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

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Collection


The Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Collection launches today online at Sephora and everything is beautiful. The collection features items focused on creating the ultimate glow for the complexion, eyes and cheeks. The original Champagne Pop Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Powder (reviewed here) has been extended into two other formulas. In addition two palettes created by Becca and Jaclyn Hill have launched as limited-edition pieces. The collection launches online today 5/26 at Sephora and will be in stores 6/16. In the collection (the image below is interactive so you can click on the icons to go directly to the product pages online at Sephora):


A closer look at each item starting with the Champagne Collection Face Palette which comes a large sturdy mirrored compact. The two palettes have gold reflective packaging so if you see that they look different on other blogs or on social - it's because of the highly reflective nature of the surface. The Champagne Collection Face Palette has three blushes and two highlighters. All the colors in this palette are extremely pigmented but easy to blend - in testing this I found it best to use with a light hand. There is one shade of Luminous Blush called Rosé Spritz which is a very shimmer pink gold finish. There are two shades of Mineral Blush which are more on the satiny side and more natural-looking in Amaretto which is a medium tan and Pamplemousse which is a pink grapefruit color. You can use shades individually or mix to create different looks. I found I liked the look best when I used either of the mineral blushes first before layering any of the shimmery shades on top.

There are two highlighters - both of which are extremely shimmery and very glowy. I have and adore the original Champagne Pop (originally reviewed here and compared to Anastasia That Glow here). The Champagne Pop in the palette is identical in color but for some reason to my eye both highlighters in the palette seem to be a couple notches up in terms of glitz and shimmer. Both are still wearable if you apply with a light hand. Prosecco Pop is the more yellow gold option which usually isn't a flattering color on my olive yellow-based skin. I can wear Prosecco Pop with a very light hand, but I still prefer Champagne Pop by far. A closer look:


Swatched below with a medium hand, you can blend to sheer out or apply with a denser brush for more intensity. Pigment is so rich I suspect these colors will show up on a wide range of skin tones. The overall effect is very glowy but still wearable for conservative makeup lovers:


A look at the palette without sunlight or flash:

Next up is the Champagne Collection Eye palette which has two shimmers and three mattes. The overall undertone is warm. It has Chardonnay which is a pale white gold frost, Champagne Toast which is a warm tan copper frost, Cordial which is the prettiest mauve matte, Cognac a very warm toasted brown matte and Bordeaux a soft plum matte. The shimmers offer rich high pigment color while the mattes have a softer medium finish. Textures are soft making them easy to blend on the eyes but I do recommend using a creamy base (I like using the Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid or Poured Creme on the lids, but I think I'm the only one I know who does not have oily lids). For me the colors did take a bit of experimenting and blending because I cannot wear reds or warm shades like this easily. I swatched it next to Ombre Rouge which I just ordered (have not tried yet) for reference. Here in direct sunlight:



Another shot of the Becca Champagne Collection Eye Palette - because the packaging is gold it looks different depending on what is reflecting in the compact:

Last but not least are the three Champagne Pop complexion items. The Shimmering Perfector Liquid offers the most natural finish. It's very natural on the skin and on the medium-sheer side. The color almost matches my skin exactly so it adds a naturally dewy sheen. It does look luminous so if you have oily skin you may find it will look more luminous as the day progresses. The Shimmering Perfector Poured Creme has a more visible finish compared to the Liquid but still looks very natural. Out of the three Champagne Pops this finish and color is my favorite. Then you have the classic Champagne Pop Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed - for those who love highlighters there is a different formula for multiple colors in the Becca line so you can pick the finish that works best for you.


Below the Champagne Pop formulas swatched along with a few other Becca colors:



I've only been playing around with the collection for a few days but first impressions are that I really love all three Champagne Pop formulas. I did think there might be a chance that having Champagne Pop in three formats would be overdoing it but after testing them I think they are different enough to justify all three if you love highlighter. If you want to limit yourself to 1, my favorite is the Poured Creme because it has the perfect in between finish (powder being the most shimmery and liquid being the most natural).

For the Face Palette - I had already ordered it when it launched as a very brief preview and was able to test this one for a few more days. I tried this a number of ways and found it to be extremely pigmented and very glowy - but the colors are easy to blend for a wearable look and the blending does not require a lot of extra effort which is nice for me since I'm more conservative in the makeup I wear. The colors are naturally flattering for and the warm undertones brighten the complexion. Since the colors are pigmented I prefer to apply with a lighter hand. The Champagne Pop highlighter in the palette does seem to be more glowy and shimmery compared to the individual version (Prosecco Pop is exclusive to the palette). If you prefer a more natural glow or softer color this may be too shimmery or too pigmented for you.

