Chemistry With Colors

Finding the right makeup color is a challenge by itself, finding the right product for sensitive skin is even harder. Skin reaction can be very obvious, like when you have a rash after applying a product. Other times it’s a bit trickier to understand, as was the case with my old lipstick; each time I used it, I noticed white stringy substance coming out of my mouth.  My dental hygienist told me it’s an allergy, and that the white substance is actually skin tissue from the inside of my mouth. I noticed I had the same reaction to some toothpastes.

Shopping for makeup for myself requires a lot of patience and time.  Before I can buy anything I have to try different products for a few days to see if I have an allergy. I learned that some natural products can irritate my skin and that some regular chemically based products can agree with my sensitive skin. It is a matter of personal chemistry. 

After years of searching, trying, and comparing, here is a list of my current favorite makeup. I don’t mention primer or blush, because I haven’t found yet anything that I can recommend.


Mineral powders served me well for years. As my skin started to get dry I needed my foundation to be more moisturizing. I really wanted to find a natural product, but in this department I was very disappointed: coverage was poor, color variety was very limited, and some products managed to irritate my skin.
I finally discovered the Canadian company Cover FX, their products are free of gluten, mineral oil, fragrance, parabens or talc, they provide medium to full coverage, and they offer SPF 30. The makeup is offered as a cream or lotion, and in three different tints: pink (P) Natural (N) or Golde(G). 

In my area, I found this brand only in the downtown Seattle Sephora store.You can also find it in the Sephora online store. Today with the use of Pantone Color IQ in Sephora stores, It’s a lot easier to match foundation color even if the product is not in the store.  My Color IQ is 1Y09 and it matched me perfectly with Cover FX G60.


It took me few years of trial and error to find the right concealers. I tried natural brands, but they were very disappointing both with coverage and texture. When I finally decided to try the chemical brand, I had to be patient until I found the products that answered my requirements and didn't irritate my skin.

Under eye concealer:
After reading different reviews and trying different products I settled on Nars’ radiant creamy concealer - Ginger.  The pigment concentration is very high in this product, so you only need a dab of it. The coverage is incredible, is doesn’t cake on the thin skin under the eyes and it lasts for a long time. 

Dark spot concealer:
The dark spots over my cheekbones become more pronounced in the sun. I learned that red pigment neutralizes yellow and brown. I use Make UpForever HD invisible cover concealer -350. Like Nars, it is also rich with pigments and very creamy. I need very little to cover my dark spots.


Jane Iredale makes natural sophisticated mineral base makeup. I love their soft eyeliners, especially the color combination ones: black/brown and black/grey.  I find the black/brown to be stunning against brown eyes. The color smears despite the fact that I set it in powder, but I still like it.

Eye Shadows

These days I stay away from colorful eye shadows such as blue and green, I look like I’m stuck in the 80’s when I put them on. For a fresh updated look I love using Jane Iredale Daytime eye shadow kit. The texture is creamy,  It is easy to apply and build up the color. I love the fact that the colors don’t have the glitter that other eye shadows have. The colors are neutral, and are good for every event.


There are several Mascaras that I like. I love YSL ‘Volume Effect Faux Cils’ mascara; it’s very dramatic and perfect for evenings. I also love how Lancome ’Virtuose’ coats the eyelashes and curls them. Dr. Hauschka’s mascara is another nice product. I love the blue mascara, which adds an interesting shade over brown eyes, without being tacky. You can build up the thickness by adding more layers, but since it’s a natural product, don’t expect any dramatic affect.

Eyebrow Pencil

There is only one winner in this department and it is Clarin’s. I learned to use a color lighter than the color of my eyebrows to avoid a severe looking face; hence, despite the fact that my eyebrows are black, I use Clarin’s 02 Light Brown Pencil.
Lip Liner

I use Jane Iredale’s lip definer - Terra-cotta . Like their eyeliners, this cosmetic pencil is  also creamy and smooth, and it is offered in 13 different colors. I was very happy to find a color that matches my lip color perfectly so it is not noticeable by itself, but adds a nice framing value.


I prefer my lipstick color to be similar to my lip color, I don't like dark dramatic colors especially red - it makes me look eeeevil. My favorite lipstick is Ecco Bella’s CafĂ© Au Lait. Judging by online reviews, it's a favorite by many other women. The lipstick gives my lips a smooth full look without causing irritation.  

For times when I don't feel like wearing lipstick, I use Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm, I have Caramel Daisy tint, but I don't think you can go wrong with any color.