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

Monday, July 28, 2014

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Killer Cheekbones Set | Nordstrom Anniversary Beauty Exclusive


I ordered the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Killer Cheekbones Set ($110) last week online. It's a duo that includes the Filmstar Bronze and Glow along with the Powder and Sculpt Brush. It's currently a Nordstrom Beauty Exclusive in the US and has been released as an early preview for the Charlotte Tilbury Beauty line. According to a Nordstrom Beauty Livechat I had earlier this morning, the entire line will launch online at Nordstrom.com around August 10th.

On the nails - Aventure


The Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow (16 g/0.56 oz, made in Italy) comes in a luxurious rose gold colored compact. It has a warm bronze with a soft satiny shimmer glow. On my skin it acts like the perfect contouring powder. When it comes to contouring the face, I am a super minimalist. I have a roundish face without high cheekbones so any kind of contouring is me brushing on product in areas to create a fake one. I do like a good bronzer to sculpt the face and add warmth in a 3 shape motion around the edges of my face, but that's typically the most I'll do for contouring.

I find traditional matte/taupe contouring looks good in photos but in real life can look fake and too sharp on me (this is when artists do it on me or when I attempt it). The Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow however makes contouring goof-proof and super easy. The Sculpt/Bronzer side has enough warmth and color that it doesn't make the skin look ashy and also isn't too warm that it turns orangey. It has a soft satiny sheen that gives depth.


The Highlight/Glow side is a yellowish/gold pale champagne highlighter. Based on what it looks like in the pan and how it swatches on the arm, I was worried it would be overly frosty and sharp on my skin. On the face it glows. There is visible shimmer but on me it doesn't look frosted and it doesn't emphasize pores. Huge plus! If you have dewy skin, you may need to apply with a light hand. It's very pigmented and adheres well to the skin. I like to dip the brush into the highlighter and then tap it to dust off excess. On the skin it's a light golden color but not too yellow for my olive skin.


The Powder and Sculpt Brush is the full size version made of goat hair. It's a smaller brush than what I'm typically used to for the face but it's tapered for perfect contouring on the face. It's well-made and the bristles pick up the product and blend well, but I don't think it's a must-have since I have so many other brushes and find that a regular blush brush can do the same. I do like the way it's shaped for easy application. It places the product right along the cheeks in the right shape for a perfect contour.


Swatches, don't let the frost/shimmer deter you, they apply much softer on the face:



I pulled a few comparisons:


Edward Bess Daydream Bronzer (original version shown, newer version here)


Chanel Les Beiges Multi-Colour 02 (summer stripe version)


Overall a huge thumbs up. I had high expectations for this because of raves about Charlotte Tilbury's line but was worried it might be just another standard bronzer/highlighter/contour duo. After playing with this for several days I can say that I have found my perfect contouring duo. On my medium/tan skin it's not quite bronzer level, but I suspect on fair to medium skins it will be suitable as a contour or bronzer depending how you apply and how much you layer on.

I love the soft silky texture of the powder. Brushes pick up just the right amount of product so you don't have to swirl the brush in the pan a lot. It's powdery but not too powdery. It blends very smoothly on the face and layers nicely. It's on par with Edward Bess Daydream Bronzer (my holy grail) in the sense that it's impossible to mess up because it's super easy to apply and it's very flattering on the skin.


I am really pleased with the set even though it seemed a bit pricey. However you do get a full sized bronzer-highlighter duo and the brush is the full size version that is well made. It's a very high quality set that makes the price tag worth it for me. If you have a lot of brushes you may want to wait for the entire line to launch in August and just get the Filmstar Bronze and Glow. That being said the brush does make contouring easy for those who aren't good at contouring (like myself). Even though this is designed for the face, I've found it wears well on the eyes as well.

Many have asked whether I think the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Killer Cheekbones Set or Chanel Dentelle Precieuse powder is the better buy. I can't choose between them, they are both phenomenal products, my thoughts:
  • The Chanel powder is limited-edition and gives a more glowy finish with a pinkish, peach and bronze champagne glow on me. For my skintone it's definitely a highlighter while fair skinned readers have commented it appears darker and more bronzey on their skins.
  • The items in the Charlotte Tilbury will both be available for purchase in the US at a later date when the line officially launches. It's also more of a contouring duo rather than a highlighter. The bronze/sculpt powder is beautifully warm and satiny with a natural glow, but you can probably skip the brush if you already own a good detail brush.
If you can get both eventually but only want to purchase one now, I would recommend getting the Chanel since it's limited-edition and I've found there's nothing really like it. If you don't need a contouring brush then I'd say wait for the line to launch later this fall, skip the brush and just opt for the Bronzer/Highlighter duo.
The Filmstar Killer Cheekbones Set is currently a Nordstrom Anniversary Beauty Exclusive and retails for $110. Online it looks like it's on backorder. I can't wait until the entire Charlotte Tilbury line launches in the US later this fall.

