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

Friday, February 5, 2016

Chanel Les Sautoirs de Coco Collection for Spring 2016


There's a new pearly-themed beauty collection that just launched for Chanel this spring. The collection is called Les Sautoirs de Coco which features a mix of pale pearly shades and bright pinks. In past years these white pearl-themed collections seem to have been Asia exclusive colors, sometimes launching later in the US in late summer as Nordstrom Anniversary exclusives. Last year Chanel launched the Collection La Perle de Chanel in the US. This year they have the Les Sautoirs de Coco and it's nice to see them launching these kinds of mini collections in the US (although it's hard to believe a year has already flown by!). The inspiration and theme according to Chanel:

"Inspired by Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel’s love of pearls, a new makeup collection glimmers with iridescent and luminous shades of white, pink and soft grey, while classic black elements bring an unexpected contrast to the soft colour range."

I ordered items sight unseen. Based on the online stock photos I knew this collection would either be hit or miss as some of the pink lip colors look very cool-toned, but I decided to go outside of my comfort zone and see if I could try a few new brighter shades. A few weeks ago this was exclusive to Chanel.com, but now appears to be at counters and online at Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. What I purchased:

Glossimers in Babiole, Pinctada and Clarté ($30 each)

Swatches of the items and then some thoughts below on each item:


I'll start with my favorite item in the collection which is the Perles Et Fantaisies Highlighter. This appears to be somewhere in between a cream and powder. It's neither creamy nor powdery but it is very smooth with a very subtle glow. I swatched it above with a very heavy hand so you can see the color differences between each shade. On my medium olive skin the highlighter shades both look the same and give a very delicate luminous glow. On the cheeks it gives a soft hint of shimmer. This is one of the most natural-looking highlighters I've ever tried. If you find most highlighters too shimmery, too glowy or too frosty, you might want to look into this one because the shimmer is very finely milled. Color payoff is very natural on my cheeks when applied with a blush brush. If you want a more visible glow but want something natural I'd recommend you check out the Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders or Hourglass Luminous Light instead. If you're ok with some serious glow, check out the Natasha Denona Glowing Skin System. The overall effect of the Perles Et Fantaisies Highlighter is very natural but still noticeable.

Given the number of highlighters and glowy products that are out on the market right now, I can't personally deem it a must-have. I think there are a lot of other options that are more affordable. Still the quality is there with this one. It adds a nice subtle glow without emphasizing pores or making the skin look overly shiny. I do think because of the semi-sheer finish that some will find this simply too natural or sheer to justify splurging. I have no regrets buying it and I do really like it though.



Swatched with a very heavy hand:


Next are two items for eyes. There's a new Les 4 Ombres in Tissé de Lune. This one reminds me of an older Chanel quad that I cannot recall the name of. This is a pearly quad with the baked formula. I'm not a fan of the baked formula and wish Chanel would skip that kind of formula entirely. The pigment is decent with this one though. The colors apply with visible pigment and they aren't chalky. However the 3 lighter shades when applied on the eyes end up all looking the same on my skin. They are distinct if you swatch side by side, but once you layer they all kind of disappear into the same light colored shimmer. It will give the eyes a very bright glow kind of highlight that I find pretty. They are pale shades but not too pale or garish (sometimes light shades have a sharp contrast to my olive skintone).



The quad layered on the lids - as you can see below the colors are pretty sheer and all the shades look similar on the eyes. The flash washed out the color a little bit but it leaves a subtle gleam of shimmer on the lids:


There's a new Illusion D'Ombre in Iridescent. This one is really pretty and gives the lids a wash of opal shimmer that flashes tiny bits of pink. You can layer for more intensity but this is one of those nice brightening kinds of eyeshadows that you can wear all over the lids. It has a very slight duo chrome quality without being too shimmery or frosty. I really like this one.

Swatched below, left is blended and right is layered:


Last but not least are three Glossimers in Clarté which is a sheer opal pink shimmer, Babiole a cool-toned bright raspberry fuschia cream and Pinctada which is a cool-toned bright pink shimmer. I absolutely love Clarté which gives the lips a really pretty wash of color. It has a similar effect to Songe (which I couldn't find in my stash to compare) in the sense it gives the lips a gorgeous glow with a hint of iridescent shine.