The Eye Shadow Palette is all kinds of gorgeous but very warm. I have been experimenting with warmer shades recently though and the palette from Becca is really stunning. I start with the medium matte mauve shade, then layer the ivory and gold, then use the deeper shades to contour - the effect is very pretty and soft without being too warm. Pigment for shimmers is rich while the mattes have a sheerer more natural finish but still offer smooth easy to blend coverage.

Bottom line everything is beautiful and worth checking out. The Becca Face Palette may be too glowy for some in which case I'd recommend you opt for the Tom Ford Afternooner which has a much softer effect but similar warm color scheme.

You can find the Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Collection exclusively at Sephora. It launched online today 5/26 but everything is scheduled to launch in store by 6/16. 

The Champagne Collection Face Palette and Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed were already purchased by me, however Becca also sent the entire collection for review consideration.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Edward Bess Threads of Silk Powders in Bellisima and Ciao


I love all things Edward Bess and his new Threads of Silk Multi-Use Powders ($45 each for 0.42 oz/12g) are beautifully crafted glowy powders with a lovely satin luminous finish. There are two shades Bellisima and Ciao and they have the most amazing woven pattern that has a mix of three shades in each compact. These are made in Italy and are infused with real silk which I think is incredible! I added a few snapshots from my trip to Italy last year. We visited a few cities and it was amazing. I hope to go back someday. They have a very unique texture - they are clearly powder and soft to the touch but the product is dense. It has a slightly hard texture although it's not stiff and very easy to use and blend. Color is easy to pick up with a brush and apply to anywhere you want color - eyes, cheeks or temples.


I think this year seems to be the year of glowy highlighters. There are many to pick from with a wide variety of textures. This year alone I have reviewed quite a few new formulas including the Laura Mercier Face Illuminator Powders, Hourglass Ambient Strobe Powders, Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Powders, Anastasia Glow Kits, Urban Decay Afterglow 8 Hour Highlighters, Natasha Denona Glow System Highlighters and NARS Hot Sand Duos. Picking the right highlighter for you depends on what kind of texture and degree of shimmer you want. Color is also important. For those who like a natural visible glow but don't want the high frost or extreme shimmer, the Edward Bess Threads of Silk Powders are probably your best bet because true to Edward's style they are perfect for the classic beauty lover who wants to look polished and a better version of themselves.

The shimmer on both is visible - on the arm + flash the colors look like they could be frosty but they are not. I usually photograph my swatches with a flash and any light (whether it's sunlight or flash) captures the complexity of the colors and catches the pearl particles. I did a quick look (scroll down) to show them on the eyes and cheeks and they have a very pretty sheen.


Bellisima is the more neutral nude option. It looks beautiful on the eyes as an all over wash - the bronzy tones makes for a nice lid contour. The pink adds a bit of warmth and depth. The ivory mix to it gives it a lovely sheen. On the cheeks it can pass on my medium skintone as a nude blush although it has a highlighter feel.

Ciao has a mix of warmer tones with a soft coral sheen. On my medium complexion I can wear it as a blush but it could also pass as a highlighter to add on top of bronzer or regular blush. 

Since you may not be able to see these in person (they're available at Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and QVC), I've included a lot of photos in different light. They glow depending on how the light hits these powders. I really recommend both of them.





A closer look at each powder with the individual shades swatched and then swirled. I like the effect you get when swirling the colors, plus the way the colors are woven together it's almost impossible to not mix the shades:
 




Simple beauty look with:

Bellisima Threads of Silk Powder on the eyes as an all over wash



Bottom line both winners. These are some of the prettiest most natural looking highlighter powders I've tried. If you want more of a traditional kind of highlighter, my holy grail cream highlighters are his All Over Seduction Highlighter (all three shades reviewed here). Both are multi-purpose wonders that you can use anywhere you want a glow. Lasting power was very good for both on me lasting from early morning until evening without fading or darkening. I love that they come in a large sturdy mirrored compact (same size as the Flawless Illusion Foundation swatched/reviewed here).

You can find both shades online at Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and QVC. In store at Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills and Bergdorf Goodman in NYC. If you can get to a counter I recommend it. The reps are very helpful and friendly.

