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

Monday, July 28, 2014

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Killer Cheekbones Set | Nordstrom Anniversary Beauty Exclusive


I ordered the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Killer Cheekbones Set ($110) last week online. It's a duo that includes the Filmstar Bronze and Glow along with the Powder and Sculpt Brush. It's currently a Nordstrom Beauty Exclusive in the US and has been released as an early preview for the Charlotte Tilbury Beauty line. According to a Nordstrom Beauty Livechat I had earlier this morning, the entire line will launch online at Nordstrom.com around August 10th.

On the nails - Aventure


The Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow (16 g/0.56 oz, made in Italy) comes in a luxurious rose gold colored compact. It has a warm bronze with a soft satiny shimmer glow. On my skin it acts like the perfect contouring powder. When it comes to contouring the face, I am a super minimalist. I have a roundish face without high cheekbones so any kind of contouring is me brushing on product in areas to create a fake one. I do like a good bronzer to sculpt the face and add warmth in a 3 shape motion around the edges of my face, but that's typically the most I'll do for contouring.

I find traditional matte/taupe contouring looks good in photos but in real life can look fake and too sharp on me (this is when artists do it on me or when I attempt it). The Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow however makes contouring goof-proof and super easy. The Sculpt/Bronzer side has enough warmth and color that it doesn't make the skin look ashy and also isn't too warm that it turns orangey. It has a soft satiny sheen that gives depth.


The Highlight/Glow side is a yellowish/gold pale champagne highlighter. Based on what it looks like in the pan and how it swatches on the arm, I was worried it would be overly frosty and sharp on my skin. On the face it glows. There is visible shimmer but on me it doesn't look frosted and it doesn't emphasize pores. Huge plus! If you have dewy skin, you may need to apply with a light hand. It's very pigmented and adheres well to the skin. I like to dip the brush into the highlighter and then tap it to dust off excess. On the skin it's a light golden color but not too yellow for my olive skin.


The Powder and Sculpt Brush is the full size version made of goat hair. It's a smaller brush than what I'm typically used to for the face but it's tapered for perfect contouring on the face. It's well-made and the bristles pick up the product and blend well, but I don't think it's a must-have since I have so many other brushes and find that a regular blush brush can do the same. I do like the way it's shaped for easy application. It places the product right along the cheeks in the right shape for a perfect contour.


Swatches, don't let the frost/shimmer deter you, they apply much softer on the face:



I pulled a few comparisons:


Edward Bess Daydream Bronzer (original version shown, newer version here)


Chanel Les Beiges Multi-Colour 02 (summer stripe version)


Overall a huge thumbs up. I had high expectations for this because of raves about Charlotte Tilbury's line but was worried it might be just another standard bronzer/highlighter/contour duo. After playing with this for several days I can say that I have found my perfect contouring duo. On my medium/tan skin it's not quite bronzer level, but I suspect on fair to medium skins it will be suitable as a contour or bronzer depending how you apply and how much you layer on.

I love the soft silky texture of the powder. Brushes pick up just the right amount of product so you don't have to swirl the brush in the pan a lot. It's powdery but not too powdery. It blends very smoothly on the face and layers nicely. It's on par with Edward Bess Daydream Bronzer (my holy grail) in the sense that it's impossible to mess up because it's super easy to apply and it's very flattering on the skin.


I am really pleased with the set even though it seemed a bit pricey. However you do get a full sized bronzer-highlighter duo and the brush is the full size version that is well made. It's a very high quality set that makes the price tag worth it for me. If you have a lot of brushes you may want to wait for the entire line to launch in August and just get the Filmstar Bronze and Glow. That being said the brush does make contouring easy for those who aren't good at contouring (like myself). Even though this is designed for the face, I've found it wears well on the eyes as well.

Many have asked whether I think the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Killer Cheekbones Set or Chanel Dentelle Precieuse powder is the better buy. I can't choose between them, they are both phenomenal products, my thoughts:
  • The Chanel powder is limited-edition and gives a more glowy finish with a pinkish, peach and bronze champagne glow on me. For my skintone it's definitely a highlighter while fair skinned readers have commented it appears darker and more bronzey on their skins.
  • The items in the Charlotte Tilbury will both be available for purchase in the US at a later date when the line officially launches. It's also more of a contouring duo rather than a highlighter. The bronze/sculpt powder is beautifully warm and satiny with a natural glow, but you can probably skip the brush if you already own a good detail brush.
If you can get both eventually but only want to purchase one now, I would recommend getting the Chanel since it's limited-edition and I've found there's nothing really like it. If you don't need a contouring brush then I'd say wait for the line to launch later this fall, skip the brush and just opt for the Bronzer/Highlighter duo.
The Filmstar Killer Cheekbones Set is currently a Nordstrom Anniversary Beauty Exclusive and retails for $110. Online it looks like it's on backorder. I can't wait until the entire Charlotte Tilbury line launches in the US later this fall.