Have you tried this Filmstar Killer Cheekbones set or anything else from Charlotte Tilbury? What were your thoughts?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Chanel Dentelle Précieuse Illuminating Face Powder - Nordstrom Anniversary Beauty Exclusive


This year's Nordstrom Anniversary Beauty Exclusive for Chanel is the stunning Dentelle Précieuse Illuminating Face Powder ($80 for 6 g/0.21 oz, made in Italy, limited-edition). It comes with an exquisite embossed lace detail. The powder is a gorgeous mix of beige, rose, and champagne. On the skin it has the prettiest beige glow with a hints of pink, champagne and bronze mixed in. At a glance it seems like it's just another pretty beige highlighter with an expensive price tag. While you can get a similar effect with other illuminating powders, I do believe the mix of shimmers in Dentelle Précieuse gives it a truly amazing effect on the face. It gives the perfect glow from within that isn't too subtle and isn't too frosty. The mix of pink and bronze in the powder give the face a bit of color so it's not just your standard beige frost.

It comes with a black soft pouch that holds both the powder compact and a small angled brush:

On the nails, Chanel Tapage

The color is difficult to capture in swatches but I found the photos on Color Me Loud and Indigo Kir Royale both demonstrate it's complexity with swatches using different pressures in application. It also shows how it gives more color to fair skintones, while it acts as a highlighter for medium to darker skin. Here are a few photos at different angles to show how the light reflects on the shimmer. On my medium/olive Chanel B30 skin this is clearly a highlighter.





Here are a few comparisons to other highlighters, I have two sets to show you. On screen the effect is very similar between highlighters so I'll share my thoughts on the differences.


Set one with Chanel, Bobbi Brown, Edward Bess and Burberry illuminating powders:
  • Chanel Mouche de Beaute (discontinued) has a more gel-like texture with a transparent quality, it has a lot more glitz and sparkle giving it a paler look since the shimmers are more on the silvery side
  • Chanel Pearl Glow Powder (discontinued) has a more matte base, it's also more powdery and has more yellow with gold shimmers
  • Bobbi Brown Beige Shimmer Brick ($42) is significantly more frosted, the pale champagne shimmers give it a paler finish
  • Edward Bess South of France ($45) is a quad with soft pinks and pearls, it has a softer finish with less shimmer, it's also more pink in tone
  • Burberry Golden Radiance ($48) has a lot more frost to it, it's also darker with more taupe/tan/gold tones


Set two includes some from MAC, Hourglass and Estee Lauder:
  • MAC Shimpagne Mineralize Skinfinish (discontinued) has a high frost finish with pink/champagne tones, below you can see it pulls more pink
  • MAC Soft & Gentle Mineralize Skinfinish (original) has a paler beige shimmer, it's less complex compared to the Chanel Dentelle Precieuse
  • Hourglass Luminous Light is one of my favorite highlighters, it pulls more pink and a bit more shimmer on the skin, on me it's more champagne vs beige
  • Hourglass Radiant Light is more golden compared to the Chanel, the hourglass also has a less complex finish and mix of shimmers
  • Estee Lauder Modern Mercury (discontinued) is significantly more pink with a metallic finish


I didn't want to fall in love with an $80 powder but Chanel has created the perfect beige highlighter. On my olive skin many neutral highlighters tend to pull pink or almost white with the silvery shimmers they have. The Chanel Dentelle Precieuse has a stunning mix of bronze, peach, and rose that gives this more color giving a lively glow to the face. It's still manages to be a true soft beige highlighter without going into the gold/tan zone. It's pure love for me and I even bought one backup.


Various countries received the Chanel Dentelle Précieuse Illuminating Face Powder highlighter earlier in the year at certain retailers. In the US it is an exclusive to Nordstrom for this year's Anniversary Sale (available now). On me it's a stunning beige highlighting powder with a bit of color. If you search for other reviews you may find it looks almost bronzey on fairer skintones. It's a splurge, but in my mind worth every penny. I love it and think it's a definite must for Chanel lovers. It is limited-edition so if you're interested I suggest acting sooner than later.




