Showing posts with label Sephora. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sephora. Show all posts

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Formula X #ColorCurators: Song of Style Collection


This year Formula X has launched a special series of colors called #ColorCurators. They've teamed up with 10 major digital influencers in beauty, fashion, and wellness to design a series of customized nail polishes with a new trio of polish colors launching each month. The first collaboration features shades inspired by fashion blogger Aimee Song from Song of Style. I picked up the three shades from my local Sephora before they sold out in stores. The colors are limited-edition but you can still find them online at Sephora ($12.50 each).

The three shades in this collection include three cream colors:
  • A Girl's Best Friend is a pastel pink
  • Mintfluencer is a pastel mint cream
  • Nude for You is a beige tan nude
When it comes to pastel creams, I think formulas and application can be tricky for any brand. So many pastels look chalky or are difficult to apply smoothly if you want full opaque coverage. Many go on splotchy with the first coat, some even out with the second, but a lot require a super steady hand and I avoid them because they are frequently high maintenance to get even coverage. I was thrilled to find that the colors from the FormulaX ColorCurators collaboration this month have good smooth coverage and were not streaky. The first coat with all of the shades is on the thin side and will look a tiny bit streaky. The second coat smooths out color perfectly without any issues. The key is to let the first coat dry completely though. If it's still wet when you put on the second coat, the brush will drag the color and make it look blotchy. I have quick swatches of each shade to share in case you've been wondering about them.

A Girl's Best Friend is a pastel pink. I do think this one requires a bit more care to apply simply because of the formula. It can look messy if you get this one in the cuticles, so I recommend cleaning the nail well and making sure your cuticles are trimmed before applying. I like using the FormulaX System with these polishes because it works really well to get smooth coverage and extend the wear of their polishes.



Next up is Mintfluencer. I've mentioned numerous times on this blog that I think mint colors are hard to pull off for nails for my yellow/olive skin. If it has too much yellow or green undertone it can make my hands look sallow. If it's too pale, it ends up looking chalky and well, too pastel. FormulaX Mintfluencer has a really good mix of blue and enough color that it makes for a really fun true mint cream manicure. It surprised me how much I like it.


Another look in direct sunlight:


Last but not least is Nude For You which has a gorgeous mix of beige nude. It gives the hands a clean polished look. I think this one is my favorite of the three. Shown with two coats below:


For colors that might be seemingly basic, I give all three a huge thumbs up for color and formula. Lasting power on these polishes is very impressive - they last at least 7 days without tip wear or chipping although they absolutely need a top coat to help protect the polish. Pastels have been done a million times over, but I think creating the right mix of color and pigment is difficult to pull off in order for a pastel polish to be naturally flattering on the skintone without looking chalky. FormulaX has nailed it (no pun intended) with these colors. The shade Nude for You is absolute perfection in terms of being a true beige nude that give will the hands a nice polished look and still give it life. It has enough tan in it so it won't make the hands look corpse-like or sallow. Mintfluencer is such a fun mint cream, the fact that I find it wearable for me is huge since I'm not a big fan of mint colors for nails in general. If there was one color I would say might be ok to pass on it's A Girl's Best Friend. It's a really pretty soft girly pink cream, but I think can be easily duped with other shades from OPI or Essie. Still it's a wearable soft pink shade that I think will be a classic.

You can find the Formula X Color Curators shades exclusively at Sephora. I checked a couple stores this past week and both were completely sold out of the shades. Your stores might still have them in stock but you can still find them online at Sephora.com right now.

Have you checked out these colors yet? What did you think?


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders


This spring Hourglass has launched some additions to the Ambient Lighting family with the Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders ($38 each for 0.16 oz/4.6 g) and the Ambient Strobe Light Sculptor ($22). I stopped by the Hourglass Store in Venice Beach last week to check these out and fell in love. One of the strobe powders Incandescent Strobe Light was introduced to us before in the Ambient Lighting Palette (Trio) as an exclusive. If you have this palette, you're familiar with the beautiful natural glowy finish and smooth texture of the strobe powders. They look sheer on the hands/arms. On the face they add the perfect natural glow and highlight. The sparkle isn't over the top and it makes the skin glow without being too frosty and they do not emphasize pores.