Have you tried this Filmstar Killer Cheekbones set or anything else from Charlotte Tilbury? What were your thoughts?

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Urban Decay Naked Flushed Palettes - Native and Streak


Earlier in the spring, Urban Decay released some new shades of their Naked Flushed Palettes ($30 each for 14g/0.49 oz). These are well-packaged face trio compacts with a bronzer, highlighter and blush. I'm a huge fan of their Naked Eyeshadow Palettes (#3 is my fav) and thought these had a lot of promise. I purchased Native (pink) and Streak (peach) in store at Sephora after reading an overwhelming number of rave reviews (4.5 stars out of 5 average rating with 600+ reviews).  
  • Native is a pink option with a medium-dark bronzer with a soft shimmer, a opal pinkish champagne highlighter and a matte pink blush
  • Streak is a warmer option with a lighter shimmery bronzer, a pale peachy shimmer highlighter and a stunning coral matte blush 
Swatching them in store on my hands revealed a soft well pigmented texture that seemed easy to blend. Testing at home with a variety of brushes has me less than pleased. I purchased these late May/early June and have been desperately trying to make these work for me.

The texture is finely milled and soft which is easy to pick up with brushes but the bronzer and blush are both very powdery resulting in a lot of debris/powder kick-up. They don't show up well on lightly powdered skin. Right over foundation the color picks up more but the colors look muddy and look like they just sit on top of the skin. The highlighters are creamier in texture (although they are powders) and blends easily but the frost factor highlights imperfections and after softly applying on the cheeks, I suddenly have large visible pores. I've tried both with a large variety of brushes, cream highlighters, foundations, dewy cheek products as a base even. With the right amount of creamy base underneath I can get the bronzer and blush to apply ok sometimes (I like Tom Ford Fire Lust and Armani Fluid Sheer #3 or #10 the best), but I cannot wear the highlighter on the cheeks at all. That being said, the highlighters are pretty on the eyes. Half of the times I've applied these I ended up taking them off immediately after putting them on the face.

Photos and swatches:


Swatches side by side:


Closeups of each palette, up first is Native:




Streak




One last view, Streak (left) and Native (right):


I'm overall disappointed. I've tried numerous times to make these work, and with extra tweaking I can only make them work 1/2 the time. They look so beautiful in the compacts and when swatched on the hands or arms. On the face the pigment and texture don't quite translate the same. Given the overwhelming number of rave reviews, I suspect I'm in the minority with my thoughts. I've mentioned in recent posts I've had skin issues and breakouts - my skin issues aren't on the cheek area in case you're wondering if it's skin problems causing the issue in application. For additional reference, Temptalia has detailed thoughts on Native, Streak and Strip, my experiences are similar to hers.

Based on the price, packaging and convenience, if you're at a Sephora or Urban Decay counter I think you should still give these a try. If there are clean brushes available, ask a makeup artist or sales associate to apply it on you.

If you've tried these, I'd love to hear your thoughts. If you have these which shade do you have and who do you apply them?

The Urban Decay Naked Flushed Palettes retail for $30 each. I found mine at Sephora. They come in four options, Naked, Native, Streak and Strip.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Spring-to-Summer Bronze and Glow


I shared my favorite bronzers and illuminators with you last year in my Summer Glow post. There are a number of new bronzers and glowy products out this year that I've been testing lately that I wanted to share with you. Two have made the favorites list again this year. I've split this year's post into two categories: glow and bronze. For me the two aren't necessarily separate, I like to mix, blend and layer products to create a custom natural bronze or subtle glow. All of these work well with my normal combination sensitive skin (no break outs or reactions to these).


