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  • b-glowing20% off skincare orders of $60+ with code 20SKINCARE, ends 10/25.
  • Macy's50% off Tarte Tarteist PRO Glow Highlight & Contour Palette (now $22.50), ends 10/21.

Best Blushes | Holiday 2016 Gift Guide

Best Blushes | Holiday 2016 Gift Guide

It’s that time of the year again:  holiday gift guides aplenty!  This year, I’ve broken out my gift guides into best of selections for blush, eyeshadow, highlighter, lipstick, lipgloss, palettes, and brushes.  These guides feature permanent formulas so that they can be useful anytime during the holiday season or even into next year.  For limited edition holiday products, you can check out our list of the top 50 highest-rated holiday products, which updates as I post more reviews for holiday products.  I hope you find this list of top performing blush formulas useful 🙂

Tom Ford Cheek Color

Tom Ford Cheek Color

Tom Ford Cheek Color ($60.00 for 0.28 oz.) has been a go-to blush formula for me since I first tried it many years ago. As time has passed, I have tried many more blush formulas from brands, but I still go back to this one frequently. I keep a few of my favorite shades (Love Lust, Ravish, Wicked) in my go-to drawer, where I keep products I want to wear again and again (when I’m not testing something!). The formula is soft, moderately dense, and smooth, which results in good pigmentation, a satin to pearly sheen, and easy application–plus, they wear long on me (over eight hours).

Availability

Bergdorf GoodmanNeiman MarcusNordstromSaks

Urban Decay Afterglow 8-Hour Blush

Urban Decay Afterglow 8-Hour Powder Blush

Urban Decay Afterglow 8-Hour Powder Blush ($26.00 for 0.23 oz.) is a powder blush with medium, buildable coverage and a more satin-to-luminous finish. I like how the range includes a mix of more “wearable” neutrals along with brighter pops of color, so it’s a versatile range that can work for many skin tones. Some of my favorite shades are Rapture, TMI, Fetish, and Crush.

Availability

Sephora, Ulta, Nordstrom

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New for Holiday 2016 from Bite, BUXOM, Clinique, Sephora, YSL

More Holiiday 2016 Sets
Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick Duo

More holiday sets have emerged!

Now online

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The Details

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick Duo, $14.00 (Limited Edition)

Swipe on gorgeous lip color for every festive occasion with the Amuse Bouche Lipstick Duo. It features a signature Amuse Bouche shade with a limited-edition, foiled top coat that’s perfect for the holiday season. Available at Sephora.

  • Opal/Jam
  • Gold/Sour Cherry
  • Rose Gold/Fig
  • Bronze/Pepper

BUXOM Frozen Assets Mini Big & Sexy Bold Gel Lipstick, $38.00 (Limited Edition)

The Frozen Assets 8-piece Mini Big & Sexy Bold Lipstick Collection includes a range of nude to red shades in moisturizing matte and satin finishes in a lightweight, gel formula. Each shade delivers piercingly vivid, one-stroke color to shamelessly stand out. Available at Sephora.

  • 4 x 0.03 oz/ 1 g Mini Big & Sexy Bold Gel Matte Lipstick in Racy Reveal (matte warm light pink), Sinful Cinnamon (matte cinnamon brown), Ultraviolet (matte bright violet), Ruby Temptress (matte brick red)
  • 4 x 0.03 oz/ 1 g Mini Big & Sexy Bold Gel Lipstick in Rebel Rose (satin rosy pink), Graphic Grape (satin deep purple), Forbidden Berry (satin deep pink), Fuchsia Fetish (satin hot pink)

Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Lip & Liner, $60.00 (Limited Edition)

Get five matching sets of lip color and liner in glossy or matte finishes—plus two glosses and two enhancers—for a polished look that’s all your own. This 14-piece set features full and deluxe size bestsellers, including Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi Shine Lip Lacquer in Pretty Thing to Ciaté London’s Liquid Velvet™ in VooDoo. Available at Sephora.

