Showing posts with label Powder. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Powder. Show all posts

Saturday, April 5, 2014

NARS Paloma Contour Blush, Altai and Vientiane Matte Multiples and Contour Brush #21

NARS has been killing it with some amazing new releases this year. New items on my radar focus on contouring: Matte Multiples in Altai and Vientiane ($39 each for 7.5 g), Paloma Contour Blush ($42 for 8.2 g) and the new Contour Brush #21 ($42).

The new Contour Blushes are powder duos with shades that create dimension for the face while giving a luminous finish. Each compact has a deeper shade to create definition and contour and a lighter shade to highlight and blend. There are three color options and I picked the middle option Paloma. The powders are very similar in concept to the MAC Sculpt and Shape powders. I find the NARS slightly more velvety in texture. Paloma has a neutral cream powder with a neutral tan. It's described as having a rose undertone which is nice because it prevents the colors from turning too brown or orange on the skin. I found Paloma to be dark enough to show up on the skin but it is still very natural looking. I'm not a contour pro, but I like to apply contouring/bronzer powders in a 3 shape on each side of the face starting at the temples and down to the jawline. You could use this as a nude blush, however adding a swipe of a brighter blush on top like NARS Torrid really brightens the face after using the Contour Blush first.

Matte Multiples have been all the rage lately. I purchased a handful and have been really impressed with the velvety pigmented texture that is really easy to blend. The Matte Multiples have more pigment than the regular Multiples. The only downside is the new matte multiples are smaller in size than the regular versions and priced the same. Altai is the lightest bronze option which I find perfect for contouring. For those familiar with the older flesh-colored multiples from several years ago, Altai is a close duplicate for Tuomota. Vientiane is a darker warmer bronze. The NARS artist at the Melrose Boutique used this to contour my face in the temples, nose, cheek bone and jaw. The velvety texture of these adheres well to the skin and the formula allows for precise control of pigment. I found these to last on the cheeks quite well (much longer than the regular multiples).

I have swatches and also comparisons, first up swatches of the three new items  I purchased from NARS - Paloma Contour Blush, Altai Matte Multiple and Vientiane Matte Multiple:

Paloma Contour Blush comparisons to MAC Accentuate Shaping Powder, NARS Zen Blush, NARS Douceur Blush, MAC Sculpt Powder, Chanel Les Beiges in 30 and MAC Strada Blush.

Altai and Vientiane Matte Multiple comparisons to other cream contouring products (unfortunately I think all have been discontinued) St Barts Multiple, MAC Naturally Defined Pro Sculpting Cream, MAC Pure Sculpture Pro Sculpting Cream, NARS Tuomota Multiple and NARS Laguna Multiple:

Last item I wanted to feature includes one of the newly re-designed brushes: Contour Brush #21. This is a sturdy basic black angled blush. The bristles are very soft yet dense. It has a medium-sized handle that fits my hand well. It's not too short but not too long. It picks up powder really well and helps to apply it evenly on the face.

Dior Tra La La on the nails

Views of the Contour blush from different angles:

Overall really pleased with these new discoveries from NARS. You can find the items at NARS counters and boutiques now. Online now at Nordstrom (gift with purchase now), Bloomingdales (also has a gift with purchase now), Barneys and

What's your perfect contouring product or tool? Have you checked out the new Contouring Blushes or Matte Multiples? What did you pick up?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Guerlain Crazy Pearls Meteorites | Holiday 2013

Guerlain Crazy Paris Meteorites Pearls for holiday ($58 for 30g/1.05oz, limited-edition) is a hybrid Illuminating/Finishing Powder. It is very sheer but glowy on my medium olive tone skin. There are multi-colored pearls of powder in this year's holiday meteorites. There is a white pearl, matte peach, bright pink and some gold. I haven't had much experience with Guerlain Meteorites in the past. Most shades I've tested were barely visible on my skin and while I know they are designed to be finishing powders, I found them too sheer for my taste to purchase in the past. My preference in the past for the perfect glowy finishing powder was for the Chanel Poudre Douce powders (now discontinued). The Guerlain Crazy Paris Powder is more sheer and glowy with visible shimmers compared to Chanel Les Beiges (which is best used more like an all over sheer soft setting powder). The Guerlain is also significantly sheerer and more sparkly than Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders (which I feel are more user-friendly for all over the face).

The Crazy Pearls Meteorites this year are visible on my skin to give that glow from within. I tested at the counter where the artist dusted this all over the face. For me this would be more of a special-occasion product to use all over the face. It's a tad too glowy for me to use all over for everyday. My preference is to use it to highlight the cheeks (over bronzer or blush) and temples to add that soft glow. If you layer this more you will see a bit more pink on the skin. It's still extremely subtle. If you want something more visible I would suggest you opt for one of the Hourglass Ambient Light powders (the best shade will depend entirely on your skintone, the holiday palette is a nice way to try three shades).

