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Hourglass Ambient Powder Brush Review, Photos

Hourglass Ambient Powder Brush
Hourglass Ambient Powder Brush

Hourglass Ambient Powder Brush ($35.00) is described as a “densely-packed, baby-soft powder brush.” It is, like its name would suggest, designed to be used with the brand’s Ambient Lighting Powders, which are finishing powders. The bristles are made using high-grade Taklon bristles.

The brush is short and wide; it has a stubby kind of appearance. It’s like a horizontal brush, as it is thin when you look down on it, but it is rather wide. It fits the width of Hourglass’ Ambient Lighting Powder perfectly. For those who prefer shorter-handled brushes, you’re in luck, as this one has a short, wide handle. It has incredibly soft bristles; not a single poorly cut bristle in the bunch–very soft and smooth and felt like silk caressing the skin. As described, it is also very, very densely-packed with bristles.

When I washed this brush, the bristles were easy to clean, though it did have a tendency to want to slip between my fingers due to the very short handle. It took longer to dry than the majority of the other face brushes I had washed that night (MAC’s 116, 129, 134, OCC’s Powder Brush, Bobbi Brown’s Blush Brush), though it was on par with Hourglass’ #2 Brush. It holds its shape well, and I’ve washed it five times now. I didn’t have any problems with the bristles shedding when used or while washing it. The only thing I didn’t love about the brush is that the handle appears to be made out of plastic, whereas my other Hourglass brush is definitely made out of metal.

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Giorgio Armani Coral Bliss Face & Eye Palette

Giorgio Armani Coral Bliss Face & Eye Palette
Giorgio Armani Coral Bliss Face & Eye Palette

Giorgio Armani Coral Bliss Face & Eye Palette ($88.00 for 0.44 oz.) consists of a face powder (Coral Bliss) and three eyeshadows (Open, Shimmer Greige, and Swimming Pool Turquoise). The blush contains 0.35 oz. of product (quite a bit for a blush!), while the eyeshadows are 0.03 oz. each (the average full-sized eyeshadow is usually around 0.05 oz.).

Coral Bliss is a subtly warm-toned, peach-coral with a satin finish. It had good color payoff, but the color is on the lighter end of the spectrum, so to that end, this is going to be a palette better suited to paler complexions.  It was subtle on my medium complexion.  It wore for a full eight hours on me; even with its subtlety, it was still visible. MAC Flatter Me has a more shimmery finish and is slightly pinker. MAC Shell Pearl is pinker. MAC Born to Love is pinker. Chanel Tweed Brun Rose is darker.

Open is a warm, frosted white. It had great color payoff and a soft, smooth texture. theBalm Metal-ica is cooler-toned. Cinderella Ball Gown is more metallic. Guerlain Terra Azzurra #1 is very similar.

Shimmer Greige is a mauve-tinted taupe with a frosted finish. It had good pigmentation, and it was finely-milled and smooth. Chanel Harmonie du Soir #2 is browner, warmer. Bobbi Brown Black Ruby is more mauve. Bobbi Brown Sandy Rose is browner. MAC Dangerous Cuvee is more metallic. NARS Lhasa is darker. Wet ‘n’ Wild We’re Blasting Off #3 is similar in color, more reflective in finish.

Swimming Pool Turquoise is a light-medium sky blue with subtle, cool undertones and a white, frosted shimmer. It had good color payoff, but it was a smidgen powdery. When applied, it blended out very quickly, so patting it on and lightly blending only along the edges is advised. Dior Swimming Pool #3 is more matte. NYX Cool Blue is cooler-toned and matte. MAC Styledriven is just slightly lighter. theBalm Great Gonzo is bolder and brighter.

It’s a lovely palette for spring that’s not your typical set of pastels. There’s something very spring-like about it, but it’s not all lilacs and peaches.  The addition of robin egg’s blue really gives it something extra, I’d say.  The downside, though, is that the blush makes up the majority of the value of the palette, so medium and darker complexions may find it doesn’t show up well enough on the skin to justify the price tag.  All of the products had incredibly soft, finely-milled textures that just smoothed over the skin beautifully, which tends to be an area where Giorgio Armani excels in. When I wore the eyeshadows, all three had no problem getting to a full eight hours with no creasing or fading; after nine, Swimming Pool Turquoise looked a little faded.

Giorgio Armani Coral Bliss Face & Eye Palette

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Estee Lauder Naked Pure Color Sheer Matte Lipstick

Estee Lauder Naked Pure Color Sheer Matte Lipstick
Estee Lauder Naked Pure Color Sheer Matte Lipstick

Estee Lauder Naked Pure Color Sheer Matte Lipstick ($25.00 for 0.10 oz.) is light, slightly brightened, pink-coral with a subtle frosted shimmer and matte finish, along with soft, warm undertones. MAC Coral Bliss is darker, less bright, and pinker. Burberry Devon Sunset is darker and more luminous. NARS Bolero is pinker. MAC Betty Bright is brighter and pinker.