  • 0.02 oz/ 0.75 g Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! double the lip in Fuchsia Fever
  • 0.07 oz/ 2 mL Buxom® Full-On Lip Cream in Kir Royale
  • 0.06 oz/ 1.77 mL Ciaté London Liquid Velvet in VooDoo
  • 0.12 oz/ 3.54 mL Estée Edit Lip Flip Shade Transformer in 02 Turn Down (full size)
  • 0.01 oz/ 0.25 g Know Cosmetics No Bleeding Lips™ Secret Lip Liner (full size)
  • 0.05 oz/ 1.49 g Laura Mercier Lip Pencil in Naked (full size)
  • 0.04 oz/ 1.4 g MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Rouge in M-401 MAT
  • 0.035 oz/ 1 g Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi Shine Lip Lacquer in Pretty Thing
  • 0.06 oz/ 1.8 g NARS Cosmetics Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella
  • 0.009 oz/ 0.27 g Smashbox Always Sharp Lip Liner in Crimson (full size)
  • 0.05 oz/ 1.5 mL Stila Cosmetics Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso
  • 0.001 oz/ 0.04 g Tarte tarteist™ Lip Crayon in Mood Ring
  • 0.08 oz/ 2.3 mL Too Faced Cosmetics Melted Matte Liquified Long Wear Matte Lipstick in Sell Out
  • 0.035 oz/ 1.2 g Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture in N° 70 Le Nu

Fresh Holiday 2016 Gift Sets

Fresh Holiday 2016 Gift Sets
Fresh Holiday 2016 Gift Sets

Now online

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The Details

Sugar Lip Celebration, $218.00 (Limited Edition)

Create a party for your lips with this set of 12, full-size Sugar Lip Treatments to nourish or tint for a show-stopping smile. It includes the Sugar Tinted Lip Treatments Sunscreen SPF 15 in shades that range from sheer rose to a sheer, pearlescent wine hue. The set also features the Sugar Lip Treatment Advanced Therapy to support antiaging and the Sugar Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15, a nourishing blend that smooths and protects lips.

  • 10 x 0.15 oz/ 4.3 g Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15 in Rosé (sheer rose), Honey (warm nude), Petal (bold pink blossom), Nude (sheer shimmery blush), Tulip (sheer hot pink), Poppy (deep pink red), Berry, (bold berry), Coral (bold coral), Ruby (sheer shimmery rouge), Fig (sheer pearlescent wine)
  • 0.15 oz/ 4.3 g Sugar Lip Treatment Advanced Therapy
  • 0.15 oz/ 4.3 g Sugar Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15

Sugar Lip Small Wonders, $29.00 (Limited Edition)

Pack up and go with this travel-ready trio that preps and tints your lips to leave you with subtle to striking lip looks. This set features the Sugar Lip Polish, a gentle conditioning exfoliant, and the Sugar Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15, a nourishing blend that smooths and protects lips. The Sugar Poppy Tinted Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15 protects lips and delivers a bold, deep pink red tint.

  • 0.07 oz/ 2.2 g Sugar Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15
  • 0.28 oz/ 8 g Sugar Lip Polish
  • 0.07 oz/ 2.2 g Sugar Poppy Tinted Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15

Sugar Lip Seduction, $59.00 (Limited Edition)

Create party-ready looks with the Sugar Lip Seduction. These seven Sugar Lip Treatments that nourish or tint for a show-stopping smile. Choose from a sheer rose tint to a bold pink blossom shade for gorgeous color that lets lips take center stage.

  • 7 x 0.07 oz/ 2.2 g Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15 in Rosé, Petal, Tulip, Poppy, Ruby, Berry, Fig

Sugar Rush, $56.00 (Limited Edition)

This head-to-toe set features three products that gently exfoliate and nourish for smooth, soft skin. A gentle exfoliating mask, the Sugar Face Polish is made with real brown sugar that instantly softens and smooths for a more radiant-looking complexion. The original, natural sugar exfoliant, the Brown Sugar Body Polish combines real brown sugar crystals with precious oils for soft, radiant skin. The Sugar Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15 offers a nourishing blend that moisturizes, protects, and smooths the lips.

  • 1 oz/ 30 mL Sugar Face Polish
  • 7.1 oz/ 200 g Brown Sugar Polish
  • 0.15 oz/ 4.3 g Sugar Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15

Sugar Lip Entourage, $48.00 (Limited Edition)

Keep these Sugar lip companions close so you can prep, protect, and perfect your lips with nourishing formulas. Sugar Lip Polish is a gentle conditioning exfoliant, Sugar Lip Serum Advanced Therapy is a serum that supports antiaging, and the Sugar Nude Tinted Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15 is a sheer, shimmery blush with a nude tint. The Sugar Rosé Tinted Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15 features a sheer rose tint, and the Sugar Nourishing Lip Balm Advanced Therapy is a lip balm that supports antiaging and has a soft sheen.

