“ Brand: La Bella Donna / Type: Concealer / What it does: Smoothes, „
Early last year in 2008, I received a money off voucher for any treatment at a luxurious spa centre close to my home. Since the majority of available treatments at this spa are out of my price range, I chose one of the least expensive options -eye rejuvenation. That is to say, it wasn't about restoring my eyesight to 20/20 vision, rather it was a sort of mini facial for the eye area.
So I booked myself in and looked forward to the day. Upon my arrival I enjoyed my 30 minute eye rejuvenation treatment and congratulated myself on having had such a luxurious experience at not too much cost to myself. Ah, but I hadn't reckoned with the persuasiveness of the beautician. I had warned myself to be prepared to say no to any attempts at selling me their products. However, after my mini eye facial, the beautician said she would use some of their concealer under my eyes to disguise dark circles. She also used it on other areas of my face such as the sides of my nose and on my eyelids.
All the while she was heavily promoting the product she was using. She emphasised the fact that all the makeup is mineral-based and that it was more than just makeup. Apparently this stuff actually helps repair your skin while it's on, she informed me. I took it all with a pinch of salt and just enjoyed the experience.
When she'd finished, I was provided a mirror to check out the results. I must say, I was delighted, particularly with the concealer's effects at hiding my darkish circles underneath my eyes. She'd also used some powder foundation which looked and felt very nice.
As I went to pay, the beautician came with me and showed me the range of products. She recommended a certain shade of concealer and foundation and before I knew it, I'd handed over my credit card to pay for both of them, along with the eye treatment.
~~~What is Mineral-based Makeup~~~
Basically, it's derived from minerals which are crushed into micro-particles, forming a very fine powder. It's then mixed with natural inorganic colourings to produce colour ranges suitable for different skin tones.
Mineral-based makeup is all the range nowadays and a natural alternative to chemical-based makeup. La Bella Donna is at the forefront of the mineral-based makeup . Their products are all mineral-based formulas made from natural elements-mineral-based pigments. These provide a natural-looking colour. They also contain Micronized Titanium Dioxide and a non-chemical sub block (SPF 20).
Micronized Titanium Dioxide is a natural mineral product which helps skin by allowing light to pass through to the skin, while acting as a natural barrier against UVA and UVB rays. It doesn't clog pores or dry out skin.
These products are actually healthy for the skin by balancing the moisture content and allowing it to breathe. They contain no dyes, oil, talc, alcohol or fragrance.
~~~Benefits of Mineral-based Makeup~~~
Although suitable for all age groups and skin types, mineral-based makeup is particularly suitable for those with sensitive skin. It is waterproof, therefore long lasting so you'll only need to apply it once a day. It's also incredibly lightweight and it doesn't feel like you're wearing makeup at all. Its natural sun protection factor is another big plus point as is its nearly zero allergy rate. It has a light-refractive quality that helps with anti-ageing by diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Even those with dry skin can safely use this makeup as it naturally balances the moisture content on the skin. And for those staying out late and too tired to wash off their makeup before bed, don't worry. It's perfectly healthy for your skin to sleep with this makeup on. And it will still be there in the morning!
~~~A Little about the Company, La Bella Donna~~~
La Bella Donna were developed by a US mother and daughter team Kathy and Nicole Tracy who wanted to develop a healthy alternative to traditional makeup. La Bella Donna is based in the US with their headquarters in Los Angeles and offices in New York.
The range of mineral-based products from La Bella Donna are highly recommended by dermatologists and plastic surgeons. It's particularly suitable for those with sensitive, problem or allergy prone skin as well as post-operative coverage.
If you're swayed by the celebrity factor, the La Bella Donna website has the following to say:
"La Bella Donna also boasts a galaxy of celebrity devotees, including Christina Applegate, Rachel Blanchard, Courteney Cox-Arquette, Daisy Fuentes, Sarah Jessica Parker, Stacey Dash, Farah Fawcett, Bridget Fonda, Lucy Liu, Debra Messing, Lisa Rinna, Kelly Rutherford, Brooke Shields, Kim Cattrall, Jennifer Aniston, Paris Hilton, Cher, and Britney Spears, among many others."
~~~Where to Purchase and Cost~~~
Products made by La Bella Donna aren't generally available in shops. Instead they're more likely to be found in Spa treatment centres. The spa I visited also sells the products online and they can be found at: http://www.beautyworkswest.com/labelladonna.html. Alternatively, you can visit the US website at http://www.labelladonna.com/shop/product.php?productid=16158&cat=0&page=1 where they also have an online ordering system in place.
It's pricey for a concealer, but it lasts ages. I purchased mine for £34 and it's still going strong, despite using it nearly every day for 10 months.
~~~Packaging and the Product~~~
The concealer comes in a small, lightweight, silver plastic 4g pot. The lid is the screw on type and has a clear Perspex centre so you can inspect the contents. It doesn't come supplied with a brush so you do need to purchase a suitable brush for applying the product. I use a fine, soft makeup brush about half a cm wide which works really well.
It's available in 4 different shades numbered 1 to 4, with no. 1 being the lightest and 4 the darkest. The concealer itself is firm, with a similar consistency to a cream blusher or moistened bar of soap. When applying the product, its creamy substance feels very smooth and light.
I was very happy with the application of concealer by the beautician but wasn't sure whether I would be able to achieve the same effects at home. Also, I've been using Estee Lauder's Touche Eclat for years and haven't found any other product that comes close to its excellent coverage.
I didn't need to worry though. Once I purchased the perfect application brush, the concealer is a dream to apply. You only need to tap the brush onto the concealer, just so there's a tiny bit on the end of the brush. Then you just dab it onto the areas you wish to 'conceal'. You can either use the brush or your ring finger to blend it in. Personally, I find it's really easy blending using the brush alone.
I really enjoy using this concealer and almost feel like a 'professional makeup artist' using my little pot of makeup and brush. I use the concealer most days, often on its own as a quick touch up for under eye circles or the odd blemish.
As mentioned earlier, I've been using it almost daily for around 10 months at the time of writing and it's probably about one quarter used up. Pretty good value for money I'd say.
Although it's not widely available in the UK, it is possible to purchase it in this country online, unless you happen to visit a skin/health spa that sells this brand of makeup. I will definitely be purchasing this concealer again once it's finished.
Great for creating smooth skin tone around the eye area /