Sunday, July 6, 2014

Urban Decay Naked Flushed Palettes - Native and Streak


Earlier in the spring, Urban Decay released some new shades of their Naked Flushed Palettes ($30 each for 14g/0.49 oz). These are well-packaged face trio compacts with a bronzer, highlighter and blush. I'm a huge fan of their Naked Eyeshadow Palettes (#3 is my fav) and thought these had a lot of promise. I purchased Native (pink) and Streak (peach) in store at Sephora after reading an overwhelming number of rave reviews (4.5 stars out of 5 average rating with 600+ reviews).  
  • Native is a pink option with a medium-dark bronzer with a soft shimmer, a opal pinkish champagne highlighter and a matte pink blush
  • Streak is a warmer option with a lighter shimmery bronzer, a pale peachy shimmer highlighter and a stunning coral matte blush 
Swatching them in store on my hands revealed a soft well pigmented texture that seemed easy to blend. Testing at home with a variety of brushes has me less than pleased. I purchased these late May/early June and have been desperately trying to make these work for me.

The texture is finely milled and soft which is easy to pick up with brushes but the bronzer and blush are both very powdery resulting in a lot of debris/powder kick-up. They don't show up well on lightly powdered skin. Right over foundation the color picks up more but the colors look muddy and look like they just sit on top of the skin. The highlighters are creamier in texture (although they are powders) and blends easily but the frost factor highlights imperfections and after softly applying on the cheeks, I suddenly have large visible pores. I've tried both with a large variety of brushes, cream highlighters, foundations, dewy cheek products as a base even. With the right amount of creamy base underneath I can get the bronzer and blush to apply ok sometimes (I like Tom Ford Fire Lust and Armani Fluid Sheer #3 or #10 the best), but I cannot wear the highlighter on the cheeks at all. That being said, the highlighters are pretty on the eyes. Half of the times I've applied these I ended up taking them off immediately after putting them on the face.

Photos and swatches:


Swatches side by side:


Closeups of each palette, up first is Native:




Streak




One last view, Streak (left) and Native (right):


I'm overall disappointed. I've tried numerous times to make these work, and with extra tweaking I can only make them work 1/2 the time. They look so beautiful in the compacts and when swatched on the hands or arms. On the face the pigment and texture don't quite translate the same. Given the overwhelming number of rave reviews, I suspect I'm in the minority with my thoughts. I've mentioned in recent posts I've had skin issues and breakouts - my skin issues aren't on the cheek area in case you're wondering if it's skin problems causing the issue in application. For additional reference, Temptalia has detailed thoughts on Native, Streak and Strip, my experiences are similar to hers.

Based on the price, packaging and convenience, if you're at a Sephora or Urban Decay counter I think you should still give these a try. If there are clean brushes available, ask a makeup artist or sales associate to apply it on you.

If you've tried these, I'd love to hear your thoughts. If you have these which shade do you have and who do you apply them?

The Urban Decay Naked Flushed Palettes retail for $30 each. I found mine at Sephora. They come in four options, Naked, Native, Streak and Strip.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

MAC Sharon and Kelly Osbourne Mineralize Skinfinish Duos and Satin Blushes


I have a few more additions to share from the MAC Sharon and Kelly Osbourne Collections. There are two new Mineralize Skinfinish Duos in Refresh/Sharon and Jolly Good/Kelly ($33 each, limited-edition). Each collection also features a Satin Blush in Peaches & Cream/Sharon and Cheeky Bugger/Kelly ($22 each, limited-edition). If you're contemplating any of these, act fast. Both of the blushes sold out online super quickly. My sweet husband bought the Satin Blushes for me from a MAC store the day the collection launched in stores. The Mineralize Skinfinish Duos are easier to find but are going fast online. I found the cheek items to be really pretty and naturally flattering to complement bolder eyes/lips.

