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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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Tom Ford Soleil Color Collection for Winter 2016

Tom Ford Soleil Color Collection
Tom Ford Soleil Color Collection

TOM FORD introduces the Soleil Color Winter 2016 Collection, a curated resort collection of cosmetics and skincare inspired by remote private islands where summer lasts all year long. Shimmering metallic lip formulas, sensuous eye and cheek palettes, and a luxurious set of travel brushes impart radiance while a lightweight sunscreen and dry body oil provide protection and nourishment for endlessly luminous summer skin.

Pre-order at TomFord.com

The Details

Soleil Eye & Cheek Palette, $155.00 (Limited Edition)

Create an array of luxurious makeup looks with the ultimate Tom Ford Soleil accessory. Housed in a reflective ivory-and-gold-colored clutch, the eye and cheek palette features vibrant color combinations of illuminating shades, including four eye shadows, a highlighter, and a blush to create two sensuous results: sultry warm or icy cool.

  • Cool
  • Warm

Soleil Lip Foil, $53.00 (Limited Edition)

A reflective, mirror-foil finish lip color comprised of three-dimensional ultra-fine mica. Available in a range of six stunning, shimmering shades to flatter all skin tones from bronzy neutrals and peachy pinks to plum.

  • Private Life
  • Spanish Flame
  • Aperture
  • Creme Conque
  • Venus Rising
  • Seadragon

Soleil Blanc Dry Oil Spray, $70.00 (Limited Edition)

The first-ever Tom Ford dry oil spray veils the body in a nourishing mist with Sweet Almond Oil that quickly absorbs into the skin. Infused with the sensual Soleil Blanc fragrance, its solar floral amber scent exudes seductive refinement and refreshing decadence for a luxurious yet lightweight application that easily dispenses from any angle.

Face Protect Broad Spectrum SPF 50, $74.00 (Limited Edition)

The essential base for maintaining healthy-looking summer skin year-round, this broad spectrum SPF 50 skin protector is the first defense against harmful effects of the sun. Fortified with powerful antioxidants and soothing anti-irritants, the lightweight and fast-absorbing formula primes and calms the look of skin for effortless makeup application. Wear it alone or under foundation.

Soleil Brush Kit, $850.00 (Limited Edition)

Designed to ensure effortless makeup application while traveling, the Soleil Brush Kit includes the Cheek Brush, Eye Shadow Brush, Eye Shadow Contour Brush, and Angled Brow Brush. Each one is equipped with natural hair to grip pigment with ease while the handles are constructed to provide comfort and balance with flawless results. The sleek white leather case includes a zipper closure to maintain organization of the four brushes.

Sneak Peek: Tom Ford Lip Contour Duos Photos & Swatches

Tom Ford Lip Contour Duos
Tom Ford Lip Contour Duos

Tom Ford Lip Contour Duo ($53.00 for 0.08 oz.) is a two-in-one product that features a Lip Color and Lip Shaper. I’ve already tested most of these, but I’m trying to focus on holiday reviews at the moment – I did manage to add all the products, photos, swatches into the gallery, though, so I can share those with you. Overall, the lipstick portion is nice–very creamy–but the lip liner is terrible: dry, patchy, draggy, and breaks off extremely easily. Whether lining just the edge of the lips or filling them in entirely, the Lip Shapers were frustrating to use, and at this price point, the last thing I want is the lip liner snapping every time I use it, because it is so dry and brittle. It is also strange that the liners have sparkle in them, as it makes the surface more uneven, and it is odd to have a few sparkles on the edge of your lips (if you aren’t filling them in).

The photos below show the two products layered, and then each color separately. Since there is no layered swatch on the skin, the product photos are repeating (apologies!).

Tom Ford Lip Contour Duos

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Tom Ford Black Bloom Nightbloom Powder

Tom Ford Black Orchid Nightbloom Powder
Tom Ford Black Orchid Nightbloom Powder

Tom Ford Black Bloom Nightbloom Powder ($80.00 for 0.28 oz.) is a light-medium gold with strong, yellow undertones and a sparkling, golden shimmer finish. Anastasia Sunburst (LE, ) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Smashbox Glow (LE, ) is lighter (90% similar). Chanel Routes des Indes de Chanel Illuminating Powder (LE, $70.00) is darker (90% similar). Wet 'n' Wild Sun Ceremony (LE, $2.99) is lighter (90% similar). Anastasia Butterscotch (LE, ) is more shimmery, warmer (90% similar). Tarte Gator Wings (LE, ) is lighter (85% similar). Giorgio Armani No. 02 (P, $62.00) is warmer (85% similar). Becca Prosecco Pop (P, $38.00) is darker, warmer (85% similar). Bobbi Brown Party (LE, $46.00) is less shimmery, darker (85% similar). bareMinerals The Shining Moment (LE, $26.00) is less shimmery, darker (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

