Showing posts with label Hourglass. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hourglass. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

New Face and Cheek Brush Acquisitions: Chikuhodo, Hakuhodo and Hourglass


I have a handful of new-to-me cheek and face brushes that I've been playing with for the past few weeks. When it comes to trying or purchasing new beauty products I'm usually pretty open to buying things sight unseen except for makeup brushes. There have been a few exceptions, but for the most part I primarily buy the mainstream brands that I can see or test in person. Roundup of my staples here and here. After testing just a few brushes from Chikuhodo, Hakuhodo and Hourglass, I can say that these are truly incredible tools worthy of their higher price tags. The materials used and the way they are cut are phenomenal making a huge difference in makeup application and feel on the skin.



The Chikuhodo MK-2 Brush ($178) is one of three new brushes in the Makie Series. These are brushes that come with a beautiful print on the handles. These are made of grey squirrel hair and are incredibly soft and plush - it's the softest brush I have ever felt. It's semi-loose/semi-dense making it really good for all over powder or a soft wash of bronzer. It has a round shape but is semi-flattened which I like in a powder brush. This is the first Chikuhodo brush I've tried since they've been hard to find. Beautylish now carries the brushes and I've been thrilled with their quick shipping and awesome customer service so I've been doing some research to plot a sizable purchase. If you have any recommendations I would love them. The MK-2 along with all of the Chikuhodo brushes are a luxurious splurge but they are incredibly well made and soft. 


Front view versus side view:


Hakuhodo has been on my radar for ages. I saw the line for the first time at The Makeup Show LA this year. The website is a bit overwhelming with all the options for those new to the line. I should have done more research ahead of time, but picked out a few to buy based on density and shape. I picked out white brushes because they felt ultra soft. The three face brushes I picked out include the Fan Brush White ($45), J 501 ($100) and J 505 ($72). 


The Fan Brush White is made of 100% goat hair. it's a wide and fluffy but dense kind of brush. This one is ideal for powder and finishing. It's ultra soft but still medium-to-full in density so it will provide medium coverage if you layer on powders. I've used this to dust powder all over the face and also to blend powders along the sides of my face whether it's a soft bronzer or to blend in blush. The compact shape and size is designed for it to be purse-friendly, but you do need a case for it to keep the bristles in tact. There is a small black case you can buy from Hakuhodo for it that retails for $10. It's something I should have picked up but did not.


Next up are two synthetic fiber / goat hair blended brushes in J 501 ($100) and J 505 ($72). Both are ultra soft and plush. They remind me of the Tom Ford Brushes but are more tapered at the ends. They do fluff up a bit after washing but for the most part still keep their shape. J 501 is larger option, it was recommended to me for pressed powder because it's a dense brush. J 505 is smaller and ideal for blushes. To me they feel identical in density and softness compared to the Tom Ford. The only difference is the shape.

Front vs side view:


Below the 2 Hakuhodo brushes compared to the Tom Ford Cream Foundation Brush ($72) for size and the Cheek Brush ($78). I have a slight preference for the more tapered shape of the Hakuhodo just for looks, but they perform the same and I've been such a huge fan of my Tom Ford Brushes I don't know that I can pick one over the other.


Last but not least is the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Brush ($35). This has been on my radar for forever but it's something that has always escaped my shopping cart. It's a densely packed brush made of high-grade Taklon bristles (synthetic fibers) and comes with its own pouch to store. This one is designed to be used with the Ambient Lighting Powders to dust all over the face or the angled portion to apply contour/highlighting products but it's quite versatile. I also like to use it with the Ambient Lighting Bronzers because you can control the intensity of product easily with this brush.


Quick peek at more Hourglass brushes from the Abbot Kinney Boutique in Venice Beach:


Do you have any favorites from any of these lines? I have enough brushes to last multiple lifetimes but if I could start my brush collection all over again I would certainly choose to invest in ones from niche brands. They come at a steep price but the design, quality and way they apply product is truly phenomenal.

