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MAC Freshen Up High-Light Powder (Wash & Dry)

MAC Freshen Up High-Light Powder
MAC Freshen Up High-Light Powder

MAC Freshen Up High-Light Powder ($35.50 for TBA oz.) is described as a “color wave ranging from coral to neutral.” Mixed together, it’s a lightly brightened, peachy tangerine with warm, reddish-orange tones and a very, very fine shimmer-sheen finish. (Keep in mind, most of the gold sheen on the surface is an over-spray, which I removed prior to swatching!) Urban Decay Kinky (P, $26.00) is darker. Urban Decay Indecent (P, $26.00) is peachier. Laura Mercier Rosegold Shimmer (LE) is more shimmery, darker. Too Faced Luminous Peach (LE) is more shimmery. Chanel Caresse (180) (LE, $45.00) is less orange. YSL Rebelle (7) (P, $47.00) is darker. MAC Style Cast (LE, $21.00) is more shimmery. Makeup Geek Smitten (P, $9.99) is lighter, less shimmery. Surratt Beauty Cantaloup (P, $32.00) is brighter, yellower. Guerlain Orange Blush (LE) is darker, less shimmery. Dior Amber (002) (LE, $56.00) is lighter. MAC Fresh Honey (LE, $27.00) is darker. MAC Blazing Haute (LE, $25.00) is more shimmery. MAC Ripe Peach (LE, $32.00) is darker. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

It’s a tri-colored powder that consists of a deeper, medium-dark coral with warm orange-red tones, yellowed tangerine, and a light yellow beige. As you might expect, it can vary in how light or dark, how yellow or red it is based on where you concentrate your brush. It tends to lean lighter than darker, as the lighter sections make up a greater amount in the compact. I don’t know how much is in the compact, but it is the same size as MAC’s face powders (Beauty Powders, High-Light Powders, Bronzing Powders, etc.) and those typically hold 0.35 oz. or so. The texture is soft, fairly smooth, and doesn’t have the thinner, firmer texture that some of the more recent limited edition cheek/face powders have had. That being said, the texture of the lightest shade seemed a bit firmer compared to the other two shades. I dug through the sections, and the three colors appeared to go all the way through. On my medium complexion, it is subtle, and the finish is satiny, so there is only a smidgen of sheen. It had semi-opaque pigmentation that was easily used semi-sheer to semi-opaque depending on application methods/tools. For reference, on my medium skin tone, the color itself is subtle with a low level sheen that didn’t emphasize pores. It lasted for eight hours on me before fading. Though labeled a “High-Light Powder,” this is a product type that rarely seems to act like a traditional highlighting powder, and for fair to medium skin tones, this is more of a blush than a true highlighter, while darker skin tones may need to concentrate their brush towards the darker coral shade to get more of a blush out of it.

The Wash & Dry Collection will launch online on May 14th and be available in-stores on May 21st.

MAC High-Light Powder Freshen Up
Freshen Up
Freshen Up
9
Product
9
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
8.5
Longevity
5
Application
89%
Total

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ColourPop Aphrodisiac Super Shock Cheek

ColourPop Aphrodisiac Super Shock Cheek
ColourPop Aphrodisiac Super Shock Cheek

ColourPop Aphrodisiac Super Shock Cheek ($8.00 for 0.15 oz.) is described as a “soft beige brown in a matte finish.” It’s a muted, medium brown with subtle, warm undertones and a satiny sheen. Urban Decay Video (P, $26.00) is a powder. MAC Scone (LE, $25.00) is a powder, darker, less shimmery. Tarte Park Ave. Princess #2 (LE) is a powder, warmer. MAC Liberating (LE, $21.00) is a powder. IT Cosmetics Warm Radiance (P, $34.00) is more shimmery, powder. Surratt Beauty Grisaille (P, $32.00) is cooler-toned, powder. MAC Bronzer (LE, $30.00) is lighter, powder. MAC Aphrodite’s Shell (LE, $33.00) is warmer, powder. MAC Sculpt (P, $16.50) is darker, matte, powder. NARS Paloma Contour (P) is powder. Kevyn Aucoin Natura (P) is rosier, powder. Tom Ford Beauty Terra (P, $65.00) is lighter, warmer, powder. NARS Madly (P, $30.00) is powder, darker. MAC Harmony (P, $21.00) is more matte, darker, powder. Burberry Earthy (P, $42.00) is rosier, darker, powder. bareMinerals The Close Call (P, $22.00) is pinker, powder. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

The Super Shock Cheek formula is a cream-based product that feels more like a clay texture, as it malleable without feeling really emollient or creamy like a traditional cream blush. It has a velvety, thinner consistency that goes on the skin more like a powder, but it has the superior blendability of a cream. I like to apply it by skimming the edge of my fingertip across the skin with very light pressure, which distributes the color evenly while blending it simultaneously. I also like a duo fiber stippling brush and patting it in three or four pats across the cheek and then blending together. Despite this seeming to have a sheen, when applied, it looks mostly matte or “natural matte,” where skin looks like skin, rather than dull and flat, but it doesn’t really look shimmery or dewy. I think this could be used to contour on fairer complexions. It had semi-sheer, buildable coverage with a brush, and mostly opaque coverage with a fingertip (which is in line with what the brand says). The blush wore well for nine hours on me.

