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making faces :: product review [lush "colour supplements"]

ah the paradox of summer. we all want to be seen looking fresh-faced and unadorned, showing of our natural radiance and epidermal perfection, but a lot of the time, our natural, fresh complexion leaves something to be desired. turns our our ideas of natural beauty are based on a lot of images of people wearing a healthy dose of makeup [and processed with photoshop]. and so the challenge is thrown down for the cosmetics industry: make us a product that makes us look perfect and at the same time is completely undetectable to the human eye.

lush, the gurus of handmade cosmetics with rich, delectable scents, have thrown their hat into the ring as competitors in the "ninja makeup" category and, since it's about the time of year that i start looking at lighter coverage options, i looked at what they had available.



normally, i'm not incredibly eager to try out lush's face products, other than their yummy-looking [and sounding and smelling, but not tasting] masks and cleansers, because the fairly heavy fragrances have a tendency to irritate my moderately sensitive skin. what drew me in about the colour supplements, which seemed to appear out of nowhere [appropriately ninja-like] on the shelves of my local lush stores, was that, upon playing with them, i quite liked the texture and feel of the product. the consistency is fairly thick- like a heavy cream, but not greasy at all. dabbed on the skin, they blend incredibly easily and you can definitely see the "evening out" effect right away.

the colour selection confuses me a little, i must say. there are five shades- a light pink, a light yellow-olive, a medium golden olive and a dark pink plus one called "jackie oates", which is described as a pale ivory. although the light pink is described as the palest colour, i found that it looked fairly deep against my skin, so i opted to buy "jackie oates", which actually looks like it's the fairest shade. five shades isn't a lot of range, but they are made so that you can blend more than one to find you perfect shade and, at $13.95cad each, buying two to combine would still be cheaper than many other options.

according to lush, these supplements can be used as foundation, concealer or mixed with lotion to form a light tinted moisturiser. in reality, i think that it falls into the category of a light coverage foundation. it could be layered to get heavier coverage, but the fairly heavy consistency of the product means that the end result could feel quite thick.

nars sheer glow mont blanc, lush jackie oates
i chose to quickly dab some of the product on and use it like a light foundation. i used my fingers, since the texture of the product requires that it be sheered out considerably. it immediately gave me a nice, even tone with a very natural look. the sun has been bright enough lately that my freckles [i think at my age, i'm supposed to call them "age spots" now] have started to emerge from their winter hibernation and they are visible through the colour, which is usually how i separate a light coverage foundation from a heavier one. i very much liked the even, healthy appearance it imparted and i like the fact that it left my skin feeling moist but very natural- not greasy or smothered. it took very little product to produce this effect, meaning that your $13.95 investment will likely be amortised over a fairly long period.

i can't see this product working that well as a concealer, simply because the coverage is so light that it won't truly obscure anything. if you're young and have naturally good skin [lucky you], this won't matter, but if you're like me and have a couple of things you'd rather people not notice [hello under-eye issues], you'll want to keep a true concealer handy in order to take care of problem spots.

i found that the product lasted reasonably well through the course of a regular day- no sweating or swimming- and wasn't prone to fading any faster than a regular foundation.

in action
the one thing i really didn't like about it- and this shocks me considering who makes it- was the smell. on application, it was so off-putting that i almost needed to hold my breath. there is a distinct scent that reminds me of homemade paste gone bad that i found really objectionable. happily, the scent disappeared almost immediately when i smoothed the product out, but it was kind of a rude shock.

if you'd like an idea of how the coverage compares to a "real" foundation [nars sheer glow- itself a fairly light coverage product], you can check out the "colour by letters" page. in all of the photos up to and including "e", i'm wearing nars. in the "f" photos, i'm wearing jackie oates. 

overall, it's a great basic tool for summer wear. it plays well with the lotion and sunscreen i regularly wear, so it's quick to incorporate into my regular routine. if you're looking for something with even a medium level of coverage, i'd definitely look elsewhere, but for something quick, effective and invisible, it makes a pretty damn fine ninja. i wonder if it can catch arrows.

available at lush stores or online at www.lush.com.

ps- team "more like space" are also busy testing lush's new "dirty" range of products and will get back to you shortly with our thoughts.

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