Although I am a neutral lip lover at heart, I do find Pinctada a wearable color even though it's on the bright side. It's cool-toned but not too cool that I find it turns blue on my skin.

Babiole is something that doesn't work for me. The pigment and color payoff is very good, but because it's so blue-based it contrasts with my skintone and looks garish. I think it looks ok in the detail swatch below, but when you see it against the whole face it just clashes with my olive skintone. I think it looks absolutely gorgeous on Christine from Temptalia - so if you haven't seen her post, be sure to check out her swatches.






If you're a Chanel fan and have been curious about this collection, I hope you found this review helpful. I think there are definitely some items worth checking out - my top three picks are the highlighter, Illusion D'Ombre and Clarté Glossimer. I do think if you're trying to narrow down your purchases for highlighter this season, skip the Chanel highlighter and opt for something from Hourglass, Natasha Denona or Tom Ford instead. That being said if you're always in search of something with a subtle glow and find most highlighters too glowy, this one might be one you have been searching for - it has the most finely milled glow that I've ever seen in any highlighter. I'm personally not crazy about the Tissé Ombre de Lune eyeshadow quad or the pink glossimers, but that's mainly because of my color preferences. For lips Chanel just launched the Rouge Coco Stylo lipsticks and the colors look very promising so I would say save your $$$ for those instead. I just received 3 colors today and will have a post next week with swatches - but here's a quick peek at #218 Script which is a perfectly creamy pigmented neutral beige pink with a bit of brown.


You can find the Chanel Les Sautoirs de Coco Collection now online at Chanel.com, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. All the items are limited-edition.

Did you check out anything from this launch yet? What did you think?

Monday, February 1, 2016

Tom Ford Beauty - New Spring 2016 Launches


There are quite a few new items launching this spring from Tom Ford Beauty. There appear to be mini product launches versus a full seasonal collection release. I did some major hauling over the past few weeks and have thoughts + swatches of my picks to share today. Shown above and swatches of what I picked up below:

Honeymoon Eyeshadow Quad ($80, on backorder at Neiman Marcus
Lip Color Shine SS16 ($52)


First up are new eyeshadow quads. The good news is that there are new eyeshadow quad colors in Disco Dust, Honeymoon, Last Dance, Starry Night and Lilac Dream. The bad news is that some like Cognac Sable are being discontinued. I picked up two of the new quads, the neutral warm ones in Disco Dust and Honeymoon. I had to call around to several stores to track down Honeymoon a couple weeks ago. I heard these are permanent so even though Honeymoon seems to be sold out for now, it should be available for purchase when they restock.

Both quads pull very warm on me. They also have shimmer in them which is absolutely stunning. Disco Dust has a cool silvery mauve sparkle, a warm satiny tan, a copper peach shimmer and a dark plum brown shimmer. Two of the shades are very similar to NARS Hammamet Eyeshadow Duo (swatched here) so if you're not a fan of glitter, you may want to check out the NARS.

Honeymoon is one of the warmest eyeshadow quads I own. It has a shimmering tan, shimmery copper bronze, reddish auburn shimmer and reddish plum. This one pulls very warm on my eyes but it's still very wearable if I layer and blend it and use the two darker shades along the lash line smudged. If you are very fair this one will pull a lot more red on your skin compared to me. On deeper tan skintones, I think this one will look absolutely amazing on.


Swatch comparisons to Charlotte Tilbury The Dolce Vita (another warm quad I have) and Tom Ford Orchid Haze. In terms of neutral quads, Orchid Haze is one of my favorite everyday neutral palettes from Tom Ford.


Quick eye swatch/look of Disco Dust:


There are two scents launched for early spring called Soleil Blanc. Since I was a huge fan of the Shimmering Body Oil from last year, I picked up both the fragrance and oil. I think I could have skipped the Soleil Blanc Shimmering Body Oil, although it smells amazing. I prefer the fragrance simply because it's stronger and I feel like it's not as messy as the shimmering body oil. Also this year's oil seems to be more emollient than last year's which I found absorbed quickly into the skin. This one has a lingering feel that isn't greasy, but definitely noticeable, almost like it's slightly sticky. For both of these, there isn't much I could find online to describe the notes except that it has floral combined with amber. 