There are four shades of the Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders. If you ask me if you think all four are necessary to have, I would say no - but after seeing them at the store, I had to buy all four. The colors are:
  • Euphoric Strobe Light - A pearlescent beige powder bestowing a natural highlight
  • Iridescent Strobe Light - An illuminating pink powder imparting a soft highlight
  • Brilliant Strobe Light - A shimmering gold powder imparting a lustrous highlight
  • Incandescent Strobe Light - An opalescent pearl powder bestowing a celestial highlight
Euphoric is the darkest option available. Iridescent and Incandescent are very similar, Iridescent is slightly deeper and more pink. Brilliant is a gorgeous yellow/gold option. I find the powders very finely milled and apply flawlessly with the Ambient Strobe Light Sculptor or a regular powder brush.


The packaging of the Strobe Powders is similar in size to the Ambient Lighting Blushes, except the color is silver.


A quick look at size comparisons:


Ambient Lighting Powders $45 for 0.35 oz/10 g (review)
Ambient Lighting Bronzers $50 for 0.39 oz / 11 g (review)
Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder $38 for 0.16 oz/4.6 g
Ambient Lighting Palette $58 for 0.35 oz/9.9 g (review)
Ambient Lighting Blush $35 for 0.15 oz/4.2 g (review)

Close ups of each powder in sunlight:





The product in the pans will look different depending on lighting situations. The shimmer particles are highly reflective. I have a couple shots to show the base color and the shimmers depending on light. Both sets are in the same order.

Top: Incandescent Strobe Light, Euphoric Strobe Light
Bottom: Iridescent Strobe Light, Brilliant Strobe Light



Swatches and three sets of comparison swatches, first in natural light:


With sun + flash - they look frosty here, but I can assure you on the face they are more finely milled and naturally glowy:


A quick look at the Ambient Strobe Light Sculptor - it applies these perfectly to the cheek bones by tapping on the areas you want highlighted. A regular blush brush works just as good, although if you want to apply the powders damp for more color, I found the brush worked better.



Comparison Set 1: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders in Luminous Light (reviewed here), Diffused Light and Dim Light. Luminous Light has a shimmery quality that acts as a highlighter while some other shades like Diffused and Dim Light are less shimmery and can be used as an all over setting powder for me without looking too glowy. Below the swatches are done with a heavy hand to show the color differences.


Comparison Set 2: Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Powders in Starlight and Candlelight (reviewed here) are a lot more shimmery. On me Candlelight looks too white for my olive/yellow skin although it looks good on many of my friends. I prefer the Hourglass Strobe Powders by far. Also shown is Becca Champagne Pop (swatched here) and the Tom Ford Skin Illuminating Duo in Moodlight (review). The Becca is one of the most shimmery highlighters I own (and adore). By comparison the Becca Champagne Pop almost feels sharp because the shimmer is so pigmented.


Comparison Set 3: MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Lightscapade is one of the softest most finely milled highlighters from MAC that I own. It's a lot paler than any of the Ambient Lighting Strobe Powders but has a similar effect. MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle by comparison has a lot more shimmer/frost. I added a swatch of the MAC Extra Dimension Highlighter in Whisper of Gilt (d/c, review here) to show texture comparison. The effect of the powders is similar to that of NARS Hot Sand Duos (review here). If you already own Hot Sand, you can probably skip Incandescent or Iridescent.


Quick look at the beautiful store on Abbot Kinney:




One last shot, clockwise from top left: Euphoric, Iridescent, Brilliant and Incandescent

Bottom line all winners. I tested these over the past week and am thoroughly impressed. They lasted all day on the cheek bones without getting too glowy or dewy looking by late afternoon. I've been testing them over a number of foundations from Tom Ford, NARS, Laura Mercier and Natasha Denona. They all held up remarkably well. I am already on highlighter/glow overload - I'm completely obsessed with glowy highlighters, but I thnk these are well worth a look. If I had to narrow down my picks, I would say Brilliant Strobe Light offers the best strobe highlight for my olive skintone. It brightens the complexion with a gorgeous candlelight glow. Euphoric is the most natural on me since it's deeper, but it still shows up like skin but better. I would say there's a tie between Iridescent and Incandescent - I think the pink tones in Iridescent make it more special, but you can't go wrong with either. The sponge is nice to have, but not a must.

