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MAC x Guo Pei Moonlight Beauty Powder

MAC Moonlight Beauty Powder
MAC Moonlight Beauty Powder

MAC Moonlight Beauty Powder ($70.00 for TBA oz.) is described as a “translucent powder with small sized fine pearls.” It’s a light beige with subtle, warm yellow undertones and a nearly-matte finish. This seemed more like a sheer pressed powder for someone fairer than I, as it proceeded to give me a chalky, ghostly cast that was as unflattering as it sounds. I couldn’t use it on my medium skin-tone, and when applied, it mattified but didn’t smooth or diffuse the look of pores or the skin’s natural texture and made my skin appear dull as it went very matte.

Beauty Powders are an interesting MAC beast, because they really come in all forms, and it seems to be more of a catch-all for “powders we want to put out for face.” A lot of them are light or pale, sheer to semi-sheer, while others have had a little more oomph and sheen to them (more like highlighters or a stronger finishing powder). I can’t detect the shimmer or pearl in it on the skin at all. The texture is firmer with a dry, dustiness that collects together but doesn’t diffuse as readily as a finer, silkier powder would. It comes in a large compact (but I don’t know how much is in it) with fabric on the exterior lid (which is pretty but may not withstand much abuse or dirt). It is a sheer, light beige powder that seems suitable only for fair complexions who are looking for a powder that will totally mattify skin. I wore it, and it seemed to keep my face looking flat and matte for eight hours (I have normal-to-dry skin, mostly normal at this time).

MAC Guo Pei Beauty Powder Moonlight
Moonlight
Moonlight
8
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
7.5
Texture
8.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
82%
Total

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Becca Backlight Primer Filter

Becca Backlight Primer Filter
Becca Backlight Primer Filter

Becca Backlight Primer Filter ($38.00 for 1.0 fl. oz.) is supposed to be a “makeup primer to help blur imperfections and impart a radiant glow.” It’s a sheer, golden beige with a luminous sheen and fine pearl. Burberry Nude Radiance No. 01 (P, $48.00) is darker, warmer (95% similar). Becca Moonstone (P, $41.00) is warmer (95% similar). NARS 413 BLKR (P, $30.00) is more shimmery, warmer (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

I’ve been testing this for a few days under various liquid foundations, and it has worked well with light, medium, and full coverage foundations on my normal-to-dry skin. Even with medium-to-full coverage, the added luminosity of the primer comes through slightly. It can be applied to bare skin for an all-over dewy finish or used under your base of choice. For the photos in the post, I applied it on bare skin and applied a semi-matte finish foundation on top (Guerlain Parure Gold, discontinued) as well as showed it set with loose powder. It extends the wear of my foundation by an hour or so and gives the skin a soft glow while diffusing the skin’s natural texture. I also noticed it helped my foundation spread more smoothly across my face during application. I think the texture of this is thicker, more like a light cream, and less water-like compared to Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfectors, and it does seem to do more for longevity, but the visual effect is more similar. On my skin tone, when I wear it alone over bare skin, it does noticeably lighten my overall complexion by half a shade. There is a moderately strong, soapy perfume-like scent to it when initially applied, but I don’t notice it much during wear.

Becca Backlight Priming Filter Backlight
Backlight
Backlight
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9
Longevity
5
Application
93%
Total

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Guerlain Meteorites Light-Diffusing Perfecting Primer

Guerlain Meteorites Light-Diffusing Perfecting Primer
Guerlain Meteorites Light-Diffusing Perfecting Primer

Guerlain Meteorites Light-Diffusing Perfecting Primer ($71.00 for 1.0 fl. oz.) is supposed to “camouflage blemishes and discoloration” with “pearlescent extracts to capture and reflect light and blur the appearance of fine lines.” Guerlain says that it can be used under makeup or on its own (after moisturizer). It’s an illuminating or radiance-enhancing primer that gives skin a more luminous finish without being shiny (or even dewy).  It extends the wear of my foundation by an hour and a half to two hours, which just means everything looks better for longer.  The consistency is lightweight and so easy to spread and blend out on my normal-to-dry skin, so it really does look good and feel good when worn over moisturizer without any foundation on top, and it can also be mixed in with tinted moisturizer easily.

