Showing posts with label Bronzer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bronzer. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Estée Edit Barest Bronzer in Medium-Deep and Flash Illuminator Fluid Powder in Heat


I'm working my way through reviews of the Estée Edit line. In today's review includes thoughts and swatches of The Barest Bronzer in Medium-Deep ($32 for .56 oz) and Flash Illuminator Fluid Powder in Heat ($32 for .27 oz). Both are exclusive to Sephora and are smooth finish pressed powders that come with an embossed surface. The textures are very soft and finely milled for flawless and streak-free application. 


The Barest Bronzer comes in two shades, Light-Medium and Medium-Deep. I was sent a press sample of the shade Medium-Deep which is one of the darkest bronzers I've tried so tan to deep skin toned girls will rejoice! On my complexion it's too deep and warm for my preference. There's a shimmering gold design on the surface but it's only overspray. I suspect the Light-Medium would be the better option for me, but given the extensive number of bronzers I already own (summer favorites in this post here), I did not venture to test it out. The finish is smooth and blends in seamlessly with the skin so it looks very natural in terms of texture/finish. Pigment is medium to rich but easy to blend out on the skin.

The Flash Illuminator Fluid Powder in Heat is a gorgeous highlighter. In the compact it looks like a champagne but it's got a peachy undertone to give it some warmth. It's on the shimmery side but unlike most highlighters this is one that smooths the skin, doesn't emphasize imperfections, doesn't make the pores look big and also doesn't look overly frosted. Those who love a good glow but think most of the popular highlighters on the market right now are too shimmery will love this one. It blends in beautifully with the skin and I highly recommend it. You can use it on the eyes or cheeks - anywhere you want a pretty sheen. I'm not sure why it's called a fluid because it's definitely a powder without any creamy feeling.

Both lasted all day on my cheeks from morning to late afternoon. The Barest Bronzer did warm up on my skin but it didn't oxidize too much.

Swatched on bare skin below:


Comparisons below:


Bronzer comparisons below:

I think both are solid beauty launches. The texture is smooth, well pigmented and super easy to blend on the skin. The Barest Bronzer in Medium-Deep is too dark for me, but I can appreciate the good quality and texture. I think it will be something tan to deep skin beauty lovers will like. The Flash Illuminator Fluid Powder is something I absolutely love. It gives a pretty sheen to the skin and as you can see in the comparison swatches it has enough warmth in it that makes it better suited for my skin tone compared to other super pale highlighters.

You can find both The Barest Bronzer and Flash Illuminator Fluid Powder exclusively at Sephora. If you've tried these or any of the other cheek products from The Estée Edit let me know in the comments!

Both items provided for review consideration.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Summer Bronzer Edit


By popular request, I've rounded up some new bronzers I've tried this summer along with tried and true favorites. Bronzers are probably one of most favorite makeup products - there's just something about a glowing tan that I love. Living in Southern California we have warm sunny weather almost year round. I do use sun protection for the face and body, but living here there's just no avoiding the sun - but I love it.

I've pulled an extensive list of bronzers and split them by type. It's by no means a comprehensive list of all the bronzers on the market, nor is it a list of all the bronzers I have tried or own (that would be a post a mile long). I have picked out the ones I thought were either new and interesting, tried and true or new found loves. A quick note before I go into the details - I have medium olive toned skin with normal/combination skin. I prefer warmer bronzers as cool-toned bronzers often look ashy or grey on my complexion. Foundation shades most reached for include the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation in 6 + 7 mixed, NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint in Groenland and St. Moritz mixed. I love bronzers of all types whether it's liquid, powder, shimmer or matte.

Finding the right shade or formula for you will depend skin undertone (pink or yellow), skin tone (fair, light, medium, tan or deep), skin type (oily, dry, combo, etc.) and also things such as shimmer or formula preference.

Up first are some matte bronzing powders. Several of you have asked for recommendations on more affordable options. Two lines I've tried I think are excellent are the Colour Pop and Benefit.


