Showing posts with label Highlighter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Highlighter. Show all posts

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Tom Ford Beauty Face Collection: Waterproof Foundation/Concealer, Shimmer Shots and Fiber Brow Gel

The Beauty Look Book - Tom Ford Face Collection Foundation and Shimmer Shots

Tom Ford has added more items to their face product lineup and as usual everything is on point. Items have been introduced "to perfect, highlight and define the face’s natural features for a balanced and flawless finish." There have been quite a few new foundation launches this season and the one from Tom Ford is one that I was most anxious to try out. The collection includes the following new launches:

The Beauty Look Book - Tom Ford Face Collection Foundation and Shimmer Shots

Up first are the Fiber Brow Gels. I received two to try out in Espresso and Chestnut. It has tiny fibers to help fill in the brows and as a low-maintenance brow girl I find it perfect. It fills in brows, grooms and tints them all in one product. Espresso is my best match although I usually go lighter. At the counter the reps said Espresso is my shade. I did try Chestnut since the Tom Ford Beauty team was kind enough to send one, it can work for me since my hair color has a natural reddish undertone. My brows however do not have any red so sometimes reddish powders or pencils colors can look off. Since this coats the hairs I find it gives it a natural tint and looks good.

The Beauty Look Book - Tom Ford Fiber Brow Gel

The Beauty Look Book - Tom Ford Fiber Brow Gel Chestnut Espresso

I haven't tried too many other tinted brow gels, but by comparison the Tom Ford Fiber Brow Gel is larger in packaging and brush size which makes it easier to use compared to the Glossier Boy Brow. I know many of you love the Boy Brow. I think it's good especially for the price, but the size makes it hard for me to hold sometimes even though I have very small hands and fingers. The Tom Ford brush is slightly larger and has a more angled shape which makes application a lot easier. Compared to By Terry's Brow Mascara I find the fibers in the Tom Ford to have more substance. I would say it has a chunkier texture/consistency which sounds odd and almost unappealing, but it fills in brows more while the By Terry grooms and tints but doesn't fill in the brows like the Tom Ford one does.

I give the Fiber Brow Gel a thumbs up. I have bought and used the Tom Ford Brow Sculptor which is an excellent product. I prefer skinny fine-tipped brow pencils so this one hasn't been used as much as my Diorshow Brow Styler Pencil.

Next are the Shimmer Shots which I think are genius. Sometimes names are everything and whoever named the product and colors for this launch deserves a bonus because they are both just perfect. I've loved every highlighter I've tried from Tom Ford and the Shimmer Shots are gorgeous additions to their line. Spin Spin Sugar is a champagne color with a slight gold sheen and Lust for Life is coppery bronze. Both blend in beautifully for a natural glow where you apply. I've tried it under foundation, on top of powder/foundation to highlight, and on the eyes.

The Beauty Look Book - Tom Ford Shimmer Shots

The Beauty Look Book - Tom Ford Shimmer Shots swatched

By comparison to a few other Tom Ford highlighters, the Skin Illuminating Powder Duo in Moodlight (reviewed here) is more frosty in finish. Skin Illuminator in Fire Lust (reviewed here) is more peachy and also sheerer in finish with a more dewy finish.

The Beauty Look Book - Tom Ford Moodlight, Shimmer Shots and Fire Lust

More comparisons because so many of you have asked. I think the Tom Ford Shimmer Shots are must-haves, even though I have a lot of liquid highlighters. They have the perfect amount of shimmer and the finish is visible but natural. 

The Beauty Look Book - Tom Ford Shimmer Shot comparisons

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop (review here)
NARS Illuminator in 413 BLKR (review here)
Estee Edit Beam Team Bronze (review here)
Soleil Tan de Chanel in Sunkissed
Estee Edit Flash Illuminator in Sun Light and Night Light (review here)
Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops in Candlelight (review here)

Last but not least is the Waterproof Foundation/Concealer. When I heard this was launching my first concern that it might be too thick. I've had good experiences with Tom Ford foundations in the past. I am usually either Bisque or Natural but at the counter I found the next shade up Sable to be a good match for me (although the girls at the counter disagreed and said it would be too olive for my skin). Note the numbers for the names have changed and I was told this happened across all formulas. The shades with the corresponding names are still the same, so if you usually wear Natural, you're still Natural - just the number underneath has changed. I bought Sable at the counter because I found it more olive. Samples of Bisque and Natural arrived as those are my usual colors.

