Saturday, October 12th, 2013

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette ($58.00 for 0.35 oz.) contains three shades of the brand’s Ambient Lighting Powders. The three shades include Dim Light and Radiant Light, both which are part of the permanent range, and a new (and limited edition) shade called Incandescent Light. Each shade is 0.116 oz. in size, compared to the full-sized compact which contains 0.35 oz. At a $45 price point for individual shades, the palette is a nice way to try the new powders and have multiple shades to choose from.  You do also get a 0.16 oz. vial of Veil Mineral Primer (worth about $8), which I’ve reviewed here. It’s not a value-packed palette in terms of price-per-ounce (total value of the palette is $53, including the primer), but getting a variety of shades of a product that is quite pricey individually may be worth it–it will take awhile to get through these pans even at this size.

Dim Light is described as a “neutral peach beige powder.” It’s a pale, light beige with neutral to warm undertones and a very subtle satin shimmer/sheen. The color is barely visible against my skin tone when layered heavily (to show color), and it blends out seamlessly without making me look any darker or lighter. I applied this all over my face like a setting/finishing powder with Hourglass’ Ambient Lighting Brush. I couldn’t think of anything I have that’s quite like this and in this shade. The closest product that I’m familiar with is Guerlain’s Meteorites Voyage Powders, which are more translucent and sheerer. According to Hourglass, the main purpose of Dim Light is to blur imperfections–which it does admirably.

Incandescent Light is described as a “pearlescent powder.” It’s a pale, light beige with neutral undertones and a soft ivory shimmer. It’s a bit different from the other Ambient Light powders, because it is a lot more shimmery, and Hourglass is positioning it to “highlight cheekbones and [brighten] the complexion with a celestial glow.” It works well for illuminating the skin where it is applied, and the shimmer doesn’t emphasize pores or make the skin appear oily. Urban Decay Naked (P, $29.00) is more sparkly. Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight (P, $44.00) is similar but a smidgen warmer. NARS Debbie Harry Highlighter (LE, $29.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches.

Radiant Light is described as a “golden beige powder.” I reviewed it here when it was originally released. The purpose of Radiant Light is to had subtle warmth; very pale complexions will see this work more obviously on their skin tone than medium or deeper complexions. You can see some comparison swatches</> against Chanel Lucky Stripes, which is much more golden and darker (more of a bronzer on the skin) and NARS Miss Liberty, which is a bit more sparkly.

The Ambient Lighting Powders breathe life back into the skin after you’ve applied foundations and setting powders–especially if you have more mattifying base products on. They’re not full-on highlighters, but they’re not exactly setting powders (by Hourglass’ definition, they are finishing powders). If you have very oily skin, you may still need your usual setting powder, but for my normal-to-dry skin, the Ambient Lighting Powders work as a setting and finishing powder in one for me. I get extended wear out of my base products, but the powders also smooths the skin’s appearance, minimizes pores and imperfections, and gives the skin a natural luminosity (not shiny, not shimmery). It is that something extra that someone won’t see and go, “Oh, nice lipstick!” but “Did you do something different with your skin?” When people start asking you about your skincare routine, that’s when you know a product is really delivering on its promises! I’m not alone–there are 47 reader reviews with an overall rating of 4.5. The only negative I have to say about the products is that the texture is very, very soft, so depending on the brush you use, excess powder can be kicked up (and wasted).

If you were one of several readers wondering about my skin in my last NARS’ post, this palette is responsible as I wore Dim Light all over my face with Incandescent Light done the bridge of my nose and along the tops of my cheekbones as a highlighter.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Ambient Lighting (Holiday 2013)

A+

The Ambient Lighting Powders breathe life back into the skin after you've applied foundations and setting powders--especially if you have more mattifying base products on. It is that something extra that someone won't see and go, "Oh, nice lipstick!" but "Did you do something different with your skin?" When people start asking you about your skincare routine, that's when you know a product is really delivering on its promises!

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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P
product

Dim Light

A+

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Incandescent Light

A+

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Guerlain Champs Elysees Meteorites Perles
Guerlain Champs Elysees Meteorites Perles

Guerlain Champs Elysees Meteorites Perles ($58.00 for 1.05 oz.) is supposed to “capture light to create a more luminous and even skin tone.” It does this through a combination of “beige, purple white, gold, and two pinks.” It’s a soft, pale pink with a dusting of white sparkle and a satin-matte finish. MAC Rosy Outlook and Chanel Star Dust are pale pink blushes but both are less highlighters than they are blushes. Guerlain Perles du Dragon is more luminous. Guerlain Perles de Nuit is also more luminous. In the tin, it did seem somewhat similar to Perles du Paradis, but I had almost no visible payoff, so it’s hard to say if they really are similar. See comparison swatches.

Surprisingly, when applied more heavily, it gave my cheeks a soft flush of pink (even on my medium complexion). Otherwise, it brightens and softens the skin in a very subtle, barely-there way as most Meteorites do. I feel like this is a product you either love or hate–you’ve had the Kool-Aid or you moved right along. If you’re looking for a traditional highlighter, you’re better off looking elsewhere as Meteorites, generally (including this one) are subtle. If you wear really, really matte foundation or set heavily with a matte powder, this is a product that breathes life back into the finish of the skin by giving it a natural luminosity that’s not shimmery or sparkly.

Champs Elysees is less luminous compared to recent limited edition iterations, but it still does add luminosity to the skin though just not enough to really live up to its description. It seemed to brighten more than other shades, and made me look more awake. It seems to wear well for eight and a half hours, and it doesn’t impair the wear of my foundation or blush in any way.  Though Meteorites Perles are gorgeous in their tins, the effect (in my experience) doesn’t change too much from shade to shade, and I would imagine that the impact might be more noticeable on fairer complexions.