Shown above:
  • Urban Decay Beached Bronzer in Bronzed (reviewed here) is a deep warm matte bronze, I think this is best suited for deeper skintones, on me it's a bit dark, but good for days I want a more dramatic look.
  • Colour Pop Super Shock Cheek Bronzer in Skinnydip is a soft light neutral matte bronze that looks like a skintone color for me, for those with fair skins who find most options too dark, this might be a good option to look at.
  • Benefit Hoola Matte Bronzing Powder (c/o) is a classic that is neutral so it will work with a wide range of skin undertones, it's one of the best more affordable matte bronzers I've tried.
  • Marc Jacobs O!Mega Bronzer Tantric (c/o, on the face here) is another well-loved one by me, it's huge! The color and pigment is semi sheer but buildable, so if you're looking for one that is impossible to overdo, this is a good one.
  • Tom Ford Bronzing Powder in Terra and Bronze Age (c/o review and both shown on the face here), Terra is one of the few wearable cool-toned bronzers I can wear, Bronze Age is one of the darkest bronzers I own, it's a deep warm golden color, if you need something deeper try the Chanel Les Beiges Summer Duo reviewed here.


Next up are more luminous glowy bronzers ranging from a soft shimmer to high shimmer.


Shown above:
  • Colour Pop Super Shock Cheek Bronzer in Poolside (medium-deep bronze) and Paradise Cove (cool-toned neutral) both have a soft luminous finish. They have a unique formula that I thought would be powders but are more of a bouncy gel cream. The price is affordable but the amount of product you get pretty small at 4.2g. Still I think these are fun and easy to build.
  • Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Radiant Bronze Light (reviewed here) is a soft luminous highlighter + bronzer in one. More details on the review linked above. It's almost identical on my skin to the lighter version Luminous Bronze Light which happens to be the shade in the Nordstrom Hourglass Luminous Light Palette.
  • Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow in Medium- Dark (review + look here) is a gorgeous bronze and orange shimmer duo. It's more dramatic on me, but still wearable. For tan to deeper skintones I think you will love this one. More details in the review linked above.
  • Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Powder in Sunlight is one of the latest additions to the celestial powder line, it's not really a bronzer, but on my skintone it is. It's a medium to deep golden shimmer that gives my skin a golden sunkissed look. (It's also coming soon in the Celestial Skin Liquid formula, available for pre-order.)
  • Edward Bess Black Sea Golden Hour Mousse Bronzer is something I bought while in New York. It's the most beautiful warm golden coppery shimmer I've ever seen. It's a mousse formula that is super lightweight and easy to blend. I swatched it with a heavy hand below but once you blend it on the skin it becomes a more soft glowy gold that gives the face a beautiful golden glow. I highly recommend it.


Liquid bronzers up next. I have used and liked the Armani Liquid Summer Bronzers but didn't love it enough to repurchase (even though they added more shades). A few more affordable options below.


Shown above:
  • Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops (c/o) come in 4 highlighter shades and 2 bronzers. I'll have a post on the entire collection soon, but for now a quick peek at the bronzers in Sunset and Sunkissed. Both are neutral to cool toned. Sunset offers a deeper bronzed look. If I look in the bottle there is a sheen but on the face it looks more creamy. Sunkissed is my skin but better. These have been swatched heavily but blend out nicely and are very easy to layer and blend.
  • Benefit Dew the Hoola (c/o) looks super orangey in the swatch, but let me assure you, it is not orangey on the face. It is on the warm and peachy side but I think that's what makes it work. It's sheer but buildable and dries to a semi-matte finish. I've worn it alone or with a tiny bit of powder blush layered on top.
  • NARS Laguna Liquid Bronzer is another new one that looks super warm and almost orangey in the swatch but often times with any kind of cheek product what you swatch on the hand/arm looks very different on the face. I love this one because it's fluid and blends into a very soft finish on the cheeks. It leaves a soft sheen without looking greasy. I almost hate posting these swatches because I think they will deter many of you from trying it, but I really urge you to try if you have a NARS counter near you. It's one of the most natural looking bronzers I've tried that is visible but looks like your skin, just better and with a bit more life.


