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

Monday, April 27, 2015

Tom Ford Beauty Cream Cheek Color Pink Sand for Summer 2015


Tom Ford Beauty has released a Cream Cheek Color for summer called Pink Sand ($65 for 0.17 0z/5 g, made in Canada). It's a luminous soft pink gold blush that gives my medium/olive skin a soft glow that comes cased in a small white and gold mirrored compact. There is enough color that you can see the pink color but on my complexion I find it performs more like a highlighter shade rather than a traditional blush. The effect is similar to the glow NARS Orgasm gives minus the frost and minus the peachy tone. Pink Sand is multi-dimensional so depending on how the light hits it sometimes you will see more of the pink base, other times you will see more of the gold shimmer. I love how it gives a natural glow to the skin.


It has a soft creamy feel with a dewy glow finish. On the cheeks it stays dewy but as the day progresses remains dewy but not greasy. I've been experimenting with this for two weeks now and like this either alone for low-key makeup days, as a base for powder blush or bronzer to give cheeks dimension and help color adhere to the face, or topped on top of cheek bones over blush/bronzer for a highlight. It's really versatile. I've also tried this on the lips. It looks pretty topped with a clear gloss or dabbed in the center to add a bit of shimmer. As far as I can tell there is no detectable scent or taste.

A few more close ups and swatches:


Swatched with a heavy hand, once blended it sheers out:




A few comparison swatches to other cream and liquid highlighter/blushes. Most of these were either limited-edition or were discontinued (previous features and reviews will linked below):


Tom Ford Cream Cheek Color in Pink Sand


Pink Sand offers a radiant no-fuss easy to use glow to my medium skin (I use Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation in Bisque 4, swatches to other foundations in rotation here). On lighter skin tones the pink will show up more and probably make this look more like a pink blush. If you're medium to dark this will probably perform more like a highlighter on your skin tone. Lasting power on my normal combination skin was very good, from morning to afternoon without fading. If you have super oily skin you may find the dewy factor increase into the afternoon. Being a huge fan of Tom Ford Beauty I really love this one. It's quite a splurge at $65 so if you're unable to test in person I hope you find the swatches and comparisons in this post helpful.

The Tom Ford Soleil Collection for summer is starting to trickle in stores and online. You can find Pink Sand now online at Nordstrom and Saks. Available for pre-order at Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and Tom Ford (while supplies last as it is a limited-edition item).





The Tom Ford Pink Sand was provided courtesy of the PR team for review consideration.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzers


Last week I was lucky to get a preview of the new Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzers ($50 each for 0.39 oz / 11 g) at the Abbot Kinney store in Venice Beach. There are two additions to the Ambient Lighting collection. There are two options of bronzer infused with highlighter combined into one mirrored compact:
  • Luminous Bronze Light is described as a medium tan shade fused with Luminous Light, a champagne pearl powder, for a softer candlelit warmth, ideal for fair/light complexions
  • Radiant Bronze Light is the darker option described as a warm bronze shade fused with Radiant Light, a golden beige powder, to mimic a summer glow, ideal for medium/deep complexions
Both are available now exclusively at Sephora.com for VIB/VIB Rouge Members. For the official launch details and dates:
  • April 7 – 14 the bronzers will be available to Sephora’s VIB Rouge customers
  • April 15 the bronzers will launch wide on Sephora.com and HourglassCosmetics.com
  • May is when the bronzers will hit stores
A quick peek at the Hourglass store + event before I get into the review:


Ambient Lighting Bronzers and Blush (blush review here)


Incandescent Electra which is currently exclusive to the Ambient Lighting Blush Palette will be available separately Sephora.com on 4/15 and HourglassCosmetics.com on 4/23, and will also hit stores in May, also shown below the Hourglass Brushes


Another reason to visit the Hourglass store: you can create your own custom Ambient Lighting Palette with any of the highlighter options


The two new bronzers are absolutely stunning. As a huge fan of the Ambient Lighting Powders and Blushes, I could barely contain my excitement when I was able to see the new bronzers in person. Both are on the warm side and are extremely pigmented. Although they have the highlighter aspect mixed in, I found them to have a more satiny glow with a very soft luminous shimmer. As with the blushes, the color portions and swirls are rich and super saturated so a little goes a long way. The colors are easy to blend and layer.