Formula wise this is one of the best full coverage cream foundations I've tried. As one who is olive/golden/yellow I appreciate that Tom Ford consistently launches colors that are not pink in undertone. Formula is highly concentrated and opaque but doesn't look fake or flat like many full coverage foundations can. It has a slight matte finish but manages to look fresh and radiant at the same time. When I use this I find that I do not need concealer under the eyes. Lasting power is excellent and stays put all day. No irritation from this, no oxidizing, no budging. I do think that you need to prep the skin properly though - if you have dry skin with any dry patches or flakes any full coverage foundation can emphasize dry areas. I make sure I have a well moisturized base, but a tiny spot on my forehead, one on each cheek and one dab on my chin, then use a damp beauty blender to work the foundation into the skin.

There's no detectable scent and it photographs well with a flash.

The Beauty Look Book - Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation Concealer Review

The colors I have now are Bisque 5.5 (which used to be 4), Natural 6.0 (which used to be 5) and Sable 6.5 (which used to be 6). Swatches below straight from the tube and then blended.

The Beauty Look Book - Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation Concealer Bisque Natural Sable
The Beauty Look Book - Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation Concealer Bisque Natural Sable

Both Bisque and Sable work for me. Natural is warmer and too dark for my skin right now. They do adjust slightly and warm up to the skin once on but they don't oxidize too much. I asked my husband what he thought about Bisque and Sable. I had one on each side and he couldn't tell the difference from the front. I turned my head to each side and he said that Bisque was a better match.

Below are swatch comparisons to the Traceless Foundation Stick in Bisque and Natural along with the Traceless Perfecting Foundation formulas I have. For those who aren't familiar with Tom Ford Foundations wondering about the colors, Natural in the stick is lighter than Bisque stick (as mentioned in this post too).

By comparison, the Traceless Perfecting Foundation is lighter in texture but can feel heavier on the face. Some have commented it looks flat on the skin - I often mix in a bit of shimmer luminizer in it. Coverage is full but not as full as the Waterproof formula.

The Stick Foundation is full coverage and one I cannot wear all over the face because of how opaque and thick it is so I often use it to layer on top of other foundations if I need more coverage. The Waterproof formula offers more natural looking coverage.

The Beauty Look Book - Tom Ford Foundation Swatches

Swatch comparisons to the NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tints in Groenland and St. Moritz (I mix the shades) and also the MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundations in NC25, NC30, NC35 and NC37 (my best matches are NC25 or NC37). I'm forever in between shades.

The Beauty Look Book - Tom Ford Foundation Swatches vs NARS and MAC

Some thoughts on other foundation formulas by comparison that I have tried:
  • Laura Mercier Silk Creme Oil-Free Photo Foundation (reviewed here) is one I used to have but no longer own. Formula wise the Laura Mercier was more opaque and slightly thicker in finish. I find in her line I am often in between shades and the dry down of this one darkened a bit and had a tendency to look flat if I used too much.
  • Cle de Peau Radiant Cream Foundation was one I tested at the counter. I went to the store fully intending to purchase this but sometimes a bad store experience can ruin the fun. Rant aside, I tried both O30 (too pink) and O40 (too dark) on my face and as I could not find a good match I decided to pass. Formula-wise it's excellent but at the $100+ price tag I need an exact match in order to buy.
  • Cle de Peau Silk Cream Foundation is one I used to use in O30 and was told it's been discontinued. This was one of the best formulas I've ever tried but the texture was more moisturizing and is slightly heavier than the Tom Ford. The formula while not hydrating, gave me a more dewy finish.
  • La Mer Soft Fluid Foundation is also a new formula that I had high hopes for. I acquired a small sample at the counter and found my best shade to be Beige. This one is more fluid and lighter in coverage. It also has the Miracle Broth skincare element included. I absolutely love this formula but Beige pulls slightly pink on my skin so since I cannot find a yellow/golden enough match this will be a pass for me unless I get a lot lighter this winter and can find another color.
  • Armani Crema Nuda is one I don't think I can really compare because the finish and concept is completely different in the sense that it's sheerer and more like a BB/CC cream rather than a foundation/concealer like the Tom Ford one is.
  • If you try the Tom Ford and find it too thick or heavy I would suggest you maybe try the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD instead which offers sheerer coverage by comparison but still medium to full coverage.
Bottom line lots to love with these new launches. I highly recommend the foundation if you're in the market for a good full-coverage but natural looking foundation. Many can look flat if you use all over the face but this one does not. If you own a lot of highlighters you may find the Shimmer Shots similar to what you already own. I think both are winners and the shimmer is very pretty but not overly frosty.