Last but not least, the three I consider classic staples:
  • Edward Bess Ultra Luminous Bronzer in Daydream is my holy grail of all bronzers. It's soft and luminous just like the name implies, it's impossible to overdo, not too shimmery and warms up the skin beautifully.
  • NARS Laguna Tiare (limited-edition Tiare version shown) is a classic with a scented twist for summer. It's the same as the classic Laguna but has a summery tiare scent added in a special limited-edition packaging. The original was one of the first high end bronzers I splurged on and it lasted for what seemed like forever. It's a classic soft luminous medium bronze that doubles as a soft contour powder. In the event you don't want something scented or want this in a palette form, there are a few Nordstrom Sets you may want to check out including the Cult Survival Kit or the Nordstrom's Best Cheek Palette.
  • Tom Ford Bronzing Powder in Gold Dust is another classic, it was quite the splurge when I first bought it because they only had the large size which is over $90. They've since launched smaller versions for the past couple of years which are still pricey but more affordable and nice to travel with.


For those who were asking for a summer bronzer roundup, I hope you found this helpful! I focused mainly on stand alone bronzers rather than ones in palettes. If you have any favorites please share them in the comments along with your skintone, maybe 1 foundation shade you use for reader reference.


Press samples featured indicated with c/o.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Chanel Les Beiges Duos 01 and 02 for Summer 2016


There are two face and cheek products in the Chanel Summer 2016 Collection. The Les Beiges Powder Duos are available in two limited-edition shades Duo No. 01 and Duo No. 02 ($65 each for 11 g/0.39 oz, made in France). These are similar in texture and feel to the regular Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powders which have a very natural look, soft velvety texture and semi-sheer but buildable coverage. Ever since originally reviewing them a few years ago, I've used Shade No. 20 to set for a very soft sheer setting powder. The new duos for summer have a very soft shimmer to them - if any of the blushes, bronzers or highlighters of late have seemed way to shimmery for your taste, these two are among the most subtle. They are perfect for those who don't want a pure matte but don't want a lot of shimmer either.

No. 01 is a duo with a shimmering orange and deep bronze. No. 02 is more like a blush with a pale champagne pink shimmer and medium reddish blush color.


Swatched with a medium to heavy hand below:


No. 01 is a duo with a shimmering orange shade that has a very soft glowy finish and a dark bronze. Mixed together creates a warm and deep bronzed look. You can apply with a fluffy brush for sheer coverage but I found it to be on the pigmented side for a Les Beiges powder. The first time I tried it I put too much on the brush and ended up with dark streaks on each side of my face. Definitely use a lighter hand when applying. That being said the color can be easily blended out. This is one of the darkest bronzer powders I own. If you are light or fair skinned you will most likely find this too warm and too dark.


Comparisons below to:


No. 02 is more blush material for me with a soft pinky shimmer highlighter on the top and a warm reddish coral shade on the bottom. It's a really pretty color for summer I think goes well with the pink Aqua Glossimer in Adenium (reviewed here).


Comparisons below to:



Chanel Les Beiges Duo No. 01 look features Rouge Coco in Vera and Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit in That Glow on the eyes. Chanel Les Beiges Duo No. 02 look features Chanel Aqua Glossimer in Adenium and Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit in Sundipped on the eyes. Foundation worn is NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint in Groenland + St. Moritz mixed together.

Overall thoughts are that these are very good powders quality and color-wise. I bought them last month so I've had some time to play with them. The Les Beiges Duo No. 01 is definitely more along the lines of a bronzer while No. 02 is more of a highlighter/blush on me. Based on pulling a few other powders to compare, a few final thoughts:
  • The powder texture is very finely milled and very pigmented for a Les Beiges powder formula.
  • By comparison to other formulas, the Les Beiges Duos are not as pigmented as the Becca Luminous Blushes, but you can still build the color for more intensity.
  • I applied by swirling a large fluffy brush to combine colors, the darker shades in each compact are more pigmented than the lighter top color so the result is that the deeper bottom shade dominates. The top shade helps diffuse and soften the bottom color if that makes sense.
  • No. 01 is easy to overdo - at least it was for me, I consider myself to have medium toned skin. If you're lighter than me, it will probably look orangey on your skin as it is on the warm side. If you're medium to tan to deep, you will probably rejoice that Chanel has finally released a darker colored powder!
  • No. 02 has a very similar effect on me to Hourglass Diffused Heat.
I don't have any regrets buying these but am not sure that I can call them must-haves. If you're looking to update your bronzer or blush collection with new colors that have that lovely satiny soft glow I think you will really like these. Even though it's probably best for conservative makeup wearers like myself to go easy on the shimmer and frost I can't help but be really into the super shimmers for the face that are popular these days.

