Real talk: my skin isn’t great. It never has been. Since I can remember, my face has been a canvas for pimples and their unsightly aftermath. Even on days when I don’t wake up to an unwelcome crop of red spots on my cheeks, the scarring and discoloration of breakouts past makes #nomakeup days inconceivable.
So a few years ago, when bloggers and beauty editors started spewing their newfound belief in “skincare as makeup," I couldn’t help but laugh. The idea of ditching foundation for barely-there tinted moisturizer and leaving concealer behind for serums made from exotic ingredients seemed like the kind of unrealistic routine suitable only for poreless models and genetically-gifted French girls.
Who knew that all it would take was a tiny green jar of goop to make this faithful foundation wearer’s dreams of braving the day barefaced a reality? Dr. Jart+'s Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment SPF 30 came into my life in the way that most of my skincare splurges do: while five people deep in the checkout line of Sephora. In modern but encouragingly medicinal-looking script, its packaging vows to “neutralize redness,” “protect skin” and “improve skin appearance to be vibrant.” I was skeptical ... but for $18, I was sold.
Four jars later, and I can confidently say that this on-a-whim checkout-line purchase — unlike many others I've tried — does exactly what it promises.
I think what makes me such a superfan of this product is how simple it is to use. After cleansing and moisturizing, I spread a fingertip (a little truly goes a long way) of the pale green cream onto my skin until it’s no longer streaky. In a matter of minutes, it magically changes from green to beige and provides the perfect amount of coverage to even out my skin and blur spots. No beauty blender, no pricey primer, no foundation — just my fingers and a few minutes.
On days where I feel like my skin needs a little extra love, I dab on some concealer, which melts seamlessly (a feat for a cream so rich and nourishing) into the cream. The best part? By the end of my routine, my skin actually looks like skin — dare I say good skin?? I’ve even read long, praising reviews from people who say a dollop of Cicapair completely conceals their rosacea. Yeah, this stuff is that good. Needless to say, when it came to my acne-prone skin, I was amazed with the first swipe.
While Cicapair’s color-changing magic act is what hooked me from the beginning, it’s the product’s long-term effects that have me coming back for more. Within a matter of days, I noticed previously angry breakouts fading faster than ever. And when I washed my face at night, I wasn’t startled by the red irritated mess that sat under my foundation all day — I was shocked to see that when I looked up from the sink, my skin actually looked fresh, even and moisturized. On one particular night post-face wash while reading in bed, my boyfriend even asked why I was wearing makeup to sleep (!!!).
What’s more, the secret power-packing ingredient in this product is also what makes it so delightful to apply. Centella Asiatica is said to have been a well-known healing agent for centuries (it’s also known as Tiger Grass, named after the legend that Asian tigers would heal their wounds by rolling around in patches of it). Besides reducing inflammation, soothing redness and calming blemishes, its fragrance is seriously spa-worthy and a calming start to my day. Plus, it provides SPF 30 and is made without yucky parabens, sulfates, and Phtalates.
Since picking up this product on a whim a few months ago, I haven’t touched my foundation — and my face is loving me for it. My morning makeup routine is cut in half, and my nighttime cleansing ritual is full of a lot less time avoiding my reflection in the mirror. I might not have perfect skin yet, but Cicapair is certainly helping me fake it while I get there.
Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment SPF 30
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