  • RMS Living Luminizer is one of those cult classic products. I've long resisted because after feeling it a few times in stores thought it would be too greasy for my normal/combination skin. I finally caved after a few friends demanded I give it a try. It is one of the most dewy and glowy highlighters I own but it does miraculously give a natural healthy sheen. It has barely any color on my medium skin and isn't too pale to give a sharp white contrast. It just gives a subtle sheen. I like this under blush or over it to add a bit of glow. I dab it on very lightly with fingers.
  • NARS Illuminator in 413 Blkr (review here) is a lovely champagne colored highlighter that isn't too pale or too yellow, it's gorgeous mixed in with foundation or used as a highlighter
  • Edward Bess All Over Seduction in Afterglow is one of my holy grail highlighters, it's perfect for medium-tanned skin beauty lovers who are looking for a good neutral highlighter that isn't pale, I use it as an eye base, on the cheeks, on the temples, I've hit pan on this twice, it's a must-have with gorgeous shimmer and non-greasy finish, it's perfection
  • NARS Illuminator in Hot Sand is new for summer, also limited-edition, I had to wait several weeks for this one, it sold out at all the counters near me so I ordered online, if you haven't checked this one out, I recommend it, it's a unique gorgeous peachy shimmer that dries down to a non-dewy finish (so it stays put)
  • Tom Ford Skin Illuminator in Fire Lust is repromoted this year, it sold out in the blink of an eye last year, if you missed out the first round, you have a chance to buy it this year (but with a white cap), I'm about half-way through mine from last year, it's extremely pricey but worth every penny (review last year here)


  • Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Radiant Light made the list again this year, it's a sheer glowy powder with tiny micro sparkle particles but looks very natural on the skin, I recommend using a cream base (highlight or blush) underneath to help the color adhere better, once it does you get a lovely natural glow (also available in the palette/trio reviewed here)
  • Chanel Les Beiges Multi-Colour No. 02 (review here) if you're looking for something new this summer, this is the bronzer to buy, it's soft and natural and for me, it's back-up worthy
  • Chanel Blush Creme in Cheeky is a new blush creme from the summer collection, I thought it would be too similar to Destiny but it proved to be more pink and neutral
  • Armani Liquid Summer Bronzer (review here) is a nice darker liquid bronzer, if you like a layerable fluid bronzer, I recommend this one (although if you have the classic Bronze Universel by Chanel, you don't need this one because the color is similar)
  • MAC Extra Dimension Bronzer in Aphrodite's Shell and Delphic are both part of the Alluring Aquatic collection (both limited-edition). These are on the more subtle end of bronzers with a unique satiny-matte texture. They are buildable and with a slightly harder texture which makes these easy to layer on softly. They also adhere well to the skin and don't budge once applied. I adore both shades and prefer Delphic because it's more dramatic but they are both gorgeous. I would highly recommend acting fast with these, I'm surprised they are still available online and at counters.
More close ups in case you want to see the texture and shimmer in more detail:



There are a number of classic products such as NARS Multiples, Armani Fluid Sheers and all sorts of bronzers and highlighters that I adore. These are some that have been on my radar for a while (new ones along with tried and true).

What's in your beauty rotation right now for bronzers or highlighters?



Monday, April 21, 2014

Giorgio Armani Cheek Fabric Blush and Sun Fabric Bronzer


Giorgio Armani re-packaged and launched new colors of their blush and bronzer with 8 shades of Cheek Fabric Blush ($46 each for 4g/0.14 oz) and 4 shades of Sun Fabric Bronzer ($54 for 10.5g/0.37 oz). Since virtually all items from the line have gone through packaging and formula changes over the past few years, I knew the blushes and bronzers would be changed eventually. The change is bitter-sweet. I had fallen in love with classic shades of their Sheer Blush #2, 5 and 10. They have been discontinued but I haven't been able to take a close look to see if any of the new colors have replaced any of the older numbers. The good news is these new blushes have an extended color range and the bronzers come in a more silky soft texture. I picked up a few of the new colors at the counter - however one of the blushes gave me was the wrong number. The naming conventions are a bit confusing, I wish they had stuck to single digits or labeled the testers with the actual names. (If you love the older colors you may want to stock up while you can, I see them still at Saks here and here.)

The colors I have to show you are Cheek Fabrics in Daybreak 503 (a soft pink beige), Blush 506 (soft rose pink), Sun Fabric 400 (warm bronze) and Dolci 305 (soft peach). All the colors I picked out have a soft luminous shimmer that doesn't really show up on the skin. These really are like second-skin and blend in very naturally with the cheeks. They have similar pigment to the original Armani Sheer Blush and Bronzers.