Both duos are limited-edition. They retail for $65 each, available at Chanel.com and all other Chanel retailers.

Have you tried these yet? What did you think?

Friday, April 15, 2016

By Terry Sun Designer Palettes for Spring - Tan and Flash Cruise + Light and Tan Vibes


By Terry recently launched two new face palettes with bronzer, blush and highlighters cased in a single mirrored compact called the Sun Designer Palette ($82 for 15 g/0.53 oz). There are two options in this launch Tan and Flash Cruise 1 and Light and Tan Vibes 2. Both are simply glorious and well worth the splurge. I ordered both of mine sight unseen last month and the swatches on Beauty Professor's blog confirmed I made the right choice to splurge. When they arrived in the mail I literally gasped - they took my breath away. Each palette comes cased in a slim mirrored compact with 6 shades of powders for the face (but I've also been using them on the eyes). The product description on the box:

"This exceptional palette creates an all-over radiant and sun-kissed look on both fair and tanned complexions. It features six elegant and sparkling shades playing the roles of bronzers, blushes and highlighters that enhance the skin's appearance. Delicate, soft and airy textures in both matte and satin finishes allow to sculpt contours, brighten features, correct or intensify the complexion, all the while revealing the full splendor of the tan."


Both palettes have beautifully pigmented powders that have a very soft almost velvety texture. The colors blend flawlessly on the skin in an effortless kind of way. Lasting power is excellent and does not fade. They meld nicely with the surface of the skin and adhere well to last all day long. There's no chalky finish, no streaking and the colors stay true to what you apply on the face.

#1 Tan and Flash Cruise offers the perfect mix for a colorful summery look while #2 Light and Tan Vibes is the perfect your complexion but better kind of palette. It is hard for me to pick a favorite but #2 offers the most amazing mix of colors to give my complexion the kind of naturally glowy tan highlight and contour that I've been looking for for ages.



The only possible downside I find to these is the actual design and layout of the colors. They come in a beautiful embossed zigzag pattern which makes it virtually impossible to dip a cheek brush into just one color - but I suspect this was designed with the purpose of being able to mix and swirl colors together to be able to achieve a look with more dimension, color and glow. When I first put these to the test I thought the mixing of colors was going to be problematic. I've been able to dip a brush into 2 colors at a time or take a smaller detail brush to pick up a single color and apply to the eyes or face. I suspect making the palette bigger would have made the price more expensive - part of me wishes the pans were at least 2x taller to make picking up a single color easier. After playing with these for several weeks now I really don't mind swirling colors together.

A quick look at some brushes next to the pans for size reference:



A closer look at each palette. Up first is #1 Tan and Flash Cruise which has:

Satiny raspberry pink
Coral peach with a slight sheen
Cool pink with a very soft shimmer
Pale nude matte
Medium warm tan
Soft muted peach




A closer look at #2 Light and Tan Vibes which has:

The most perfect golden nude shimmer
Iridescent peach gold shimmer
Pale champagne shimmer frost
Pale vanilla matte cream
Soft light peach pink
Soft nude tan matte




Bottom line both winners. I personally would have preferred larger pans that would allow for me to not mix the colors but I've found blending the shades to have a really nice effect on the skin. Sometimes swirling darker shades can result in a muddy mess but these blend beautifully together and the quality of the powder texture and pigment is literally to die for.

Finish of the brighter option Tan and Flash Cruise is more on the satiny matte side. There is a sheen in each of the colors but it's in a natural luminous way that melds with the skin. Light and Tan Vibes has a more shimmery finish for the left side but it's not overly frosty and layers beautifully on the cheeks over other colors or even on the eyes.

If I were pressed to pick just one, I would say the lighter one Light and Tan Vibes is my favorite. It has colors that are probably easy to dupe but the colors in this one are simply flawless and work without any extra effort required. It's pure love.

I highly recommend both palettes. I've been told they are limited-edition but am not 100% sure. You can find them online at Space NK, Barneys New York, Beautylish and Saks Fifth Avenue. If you're shopping at Space NK (US) don't forget to take advantage of the savings offer code available through May 1, 2016 (all the details in this post here).