You can find the Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders ($38) and Sculptor ($22) at Sephora and Hourglass Cosmetics right now. It is expected to launch at other retailers later this spring.

Have you checked these out yet? What's your favorite highlighter right now?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

NARS NARSissist L'Amour, Toujours L'Amour Eyeshadow Palette and NARSissist Cheek Studio Palette


NARS is killing it this spring. There seems to be something to love in every launch so far this year from the Hot Sand Collection, Velvet Matte Skin Tints and freshly launched Spring Color Collection (a few items to be reviewed on the blog soon but in the meantime check out swatches on my friend Café Makeup's page). I'm particularly smitten with the Hot Sand/Laguna Cheek Duo and the Velvet Skin Tints are  There are two new palettes this spring, one for eyes and one for cheeks, both limited edition. For eyes we have the NARSissist L'Amour, Toujours L'Amour Eyeshadow Palette ($59 for 12 eyeshadows) and for the cheeks there is the NARSissist Cheek Studio Palette ($65, Sephora Exclusive). Both of these come in some seriously sturdy packaging - they are cased in hefty mirrored compacts and I think the presentation is exquisite.

The NARSissist L'Amour, Toujours L'Amour Eyeshadow Palette has twelve eyeshadows that seem to feature a new formula. Many of you have expressed dissatisfaction in the quality and texture of shadows in previous palettes (in particular the NARSissist Eyeshadow Palette from 2014ish). I haven't tried all of the palettes NARS has launched, but never had an issue with texture. Size of pans has been significantly smaller in previous releases which I found a bit challenging to dip larger brushes into, but it seems as though NARS took all the complaints of past palettes and made changes for the better with this one.


The texture of these is feels slightly creamy, but they are all powders - pigment is smooth and easy to layer. Some of the dark matte shades will go on a bit patchy if you use a medium to large brush - so I recommend trying a small detail dense brush to layer and blend the dark mattes. Overall performance is really good. With the exception of the one coppery shimmer shade, I would say the effect of this one is cool-toned. I do think you need a slightly creamy eyeshadow base to help bring out the pigment richness of the colors, but they perform really well alone too. My favorites are the Edward Bess Illuminating Eye Base, Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Sticks in Rose Gold and NARS Velvet Shadow Sticks. Application is excellent - there will be a little bit of fall out from the powders when you apply on the eyes, but once you have them on the lids - they stay put without fading or smudging. I found they lasted all day long nicely.

Descriptions and swatches:

Row 1 features four larger pans each 0.11 oz/3.2 g, shades are named I, II, III, IV:
  • Matte creamy neutral with slight pink tones
  • Shimmering champagne with beige/ivory tones
  • Shimmering mauve taupe
  • Matte charcoal

Rows 2 and 3 have smaller pans, but are still large enough that you can easily fit an eyeshadow brush into without having to worry about mixing colors. These are 0.05 oz/1.5g each:
  • Frosted white gold
  • Shimmering warm copper orange
  • Matte mauve
  • Shimmering steel with slight olive undertone
  • Shimmering steel blue grey
  • Matte navy indigo
  • Shimmering cool grey-brown
  • Shimmering grey-black with blue tones and silver flecks




Here's a quick eye look with the neutrals using the four shades in the top row 1 and a little bit of the last color in row 2. I love that online at the NARS website, they did eye swatches of all 12 shades on three skintones. Check it out here.


If you're wondering how this compares to the Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette (reviewed + swatched here), I would say both are excellent options. Picking one over the other is challenging because I think they are different in color options and texture. If you're looking for something cooler-toned and want a palette that can take your look from neutral to smokey, go with the NARS. If you want something with warmer more neutral options, go for the UD x Gwen Stefani Palette. The textures of course are very different in each palette. The NARS has a creamy smooth buttery texture. The Urban Decay palette has a wider mix of mattes, shimmers, and sparkles - also the pink and bright blue offer a more vibrant/less neutral option.

Onto the cheeks with the NARSissist Cheek Studio Palette ($65, Sephora exclusive). Many asked how this compares to the Steven Klein One Shocking Moment Palette from Holiday. I wasn't able to buy (it sold out quickly) so I can't compare the two in great detail. The top three shades are the same in each palette. Based on a google search, it appears the newest one for spring offers two shades that are lighter options on the bottom left half and then darker options for the bottom right half. I do believe that the one from holiday had two existing blush colors in Luster and Dolce Vita. The new one for spring offers four new shades on the bottom. This seems to be an all-in-one kind of palette for the cheeks. It has contouring powders, a bronzer, and four blushes (two of which I think could pass for highlighters, at least on me).