More photos and swatches:

It gives a glow from within kind of glow. The sparkles are visible on the skin but not glittery. Even though the pink shows up well on my skin it's too sheer to use as a blush. It makes a lovely finishing product. I highly recommend you read the review and reader comments at Best Things in Beauty - there are many Guerlain fans that have chimed in on their thoughts and comparisons.

Is it a must-have? I'm not sure I can say yes or no. Those who are familiar with Guerlain Meterorites Pearls will most likely say yes. The Guerlain Meteorites have a unique finish compared to any other highlighter - one that is sheer but meant to be applied all over the face. I would say test before you buy. I am very happy with these - I find the finish is more visible compared to past Meteorites I've tested.

The Guerlain Crazy Paris Meteorite Pearls are limited edition. The collection is now at all Guerlain counters. You can find it online at Nordstrom and other online locations.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Hourglass's latest release is the new Ambient Lighting Palette ($58 for 0.35 oz/9.9g, limited-edition). It's a travel-sized trio of Ambient Lighting Powders in Dim Light, Incandescent Light (new) and Radiant Light. The trio also comes with a small sample of their Mineral Veil Primer (see review here). Hourglass says this palette is just like having your own personal lighting technician. I couldn't describe this better.  Being a huge fan of Luminous Light, I was very excited about the release of this palette.
I love everything about this palette. The pans are smaller than the regular Ambient Lighting Powders but large enough to easily dip a fluffy brush into to apply to the face. It's perfect for travel and arrived just at the right time for me. I brought it with me on my recent trip. It was the only highlighter I brought which was perfect because it provided three options in one palette. I wore this every evening out and felt it gave that perfect glow by mixing the three shades.

The Ambient Lighting Palette featured below:

Here you can see how they glow in the sunlight, colors left to right: Dim, Incandescent and Radiant

Here you can see the softness of the powders:

The three shades:

Dim Light is an existing shade in the regular full-sized line but is new to me. It's described as a neutral peach beige and is supposed to blur imperfections and highlight the skin. I think the effect will vary depending on your skintone. I am a bit too tan to wear this all over as a setting powder, but it makes an amazing under-eye highlight and over the cheeks blending color. There is a subtle luminous quality - but very subtle. If you're afraid of any kind of shimmer - this is the highlighter for you.

Incandescent Light is a new shade and currently only available in this palette. It's a pearlescent pearly color. In the pan it resembles Luminous Light (my holy grail highlighter, see review here) however Incandescent Light is slightly paler in color and not as shimmery. Luminous Light by comparison is almost peachy when swatched next to Incandescent Light.

Radiant Light is another existing shade which I also own. It's the sheerest bronze powder I have that adds a warm golden glow without being brownish like a traditional bronzer. It has tiny gold sparkle particles but doesn't look glittery.

The application tips are endless with this palette. I wear Chanel B30, NARS Groenland Tinted Moisturizer, Dolce and Gabbana Warm 100 Powder Foundation and Tom Ford Foundation Stick #5 and I used all three shades every time I've worn it to date. My favorite way:
  • Use Dim Light as a soft dusting powder in the center of the face and on the cheeks to blend out edges of your blush or bronzer.
  • Use Incandescent Light as an all over highlight on the eyes, top of cheek bones.
  • Apply Radiant Light directly on the cheeks or as a contour along outer edges in a 3 shape to add warmth and a soft glow, also works well to add warmth to the eyes by dusting a soft layer over your shadows and blending very softly

Comparisons to Luminous Light:

Size comparison to MAC and Armani Blushes. It fit perfectly in my travel case:

I highly recommend this palette. The price is higher than the individual sizes (and slightly more expensive per oz) but this is a great way to try three shades in one palette rather than purchasing individual colors. If you're more a fan of shimmery highlighters you may find this too subtle but I do find the shimmer is visible enough on the skin to be able to tell that there is a glow.

AVAILABLE AT: Sephora,, Barneys New York (beauty bag event until the 19th), Bergdorf Goodman and Space NK

Monday, September 23, 2013

Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Highlighting Powders: Nude Radiance and Golden Radiance

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Burberry Beauty released two new powders in their Fresh Glow formula in Nude Radiance 01 and Warm Radiance 02 ($48 each for 10 g/.35 oz, made in Italy). These were part of a small collection for summer which included a new bronze version of their liquid Fresh Glow ($48), two Eye Trios ($47 each) and the two new powders. I'm late to the party with this release - was waiting to test in person but never made it to my nearest counter. I ordered the two Fresh Glow Luminous Highlighting Powders online sight unseen.

