Showing posts with label Kevyn Aucoin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kevyn Aucoin. Show all posts

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Summer Bronzer Edit


By popular request, I've rounded up some new bronzers I've tried this summer along with tried and true favorites. Bronzers are probably one of most favorite makeup products - there's just something about a glowing tan that I love. Living in Southern California we have warm sunny weather almost year round. I do use sun protection for the face and body, but living here there's just no avoiding the sun - but I love it.

I've pulled an extensive list of bronzers and split them by type. It's by no means a comprehensive list of all the bronzers on the market, nor is it a list of all the bronzers I have tried or own (that would be a post a mile long). I have picked out the ones I thought were either new and interesting, tried and true or new found loves. A quick note before I go into the details - I have medium olive toned skin with normal/combination skin. I prefer warmer bronzers as cool-toned bronzers often look ashy or grey on my complexion. Foundation shades most reached for include the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation in 6 + 7 mixed, NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint in Groenland and St. Moritz mixed. I love bronzers of all types whether it's liquid, powder, shimmer or matte.

Finding the right shade or formula for you will depend skin undertone (pink or yellow), skin tone (fair, light, medium, tan or deep), skin type (oily, dry, combo, etc.) and also things such as shimmer or formula preference.

Up first are some matte bronzing powders. Several of you have asked for recommendations on more affordable options. Two lines I've tried I think are excellent are the Colour Pop and Benefit.


Shown above:
  • Urban Decay Beached Bronzer in Bronzed (reviewed here) is a deep warm matte bronze, I think this is best suited for deeper skintones, on me it's a bit dark, but good for days I want a more dramatic look.
  • Colour Pop Super Shock Cheek Bronzer in Skinnydip is a soft light neutral matte bronze that looks like a skintone color for me, for those with fair skins who find most options too dark, this might be a good option to look at.
  • Benefit Hoola Matte Bronzing Powder (c/o) is a classic that is neutral so it will work with a wide range of skin undertones, it's one of the best more affordable matte bronzers I've tried.
  • Marc Jacobs O!Mega Bronzer Tantric (c/o, on the face here) is another well-loved one by me, it's huge! The color and pigment is semi sheer but buildable, so if you're looking for one that is impossible to overdo, this is a good one.
  • Tom Ford Bronzing Powder in Terra and Bronze Age (c/o review and both shown on the face here), Terra is one of the few wearable cool-toned bronzers I can wear, Bronze Age is one of the darkest bronzers I own, it's a deep warm golden color, if you need something deeper try the Chanel Les Beiges Summer Duo reviewed here.


Next up are more luminous glowy bronzers ranging from a soft shimmer to high shimmer.


Shown above:
  • Colour Pop Super Shock Cheek Bronzer in Poolside (medium-deep bronze) and Paradise Cove (cool-toned neutral) both have a soft luminous finish. They have a unique formula that I thought would be powders but are more of a bouncy gel cream. The price is affordable but the amount of product you get pretty small at 4.2g. Still I think these are fun and easy to build.
  • Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Radiant Bronze Light (reviewed here) is a soft luminous highlighter + bronzer in one. More details on the review linked above. It's almost identical on my skin to the lighter version Luminous Bronze Light which happens to be the shade in the Nordstrom Hourglass Luminous Light Palette.
  • Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow in Medium- Dark (review + look here) is a gorgeous bronze and orange shimmer duo. It's more dramatic on me, but still wearable. For tan to deeper skintones I think you will love this one. More details in the review linked above.
  • Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Powder in Sunlight is one of the latest additions to the celestial powder line, it's not really a bronzer, but on my skintone it is. It's a medium to deep golden shimmer that gives my skin a golden sunkissed look. (It's also coming soon in the Celestial Skin Liquid formula, available for pre-order.)
  • Edward Bess Black Sea Golden Hour Mousse Bronzer is something I bought while in New York. It's the most beautiful warm golden coppery shimmer I've ever seen. It's a mousse formula that is super lightweight and easy to blend. I swatched it with a heavy hand below but once you blend it on the skin it becomes a more soft glowy gold that gives the face a beautiful golden glow. I highly recommend it.


Liquid bronzers up next. I have used and liked the Armani Liquid Summer Bronzers but didn't love it enough to repurchase (even though they added more shades). A few more affordable options below.