By now you can find the Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation/Concealer, Shimmer Shots and Fiber Brow Gel at all Tom Ford Beauty counters. Online at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Tom Ford.

Have you tried these yet? What did you think?

Press samples of The Face Collection Waterproof Foundation in Bisque + Natural, Shimmer Shots and Fiber Brow Gel provided courtesy of Tom Ford.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Cover FX The Perfect Light Highlighting Powders

Cover FX The Perfect Light Highlighting Powder

Cover FX has brought us yet more ways to glow with The Perfect Light Highlighting Powders ($34 each for 8 g /0.28 oz, made in Canada). There are three shades available in Moonlight, Sunlight and Candlelight with are talc-free highlighters that come in a mirrored compact. The colors do have the same undertone and effect as the Custom Enhancer Drops by the same name but the powder version is a lot softer in overall effect when worn alone. Currently available at Sephora and Cover FX.

Cover FX The Perfect Light Highlighting Powder
On my medium olive skintone:
  • Moonlight is the lightest and offers the most highlight/shimmer because it contrasts with my olive medium skintone color
  • Sunlight looks really close in the compact to Moonlight, but on my skin it's a medium champagne with a hint of gold and for me looks the most natural
  • Candlelight is a soft bronze copper glow on my skin and for me this one is the most shimmery

Cover FX The Perfect Light Highlighting Powder swatches

Cover FX The Perfect Light Highlighting Powder Review

Cover FX The Perfect Light Highlighting Powder swatches

To show the depth and pigment of the shimmer, I pulled the corresponding Custom Enhancer Drops (all previously reviewed here). To quote Cover FX, in order to "take your glow to the max" they recommend starting with the Illuminating Primer to give your skin that soft lit-from-within glow to create a smooth canvas for your foundation. Follow with the Custom Enhancer Drops to create a buildable highlight for a strobe effect or blended out glow. Add depth by layering the Perfect Light Highlighting Powder on top.

For those conservative with the shimmer you may find layering a bit too intense. I tried with all the colors on the face and eyes. I can layer Sunlight or Candlelight together and not feel like a golden statue. Moonlight is a bit too pale for my skintone which causes a more sharp highlight/shimmer.
Cover FX The Perfect Light Highlighting Powder and Custom Enhancer Drops




Note this one was applied with a heavy hand but you can sheer and blend it out for a softer look:

A quick beauty look below with all three shades worn. If you follow @coverfx on social or look at the tags other beauty lovers use for looks you will be able to see some seriously intense glow and glam strobe effects. I wanted to create a softer look that I would feel comfortable wearing everyday and also to show you that these powder can be blended for a more conservative look. If you like more shimmer you can definitely layer more or apply over a cream highlighter to pull more pigment.

Foundation worn is MAC Studio Fix Fluid in NC37.

On the eyes is Cover FX Sunlight Custom Enhancer Drop blended all over the lid with Sunlight Powder blended on top of the eyes for an all over wash. A tiny bit of Cover FX Candlelight Powder along eyes as well but in the photo I don't think you can tell.

On the cheeks is Tom Ford Gold Dust Bronzer applied like a blush with Cover FX The Perfect Light Highlighter Powder in Candlelight on top blended. Cover FX Moonlight Powder is applied to highlight.

On the lips is MAC Huggable Lipstick in Bare Hug.

Top by Splendid.