The Fresh Glow powders are designed to be alternates to the Fresh Glow liquid. I had tested the liquid version when it was released but the foundation along with the liquid both have some ingredient that caused an allergic reaction all over my face. I was disappointed since both products wear really well on the skin in terms of how they make the skin look. I was excited and hopeful that the powders would really be similar to the liquids.

The product description:  Whisperlight texture gives instant radiance and healthy glow while gently protecting skin from the natural elements Ultra-fine illuminators for natural radiance. Compact alternative to Fresh Glow Fluid, for those who prefer a powder texture. Soothing rosa canina fruit extracts Microscopic rose shaped particles absorb oil and intensify light diffusion.

I found Nude Radiance to be a frosted white with a hint of pearl. It looks chalky on my skintone and is rather unflattering. There is a wide brush that comes with these powders which I found quite good at applying the powders to the face. This one however deposits a bit too much pigment to the skin. Even when using a sheer fluffy brush there is just too much chalky frost that applies to the skin. Right now I have olive-medium skin, Chanel B30. 

Golden Radiance was also extremely frosty. It applies lighter than what you see in the compact primarily because there is so much frost. This one was a bit darker but emphasized pores and looked metallic on the cheeks. No amount of blending would make it look good.

I did test these on the eyes though and found they make stunning eye colors. The pigment and shimmer are more forgiving on the eyes and much more flattering. I've been looking for a frosted nude for quite some time for the eyes - Golden Radiance just might be my holy grail nude shimmer (although expensive for just one eyeshadow color).

Here they are swatched:

Compared to last spring's Sheer Summer Glow Powder (limited, but still might be available in stores).

Swatched next to Hourglass Luminous Light, Chanel Poudre Signee de Chanel, Hourglass Radiant Light and Guerlain Terracotta Blondes 02.

Overall thoughts: Overall thoughts: My feelings/thoughts about the powders are mixed. The two new powders from Burberry don’t really fit my ideal for something that is luminous or glowy. While the pigment, texture, blendability are amazing, I found these to be overly frosty/shimmery which resulted in emphasized pores and for the pale one a chalky finish on the face. I tried layering over other colors and under bronzer to sheer out the frost. It was still a bit too frosty for my taste. I was hoping for a slightly more pigmented version of the Sheer Summer face quad. I really wanted to love these! I’m normally fine with larger amounts of shimmer on the face, for reference I can easily and comfortably wear most of MAC’s MSFs and Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks. That being said – I do find they work as shadows. I prefer the Golden shade since it’s not as pale/chalky on me. But in general for highlighters these are not among my top picks.

Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Highlighting Powders in Nude Radiance and Golden Radiance retail for $48 each. Available now at Burberry Beauty counters and online at Nordstrom and Saks.

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Chanel Les Beiges Comparisons

Here are a few comparisons of the new Chanel Les Beiges to some other powders including the Poudre Douce Soft Pressed Powder in Pêche Tendre 20 (discontinued), Double Perfection Lumèire in 20 Beige and MAC Golden Bronzer.

In general the Les Beiges powders are among the sheerest of the sheer when it comes to pressed powders. They aren't quite as sheer as MAC Blot Powders though (which I always found chalky-looking). You can definitely layer the Les Beiges over tinted moisturizers or foundations. Buffing in a circular motion with a denser brush helps build color.

I would say the Les Beiges are most similar in concept to the discontinued Poudre Douce Soft Pressed Powders even though these only came in lighter shades. Pêche Tendre 20 (no longer available in the US) has a more glowy finish with visible shimmer. Les Beiges No. 20 has no visible shimmer and goes on the skin more pinkish.

Below you can see that the Double Perfection Lumiere in 20 Beige has significantly more coverage than the Les Beiges powders and that in general the darker Les Beiges powders are quite a bit warmer in undertone. They aren't quite as brown as MAC Golden Bronzer (which also has more of a glow at a cheaper price) but Les Beiges have a similar natural finish.

Close up of the lighter shades:


Right now my favorite finishing powders are tied between NARS Light Reflecting Loose Powder (I haven't tried the pressed) and Dolce & Gabbana's Powder Foundation (I currently mix 100 and 140). Chanel Double Perfection used to be a favorite before they reformulated to the current Double Perfection Lumiere formula.

The more I use the Les Beiges the more I like them. My initial thoughts were slightly less than impressed due to the sheerness. I've found that buffing in a circular motion creates a nice glow - something definitely more natural and suited to my preference than mineral powder foundations (pressed or loose), but similar in result by blending out imperfections (only when layered over liquid foundations though for me).

You can find Les Beiges now at Nordstrom.

