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

Monday, October 20, 2014

By Terry Cellularose Brightening CC Lumi-Serum | Apricot Glow and Sunny Flash


I'm always a fan of liquid highlighters that give a nice luminous glow, especially ones that have just the right consistency to mix in with foundations. Finding ones that are warm enough in color with just the right amount of shimmer for my medium olive skin isn't easy. There are a number of liquid highlighters on the market that are perfect for highlighting that are very shimmery or pale in color. Finding the right one to mix product in with foundation or use as an all over primer is tricky for me because I prefer ones that are beige, golden, yellow or darker in color. I had been eyeing the By Terry Cellularose Brightening CC Lumi Serums ($89 for 30 ml/1 fl oz) for quite some time and finally splurged over the summer on Apricot Glow No. 3 and Sunny Flash No. 4. I've been very pleased with both.

The By Terry Cellularose Brightening CC Lumi-Serum is a color correcting fluid. It has a nice smooth texture that blends in nicely with the skin. By Terry calls these "color control radiance elixirs." The reps that have helped me at Space NK and Barneys explained that these are called serums because of the ingredients inside these that help smooth and nourish skin while brightening dark spots. I'm not sure if the serum actually helps lighten dark spots or just lightens the look of dark spots. I haven't used this long enough to see results of dark spots fading. Over the past four months that I've been using these, I haven't noticed dark spots fade, although this does really help to even the look of the skin and creates a lovely glow.

There are four different shades, I tested a sample packet of all four and prefer the options 3 and 4 because they work best with my skin tone. You can use these individually or mix them together to get different effects. Due to the high price of these I haven't splurged on the other two.



Swatches with different lighting shows how soft these liquids are, they have a subtle luminous glow that is visible but not too shimmery, these have a soft rose scent that is really soothing and not overpowering. However if you have an extra sensitive nose, you may want to test in person before splurging:



Out of the four shade options, I picked out Apricot Glow which is their universally flattering shade for fair to medium skin tones and Sunny Flash which is the bronzed version. I really like how Apricot Glow has a yellow-peach undertone which flatters my medium olive skin. There is a subtle pearlescent quality in it that flashes slight hints of pink, but it's predominantly golden and peach which I find adds that perfect glow when used all over the face. I like this as a primer to give a healthy looking radiant effect. If you add foundation and powder on top, you won't see the glow as much but I do see a visible difference in the overall look. I like this one mixed in with foundation as well.

Sunny Flash is a shade darker than my skintone but I like this mixed in with foundations to warm them up. I also like this layered on top of the cheeks or eyes to add a bit of depth and warmth. If you add powder or foundation on top, you won't see as much of the glow but I really like how this looks to smooth out the skin and cheek area. It has enough color to give a very slight contour. It has visible shimmer in it so it makes the skin glow, but not too much.


The serums come with an easy to use pump dispenser:


Some comparisons to other highlighters and illuminators. All of these have beautiful shimmery particles which make them look different depending on how the light interacts with the highlighters. I've taken three different swatch shots to show the base color along with the luminescent quality:

NARS Hot Sand Illuminator (discontinued)
MAC Strobe Liquid in Golden Elixir (discontinued)




I'm really pleased with both. Many highlighters look good for a few hours if I use them all over the face or mixed in with foundations but end up looking too dewy by early afternoon. The By Terry Cellularose Brightening CC Lumi Serums have a thinner texture that isn't quite as emollient as others which I find makes them last longer on the skin. You get the nice glow without looking greasy in a few hours. I found them both suitable for my super sensitive skin, neither clogged or emphasized pores, although I did find they looked best when used over well-moisturized skin. At $89 each these are quite expensive. I haven't found anything quite like Apricot Glow though, it's a very unique golden apricot color which I've been looking for what seems like forever. I highly recommend both.

Ingredients:


The By Terry Cellularose Brightening CC Lumi-Serums come in four shades. They retail for $89 each, available at Space NK and Barneys New York.

PS If you have been waiting to splurge, you may want to take advantage of Space NK's Discover Promotion which ends on 10/21 for $20 off a $75 purchase with code DISCOVER20.