Texture wise these are smooth and soft. The pigment is excellent and easy to blend without emphasizing pores or skin imperfections - however with most highlighters, the color and finish will depend on your skintype. I really like all three and find them easy to wear on cheeks or eyes. As one who owns dozens of other highlighter powders I will say that I think you can probably find similar colors if you want to shop your stash. That being said these powders from Cover FX perform well. I like that there's no irritation on my sensitive skin, they don't emphasize pores and the shimmer is truly easy to control whether you want a soft highlight or more pigmented strobe effect. I find Candlelight to be a very wearable warm bronze which is hard for me since many bronzey shades can pull orange on my skin and the one from Cover FX does not.

The Cover FX team has been kind enough to offer Beauty Look Book readers a chance for a giveaway! Three winners will be selected to win:
  • 1 Full Size Illuminating Primer
  • 1 Full Size Bottle of Custom Infusion Drops - Radiance
  • 1 Perfect Light Highlighting Powder of choice (either sunlight, moonlight, candlelight)
Giveaway details:
  • Open to US and Canada residents
  • Must be 18 years or older
  • Enter via the widget below
  • Entries will be collected for 3 days (ends 10/10/2016 at 11:45 AM PST)
  • 3 distinct winners will be selected via the widget and contacted by me
  • Prizes will be shipped directly from Cover FX

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Have you tried the Cover FX highlighters yet? I'm still really loving the liquid drops and can't believe how quickly they keep selling out but I hope they will restock again soon.

You can find the Perfect Light Highlighting Powders now at at Sephora and Cover FX.

Cover FX powders and giveaway items provided courtesy of the Cover FX team.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette in Surreal Light

I've been playing with something very exciting which is the new Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette in Surreal Light ($80 for 9.6 g). It's a limited-edition for this season a part of their holiday launch. Right now you can find it at Sephora, Nordstrom and Hourglass but it will be available at all other counters soon. The colors have good pigment and enough color to show up on medium to tan skin. I'd consider myself to be medium bordering on light-medium now and the colors show up very well on me.

I've been a long-time fan of Hourglass Cosmetics especially when it comes to their entire Ambient Lighting Powder line. The Ambient Lighting Powder in Luminous Light (originally reviewed here) is one of my top picks for powder highlighters for my skintone. It gives that glow from within kind of effect, melds beautifully with the skin, looks glowy but natural, doesn't emphasize pores and lasts forever! (Well almost ... mine has lasted years!) Since the initial launch back in 2013 I've looked forward to each new year's launch. They've added something special to the line with new products and variations. Last year's palette was the first launch I skipped because of the repeated shades. This year's palette is cased in marble pattern packaging (gorgeous!) and has shades that are different from existing colors.

You have five shades of powder. All are finely milled with a soft touch. There will be some powdery kick up if you dip your brush in the palette but there isn't any fallout once it's on your face. The colors and product sizes:

  • Finishing Powder in Surreal Light (4 g / 0.14 oz) is a sheer nude warm shimmer, I thought this would be too shimmery to use as an all over setting powder but it actually works well without making me look like a statue, it has a yellow undertone
  • Bronzer in Surreal Bronze Light (1.4 g / 0.04 oz) is a neutral bronzer shade, it's lighter than the two existing Hourglass bronzers by a little bit making it more natural looking
  • Blush in Surreal Glow (1.4 g / 0.04 oz) is a what Hourglass calls a "pale peony blush pink" it's a nude pink on my skin and it shows up
  • Blush in Surreal Effect (1.4 g / 0.04 oz) is a cooler-toned rose pink compared to the other shades in the palette, there is a soft warm peachy shimmer mixed throughout which makes the color itself more on the neutral warm side
  • Strobe Powder in Surreal Strobe Light (1.4 g / 0.04 oz) is a golden peach yellow shimmer highlight
Below are close ups of the palette in different lighting. I did order two (by accident) and as you can see the swirl patterns are unique in every palette similar to that of the Ambient Lighting Blushes and Ambient Lighting Bronzers. If you're new to the Ambient Lighting collection the powders brighten and highlight the skin. Their powders have what Hourglass calls "... Photoluminescent Technology to capture, diffuse and soften surrounding light to refine the appearance of skin." These powders do indeed smooth the skin.