The Hourglass and Chikuhodo brushes were provided courtesy without charge for review consideration. All other items purchased by me.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Sephora Beauty Insider Sale / VIB Rouge Haul


I took advantage of the Sephora Beauty Insider sale and used my VIB Rouge discount for a massive haul. I planned on stocking up on skincare and haircare staples, but there seemed to be a wave of new beauty launches too. I ended up placing a couple of orders online. Here is the majority of what I bought. I have one more package coming in the mail but I'll be out of town when it arrives at my home later this week. Be warned, this list is very long.

1 + 2 + 3 / Surratt Beauty just launched at Sephora, most of what I wanted was already sold out by the time the sale started, but I managed to order three Artistique Blushes in Guimauve, Parfait and Aurelole plus the Large Custom Palette Case. I also bought one Lip Lustre in Coquette.

4 / Urban Decay released the Naked Skin Ultra Definition Powder Foundation in a wide range of colors. Each of the main shades come in Warm, Neutral and Cool. I picked out Medium Light Warm, I hope this is the right color for me, it's hard to tell in stores.

5 / Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders in Dim Light and Diffused Light come highly recommended by my readers as all over setting powders. I have Dim Light in the Palette Form which I really like but feel it's easier to dip a large fluffy brush in a larger compact. I've been obsessed with Diffused Light after testing it for a few days, it's the perfect all over setting powder.

6 / Koh Gen Do Cleansing Wipes are a must for me. I stocked up on the 3-pack.

7 / Laura Mercier Baked Blush Bronze Compact in Ritual is new for me, but I don't think it's a new shade. I have swiped it a couple times on the hand and it looks very dark, but there is a pretty pink glow mixed in. From what I have read, each one has different swirl patterns.

8 / Lavanila is new to me and I usually buy Dove deodorants but the concept of a soft vanilla scent in deodorant seemed really interesting. Fresh Vanilla Lemon is a light vanilla with a hint of citrus.

9 / SK-II Facial Treatment Cleansing Oil has been on my list to try for a long time. I decided to use the discount to save on this since full retail is $70. Review to come as I play with this.

10 / Christian Louboutin Nail Colour in Wherever is a deep but bright blue cream. I reviewed all of The Nudes here. I have several of the brighter Pops Colors and love the formula.

11 / Marc Jacobs Style Eye-Con No. 7 in The Lolita and The Lover are really pretty neutrals. Swatches and review posted here.

12 / Tatcha Aburatorigami Japanese Beauty Papers Duo is a Sephora exclusive. Review of the full size version here. This duo has a small pack of Evening Papers in a darker color that is purse-sized. I haven't tried them yet but I couldn't resist a small one for clutches or small bags.

13 / YSL Gloss Volupte in Nude Carat has been on my radar for a while. The sale made me do it.

14 / I've loved everything I've tried from the Drybar line. These Hold Me Hair Clips are perfect for sectioning hair up when you curl, straighten or blow dry the hair. They are large and angled so they really grip large sections of hair without tugging, pulling or getting tangled without leaving dents.

15 / Tarte is a line I haven't explored much of but the Smolder Eyes Amazonian Clay Waterproof Eyeliner has gotten so many raves. I bought Sunstone Bronze.

16 / Surratt Beauty Surreal Skin Concealer seems promising as it comes highly recommended by Beauty Professor. I don't have immediate access but I ordered Shades 4 and 5 based on her swatches. I'm excited to try it.

Other items on their way include some haircare, skincare and lipgloss:

Make Up For Ever Plexi Gloss in 101, 201 and 105P

There are still a few more hours left to shop the sale. It ends tonight online, codes valid through end of today 4/21/2015 11:59 PM PDT.

VIB Rouge Members get 15% off with code ROUGELOVE
VIB Members get 15% off with code VIBLOVE
Beauty Insider Members get 10% off with code BILOVE

Did you buy anything from the Sephora sale? I would love to hear about your hauls!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Sephora Beauty Insider VIB Rouge 15% Off Event Starts Today: 4/12 through 4/21/2015


The Sephora Beauty Insider event is happening this month! VIB Rouge Members get early access starting today where you can get 15% off your purchases online at Sephora.com with code ROUGELOVE and in stores by showing the mailer or copy of the e-mail you received with the barcodes 4/12 through 4/21. VIB and other Beauty Insider Members will have access at later dates (will update as more as I receive more info).

