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NARS Melina Contour Blush Duo

NARS Melina Contour Blush
NARS Melina Contour Blush

NARS Melina Contour Blush ($42.00 for 0.28 oz.) is one of two new, permanent highlighting/contour duos for fall. The highlighting shade in the duos tends to be mostly matte, so it is not your typical shimmery, glowy highlighter. This is one of the deeper duos, so it should be good for someone who wants a more dramatic contour or for someone with a medium or darker skin tone.

Melina (Highlight) is a muted, medium tan with warm, yellowish undertones and a matte finish. It had semi-sheer, buildable coverage that was fairly blendable and soft on the skin without looking dry or powdery. The color lasted for eight hours on me. Colour Pop Bon Voyage (P, $8.00) is darker (90% similar). bareMinerals The Ocean View (LE, $24.00) is darker (90% similar). Kat Von D Shadowplay (P) is cooler, darker (85% similar). Laura Mercier Bronze (03) (P, $40.00) is darker (85% similar). Givenchy Ambre Saison (P, $52.00) is darker, more shimmery (90% similar). Colour Pop Skinny Dip (P, $8.00) is darker (85% similar). Laura Mercier Bronze (01) (P, $40.00) is cooler, darker (80% similar). Tarte Contour Soft (Tarteist) (LE) is cooler, darker (80% similar). MAC Aphrodite's Shell (LE, $33.00) is cooler, darker (80% similar). Dolce and Gabbana Desert (P, $51.00) is darker (80% similar). Kevyn Aucoin Desert Days (P, $48.00) is cooler, darker (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Melina (Contour) is a deep, dark brown with neutral-to-warm undertones and a semi-matte finish. The texture was soft, smooth, and blendable, while it had really rich color payoff. This should work on medium-dark and darker skin tones (I’ll be curious to hear if this works on very deep skin tones–do let me know if you’ve tried it!) better than other contours. On me, a little went a long way, but it was blendable enough that I could use it as a more dramatic contour. This shade wore well for eight and a half hours. MAC Galaxite (LE, $16.50) is darker (90% similar). MAC Naturally Enhanced (LE, $32.00) is lighter (90% similar). MAC Billionaire Bronze (LE, $29.50) is warmer, lighter (85% similar). MAC Raizin (P, $22.00) is warmer, lighter (85% similar). MAC Swiss Chocolate (P, $22.00) is warmer, lighter (80% similar). Makeup Geek Chivalry (P, $10.00) is warmer, lighter (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

NARS Contour Blush Melina
Melina
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Clinique Bronze Glow Uplighting Illuminating Powder

Clinique Bronze Glow Up-Lighting Illuminating Powder
Clinique Bronze Glow Up-Lighting Illuminating Powder

Clinique Bronze Glow Up-Lighting Illuminating Powder ($27.00 for 0.33 oz.) is a medium-dark brown with warm undertones and a satin sheen. Guerlain #03 (P, $53.00) is less shimmery (95% similar). Tom Ford Beauty Gold Dust (P, $68.00) is warmer (95% similar). LORAC Spotlight (LE, $23.00) is cooler, more shimmery (90% similar). MAC Scone (LE, $25.00) is less shimmery (90% similar). Guerlain #02 (P, $53.00) is darker, less shimmery (90% similar). NARS Casino (P, $36.00) is warmer (90% similar). MAC Lush Light Bronze (LE, $28.00) is warmer, less shimmery (90% similar). MAC Refined Golden (P, $25.00) is lighter (90% similar). MAC Firebrush (LE, $25.00) is warmer, less shimmery (90% similar). Urban Decay Naked Flushed Bronzer (-) is warmer (85% similar). Wet 'n' Wild Bikini Contest (P, $3.99) is warmer, darker, less shimmery (85% similar). Colour Pop Carry-On (P, $8.00) is warmer (85% similar). Urban Decay Native Bronzer (-) is warmer, lighter (85% similar). Bobbi Brown Bronze (LE, $45.00) is lighter, more shimmery (85% similar). Colour Pop Happy Hour (P, $8.00) is darker, less shimmery (80% similar). Le Metier de Beaute Sun Drenched (P, $55.00) is darker, less shimmery (80% similar). Colour Pop Bronze Me (LE, $8.00) is darker (80% similar). Tarte Park Ave. Princess #2 (LE) is lighter (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

The Up-Lighting Illuminating Powder is supposed to be a “sheer illuminating powder” that gives skin a “candle-lit, radiant glow” that can be used alone, as a finishing powder, or as a highlighter. Like Golden Glow, it is far from sheer–in fact, it is pretty opaque! If you like your highlighters/bronzers pigmented, that might be a happy “con.” The texture was soft, smooth, and easy to blend and work with on my cheeks. It didn’t emphasize pores and gave a soft sheen. I think this one could be used as a finishing powder on deeper skin tones as well. This shade lasted for eight hours before fading noticeably.