I've been able to use all five colors on the face at once. I'll use the Finishing Powder to set my foundation all over the face (it's not too glowy for me). I'll mix both shades of blush and apply them on the cheeks, although you can definitely just use one. Bronzer is added to warm up the face. The strobe powder is used to highlight temples, cheekbones or eyes. You can use it however you feel comfortable using it though - no need to use all the colors at once.

 Close ups:

Swatched with numbers labeled according to the chart on the back of the box and what's on the Hourglass website:

Swatch comparisons below:

Thoughts on comparisons:
  • Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder in Brilliant Strobe Light (review here) is paler and brighter than Surreal Light
  • Ambient Lighting Powder in Luminous Light (review here) is almost pink by comparison to Surreal Light
  • Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure (review here) is cooler-toned and more mauve than either of the Surreal Blushes
  • Ambient Lighting Blush in Luminous Flush (review here) is brighter, deeper and warmer than Surreal Effect
  • Ambient Lighting Bronzers in Luminous Bronze Light and Radiant Bronze Light (review here) are both more golden and bronzey compared to the palette
  • I didn't swatch compare the Surreal Strobe Light because it's one of the darker more yellow/gold highlighters in the Hourglass line and I could not find anything similar

The powders perform really well and I like that it has enough color to show up even though the overall feel is neutral. Sometimes those neutral palettes can be a bit too neutral but this one has visible color. The pans are small - I remember from last year's reviews many had done comparisons on the pan sizes in the palette to individual full sized products. I think the biggest complaint about this one is the price for the size and product amounts but this year's palette does contain more product in grams and ounces compared to last year's. I do think the $80 price tag is extremely steep but I don't feel as though it's outrageous. Here's a comparison break down in price per grams:
  • Palette $80 for 9.6 g is $8.33/g
  • Powders are $46 for 10 g which is $4.60/g
  • Blushes are $38 for 4.2 g which is $9.05/g
  • Bronzers are $50 for 11 g which is $4.55/g
  • Strobe Powders are $38 for 4.6 g which is $8.26/g
I personally feel this was worth the splurge. I love all things glowy and this is one of the most natural highlighter palettes I've tested. There are a number of highlighter palettes I've seen pop up online (in particular at Sephora) so you may want to do some browsing or swatching in stores if you can before deciding which one to buy. I've taken a quick peek online and this is the only one I've bought so far and I'm very happy with that decision. The packaging is so pretty, colors work really well for my medium olive toned skin. Many of you keep asking what MAC shade I am for reference and I've been severely allergic to MAC Studio Fix for many years so I stopped using it. I've always been in between NC30 and NC35 but it's been a long time since I last tested any of their foundations so out of curiosity I went and got shade matched. For MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation I can go with either NC35 or NC37 (for some reason NC37 is a bit lighter than NC35) and for Matchmaster I'm a 3.0 (but it runs slightly less yellow than I like). In the Hourglass Vanish Seamless Foundation I'm in between Warm Ivory and Nude. In NARS I'm in between Groenland and St. Moritz for the Velvet Matte Skin Tint.

One quick note on brush testing. There is an Ambient Lighting Edit Brush ($46) which is a double-sided brush designed and sized for this palette. In my experience Hourglass brushes are very well made and perform well. They're synthetic and PETA-approved. I did not buy it but have been using my Wayne Goss Brush #2 for the smaller pans and MAC #187 Duo Fibre brush for the finishing powder.

Bottom line spendy but worth it for me. It exceeded my expectations. I knew I would like it but didn't know if I could "love" it at the $80 price. After testing it I can say that I do love it. It will be a great one for travel and it's a palette I can see myself using every single shade. It's an exquisite well-executed palette. I'm not sure if the shades will show up on deeper skintones but if you're about 3-4 shades darker than me I do think it will still show up. Now that you know what MAC shade I am if you have tested it any have any thoughts let me know in the comments.

