There are so many products releasing each month that it can be hard to keep track of what was worth considering that I wanted to try putting together a quarterly overview that looks at the last three months of reviews with a best-of-the-quarter compilation. I’ve tried to group by formula when it makes sense to, and other times you’ll see specific shades or a collection. I’ve only included products that scored at least A- or higher (or else we’d be here all day!).
The ColourPop Super Shock Cheek released twenty shades of cream blushes from vibrant fuchsia to subdued neutrals, as well as three new, limited edition shades just for spring. I’m still working through reviews of the permanent range, but here were the top performers for Q1: Clutch (A), More, Please (A+), Olive (A-), Pie (A-), Rain (A-)
Bite Beauty Butter Cream Lipsticks launched as a new, permanent formula with eight shades. The blunt tip is supposed to make it ultra creamy. Gimmicks aside, the formula was excellent. I hope they’ll consider adding more cool-toned neutrals next! Here were the top performers: Hazelnut (A), Marzipan (A), Pecan (A), Rosewood (A).
Chanel Rouge Coco was reformulated and launched with 29 different shades this spring. The formula was more inconsistent, as some shades did well and others were shorter-wearing and didn’t apply well. Here were some of the best shades reviewed so far: Antoinette (A), Arthur (A-), Etienne (A-), Julia (A-), Marie (A-), Misia (A-), Suzanne (A-).
Guerlain Medium (03) Meteorites Compact is a lightly luminous finishing powder that gives skin a natural look without looking shimmery. It’s that extra oomph after you’ve set with powder to keep the skin from looking too matte.
IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer (A) is a fantastic, medium-to-full coverage concealer that covers evenly, smoothly, and wears long. I’d love to see the brand expand their shade range, as I have to mix two shades to get a good match (there are only four shades).
Kat Von D Shade + Light Contour Palette includes three highlighters and three sculpting powders in a slim palette. The palette had really soft, silky textures, which made it easy to blend on the skin. It may be more or less useful depending on your contouring application and coloring as the palette runs warmer.
Kevyn Aucoin Medium The Sculpting Powder has an unbelievable texture that’s very soft, smooth, and blendable. The color is more taupe-like, which makes it one of my favorite hues for contouring. I wish they had more shades.
The Contour Book – The Art of Sculpting + Defining ($59.00) (New)
This palette contains detailed instructions and all the shades needed to redefine the look of your face. Make cheekbones appear stronger, your face appear slimmer, or just create a more sculpted appearance. The Sculpting Powder allows you to contour your face like a pro without looking overly made up. Get the look by following the sculpting guidelines with the included Kevyn Aucoin contour instruction book. This set contains:
After falling in love with Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Medium/Candlelight The Creamy Glow Duo, it seemed imperative to test drive the powder version of the contouring shade. It’s a very shadowy contour, so for those who have bemoaned the plethora of warmer bronzes and feel like there is too much orange in other products marketed as contouring powders, this might be a great option. It reads warmer in tone in the pan and swatched, but even against my warmer undertones, it read shadowy, cool-toned, and very much like a true contouring shade. The product is incredibly pigmented, and a little goes a long way. The first time I applied it, the contour was deeper and more dramatic than I anticipated, so less is more with this one. It had a silky, smooth, and blendable texture that applied nicely and sat well on the skin. The contour wears well for eight hours before fading slightly.
I wish the brand also had a light and deep option, because I bet they could nail the right variation in color and undertone so it could fit a wider spectrum of skin tones. I’d also like to see a price reduction, because when they changed packaging, they reduced significantly (0.23 oz. to 0.11 oz.) without reducing the price–the product is so, so good but knowing it used to be double the size for the same price is hard to overlook.
Sometimes products are discontinued or limited edition, which means that a product may no longer be available at one or more retailers so you may need to shop around for those hard-to-find shades! We try to update products as they become discontinued, and if you discover a product has been discontinued, please help us help others by letting us know.
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When it comes to highlighters that illuminate and add a glowing sheen to the skin without emphasizing pores, I’m obsessed. Every year, there are so many fabulous limited edition highlighters that get released, but thankfully, there are also some excellent permanent options that I never tire of. Here are some of my favorites!
Peach is often like the lighter, softer version of coral, as you can find pink-leaning peach shades or more orange-leaning peach shades, so there is usually a shade that will work for someone! There are even more peachy-beige kind of shades that are more neutral. I love peach on the eyes, whether as an eyeliner or on the center or inner lid. The center of lid is great to really brighten, especially if you use darker, more contrasting shades on the inner/outer areas of the lid. The inner tear duct is a nice place for a pop of more shimmery peach that I find helps to open up eyes.
I’ve grown so accustomed to having different eyeshadows on each eye that whenever I apply the same eyeshadows on each eye, I’m a bit taken aback by how it looks to match! I can’t say I wasn’t testing anything on Christmas (namely, the eyeshadows), but I did bring out some of my all-time favorites.
EYES:ColourPop Tea Party applied to inner third of lid, both applied with a narrow brush as well as patted slightly with fingertips. ColourPop Solstice applied to the middle of lid using a medium-sized, eyeshadow brush. ColourPop Sequin applied to the outer third of the lid using the same brush as before. ColourPop To-a-T applied into the outer crease using a synthetic rounded crease brush and buffed above crease towards the brow bone. ColourPop Fleek/Effect (dark brown side) applied into outer crease and diffused slightly above crease. Burberry Trench was dusted underneath the brow bone as a highlighter with a fluffy blending brush. ColourPop Fleek/Effect (teal side) applied with an angled eyeliner brush to the lower lash line with ColourPop Sequin smudged underneath. I used Sephora Blonde Ambition on the water line to brighten.