The Ambient Lighting Powder Brush is super soft and plush which will dispense just the right amount of product for a soft glow. If you want more color, use the tip to contour the cheeks or a denser blush brush. The texture is soft and airy which makes them glide on the skin in a soft smooth manner. Each one is hand blended so the swirls will be different in every compact.


Close ups of each Ambient Lighting Bronzer, Luminous Light has a mix of champagne and soft tan, it looks neutral in the pan but applies warmly on the skin.


Radiant Bronze Light is the deeper option and is a few shades darker than the Luminous version:


Swatches with different light and angles, first in natural light without any flash:


In direct sun with a flash:


Detailed close up:


Comparisons to the highlighter counterparts:


Two sets of swatch comparisons to other bronzers:


Hourglass Radiant Light (reviewed + swatched here)


Chanel Les Beiges Multi Color (from Summer 2014, reviewed here)

One last shot: left is Luminous Bronze Light, right is Radiant Bronze Light

I've been alternating between the two since the event and am partial to the lighter option Luminous Light. On my medium olive toned skin they add just the right amount of warmth and glow. They are both warm without being orangey. There is just the right amount of shimmer and glow to give the face depth and dimension without emphasizing pores like some highlighters do. I like these layered on top of blush or alone for warmth. Even though Luminous Light is designed for light to fair skins, I think it will still show up on medium skin tones like Chanel B40s (I'm a Chanel B30/NARS Punjab). These last all day long without fading or darkening, although I suspect if you are extremely fair these may be too warm for your taste. If that is the case and you are in search of a new bronzer, I recommend the Edward Bess Daydream, although the Hourglass ones are very different in finish and concept.

I give both a huge thumbs up. They both are similar on me so I don't think you need both, although I am happy I do have one of each color. They are different enough from the highlighters to justify both. Even though they come with a hefty price tag at $50 each, I think they are well worth every penny.

You can buy the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzers at online at Sephora now if you're a VIB/VIB Rouge. Starting April 15th which is just around the corner for everyone else. In stores starting May. Have you checked out the latest from Hourglass? If not what are your favorite Hourglass items?

The Luminous Bronze Light and Ambient Lighting Powder Brush were gifted at the press preview. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Bobbi Brown Calypso Cheek Palette - Limited Edition


Bobbi Brown released three limited-edition Cheek Palette Trios each containing two blushes and one highlighter color. The Cheek Palettes are all color-coordinated which include Calypso, Pink and Berry ($45 each, blushes are .12 oz / 3.4 g each and the highlighter is .16 oz / 4.55 g). It was hard to narrow down one pick as all three are extremely pretty. I purchased Calypso which has a peachy theme. The three colors inside include:

Pretty Coral Blush is a soft coral peach with a hint of pink
Calypso Sparkle Powder is a pale peachy gold highlighter
Coral Sugar Blush is a lighter peachy color

Although the theme is peach and coral, I found all three colors pulled a bit more on the pink side on my olive skin. It's been a while since I've worn or purchased a Bobbi Brown blush. Her blushes used to be among my favorites but I found them better suited for my skin when I was darker and more tan (around Chanel B40 and a MAC NC40). Many of her colors tended to darken and oxidize on my skin  once I got lighter so I stopped wearing them (although I still adore and am obsessed with all of her shimmer bricks). 


Calypso has a light to medium undertone with medium but buildable pigment. I'm in love with the middle highlight because it has a really soft shimmer to it and even though it has gold shimmer, it's not too warm for the skin making it very wearable. The texture of the colors is soft and melds into the skin nicely. A few swipes of color is all you need and they are easy to blend. I like layering them together for depth. It's really an all-in-one cheek palette for blush, highlight and a slightly darker shade to add a bit of color on the apples.

Close ups and swatches:





A few comparison swatches:


I really like this one. I've been playing with it for a few weeks now and give it a thumbs up. I do think if you have a lot of peachy coral blushes the effect on the skin will be similar to other brands, but I like the convenience of having multiple colors in one small compact. It makes it easy for travel or to carry around with you for touch ups. Lasting power is quite good, these will warm up on the skin after a little bit but they won't darken or oxidize. I found they stayed put on my cheeks from morning until late afternoon without fading.



Bottom line: it's a good reliable everyday staple. I'm seriously considering the pink one, although it seemed like it might be too pale for me after swatching it in store. If you bought it, I'd love to hear what you thought. Or if you tested any of the three palettes, what did you think?