Soleil Blanc Eau de Parfum is a white floral. I don't find amber notes to be very strong - but when I smell it closely, I can see how there is some blended in because this isn't an overly powdery floral. It's a warmer weather scent but I'm completely obsessed with it right now. The Soleil Blanc is what I wanted the Guerlain Terracotta fragrance from a few years ago to smell like (which I found too strong and too floral last time I smelled it).


Next up are one hit and one miss for me. I had very high hopes for the Lip Color Shine in SS16 and Shade and Illuminate in SS16. I almost never try lip color testers at the counters because they are loaded with germs, so I bought the Lip Color Shine without trying it on the lips. On the hands it swatched like a gorgeous glossy nude. On my lips it looks like concealer.



Swatched below is uneven, streaky and concealer-like on my pigmented lips:


If you're like me and can't pull off pale nudes, you may want to check out Lip Color Shine in Bare instead which is more pink in color:


Swatch comparisons:

Tom Ford Lip Color in Nude Vanille
Tom Ford Lip Color in Sweet Mystery (swatched)
Tom Ford Lips and Boys in Eddie (swatched here)
MAC Lipstick in Creme de Nude


Last but not least is the new Shade and Illuminate in SS16. This is the first Shade and Illuminate product I've tried from Tom Ford even though there are two other shades. This is a sheer dewy cream illuminator duo. The texture is very dewy and glossy for a natural sheen. I don't think it will be everyone's cup of tea since it's on the dewy side. I like using this as a base for powder blushes or bronzers because it gives the skin a natural glow from within look. If you have oily skin you many want to proceed with caution on these. On my skin this gives a barely there glow. I actually still prefer the Edward Bess All Over Seduction highlighters (they are my holy grail cream highlighters), so if you want something more versatile and more visible, check out the Edward Bess ones instead.


Two sets of comparison swatches:

Tom Ford Skin Illuminator in Fire Lust (discontinued, review)
Tom Ford Cream Blush in Pink Sand (discontinued, review here)


Edward Bess All Over Seduction in Sunlight, Afterglow and Paradise (new shade launching soon)


There's lots to explore from Tom Ford right now. I believe there is a mix of permanent and limited-edition items. I suspect the SS16 items are all limited, but the quads are reported to be permanent. Also new from Tom Ford includes a new Purifying Cleansing Oil that I've been testing (review soon). It looks like new items for lips and eyes that just launched online including Cream Colors for Eyes, Patent Finish Lip Colors and High Definition Eye Liners.

Out of the items I reviewed on the blog today, I would say that my top picks are the Soleil Blanc Eau de Parfum, Disco Dust Quad and SS16 Shade and Illuminate Duo. The SS16 Lip Color Shine doesn't work for me by itself - I suspect it can be easily fixed with a deeper lipliner like MAC Boldly Bare or Subculture though. Honeymoon is all kinds of gorgeous - but does pull dark and warm on me. It's very pretty on but I prefer Disco Dust.

Have you checked out the new items from Tom Ford yet? Some pieces have sold out on different sites so if you're shopping online you may have to order from multiple places.

Eyeshadow Quads can be found at all Tom Ford retailers such as Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus.

The Soleil Blanc Eau de Parfum appears to be exclusive to Neiman Marcus at the moment.

SS16 Shade and Illuminate + Lip Color Shine can be found at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Net-A-Porter.



Friday, January 29, 2016

Natasha Denona Glowing Skin System via Beautylish


I just recently discovered Natasha Denona's makeup line thanks to Beautylish. Her makeup line has been all the rage on social media lately and rightly so. I had the privilege of meeting her in person at IMATS Los Angeles earlier this month and got a sneak peek at the full line. I've been testing some of her products for the past month now and have a first look today at her Glowing Skin System. Right now Beautylish carries the items focused around glowing skin. They will carry her full line of makeup by the end of February including eyeshadows, blushes, lipsticks and more.