Are you a By Terry fan? What are your favorites?
 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette


The latest addition to the Hourglass Ambient Lighting line is the Ambient Lighting Blush Palette ($58 for 3 shades, each 0.116 oz/3.3g). It's a limited-edition palette with three of the Ambient Lighting Blushes in Luminous Flush (champagne rose), Incandescent Electra (cool peach, exclusive to the palette) and Mood Exposure (soft plum). I've been a huge fan of the Ambient Lighting Powders (palette review and Luminous Light review here) and Blushes (review on individual colors here). The addition of a travel-friendly blush palette is just pure genius (for me at least).

If you're new to the Ambient Lighing Blushes, they are multi-dimensional powders with swirls of pigmented color and highlighter. They are infused with what Hourglass calls "photoluminescent technology" which creates depth and dimension. Hourglass claims these give your face an "otherworldly glow" and I can't find any words to better describe their Ambient Lighting products. All of the powders are handmade so no two look alike.


I've been testing the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette for the past couple of weeks and am really pleased with it. Two of the shades can be purchases individually which I already own, so while this is mostly a duplicate of what I have, I do find the packaging design and size of the palettes to be very user-friendly and perfect for travel. I almost always bring the highlighter palette with me on all trips. The compact is sleek and long so it fits easily into my travel bags.

The powders in the blush palette are identical in size to those in the highlighter palette. They are smaller compared to the blushes that you purchase individually. I've photographed them side by side for comparison purposes.


I've found the colors in the palette to look slightly lighter than the ones I own individually but they apply the same on the skin. In my experience, the Ambient Lighting Blushes are all very pigmented on my skin and show up just like blush with a couple exceptions. Dim Infusion and Etheral Glow are both very light and give a very slight hint of color on my medium/tan skin. If you are medium to dark, you may find these don't show up on you. In terms of application, all the other colors, including the shades in the Blush Palette show up very well on my skin. What I love about these is that they are soft but buildable. The blush color is very pigmented but the mix of the soft highlighter inside each shade gives the product a very beautiful glow. I do think these work best on skin that has a bit of moisture. If you have super dry skin or a very powdered face, you might find they don't show up as well. For me over foundation with powder on top these apply just fine. If you don't see any color you may want to add a bit of a sheer highlighter like Armani Fluid Sheers on the cheeks under these.

Comparisons of the individual blush shades in Luminous Light and Mood Exposure (they look different in the pans but swatch identical):


Swatches, on the face they are glowy and not frosty:



Close ups of each shade in the palette:




The Ambient Lighting Palette is bottom line love. After playing with this for a few weeks I've found it really versatile. The colors look good individually or with two of them layered (any combination works). All the colors look good with neutral pinks, nude, plum or peach lips. The blushes have enough color to bring life to the face, but are subtle enough to wear with a bold lip.

If you've been waiting and thinking about the blushes I think the palette is definitely something worth splurging on. Product size differences aside, the palette retails for $58 while three individual blushes at $35 each will cost you $100+. If you already own Luminous Flush and Mood Exposure, then I don't think this is something that falls into the "need" category, however I do think it's a must-have for me. The Ambient Lighting Blushes are compact in size already so they don't take up a lot of room in your makeup bag. I do really like the convenience and packaging of the Hourglass palettes and Incandescent Electra is one of the prettiest light peaches I've ever seen.

The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette is currently listed as limited-edition for this fall/holiday. You can find it now at Sephora and Hourglasscosmetics.com. It will also be available later this month at Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman, Net-A-Porter, Space NK.

The blush palette was provided courtesy of Hourglass for review consideration.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow Instant Soft Focus Beauty Flash


Louboutin Rouge on the nails

Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow ($52 for 40 ml/1.4 fl oz, made in Switzerland) is a luminous liquid highlighter. It's designed to have multiple uses. You can wear it under, over, mixed in with foundation or just by itself. It's a golden beige illuminator with very fine micro-pearl reflecting particles that give the skin a spotlight glow. I am a huge fan of glowy face products, but rarely find illuminators I feel comfortable wearing all over the face under foundation (I won't wear Armani Fluid Sheers or NARS Illuminators all over the face). With Charlotte Tilbury's Wonderglow, I find it adds a really nice brightening effect to give my skin that glow from within look in a subtle way. I have olive medium skin and find it hard to find liquid highlighter that have a true beige, gold or yellow undertone. Most of them have some kind of champagne or pinkish pearl tint, which I like, but sometimes I need variation. Some sites describe this as a primer, I prefer to use it as an all over illuminating base to add a glow, but not necessarily prime the skin.


