Review: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Aquacealer Concealer

This is the concealer to my current favorite foundation.I had high hopes going in because of how much I love the Rainforest of the Sea Foundation. Did I get lucky enough to find exactly what I had been hoping for?

Well… the truth is half and half. I will say that Tarte did an excellent job of making the formula thick enough to be recognized as a concealer without losing its identity as being from the Rainforest of the Sea collection.

The coverage is amazing and it goes on like a dream. It’s smooth, hydrating (perfect for under the eyes) and looks natural. Sometimes concealers can be a little too strong, we get it, you want to cover up, but you also compromise the look of skin looking like skin. This is a great balance between being able to  conceal and still seeing the texture and look of your own skin.

The applicator is one of my favorite things about this product. It’s thick, kind of chunky and is able to hold a lot of concealer. This is ideal for when you are in a rush; with a lot of other concealers the applicator is quite thin, so you end up making many skinny lines. In one swipe or applying a dot or two I can have the entirety of my under eye area taken care of. It’s nice to have something in your routine that you don’t have to think about and this is one of those things. It doesn’t have to be precise and it goes so quickly it will feel like you skipped a step.

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All this is just peachy, but there is one thing I’ll mention about this that I wasn’t that excited about. The smell. It’s not even that it’s strong, which it is, it’s the nature of the smell. It comes off as something derived from chemicals. It reminds me of Wite-Out or something similar. I’m not sure what’s causing that smell and why it is present in the concealer and not the foundation, but it is not exactly pleasant.

I’m not sure if it’s the shape of the bottle or what, but it does seem like you get a better deal than with the skinnier tubes of concealer.

Bottom line:I like the performance, but not the smell. How important is the smell of something for you?

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Review: Benefit Erase Paste

A tiny pot. That’s what all the hype is all about? Yes.

I can’t think of a product that you need less of to work. There will never be any need to go back in to get more repeatedly. A dab, a dot on a concealer brush and get ready to be amazed. It truly is like an eraser. The pink/reddish color perfectly balances and hides dark purple and even black under the eyes. The bags that you’re so desperate to get rid of will not be able to pop through this stuff. The creamy and thick consistency makes it easy to work with even very thin, dry or aging skin.

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It can even take care of redness. I wouldn’t think that a concealer that has red tones to it would cover more red, but I’ve seen it happen. I don’t really use this to cover blemishes. I just don’t like the thickness over something that’s already sticking out. I also wouldn’t use it on the lids as a primer (a little too heavy) Other than that, I say for any scar or discoloration this is ideal.

If you have dark, dark circles that can’t be covered by any concealer that you’ve tried in the past, you must try this. This was made for you.

Makeup Mishap: Under Eye Concealer

You’ve got some bags under your eyes. As tempting as it is don’t go too light. It seems the right move would be fight fire with fire, but it can end up looking over-the-top. 

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The idea is to lighten, not whiten. Don’t get me wrong, if it suits you, you can by all means use a white based concealer. The issue is when that’s all you use and you use a copious amount. This touches a bit into a previous post about contouring because along with contouring goes extreme lights and darks and heavy blending. Beware if you are using a heavy concealer and nothing else to bring the life back into your face. Surely your eye area will be brightened, but remember how a person’s face and skin is supposed to look. No one can avoid the shadows and contours of our eyes, so don’t strip it all away with concealer. You don’t want to look like a mannequin.

I know from personal experience, using too light of a concealer, one that’s just a little too pale for me with too many layers will leave me with a look almost as if I’m squinting. The size of my eyes and the depth from them disappears. Conceal, don’t disappear. 

Celebrities are caught a lot of time with this with flash photography, every mistake is visible. However for everyday use, even with the best of blending and precision something will just look off, unnatural, too much. Dot under the eye in a shade that’s lighter, but not light for the sake of being light. Get something that matches you, your needs, your bags! The coverage will be there I promise. You might be surprised what you can cover even without a thick, too white line under each eye. 

Covered Up

Concealer was probably the last thing I learned how to use correctly. It was the one of the first makeup products I ever used, but the last one I got a handle on.

At first I used it almost as a foundation. To me it made sense, buy less product get more coverage. The weird thing was I never used it where it was intended on being used. I would use it all over my forehead and maybe some on my chin. I was missing out big time.

Always I thought that putting concealer under the eyes was more done for the sake of being done. I thought “I don’t have any serious bags under my eyes.” “There isn’t any major discoloration or anything to hide, what’s the difference?” I’ve learned now there is a difference. There is an openness, a brightness, a lift that can’t be achieved any other way. To be honest it took a little getting used to. I thought it changed the shape of my eyes wearing concealer. It does in a way, there are shadows missing that were once there, a depth that isn’t there. It’s been concealed. Now, however I like the evenness the concealer brings, especially if you wear a fairly full coverage foundation, it helps fade into the skin of the eye, rather than stopping abruptly with the absence of concealer.

Another place that I have become very accustomed to using concealer is around my nose. This area I always could see the redness through foundation, but thought “well that’s the color it is, so it will bleed through a bit.” Concealer has changed that. If you have a lot of redness or discoloration around your nose it will help show the true size of your nose. The discoloration goes around the nose, making it appear larger, it traces the outline, drawing it out. Before concealing around the nose make sure that the area is well moisturized. This will prevent any falling into cracks or not going on smoothly during application. Also, it help to avoid any further drying out.