Have you tried these yet? What did you think?

Many thanks to Edward Bess for sending me such beautiful items for review.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Look at the Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder, Pure Powder Glow + Celestial Powder


I've been slowly getting more into items from the Kevyn Aucoin beauty line. I've been a huge fan of the Celestial Powder in Starlight and the Lip Gloss in Starlight (reviewed here and here). The Pure Powder Glow Blushes are something that have been on my radar for ages and I was really excited to finally play with a few of the shades. As mentioned in a few previous posts I had high hopes for the Sculpting Powder in Medium as it's one of the most raved about contouring/sculpting powders in the beauty market. It did not work for my skintone but there have been two color additions to the formula in Light and Deep. Light works perfectly for my medium-olive toned skin.

I have a quick look at six shades from Kevyn Aucoin in the Sculpting Powder, Pure Powder Glow + Celestial Powder. If you're shopping online for any of these, don't forget to take advantage of the special promo code Space NK US created for Beauty Look Book readers. Use code BEAUTYLB16 at checkout to save $20 off online orders of $100 or more (through May 1st). All the details in this post here.


The Celestial Powders ($44 each) are finely milled ultra smooth highlighters. Candlelight is one of those products that has reached cult-status and is extremely popular. I think I'm one of the few people who find it turns white on my face - it looks amazing in the pan, swatched on the arm or applied on the eyes. On my cheeks it almost looks chalky but note that I am in the minority with this one. My preference is for Starlight which is a soft champagne pink. I find Starlight to be more shimmery than Candlelight, but it's not too shimmery. The pink/peach undertones make it much softer on my olive skin. If you prefer liquids, they have these colors in the Celestial Liquid formula, both swatched in this post here.

The Sculpting Powders ($44 each) are matte shaping/sculpting/contour powders. Medium was the first shade launched and for many years it was the only option. It's a soft cool-toned matte that didn't work on my skin because it was too cool-toned and slightly too dark creating a muddy look on me. Light and Deep are the newest additions. I tried out Light which in the swatch above is similar in undertone but the slight variation and lightness of color works so much better on my skintone. It creates a more natural looking shadow on areas I want to add depth whether it's the eyes, nose or cheeks. If you need contouring powders with warmth I would recommend skipping any in the Kevyn Aucoin line as they are all very cool-toned.

The Pure Powder Glow ($37 each) is a powder blush. The formula is very soft in texture which makes it easy to apply, blend and build. There are shimmers and mattes, both formulas look incredibly natural and meld with the skin beautifully so it doesn't look powdery. I've been so impressed with the three that I've tried. Ariana is the perfect neutral coral that adds natural warmth. Shadore is a powder pink that brightens the face. Natural is a really great neutral pinky-brown that won't look muddy or darken on the skin. They look very simple in the pan and if you swatch them with your fingers I have to admit they look pretty standard - you can probably find dupes in other lines like MAC, Bobbi Brown or even Urban Decay, so color-wise I wouldn't say that I find them unique. That being said the formula works really well and doesn't irritate my sensitive skin. (I found that some blushes like Bobbi Brown cause tiny little bumps to form on my cheeks.) If you're looking for a good everyday kind of color that's easy to use and requires little thinking on how to coordinate, you can't go wrong with any of the ones swatched above.


There are quite a few options on the market for all three types of powders. I think the ones from Kevyn Aucoin are great everyday shades that are very wearable for the conservative makeup-wearer who wants no-fuss kind of makeup. They apply on the skin smoothly, don't oxidize on the face and they last all day without budging. A few thoughts on other ones I've tested and how they compare to other brands/formulas.

Celestial Powders

Sculpting Powders

Pure Powder Glow
  • If you like matte blushes that won't darken, I think the ones from Kevyn Aucoin are really among the best I've tried.
  • If you want more unique and interesting colors that are still natural, opt for the Urban Decay UD x Gwen Blush Palette.
  • If you want contour + blush in a single palette for convenience, go for the By Terry Sun Designer Palettes.
  • If you want similar colors to the ones featured but want them at a cheaper price, MAC Pink Swoon will give you a similar look to Shadore, MAC Prism will give you a similar look to Natura (but without the shimmer), Ariana is quite unique compared to what I have, MAC Peaches is the closest one I have but the MAC is slightly brighter.
I hope you found this review helpful if you were wondering about the Kevyn Aucoin face powders. They do come with a fairly steep price tag but the quality is on point and I think they are products anyone will get regular use out of. Have you tried any blushes, highlighters or contour powders from Kevyn Aucoin yet? If so which ones? If you have recommendations for anything else in the line please share in the comments!