I placed an order online this morning to avoid the crowds, although quite a few of the Surratt Beauty items I had on my wish list sold out already. I'll have my haul to share with you in the next week (my package is expected to arrive Tuesday or Wednesday).

In the meantime if you need some recommendations here is a list of items I've reviewed from the past few years that are good to save on. Sales on mid to high-end luxury products rarely occur except with the occasional friends and family discounts. In the mix a few splurges along with classic staples.

Row 1, left to right:

Row 2, left to right

Row 3, left to right:

Row 4, left to right: 

Did you buy anything for the VIB Rouge Beauty Insider sale at Sephora? If you're shopping online be sure to enter in the code ROUGELOVE at checkout. If you're a VIB/Beauty Insider Member, what's on your wish list or in your shopping cart?

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzers


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


Ambient Lighting Bronzers and Blush (blush review here)


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


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


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

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


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


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


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


In direct sun with a flash:


Detailed close up:


Comparisons to the highlighter counterparts:


Two sets of swatch comparisons to other bronzers:


Hourglass Radiant Light (reviewed + swatched here)


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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, April 9, 2015

New In Beauty / On My Radar


Today I have another roundup of new beauty items on my radar. This time of year is my favorite because all the pretty spring-summery colors and fragrances start coming out. The Sephora Beauty Insider sale starts soon (the 12th for VIB Rouge) so if you're a beauty addict like me, you've probably started a wish list and have been moving things in and out of your online shipping cart.

1 / Last week I was lucky to get an early sneak peek at the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzers ($50 each). You can see a little preview here and here. I'm hoping to have the review up this weekend but I can say right now they are amazing. They are currently available exclusively at Sephora.com for VIB/VIB Rouge Members, launch for everyone on 4/15 online at Sephora and Hourglass Cosmetics and hit stores in May.

2 / To celebrate the opening of the Diptyque Beverly Hills Boutique, the store has released a limited-edition Beverly Hills Candle ($70) exclusive to the store that has lemon + mint essential oils,  orchid and freesia accord. 10% of the proceeds will be donated to LA> a leading independent nonprofit contemporary art space in Los Angeles supporting artistic and curatorial freedom. The candle is exclusive to the boutique, you can order one by calling the Beverly Hills store at (310) 385-5941.

3 / Also new from Diptyque is the Florabellio Eau de Toilette (in a 50 ml is $90 and 100 ml is $125). It's available starting this month and is supposed to be a mix of sweet, salty, apple blossom and apricot-scented osmanthus mist. The Diptyque South Coast Plaza Boutique has a promo going on if you pre-order the fragrance they will include a 12 ml mini of Florabellio as a gift with purchase. You can reach the store at (714) 850-9995, ask for Raven.

4 / Christopher Kane for NARS Summer 2015 Collection features some stunning beauty pieces. It launches online at Narscosmetics.com and Boutiques on April 15th, everywhere else May 1st. 

5 / Jo Malone has three newly packaged colognes that are special-edition versions of some previously released scents ($125 each for 3.4 oz). Plum Blossom comes in a purple cap and label, Osmanthus Blossom comes with a spring green packaging, Sakura Cherry Blossom comes with the pink packaging.

6 / Laura Mercier has released eight new shades of the Creme Lip Color Smooth Formula ($27 each). The new shades include a mix of nudes and rose and plum: Lychee Parfait, Biscotti, Milky Way, Crushed Pecan, Praline Cream, Rose, Audrey and Dry Rose. Some of the names look familiar to me from her older formulas. I think a trip to the counter is in order for me soon.

7 / Tarte has a new Showstopper Clay Palette ($38) which looks perfect for summer. It has six warm-toned shadows, blush, bronzer and highlighter all in one. It's in my Sephora shopping cart right now since the store locator function shows it's online only right at this moment.

8 / Caudalie has four new masks. I ordered all four on Monday since I'm on the verge of running out of my Glamglow and Aesop masks. I have high hopes for these and will review once I put them to the test. I like the concept of different masks for different needs. The four options include the Purifying Mask, the Instant Detox Mask, the Moisturizing Mask and the Glycolic Peel Mask ($39 each).