The Glowing Skin System is a five-piece set that includes selected products, all formulated by Natasha to give your skin a natural-looking glow. The set also includes a bonus brush.

Based on my skin preferences, the Beautylish team sent me a few items to try. After seeing the line in person at IMATS, I later purchased three more items to test out and compare. First up are some thoughts on the primers. It was recommended that I try the Anti-Shine Flawless Face Base ($55, c/o). Let me preface by saying I am not a primer kind of person. I think primers can make a huge difference in the way foundation lasts and applies, but in general I don't like the added layer of product on my skin because it usually feels too thick. The Anti-Shine Flawless Base feels like a gel formula and glides evenly over the skin. It feels slightly thick when you blend onto the skin, but once it sets it's not thick and smooths out the skin. It doesn't make the face look matte but it helps prevent shine and with the Face Glow Foundation it helped extend wear and did reduce shine throughout the day (compared to when I tested it without the primer). I liked that it didn't clog pores or irritate my skin. I haven't tested it with other formulas of foundation though.

At IMATS I tested the Face Glow Hydrating Primer Underbase ($35) and it felt amazing so I ordered it the next day. It's almost like a cushiony moisturizer and it feels incredible on the skin. It reminds me of a more emollient version of the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream. This one is definitely best for those with dry skin. Right now I have normal combination skin. I tested this on several occasions and found it too rich and moisturizing for my skin type. It's going to be regifted to one of my friends who has super dry skin.



I was matched sight unseen to the Face Glow Foundation ($42, c/o) in Shade 30. You can see the color face chart online at Beautylish which I think is super helpful. When I apply it, the color looks just the a bit too light, but once it sets it darkens just the slightest bit so it's a fairly good match. I can also fix this with a slightly darker powder. I checked out the next two shades in 40 and 42 while at IMATS. 40 was too pink and 42 was too dark. I'm in that skintone transition phase right now, so I don't have a 100% exact match, but I can make 30 work without too much extra effort.

The Face Glow Foundation has SPF15. It comes in a pump tube and to me feels like an in between BB cream and CC cream. It is on the thick side, similar to that of the Chanel CC Cream, but has a sheerer finish. The finish is sheer to medium. It's not so sheer that it's invisible. It does even out the skin but I would say this is best for those with near perfect skin. As the name implies this is a glowy kind of product. One of the more glowy ones I've tried lately. I found it absolutely necessary to set with powder. On my normal combo skin, it did get a bit too dewy by 2 pm for my taste. More dewy than other foundations.

This one is perfect for going out at night if you have a special date night or want to look fresh and glowy. For everyday, I prefer something with more coverage and less dewy. Your mileage may vary - there are lots of customer reviews on Beautylish which I always find helpful.


I did some swatch comparisons when I did the review on the NARS Velvet Skin Tint (c/o). I've reposted here for quick reference:


Next up are the glow products. I love a good glow - there's something about shimmery makeup that always gets me. There are three glow products for face and body. There are three shades for each one in Light, Medium and Dark. First up is the Face Glow Cream Shimmer Stick in Light 01 ($42, c/o) which is a champagne pearl cream. It comes in a twist up stick and gives a very glowy gleam to the skin. Out of the all the items I tried, I had the highest hopes for this, but am sad to report it did not work for me. This gives the skin a beautiful sheen and I love the color. The effect for my personal taste is simply too glowy - it makes the skin almost look wet. Even if I set with a powder on top (whether it's a setting powder or powder highlighter) for me this one is just too glowy. If you read other reviews it has been very well received and raved about. I may be in the minority in my opinion on this one. The shimmer is fine and smooth (not frosty or glittery). It doesn't emphasize pores. I just didn't like the way this looked on my skin. I tried it multiple ways under foundation, over foundation, over blush, on cheekbones, on the eyes.