Ariana, Natura, Shadore and Light provided courtesy of Space NK for the Explore Promotion. Starlight, Candlelight and Medium purchased by me.


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Future M·A·C Review - Mineralize Skinfinish, Mineralize Eye Shadow x4, Lustre Drops, Mineralize Rich Lipstick and Lipglass


MAC launched a new Mineralize Collection called Future M·A·C a few weeks ago. I have a few items I've been playing with for a few days now, some are press samples and a couple items I picked up from my local MAC counter. The theme of this collection is light and airy with a glowy futuristic feel. In past years I feel like you could simply blink once and find that almost everything from a MAC collection sold out within seconds or minutes of launching. I'm happy to see that items are still available for a while even if they are limited-edition. Today I'm reviewing some items including:
Up first is the Mineralize Eye Shadow x4 in Nano-Nude. This is my first time trying the Mineralize Eyeshadows so I did not know what to expect. I found all four shades in this palette to be very smooth and natural-looking. They do appear to have a baked formula which in general I'm not a fan of, but I was pleasantly surprised by how soft and smooth these were. The colors overall are on the light side and are sheer-to-medium in pigment. If you are looking for a no-makeup makeup look for the eye this is a good one. If you need color payoff or pigment you will be disappointed. Since I haven't tried this formula before I don't know if the color payoff in this one is typical or on the sheer side.


Left side is all four shades layered, right side swatch is the mattes only:


Next up are three lip items. I've never tried a Mineralize Rich Lipstick before on the lips although I've swatched them on my hand in store before. Cybernaut is a pale pink that does not work my natural lip tone. It's such a gorgeous soft pink in the tube but I can't wear these kinds of colors without looking washed out. Texture is smooth and it felt slightly hydrating on the lips.

For the Mineralize Lipglass I've tried a couple non-shimmer shades before. I like the formula for a very lush-looking high shine with a cushiony feel. The ones I have are medium-to-sheer but I found the two I tried from Future MAC extra sheer. The Zone is the prettiest nude-rose-taupe shimmer, on the lips it's sheer to medium in coverage that gives the lips a pretty your-lips-but-better kind of look. If you know of a lipstick this color please let me know because I think it would be amazing. Telegenius is sheer on my lips. It's a pretty iridescent pinky peach in the tube but only looks like transparent shine on my lips. I personally wish it had better color payoff - but that being said it can make a great layering gloss and I really like how smooth and lush it makes the lips look without feeling tacky.





The last bits of this review focus on three face/cheek products. I'm a huge fan of Mineralize Skinfinishes in general. Warm Rose is quite different from any other MSF I've tried. It's got a very powdery texture with a lot of kick-off powder. Finish is not as shimmery as most that I've tried, on me it worked as an all over setting powder for a soft translucent finish. It works right now but I suspect if I get any darker it won't work all over the face. There is a tiny bit of shimmer in the powder but it's not visible on the face (at least on me).

Otherearthly is all kinds of gorgeous. If you splurge on one thing from the collection try this one. It has mix of three colors including a peachy copper champagne, a shimmering pink and cool silver. I found the colors have enough separation to be able to dip a large eyeshadow brush into each section to apply separately. When swirled together with a duo fibre brush or blush brush the result is a really pretty glowy champagne peach with silver pearl mixed in. It gives a wonderful glow that isn't overly shimmery or frosty.

The Barbados Girl Lustre Drops is something that has been on my radar for quite some time. It's been launched with previous collections as a limited-edition item and this is the first time I've been able to play with it (it sold out in previous launches). It's a shimmering golden peach tan with gold/silvery flecks. This one gives the skin a slight tint of color but I mostly see shimmer on the skin. If you're a fan of the color but don't want sparkle flecks, I recommend opting for Tom Ford Fire Lust instead.


Out of everything I tested I think the best items include the Mineralize Skinfinish in Otherearthly and Mineralize Lipglass in The Zone. The other items performed well in terms of quality and texture - the colors just aren't really suited to my personal taste. I was really interested in the two Mineralize Blushes with this collection in Cosmic Force and Raybeam - I played with them at the counter and although they are really pretty, I felt they would be too light for my skintone right now.