Wonderglow is a liquid highlighter with a medium texture. It's easy to blend but not completely fluid which is nice because it's very easy to control. You can apply without having to worry that it will run off the back of your hand, brush or face. I like to squeeze a little onto my hand and then apply all over with a foundation brush (current favorites are Tom Ford and Chanel). Close up to try and show the multi-dimensional pearly quality.


Swatched straight from the tube and then blended:



Swatch comparisons to some other illuminating products:


Applied straight from the tube:


Blended:


I am really happy with the Wonderglow from what I've tested. I suspect it works well for me because I'm right at the medium skin tone where this is a really good match for me (I use Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation in Bisque 04 and am a Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet in Beige 30, I also have started using the YSL Fusion Ink Foundation in B40 and Clé de Peau Beaute Silky Cream in O30).

I've used this both as a base under foundation (applied over moisturizer) and as a highlight to add a dewy glow on top of foundation as well. Both work really well for a subtle effect that is still noticeable. I like to use it under blushes too. I like that it has a texture that stays dewy for a little bit so you can work it into the skin and blend. Some highlighters are either too dewy or dry too fast. This one dries nicely after a few minutes and doesn't budge on my normal skin. There is a slight floral rose scent but it's very subtle and fades after a few minutes. 

I do think Wonderglow is pretty pricey a $52 but it's a really nice product and I'm pleased. I haven't tried her Magic Cream yet so I can't compare this to it, although I am interested to find out how they both compare (or differ).

You can find Charlotte Tilbury's Wonderglow in the US at Nordstrom, Net-a-Porter, Bergdorf Goodman, Beautylish and Charlottetilbury.com.

Charlotte Tilbury Beauty - Preview of The Beauty Look Book Picks


Beauty fans will be thrilled to know that Charlotte Tilbury's beauty line has finally launched in the US. The range has launched online first at CharlotteTilbury.com, Nordstrom, Bergdorf Goodman, Net-A-Porter and BeautyLish starting September 2nd. Later this fall, the line will launch in select stores starting October 7th at Bergdorf Goodman in NYC and October 10th at Nordstrom at The Grove in Los Angeles. Launch events will also be hosted with Nordstrom in other cities including Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Orange County, Washington D.C. and Las Vegas through Spring 2015.

I fell head over heels in love with the Filmstar Killer Cheekbones Set which was available at Nordstrom during the Anniversary Sale. I couldn't wait for the line to launch in the US so I decided order a few of her look sets from the UK site along with some other items. I'll have detailed reviews on all the items, but many of you have asked for a preview post wanting to know what I ordered and whether I thought the sets were worth it (versus buying items individually).

I did quite a bit of research when trying to decide what to buy. Some of the lipsticks and lip glosses looked extremely brown in stock photos so I relied heavily on blog swatches to help me pick out colors. I went with two of the sets simply because I found it easier to purchase an entire look rather than mix and match items. There are definitely duplicates in some of the sets with items such as mascara, makeup bag and some liners. (I gifted my extra makeup bag and mascara to another beauty friend.)

I ordered my items from the UK site and Paypal converted Pounds to Dollars. I think the prices I paid were slightly higher in the UK versus US prices, current US retail prices listed below. (Note all items are available individually as well).
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The Rock Chick Set ($225) includes:


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The Uptown Girl Set ($225) includes:


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Wonderglow Instant Soft-Focus Beauty Flash ($52)
Beach Sticks Bronze and Blush in Ibiza and Moonbeach (not yet available in the US)


There is a lot to digest with her line - it all looks so overwhelmingly good. I'll have reviews posted in the next week by category: face, eyes and lips with thoughts and swatches. I'm still happy I ordered the sets although you don't really save all that much buying a set versus individual items. I normally like to pick out items individually rather than stick to one preset look, but the color combinations are really good and easy to use for ideas. Even though I look nothing like the model used for each look, I found the looks helpful to see how soft or dramatic items would look on another face.