All three Cheek Palette Trios are limited-edition. Available at Neiman Marcus, Macy's, Bloomingdale's, Barneys New York and Bobbi Brown Cosmetics.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Marc Jacobs Beauty #Instamarc Light Filtering Contour Powder and The Shape Contour and Blush Brush No. 15


For spring Marc Jacobs Beauty released three contouring duos called the #Instamarc Light Filtering Contour Powder ($49 each for 0.31 oz each side) along with the Shape and Contour Blush Brush No. 15 ($38). I've put these to the test for a few weeks now and can say that I am extremely impressed. The contouring duos are finely milled powders with a buttery soft texture that melt into the skin. They give a natural contour with medium buildable coverage. Both shades blend flawlessly into the skin without looking cakey, powdery or fake. There is enough color for the shades to be visible on the face but they are soft enough that you won't be left with any harsh edges.

Top to bottom, Dream Filter, Mirage Filter and Hi Fi Filter

When it comes to contouring I am usually not a fan. I find most powders or creams are good for photographs but in real life I simply find it too harsh (no matter how much I blend). I prefer a soft tan powder or bronzer applied in a 3-shape motion around the edges of my face from temples to chin to create soft dimension. I have friends who are very much into the contouring right now and their biggest challenges they have with contouring include powders darken too much after a few hours or they just end up looking too harsh. If you're not a contour pro and want something that will define and highlight, the Marc Jacobs #Instamarc duos are the solution to give a goof-proof contour that looks natural and flawless.

Each color has one highlight shade that naturally highlights in a non-shimmery way, and one contouring shade that helps add definition and dimension. Both sides melt into the skin and blend easily. The lighter colors help soften any harsh edges. There are three different colors, all three seem to be designed for the light to medium skin color spectrum:

Dream Filter is pink-toned described as a soft pink / medium bronze
Mirage Filter is cool-toned described as light gold / light bronze
Hi Fi Filter is the darkest with neutral tones described as warm peach / deep bronze


Dream Filter is a soft neutral pink. It resembles NARS Paloma Contour Blush which is more pink (the Marc Jacobs is more neutral and softer). On my skin this is the most natural. Both shades have a satiny finish. They look like mattes in the pan and on the face, but there appears to be a very slight satiny sheen which gives these dimension on the face. If you're afraid of shimmer, no need to worry, there is no shimmer on the face. On the flip side if you don't like mattes, these aren't your typical matte powders. They won't make the face look flat.


On my medium olive toned skin, Mirage Filter has the sharpest contrast since it has cool-tones. I was worried the light gold/yellow side would be too yellow, but it blends into the skin beautifully without making the skin look sallow. The darker contour side is what I think of when it comes to traditional contour, it's a cool-toned tan with a very slight hint of grey undertone.


Hi Fi Filter is the darkest option but on the skin it's the most neutral in tone. This one warms up the skin nicely. It's the warmest option so if you prefer warm tones on your skin, this is a good one.


Swatches:



Comparisons to some other contouring products and bronzers, below you can see how large the Marc Jacobs compacts are:


  • Chanel Les Beiges #40 (review here) is quite a bit warmer than any of the Marc Jacobs contouring duos, this one is good to add depth and warmth all over the face
  • MAC Emote (discontinued) is darker and cooler toned compared to any of the Marc Jacobs duos, it's also a full matte with no satiny sheen or texture
  • NARS Paloma Contour Blush (reviewed here) is a pinker darker version of Marc Jacobs Dream Filter, the texture is similar in that it's also buttery soft and easy to blend
  • Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow (review here and here) is warmer and significantly more blowy than any other bronzer or contour duo I've used without being orangey
  • Marc Jacobs O!Mega Bronzer (worn here) is a really good warm bronzer, swatches below make it look orangey by comparison, but on the skin it's not orangey at all


In addition to the three powders, Marc Jacobs released a brush designed for contouring called The Shape Contour and Blush Brush #15. It's ultra soft with an extremely sturdy handle. This is the first brush I've tried from Marc Jacobs and I thought due to the synthetic material it would be somewhat problematic to use. The bristles are extremely soft but dense and work surprisingly well to pick up quite a bit of powder. It blends product nicely on the face and is soft enough for sensitive skin so there's no poking, tugging or harsh feeling if you blend.