What's on your beauty radar this week? Are you planning your Sephora haul like me?
What's in your shopping cart?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Loving Right Now


The week is flying by so quickly, I can't believe it's almost Friday. I picked up a couple new fragrances that have been on my wish list for ages. I picked up the small bottle of the Les Exclusifs de Chanel in Beige and Byredo Black Saffron (reviews coming in the next few weeks). Also new acquisitions are MAC Cremesheen Pearl Lipsticks in Shanghai Spice and Peach Blossom, both repurchases of lipsticks I used up a while ago. MAC lipsticks usually dry out my lips but I still can't stop using them because some of the neutrals are really good.

The Le Volume de Chanel Mascara is a long-time favorite. I just found out they released a waterproof version so I ordered it. So far I'm really liking it and I hope they release more colors in the waterproof or bring back the Navy Blue one because as far as colored mascaras go, that one was my favorite.

Also on the lips this week are Chanel Glossimer in Seashell and YSL Pop Water Glossy Stains (swatches and review here). For cheeks I still can't get over how much I love the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Radiant Light (also in a palette form). I'm going to call this one my never-ending bronzer. I use it a lot and still haven't made a dent. It will probably last me forever.

Non-beauty related is my love for these rimless aviators (more colors here). It's virtually impossible for me to find small sunglasses these days when oversized everything is in everywhere. Most of my sunglasses are several years old and it's rare these days to find smaller frames to fit my face shape and size. These are 59mm and the perfect size for me. I bought them in multiple colors (three to be exact).

Last but not least, I've been really liking the Armani Eye Tints (#9 shown above). I am eager to see how the YSL Pop Water Full Metal Shadows compare (still waiting on these to ship, I have a few on backorder).

What are you loving this week? Any new beauty discoveries or staples you're loving right now?

Friday, February 27, 2015

Hourglass Equilibrium Biomimetic Skin Active Serum


Hourglass Cosmetics launched their first skincare products in January of this year with two items in a line they call Equilibrium. There are two items both are available in limited quantites at the Hourglass Store on Abbot Kinney, Bergdorf Goodman (New York, in store) and Liberty (London, in store).

Equilibrium Day Fluid Broad Spectrum SPF 30 ($115 for 1.7 fl oz/50 ml) is a daytime treatment that is designed to give radiant, supple and healthy-looking skin created from within. From Hourglass:
  • This is designed to complement the evening treatment, and shield skin from the sun with SPF 30. It contains a plant-derived phosphatidylglycerol, which improves skin’s texture and tone. The light, luxurious fluid also contains a blend of four organic chemical compounds providing broad spectrum SPF 30 to shield the skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
Equilibrium Biomimetic Skin Active Serum ($350 for 1.7 fl oz/50 ml) is a rebalancing product intended for night time use only. Description per Hourglass:
  • This revolutionary nighttime re-balancing treatment contains a powerful family of ingredients designed to counteract the visible signs of aging - resulting in radiant, healthy-looking skin created from within. The serum is created using an ultrasonication process, producing microscopic oil droplets which deliver the ingredients into the skin at the most optimal level.

Equilibrium at the Abbot Kinney store opening last September, more on the beautiful store here

Hourglass kindly sent me a sample of the Equilibrium Biomimetic Skin Active Serum for review back at the beginning of the year and I've been putting it to the test for 50+ nights. This is a resurfacing and rebalancing night time treatment that comes in a black pump bottle. The bottle is made of Miron violet glass to protect the contents from harmful light. The product description recommends use of the product for 40-56 days (after a full cellular turnover cycle) to see full results. I wanted to give this a thorough test drive in order to provide as detailed a review as possible on using this.