Have you checked out these palettes yet? 


Monday, April 11, 2016

Urban Decay UD x Gwen Blush Palette, Afterglow 8-Hour Powder Highlighters and Beached Bronzers


Today I have a roundup of several cheek products from Urban Decay including the UD x Gwen Blush Palette ($45), Afterglow 8-Hour Powder Highlighters ($26 each) and Beached Bronzers ($28). All the items are very pretty and give the complexion some life and color in a natural way. The UD x Gwen Blush Palette in my opinion is one of the best blush palettes I've ever tried. It has a good mix of cool and warm and also matte and shimmer finishes to give you a lot of options. The colors layer nicely and application is smooth. I do find some similarities between the colors in the palette and the new highlighters/bronzers. You may want to shop your stash too as some of these will probably be duplicates or similar to what you own but more thoughts on each one below.

First a quick look at the cheek, highlighter and bronze items from Urban Decay side by side. I'm trying out a new interactive tool so you can shop the images by clicking on the icons. Let me know what you think!


Swatches on bare skin:


Up first is the UD x Gwen Blush Palette. This comes in a medium-sized mirrored compact similar in style to the UD x Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette. The packaging is very sturdy and well made. The colors have medium but buildable pigment and the texture is very soft and smooth. There is quite a bit of powder kick-up when I dip my brush into the powders but it's easy to clean up and once the product is on the face there isn't any fall out. Cherry is a soft cool matte pink, Easy is a medium rose with gold shimmer, Angel is a soft champagne gold, Lo-Fi is a medium tan, Hush is a shimmering peachy champagne, OC is an iridescent soft peach that flashes pink.




As you can see from the swatches above near the top of the post, Angel has a similar effect to the Afterglow Highlighter in Sin, Lo-Fi is a more yellow toned version of the bronzers, OC has a similar pinky sheen to the Afterglow Highlighter in Fireball. I would say by comparison the Blush Palette has a softer more natural look on the skin compared to the others. I love this palette because it's so versatile and goes well with a wide range of looks. That being said the colors are fairly standard and I suspect you can find similar shades from MAC, NARS or other brands. I do really like that Easy Blush is a rose gold that is medium in undertone but doesn't darken on my skin. So many rose blushes end up darkening and look muddy on my skin while Easy stays true to color. Angel has that pretty warm golden champagne undertone which makes it look soft and diffused on my olive skin. Hush is borderline a highlighter so I mix it with Lo-Fi to add more color on my skin.

Next up are the Afterglow 8-Hour Powder Highlighters. These are designed to be long-lasting and the claim is they last 8 hours. On my normal combination skin I found they did not last on my cheeks for the full 8 hours. I would say color stayed true from morning around 8 am until 2 pm (so for around 6 hours). After that the color faded a bit. It was still visible but there was noticeable fading, at least on me. The colors are very pigmented and intense but are easy to blend and buff out. I've swatched them heavy and blended to try and show the difference. The heavier you swatch these the more intense the shimmer and with a heavy hand the colors are lighter in color.

Sin is a pale champagne gold, on my skin it looks very pale, almost like a pale cream. Fireball is an iridescent peach that flashes pink. Aura is a pale pink that flashes slight pink and blue tones.



Shimmer-frost wise I think these are definitely on the more shimmery side but they blend out smoothly on the skin. Sin is the most frosted on me since it has a sharper contrast to my olive skintone. I expected Aura to look really frosty but on the face it gives the skin a pretty glimmer. Fireball has a smooth shimmer that isn't overly frosted. I didn't have time to reswatch comparisons, but Fireball is similar to the Anastasia Hard Candy Highlighter reviewed here and Aura compared to the Laura Mercier Highlighters in this post here. Sin is one of the more unique shades I own for highlighters but it has a similar effect to that of MAC Nylon Eyeshadow.