  • 0.10 oz/ 3 g Sugar Nourishing Lip Balm Advanced Therapy
  • 0.28 oz/ 8 g Sugar Lip Polish
  • 2 x 0.07 oz/ 2.2 g Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15 in Nude, Rosé
  • 0.16 oz/ 5 mL Sugar Lip Serum Advanced Therapy

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Sephora Favorites Sets for Holiday 2016

Sephora Favorites for Holiday 2016
Sephora Favorites for Holiday 2016

From the Editor: Sephora Favorites has just launched several new kits for the holidays, including the Give Me Some Bold Lip Set and Lashstash.

Now online

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The Details

Sephora Favorites: Give Me Some Bold Lip, $28.00 ($75 Value) (Limited Edition)

This set includes full-size and deluxe lip essentials for every occasion. It features Bite Beauty’s Matte Crème Lip Crayon in Aubergine to Ciaté London’s Liquid Velvet in Head Over Heels for audacious lip looks.

  • 0.03 oz/ 1 g Bite Beauty Matte Crème Lip Crayon in Aubergine
  • 0.06 oz/ 2 mL Ciaté London Liquid Velvet in Head Over Heels
  • 0.10 oz/ 3 mL Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Damned
  • 0.12 oz/ 3.6 g Laura Mercier Velour Lovers Lip Colour in An Affair
  • 0.03 oz/ 1 g SEPHORA COLLECTION Rouge Cream in #49 Belly-Dancing
  • 0.10 oz/ 3 mL tarte tartiest™ Creamy Matte Lip Paint in Yaassss

Sephora Favorites: Glow For It, $30.00 ($75 Value) (Limited Edition)

Shine a light on your features with these glowing oils, creams, a powder, and liquid formulas for a subtle radiance, strobing, or anything in between. This kit includes five deluxe everyday essentials, including one full size and five deluxe size luminizers for the perfect glow. The BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector™ Liquid perfects the skin with light-reflecting pearls for a dewy, natural-looking finish. Benefit Cosmetics’ Watt’s Up! Cream-to-Powder Highlighter creates a delicate, champagne glow with a soft-focus effect. Use the Cover FX Custom Infusion Drops in C+ Lemongrass – Radiance, a vitamin-rich concentrate that can be used alone to hydrate and treat the skin, or infuse it into any product in your beauty regimen for the benefits of a potent, super-strength, hydrating serum. Hourglass Ambient® Strobe Lighting Powder is designed to sculpt the face with light, creating depth and dimension for a refined, natural-looking highlight. A buildable cream highlighter, Lancôme Glow Subtil Silky Crème Highlighter has light-diffusing particles that deliver a natural-looking, soft-focused glow. Use MILK MAKEUP Sunshine Oil has an easy, portable rollerball pen so you can achieve hydration from head to toe.

  • 0.68 oz/ 20 mL Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid in Moonstone
  • 0.08 oz/ 2.5 g Benefit Cosmetics Watt’s Up! Cream-to-Powder Highlighter in Champagne
  • 0.10 oz/ 3 mL Cover FX Custom Infusion Drops in C+ Lemongrass Radiance
  • 0.049 oz/ 1.4 g Hourglass Ambient® Strobe Lighting Powder in Incandescent Strobe Light
  • 0.14 oz/ 3.9 g Lancôme Glow Subtil Silky Crème Highlighter in Glowing Lights 06
  • 0.1 oz/ 3.4 mL MILK MAKEUP Sunshine Oil

Sephora Favorites: Trending - Beauty's Most Coveted, $75.00 ($219 Value) (Limited Edition)

Explore different beauty trends with these 12 bestsellers, including a luminizer, kohl, lipstick, liquid liner, and makeup sponge. This set features full and deluxe sizes of top-selling products in a collectible box. From the beautyblender® nude to Becca Cosmetics’ Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Moonstone, to The Estée Edit The Edgiest Kohl Shadowstick in 01 Black Viper, this set has everything you need for gorgeous makeup looks.