After reviewing Les Ors, which was a limited edition primer for summer, many readers asked how it compared to the one of the permanent primers (there are two!), so here I am with a review! The biggest–and most obvious–difference is in the tint or color. This one is pink-based, so it’s more neutral and doesn’t really tint the skin, only adds very, very fine pearl all-over the skin. Les Ors is distinctly peachy, so on very fair skin, it could add a slight tint as well as radiance. The glow is slightly warmer, even on my medium complexion, as compared to the Meteorites primer. Both are lightweight with gel consistencies that absorb quickly and dry down without any shininess. The finish is decidedly luminous–not sparkly, glittery, or even shimmery–so it enhances the natural look of the skin rather than emphasizing pores or imperfections. They’re both the same price and size, and there was no visible difference on my skin tone, but on very fair or really cool/warm complexions, there might be a more perceptible difference.

Guerlain   Meteorites Light-Diffusing Perfecting Primer

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Guerlain Les Ors Meteorites Perles Light Diffusing Primer

Guerlain Les Ors Meteorites Perles Light Diffusing Primer
Guerlain Les Ors Meteorites Perles Light Diffusing Primer

Guerlain Les Ors Meteorites Perles Light Diffusing Primer ($71.00 for 1.0 fl. oz.) is supposed to be a “sheer, luxurious makeup base” that utilizes gold pearls to brighten, illuminate, and help set makeup (but it can also be worn alone, if so desired). It’s ever-so-slightly peach-tinted with white, pink, and gold micro-shimmer (or pearl, if you like).

Products like this are hard to review, and they are always difficult for me to convey their true effect, because it gets lost in photos–in the sense that with softened, diffused lighting, I’m already getting the benefit of having nice lighting to begin with. I find in the horrors of everyday lighting that varies from room to room, place to place, the improvement is much more marked. There’s absolutely a difference, as the skin has a softer, smoother appearance that’s slightly brighter–fresher in a way–and any foundation I’ve tried it over lasts an extra hour and a half to two hours (I’ve tried this with Guerlain’s own Parure Gold, Parure de Lumiere, and Lingerie de Peau; as well as Make Up For Ever HD and Giorgio Armani Maestro). As a bonus, this seems to slightly minimize bits of redness that I get around my nose and on my cheeks on my normal-to-dry skin.

Unlike a lot of primers on the market, though this has silicone-based ingredients in it, it doesn’t have that velvety, silicone-like feel, but it still does a great job of holding makeup in place. It’s also nice on its own, because it doesn’t have a matte, flat finish. It’s not a liquid highlighter by any means, and it works all-over the face because the pearl is barely-there. The texture is thin, water-like (but a bit thicker than pure water), and easy to spread and blend out on the skin. It dries down in thirty seconds or so. I’ve worn it alone a few times, and I’ve mixed it with my moisturizer and applied it that way. The only thing I’d say is that if you’re already using a slew of excellent smoothing products (like foundation, setting and/or finishing powders), at some point you’re just not going to get skin that looks any more than it already does. For instance, using pressed Meteorites gives me a similar radiance, but the primer extends wear of my base makeup more so than the powder does alone.

Also In This Review

Illamasqua Hydra Veil Rehydrating Gel Review & Photos

Illamasqua Hydra Veil  Rehydrating Gel
Illamasqua Hydra Veil Rehydrating Gel

Illamasqua Hydra Veil Rehydrating Gel ($40.00 for 1.0 oz.) is a cross between a primer and a moisturizer, so perhaps it’s best categorized as a moisturizing primer, as it is not a skincare product (e.g. no long-term hydration benefits are claimed). It’s really supposed to help by providing instant hydration, smooth the skin, and prolong the wear of your base makeup.

It has a thick, jelly-like consistency that looks and feels that way. It jiggles in the pot and is just slightly less solid in comparison to Jell-o. It comes with a small, spoon spatula that hooks to the interior lid for more hygenic removal of the product. Once you disturb the surface of the product, it can look crumbly, but it reforms and looks pristine the next time you open it. You don’t need a lot, but it did seem like a small quantity when I first opened up the jar, though one ounce is about average for a primer. It feels cool when applied, and it spreads easily and doesn’t feel greasy or heavy. It absorbs and dries down quickly. I’ve been using a flat foundation brush (MAC’s 190) to apply and spread it over the skin after my moisturizer but prior to foundation.