Clinique Uplighting Illuminating Powder Bronze Glow

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Makeup Revolution Golden Lights Vivid Baked Highlighter Powder

Makeup Revolution Golden Lights Vivid Baked Highlighter Powder
Makeup Revolution Golden Lights Vivid Baked Highlighter Powder

Makeup Revolution Golden Lights Vivid Baked Highlighter Powder ($6.00 for 0.26 oz.) is a white gold with strong, yellow-gold shimmer. NYX Ritualistic (P, $9.00) is warmer (95% similar). Sephora Stardust (01) (P, $14.00) is less shimmery (95% similar). Anastasia Marshmallow (LE) is more shimmery (95% similar). Makeup Geek Lit (P, $20.00) is lighter, less shimmery (90% similar). Anastasia Summer (LE) is darker, more shimmery (90% similar). NARS Albatross (P, $29.00) is lighter, less shimmery (90% similar). Colour Pop Perilune (LE, $8.00) is less pigmented, more muted, darker (90% similar). Anastasia Sunburst (LE) is darker, more shimmery (90% similar). The Estee Edit Snowlit (LE) is less shimmery (90% similar). Too Faced Rosy Glow (Left) (P) is lighter (90% similar). NARS Give In Take Blush I (LE) is less shimmery (90% similar). Sleek MakeUP Subsolar (P) is cooler, lighter (90% similar). Make Up For Ever 2 Frozen Gold (P, $21.00) is darker, more shimmery (90% similar). Wet 'n' Wild Sun Ceremony (LE, $2.99) is darker, less shimmery (90% similar). Colour Pop Stole the Show (P, $8.00) is lighter (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

The formula is supposed to give “natural looking color” with buildable coverage that wears “all day.” It has a stronger, more dramatic golden sheen compared to some versions of this shade (probably the most well-known is NARS’ Albatross) that pulls yellower on me rather than white, which should make it more versatile for a greater number of skin tones. However, the white base is visible and almost appears grayish against my warmer skin tone, which may or may not be something that you’re looking for. The shimmer gives a noticeable sheen and glow to the skin, not quite metallic or frosted, but it is a medium-level highlighter overall. The texture was blendable but felt a little soft, powdery, and a smidgen dry in the pan, but I didn’t find it looked that way on the skin. On me, the highlighter lasted just over six and a half hours.

Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter Powder Golden Lights
B

Permanent

8.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
8
Texture
7
Longevity
5
Application
86%
Total

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Clinique Golden Glow Uplighting Illuminating Powder

Clinique Golden Glow Up-Lighting Illuminating Powder
Clinique Golden Glow Up-Lighting Illuminating Powder

Clinique Golden Glow Up-Lighting Illuminating Powder ($27.00 for 0.33 oz.) is a medium, peachy orange with warm undertones and a sparkling, gold shimmer-sheen finish. bareMinerals The Premiere (LE, $26.00) is lighter (95% similar). Colour Pop Yummy Cookies (LE, $8.00) is lighter, less shimmery (90% similar). NARS Miss Liberty (P, $29.00) is darker, less shimmery (90% similar). Chanel Lumiere d'Artifices Beiges Illuminating Powder (LE, $65.00) is darker, less shimmery (90% similar). Charlotte Tilbury Norman Parkinson (LE, $32.00) is lighter (90% similar). Kevyn Aucoin Starlight (Sahara) (P, $44.00) is lighter, more shimmery (90% similar). Cle de Peau Sand Beige (13) (P, $55.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). Colour Pop Most Necessary (P, $8.00) is darker (85% similar). MAC Peaceful (LE, $22.00) is darker, less shimmery (85% similar). Guerlain Pause d'Ete (LE, $82.00) is darker (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

The Up-Lighting Illuminating Powder is supposed to be a “sheer illuminating powder” that gives skin a “candle-lit, radiant glow” that can be used alone, as a finishing powder, or as a highlighter. While Nude Glow was subtle and sheer, this shade was not; it had semi-opaque coverage, which was buildable to full coverage with two layers, and it was noticeably shimmery on the skin–I can’t really imagine most wanting to use this as an all-over powder. If you’re looking for a soft, warming highlighter (or highlighting bronzer, perhaps) and like some sparkle, this might work on fair to medium-dark skin tones. The texture was soft enough that it was blendable on the skin, and it didn’t emphasize pores, but it is a little drier overall where some of the sparkle separates from the color itself. On my normal-to-dry skin, the color lasted just over eight hours before fading.