  • beautyblender beautyblender Nude
  • 0.08 oz/ 2.51 mL Becca Cosmetics Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Moonstone
  • 0.03 oz/ 0.88 mL Benefit Cosmetics Ka-Brow! in Shade 3
  • 0.17 oz/ 5.02 mL Cover FX Enhance Click in Bubbly
  • 0.04 oz/ 1.44 mL The Estée Edit The Edgiest Kohl Shadowstick in 01 Black Viper
  • FOREO LUNA™ Play in Fuchsia
  • 0.3 oz/ 8.87 mL Glamglow® Supermud®
  • 0.02 oz/ 5.91 mL Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper
  • 0.33 oz/ 9.75 mL Laura Mercier Travel Size Translucent Loose Setting Powder + Puff
  • 0.04 oz/ 1.41 mL NARS Cosmetics Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard
  • 0.24 oz/ 7 mL Tarte Marine Boosting 4-in-1 Mist
  • 0.11 oz/ 3.25 mL Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in 714

Sephora Favorites: Lashstash, $45.00 (Limited Edition)

This wardrobe of ten mascaras features formulas that stretch, volumize, and enhance, and wands that curl, lift, and define lashes, including the Smashbox Photo Finish Lash Primer, and two full size mascaras: Yves Saint Laurent’s Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils Babydoll and the Estée Edit The Edgiest Up & Out Double Mascara. These mascaras come in an on-trend, reusable box for the season. 

  • 0.1 oz/ 2.9 mL Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real Lengthening & Volumizing Mascara in Black
  • 0.1 oz/ 2.9 mL Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara
  • 0.2 oz/ 5.91 mL Buxom Lash Mascara in Blackest Black
  • 0.34 oz/ 10.05 mL Estée Edit The Edgiest Up & Out Double Mascara in 01 Black (full size)
  • 0.10 oz/ 2.95 mL NARS Cosmetics Audacious Mascara in Black Moon
  • 0.14 oz/ 4.14 mL Smashbox Photo Finish Lash Primer
  • 0.10 oz/ 2.95 mL Tarte tarteist lash Paint Mascara in Black
  • 0.13 oz/ 3.84 mL Too Faced Cosmetics Better Than Sex Mascara in Black
  • 0.13 oz/ 3.84 mL Urban Decay Perversion Mascara in Black
  • 0.169 oz/ 4.9 mL Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effect Faux Cils Babydoll in Fetish Black (full size)

Sephora Favorites for Fall 2016

 

Sephora Favorites for Fall 2016
Sephora Favorites for Fall 2016

Exclusive, limited edition sets of our top-selling products and latest obsessions.

Now online

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The Details

Extravagant Eyes, $42.00 ($134 value) (Limited Edition)

Get sparkly, smoldering eyes with these eight must-haves: primer, mascara, faux lashes, two liners, and three shadows. This product features three products in full-size: Huda Beauty Lashes, Urban Decay’s Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner, and NARS’ Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow in Himalia. Layer these essentials together or alone to create various eye looks.

  • 0.85 oz Huda Beauty Lashes in Samantha #7
  • 0.05 oz Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour in Plum
  • 0.10 oz Marc Jacobs Beauty O!Mega Lash Volumizing Mascara in Blacquer
  • 0.158 oz Milk Makeup Eye Pigment in Silent Disco
  • 0.05 oz NARS Dual Intensity Eye Shadow in Himalia
  • 0.028 oz Sephora Collection Waterproof Contour Eye Pencil 12 HR Wear in Black Lace #01
  • 0.14 oz Smashbox Cosmetics 24 Hour Photo Finish Shadow Primer
  • 0.25 oz Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner in Midnight Cowboy

Give Me Some Lip, $28.00 ($97 value) (Limited Edition)

With on-trend matte lips, to treatment balms and lip tints, Give Me Some Lip is the essential kit that has all your needs for gorgeous lips—including a full-size Lancôme’s Juicy Shaker and full size of Smashbox’s Always On Liquid Lipstick. Housed in a collectable pink lip shaped boxset features bestsellers in a matte lip, lip balm, and lip tints in every finish.

