Back to the Lab

A while back, I posted about using rubbing alcohol to fix pressed powders, shadows, etc., that had been shattered in their palettes/compacts*. I decided to revisit this chemistry experiment when I completely ran out of my NYC Smooth Skin Pressed Face Powder in Translucent. This has got to be one of my all-time favorite drugstore setting/blotting powders; it’s widely available, sets and blots extremely well, and only costs about $2! You can’t go wrong at that price. I mean, seriously. On this particular day however, its awesomeness proved to be a double-edged sword because it was sold out at my beauty depot (i.e.: Duane Reade, my too conveniently located 24-hour drugstore and enabler)—I guess the word is out!

Meandering down the beauty isle on my way to pick up my other favorite, Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder in Translucent, an idea occurred to me: why not buy the NYC Smooth Skin Loose Face Powder and use it to fill my compact? This way, the loose powder can be used at home and I can tote my homemade pressed powder. Yes, this is exactly what should be done. Back to the lab!

As you can see from the pictures below, I poured the loose powder into my empty compact and added a capful of isopropyl alcohol.

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While mixing, I realized that wasn’t nearly enough to moisten that amount of powder and kept on adding more alcohol a little at a time. Once a paste-like consistency was achieved, I smoothed the mixture evenly in the compact with the back of a spoon and my [clean] finger.

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I was a little worried at first because the color of the mixture was quite pink (see left); it’s supposed to be practically white! All I could do was hope that when it dried, it would be usable. A couple of hours later, voila! My compact looked like it came straight from the factory (see right). OK, not exactly, but close enough. Now, I’m sure you’re asking: Will it work like the original, or did The Vickylicious make a huge mistake? Guess what. IT WORKS LIKE A DREAM!

Go ahead. Keep doubting my genius. I see you…

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(*Referred-to Post: “Dust to Dustbin…? I Think Not.”)

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: An OMG Post

What did Plato say way back when? “Necessity is the mother of Invention?” Well, Invention, meet your other mothers: Laziness, Exasperation, and Convenience.

As you already know from previous posts (if you’re a regular The Vickylicious reader), I’ve been experimenting with different foundations since I used up a beloved jar of RCW. My latest drugstore excursion (of which there are many, thanks to having a 24-hour Duane Reade downstairs from my building) has me trying out L’Oréal Magic Nude Liquid Powder. I can tell from the colors that there isn’t going to be an exact match for me, so I buy two shades: Sun Beige 328 and Classic Tan 330. I pray to the foundation goddesses that this will be worth the investment and run home (upstairs) to my mirror.

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Liquid is right! I shake up the bottles and attempt to pour a little of each shade onto the back of my hand (my all-natural, homemade mixing palette) and I have to make sure to keep it steady so none of it will run down my arm. I can already foresee this process disrupting my morning routine, but I press on to see if the results will be worth it. Fingers crossed for tomorrow morning…

This morning… My, oh my, is it ever worth it!

This formula truly dries to a powdery smooth finish; the coverage is medium, yet buildable to a full and matte finish. I can’t stop touching my skin; it’s so soft and smooth! I just dab some concealerunder my eyes, a little blush on my cheeks, dress my lashes and go—NO setting powder needed. Oh yeah, remember I told you that I had a bad breakout recently? Well, you can’t tell with this lovely product.

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And look, I even took pics in bad office lighting so you could see its true effect and finish. The picture on the left was taken at 8:46AM and the picture on the right was taken at 3:16PM. Can you see how nothing at all has changed? Everything is still in place and just as fresh as the initial application. Again, this is without using primer, setting powder or spray. I’d say that these are pretty impressive results; possibly the best I’ve had thus far. (As always, no retouching, editing or filters are used on my photos.)

But, pray tell, what did I do about the pesky, messy process? Queue Plato and let’s rewind back to last night.

Once I saw how runny the Liquid Powder was, and knowing I would have to blend two shades of it every time–potentially creating twice the mess—I looked high and low in my kitchen for a container and stopped mid-search when a light bulb flickered in my brain. This formula is just as thin as the ones used for airbrush applications; why don’t I create my own? I went back downstairs to the drugstore in search of a travel-size spray bottle. SCORE!

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Upstairs at my sink, I poured the contents of both Liquid Powders into my new bottle.  Donning a shower cap to protect my hair, I shook up the bottle to blend the shades and product (as the directions dictated), then held my breath. Of course the spritz wasn’t as fine and light as an actual airbrush machine, but it definitely did the trick for a quick-fix home remedy. Using it this morning was simple, quick, and a lot less fuss and messiness. I blended it all in with my buffing brush.

Final answer: OMG. I am in love with this product. Lightweight with good coverage, it doesn’t oxidize and there’s little to no transfer. It doesn’t break up and I haven’t had to blot or touch up all day. I can already predict that this will take 2nd Place on my list of drugstore favorites, knocking Covergirl Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 to 3rd. Do I dare say it might become No. 1…?
Thank you, foundation goddesses. Thank you for this gift.

OH! And L’Oréal, I’d like to present to you the new [patent pending] Vickylicious shade: Suntan 329 in a travel-friendly spritzer. 😉

Dust to Dustbin…? I Think Not.

Picture it: You’re making up your face and carrying on as you do every day. The routine is running on autopilot when, while applying your brow powder/eye shadow/powder blush/face powder/bronzer, you all of a sudden get a case of the Butterfingers. Your palette crashes to the floor/sink/tabletop and powder fragments are everywhere. You shriek or moan (depending on your personal style) and dejectedly gather up all the pieces and clean up the mess.

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Don’t get angry and don’t throw it out! It can be saved! Rid yourself of the powder palette woes with this little trick:

*Add a few small drops of rubbing alcohol (isopropyl) into your broken powder makeup compact or case

*Re-form the mud-like mixture by smoothing it out and pressing it flat with your finger or the bottom of a spoon. You will know what to do naturally because you’re smart like that.

*Let it dry for a few hours or even overnight for best results.

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I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that this experiment worked. When I tested out my shadow to make sure nothing about it had changed, I was truly impressed. Why alcohol as opposed to water, you ask? Because alcohol is a gas, the vapor causes it to evaporate quicker and leaves the substance more solid and without residue, chemically speaking. The water would work temporarily, but break apart again into even tinier particles. Also, water on a product that is being used on your face would cause germs and bacteria to multiply—that’s a big no-no. For this reason, do not attempt this with hydrogen peroxide either, as it turns to water when exposed to air. And no need to worry; because you are using such a small amount of alcohol, it’s safe to use on your face, even if you have sensitive skin. Remember, most cosmetics have various alcohol-based ingredients already, another reason that rubbing alcohol works so well.

So  the next time you order makeup in the mail and it comes to your doorstep shattered, or your compact breaks in your purse, you’ll know exactly what to do. BONUS: create your own shadow and blush colors by breaking them on purpose you can mix them together! Makeup is supposed to be fun, yes?

 I thank my lucky stars that I paid attention in chemistry class. 😛