I've had really good experiences so far. I'm relieved since I spent a small fortune and bought everything sight unseen. More thoughts soon.

You can find Charlotte Tilbury in the US online at CharlotteTilbury.comNordstromBergdorf GoodmanNet-A-Porter and BeautyLish.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Tom Ford Contouring Cheek Color Duos in Softcore and Stroked


Tom Ford Contouring Cheek Color Duos ($77 for .70 oz/29 g) are new for fall and come in two shades: Softcore is the cool-toned option with a pale white pink highlighter and medium to deep terracotta pink while Stroked is the warm-toned duo with a soft peachy champagne highlighter and a medium bronzed coral. Both duos have blush/contour shades that are on the shimmery side with highlighters that have high shimmer.

Both duos sold out very quickly in stores and also online when they first launched. It seemed to be a blink and you might miss them kind of thing. Keep checking online because many retailers have restocked. I bought mine from Saks a little over a week ago. You can also find them online at Tom Ford, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Selfridges.


After testing these for over a week, I prefer these as a blush and highlighter duo rather than as a contouring set. The shimmer and color make both duos them more blush-like. Color-wise I adore Stroked (the warm one) and have lukewarm feelings about Softcore (the cool one). I wish the names didn't both start with a letter "s" though because I often get them mixed up.

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Stroked is easy to wear (for me). The shimmer factor is on the medium/high side but it blends easily onto the skin and the color warms up the complexion. I found the blush color to be very unique with a mix of copper and bronze intertwined with the peachy coral base. The blush is very pigmented so I prefer to use a soft skunk brush to apply the color so I can build it up. The highlighter is also intense which I find best applied with a fluffy brush.


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Softcore is very difficult for me to wear. It is cool-toned and cooler tones tend to clash with my warmer olive skin. The blush is very dark and the rich pigment make it very easy to overdo (even with a light hand) resulting in a sunburned or punched look (yes it makes me look like someone punched me in the cheeks). The highlighter is almost white on my skin and enhances pores if I swipe it one too many times and ends up looking too sharp and frosted. The quality and pigment are still very good, but the colors only work if I use an ultra light hand.


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Swatches and comparisons: left Softcore, right Stroked




Comparisons to:



The blush side of the Stroked Duo is a mix between Love Lust, Ravish and Savage. If you swirled all three colors together, you would get something very similar to Stroked.

Bottom line I love Stroked. It's really flattering and brightens the face. I was worried it would be entirely orange based on some swatches I had seen online. I prefer applying with a lighter hand but even with a regular one, I don't find it turns orangey at all on my skin.

Softcore is hit or miss, for me it's been mostly a miss. I was able to get it to work on me a couple times, but most of the times I tried it, I found it looked too dark/harsh and too cool-toned. I ended up having to redo my makeup entirely, but I'm still determined to try and make it work. It looks better if I use only the blush side on the face and save the highlighter for the eyes. Still for cheeks, I need something that is easy to use, naturally flattering, easy to build - not something I need to be super careful with.

The Contouring Cheek Color Duos retail for $77 each. Both are limited-edition. They are online now at Saks, Tom Ford, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Selfridges.

Did you check out the Cheek Duos or purchase any of them? What did you think? Did they work for your skin tone?

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Clé de Peau Beauté Luminizing Face Enhancers in #13 Sand Beige and #14 Delicate Pink


One of the things I love about blogging is connecting with readers who are even more passionate about beauty, cosmetics and fragrances than I am. I've learned so much from others who have taken time out of their day to write me about their latest discoveries and loves. Clé de Peau Beauté is one brand that gets frequently mentioned in my inbox. I've avoided most of the items from the brand due to the high price points but after so many raves, I couldn't help but finally check out the Luminizing Face Enhancers ($95 each for the compact+case, or $55 for just the refills). The Luminizing Face Enhancers are powder highlighters that come in a refillable prism-like covered gold mirrored case. There are currently four shades available in a pale white, silvery pink, gold and peachy-bronze. The Raeviewer has a comprehensive review of all four shades and she has them featured in a number of her videos. I highly recommend you check them out.