  • 0.07 oz/ 1.98 g Fresh® Sugar Rosé Tinted Lip Treatment (sheer rosy tint)
  • 0.04 oz/ 1.13 g Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in Lovecraft (mauve pink nude)
  • 0.22 oz/ 6.23 g Lancôme Juicy Shaker in 313 Boom-Meringue (lemon meringue flavor)
  • 0.05 oz/ 1.41 g NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien (rose pink)
  • 0.13 oz/ 3.68 g Smashbox Always On Liquid Lipstick in Stepping Out (deep nude)
  • 0.16 oz/ 4.53 g Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Chihuahua (dusty mauve)

Scouted by Sephora, $44.00 ($150 value) (Limited Edition)

An eight-piece multibranded set curated by Sephora with products from phenomenal skin care brands.

  • 3 x 0.13 oz/ 3.8 g Cane + Austin Miracle Pad+
  • 0.17 oz/ 5 ml Drunk Elephant C-Firma™ Day Serum
  • 0.24 oz/ 7 ml The Estée Edit Pink Peony Overnight Water Pack
  • 0.17 oz/ 5 g Herbivore Coco Rose Coconut Oil Lip Conditioner
  • 1 oz/ 30 ml Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist
  • 1 oz/ 28 g Lancer The Method: Polish
  • 0.05 oz/ 1.5 ml LASHFOOD Phyto-Medic Eyelash Enhancer
  • 0.25 oz/ 7.5 ml Tata Harper Purifying Mask

Soko to Tokyo, $40.00 ($100 value) (Limited Edition)

A 10-piece multibranded set curated by Sephora, featuring an array of powerful yet gentle products from the hottest beauty trends of South Korea and Japan.

  • 0.2 oz/ 7 g AmorePacific Treatment Enzyme Peel
  • 0.34 oz/ 10 ml belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb
  • 0.84 oz/ 25 ml boscia Charcoal Pore Pudding Intensive Wash-Off Treatment
  • 0.49 oz/ 14 g Caolion Premium Blackhead Steam Pore Pack
  • 0.17 oz/ 5 ml Dr. Jart+ BB Cream in Light to Medium
  • 1 oz/ 30 ml Erboran Yuza Double Lotion
  • 0.33 oz/ 10 ml Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate
  • 0.68 oz/ 20 ml Skin Inc. Pure Revival Peel
  • 0.4 oz/ 12 ml Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist
  • 0.23 oz/ 6 g Too Cool For School Egg Mellow Cream

Sephora Light Beam Microsmooth Baked Luminizer

Sephora Light Beam Microsmooth Baked Luminizer
Sephora Light Beam Microsmooth Baked Luminizer

Sephora Light Beam (02) Microsmooth Baked Luminizer ($14.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a very light beige with subtle, warmer undertones and a soft shimmer. Too Faced Pop of Light (P, ) is more shimmery, darker (95% similar). Hourglass Incandescent Strobe Light (P, $38.00) is more shimmery, more pigmented (95% similar). Makeup Revolution Radiant Lights (P, $6.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). YSL Golden Contouring Highlight (P, ) is less shimmery (90% similar). Catrice Champagne Campaign (P, $5.99) is more shimmery (90% similar). Dior Luxurious Beige (LE, $82.00) is darker, warmer (90% similar). Becca Moonstone (P, $41.00) is warmer (90% similar). NARS Debbie Harry Highlighter (LE, $29.00) is cooler (90% similar). Cle de Peau Almond (16) (P, $55.00) is warmer (90% similar). MAC Too Chic (LE, $22.00) is more pigmented (90% similar). Urban Decay Luminous (P, $30.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). MAC Mystery Princess (LE, $22.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). Laura Mercier Highlight 01 (P, $40.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). Dior Cosmopolite (LE, $45.00) is darker, warmer (90% similar). Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight (P, $44.00) is more shimmery (95% 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.” The texture was smooth, firmer, and had no powder kick-up like Stardust, but it had less color payoff, too. This shade had medium coverage, and on my skin tone, it didn’t impart noticeable color and lightened the area I applied it slightly. When applied, it gave the skin a luminous glow that did not emphasize pores, and I think it is hard to overdo. On my normal-to-dry skin, it lasted for seven and a half hours before fading noticeably. This is going to be ideal for someone who is very fair to light-medium in complexion and likes a subtle, but noticeable, highlight.

9
Product
8
Pigmentation
8
Texture
8
Longevity
5
Application
84%
Total

See more photos & swatches!