Colour Pop Super Shock Cheek Aphrodisiac
Aphrodisiac
Aphrodisiac
A-

Permanent

9
Product
9
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9.5
Longevity
5
Application
92%
Total

See more photos & swatches!

Laura Geller Ballerina Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator

Laura Geller Ballerina Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator
Laura Geller Ballerina Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator

Laura Geller Ballerina Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator ($24.00 for 0.16 oz.) is a softened, medium rosy copper with warm, golden frost and a luminous sheen. Becca Rose Gold (P, $38.00) is a cream. Sephora + Pantone Universe Marsala (LE, $25.00) is pinker. MAC Fairly Precious (LE, $30.00) is lighter. Becca Rose Gold (P, $38.00) is similar. Laura Mercier Spellbound (LE, $42.00) is pinker. MAC Cheeky Bronze (P, $30.00) is slightly warmer. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

The formula is supposed to “[apply] like a sheer powder but [feel] like a cream” with a “translucent wash of luminous color.” The coverage is buildable from semi-sheer to mostly opaque, though it seems to apply with medium coverage unless you use a very feathery brush. If you’re a fan of formulas like MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish, Estee Lauder Gelees, or NARS Dual-Intensity Blush, I think you’ll like this one, too. It has a similar feel: smooth with a dryness that’s not truly dry or powdery, but it’s very smooth and silky when applied to the skin. This is just shimmery enough to give a noticeable sheen on the skin, but it is a step or two below a true frost, so it is hard to overdo and doesn’t emphasize pores. It is blendable on the skin, and this one can work as a blush or a highlighter, depending on your skin tone (I use it as a blush/highlighter hybrid on my skin tone). On me, it wore well for eight and a half hours before fading slightly.

Laura Geller Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator Ballerina
Ballerina
Ballerina
9
Product
8
Pigmentation
10
Texture
9
Longevity
5
Application
91%
Total

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Guerlain #02 and #03 Terracotta Bronzing Powders

Guerlain #03 Terracotta Bronzing Powder
Guerlain #02 and #03 Terracotta Bronzing Powder

Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powders ($55.00 for 0.35 oz.) are being repromoted in two shades–#02 and #03–with special, removable silicone-like shells in turquoise and coral respectively. The shell removes, so you can put it on your next Terracotta bronzing powder, should you finish the first one. They’re easy to remove and reapply, and it’s an interesting option. It costs $2 more compared to the standalone Terracotta bronzing powders ($53), but you are limited to two shades and each comes with a specific shell color, so you cannot pick and choose. There are actually nine shades in the Terracotta bronzing range to choose from.

The Terracotta Bronzing Powder formula is supposed to have a “light texture and natural finish” with a “fine powder” that goes on “seamlessly.” It is also heavily scented–smells more generically perfumed and powdery to me, but Guerlain describes it as a “joyful blend of bergamot and mandarin blended with sunny, femininen notes of gardenia [with] woody, vanilla notes.” Both powders performed similarly for me: they were fairly silky, finely-milled, easily blended on the skin, and they sat well and gave a soft sheen but didn’t emphasize pores. #02 is actually darker and redder in comparison to #03, which is a bit lighter and more yellow-based.

Guerlain #02 Terracotta Bronzing Powder ($55.00 for 0.35 oz.) is a medium-dark red-toned brown with warm undertones and a fine gold shimmer-sheen. It wore well for almost nine hours on me. MAC Scone (LE, $25.00) is lighter. Guerlain Moyen Brunettes (05) (LE, $75.00) is less red. Wet ‘n’ Wild Bikini Contest (P, $3.99) is slightly yellower. Le Metier de Beaute Sun Drenched (P, $55.00) is darker. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

