bad, I wasn't sure (and I was picking up my primrose hill lipstick, only *sigh*), I am VERY glad you love the kiss base, a firend got me this from japan *yay* and I haven't tried it on my face yet, alsoo it's driveller approved, should be fine (feeling kinda bad now, because it's sitting here for a while now *bad claire*). I had to lol at your last sentence ... many things borrowed and something blue, hmmm, sounds like an ad D: well, I hope mehron will be a new addition to your 'base programm' ;) (sorry for spamming with my long comments :/ *bad claire again* sigh).

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    1. I love long comments! And excess generally, lol

      Curious to see what you think of the Kiss primer -- our skin is so similar I would have recommended it to you anyway.

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  5. Great post! I've been curious about the Burberry pen, since I've been layering EF 202 over the BB corrector in Light Bisque, or vice versa (serious dark circles, here). Do you think the Burberry 01 Light Beige would be too light for me? You are more porcelain than I am (NW20). Thanks, darling :)

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    1. *waves*
      I would eyeball Burberry 01 as a solid NW15 (if MAC made cool pinks). Frustrating but I think you will have to schlep down to a counter -- the shade up might be better but I'm not sure if it has the same salmoniness.

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  6. This was a really interesting read, I of course now will have to get that Burberry concealer :)

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  7. Can you believe I've only just read those books? Bought the first one last Saturday, inhaled it, bought the other two and mainlined those too. Finished the last one late last night, and am subsequently *very* sleepy. Loved them though, and I thought they are great books for teens too. Thought-provoking, but accessible.

    My BBZ is W3LL People Narcissist, lip balm and Shu Hard Brow Pencil. I still look somewhat zombie without a punctuation of colour or shade somewhere on my face, so usually there will be a bit of blusher, lipstick or eyeliner, at least.

    Very intrigued by the Burberry pen. I do like the tone of it for dark circles too.

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    1. I came quite late to the Hunger Games too, which is why the BBZ concept is still rattling around in my head. And yes, that was a VERY sleep-deprived zombie week. Love the fact that there's real politics within, and a messed-up unconventional heroine. Have you read M.T. Anderson? Another great contemporary YA author your daughter may like now or in a few years. :)

      Honestly, this is my barebarebare minimum, I will usually wangle 5 seconds to smear some lip colour onto lips+cheeks before facing the public.

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  8. As soon as I finish my by terry concealer I'm buying the Burberry pen! It sounds great and the colour looks perfect.

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    1. yay! I like it much better than ByTerry, though sadly it doesn't work out cheaper.

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  9. I too like the idea of the Burberry - I am happy with Radiantoucheclat but somedays its sheerness is insufficient. Thankyou Kate, extremely useful and detailed post.

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    1. Thank you for the kind words, Jan. This is definitely a step up from TE coverage without sacrificing any of the effortless naturalism.

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  10. I must be one of the three as I still haven't read these books! I'm really interested in the Burberry concealer pen. I bought the Ellis Faas but got a duff pen (it completely fell apart) and I'm still waiting for a replacement. I like the concealing power of the EF but it is thicker than I like for the undereye area, so the Burberry seems like the ideal alternative.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. heh :D Consider yourself warned -- do NOT start the first one in bed if you mean to sleep / have things to be done the next morning!

      EF customer service is excellent, thank goodness. They've replaced faulty pens for me without question but I wish more thought had gone into the mechanism in the first place.

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  11. I'm actually loving these minimalism posts! Btw in case anyone ever wonders what finally got aksaiyo to lemm KA SSE I just want to say it's YOU! :D
    I really want a good spot concealer, I'm hoping to be able to get a good match in this line >.< *prays*

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    1. hee! Face it my love, you would have succumbed eventually >:D
      Peer pressure FTW.

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  12. Love this post so much! A good base makes everything easier :) lemming the Burberry and kiss base now.

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    1. Absolutely :) And the sooner they're done the sooner we can get on to the fun part of makeup :D

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  13. Thanks so much for this post, you recommended some great products! I just found your blog, & I love it! You've got a new follower:) Would love if you could check out my blog, and maybe follow if you like what you see!

    -Aly
    www.seventhingsbeauty.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks for dropping by Aly :) I'm hopping over now

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  14. So many things I must learn about "base zero" makeup. I spent my whole life having skin good enough that people stopped me to compliment it. No foundation required. At 31 (!) I have redness and more breakouts than ever (but with dry skin. What a trifecta.). A sales associate last week called out: "Would you like to try some products for your skin?" I almost cried.

    I wish there was a Burberry counter here, or a Kevyn Aucoin one for that matter. I got my first ever foundation match last week, for MAC NW15, but I'm not confident enough in that to order products online.

    To the point: thanks for being informative. I obviously need it.

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    1. I sympathise, truly. Strangely enough my skin is much better now than it was through most of my teens and twenties so what expertise I have is entirely the result of painful experience.

      If it helps, after a while the hunt becomes quite fun&fetishistic if you're the kind of person to get fascinated by tiny nuances and split-face foundation deathmatch experiments... ahem.

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  15. Hi! I nominated you for a blog award on my blog :)

    http://seventhingsbeauty.blogspot.com/2012/06/blog-awards.html

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  16. Thanks for enabling! I just picked up the Kevyn Aucoin concealer hoping it will keep my red acne scars under cover for an entire workday. Nothing else I've tried has been tenacious enough.

    P.S.
    For anyone in the US, Dermstore (online) carries Kevyn's line and you can get 20% off if you add it to your favorites first like I did - cuz imma thrify beyatch!

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    1. I hope it works out for you and thanks for the heads up! :D

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  17. The Burberry pen looks so natural under your eyes. I need to have it in my life:)

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  18. I picked up the Burberry based on your and CafeMakeup's reviews and sadly it went back. It is in the worst products I've ever used category...it covered nothing, it wouldn't dry, it wouldn't stay on, it was generally pretty worthless. Besides giving me epic milia and zits in just a couple uses.

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  19. Did you buy the Kiss base in Japan? I bought one bottle on your stellar recommendation and I LOVE it! But I fear I may run out before I can restock in Japan. Do you know anywhere I can get it online?

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    1. Hi, Jaclyn! So glad to hear it worked out. A friend bought mine in Japan, but I see ebay seller hi-kawaii has this in stock and they are reliable.

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    2. I was thinking of getting it from Ichibankao since they have shipping included. Thanks again!

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    3. Ooh ok! And how long does your bottle last? I'm hoping mine can make it to next year when I can go back to Kyoto to restock!

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    4. LOL, I'm afraid I don't know as this was too dark/too unglowy for my skin when I went home to London, so I passed it on long before finishing :(

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    5. Durn, ok! OMG your skin must be so fair! I find that if I layer this base on a bit more thickly, it gives my face a slight white cast!

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