A quick shot next to the powder in Light 01 - you can see they are the same color:


Next up are the All Over Glow Face and Body Shimmer Powders ($38 each). Beautylish sent me Light 01 (c/o) which is one of the prettiest champagne shimmers I've tried. The powder is on the shimmery side but I don't find it overly frosty. Pigment is excellent and easy to blend. It makes the skin glow to perfection. After playing with these at IMATS I fell in love with both the Medium 02 and Dark 03 and ordered them immediately. I love shimmer powders and these are amazing. I live for flesh toned shimmers and it's hard to find ones that are tan or deep, somewhere in between a straight champagne or pure bronze. I think these are definitely worth a look. After playing with these, I still think Light 01 is the best for me, but Medium 02 gives my skin a slightly golden bronzey sheen. Dark 03 is definitely too dark for me to wear on the cheeks. I can wear it with a super light hand. I actually really like it on the eyes.


Swatches of each, left swatch is with a light hand,  right swatches are heavier:


Next up is the Body Glow ($55, c/o) which also comes in three shades Light, Medium, and Dark. I have light shown below. I didn't get a chance to see the other shades at IMATS (too many other distractions to play with). This gives the skin a luminescent glow. I applied it heavily in the swatch below next to Charlotte Tilbury's Supermodel Body Shimmer. Once you blend on the skin, both of them dry to the same naturally glowy finish. I would say the one from Charlotte Tilbury has sparkles that are slightly larger and more visible while the one from Natasha Denona has a very similar effect but more fine shimmer. I'm not one who wears body shimmer products frequently (maybe I should start) but this one is very pretty and natural looking. It dries quickly so there's little to no transfer to loose clothing. For me this is nice to have, but not necessary.



Last but not least, the Natasha Denona Glowing Skin System from Beautylish comes with a bonus brush. I think the option may vary per set. I was sent the Brush #22 (c/o) which is a foundation brush. It's a flat top brush that is very soft and dense. I actually prefer this one for the powder highlighters. It picks up just the right amount of product and applies powder perfectly to the face. I didn't expect much from it since I'm usually not a fan of flat top brushes (they almost always end up feeling like the poke my face), but this one is insanely smooth at the top and feels amazing. It's not available separately on Beautylish yet, but I hope they will launch it soon.


Close ups:

If you're looking for a makeup base collection to give you some serious glow, the Natasha Denona line is definitely worth a look. Out of all the items I tried, my top picks are the Face Shimmer Powders in Light and Medium and the Brush #22. Of course you don't need to use the entire system - the pieces are nice to incorporate into your everyday routine or nice to add for a bit more glam and glow for an evening look. There's been a lot of buzz about Natasha's line and I've been watching videos to try and decide what lip colors to try out. I have been testing one of her blush duos and an eyeshadow palette. I hope to have a review up soon on both.

Have you tried anything from Natasha Denona? If yes, what do you recommend? You can find the Glowing Skin System now at Beautylish. The rest of her line is expected to launch there by the end of February.



Glowing Skin System sent courtesy of Beautylish indicated by c/o, Face Powders in Medium and Dark and the Hydrating Primer purchased by me.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders


This spring Hourglass has launched some additions to the Ambient Lighting family with the Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders ($38 each for 0.16 oz/4.6 g) and the Ambient Strobe Light Sculptor ($22). I stopped by the Hourglass Store in Venice Beach last week to check these out and fell in love. One of the strobe powders Incandescent Strobe Light was introduced to us before in the Ambient Lighting Palette (Trio) as an exclusive. If you have this palette, you're familiar with the beautiful natural glowy finish and smooth texture of the strobe powders. They look sheer on the hands/arms. On the face they add the perfect natural glow and highlight. The sparkle isn't over the top and it makes the skin glow without being too frosty and they do not emphasize pores.

There are four shades of the Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders. If you ask me if you think all four are necessary to have, I would say no - but after seeing them at the store, I had to buy all four. The colors are:
  • Euphoric Strobe Light - A pearlescent beige powder bestowing a natural highlight
  • Iridescent Strobe Light - An illuminating pink powder imparting a soft highlight
  • Brilliant Strobe Light - A shimmering gold powder imparting a lustrous highlight
  • Incandescent Strobe Light - An opalescent pearl powder bestowing a celestial highlight
Euphoric is the darkest option available. Iridescent and Incandescent are very similar, Iridescent is slightly deeper and more pink. Brilliant is a gorgeous yellow/gold option. I find the powders very finely milled and apply flawlessly with the Ambient Strobe Light Sculptor or a regular powder brush.