Naked was an improvement from the other two I’ve tried (Demure and Rebel). I wouldn’t say it’s something I’d even consider, but it was remarkably less drying compared other shades in the formula. You can even see how it looks more flattering when worn, too, because the consistency of the lipstick is creamier, less stiff and dry. It had rich, opaque color coverage (which is why “Sheer Matte” is a misleading name), and it applied decently without too much tugging or pulling.  Like drier mattes, this absolutely hung on for longer than the average lipstick at good wear through the sixth hour.  It was slightly drying but not horrifically drying, so again, improvement from the others.

Estee Lauder Pure Color Sheer Matte Lipstick Naked
Naked

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Benefit Lollibop Ultra Plush Lipgloss

Benefit Lollibop Ultra Plush Lipgloss
Benefit Lollibop Ultra Plush Lipgloss

Benefit Lollibop Ultra Plush Lipgloss ($16.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “hot pink.” Squeezed from the tube, it’s a creamy, medium-dark pink with cool undertones. On lips, it’s a barely-there wash of pink; it brightens my natural lip color while amplifying any pink tones to it, but it doesn’t dramatically alter the color. Urban Decay Flushed is slightly more pigmented and more neutral. Guerlain Cherry Pink is slightly pinker and has sparkle. Chanel Pink Pulsion is cooler-toned, more fuchsia. Dolce & Gabbana Candy is comparable–slightly more milky-looking in appearance.

I think this gloss really pushes the boundaries of “sheer” and still describing it as “hot pink.” Benefit says, “from crystal clear to hot pink,” as if the range offers a variety of color/coverages–and this is just so barely-there. It would be clearer and better for customers to see this described as a “sheer hot pink.” I don’t have pigmented lips naturally, but the effect of this gloss is my-lips-but-better balm. Because the formula is only lightly hydrating, this wouldn’t be my first choice for something with such a subtle effect.

I like the consistency of the Ultra Plush formula, because it is not too thin or too thick and feels like a gel-balm hybrid.  It’s slick, lightweight, and comfortable to wear.  It’s moderately glossy, but the glossiness tends to fade within an hour down to a more natural sheen.  The whole product, though, disappears in record time: two hours at the very most, but it tends to wear between an hour and an hour and a half.

Benefit Ultra Plush Lip Gloss Lollibop
Lollibop
Lollibop
7
Product
6.5
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
5
Longevity
4.5
Application
72%
Total

Dior Pareo (644) Mono Eyeshadow

Dior Pareo (644) Mono Eyeshadow
Dior Pareo (644) Mono Eyeshadow

Dior Pareo (644) Mono Eyeshadow ($29.00 for 0.07 oz.) is tangerine orange with a subtle golden shimmer. It’s just bright enough to be a bolder shade, but it’s muted enough that it isn’t a neon orange. Dior Aurora #5 is darker, more shimmery. MAC Fresh Daily is a touch more copper. Milani Orange Primary Runway Eyes is more shimmery. NARS Ramatuelle is darker and more muted.

The eyeshadow had good color payoff, and while the texture was soft and finely-milled, it was noticeably powdery both in the pan and applied.  It’s really vital that you remember to lightly tap your brush against your forearm or over the pan to minimize fall out during application.  The color is also better patted on, rather than swept, and though pigmented, has a tendency to blend out very, very quickly.  I like applying it, then working the rest of the colors into the look, and then going back to add more color and blend it with the rest of the shades.  When I wore it, Pareo lasted seven hours but was noticeably faded after eight hours (no primer).

Dior Diorshow Mono Eyeshadow Pareo
Pareo

Edward Bess Monte Carlo (02) Quad Royale

Edward Bess Monte Carlo (02) Quad Royale
Edward Bess Monte Carlo (02) Quad Royale

Edward Bess Monte Carlo (02) Quad Royale ($45.00 for 0.25 oz.) is described as a “golden coral.” It’s comprised of four shades: shimmering beige, shimmering champagne, gold-shimmered orange, and shimmering peach-orange. Together, they create a muted, gold and peach-shimmered orange with a frosted finish. MAC Warmth of Coral is a touch lighter and more matte. MAC Melba is more matte and a touch dustier. Bobbi Brown Nude Peach is less frosted and less orange. Becca Damselfly is a smidgen darker. Make Up For Ever #153 is more frosted with a higher sheen.

The concept behind this product is that the shades coordinate with each other to sculpt and highlight the face, so they can be used together or individually on the cheeks and eyes. While there are four distinct colors, the pan is not that large, so if you wanted to use a single shade on cheeks, you’d have to grab an eye brush, which would fit into each color better. I don’t think it’s practical to use a blush brush and grab only one of the shades; the only shade you could really do that with would be the largest one (bottom right). You can, however, concentrate your brush on different sections, which would allow you to get lighter/darker color.

Monte Carlo has an incredibly smooth texture that feels buttery and creamy at the same time.  It’s a delicate, finely-milled powder.  The texture is every inch what you’d expect from a luxury blush like this.  It’s soft without being powdery, and the pigmentation is fantastic; no stubbornness or sheerness to worry about here.  The color is buildable and blendable, so you can go for a very soft, barely-there peachy blush or apply a heavier, more orange-hued shade. It wore well for nine full hours, and after ten hours, there was slight, but noticeable, fading.

Edward Bess Quad Royale Monte Carlo
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
100%
Total

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