I picked out #13 Sand Beige and #14 Delicate Pink at Neiman Marcus. The Luminizing Face Enhancers are finely milled super soft pressed powders each containing multiple shades of shimmer pressed together in a jewel-like pattern. It's difficult to tell exactly how many different shades there are per compact, but there are at least four different colors pressed together. These come with a  sheer veil of glitter overspray (which I'm not fond of) but once you dust it off you get a luminous powder underneath. Once applied on the skin the shimmer is visible but it provides a natural glow. I've applied on the cheeks, temples and eyes. These blend in with the skin extremely well. Some powder products can look like they just sit on the skin, but the Clé de Peau Beauté highlighter melds quite well giving a natural look.

For me these are too shimmery to apply all over the face, but they are not frosty. I like them as traditional highlighters. I would say the shimmer factor is light-medium, somewhere in between the shimmer of Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders in Dim Light and Luminous Light, but with larger shimmer particles infused throughout.


#13 Sand Beige is my favorite. It's the darkest option which might look more like a bronzer on fairer skins (anything lighter than a Chanel B20). On my medium olive skin the Clé de Peau Beauté #13 is the perfect natural golden honey highlight. It's similar in color to Chanel Dentelle Precieuse not quite as shimmery as the Chanel (swatch comparisons below). The brush that comes in the compact is quite good, I've used it for touch ups, it's soft and dense and picks up product well. I do wish it was bigger, but for a compact brush, it's the best I've tried.




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#14 Delicate Pink is a cool-toned silvery pink on me. It's on the pale side which contrasts with my olive skin. I've seen it on fairer skin tones and it makes the entire face glow. For me it's something I use with a very light hand on the temples, on the nose, under brow bone (applied very softly) and it gives dimension to the face. It's difficult to capture the luminous shimmer in photographs but this one gives the skin a perfect glow.




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Swatches below. The flash and light emphasized the shimmer particles, in real life they are more subtle on the face, I swatched these with a heavy hand to show the color and shimmer. When applied normally, the shimmer isn't quite as pronounced as shown in the detail shot.



Comparisons to a few other highlighters:

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette with Radiant Light, Incandescent Light and Dim Light (review)
Chanel Dentelle Precieuse (reviewed here)


Second view with larger swatches up close:



Many have reported these Clé de Peau Beauté Luminizing Face Enhancers to be the best powder highlighters on the market. For me, there are so many different types of highlighters, I think finding the "best one" will depend on what you are looking for. Some highlighters offer intense shimmer or color like Mineralize Skinfinishes from MAC or Shimmer Bricks by Bobbi Brown. Others like Chanel Poudre Douce (discontinued shades like Rosee or Peche Tendre) or Dolce & Gabbana are highlighting powders that are designed to be use over the entire face. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders have a wide range of shimmer finishes and textures created for different skin tones to either warm up and bronze the skin, give a candlelit glow-from-within look, or create a diffused glow. There are also different skin types that look better with certain highlighters. There are highlighters that some will find enhance their pores, but on others that same product won't. Depending on your skin tone, if you're fair, certain shades will flatter you more than if you are darker. 

So for me, when someone asks me "what is the best powder highlighter?" My answer would be "it depends." I've been partial to Chanel, Edward Bess and Hourglass for highlighting powders. I've also always been a huge fan of MAC Mineralize Skinfinishes (even the frosty ones) for different looks.

To sum up my thoughts on the Clé de Peau Beauté Luminizing Face Enhancers, I do think they are amazing highlighters. If you're looking for a natural luminous glow that makes the skin radiate, adds dimension to the face, isn't frosty and doesn't emphasize pores, these fit the bill. They do come with a steep price tag which is why I'm reluctant to give a 100% glowing review. The quality of the product and packaging is there and I don't see any other product on the market that can provide that same glow. The texture is finely milled and it glides onto the skin blending in perfectly. The $55 price tag for the refills is reasonable for me, but the $95 price for the powder + compact is just too much for me no matter how good the product is.

That being said, I'm very happy with both and I know I will be using both regularly. These are highlighters you have to try in person to really see how good the glow is. Have you tried Clé de Peau Beauté Luminizing Face Enhancers? What did you think?



I bought mine from Neiman Marcus. They are also available at Nordstrom, SaksBarneys, and Bergdorf Goodman.
 

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