Guerlain #02 Terracotta Bronzing Powder ($55.00 for 0.35 oz.) is a medium brown with warm, yellow and red undertones and a soft golden shimmer-sheen finish. The pigmentation on this one was slightly less than #02, while the texture seemed a smidgen drier, but I didn’t notice either issue when actually applying to the skin. It wore well for eight and a half hours on me. Tom Ford Beauty Gold Dust (P, $65.00) is similar. Hourglass Radiant Bronze Light (P, $50.00) is lighter, yellower. MAC Scone (LE, $25.00) is less shimmery, cooler-toned. Urban Decay Strip Bronzer (P) is more shimmery. Guerlain Moyen Brunettes (05) (LE, $75.00) is darker. MAC Love, Rihanna (LE, $25.00) is yellower. Wet ‘n’ Wild Bikini Contest (P, $3.99) is darker. Burberry Copper Glow (P, $48.00) is darker. MAC Golden (LE, $25.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder #02
#02
#02
9
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
9.5
Longevity
5
Application
94%
Total
Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder #03
#03
#03
9
Product
9
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
9
Longevity
5
Application
90%
Total

See more photos & swatches!

Josie Maran Argan Enlightnment Illuminizing Wand

Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminizing Wand
Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminizing Wand

Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminizing Wand ($28.00 for 0.36 oz.) is a golden champagne with warm, peachy tones and a soft, frosted sheen. Becca Opal (P, $38.00) is less peach. Chanel Dentelle Precieuse (LE, $80.00) is a powder. Becca Opal (P, $38.00) is lighte,r powder. NARS Hot Sand (P, $30.00) is similar. Becca Rose Gold (P, $38.00) is darker, powder. Benefit Watt’s Up! (P, $30.00) is slightly darker. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side. (If this looks familiar, it’s because this is very, very similar in color and finish to the liquid version that I just reviewed!)

Now that we’ve looked at the powder and liquid versions of the Argan Enlightenment Illuminizer range, we finish with the Wand option. This is a cream version, so it is an emollient solid stick that twists-up. The formula is supposed to “mimic the natural radiance of healthy skin” in a more portable option. The texture of the cream version is lightweight with a slightly glossy finish initially that dries down to more of a luminous sheen that doesn’t emphasize pores. It doesn’t add much color to my medium complexion, but it may warm up fairer skin tones. It wore well for seven and a half hours before fading slightly. It worked well over and under foundation, as well as on bare skin. If you want to apply over foundation, I recommend patting the product on with your fingertips or with a stippling brush by lightly skimming over the surface. If you use it directly from the tube, you may find it will lift your foundation (depending on what you’re wearing and how much pressure you use–it is more foolproof with fingers/brushes).

For me, I think this is the better option if you want a cream or liquid (something more emollient and typically more forgiving on drier skin types) for specific highlighting, rather than all-over; for mixing with foundations or moisturizers, the liquid is your best bet. For greatest ease and the lowest shimmer amount, the powder is going to be the one you’d want to check out. I love that Josie Maran offered three different types, but I’d love to see more shades, and at the very least, something cooler in tone.

Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminizing Wand Argan Enlightenment (Original)
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
8
Longevity
5
Application
93%
Total

See more photos & swatches!

Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminizer

Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminizer
Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminizer

Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminizer ($26.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is a peachy champagne with warm undertones and a soft, frosted sheen. Becca Opal (P, $38.00) is less peach. Chanel Dentelle Precieuse (LE, $80.00) is a powder. Becca Opal (P, $38.00) is lighte,r powder. NARS Hot Sand (P, $30.00) is similar. Becca Rose Gold (P, $38.00) is darker, powder. Benefit Watt’s Up! (P, $30.00) is slightly darker. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

It’s supposed to be a liquid highlighter (“concentrated radiance liquid for the face”) that can be used alone or mixed with a base product (moisturizer, foundation, etc.). The texture is lightweight, thin without being watery, easily spread on the skin or mixed in with other liquids and creams. The effect is very comparable to the wand version, in terms of color, and the delivery mechanism is really the major difference, though I think the liquid is a bit less frosted overall. It gives a luminous, lightly dewy finish once it dries down that doesn’t emphasize pores and lasts for seven and a half hours on me.

You’ll get the most quantity of product through the liquid version, but I think it is most suited towards those who expect to use it mixed with their base products, as it is difficult to dispense just the amount needed for more targeted highlighting (like the cheek bones, bridge of the nose, and cupid’s bow)–I get a big dollop that’s more than needed for even mixing in. You can almost get 3/4 of a dollop if you’re careful when dispensing, but I couldn’t get a manageable amount out for using this to highlight specific areas, unfortunately. You can twist off the pump entirely, which may work better if you want to do more specific areas rather than all-over.

Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminizer Argan Enlightenment (Original)
9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
8
Longevity
5
Application
94%
Total

See more photos & swatches!

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