The colors in this palette include:
  • Paloma Contour Duo which is available separately. It offers richly pigmented matte powders in a soft pinkish cream color and a deeper contour shade that pulls mauve on my skintone.
  • Laguna Bronzer is a classic shade (also available separately) that warms up the complexion and adds depth without looking orangey or too dark. It's easily buildable for a natural glow or deeper bronze. In my college days there were many times where this was all I would apply on the cheeks.
The bottom row has colors that are listed as blushes:
  • I is a pale pink that glows. It's a matte base but if you look closely at the pan you will see tiny bits of finely milled gold shimmer. I was worried this would not show up on my skin, but it offers the prettiest baby pink glow. I hope this makes an appearance in full-size eventually.
  • II is is light pink in the pan, but applies darker on my skin like a soft natural rose pink glow, I adore this shade. It has tiny flecks of silver sparkle but it's not glittery on the skin.
  • III is a deeper warm reddish color but as you can see from the swatch below, it's not orangey (however it will pull darker, warmer and almost orangey on fairer skin tones like The Non-Blonde)
  • Goulue is a new shade, currently a VIB Rouge Exclusive at Sephora, it's a stunning medium-deep rose with golden shimmer


I think this palette will be a versatile one that will go with a wide range of looks for lips and eyes, but the overall color scheme seems to be on the medium to dark side which may be too much for fair skins if you find blushes tend to darken/oxidize on you. For me - I love a strong blush to add a bit of color and life to my face when I wear neutral lips. The texture of the blushes is smooth and easy to blend. I think it contains classics one can wear every day. The colors with the exception of the Paloma duo are all shimmery, but they don't emphasize my pores or look frosted.

There are a few new launches for face palettes to choose from this spring including the Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani Blush Palette (new shades) and MAC Contour and Sculpt Palette (value set with cult classics). You may want to browse stores or research swatches online before committing to a palette. I feel like this season we are on highlighter, foundation and blush overload. I just got both of the other two, I'll try to review and compare them as soon as I can.


I deem both of these palettes winners in terms of color selection, quality and packaging. They are travel-friendly and I love that they come with in a sturdy compact with a decent sized mirror which makes it easy to apply them on-the-go. They are both limited-edition. I think given the size and packaging the prices are very reasonable for a luxury beauty palette.

You can find the NARSissist L'Amour, Toujours L'Amour Eyeshadow Palette for $59 online at NARS, Barneys New York and Saks Fifth Avenue (for some reason right now it's listed at a higher price at Saks). The NARSissist Cheek Studio Palette retails for $65 and is exclusive to Sephora online and in stores.

Have you checked out these NARS palettes yet? What did you think?

Both palettes were sent courtesy of the NARS team for review consideration.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

On My Radar / New in Beauty


1  /  2  /  3  /  4  /  5  /  6  /
7  /  8 (launches on the 15th) /  9  /  10  /  11  /  12

There are so many gorgeous new items launching this spring. It seems to be the season focused on glowing complexions with new foundation formulas, blushes and highlighters. I'm still smitten with the NARS Hot Sand/Laguna Duo (I've finally found my holy grail highlight/contour powder duo). I've been testing the new NARS Velvet Skin Tint which is slated to launch this Friday on January 15th online at NARS and NARS Boutiques (elsewhere February 1st). First impressions are very good, I'll have a review posted this Friday with swatches.

Also on the NARS front (they've been killing it this spring!) are two palettes. There is an eyeshadow palette called L'Amour Toujours Palette which I've been testing. It's incredible - if you visit the NARS website they've done eye swatches of all shades on three skintone which is so helpful. Second, there is a new cheek compact called the NARSissist Cheek Palette which is a Sephora Exclusive. I'm working on swatches right now, I hope to publish by the end of the week.

Diptyque has launched their Valentine's Day collection early with the new Rosaviola Collection in a collaboration with fashion designer Olympia Le-Tan. The packaging is beyond adorable I can't wait to see these in person.