Shown above:
  • Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops (c/o) come in 4 highlighter shades and 2 bronzers. I'll have a post on the entire collection soon, but for now a quick peek at the bronzers in Sunset and Sunkissed. Both are neutral to cool toned. Sunset offers a deeper bronzed look. If I look in the bottle there is a sheen but on the face it looks more creamy. Sunkissed is my skin but better. These have been swatched heavily but blend out nicely and are very easy to layer and blend.
  • Benefit Dew the Hoola (c/o) looks super orangey in the swatch, but let me assure you, it is not orangey on the face. It is on the warm and peachy side but I think that's what makes it work. It's sheer but buildable and dries to a semi-matte finish. I've worn it alone or with a tiny bit of powder blush layered on top.
  • NARS Laguna Liquid Bronzer is another new one that looks super warm and almost orangey in the swatch but often times with any kind of cheek product what you swatch on the hand/arm looks very different on the face. I love this one because it's fluid and blends into a very soft finish on the cheeks. It leaves a soft sheen without looking greasy. I almost hate posting these swatches because I think they will deter many of you from trying it, but I really urge you to try if you have a NARS counter near you. It's one of the most natural looking bronzers I've tried that is visible but looks like your skin, just better and with a bit more life.


Last but not least, the three I consider classic staples:
  • Edward Bess Ultra Luminous Bronzer in Daydream is my holy grail of all bronzers. It's soft and luminous just like the name implies, it's impossible to overdo, not too shimmery and warms up the skin beautifully.
  • NARS Laguna Tiare (limited-edition Tiare version shown) is a classic with a scented twist for summer. It's the same as the classic Laguna but has a summery tiare scent added in a special limited-edition packaging. The original was one of the first high end bronzers I splurged on and it lasted for what seemed like forever. It's a classic soft luminous medium bronze that doubles as a soft contour powder. In the event you don't want something scented or want this in a palette form, there are a few Nordstrom Sets you may want to check out including the Cult Survival Kit or the Nordstrom's Best Cheek Palette.
  • Tom Ford Bronzing Powder in Gold Dust is another classic, it was quite the splurge when I first bought it because they only had the large size which is over $90. They've since launched smaller versions for the past couple of years which are still pricey but more affordable and nice to travel with.


For those who were asking for a summer bronzer roundup, I hope you found this helpful! I focused mainly on stand alone bronzers rather than ones in palettes. If you have any favorites please share them in the comments along with your skintone, maybe 1 foundation shade you use for reader reference.


Press samples featured indicated with c/o.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Space NK Boutique - 31 Prince Street in Nolita


Last week I stopped by a few of my favorite beauty shops in NYC. Living in Southern California I am lucky to have access to most brands but often times don't have a free standing boutique near me for some stores to get the full experience. I was beyond thrilled to stop by Space NK's newest New York Boutique on 31 Prince Street in Nolita. This was my first time inside a free standing store and it is a beauty lover's dream come true. Between Space NK and Birchbox Soho - you literally have all your beauty and grooming (for men) needs covered. Both stock a wide variety of mid to high end beauty brands and from the looks of it, they have everything one could need and in travel sizes too. As I was oohing and aaahing at all the shelves in Space NK, by I thought to myself I should have skipped the stress of trying to hoard minis and pack all my liquids into a quart size bag (since I travel carry-on style) and made this store my first stop in once I arrived in the city.

The store is located on the corner of Prince and Mott - it's one of the most charming beauty spaces I've been inside. There's a lot stocked in the store covering skincare, hair care, cosmetics and more - at the same time it's very spacious with a wide open feeling that gives it a luxurious feel. Walking inside is pretty amazing - I could not help but wish that I had a space like this in my home. Displays are organized by brand and product type. Skincare is split into different walls for the natural brands, more techy brands etc. I had just missed a Dr. Lancer appearance and book signing which happened at the store a few days prior. There are decicated areas for Lancer Skincare.


Wall of skincare featuring By Terry, Chantecaille, Sunday Riley, Eve Lom, Tata Harper:


So much love for By Terry, can I have one of everything please?


The Hourglass display complete with Ambient Lighting Powders, Foundations, Brushes and more:



Eve Lom foundations and powders to the left, Smith & Cult to the right:


More beauty from Kevyn Aucoin and Lord and Berry:







Wall of heaven stocked with Oribe minis, Ouai, Sachajuan, Gloss Moderne and more: 



Brow kiosk and Lipstick Queen:


Close up of Oribe heaven, full size wall and then stocked travel size minis:



Overall a must-stop if you visit New York City. There are quite a few Space NK stores located through the city, I was glad I stopped by this one as it's in a cute neighborhood and Diptyque is just around the corner. It has a similar vibe and feel to the dedicated Space NK sections you may see inside a Bloomingdale's (which I also love) but being able to visit a separate store is really a must if you can.