One thing I noticed was that sometimes it did give me a light stinging sensation some of the time that I used the product. I’ve used it for a week now, and out of those seven tries, I’d say three of those times had a mild stinging sensation on the drier areas of my face for about thirty seconds or less (in contrast, when I applied it to Shaun’s face, and he didn’t experience any stinging at all, and he has an oilier skin type). It did leave behind a smoother surface, and my foundations (I tried MUFE HD, Guerlain Lingerie de Peau, Kiehl’s Tinted Moisturizer, and Giorgio Armani Maestro) seemed to apply better than they would over the skin alone but not dramatically improved over dry patches.  For me, I didn’t notice particularly better or prolonged wear out of my foundations–an extra half hour at best but nothing dramatic.

I had really hoped for a life-changing product with Hydra Veil, because I often get dry patches along the tops of my cheeks and around my nose, so having an added boost prior to applying foundation can go a long way to giving me a more flawless finish.   It was the product I was most excited for in the new collection, but it wasn’t a good fit for my skin type.

Ingredients

Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, PEG-240/HDI Copolymer Bis-Decyltetradeceth-20 Ether, Phenoxyethanol, Niacinamide, Chlorphenesin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Inulin Lauryl Carbamate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Alcohol, 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Sodium Phosphate, Fragrance, Methylisothiazolinone, Acmella Oleracea Extract, Potassium Laurate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, BHT, Haematococcus Pluvialis Extract, Sodium Chloride, Tocopherol, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Limonene.

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Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm

Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm
Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm

More of a Base than a BB Cream

Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm ($34.00 for 1.18 oz.) is described as a “beauty balm that minimizes pores, lines, wrinkles, and redness instantly” plus “significantly firmer, more-lifted skin in eight weeks.” This is really not a tinted moisturizer, sheer foundation, or the like; the coverage is described as “translucent” once it dries down. Instead of tinting, it’s supposed to “[diffuse] light with high-tech pigments.”

Muse has an excellent write-up for this, and the best takeaway from her review is, “Put aside what you know about traditional Asian BB Creams because this is not a BB Cream formula that would be comparable to those.” She is my personal go-to for all things BB Cream, because she’s tried them extensively (and not just what we see in the states as marketed as BB Creams!).

Straight out of the tube, it looks like a light-medium peachy-beige; definitely warm-toned, and almost orange-y. Blended out, it matched my forearm (about NC20), and when I applied it to my face, matched me there–well, more like you couldn’t really see it. It kind of looks, feels, and acts more like a primer than anything else when I used it. The way it looks is my normal-to-dry skin just a little better–yes, everything is just a bit softened overall. There’s no real coverage, so any redness, spots, and the like doesn’t really get evened out or covered, but otherwise, it definitely minimizes the look of “pores, lines, [and] wrinkles,” just as described (but misses on redness, at least for me). I can’t weigh in re: “firmer, more-lifted skin,” since I haven’t used it for eight weeks and won’t be doing so.

The texture is lightweight, creamy, and thin (but not runny). It didn’t feel tacky on the skin, and it was easy to blend, but I found it spread best in small areas, rather than in larger areas, because it dried down quickly. I did feel like I needed to apply a fair amount to cover my entire face in the product, not because I was trying to achieve coverage (as in covering up my skin), but as a result of the quick-to-dry texture that just wouldn’t really spread from say, forehead to nose or chin. It is also mint-scented; I didn’t notice it when I wore it, but when I swatched it on my arm, and then put my nose to my arm, I could definitely smell it–so depending on how sensitive you are to scents, you may or may not notice it.

If you have good skin naturally, it might be worth checking out if you’re looking to diffuse the look of lines and pores. On its own, the diffusing effect seemed to last for six to seven hours.  It feels and acts a bit like a primer, but when I wore it as a primer, it didn’t extend the wear of my foundation/blush, and I felt like it made blending my foundation on top of it more difficult (not by a lot, just noticeably a different application experience). On my end, because my biggest skin concern is evening out my skin tone (and if I’m going to wear a face product, I want a little coverage otherwise I’ll just go bare-faced), I haven’t found a way that I’d personally incorporate it into my routine.

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