For cheeks Hourglass launched their Ambient Lighting Strobe Powders and I'm saying yes to all even before testing or swatching them in person. I hope to check them out at the Hourglass Boutique sometime this weekend as I'll be in Los Angeles for IMATS. Kat Von D Beauty fans will be thrilled to know she's launched seven blush duos called Shade + Light Two Tone Blush.

For the glowing complexion, Beautylish just launched some items from Natasha Denona. Her line is new to me, but so far you can customize your own glow kit with items such as primer, foundation, cream highlighter, powder highlighter and body shimmer. I just started testing the Face Glow Foundation in Shade 30 Light Medium which is an amazing cream formula. The color seems to be just slightly too light - I'll have to do more testing before I can review.

I just posted a roundup on winter skincare focusing on face masks. I'll be sharing more of my current winter skincare routine in the next couple of weeks including some thoughts on new cleansers - the Kate Somerville Exfolikate Cleanser is really good.

Last but not least, Edward Bess just launched a new lipliner shade called Barely which is my new holy grail nude lipliner. It's the best nude pink ever made.

I'll have a foundation review post up soon and some swatches of spring glossy tints from YSL. What's on your radar right now? Any new discoveries you'd like to share? Spring beauty collections are still trickling in - what do you have your eye on?


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Too Faced Melted Chocolate Liquified Lipsticks


For spring Too Faced launched six new Liquified Lipsticks called Melted Chocolate ($21 each for 12 ml/0.40 fl oz). The colors are all chocolate-inspired and best of all have the most amazing chocolate scent. There are two different formulas/finishes: there are full coverage creams with no shimmer called "long wear" and then there are the shimmery ones called "metallic." The creams are pretty consistent to the regular Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipsticks in terms of pigment, coverage and finish - they are super rich and smooth and cover the lips entirely like lipstick but with a liquid texture. The metallics in the collection have a different finish compared to the Melted Metal formula. I prefer the ones in the chocolate range because they have a sheerer glossier smoother finish while the Melted Metal ones are very metallic and frosty.

I ordered mine sight unseen, after falling in love with Melted Nude, I decided to give these a chance based on the names and packaging. The colors in the Melted Chocolate range include:
  • Chocolate Honey is a warm neutral beige honey tan cream
  • Metallic Chocolate Diamonds is a sheer glossy beige nude taupe base that's loaded with chunks of silver micro sparkles
  • Chocolate Milkshake is a creamy peachy nude with full coverage
  • Metallic Candy Bar is a smooth neutral brown shimmer that is sheer-to medium in coverage
  • Metallic Frozen Hot Chocolate is an interesting mauve shimmer, texture is smooth with sheer to medium glossy coverage
  • Chocolate Cherries is a super dark vampy black cherry cream
The creams all performed really well. They offer full creamy coverage with a nice feel. They stay creamy on the lips with a slight sheen and didn't dry out my lips. The darkest color Chocolate Cherries is too dark for my comfort although if you like a good vamp this is a nice one that is super saturated and smooth in coverage. I asked my husband what he thought and the words that flew out of his mouth were, "wow that looks absolutely horrible, you look like Halloween." The metallics are hit or miss as well. I wish Metallic Chocolate Diamonds looked just like the color on the packaging because I think it would have made an amazing nude taupe shimmer. The color in this one is loaded with micro sparkles, although it did feel smooth and wasn't gritty - it just looked like I dipped my mouth into sugar with the chunks of sparkle. It was hard to capture on camera (I think it looks better in photographs than in real life).


For those new to this formula, these come in a squeeze tube with sponge tip applicators. Simply squeeze the tube to dispense product through the sponge and swipe on the lips. Once you apply them, the color will saturate the whole tip.


