Dulce et Utile: Pressed Powder Foundations

I’m curious: How long does it take to put your face on in the morning? I used to dedicate a whole hour to makeup, and that excludes the time I need to get dressed, fix my hair, and ready my things. And when I say “I used to” that points back to just about three months ago. I now make it a point to get all of that done in under an hour (sometimes I can be ready in 20-30 minutes, which used to be unthinkable for me) and surprisingly I don’t feel rushed at all. I’m happy to have the extra time to do other things… like read or exercise or meditate. Or nap. I’m not saying I don’t like taking my time when I do makeup–I still do, but I save that for when I’m in the mood to really play or if there’s a special occasion.

I’m not really sure what sparked the change. You’d think that with all this time on my hands after leaving school I would be taking all the time in the world to play around with makeup. Instead I find myself craving a simpler, less-cluttered approach to everything in my life–not just makeup. This coincides with a renewed love for yoga (been dabbling in Vinyasa and Ashtanga instead of just Bikram/hot yoga) and although that has been a factor for sure, I was moving towards a more fuss-free makeup philosophy even before that, I think. But anyway, what I wanted to talk about today is a foundation form that has helped me cut down on makeup application time: pressed powder. P1170465

Clockwise from left: Ellana Minerals Pressed Powder Foundation*, MAC Studio Fix Powder Foundation, and Maybelline White Super Fresh Powder Foundation

I had forgotten just how easy applying foundation is when all you need are a large powder brush and a compact of pressed powder foundation. You can adjust coverage by using a fluffy brush for light coverage, a brush with more densely-packed bristles for medium coverage, and a kabuki brush for full-on, heavy coverage. Sponges can be eliminated from the picture completely. The fact that these powder foundations are pressed eliminates the mess that loose powders almost inevitably create and they are also easy to travel with. I don’t think I even have to explain how these are more convenient than liquid foundations.

If you have combination or oily skin, powder foundations are an obvious bet. If you have dry skin, I can see why you might have apprehensions, but priming your skin properly before applying powder foundations helps a great deal. Even with my combination skin, I still prefer to prime beforehand (usually with sunblock, but also with primers before evening makeup) so that the powder goes on as even as possible. There are also powders on the market that actually moisturise these days. It sounds crazy, but I’ve come across one (a BRTC compact) that really did more than just not dry out my skin–it was nourishing it. And then of course there are usual oil-control powders. Loads of those to choose from, my oily-skinned friends!

There isn’t any particular pressed powder foundation that I wanted to highlight in this post. I suppose I just wanted to bring attention to a form that I myself had forgotten for a while and that others might have too. Using powder foundations has helped me save so much time getting ready for my day and I haven’t had to sacrifice my options when it comes to coverage or even finish. Plus I can easily pop my compact into my bag for touch-ups. Can’t think of much else to ask for, really.

What are your favourite foundation formulas? Liquid? Cream? Loose powder? Pressed? No need to debate about the pros and cons of each form as they all have their time and place for sure. It all comes down to personal preference and I for one think that that is where it really gets interesting. Yeah? I say more power to the powders, baby!

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My Ellana Blush Collection

EBA1It was really only right that I title this post the way I have… of the five available blush duos from Ellana, I have four. I don’t plan on picking up the last one (Flirtation/Fetish) in the near future because it looks a little too light for my skin tone, but I might be tempted to complete the collection one day. For now though, I’m quite happy with these four. You’ve already seen my review of Obsession/Fulfilment, and now I have Bunny/Ecstasy, Kitten/Peach Passion, and Light Roast/Butter Rum Coffee to add to the mix. Got them in Ellana’s awesome new packaging, too! EBA2Ok, so each of these will set you back just 460.00 Php and you essentially get two blushes in one so that’s an awesome deal, in case I need to spell it out for you. They are all extremely soft and pigmented, which is good in a lot of ways but it can also be a bit of a challenge to work with at times. Still, I love the shades Ellana put together and as you’ll see in a bit, these are definitely worth picking up. 

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Ellana Loose Mineral Powder Foundation* in Cafe Mocha

LMF1If you only buy one product from Ellana Cosmetics (but really, why would you do that?), make it the Loose Mineral Powder Foundation (460.00 Php for 6g). It’s not Ellana’s best-selling product for no reason. This super blendable, medium (but buildable) coverage powder foundation blurs pores, sits lightly on skin, and wears extremely well in Philippine weather.

This will be a lengthy post because I had a lot to say about this foundation. I think every bit is worth knowing though, so I hope you can power through the text! If not, I do think the photos will speak for themselves, too. Enjoy! :)

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Ellana Mineral Cosmetics: Sheer Velvet Powder Primer*

SVP1We’re kicking off my Ellana reviews with the Sheer Velvet Powder Primer** (460.00 Php for 6g) because I’ve actually owned and used this in the past. I had it way back when it was still called the Sheer Velvet HD Powder in “white chocolate”  and it was packaged in a shallow pot with a silver lid. I remember reading reviews online and seeing that it was often compared it to the MUFE HD powder, which was 10x more expensive, so I went ahead and ordered it. For a long time it was my go-to setting powder, but as I was just starting to really get into the makeup at the time, I moved on to other things after a while.

At the risk of spoling the review early on, I will say that my reunion with Sheer Velvet was sweet. Ellana has improved on the packaging and spiced up the design, only adding to the value of the aptly-named soft, velvety powder inside.

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Iana Meets Ellana

ECI(So if you didn’t know, Iana is my nickname!)

A couple of Saturdays back, I was invited to Ellana Mineral Cosmetics HQ to get acquainted with the brand. I wouldn’t say I’m a mineral makeup virgin but I’ve definitely not delved deeply into that world, so I was excited to see what the brand had to offer.

Ellana has been around since 2007 when founder Theresa Carbonell dreamed it up. The brand offers affordable, high-quality mineral makeup that’s formulated to match a wide range of skin tones and also to stand up to sticky, humid Philippine weather. Because it’s mineral makeup, you can also rest assured that Ellana’s products are all free of preservatives, parabens, mineral oil, chemical dyes, and fragrance.

Ellana recently repackaged their stuff and changed things up a bit with the product line up. I actually forgot that I had tried one of their products already in the past until I was at the showroom browsing their products. That was a couple of years ago and I ordered the product online, loved it, then sort of forgot about it because my makeup obsession began to snowball and I was acquiring new products at a cary-high rate. I do remember loving it, though.  So it’s great that I get to experience it a second time around after a couple of years of exposure to other brands.ECI2Everything you see in the photo above was very kindly provided to me by Ellana. When I visited their showroom, I also formed a relationship with the brand as an affiliate. That simply means that I may be using affiliate links whenever I do reviews on these products or mention them in posts. Should anyone choose to purchase Ellana products through my links, I get a small commission. I wanted to be completely transparent about this because… well, it’s my integrity on the line, tbqh, I want to make sure that readers of this blog know that my reviews will remain unbiased and honest. You are also free to visit the Ellana website on your own, without clicking on any of my links (of course).

Now I’ve been using these products a lot lately because I want to be sure about my feelings and thoughts on them before writing reviews. I will also be providing a summary of the pros and cons of each product at the end of each individual post about these babies. That’s not something I normally do because it’s not my style, but I recognize how useful summaries are when one is looking to purchase a product based on online research. Hopefully that will help you guys become better acquainted with each product before making a decision about them.

I’m quite excited to begin telling you guys about these products because they are pretty damn kick-ass and very affordable at the same time. There’s some bits that I’m finding difficult to like, but you’ll read all about that in my reviews! Keep an eye out. :)

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