Many thanks to Space NK for allowing me to take photos inside their beautiful store. Next time I'm in New York I won't be packing a lot of items, I know now that I can simply stop by here and purchase what I need as they carry my favorite brands.

Have you been inside a Space NK store before? I know they are all over the US but this is my first time visiting a dedicated store. Hope you enjoyed this peek into their space! Snippets on their social too @spacenkusa - something I live vicariously through since I don't have a store near me. It's nice to see snapshots of their stores around the country and new launch sneak peeks.

P.S. There's a summer sale going on right now, some items are marked up to 50% off :)


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.


Monday, March 28, 2016

Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight and Starlight - The Celestial Skin Liquid, Celestial Powder and Lip Gloss


A couple weekends ago I stopped by the Kevyn Aucoin booth at The Makeup Show LA and picked up the new Lip Glosses ($30 each for 5.04 ml) in Candlelight and Starlight along with the Celestial Skin Liquid Lighting ($52 for 30 ml) in Starlight. I already own the Celestial Liquid in Candlelight which I really like and was curious about the pink version. I did a review on the Celestial Powders a little over a year ago in this post here but I thought I'd feature all the Candlelight and Starlight products for the Celestial Skin Liquid, Celestial Powder and Lip Gloss in a single post to swatch them side by side in case you were wondering how the colors looked in different formulas.


Candlelight is the champagne-gold option while Starlight is the pink-tinged color. In my initial review about the powders, I mentioned that color of the Candlelight Celestial Powder was a slight miss for my skintone. I still stand by that opinion because the color is a bit too pale and too cool toned for what I like on the face. It's still a very well made product and high quality (I like it as eyeshadow, just not on my cheeks). I personally prefer the color of the Celestial Skin Liquid which is deeper and more golden. It gives the skin a very soft luminous glow - those who are afraid of too much shimmer on the face should check out the Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Liquid because it gives the skin a very natural glow without the frost or shine. You can use it mixed in with foundation to add a nice luminosity or on top of cheekbones as a natural highlight. The Candlelight Lip Gloss is a gorgeous sparkling gold in the tube but it's pretty much clear on the lips. It's pretty when layered on top of lipsticks but I would have loved to see more pigment in the base.

For Starlight, I loved the Starlight Celestial Powder and still do. It's a beautiful seashell pink shimmer that I find difficult to find in highlighters from other brands. It works well on cheeks as a highlight or the eyes as an all over wash. The pigment is very good and shimmer visible but not frosty. The Starlight Celestial Liquid is almost identical in color but has a more subtle finish compared to the powder. If I had to pick one, I would pick the powder mainly because it shows up more on my skin, but both are very good. The Starlight Lip Gloss is stunning. I've swatched both on the lips (scroll down) and it was hard to capture the depth of the shimmer but if you are in search of a soft seashell pink shimmer gloss that shows up the Starlight Lip Gloss is perfect. 

I won't repost the images of the Celestial Powders since I already reviewed them here and swatched them above, but here are close ups and swatches of the Celestial Liquids and Lip Gloss in Starlight and Candlelight.





The glosses look identical in the lip swatch photos - the shimmer was difficult to capture, but Starlight shows up more on the lips closer to the arm swatch above. Both have a semi-thick texture but it's not tacky. They are scented with a fruity scent but it's pleasant and fades after a few minutes. Lasting power is like the average gloss - they will stay on the lips a while without fading or budging as long as you don't touch the lips. They will transfer if you drink anything like cups of tea or coffee (or any other kind of drinks).
 


In terms of cream or liquid highlighters, the Edward Bess All Over Seduction highlighters are still hands down my favorites for adding a nice visible but natural glow to the face. I think the Celestial Skin Liquids from Kevyn Aucoin perform well - they are great for mixing in with foundation or adding a luminous glow to the cheeks in a very natural way. Lasting power is pretty good for a liquid (I find they last longer than Armani Fluid sheers). I know they have reached cult status for many, I think they are very good but for me I can't personally say I find them must-haves. I will use mine up to the end but I don't know that I will repurchase due to the high price tag combined with the fact that I prefer powder highlighters. Starlight Celestial Powder is still one of my favorites for pink highlighters. For the lip glosses, I would say that the Starlight gets a thumbs up from me. Candlelight is nice to have but not a must because of the sheerness - although there are times when I want a sheer sparkly gloss to add shine instead of color so in those cases this one fits the bill.