Lip swatches below, all done on bare lips. For reference I'm wearing a mix of NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in Groenland and St. Moritz mixed together with the Powder Foundation in Punjab layered on top.
Two comparison swatch sets:


NARS Lip Gloss in Supervixen (swatch here and here)
Kat Von D Everlasting Love Liquid Lipstick in Lolita II and Lolita (review here)
Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in Bitch Perfect (swatched here and here)
NARS Lip Gloss in Chelsea Girls (swatched here)






Marc Jacobs Beauty Le Marc Lip Cremes in Mahogany and J'Adore (lip swatch here)
Chanel Rouge Allure Gloss in Distinction (swatched here)
Buxom Bold Gel Lipstick in Voodoo Spice (swatched here)

One last shot:

Overall for me, 4 out of 6 are hits. I'm really smitten with the Metallic Candy Bar and Metallic Frozen Hot Chocolate as wearable browns for me. Often times I can't pull of brownish colors in lips because then end up looking like death. These have enough color that the aren't too brown. They are sheerer than the others so if you want something full coverage you will have to layer. Overall lasting power is average for a lipstick. They stay put pretty well although if you take sips from a cup or eat a snack, it will disrupt the color.

I think these are definitely worth a look. I'm a sucker for a good nude and both the Chocolate Honey and Milkshake ones are fun for the name and color.

You can find these now at Sephora and Too Faced. These retail for $21 each.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Best in Beauty 2015: The Beauty Look Book Makeup Favorites


I look back on the last twelve months and can't believe an entire year has gone by. This has been one of the most challenging yet rewarding years I've had yet and I have lots to look forward to for 2016. I took a quick look at my blog posts for the past year along with an inventory of my favorite beauty products. I started with a massive list - there were so many good launches this past year, especially for lipsticks. Brands have really upped their beauty game with better formulas. I've edited my list as much as I could to what I considered game changers this year.

I have four categories of best in beauty this year. The first up is makeup favorites. I have 20 of my top makeup picks for lips, eyes and face - nails have their own category (up next).
  1. NARS Chelsea Girls Lip Gloss is this year's best creamy nude (review here)
  2. Charlotte Tilbury Penelope Pink, Iconic Nude + Seduction make for the best nude lip combo ever, I used up an entire tube of Penelope Pink this year! (swatched here and here)
  3. Marc Jacobs Hi-Shine Enamored Lip Glosses = the best lip gloss launch (swatches here)
  4. Rouge Louboutin Silky Satin = most luxurious lipstick formula created and the best red lipstick I've ever swatched (3 formulas swatched here
  5. MAC x Ellie Goulding Lipsticks were the best pinks launched (swatches here)
  6. Burberry Kisses Lipstick = the best lipstick formula launch this year huge plus that they are unscented and also non-drying on the lips (my picks swatched here
  7. Tom Ford Lip Color Sheers in Skinnydip and Rose Soleil (swatches here) were the best new colors launched for the entire year (so good I have backups even though they are permanent)
  8. Hourglass Lip Treatment Oil in Icon is best new tinted lip treatment formula (swatched here)
  9. Urban Decay Naked3 was my most-used eyeshadow palette of the year (swatches here)
  10. Burberry Wet & Dry Glow Eyeshadow in Shell = best all over eyeshadow shimmer color for the lids ever made (review here)
  11. Clio Kill Bill Liquid Liner was the best liquid eyeliner discovery (review here)
  12. NARS Yeux Irresistible Palette wins for the best smoky eye palette of the year (swatches here)
  13. Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerise colors are the best cream shadow launched this year for formula and color selection (swatched here)
  14. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer wins for most luminous bronzer + highlighter combination (swatches + review here)
  15. Tom Ford Moodlight is the best highlighter launch of 2015 (look + review here)
  16. Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow in Medium Dark = the best bronzing duo launched and also the one I used the most this past year (look shown on face here)
  17. Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder in #2 is best setting powder of the year, if it ever gets discontinued I will literally want to die (thoughts + review here)
  18. Sephora Pro Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation Brush #53 best foundation brush discovery for flawless streak-free coverage (review here)
  19. Wayne Goss Anniversary Set = the best brush set launch of the year (review here)
  20. Edward Bess All Over Seduction = most-used cream highlighters of the year (swatches here)
What were your favorite makeup picks this past year?