In testing the Equilibrium Biomimetic Skin Active Serum I saw results in two weeks. If you've followed my skincare posts, you know that ver the past year and a half I've had fluctuations with skin issues. I've discovered a number of products that have helped to rebalance the skin and bring it back to it's normal state. Testing skincare is usually touch and go - you have to really test things over a long period of time to see if they end up working as you hoped. The biggest issue I've had with my skin included texture issues all over the face, breakouts on the chin area and scarring. The items I've tried and tested from Ole Henriksen, Tatcha, SK-II and regular go-to's have helped with the texture and breakouts.



The Hourglass Equilibrium Serum has helped keep my skin clear and removed my chin breakouts and has worked remarkably well in fading scars. This is a fluid type of product that is very gentle on the skin and has a moisturizing feel without any detectable scent. It absorbs nicely into the skin so it doesn't feel like there is product that is just sitting on your face that will slide off once your head hits the pillow. It feels very soothing on the skin which is a huge plus for my sensitive face. The results have been incredibly good. My skin has noticeably (and dramatically) improved in texture and clarity. 


There are three other night time treatments that I've used over the past couple of years that I will offer a comparison to.

1) Chanel La Nuit de Chanel is part of the Resynchronizing line. I bought this and used it up entirely. I found consistent use helped keep my skin clear but wasn't strong enough to help with serious scars or texture issues. I used it up and really liked it, I will probably go back to this once my skin returns to it's normal state. If you have normal sensitive skin that needs basic and simple hydration at night, I highly recommend this.

2) The SK-II Skin Refining Treatment is something I used and love. It improved my skin's texture significantly after several months of use. This one is gentle on the face and after using this I noticed better skin texture, clearer complexion and a glow. The Hourglass by comparison exceeds the SK-II in terms of giving you results faster more dramatic improvement in skin. Both are good and over time they will give you a similar result (better complexion and texture), the SK-II will take a bit longer to give you the same results.

3) I've also written about and used the Ole Henriksen Invigorating Night Treatment (reviewed here). This one also improved my skin's texture and reduced breakouts on the chin area. This one isn't the best for those with sensitive noses because it is fragranced. If you have super delicate skin you find this one tingles too much. I found the scent to be ok, but many have commented they found it too strong.

So out of the four night-time treatments I've tested, my top two picks include the Hourglass and SK-II. I didn't want to fall in love with the Hourglass one due to the hefty price tag but it truly delivers results and performs exceptionally well. My husband has commented on how much my skin has improved after I used this and asked "what are you doing differently?" It's gentle enough for nightly use - in testing this, I would recommend using this almost every night to get the best results (skipping this for 3+ nights resulted in breakouts coming back after testing some other products). I give this a super huge thumbs up.


The Equilibrium line is available at select locations: Hourglass Store on Abbot Kinney, Bergdorf Goodman (New York, in store), Liberty (London, in store). More online at Hourglass Cosmetics. Have you tried any of the Hourglass Equilibrium products? If not, what do you currently use at night?  

The Equilibrium serum was provided courtesy of Hourglass for review consideration.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Valentine's Day Pink for Lips


This week I'm loving all shades of pink for the lips, in preparation for Valentine's Day I've compiled a list of new pinks that I've been testing along with some older favorites. Today's focus is on lip glosses with a glossy sheen that will give the lips a lush glow.