The Glossover

LE
product

Champs Elysees

A-

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Friday, September 27th, 2013

Kevyn Aucoin Natura Pure Powder Glow
Kevyn Aucoin Natura Pure Powder Glow

Kevyn Aucoin Natura Pure Powder Glow ($37.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a medium brown with hints of peach and rose, along with white shimmer over a satin finish. NARS Madly is browner, darker. NARS Douceur is less warm-toned. MAC Baby Don’t Go is less warm-toned, lighter. MAC Harmony is less shimmery. Burberry Earthy is less warm-toned. See comparison swatches.

I must admit, the shimmer I saw in the pan and in the swatch had me a little worried on how it would translate to skin, but somehow, it manages to work nicely without emphasizing pores or looking sparkly or shimmery. I think a good portion of the shimmer/gets trapped in the bristles of my blush brushes, so little appears on the skin when applied. Depending on your skin tone, this could work as a blush, bronzer, highlighter, or contour powder. On my medium complexion, it’s a subtle contour or a barely-there bronzer. The texture was silky, soft, and finely-milled without being powdery, and the powder applied evenly and smoothly on the skin. It had fairly good color payoff overall but is a more buildable product than one that starts off intensely pigmented. It wore well for just over eight hours, and after nine hours, I saw some light fading along the edges.

The Glossover

P
product

Natura

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Thursday, September 26th, 2013

Becca Rose Gold Shimmering Skin Perfector
Becca Rose Gold Shimmering Skin Perfector

Becca Rose Gold Shimmering Skin Perfector ($38.00 for 0.30 oz.) is a warm-toned, light-meidum peach-brown with rose, gold, and copper shimmer. Urban Decay Glint is lighter. MAC Soft & Gentle is lighter, more beige. Le Metier de Beaute Whisper is lighter. Bobbi Brown Rose Gold is pinker. Not a dupe but because it does come to mind, Benefit Rockateur is significantly pinker. See comparison swatches.

This is a new–and limited edition!–shade for the holidays, and it also has a raised pattern/design in the pan. The texture is soft, finely-milled, and very blendable. It gives a noticeable but not over-the-top glow to the skin when dusted lightly over it–the finish doesn’t turn metallic. On my skin tone, there’s almost no visible color, but on fairer complexions, I would expect to see some warmth and color, not just a sheen. Like Moonstone, it’s not a totally foolproof highlighter, because it is incredibly pigmented, so it can be easy to over-apply and get a finish that emphasizes pores. I had the best luck applying with a fan brush across the high planes of the face. Rose Gold wore well, though, and stayed on my skin for eight and a half hours and only started to show signs of fading afte rnine hours of wear.

The Glossover

LE
product

Rose Gold

A

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Le Metier de Beaute Whisper Radiance Powder Rouge
Le Metier de Beaute Whisper Radiance Powder Rouge

Le Metier de Beaute Whisper Radiance Powder Rouge ($30.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a soft, peachy-beige with a frosted sheen. It has definite warm undertones, and the finish isn’t subtle. Urban Decay Glint is lighter. bareMinerals The Love Affair is more beige. Bobbi Brown Rose Gold is pinker. See comparison swatches.

After swatching, I was quite worried that this was going to be frost-overload applied and make every single pore I had (and ones I didn’t even know I had) stand out like beacons in the night. I was completely wrong–the resulting finish was just right; glow-y without being too oily, a luminous sheen that wasn’t metallic. The texture was soft, buttery, finely-milled, and a little powdery (the surface of the pan was very soft, so if your brush is stiffer or “scratchy,” it can cause excess product to come loose). On the skin, it wore well for eight hours, and after just under nine hours of wear, I saw some light fading. If you have fairer skin, you may notice this adds warmth as well as sheen, but on more medium and darker complexions, it will be primarily sheen.

The Glossover

P
product

Whisper

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Physicians Formula Rose Sexy Booster Sexy Glow Blush
Physicians Formula Rose Sexy Booster Sexy Glow Blush

Physicians Formula Rose Sexy Booster Sexy Glow Blush ($11.99 for 0.19 oz.) is a soft, subtly warm-toned pink with a silvery-white sparkle and metallic sheen. The majority of the powder is a warmer, pale pink (almost peachy), and then the center is a darker, berry-ish pink. There is some sparkle, as well as shimmer. MAC Rio is darker but has a similar sheen. Giorgio Armani No. 08 has a sheen but less color. MAC Stunner is warmer. MAC Easy Manner is less shimmery. MAC Porcelain Pink is less pink but has a similar sheen. Illamasqua Lies is cooler-toned but has a similar sheen. See comparison swatches.

According to Physicians Formula’s website, it’s supposed to be the “perfect blend of shimmery blushing tones … for an instant sexy boost with an alluring blushing glow.” The product is vanilla scented. It’s a soft, subtle pink hue on my medium complexion–so on paler skin tones, I would expect it to show up more as a blusher, and on medium or deeper complexions, more as a sheen and highlighter. The texture was fairly soft (but you could feel the sparkle at times), and it applied smoothly, though the finish is quite metallic so it did emphasize pores just slightly. I felt like the luminous finish was distracting enough from that defect, so it wasn’t as noticeable. It wore well for almost eight hours, and it started to look a bit patchy after that. While ULTA’s website said it said it has 12-hour wear, I didn’t see this claim on the brand’s website (or on drugstore.com), so I’m deferring to the brand on wear (or the lack of a particularly long-wearing claim).

The Glossover

P
product

Rose

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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