Clinique Uplighting Illuminating Powder Golden Glow

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Sephora Stardust (01) Microsmooth Baked Luminizer

Sephora Stardust (01) Microsmooth Baked Luminizer
Sephora Stardust (01) Microsmooth Baked Luminizer

Sephora Stardust (01) Microsmooth Baked Luminizer ($14.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a very pale yellow with subtle, warm undertones and a pearly sheen. Makeup Revolution Golden Lights (P, $6.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). Anastasia Marshmallow (LE) is darker, more shimmery (95% similar). NYX Ritualistic (P, $9.00) is darker, more shimmery (90% similar). Makeup Geek Electrify (P, $20.00) is lighter, more shimmery (90% similar). NARS Give In Take Blush I (LE) is more shimmery (90% similar). Tarte Burst (P) is darker, more shimmery (85% similar). Makeup Geek Lit (P, $20.00) is lighter, more shimmery (85% similar). Kevyn Aucoin Ibiza (Left) (P, $44.00) is warmer, lighter, more shimmery (85% similar). Make Up For Ever 2 Frozen Gold (P, $21.00) is more shimmery (85% similar). Becca Moonstone (P, $38.00) is darker, more shimmery (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

The formula is supposed to give a “natural, seamless luminescence” to the skin with “natural-looking color.” I think it can be really lovely on the skin and yield a beautiful sheen that doesn’t emphasize pores or the skin’s natural texture. It’s not what I’d consider to be subtle glow, but it’s not a brilliant, high-shine highlighter either. The texture was smooth, but it ran a little dry and kicked up excess powder in the pan with ease. Luckily, it did not look dry or powdery on the skin, which is where it counts the most. The highlighter wore well for seven and a half hours before fading noticeably.

Sephora Microsmooth Baked Luminizer Stardust (01)
9
Product
9
Pigmentation
8
Texture
8
Longevity
5
Application
87%
Total

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Anastasia Sweets Glow Kit

Anastasia Sweets Glow Kit
Anastasia Sweets Glow Kit

Anastasia Sweets Glow Kit ($40.00 for 1.04 oz.) includes four sparkling, metallic highlighters in a cardboard palette. It’s new and limited edition, and it is also exclusive to the brand’s website. As you might expect with the Glow Kit, it’s not for someone who only likes a subtle highlighter; it is most suitable for someone who likes bright, bold, sparkling, and/or metallic highlighters. For some skin tones, three of the four shades may also work as luminous blushes. Sassy Grape and Butterscotch have larger sparkle/glittery flecks in them, while Marshmallow and Taffy are smoother and have a finer shimmer overall. All four shades were pretty pigmented, wore for eight to nine hours, and were blendable on the skin, but all four did emphasize the texture of my skin; Marshmallow I could apply without emphasis if I was careful, but the other three still added texture to the skin even when applied sheer.

As a note, two shades–Sassy Grape and Butterscotch–showed part of the powder lifting away from the edges. I dropped my palette a few times onto hardwood from 2-3 feet, and it didn’t seem to get any worse; then I pressed the powder together with my fingers and repeated dropping it, and they didn’t re-separate. However, I have seen almost a dozen photos of people receiving their Sweets kit with shades entirely broken (often Butterscotch, sometimes Sassy Grape or both). From what I have read, nobody has had an issue with Anastasia replacing and resending a palette.