The packaging of the Strobe Powders is similar in size to the Ambient Lighting Blushes, except the color is silver.


A quick look at size comparisons:


Ambient Lighting Powders $45 for 0.35 oz/10 g (review)
Ambient Lighting Bronzers $50 for 0.39 oz / 11 g (review)
Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder $38 for 0.16 oz/4.6 g
Ambient Lighting Palette $58 for 0.35 oz/9.9 g (review)
Ambient Lighting Blush $35 for 0.15 oz/4.2 g (review)

Close ups of each powder in sunlight:





The product in the pans will look different depending on lighting situations. The shimmer particles are highly reflective. I have a couple shots to show the base color and the shimmers depending on light. Both sets are in the same order.

Top: Incandescent Strobe Light, Euphoric Strobe Light
Bottom: Iridescent Strobe Light, Brilliant Strobe Light



Swatches and three sets of comparison swatches, first in natural light:


With sun + flash - they look frosty here, but I can assure you on the face they are more finely milled and naturally glowy:


A quick look at the Ambient Strobe Light Sculptor - it applies these perfectly to the cheek bones by tapping on the areas you want highlighted. A regular blush brush works just as good, although if you want to apply the powders damp for more color, I found the brush worked better.



Comparison Set 1: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders in Luminous Light (reviewed here), Diffused Light and Dim Light. Luminous Light has a shimmery quality that acts as a highlighter while some other shades like Diffused and Dim Light are less shimmery and can be used as an all over setting powder for me without looking too glowy. Below the swatches are done with a heavy hand to show the color differences.


Comparison Set 2: Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Powders in Starlight and Candlelight (reviewed here) are a lot more shimmery. On me Candlelight looks too white for my olive/yellow skin although it looks good on many of my friends. I prefer the Hourglass Strobe Powders by far. Also shown is Becca Champagne Pop (swatched here) and the Tom Ford Skin Illuminating Duo in Moodlight (review). The Becca is one of the most shimmery highlighters I own (and adore). By comparison the Becca Champagne Pop almost feels sharp because the shimmer is so pigmented.


Comparison Set 3: MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Lightscapade is one of the softest most finely milled highlighters from MAC that I own. It's a lot paler than any of the Ambient Lighting Strobe Powders but has a similar effect. MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle by comparison has a lot more shimmer/frost. I added a swatch of the MAC Extra Dimension Highlighter in Whisper of Gilt (d/c, review here) to show texture comparison. The effect of the powders is similar to that of NARS Hot Sand Duos (review here). If you already own Hot Sand, you can probably skip Incandescent or Iridescent.


Quick look at the beautiful store on Abbot Kinney:




One last shot, clockwise from top left: Euphoric, Iridescent, Brilliant and Incandescent

Bottom line all winners. I tested these over the past week and am thoroughly impressed. They lasted all day on the cheek bones without getting too glowy or dewy looking by late afternoon. I've been testing them over a number of foundations from Tom Ford, NARS, Laura Mercier and Natasha Denona. They all held up remarkably well. I am already on highlighter/glow overload - I'm completely obsessed with glowy highlighters, but I thnk these are well worth a look. If I had to narrow down my picks, I would say Brilliant Strobe Light offers the best strobe highlight for my olive skintone. It brightens the complexion with a gorgeous candlelight glow. Euphoric is the most natural on me since it's deeper, but it still shows up like skin but better. I would say there's a tie between Iridescent and Incandescent - I think the pink tones in Iridescent make it more special, but you can't go wrong with either. The sponge is nice to have, but not a must.

You can find the Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders ($38) and Sculptor ($22) at Sephora and Hourglass Cosmetics right now. It is expected to launch at other retailers later this spring.

Have you checked these out yet? What's your favorite highlighter right now?

 

design + development by fabulous k | COPYRIGHT © 2009-2016 THE BEAUTY LOOK BOOK