Swatched with a soft fluffy brush (but layered):



Close ups of the colors (click to see the sheen), the new Cheek Fabric Blushes are smaller in size compared to the older blushes and come in a single tier mirrored compact. Sun Fabric Bronzers are larger in size and come in a double-deck mirrored compact with a small brush.





Size comparison from the old to new:


Swatch comparisons in three sets, first peach comparisons, pink comparisons then bronzer comparisons. Below you can see how luminous the Cheek Fabrics are - they are sheer but buildable in color. Those who liked the older blush formula know they have a similar natural look but these have a bit more color which I really like. 

Chanel Espiegle (discontinued), Chanel Frivole, Burberry Blossom, Armani Sheer Blush #8 (discontinued), NARS Orgasm, Tom Ford Love Lust


I was hoping Daybreak 503 would be a dupe for the Sheer Blush #10, but it's not. Hourglass Mood Exposure, Sheer Blush #10 (discontinued but still at Saks for now), Chanel Rose Dust (discontinued), Sheer Blush #6 (discontinued but still at Saks now), Burberry Rose, Chanel Emotion


For bronzers, the Armani #400 is most similar to Burberry Warm Glow. NARS Laguna, Edward Bess Daydream, Armani Summer 2013 Palette, Sheer Bronzer #1 (discontinued but still at Saks), Bronze Mania #5 (discontinued, but still online at Saks), Burberry Warm Glow No.1, MAC Golden and MAC Bronze


I really like the look of the new color options for blush and bronzer, but I tend to have a bit of heart break when favorites are discontinued or changed (especially when the original formula/colors are so great). Given the fast-paced nature of how beauty and fashion change, I suppose it's expected items won't stick around forever. There are a wide number of options to choose from, for me it would have been easier to shop online to avoid color number mix-ups, if you shop in store, I recommend you double check that they give you the right color and number before you leave.

I took a quick snapshot at the counter a few weeks ago, the numbers are nearly impossible to read but this will give you an idea of the color range.


Armani Cheek and Sun Fabrics should be available at all Armani counters now. Online at Nordstrom, Saks and Neiman Marcus. If you're a fan of the older colors, act fast before they are pulled or sell out. You can still find them online now at Saks here and here and also Neiman Marcus here and here.

Have you checked out the new blushes and bronzers? What did you think?


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Le Métier de Beauté Kaleidoscope Face Kit | The Total Look


Le Métier de Beauté released three new Kaleidoscope Kits at the end of last year in limited quantities at select stores and they are finally available online at Bloomingdales ($95 each). There is a new face kit called The Total Look, a blush kit called Cheeky Chic and an eyeshadow kit called Strada. When my local store received these they did not have testers. I limited myself to one: The Total Look Kit which has two eyeshadows in a bronze and champagne, a pink blush and a light bronzer.



Swatches, note I applied the blush and bronzer with a light hand. The colors are well pigmented once applied on the face but still soft.



I pulled one of my older discontinued kaleidoscopes in the Flawless Face Kit to compare for you (the Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills edition had Jojo Eyeshadow instead of the translucent pressed powder). If you missed out on the older kit, the Jojo Eyeshadow, Whisper Highlighter and Echo Blush can be purchased individually.


For the top two shades, the pale pink in The Total Look is more shimmery and frosted compare to the Whisper Highlighter:


Here you can see The Total Look has a softer effect than Flawless Face:


I pulled a couple different shades from different kits for swatch comparisons. Galatea's Bronze (discontinued) is darker than The Total Look. Nouvelle Vague's (review here) shimmery pink is darker than The Total Look. The Blush Kaleidoscope (review here) is darker and more pigmented than The Total Look.


The Total Look Kaleidoscope Face Kit is a classic staple. I'm glad it is finally available for purchase online. I waited to write about this because I suspected like most Le Metier de Beaute kits it would sell out in the blink of an eye and cause those to miss out heartache. Although pricey at $95 per kit, note this breaks down to $23.75 per kit. For the size and price note that many other brands have shadows priced the same or higher per shadow.

If you're new to Le Metier de Beaute or don't own a lot of Kaleidoscopes, this is a great kit to start with. If you own a lot, I think you can skip although I found the colors in this one to have slightly different nuances making the colors unique. The convenience factor is a plus. I brought this with me in a couple trips in the past few months. Be sure to check out Best Things in Beauty for her swatches and a snapshot of all three kits.

 

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