A quick look from the weekend with Lo-Fi and Fireball Highlighter on one side vs just Lo-Fi on the other so you can see how the highlighter adds a bit of a glow and more dimension:


Last up are the two Beached Bronzers. These are matte bronzers that come in round mirrored compacts. I love the packaging - the palm trees add a fun twist with the summer theme. Sun-Kissed is the lighter and warmer option of the two, it has a pinkish undertone which makes it more wearable and natural on my skin. Bronzed is the deeper option and gives my skin a more bronzed brown look. For my medium skin I prefer Sun-Kissed right now - it just looks more natural while Bronzed borderline makes my skin look a bit weathered as it's more brownish and deep. I love a good bronze but these days try to go a bit easy on it since I'm not as tan as I am in the summer time. They are different enough to justify owning both - I think fairer skins will prefer Sun-Kissed. Deeper skins will probably find Bronzed better for their skin tones. Neither turns orangey and I was relieved to find they did not darken on the skin. The texture is very smooth and the blend nicely on the skin without any streaks. If you're super fair I'd recommend you opt for either Gold Dust or Terra from Tom Ford instead as those will look more natural on the skin.


In terms of performance all the cheek products work very well. The quality is excellent and I really didn't know what to expect before hand since the Naked Flushed palettes did not work for my skin type at all (they look super chalky and emphasize pores on me). I think the UD x Gwen Blush palette is the winner and if you're trying to narrow down your picks, I'd say opt for the palette since it will give you the most options packaged in a single convenient compact. If you like more visible pigment or color for the cheeks you may find the Blush Palette too sheer or natural looking. In that case I'd recommend you opt for the NARSissist Cheek Studio Palette which has more pigment and more color but will also give you a wide range of options.

The highlighters are really pretty but I can't say any of them are absolute musts. If I were to pick one favorite it would be Fireball - the mix of peach and pink is really pretty although it's nearly identical to one of the shades in the Anastasia Gleam Glow Kit, the UD one performs exceptionally well.

The Bronzers are nice to have but not musts. That being said I find it rare to find good matte bronzers that are smooth in finish and application that don't darken. The ones from Urban Decay perform really well - I like Sun-Kissed the best and the packaging is fun for the upcoming warmer weather months. Even though I can probably find similar shades in my collection to all the cheek items featured, I don't have any regrets purchasing them - the formula works really well to add color or highlight without emphasizing pores.

You can find the Urban Decay cheek palette, bronzer and highlighters at all Urban Decay counters now. Online at Sephora, Nordstrom, Macy's, Ulta Beauty and Urban Decay.

Have you checked out any of the items yet? What did you think?


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Tom Ford Soleil Collection - Soleil Contouring Compact in The Afternooner, Sheer Cheek Duo in Bicoastal + Skin Illuminator in Fire Lust


Today's post is the last feature on the Tom Ford Soleil color collection for this summer. There are three products for the face including the Soleil Contouring Compact in The Afternooner ($108), Sheer Cheek Duo in Bicoastal ($78) and Skin Illuminator in Fire Lust ($65). Two of the items are new which include the Contouring Cheek Trio and Sheer Blush Duo and one is a repromote which is the Skin Illuminator in Fire Lust. All three will provide a summery look with glow from within kind of feel. Each product has some shimmer in it without being too frosty or overly shimmery.



Soleil Contouring Compact in The Afternooner ($108) has three colors of highlighter, blush and bronzer in one large mirrored compact. The texture of the items is similar to that of the Moodlight Skin Illuminating Duo. It has a powder finish but an almost creamy feel to it. The surface is embossed with a cross-hatch pattern. Application for this is smooth and easy to build. It does not emphasize pores which is a plus. Pigment is medium but easy to sheer out or layer for more color. The colors include a warm golden ivory shimmer, a peachy coral pink satin and a warm bronze matte. Overall this pulled very warm on my skin. It's not too warm that it turns orange but it is warmer than I expected. Lasting power is very good - I found it stayed put on the cheeks from early morning into late afternoon without fading or darkening.

Sheer Cheek Duo in Bicoastal ($78) is my favorite item in the entire Soleil Collection. This has a similar finish and texture to The Afternooner, but Bicoastal has a bit more shimmer and sheen compared to the trio, but it's not as frosty as the NARS Dual Intensity Blushes. The colors pull neutral to cool on my skin but brighten the complexion with a soft rosy pink glow. Right now this one is a bit hard to find as it has not yet arrived at most counters yet (at least at the time of this post), but I highly recommend you put this on your list.