Marshmallow is a bright, white gold with a cooler, whitish base and warmer, pale gold shimmer. It had good color payoff with a smooth, blendable texture that was soft without being too loose in the pan. It worked well with feathery brushes like a fan brush as well as more traditional blush or highlighter brushes. The color wore well for eight hours on me. Sephora Stardust (01) (P, $14.00) is lighter, less shimmery (95% similar). Zoeva Glowing Still (P) is brighter (90% similar). Makeup Revolution Golden Lights (P, $6.00) is less shimmery (95% similar). Kevyn Aucoin Ibiza (Left) (P, $44.00) is warmer, more muted (90% similar). Make Up For Ever 2 Frozen Gold (P, $21.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). LORAC Starlight (P, $23.00) is less shimmery (90% similar). Chanel Camelia de Plumes (LE, $76.00) is lighter (90% similar). Colour Pop Perilune (LE, $8.00) is less pigmented, more muted, darker (90% similar). Sleek MakeUP Subsolar (P) is less shimmery (95% similar). Colour Pop Stole the Show (P, $8.00) is lighter, less shimmery (85% similar). Too Faced Rosy Glow (Left) (P) is darker (85% similar). LORAC Daylight (P, $23.00) is darker, less shimmery (80% similar). Anastasia Summer (LE) is darker (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Sassy Grape is a medium, pinky-plum with warm undertones and a sparkling, metallic finish. The pigmentation was mostly opaque, while the texture was metallic and highly reflective on the skin. It did emphasize my skin’s natural texture noticeably when worn all-over the cheeks, and when I tried it as a barely-there highlighter, I still had a little bit of emphasis, but it was not as noticeable. The powder itself was looser in the pan, though soft and blendable. It wore well for eight hours on me. Bobbi Brown Wild Rose (LE, $46.00) is warmer, more muted, darker (95% similar). MAC Blonde (LE, $32.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). NARS Adoration (Left) (P) is lighter, more shimmery (90% similar). Makeup Geek Starlight (LE, $20.00) is warmer, more shimmery (90% similar). Physicians Formula Rose (P, $11.99) is darker, more shimmery (90% similar). Makeup Revolution All I Think About is You (P, $5.00) is darker, more shimmery (85% similar). Bobbi Brown Sunset Glow (LE, $46.00) is warmer (85% similar). Kevyn Aucoin Starlight (P, $52.00) is warmer (80% similar). Makeup Revolution Loved Me the Best (P, $5.00) is darker, less shimmery (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Butterscotch is a bright, light-medium gold with warm, yellow undertones and a sparkling, metallic finish. This shade has a very intense, reflective finish on the skin with barely any product as it is very pigmented. It has some noticeable sparkle that sits on the skin, and the more metallic finish paired with the denser, thicker consistency overall did result in emphasis of pores/skin texture for me. I think that it does reflect so much light that the emphasis wasn’t as noticeable as you might expect it to be. The color wore well for eight and a half hours on me before fading. Anastasia White Sand (LE) is less shimmery (95% similar). Tarte Authentic (LE, $28.00) is less shimmery (95% similar). Makeup Geek Midnight Sun (P, $20.00) is more muted, darker, less shimmery (90% similar). Becca Moonstone (P, $38.00) is more muted, darker, less shimmery (90% similar). Make Up For Ever 13 Ivory (P, $21.00) is less shimmery (90% similar). Tom Ford Beauty Black Bloom (LE, $80.00) is cooler, less shimmery (90% similar). Burberry The Runway Palette (LE, $68.00) is darker, less shimmery (90% similar). Tarte Champagne (LE) is lighter, less shimmery (90% similar). Cle de Peau Gold (12) (P, $55.00) is less shimmery (90% similar). Tarte Gator Wings (LE) is darker, less shimmery (85% similar). Bobbi Brown Gold (LE, $46.00) is darker, less shimmery (85% similar). Becca Prosecco Pop (LE, $38.00) is darker, less shimmery (85% similar). Illamasqua Rush (P) is warmer, darker (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Taffy is a slightly muted, medium-dark rosy copper with warm undertones and a metallic sheen. It had rich color payoff with a smooth, blendable texture that felt almost cream-like to the touch. Though it wasn’t as sparkly as Butterscotch, it had a high-shine finish that reflected a lot of light and had some mild emphasis of skin texture/pores on my skin. This shade lated for almost nine hours before fading. MAC Peachtwist (P, $22.00) is darker, less shimmery (90% similar). MAC Light Year (LE, $32.00) is less shimmery (90% similar). Edward Bess Ciao (P, $45.00) is darker, less shimmery (90% similar). Looxi Beauty Valley Girl (P, $7.50) is brighter, lighter, more shimmery (90% similar). Maybelline Barely Pink (202) (LE, $8.99) is less shimmery (90% similar). NARS Cheek Studio III (LE, $30.00) is warmer, darker, less shimmery (85% similar). Laura Geller Pink Grapefruit (P, $28.00) is warmer (85% similar). Tarte Muse (LE, $30.00) is darker, less shimmery (85% similar). Viseart Highlight #2 (P) is cooler, lighter (85% similar). Looxi Beauty Venom (P, $7.50) is cooler, lighter (85% similar). Laura Mercier Rosé (LE, $42.00) is lighter (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Anastasia Glow Kit Sweets
Sweets
Sweets
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9
Longevity
4.5
Application
92%
Total
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Also In This Review

A-

Marshmallow

Limited Edition
Read Review
B+

Sassy Grape

Limited Edition
Read Review
A-

Butterscotch

Limited Edition
Read Review
A

Taffy

Limited Edition
Read Review

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