Product Review: Clinique’s BIY Blend It Yourself Pigment Drops

Full disclosure, I previously managed a Clinique counter years ago, and so the brand holds a special place in my heart. But for good reason – even though they are a major beauty brand (owned and founded by the Estée Lauder company), I like that they stay true to their mission of producing great skin care and always allergy testing. So when Clinique launches products, I tend to perk up and listen. Case in point, they are on a recent kick of featuring newly customizable products. Since I’m always on the look out for a great tinted moisturizer, this newer product of BIY Blend It Yourself Pigment Drops caught my eye – this is pure pigment that allows you to make any moisturizer into a light tint or full-coverage hydrating foundation. Whee!!! As a makeup artist, my head immediately started swirling with all of the multi-purpose and functionality possibilities – even the idea of adding a bit to eye creams to help conceal dark circles and reduce puffiness while evening skin tone was amazing. As a pragmatic and sensitive skin-focused esthetician, I was also excited as this gives a lot of people who normally shy away from heavier foundations a chance to experiment by finding their perfect coverage on their terms. Foundation can often have a lot of fillers, so this allows you the option to take straight pigment and apply with the vehicle (serum or moisturizer) that you decide. The benefit of this is that it takes on whatever finish the serum or moisturizer is – matte, satin or dewy. Score!!


There’s a full range of shades to pick from, and easy to test on the jawline just like you would with any foundation. My shade is BIY 105 (VF-N), which is Clinique-speak for “very fair – neutral”. Don’t let the small bottle fool you though. If you think about it, foundations are usually pigment mixed with a base that does specific functions: long-wearing, smoothing, anti-aging, SPF protection, moisturizing, full-coverage, oil-control, etc. If you think about it, you can accomplish this with a moisturizer (best fit for your specific skincare needs) and then customize it with a level of coverage that you want. Mind. Blown. Speaking of coverage, let’s get to that – the drops are measured and are very concentrated. Caution, a little goes a long way. It’s a very watery consistency but that doesn’t mean that it’s diluted. I like more full-coverage foundations and I’ve found that 2 drops in my dime-sized dot of Olay Complete All Day UV SPF 15 Moisturizer is the perfect blend. I’ve also found that the coverage is buildable – I’ll take a a little bit of the pigment, and layer where needed.

The one thing that I’ve learned from using this for the past 3 months is that I am not using a foundation brush to apply – this now falls into my morning regimen at my moisturizer phase. I will also apply this down my neck and around my eyes, with layering to build up coverage. I’ve found that it works best to use the back of my left hand as a palette: first squeeze a dime-size amount of Olay moisturizer, and then drop 2 drops of BIY into the moisturizer. Swirl to mix, and then apply and blend out. I’ll use a little bit more to layer where needed, if I want more coverage. If you want a more mattifying effect, I recommend using Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel rather than the Olay moisturizer – it creates a silky finish that helps keep oily spots shine free. If you are looking for a very full-coverage effect with more shine control, you can easily blend a powder foundation over the top. Conversely, if you want a dewy affect, blend a single drop with a moisturizing serum for a sheer, hydrated look.

I do still use foundations, as sometimes I prefer my favorites (such as L’Oreal True Match or PUR’s 4-in-1 Liquid foundations) to achieve a specific look or effect. But I now include BIY in my mix of makeup, as it provides options that I couldn’t get with other products. My hope is that this stays within the standard foundation line-up for Clinique, and that this review helps clarify how to use it. Once you get the hang of it, and you see how to blend it in with your favorite skincare treatments or moisturizers, I think you’ll love having it as an option to use.

© 2017 28daysbeauty

Product Review: Sonia Kashuk Undetectable Foundation Stick

Sonia Kashuk is a real makeup artist, most notably having made supermodel Cindy Crawford look amazing for years. She also has a full makeup line at Target (since 1998), and stands by her mantra of affordable and accessible quality makeup. Having known of her talent for years, I decided to stop by her brand in the beauty aisle one day on a Target run to look at some of the newer products. One of the products I saw was the Undetectable Stick Foundation. I had not recently replenished my Clinique Chubby In the Nude Stick Foundation, so I decided to give this a try instead. I picked up the shade Latte 13, and took quick note that the product details indicated sheer, more natural coverage. I normally like more medium coverage foundations, but since I was needing a foundation to easily travel with, I decided to go ahead and purchase.

After using for about a month, I am a bit disappointed to say that I was a little underwhelmed with the performance of the foundation. The shade was right, and the formula blended easily with both my fingers and a foundation brush. But the challenge, for me, was that I just didn’t like the light coverage. I also felt that it didn’t have a lot of staying power, which I was used to with the Clinique stick foundation performance. I did like the size of the product, and the value of the amount of foundation you received for the money. But as someone who has a bit of hyper-pigmentation in my skin (since I’m so sun-sensitive), I didn’t feel that the coverage was buildable enough. Also, I have combination skin, which seemed to feel a little bit oily later in the day with this formula.