Around the mouth is a common place to put concealer, since it can be a place where discoloration occurs. I’m not talking about outlining the lips for definition or cleaning up lines, but just to put it there to even out the skin. Which is another point, concealer can be used to create some very clean lines that would take much longer to accurately hit without it. For example: You have under 5 minutes and a very dark lipstick, it smudges easily. While applying and in a rush you go outside the lines a bit. Rather than having to worry that you didn’t stay perfectly in the lines you can clean up the lines with a small brush and some concealer.

It’s an eraser in many forms. It’s a highlighter, getting rid of any dark spots, shadows, unwanted lines or marks. While I may not have seen it before, there’s a method to the concealing madness.

How To Cover A Pimple Effectively

A mask, a bag, a fan, your hand, yes all those things would work, but you are probably not in the position to be using any of those. You’ve got a blemish that needs to go be covered. 

There’s definitely an art to concealing blemishes. Over time I’ve found that the only tool that works is your finger. The heat and touch from your finger doesn’t work the same as any brush. You’ll save product by using your finger as well. The idea is to dab a small amount of concealer on the pimple. leave it for a minute, check in different lighting before blending it all away. When using makeup, blending is really important , but this is one time you don’t want to overdo it. If you can imagine using the concealer dabbing it onto the pimple in a few quick motions , then fanning out the edges to blend into the rest of your face. Surrounding the pimple you may need to add a lighter color or a little more concealer to make the transition even less noticeable.

In my experience green concealers aren’t really necessary. You don’t really need to “cancel out the red”. If it was a large area that was red (like a rash) okay , go ahead and use it, but in this case you don’t need to go out and buy green concealer. The color you use for under your eyes to conceal may not be the right match for masking a breakout. In fact a breakout is a perfect time to test out concealers for that reason. Next time you’ll be ready.

With blemishes I find the more you pile on the more it looks like a blemish. By adding and covering you’re only drawing more attention to it. The idea should just to make it look less angry, less obvious. No product will take the texture of it away or conceal it in all lights and situations. Realize there is still something on your face and that’s okay. If you can accomplish hiding it for the most part you’ve done a good job.

Going “Foundation-Free”

Have you ever thought in the middle of applying your foundation “why am I doing this anyway?” or “why am I putting all this stuff on my skin to have it look like, well… skin?”  I have. Then I would quickly remind myself I’m doing this because my skin wouldn’t look right. I would see things I didn’t want to see. Everyone would see “too much”. Since I’ve been 14 or 15 I’ve worn some kind of foundation, concealer or tinted moisturizer everyday. I would go months at a time without giving my skin any sort of break from the stuff. At the time my skin wasn’t good, it was not something I would feel comfortable going out without any sort of barrier between myself and the eyes of others. Dramatic as it sounds, if I went out without something on I would not leave the car or if I had to go out I would carry myself differently, my head would hang low not to show my face. I always thought when I had good enough skin, then I wouldn’t wear foundation. That day never came. Finally out of pure curiosity I tried going 2 full weeks without anything. No concealer, no foundation, no tinted moisturizer, no powder, no BB, CC creams. Just moisturizer.

If you challenge yourself or become curious like I did, the first thing you’ll probably think upon starting this adventure is “God I’m paler than I remember!” or darker, or “was my complexion always that ruddy?!” . It’ll be something along the lines of the tone of your skin, your actual skin. We only see glimpses of this these days. Maybe at night when we take everything off we’ll see our skin in some sort of dimly lit bathroom and it’s not a big deal because we’re going to bed. Then in the morning we’ll quickly apply our makeup in a hurry to get out of the house in time. Once you get past that, it’s actually more convenient. You won’t have to worry if you didn’t blend your makeup into your jaw properly and you have that dreaded and distinct line where the foundation starts. You’ll remember what your skin looks like and feels like with nothing on.

Your skin will balance itself. This is the most amazing thing that I’ve noticed since not wearing foundation. My skin has since improved since I was 14 or 15 or at it’s worst when I was 17, but even now it was not where I’d like it to be. Some spots were dry , there was some redness, but I thought this was normal, no one has perfect skin. My skin has truly transformed in the two weeks. It seems to be regulating itself. It’s even, there aren’t dry patches, no clogged pores. No dry skin in winter ? Yes.

If there’s no foundation there’s nothing to wash off. Now, if you’re washing your skin properly there shouldn’t be residue anyway, but it’s not the same as not wearing anything. You can get rid of the cycle of washing, stripping, toning, moisturizing. Your skin is capable of a lot if you leave it .You’ll find yourself being more careful you won’t be so quick to scratch or pick at your skin, knowing the luxury of covering it up with concealer isn’t there. All these things combined you’re going to end up with better skin.

It’s a little contradictory I realize, being a makeup artist and encouraging you to not wear foundation. I found it to be an interesting experiment. As time goes on you’ll find the less you wear the less you need. The need for it will go away. The need for it mentally to look okay and the need for it physically to cover imperfections. Am I going to wear foundation again? Absolutely. I love it, it makes your skin look even, flawless and gives you a little color. The point is that I can do without it, which is something I wouldn’t have been able to say in the past. This is something to do to start from scratch. See what you’ve got. You may surprise yourself with how you feel at the end.