You can find Kevyn Aucoin products at a number of different retailers including Nordstrom, Barneys New York, Neiman Marcus, Space NK and Beautylish.

Do you have any Kevyn Aucoin favorites?


Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Makeup Show LA March 2016 Event Recap + Haul


I attended The Makeup Show LA last weekend and it was one of the best makeup events I've attended. This year they had over 150 brands at the show - I love events like these that support beauty professionals in so many aspects. If are able to attend one I highly recommend you do. In recent years they've expanded their stops to some additional cities with pop-ups. Full calendar and list of upcoming shows on their website The Makeup Show. This was my second year attending although they've been making an appearance in LA for ten years now.

Urban Decay Cosmetics made an appearance this year with their full line available (items were offered at a 30% pro discount). Most of the brands offered generous discounts during the show for professionals to stock their makeup kits or explore new launches (some like Kevyn Aucoin offered discounts of 40% off). In the excitement of being able to swatch and play with so many things I neglected to take as many photos of the show as I had hoped, but here are a few I hope you will enjoy.

In the morning I attended the Press Preview where The Makeup Show Director of Artist Relations and Education James Vincent gave us an overview of show highlights, new product launches along with some inspirational thoughts about the business of beauty, building your own brand and the importance of knowing how to merging art and commerce.


A look at some of the booths, first is Kevyn Aucoin. They had the new Featherlight Collection for spring available along with the full line of makeup and brushes. I had their Sensual Skin foundation on my wishlist to try out but did not want to wait to get matched at the show.


Inglot booth:


Sephora Collection booth was very busy with lots to explore, pro discount offered at the show was 30% off so I picked up another of my favorite foundation brush and a few of the matte lip products:



Scott Barnes was showcasing their new Multi Media Liquid makeup, based on the raves from several of you, I did get a color match and picked up the shade Creme Fraiche. I haven't tested it yet, but will have to see in natural light if the match was indeed correct. They also had mini Body Blings which I wish I had picked up one to try out, but since I don't usually use body shimmers, it's probably not a huge miss.


I've been a huge fan of the MustaeV Lustrous Cream Base and Skinny Tint Foundation. They are expanding their color selection for the foundation since it only comes in three colors right now.  I was hoping they would have the new shades available at the show, but they won't be launched for a few more months. If you'd like a review now of what I do have - let me know in the comments.


Nigel's Beauty Emporium is a beauty supply store - at the show they had some of the best values and discounts. I stocked up on beautyblenders last year and did again. They had a Beautyblender Propack of 6 pink (or white) beautyblenders + the solid cleanser for $64 at the show (listed price on their website is $80). Individual blenders were on discount for $16 each. They also had a large number of mixed sets. If you're in the LA area they have a store in West Hollywood and carry a wide range of brands like Anastasia, Ben Nye, Artis, Becca, Black Up, Make Up For Ever etc.
 

NARS also had their own booth with the full line. The Laguna Tahiti Collection was available for purchase at the show so I picked up several of the new items as they were available at a pro discount (I can't locate my receipt at the moment but it was either 30 or 40%).


Kat Von D Beauty had amazing bundles at discounted prices on their Shade + Light collection, but the line was insanely long, I took a few photos from outside the line area:


Viseart has three new eyeshadow palettes launching exclusively at MUSE Beauty Pro at the end of the month called Theory Palettes ($45 each). I was hoping they would have these available for purchase at the show, but they only had the testers to play with. The texture and pigment is amazing. You can pre-order them from their website now (estimated ship date is end of March). MUSE Beauty Pro has the exclusive for 3 months on these palettes. I've never tried any of the Viseart palettes before - the pro discount at the show was 30% off so I was thrilled to buy my first two last weekend.


Beautylish had some of the Natasha Denona items on display. I was hoping they would have the entire line available to play with like they did at IMATS Los Angeles, however the selection was a bit more limited this round. A look at all the Natasha Denona Blush Duos.


For those curious about what I hauled, here is the loot. I did haul more than I had planned - some of the 30% to 40% off discounts were just too good to pass!


Items shown above listed below, items purchased by me except for a few press samples noted:
I'll be reviewing items as I work my way through testing them. I did pre-order the new Viseart Palettes at the show and will be swatching as soon as they arrive (estimated ship date is 3/30). I'm always looking to try new brush cleansers so I'm excited to try some of the ones I picked up at the show - I know many of you love baby shampoo, I used to use it, but I feel like these days it just leaves a film on my brushes that I cannot rinse off properly. 

Did you visit The Makeup Show LA last weekend? Or do you have plans to attend on in another city later this year?


 

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