I do think that if you are looking for a very natural, easy-to-use foundation, you may really like this. If you have a more dry skin type, this creamy formula may be a bit more comforting for you as well, even though the product states that is has oil-absorbing qualities. (Wha? Yeah, I know!) The convenience of the stick packaging is great –  it was very convenient for travel! I am a fan of Sonia Kashuk makeup, as I think her brand offers a great selection of multi-tasking products, and very wearable shades, at a great price point. But for those who are wanting a higher performance foundation, I’m not sure this is the one that I would recommend.

© 2017 28daysbeauty

Product Review: NEW Cargo Cosmetics for the New Year

It’s a new year, so time for new makeup! Last fall, Cargo Cosmetics launched new contouring palettes, plus brought back their iconic lip gloss tin for their 20th anniversary. Cargo is known for their multi-tasking, high-performing formulas. Plus, these new colors tend towards neutral nudes, and a lighter, fresher glow – just what I was leaning towards to lighten up after a fall with darker shades.


Clockwise, from the top:

  1. Eye Contour Eye Shadow Palette – I chose the shade 02 Warmer Base, which colors you’ll see below. The range is a mix of shimmers and mattes, with light to dark neutrals. The darker shades are great to use wet as liners, and the Warm Medium shade also doubles as a great universal brow shade. I love that these are buildable, blendable, and long-wearing.
  2. Boundless Lashes Mascara – This is the newest mascara to Cargo, and features a silicone three-sided brush. The formula is meant to be volumizing, lengthening, and defining. Overall, I like this formula over their other ones, but I’m still not completely won over. (psst – e.l.f. Mineral Infused Mascara is still my fave!)
  3. Matte Top Coat – I really like this, as it transforms any lipstick into a matte finish. I actually really like to layer it over the Swimmables Lip Liner, which pairs for a long-wearing and smooth color combination.
  4. Swimmables Lip Liner (shade in Moscow) – The Swimmables line of lip liners and eyeliners is a hero product of Cargo. Waterproof and transfer-proof, these liners are awesome performers. Moscow is a beautiful neutral berry shade, and looks great on most skin tones.
  5. Liquid Foundation – Oil-free, and hydrating, this foundation is packaged in an innovative pouch that is unbreakable, which makes it perfect for travel. This packaging keeps the gel-like formula foundation clean, and easy to dispense just the right amount. The formula wears all day, and is comfortable – it blends right in.
  6. Limited Edition Lip Gloss Quad – Super hydrating, and shimmery, these 4 neutral shades make for a beautiful combination in an easy to use tin. It also comes with a tiny lip brush, which is great to toss in your makeup bag. I love these shades – and they are great to layer over the Swimmables lip liners too.







Most of Cargo’s products are paraben-free, and safe for sensitive skin with no added fragrance! Cargo’s roots are in professional makeup, which grew in popularity due to innovation and easy-to-use multi-taskers. I’m leaning towards the neutral, soft glow color palette for Spring, and these shades deliver – with versatility for natural or dramatic!

©2017 28daysbeauty

Product Review: Clinique Beyond Perfecting foundation + concealer

Having been a part of the Clinique team years ago gave me insight into the level of technology placed within the formulas of their foundations. However, I never quite liked their selections of concealers. When this product launched a few months ago, I was really intrigued to see what the performance was of this product. And I don’t mind spending a bit more on foundation if I know it will make my skin look and feel great.

clinique, beyond perfecting, foundation, concealer
beyond perfecting foundation + concealer in alabaster

Upon selecting my shade, I was reminded how extensive the range is to match almost any skin tone. My exact shade is Alabaster, an ivory shade within the neutral range with the slightest pink undertone.

clinique, beyond perfecting
doe-foot applicator

The foundation is only able to be accessed from the bottle using the doe-foot applicator. And the bottle is actually glass – it surprised me, as I wasn’t sure how to best mix or shake the bottle as I typically do with my liquid foundations. My other concern was actually hygiene, as the doe-foot applicator sits within the bottle.

After a few applications, I found the best way to apply the formula was by using the doe-foot to dot the foundation on to the areas needing most coverage. I then used a foundation brush to apply. The lightweight formula applied smoothly, and literally melted into my skin. It was easy to layer the formula to build up more coverage where needed (like under-eye, or redness), and it didn’t settle into lines. I was also impressed with the long wear throughout the day, and my skin stayed comfortable with the fragrance-free formula. 