  • Marc Jacobs Lust for Lacquer Lip Vinyl Sheer in Pink Diamond is a glossy sheer pink gold that gives the lips a tint of gold and pink, right now it seems to be removed from Sephora and Marc Jacobs Beauty so I'm not sure if these are being phased out or reformulated, for a similar effect check out MAC Nympette Lipglass
  • Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in Rose Shimmer 01 is a sheer light pink balm-like gloss, on the lips it gives a sheer natural wash of light pink with a tiny bit of shimmer, it has a soft vanilla scent
  • NARS Lip Gloss in Turkish Delight is a super pale powdery pink gloss, on my super pigmented lips this is high maintenance when worn alone, I find it's best worn as a layering lipgloss mainly because I have a lot of color in my lips
  • Zelens Lip Glaze in Rose is a lush baby pink cream, I have a hard time pulling off baby pinks on the lips that are non-shimmers, they are often too pale on my lip but this one was surprisingly good, it's pricey for a lip gloss but the texture and color are really really good, coverage is medium
  • Bite Beauty Lush Fruit Gloss in Strawberry is something I bought in the mini size over the holiday, this is the first Bite Lip Gloss I've tried and the color is absolute perfection for the perfect light-to-medium rose pink but the formula is less than stellar. I wonder if this is one of those glosses you need to "break in" with a few wears to make the formula better, it settled into lip lines like crazy which is a shame because the color and pigment is so pretty
  • Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Pink Pop is sheer bright pink gloss perfection, I love a good bright lip gloss that has a sheer texture because they give the lips just enough color to get that glow, this one has a very strong vanilla scent so if you're sensitive to fragrance, you might not be able to wear this one easily
  • Giorgio Armani Flash Lacquer in 521 is a sheer medium cool-toned pink, it's very sheer so alone it will give you a very subtle tint of color, it's lovely over a lipstick or lipliner 
  • NARS Lip Gloss in Angelika is a bright cool-toned pink with gold flecks of shimmer, this one is a pretty azalea pink kind of color with medium coverage
  • Hourglass Extreme Sheen Lip Gloss in Ballet is a lipgloss that acts more like a liquid lipstick, this one has crazy intense pigment and covers the lip entirely, if you want a glossy bright pink with super rich coverage, this is the best one I've tried
  • MAC Viva Glam Miley Cyrus is a super fun glitzy pink, I'm usually ultra conservative when it comes to anything with visible sparkles that is more than just shimmer, but this one is really pretty on the lips, I'm not sure that I would be able to rock this comfortably everyday, but it's not too glitzy if you layer a sheer wash of this on top of a lipstick
  • Zelens Lip Glaze in Pink is a healthy medium-bright pink, it has medium coverage leaning slightly more towards full but still has a glossy finish so it's not like a liquid lipstick, it's like Laura Mercier's Pink Pop amped up a few notches in terms of pigment and oomph, I highly recommend the formula because it plumps the lips naturally and feels ultra hydrating and smooth
  • Chanel Glossimer in Crazy Fuchsia is part of the spring collection, it's a super pigmented glossimer that has the prettiest mix of pink, violet and rose shimmers, long-time readers know I'm all about lighter neutral lips, but this one is just insanely gorgeous

Lip swatches on me (for reference some of these were taken over different days, foundations worn include the NARS All Day Weightless Luminous Foundation in Punjab and Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation in Bisque 04 with various setting powders):


I hope you found this lip gloss guide helpful in terms of picking out pink lip glosses with a diverse range of finishes, textures and different levels of color. To narrow down my top picks by category:

Favorite sheer light pink:
Clarins Instant Light Perfector in Rose Shimmer and Zelens Rose Lip Glaze

Favorite medium pink:
Laura Mercier Pink Pop and Zelens Pink Lip Glaze

Most unique:
Chanel Crazy Fuchsia Glossimer

This is by no means a comprehensive of all the pink lip glosses I've tried or adore, but rather an edited version of what I've been testing or using right now. What are your favorite pink lip glosses?

The Zelens Lip Glazes, Hourglass Extreme Sheen Lip Gloss and Laura Mercier Lip Glace were provided as press samples for review consideration, all others purchased by me.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hourglass Modernist Eyeshadow Palette in Infinity


Hourglass just released seven new eyeshadows called the Modernist Eyeshadow Palette ($58 each for 5 x 0.035 oz/1.0g). Each palette seems to offer a diverse range of textures and finishes. There are different color variations for a soft to more dramatic eye. I went with the safe option and purchased Infinity a soft palette of warm neutrals which includes Warm Ivory, Dusty Rose, Bronzed Mauve, Cool Taupe, Dark Cocoa.


The shadows are extremely soft powders with an easy to blend texture. Pigment is very good on this palette and easy to blend and layer for a softly defined eye. Many of my readers have commented on the lack of soft satiny matte palettes in the high-end beauty market. If you've been on the hunt for a good palette of soft mattes (with one wearable shimmer) this is the answer to what you've been searching for. The only downside is the soft texture is so soft that there is a lot of powder kick-up when you swipe the palette with the brush. I didn't find that the powder fallout translated to how it applied on the eyes though. With a good brush (like MAC 217, 219 or 239) I was able to get a soft medium gradient.