These are definitely worth looking into. Do note that they swatch much better on the face than they do on the hands. On the hands swatched with fingers they can look a bit chalky. Once you apply with a brush on the face you will be surprised at how smooth they look. The above swatches show that these are on the neutral-cool side compared to some warm bronzers, so if you prefer warmer tones you may want to stick with your regular powder bronzer. Also if you can't do satiny mattes at all these will be a skip, although I will say you should still give these a look. They don't look flat, cakey and don't emphasize pores.

You don't need all three although I do like each one for different purposes. My top two picks are Dream Filter #20 and Hi Fi Filter #60. Mirage Filter is sharper on my skin because of the cool undertones, it works but I prefer something with a bit more warmth.

The #Instamarc Light Filtering Contour Powders retail for $49 each and The Shape Contour and Blush Brush No. 15 retails for $38. Both available now at Sephora and Marc Jacobs Beauty. (PS right now there is a promo code for 2 minis with any $50+ order online at marcjacobsbeauty.com using code SPRING).

Have you tried these yet? If you're a contouring fan what's your favorite contour?

The Marc Jacobs contour duos and brush were provided courtesy of Marc Jacobs Beauty for review consideration. All other items purchased by me.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Charlotte Tilbury Beach Sticks


Charlotte Tilbury's Beach Sticks finally launched in the US ($45 each for 6.5 g / 0.23 oz, made in Italy). I ordered mine sight unseen online and have been experimenting with these. The Charlotte Tilbury Beach Sticks are twist up cream blushes and highlighters. They come in summery colors with different degrees of shimmer. The texture of these sticks is quite creamy making them easy to blend and layer. Straight from the tube they swipe and swatch with medium pigment. Once you blend with a finger the color sheers out quite a bit. You don't have to pack layers on to get the color to show up, but in my experience I did need 2-3 swipe + blend layers to get them to show up on my medium olive skin. The brighter colors like Las Salinas and Ibiza are more visible on the skin while Formentera and Moon Beach are lighter and less visible. These sticks have a soft dewy finish that give the skin a youthful glow. They don't get greasy or oily as quickly as NARS Multiples do on me, but by late afternoon, alone they do fade. There is a slight vanilla scent with the beach sticks but it is very faint.

The colors I picked out: 



  • Formentera is a nude pink with a slight sheen, this adds a lovely nude blush look to the face, pigment is sheer to medium
  • Ibiza is a tan bronze with golden shimmer, this is nice as a bronzer, pigment is medium
  • Moon Beach is a sheer shimmery golden peach, this makes a nice highlighter and adds a sheen to the skin, pigment is sheer to medium
  • Las Salinas is a bright sheer hot pink with golden shimmer, pigment on this is sheer to medium


Detail photos and swatches:





Swatched straight from the tube:


1 swipe sheered out - don't let these swatches deter you, they adhere to the face much better than they do on the arms, if you have 2-3 swipes on the face, they show up a lot better:


A few comparison swatches for color reference:


NARS Multiple in Puerto Vallarta
NARS Matte Multiple in Vientiane
NARS Multiple in G-Spot
NARS Multiple in Malibu

After putting these Beach Sticks to the test I find myself having mixed feelings. The colors are stunning and the texture adds a really lovely glow to the skin without making it look or feel greasy. Moon Beach works extremely well layered over powder blush on the high point of the cheek bone to give a dewy glow. Ibiza has enough warmth and color to be a good natural contour for me (traditional contouring creams are too sharp and grey-looking). Las Salinas would be better if the color were more visible, I think sheer bright pinks can be done beautifully to add a healthy glow. On my medium skin it sheers out after blending so I need to add 2 more swipes for the color I want. Don't get me wrong it is workable, on me it just takes a bit more work and I personally prefer a stronger blush when it comes to color. Formentera is nude on me and although it does show up it is very very natural.

They also work amazingly well as a base for powder blush to help bring out pigment without darkening the powder or altering the color. In addition they layer well over powder and foundation without looking cake or heavy. If you've watched some videos online seeing how these are applied, the best way to use these is to swipe them directly on your face and then blend.


If you like a natural blush or want a dewy glow that isn't greasy these are amazing. If you want more color, you may find these a bit too sheer. They do show up if you swipe a few times and the upside is that these are good for touchups and since they are natural they are impossible to overdo. I'm happy I did purchase these although they are fairly expensive at $45 each. The only shade I think I would have skipped if I had seen these in person is Formentera. Have you tried these yet? What did you think?


 

design + development by fabulous k | COPYRIGHT © 2009-2014 THE BEAUTY LOOK BOOK