Most of the items in the Future M·A·C are limited-edition (at least the items shown in this review) so if you have anything on your list I recommend checking the items out sooner than later. You can find them at all MAC counters right now. Online at MAC, Nordstrom, Macy's and Bloomingdale's.



Did you check out anything from the collection? What did you think?

Press samples include items with c/o listed next to the name in the top listing. Other items purchased by me.

Friday, April 15, 2016

By Terry Sun Designer Palettes for Spring - Tan and Flash Cruise + Light and Tan Vibes


By Terry recently launched two new face palettes with bronzer, blush and highlighters cased in a single mirrored compact called the Sun Designer Palette ($82 for 15 g/0.53 oz). There are two options in this launch Tan and Flash Cruise 1 and Light and Tan Vibes 2. Both are simply glorious and well worth the splurge. I ordered both of mine sight unseen last month and the swatches on Beauty Professor's blog confirmed I made the right choice to splurge. When they arrived in the mail I literally gasped - they took my breath away. Each palette comes cased in a slim mirrored compact with 6 shades of powders for the face (but I've also been using them on the eyes). The product description on the box:

"This exceptional palette creates an all-over radiant and sun-kissed look on both fair and tanned complexions. It features six elegant and sparkling shades playing the roles of bronzers, blushes and highlighters that enhance the skin's appearance. Delicate, soft and airy textures in both matte and satin finishes allow to sculpt contours, brighten features, correct or intensify the complexion, all the while revealing the full splendor of the tan."


Both palettes have beautifully pigmented powders that have a very soft almost velvety texture. The colors blend flawlessly on the skin in an effortless kind of way. Lasting power is excellent and does not fade. They meld nicely with the surface of the skin and adhere well to last all day long. There's no chalky finish, no streaking and the colors stay true to what you apply on the face.

#1 Tan and Flash Cruise offers the perfect mix for a colorful summery look while #2 Light and Tan Vibes is the perfect your complexion but better kind of palette. It is hard for me to pick a favorite but #2 offers the most amazing mix of colors to give my complexion the kind of naturally glowy tan highlight and contour that I've been looking for for ages.



The only possible downside I find to these is the actual design and layout of the colors. They come in a beautiful embossed zigzag pattern which makes it virtually impossible to dip a cheek brush into just one color - but I suspect this was designed with the purpose of being able to mix and swirl colors together to be able to achieve a look with more dimension, color and glow. When I first put these to the test I thought the mixing of colors was going to be problematic. I've been able to dip a brush into 2 colors at a time or take a smaller detail brush to pick up a single color and apply to the eyes or face. I suspect making the palette bigger would have made the price more expensive - part of me wishes the pans were at least 2x taller to make picking up a single color easier. After playing with these for several weeks now I really don't mind swirling colors together.

A quick look at some brushes next to the pans for size reference:



A closer look at each palette. Up first is #1 Tan and Flash Cruise which has:

Satiny raspberry pink
Coral peach with a slight sheen
Cool pink with a very soft shimmer
Pale nude matte
Medium warm tan
Soft muted peach




A closer look at #2 Light and Tan Vibes which has:

The most perfect golden nude shimmer
Iridescent peach gold shimmer
Pale champagne shimmer frost
Pale vanilla matte cream
Soft light peach pink
Soft nude tan matte




Bottom line both winners. I personally would have preferred larger pans that would allow for me to not mix the colors but I've found blending the shades to have a really nice effect on the skin. Sometimes swirling darker shades can result in a muddy mess but these blend beautifully together and the quality of the powder texture and pigment is literally to die for.

Finish of the brighter option Tan and Flash Cruise is more on the satiny matte side. There is a sheen in each of the colors but it's in a natural luminous way that melds with the skin. Light and Tan Vibes has a more shimmery finish for the left side but it's not overly frosty and layers beautifully on the cheeks over other colors or even on the eyes.

If I were pressed to pick just one, I would say the lighter one Light and Tan Vibes is my favorite. It has colors that are probably easy to dupe but the colors in this one are simply flawless and work without any extra effort required. It's pure love.

I highly recommend both palettes. I've been told they are limited-edition but am not 100% sure. You can find them online at Space NK, Barneys New York, Beautylish and Saks Fifth Avenue. If you're shopping at Space NK (US) don't forget to take advantage of the savings offer code available through May 1, 2016 (all the details in this post here).

Have you checked out these palettes yet? 


 

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