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour SPF 15 Powders N° 20, 30 and 40

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour powders have finally arrived in the US ($57.50 for 12 g/0.42 oz). There are seven shades available in the powder. Each come encased in a black pouch and a beige colored square compact. The Les Beiges Powders come with a half-moon domed-shaped brush, but there is also a separate Les Beiges Retractable Kabuki Brush ($70) that has been released as well specifically for use with the Les Beiges powders. The compacts for Les Beiges are the same size as the now discontinued Poudre Douce, but with slightly less product. I was able to preview and test Les Beiges last month at a Chanel event. The artist used the shade in N° 20 all over as a soft finishing powder over the Vitalumière Aqua Compact Foundation in B30 (a full coverage foundation), then used N° 40 as a face contouring powder to add definition. The result was a flawless glow.

The Les Beiges powders are very finely milled powders with a sheer translucent finish. The colors I picked out have a subtle glow in the compact but the shimmer is not really visible on the skin except for N° 30 which has visible glow particles (at least on me). There are a number of ways to use these powders. My local Chanel counter had some useful sheets to explain how the powders are meant to be used. You can enhance the skin by using as a setting powder. Add a glow with a color that is one shade darker. Or use as a bronzer with an even darker shade by layering.

More ideas on how to use the powders:

The colors I picked: N° 20, 30 and 40

Each color side by side:

Since each color is very sheer, I tried to do a heavy swipe to show the color.

Swatched with a brush with a heavy hand:

Comparisons to come in the next post, but for now I'll share my thoughts on how these powders performed. I've tested these several ways over the past few days. Overall these are very sheer even when buffed heavily into the skin. I've tested with several different brushes that Chanel recommended. Each brush will give a slightly different effect although no matter how you use these shades, the result is a similar soft glow. The Les Beiges create the same soft sheer effect as a loose setting powder but in pressed form.

The recommended brushes (and thoughts below). Les Beiges Retractable Kabuki Brush, Touch-Up Brush and the Half Moon Brush that comes with the Les Beiges powders.

Uses/methods tried and thoughts on the shades:

1) Dusted over a full coverage foundation with the Retractable Kabuki or Touch Up Brush creates the best effect for me. There is a big gap between N° 20 and 30 and unfortunately I fall in that range. If I could only pick one, right now the N° 20 works best for me when dusted lightly over foundation. I've found mixing both N° 20 + 30 gives the best color finish even though the powders are sheer.

2) Buffed over a sheer foundation or tinted moisturizer needs a denser brush like the Retractable Kabuki. My skin is not good enough to just wear a sheer tinted moisturizer and sheer powder. I need something with more coverage. Dipping the brush into the powder and buffing the color into the skin helps create a heavier coverage but it's still a bit too sheer for my taste.

3) Buffed over bare but moisturized skin (like in Lisa Eldridge's video). I tried this over Chanel Le Jour de Chanel mixed with a bit of Chanel Sublimage Le Fluide (small sample). I used the same buffing method that Lisa demonstrated. This would work best with those who have near flawless skin. This method did give a lovely sheer glow with soft coverage however my skin isn't in the best condition right now and in need of something with more pigment. If you have any imperfections you need to hide this method won't cover them.

4) Used as a dark contour with the darker shades. N° 30 isn't dark enough for me to use as a contour, but anything darker like N° 40 work perfectly. There's enough warmth in these to look natural on the skin but not too much brown so that these look like a bronzer (at least on me). N° 30 does work to add warmth by dusting it over the cheeks and temples but in a very subtle way.

5) Used as a touch-up powder with the half moon brush. I will probably need to test this more, but I found that the half moon brush did not pick up enough color to do much of anything. It's made well with high quality bristles and cut for a compact, but the bristles are not dense enough for me to pick up much color to deposit on the face. If you've had luck trying it I'd love to hear about your experiences.

Overall the Les Beiges act as a good setting powder if you want a sheer soft finish (emphasis on the sheer). It has less coverage but a more matte finish compared to the Poudre Douce (discontinued). I'll have a separate post with more details on how it compares to other powders from Chanel. In general with the Les Beiges I found the biggest downside to be the color selection. There are gaps in the middle shade range where I think many women fall (like myself). I tried N° 20 in the evening and photographed with a flash and it did leave a white cast. I haven't photographed N°20+30 or N°30 alone with a flash so it could just be that N° 20 is a tad too pale for me as it is. I do think these are good high quality powders with a decent price of $57.50. If you are one who prefers heavier coverage then using this as a setting powder might not be the best option for you. You can still get a good finish when buffed over a fuller-coverage foundation but again, these powders are very sheer.

Les Beiges powders should be at all Chanel counters now. I found mine in store at Nordstrom. You can also find these online at Nordstrom,, Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdales.


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