Sharon's collection is warmer in tone while Kelly's is cooler and lighter. I found they both worked for my olive medium skin, I have a slight preference for the items from Sharon's collection. My thoughts on each item for the cheeks:
  • Refresh Mineralize Skinfinish Duo has a satiny warm bronze and a shimmering champagne peachy pink. The pigment on this one is really good and it shows up well on the skin by itself.
  • Jolly Good Mineralize Skinfinish Duo is more satiny in texture. It has a shimmery finish but not as frosty or shimmery as other MSFs. The color is on the nude side so on my skin it is very sheer similar to Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders. If you're in want of a more contrasted highlighter you may not like this one.
  • Peaches & Cream is a rose pink satiny texture blush. It has a bit of shimmer in it but on the cheeks it isn't overly frosty. Even though it has the word "peaches" in the name, it's not really peachy or warm, it's definitely more rose.
  • Cheeky Bugger is a cool toned lighter pink. It's also a satin finish. On me it shows up even though it's pale in the pan. It gives a natural pink glow.
Refresh/Sharon

Jolly Good/Kelly

Peaches & Cream/Sharon

Jolly Good/Kelly

Here they are swatched on my Chanel B20/30 arm:


Close ups of the Blushes side by side:




Close ups of the Mineralize Skinfinish Duos side by side:




Overall thumbs up. The pigment and texture of these are really good and easy to apply. I like how the Mineralize Skinfinish Duos look naturally flattering on the skin. The Jolly Good/Kelly MSF duo is sheerer and is good as a subtle softening powder. Refresh/Sharon MSF Duo is better in color and pigment to show up on its own. Both Peaches & Cream and Cheeky Bugger blushes are stunning and I wish they hadn't sold out so quickly but I am happy that I was able to get them. If you can get to a counter or store soon, I highly recommend it. They are both worth the extra work to track down.

Sharon's Refresh Mineralize Skinfinish Duo is still available online at Nordstrom, Macy's and Bloomingdales.

Kelly's Jolly Good Mineralize Skinfinish Duo is available online at Nordstrom.

Both blushes Sharon's Peaches & Cream and Kelly's Cheeky Bugger have sold out online but you may still be able to track them down in stores and counters.




Thursday, June 5, 2014

Estee Lauder Crystal Baby Collection | Nail Lacquer, Shimmer Lip Gloss and Illuminating Gelée Powder Blush


Estee Lauder has released a mini collection called Crystal Baby which I spotted at Nordstrom last week. I haven't been able to find any information about this on the web so I'm not sure if it's an exclusive to Nordstrom or will be released elsewhere. I picked up three items, but entire collection consists of:
I snapped a really quick photo with my iPhone at the counter:


The three items I purchased are the Nail Lacquer, Shimmer Lip Gloss and Illuminating Gelée Powder Blush. Swatches here and more details below:




The Crystal Baby Nail Lacquer is a soft shimmering nude pink that flashes a hint of blue, violet and pearl sparkles. On the nails it's very neutral on my skin. With my current skintone it's almost a nude because it matches my olive complexion. However I love how it gives a subtle polished look which I find office appropriate for conservative work places. I didn't have time to test this long since I took it off after two days to try other products. In my experience Estee Lauder polishes are average for lasting power 3-4 days max.




Some comparisons to Chanel Rose Cache, Chanel Frisson, Guerlain Jardins de Bagatelle, Guerlain La Petite Robe Noir, OPI A Butterfly Moment (review here), Dior Incognito (gel) and Dior Frimas (review here, from holiday). I find OPI A Butterfly Moment to be pretty close in color. The difference is subtle but the Estee Lauder is a tad bit more pink.


Crystal Baby Lip Gloss is a warm frosted pink with lots of pearl. If you can tolerate the fig scent it's a really pretty color. It has enough color to wear alone although I like to wear this on top of other lipsticks for added shine. It's not sheer but not full coverage - I find it falls somewhere in between.



Crystal Baby Illuminating Gelée Powder Blush is a unique gel-powder. Similar in concept to prior limited-edition Gelées by Estee Lauder, this one has intense shimmer. On my skin it's not frosty but I do need to apply with a light and gentle hand. It applies well with a loose fluffy brush all over the cheeks as a highlight or on the eyes. You can use the sponge it comes with but it makes the shimmer more intense. I found it did not emphasize pores with a light swipe, although if you swipe one swipe too many it will emphasize imperfections. It's a lovely light opalescent pink. I recommend applying with a light hand.



Comparisons below to Armani Fluid Sheer #8 (reviewed here), MAC Fairly Precious (reviewed here), NARS Adelaide (review here, still available at NARS), Estee Lauder Tease (discontinued) and Bobbi Brown Pink Shimmer Brick (appears to have been discontinued).


I found this mini collection to be an unexpected surprise. I discovered it on route to the Chanel counter at my local Nordstrom. I'm glad the display caught my eye. All the items I picked out are lovely delicate feminine colors. Thumbs up on all items from me. According to the sales rep the entire collection is limited-edition. Available now at Nordstrom.



 

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