The Nightbloom Powder is supposed to have a “luxurious” feel and “sumptuous color.” In reality, it is a powder highlighter with a noticeable about of shimmer and shine, so it is more suitable for someone who likes their highlighter stronger. The texture was dense, a little dry to the touch, but blendable on the skin and did not emphasize my pores or the natural texture of my skin. I noticed some of the shimmer separated from the base powder, so it did not look as even on the skin as desired. On my light-medium skin tone, I get visible yellow gold color, but it is possible to diffuse and sheer it out so there is fainter color as well. The pigmentation was buildable, starting around medium coverage and building up from there. This shade wore well for eight hours on me before fading.

8.5
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
8
Texture
8.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
84%
Total

See more photos & swatches!

Tom Ford Lip Contour Duos for September 2016

Tom Ford Lip Contour Duos
Tom Ford Lip Contour Duos

Tom Ford innovation meets lip artistry in this dual lip color and shaping tool. On one end, the slim and sleek pencil features a lip shaper to enhance and define lips. On the opposite end is a full-coverage, slim stick lip color. Use them together to add dimension, shape and create and ombré effect on your lips.

Now online at Nordstrom, coming soon to other retailers

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The Details

Lip Contour Duo, $53.00

  • Devil Inside Red
  • Dream Obscene Plum
  • Fling It On Peach
  • I’ll Teach You Muted rose
  • Make Me Deep plum
  • Public Display Muted beige
  • Secret Escort Bright red
  • Show It Off Brown

Tom Ford Ravish Cheek Color

Tom Ford Ravish Cheek Color
Tom Ford Ravish Cheek Color

Tom Ford Ravish Cheek Color ($60.00 for 0.28 oz.) is a slightly muted, medium-dark rosy plum with warm undertones and a luminous sheen. Too Faced Peach Berry (P, $30.00) is less shimmery (95% similar). MAC Love Thing (P, $27.00) is darker (95% similar). Cle de Peau Cranberry (P, $60.00) is cooler (90% similar). MAC Sweet Samba (LE, $27.00) is cooler (90% similar). Makeup Geek Covet (P, $10.00) is less shimmery, darker (90% similar). Tom Ford Beauty Ravish (P, $60.00) is less shimmery, warmer (90% similar). Laura Geller Tropic Hues (P, $28.00) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Tom Ford Beauty Contour (Softcore) (LE, $60.00) is darker, warmer (90% similar). Black Up NBL 04 (P, $26.50) is more shimmery, darker, warmer (90% similar). MAC Callisto (LE, $21.00) is more shimmery, less pigmented, glossier (90% similar). LORAC Rose (LE, $23.00) is warmer (90% similar). Surratt Beauty De Cherubique (P, $32.00) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). NARS Isadora (LE, $30.00) is more shimmery, lighter, warmer (90% similar). Bobbi Brown Island Plum (P, $36.00) is less pigmented, cooler (85% similar). NARS Realm of the Senses #2 (LE, $30.00) is darker (85% similar). MAC Scene to Be Seen (Outer) (LE, $33.00) is more shimmery, warmer (85% similar). Sleek MakeUP Pomegranate (P, $6.99) is more shimmery, darker, cooler (85% similar). Surratt Beauty La Vie En Rose (P, $32.00) is lighter, more muted, warmer (85% similar). Tom Ford Beauty Pink Glow #5 (LE, $60.00) is darker (85% similar). Hourglass Euphoric Fusion (P, $38.00) is lighter (85% similar). Top 20 dupes listed, see the rest. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

I thought I had reviewed all of the shades of Tom Ford’s blush line, but Ravish was missing–so I went and purchased one to review, and lo and behold… I do have one, so I must have picked it up awhile ago with the intent to review and it got lost in the shuffle! I discovered this as I decided to re-do swatches and photos of the other five shades as well (see those here). Tom Ford’s Cheek Color is a powder blush that’s supposed to be “color-rich” with “outstanding luminosity.” I’ve been hooked on the formula since trying it years ago, due to the texture: it’s incredibly finely-milled with a creamy, buttery, and smooth consistency that blends easily on the skin and yields a luminous sheen. It was richly pigmented with true-to-pan color, but it can be applied with a lighter hand or just blended and diffused for a less intense look, if desired. On me, it wore well for over nine hours.

See more photos & swatches!