Spring is officially here, even though the current weather in Paris somehow make me think otherwise, and as days are slowly getting warmer it’s time to cut back on usual lengthy makeup routine and to embrace a glowy, barely-there makeup look.
There’s a lot of excellent things to say about this CC cream from Hera, which I’ve been wearing almost every day for the past two years. People at Hera knew exactly what they were doing when they created this incredible product. While it doesn’t cover every imperfections with its sheer-to-medium coverage it does achieves the barely-there-look beautifully, even out skin tone, covers redness and gives the most radiant & semi-dewy finish to the complexion. If you have problematic skin and are looking for high-coverage, the Hera CC Cream may not be the kind of product you’re after, but if you love the natural “are you wearing makeup? I bet you aren’t” look you really need it.
With 50% of skincare ingredients (moisturizing, brightening, purifying and anti-aging) this CC Cream has raised the bar relatively high in terms of quality and results. It was the 2013 Editors’s pick for Allure Korea, and when you see the finish this CC gives it’s unsurprising why. With a thin but not runny consistency, it blends seamlessly in with the skin and quickly sets to a slightly powdery semi-dewy finish. It also blurs large pores, revealing only a radiant and even complexion. Those like me who do not like the feel of heavier foundations on the skin and are after a flawless photoshop-like finish will appreciate how weightless this CC is.
Key ingredients :
– Apple Stem Cell | anti-aging
– Vitamin C | brightening, skin lightening (reduces dark/acne spots)
– Grape Seed Oil | regulars sebum production, antioxidant, brightening
– Honey | anti-bacterial, unclog pores, anti-aging, moisturizing, soothing, brightening
– Hyaluronic Acid | retains moisture, plump the skin, strengthen and repair skin’s barrier
– Arbutin | skin lightening (reduces acne scars, dark/sun spots)
Unlike most CC or BB creams I have tried in the past, the Hera CC Cream does not turn grey or oxidize after a few hours. While the coverage lasts for 5 to 6 hours without a primer, Hera recommends – and for good reasons – to use a good quality primer, like their fabulous Magic Starter prior to this CC cream to enhance the lasting power. If you have dry skin a primer is absolutely essential with this CC as it tends to settle into fine lines around the mouth and under the eyes. While I have tried various primers under this CC, two of them spectacularly beautified the finish and minimized fine lines : Hourglass N°28 Primer Serum and Hera Magic Starter. Both of them are similar in terms of quality and results as they moisture the skin with effective skincare ingredients, smooth fine lines, enhance lasting power of foundation, minimize appearance of pores and really helps to brighten complexion as skin visibly radiate from underneath the CC cream. Clarins Radiance Boosting Complexion Base was also a great choice.
Three shades are available and are suitable for NC/NW15 to NC/NW35.
Pink Beige is a fair/light with pink to neutral undertones, suitable for NC/NW10 to 15. Light Beige is a light with neutral to yellow undertones, suitable for NC/NW20 to 25. True Beige is a dark beige with yellow undertones, suitable for NC/NW30 to 35.
I’m onto my second tub of this CC and I love that it’s been repackaged with a pretty (and sturdy) silver lid, which is very convenient since the old lid was made of thin plastic and broke easily.
Smart Shopping : Hera CC Cream, 39.05$ at Ibuybeauti
Moving on to my all-time favorite primer, the Hera Magic Starter. Some people like to compare it with the Mufe Skin Equalizer, and while they are not entirely right they aren’t entirely wrong either. I find the Magic Starter better in every aspect as it is more moisturizing, more long-lasting, more brightening and definitely more skin-friendly than the MUFE. Three shades are available, even though they are only slightly pigmented and can be worn on their own without anything on top, and are very similar as the three of them are moisturizing and brightening. First Radiance is a white/transparent shade. It’s purpose is to brighten and smooth skin, creating the perfect canvas for foundation. Inner Glow is a lilac shade, perfect for eliminating and brightening dull yellow undertones. The last shade, Blooming Moisture, is a pale green. It slightly covers redness, but it’s main purpose is to moisture the skin to prevent foundation from creasing and settling in fine lines.