In short, I think this is a great foundation. But after trying it for several months, I’m not sure how easy the packaging will allow for using up a bottle’s worth of product. Plus, it’s an SPF-free formula, so you’ll want to ensure you have sun protection in your daily moisturizer. All in all, I definitely recommend it – even for those who have sensitive skin! 

© 2016 28daysbeauty

Product Review: Tarte Amazonian Clay foundation 

Let me start out by saying I really dig the premise of Tarte’s brand, and that it is considered high-performance natural makeup. I’ve watched this brand on the market for some time, and tried some of their products here and there. But I recently had the opportunity to try their most promoted foundation, and unfortunately, I was just rather underwhelmed. Not that I’m saying I don’t think it’s a good product. But mostly that it’s not for me, because of my expectations. Here’s my two cents on why I think that way:

tarte, foundation, amazonian clay
Tarte’s natural full coverage foundation
  • The SPF is titanium dioxide, which I really appreciated about the formula. So, that is a plus for anyone with sensitive skin! But, the formula just felt a bit different to me – I love liquid foundations, and this one seemed “spongy” to the touch. Also, I apply foundation with a brush, and I felt like I was leaving a lot still within the brush – rather than a smooth application on my face.
  • Amazonian clay is also basically kaolin clay, which is a largely common clay ingredient in makeup and skincare. I was hoping this would help control shine in my t-zone, since I normally get oilier in summer – kaolin is a known absorber of oil and debris. But nope, I didn’t feel that it did much to control it, nor did I feel like it kept my skin fresher. Also, the clay is what most likely gives the formula that “spongy” texture I referenced, since it’s a dense ingredient.
  • I like a foundation that covers well – I’m not usually one for sheer foundations. But this one I didn’t feel really gave me that great of coverage. Plus, I tried layering on more to achieve better coverage, and it just seemed thicker, but not camouflaging. I didn’t like the amount of time it took me to have to try and achieve the level of coverage I wanted to. 
  • And lastly, I didn’t think that it was all that long wearing throughout the day. I’m of the mindset that my makeup needs to last me from about 7am until 8pm, and it usually does. But with this, I felt like it was pretty much done at 4pm or so. My daily makeup rountine doesn’t always involve primer, so I expect a lot from my foundation. But unfortunately, my skin and this one just didn’t seem to mix. 

I will still try other Tarte products, since they have a great assortment to choose from. For now, I’m sticking to my other foundation favorites. 

© 2015 28daysbeauty

Beauty Topic: my favorite foundations & concealers

foundation & concealer
my favorite drugstore picks!

I am a woman that has to wear foundation everyday. It’s not really that I’m high-maintenance or feel the need to be made up. But I just really love having that polished feeling of a good, even skin tone. Plus, I like the fact that most foundations now have skincare-like ingredients that care for and protect the skin every day. So, here’s my favorites for every budget and why:

Top Drugstore pick-

L’Oreal True Match foundation and concealer

  • Has a huge range of shades – you will absolutely find a great match for your skin tone within this product’s assortment
  • Great formula – seriously, even if you have the most sensitive skin, this foundation and concealer contain super skin-friendly ingredients and is fragrance-free 
  • SPF coverage from Titanium Dioxide – one of my favorite aspects, since it is still great protection with a lightweight feel on the skin
  • Concealer is creamy, and super convenient in a crayon form

Top Specialty Store pick –

Pur Minerals 4-in-1 Liquid foundation and Disappearing Act Concealer

  • The 4-in-1 formula has a built-in primer, SPF 15, foundation and light concealer (love!!!)
  • It’s smooth, lightweight and hydrating – this is definitely a great choice for anti-aging benefits 
  • Long-wearing, silky, and protecting – the SPF is Octinoxate – just a word of caution for those who are sensitive to chemical sunscreens
  • Concealer is very concentrated, and a little goes a long way. This also makes for a great under-eye concealer!


foundation & concealer
my top high-end pick
There are always new formulas hitting the market. The best tip I can provide is that no matter what formula works best for your skin, make sure you are using the best tools for application. My favorite are foundation brushes – I think they give the best and fastest coverage. I’ve tried sponges, and while yes, they are nice, I find I can’t work as quickly or exact with sponges as I can with a brush. Plus, brushes can be kept clean and hygenic with a daily brush spray. If you invest in a good brush, know that it can also last you many years – I have a Clinique foundation brush that I’ve used for the last 7 years. With daily cleaning, it’s still like new. New technology for sponges also make them more durable, but note that you will most likely go through them faster than brushes. 

If there are any foundations that you have questions about, or can’t live without, let me know!

©2015 28daysbeauty