With soft neutral mattes like these sometimes the colors can end up looking muted or the same on the lids. I like to start with the medium shimmer shades first and then add the others to either highlight or contour the rest of the eye. The middle shimmer color is very soft but adheres well to the lids. The other mattes are softer and lighter in texture (although they have good pigment) and for me are better used as washes. The darkest color is best used with a damp brush or over a creamy liner to help the enhance the pigment.

The packaging and product design is incredibly unique. The powders in the compact are pressed together making them look like a wave pattern. When there is no separator between colors in palettes I usually get worried. I like tiny dividers because I find they make it easier for me to dip my brush into the palette without having to worry about mixing colors. The stripes are large enough for my MAC brushes for now. I do wonder how it will work once the surface is worn down after use.

They come packaged in a similar design to the Ambient Lighting Powder Palette, but the Modernist Eyeshadow Palettes are smaller. For the price and for consistency, I do wish they were larger in size.


Swatches:


Larger and heavier swatches:


Comparisons:


Burberry Nude Blush (review)
Urban Decay Naked2 Basics (swatched)


Tom Ford Orchid Haze (review)
Tom Ford Cocoa Mirage (review)

Based on the comparisons above you can see similarities in the shades to other palettes. If you own a lot of neutrals you may find this easy to dupe. To me it seems to be a cross between Orchid Haze and Cocoa Mirage from Tom Ford. I've found this palette beautiful to wear and gives a lovely soft defined eye. I do wish the powder texture was a bit less soft because the palette itself can get quite messy with the powder kick-up, although as mentioned above, they meld nicely on the eyes and I experienced no fall out once I put it on the skin.

I know from reading other reviews that there are mixed thoughts on this, my recommendation is try before you buy if you are skeptical. Reviews with thumbs up from Goss Makeup Artist. Lukewarm review from Color Me Loud. Thumbs down from Temptalia.

I personally am really happy with my purchase, I haven't seen or tested the others to give you a review on the entire collection of the Modernist Palettes (some look like they have more dramatic sparkles). Given the mixed reviews I don't suspect this will be a universally loved palette, but I do know I'm not alone with my thumbs up thoughts on this.

You can find the Hourglass Modernist Eyeshadow Palettes now at Sephora, Barneys New York and Hourglass Cosmetics. It will be available at other retailers later this month.

Did you try any of these palettes? What did you think? 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Winter Glow


This time of year my skin feels like it lacks natural luster so I rely on illuminators and soft nude shimmers to fake that glow-from-within. Today I'm sharing my favorite go-to's along with thoughts on a few new items I've been testing to get that soft glow. Picks include items for nails, lips, cheeks and eyes. When it comes to shimmers I like to mix them in for one to two areas of the face with color rather than wear champagne shimmers all over the face, otherwise it's just too much. I like using these as a cheekbone or very soft brow bone highlight too in order to add dimension.

First up are pale shimmers for the lips. I am always a huge fan of those soft pale shimmers for the lips but can't always pull them off easily. I have medium pigmented lips with olive skin so often times pale shimmers make me feel like I have white lips. Two I've discovered that work for my lips include Rouge Dior Baume in Star and Lipstick Queen Ice Queen. Both have that lovely translucent quality with multidimensional shimmer to prevent these from looking too frosted.  


Both look similar in photographs on my lips but I think they are different enough to justify both. The Rouge Dior Baume in Star has a cooler-toned quality and is sheerer. Lipstick Queen Ice Queen looks lighter in the photos but it has a higher level of frost which reflects more. It has a mix of silver and gold particles which makes it a good layering lipstick. I have a slight preference for the Lipstick Queen because the shimmering quality is really pretty. If you are anti-shimmer for lips, you may find it too frosty.