I have the shade Blooming Moisture and while I do not find it extremely moisturizing I must say it works a treat at brightening and smoothing the skin all day long. I also recently tried a sample of the shade First Radiance, and it was so satisfying I ordered a bottle of it.
A base from Laneige I truly adore is the Water Base CC Cream SPF 36PA+. This multi-purposes cream is a CC Cream and a primer at the same time with a moisturizing essence-like texture. While it provides little to no coverage since it barely has any color in it, it works a treat at adding a lot of radiance, helping foundation and concealer apply smoothly, blurring pores and smoothing skin. Since it has a very lightweight consistency it is very easy to blend even with fingers, to obtain an even complexion in seconds, and skin literally radiates from underneath foundation. I find it more moisturizing and more brightening than Chanel Le Blanc Sheer Illuminating Base, and with a few interesting skincare ingredients like Niacinamide (skin lightening, reduces dark spots and acne-scars) I very much prefer the Laneige. It can be worn on its own if you have very fair skin, or under a stronger base like a foundation or a BB cream. I love to wear it under a very thin layer of the Laneige Water Supreme Foundation to make my skin look super natural but super flawless and glowy at the same time.
Two shades are available for this CC Cream : Peach Pink, a very fair beige with pink undertones, and Pure Beige, a light beige with yellow undertones.
Smart Shopping : Get the Laneige Water Base CC Cream here for 27$.
The Cosrx Make Me Lovely Cream is another CC/Primer I highly appreciate due to its high skin brightening effect and glowy finish. It is similar to the Laneige CC Cream in terms of pigmentation, consistency and finish, but it contains more skincare ingredients such as lavender water, lavender oil, niacinamide & many more. The main purposes of this cream are to brighten & even out complexion, and to moisture the skin. It also contains purifying ingredients to fight acne, brightening ingredients to lighten acne-scars (or dark spots) and soothing ingredients to calm irritated skin. According to Cosrx this cream can be worn on its own or under a foundation/bb cream, but I find the shade way too light to be used on its own. It could probably suit NW/NC10 to NC/NW15 but definitely not darker skins. It has a peach undertone, and only one shade is available.
The Cosrx Lovely Cream has a cooling effect on the skin, thus the goose bumps.
Smart Shopping : Get the Lovely Cream here for 17$.
Lightweight foundations – Urban Decay Naked Weightless Liquid Makeup & Laneige Water Supreme Foundation
For days when I want a little more coverage and need to make sure my skin is 100% flawless, I reach out to the Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Liquid Foundation or to the Laneige Water Supreme Foundation. I went ballistic with the UD and purchased two shades just in case, and I did right since this foundation tends to oxidize on my skin. While the Laneige is thinner and provides less coverage than the UD, both are excellent foundations as they are really long lasting and make the skin looks fresh & glowy even without a primer.
Since they both are very liquidy it’s very easy to blend them out with fingers, but I prefer to use a beauty tool like the Beauty Blender to create a seamless, flawless base. I also got the Urban Decay Optical Blurring brush and the Brightening & Tightening primer, but I got better results with a sponge and an illuminating primer like the Hera Magic Starter or the Clarins Radiance Boosting Complexion Base. I heard the Laneige Water Supreme Primer Base does wonders for the skin when used with the Water Supreme foundation but I have not purchased it yet.
Only three shades are available for the Laneige Water Supreme while the Urban Decay Weightless Foundation has 18 shades.
In terms of ingredients both are oil-free and paraben-free, but the Laneige tends to me more acne-prone skin friendly as it contains Zinc Sulfate (purifying, anti-acne), Niacinamide (brightening, minimizes dark spots and acne-scars), Hyaluronic Acid and Ceramide (moisturizing).
They both run on the glowy-finish side and are easily buildable without getting cakey, even with several layers. While I’m at it, 3 thin layers of the Laneige are needed to obtain full-coverage while only two are needed with the UD.
While I find both of them to be excellent foundations, I deplore the lack of available shades for the Laneige and the oxidation of the UD.
The Laneige may seems too dark and yellow on the picture above, but I assure you it doesn’t once blended. It has yellow undertones but the color is still very light, perfect for NC/NW15-20 skin.