Monday, November 16, 2015

Bite Beauty Discovery Set - Holiday 2015


Bite Beauty always launches the cutest sets during the holidays. I can't tell you how many times I waited too long in past years and missed out. This year I ordered early and have swatches to share of the Discovery Set for Holiday 2015 ($55, limited-edition, exclusive to Sephora). This year's set has a mix of minis along with full size products. It's listed as a $110 value and contains:
  • 0.18 oz Agave Lip Mask in Clear (mini size) 
  • 0.03 oz Line and Define Primer in Clear (mini size) 
  • 0.031 oz Mini Matte Crème Lip Crayon in Glacé 
  • 5 x Lush Lip Wipes 
  • 0.15 oz Luminous Crème Lipstick in Pepper (full size) 
  • 0.11 oz Lush Fruit Lip Gloss Honey (full size) 
  • 0.09 oz High Pigment Pencil in Pomegranate (full size) 
  • Bite mirror 
The set comes packaged in individual boxes like this:


I already own Pepper Luminous Crème Lipstick reviewed + swatched here, but decided to buy the set anyways. It's one of my favorite neutrals - the Bite Beauty line has a lot to offer for neutral lip lovers with different undertones like brown, plum, pink, mauve etc. This set was the perfect way for me to try a lot from the line at a value price.

First up are the lip care and accessories:


The Lush Lip Wipes have been on my wishlist for a long time because I find the concept so interesting, even if it does seem like it's not necessary. These are makeup remover pads designed to take off lip color while hydrating the lip. It's supposed to leave a matte finish. I found it cleaned the lip entirely of color for regular lipsticks. It removed 85% of the color of the red lip pencil I tested from the set although there was still a red stain left on my lips. I did test them on the Kat Von D Lolita Everlasting Liquid Lipstick and it removed the product perfectly (usually I have to do several swipes of makeup remover).

The Line and Define Primer in Clear is a lip primer designed to prep the lips for color. The description says it's supposed to plump the lips although I didn't feel any plumping properties. The texture is on the thick side and does tug at the lips a little (at least for me). I was worried it would make lipstick stick versus glide, but I was really impressed with how smoothly lip crayons and lipsticks applied with this. It helps with lipstick feathering and lipstick goes on better and smoother. I'm not sure that I see lipstick last a lot longer, although I usually end up wiping off lip colors with snacks or drinks anyways. I would seriously consider buying the full size once it's used up.

Next is the mini Agave Lip Mask. I've tried this formula in the tinted versions in Champagne and Smashed. I really really love the formula as a hydrating lip treatment. The clear is nice to have but I really prefer the red one even if it's super sheer. If you want to use this as an overnight treatment, clear is the way to go so it doesn't stain your pillows.

Up next are the color items:

I already own and reviewed Pepper Luminous Creme Lipstick here. If you don't have it yet, you need it. It's also available in the Mix and Mingle Mini duo with Café (swatched here).

I've gone through a couple of the Mini Matte Creme Lip Crayons from last year and really like the formula (I can't remember which color I bought because I used it up and threw away the empty container). Glacé is a perfect your lips but better just slightly deeper mauve. Once this is used up  I'm repurchasing the full size. The formula glides on smoothly and adheres really well to the lips. I like that it's a twist up formula so there's no sharpening required.

This is my first time trying the High Pigment Pencil formula, and WOW, these really are high in pigment. Pomegranate is a bold red that packs in a lot of color and pigment. It has a slightly glossy sheen. Lasting power is pretty good and I didn't experience any smudging or bleeding. If you have any other color recommendations for this formula let me know.

Last but not least for color is the Honey Lush Fruit Lip Gloss. I've tried the Lip Gloss formula before and the colors are so good, but formula just doesn't work for me. It's thick and doesn't apply on my lips smoothly. Honey is such a gorgeous nude but went on my lips super blotchy. It does work better layered over any of the Bite Beauty Lipsticks to add a bit of shine, but when worn alone it's just not cutting it for me.


Lip swatches below, I'm wearing the Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation in Natural #5 (for skintone reference, all shades swatched in this post here):
 




Bottom line, LOTS to love with this set whether you're new to Bite Beauty or looking for a good gift to give this holiday. If you're iffy on 2-3 items then I'd recommend you opt to purchase items individually instead of the set. With the exception of the Honey Lip Gloss, I give all the other items a huge thumbs up.

You can find the Bite Discovery Set online and in stores at Sephora. Do note it's limited-edition. If you're a VIB member, don't forget today is the last day to shop the VIB 20% off sale with code VIB20 at checkout.

Have you checked out any of the Bite Beauty sets this year? If you have any Bite Beauty favorites please let me know in the comments. I'm still pretty new to many of the formulas and would love your recommendations!


 

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