For the nails, I've been obsessed with Rescue Beauty Lounge Bubblegum Punk for a fun multi-colored shimmer frost. It has an ultra smooth finish even though it's on the sparkly side. I can never resist pale shimmers for nails, but some are hard to work with if they are frosts. Marc Jacobs Beauty has released two new Hi-Shine Enamored Nail Polishes. Blanche was released last fall. It's a metallic soft white which I found took some extra effort to make work. Being a metallic I found brush strokes visible with two coats, but they disappeared a bit with the third coat. I have yet to find a good white shimmer that is streak-free. This one is pretty good if you are patient. Milk is a new addition to their Runway Shades. This is an iridescent beige that flashes pink and opal. I adore these kinds of colors but I know some women find the colors like this difficult to work with on their skin tone (something about the beige makes the skin look sallow). Milk flashes enough iridescent shimmer to prevent the beige base from dominating. I find it very wearable.



For highlighting, there are a number of multi-tasking products for eyes and cheeks. I love a good shimmer that gives a glow without looking frosty. I know everyone has different preferences for what degree of shimmer they are comfortable wearing so I'll give a summary ranking of what I think is the most subtle to the most frosted.

First up are creamy ones. NARS St. Lucia Multiple is the latest from NARS (currently a Nordstrom exclusive, available at all NARS counters in March, review here). It's a multi-purpose creamy twist up stick. On me it gives a natural glowy soft pink highlight to the cheeks and eyes. On fairer skins this will probably give you more color and look more blush-like.

My holy grail cream highlighter is Edward Bess All Over Seduction. He has two shades, Sunlight is the paler one (shown below) and Afterglow is a bronzey version. Both are incredibly natural and glowy. The texture blends in beautifully with the skin and the shimmer is finely milled. If you're afraid of shimmer I highly recommend you check these out because it's impossible to overdo and looks amazing on everyone I've seen it applied on.

One of the newest illuminators I've been testing is the Chantecaille Liquid Lumiere Anti-Aging Face Illuminator in Sheen (I received this as part of the Net-A-Porter holiday beauty box but it's available separately). At first swipe I found the shimmer in this one to be on the high side but after playing with this I found it blended out to a soft smooth veil of shimmer. It does have more shimmer than Armani Fluid Sheers or the Edward Bess Sunlight but it is still very wearable. The pigment and shimmer is intense but it's concentrated so you only need a tiny amount. A little goes a long way. If you're one of those beauty lovers who is in search of a liquid highlighter that won't disappear on the skin once you blend it this is a good one to look into. I've dabbed it on top of the cheekbones or eyes (after foundation/powder) and it doesn't disrupt your makeup base. Check out the review on Best Things in Beauty to see how the colors look once blended properly. 



For additional highlighters, my go-to powder highlighter is from Hourglass. The Ambient Lighting Palette (review here) goes with me on all trips. I use the full size versions at home and take this palette with me for on-the-go or on vacations. The palette came out after the individual ones were released, so I have some duplicate colors. If you're new to these powders, I hands down say go for the palette. There is a good amount of product so it will last you a long time and it's super convenient to use and carry with you.

I used to use the Kevyn Aucoin Celetial Powder in Candlelight a long time ago when it had the larger compact packaging. I liked it but didn't love it. Several have recommended I check it out again claiming it reached holy grail status for them. I like the new compact packaging and the powder is lovely but I don't love it. I find it a bit too pale for my medium-olive skin. That being said if you thought the Hourglass Luminous Light was too shimmery or glowy I recommend the Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight because it is a notch down in the shimmer intensity. If you prefer neutral to cool-toned highlighters then you will really like Candlelight. I have friends who are on the fair side (Chanel Beige 10 or MAC NC20) and they swear by this one.

Last but not least, I think the NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadows in Himalia and Dione are the best shimmers on the market. It has a really good blendable cream texture. The shimmer/frost is high on this so your mileage may vary. Full review here. If you don't have a lot of the colors you may want to check out the NARSissist Dual Intensity Eyeshadow Palette. I already own 5 of the 8 shades so I'm having a hard time justifying a purchase since it will result in a lot of dupes for me.



What do you like to use to get a nice glow in the winter time?

The Lipstick Queen Ice Queen, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette, Rescue Beauty Lounge Bubblegum Punk Nail Polish and Chantecaille Illuminator were provided as press samples for review consideration. All other items purchased by me.
 

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