You can find the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette in Surreal Light at Sephora, Nordstrom and Hourglass but it should launch at all other counters very soon. The palette is limited-edition.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

MAC x Star Trek Collection Picks

Last month I stopped by the MAC x Star Trek Preview at Comic-Con. The collection officially launches this month and is currently available online at MAC and Nordstrom but was available for early access to anyone in the San Diego area during the week of Comic-Con. I am not one who has followed Star Trek very closely and have never attended Comic-Con even though it is in my hometown, but I could not pass up the opportunity to see something MAC-related and was curious to see what the Star Trek collection looked like so I took an Uber for the first time in San Diego (second time I've used it ever!) to downtown since I knew finding parking on my own would be virtually impossible (or extremely expensive).

The MAC x Star Trek Preview was held a few blocks away from the San Diego Convention Center where Comic-Con is actually held. They had a space ship station setup with areas for makeup testing, makeup application and checkout. Everything was decked out in a Star Trek theme. You can see more from the event on Star Trek's website.

The day I stopped by some items were already sold out from the early preview. I ordered a couple more items once they popped up online and now have my picks ready to show you. The collection celebrates 50 years of Star Trek and at the event a tiny collectors pin and some Legos were given with each purchase. Everything as you can imagine has a metallic and space-like theme with lots of shimmer, glitter and glitz. All items have the silver Star Trek logo. The most conservative colors I could find and picked out:
  • Trip the Light Fantastic Powders ($34 each for 6.5 g/0.22 oz) in Luna Luster, Strange New Worlds, Highly Illogical
  • Pressed Pigment ($23 each for 3 g/0.1 oz) in To Boldly Go and The Naked Time
  • Lipstick ($18 each for 3 g/0.1 oz) in Llap and Where No Man Has Gone Before
  • Lipglass ($17 each for 4.8 ml/0.16 oz) in Pleasure Planet

Up first are the Trip the Light Fantastic Powders which are swirled highlighters. MAC describes these as sheer powders but I find that the color can be built for more pigment. I don't really find them sheer but you can blend the colors for a more sheer look. Luna Luster is a pale opal rose with tiny flecks of silver sparkle (they look like super tiny micro glitters), Strange New Worlds is a warm peachy rose shimmer, Highly Illogical is a mauve plum shimmer. I've been a long time fan of MAC Mineralize Finish Powders even though they can be very shimmery, I find these Fantastic Powders to have less frost and more of a softer sheen. They are still on the shimmery side though. My favorite is Strange New Worlds for the most natural sheen. The other two are more shimmery and have more contrast with my skin and work best as a soft highlighter for the cheeks or eyes.

Next are two of the Pressed Pigments, both of which are what I'd call glitter bombs. I've tried and used MAC Pressed Pigments before so I was aware of how sparkly they might be. I talked myself into being brave with these thinking I could pull them off (at least my version of brave). I cannot. They are simply too sparkly for me, even when pressed lightly over other matte shadows or when layered with other colors. The base colors are gorgeous. Not to worry for me though because I have a friend who is dying to take these off my hands, lol. Once on the lids there is minimal fallout and I will say they last an impressive amount of time.

For the lips everything was shimmery or metallic. Most options are for the person who likes super edgy looks. Where No Man Has Gone Before is a gorgeous metallic rose with golden sheen, Llap is a shimmering frosted beige, Pleasure Planet is a very sparkly multi-colored gold with a sheer yellow base. In my experience some MAC frost and shimmers look best with a clear or sheer gloss on top to help tone down the shimmer a bit and bring out the color. I think both of these lipsticks are in that category.

All swatched on bare lips, just as labeled:

Swatch comparisons:

I found the MAC x Star Trek launch to be a fun and innovative collection filled with lots of unique colors and interesting textures for shimmer and glitter. In case you haven't seen it, Karen at Makeup and Beauty Blog has a really fun series of looks on her blog of the collection. I had a lot of fun visiting the Star Trek setups at Comic-Con, it's always fun to people watch and the costumes are quite amazing. If I had to pick anything as a must-have, it would be Strange New Worlds Trip the Light Fantastic Powder.

The collection is available online and in stores starting today at MAC and Nordstrom as well as all other MAC counters. Everything is limited-edition.

Have you checked anything out yet? Or do you have anything on your wishlist?


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