Skin Illuminator in Fire Lust ($65) is a repromote. If you missed out on it in previous seasons I recommend you give it a try. It is on the pricey side but one bottle will last you a long time as a little goes a long way. This is a sheer peachy illuminator that I like to use mixed in with foundation or as a subtle highlight on top of powders. It does sheer out a lot so it won't give the skin a lot of color but it has the prettiest sheen that I find flattering on the skin. On warmer days and in the summer I find my skin gets a bit on the oily side and this is one of the few liquid illuminators I can wear that won't get too shiny by mid-day.

Close ups of each and lots of comparisons, Soleil Contouring Compact in The Afternooner:


Comparison Set 1 shows how finely milled the shimmer in The Afternooner Trio is. By swatch comparing it to other highlighters, blushes and bronzers hopefully you can see it has a satiny sheen that isn't overly frosty or overly matte.

Charlotte Tilbury Norman Parkinson Highlighter (reviewed here)
MAC Ellie Goulding Blush Bronzer Duo I'll Hold My Breath (reviewed here)
MAC Powder Blush in Fleur Powder
Tom Ford Blush in Flush
Tom Ford Bronzer in Gold Dust (swatched here)


Comparison Set 2:

Tom Ford Skin Illuminating Duo in Moodlight (reviewed here)
Tom Ford Contouring Cheek Duo in Stroked (reviewed here, discontinued)
Urban Decay Naked Flushed Trio in Streak (reviewed here)


Sheer Cheek Duo in Bicoastal


Charlotte Tilbury Beach Stick in Las Salinas (reviewed here)
Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Liquid in Starlight (reviewed here)
NARS Dual Intensity Blushes in Adoration and Fervor
Tom Ford Blush in Wicked


Skin Illuminator in Fire Lust has a lot of dupes from other lines and brands that will give you a similar effect. The best thing I find about the Tom Ford is the texture - it's smooth and non-greasy and has the best feel overall but in terms of color there are a lot of less expensive alternatives.


Swatches straight from the tube and then blended (same colors in each set):

Armani Fluid Sheer #5 (reviewed here)
Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Skin Liquid Candlelight and Starlight  (reviewed here)
NARS Illuminator in Orgasm
MAC Lustre Drops in Pink Rebel and Barbados Girl



One last look:


Overall all three perform really well in terms of pigment and how smooth they look on the skin. If you're looking for a less expensive alternative of The Afternooner you may want to look into the Urban Decay Naked Flushed face trios. In my previous review I've mentioned the colors are really good but they emphasize my pores and look chalky on my skin - however I am in the minority with my opinion. The trios work well for most people. I do believe that while the texture and finish of The Afternooner is superior to other face/cheek compacts, the colors can be easily duped so you may want to shop your stash before buying. Having all three in a single compact does make it more convenient and I like that it's large in size so you don't have to worry about mixing colors with a brush if you want to layer separately.

The Sheer Cheek Duo in Bicoastal isn't really sheer like the name implies but the texture is soft and easy to blend which makes it easy to sheer out. I really love the look and finish of this one - the colors are similar to the NARS Dual Intensity Blush in Adoration but the shimmer in the Tom Ford duo is softer and less harsh. Texture of Bicoastal is softer which makes it easier to blend.

Fire Lust is a must in my makeup collection but it is on the sheer side so your mileage may vary on this depending on what kind of pigment or color you are looking for.

In summary I give these a thumbs up - they are easy to use and applying them is pretty much goof-proof. The colors are versatile and will go with a wide variety of looks and can take your beauty look from day to night for that summery natural healthy glow. My opinion is that Bicoastal is the most unique and the highlight of the collection. Had I been able to play with The Afternooner in person before purchasing I would have skipped because I already own a lot of colors similar to the items in the palette. However that being said - if you love Tom Ford beauty products I will say the colors don't really replicate items individual items in the current Tom Ford line.

You can find the Tom Ford Soleil Collection at all Tom Ford Beauty counters now. Online at Sephora, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Tom Ford.

Have you checked out any of these yet? What did you think?

Fire Lust and Bicoastal provided courtesy of Tom Ford for review. The Afternooner purchased by me.
 

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