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Too Faced Cocoa Contour Chiseled to Perfection Palette

Too Faced Cocoa Contour Chiseled to Perfection Palette
Too Faced Cocoa Contour Chiseled to Perfection Palette

Too Faced Cocoa Contour Chiseled to Perfection Palette ($40.00 for 0.68 oz.) is a set of highlighting and contouring powders. Two shades are most obviously contouring powders, while the other two lend themselves as more highlighters, but very fair skin tones may find they still have some color. The palette is very, very powdery–the interior is always covered in excess powdery dust and sparkle, and it can be frustrating when you get excess from the darkest shade with the lightest shade or sparkle from the highlighting shade mixed with the contouring shades. It is chocolate scented, which is noticeable when applied but wanes after two to three hours. The powders have a very soft, silky consistency with the highlighter shade having noticeable sparkle. All four shades were pretty pigmented and the silkiness made them easy to work with on the skin, and luckily, they didn’t look powdery applied. I also wish brands that released a palette like this would consider releasing at least two or three variations–this is very warm-toned and more mid-tone, so a lot of skin tones get left out.

Light Cocoa is a light, yellowed beige with a satin finish. It is a very, very subtle highlighter that I could only see marginally in person, but it doesn’t appear in photos at all. For my skin tone, it was more useful to blend out edges of the contouring shades. The texture was powdery though silky, and it lasted for seven hours before breaking down. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Medium Cocoa is a muted, medium-dark brown with subtle warm undertones and a semi-matte finish–there’s a smidgen of sheen but not a true satin or shimmery finish that ensures the powder looks natural but not flat on the skin. This looked more like a shadow that would fall on my face, though my guess is that it may be too warm-toned for those with rosier undertones. The texture was silky, very powdery, but blendable and easy to apply. It lasted for seven and a half hours before fading on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Dark Cocoa is a medium-dark brown with warm, yellow and red undertones and a semi-matte finish. It had intense pigmentation and a little went a long way. The texture is very soft and powdery, so while blendable, it is harder to control the amount of product you apply. If you have medium or lighter skin, you may want to tap off excess prior to applying. This is a very, very warm-toned choice for contouring, which may work for those with a lot of golden undertones, but it is likely too warm to look like natural shadow on the face. It looks more like your typical bronzer as a result. On me, the color wears for almost eight hours before fading. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Pop of Light is a light, peachy-beige with gold sparkle. It illuminates subtly, and then it just has a lot of larger sparkly bits that sit on the skin but don’t really do much as half of the sparkles get lost and the other half are randomly dispersed on the skin (and then travel during wear). I wish they had opted for a finer shimmer that contributed to the overall sheen of the underlying powder. It lasted for seven and a half hours on me before fading. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

8.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
7
Texture
8
Longevity
4.5
Application
84%
Total
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NYX Beach Babe HD Blush

NYX Beach Babe HD Blush
NYX Beach Babe HD Blush

NYX Beach Babe HD Blush ($6.50 for 0.16 oz.) is a brightened, gold-shimmered brown with warm, reddish-yellow undertones and a frosted finish. Bobbi Brown Bronze (LE, $45.00) is less red. Urban Decay Strip Bronzer (P) is slightly darker. Too Faced Sun Bunny #2 (P) is lighter. Too Faced Sun Bunny #1 (P) is darker. Disney by Sephora Golden Sands (LE, $55.00) is darker. MAC Global Glow (P, $30.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

It was nicely pigmented with color that could be applied at true-to-pan intensity. The texture was soft with a fairly silky feel that didn’t get too powdery–the least powdery shade I’ve tested so far from the new HD range–that blended easily on the skin. I also found that despite seeming rather shimmery when swatched, the finish is softer and more luminous than a true frost on the skin. It seemed to buff and diffuse especially well in practice. When I wore this blush (or bronzer), it stayed on well for seven and a half hours before fading.

Beach Babe
Beach Babe
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8
Longevity
5
Application
91%
Total

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Laura Mercier Watercolour Mist Eye & Cheek Palette

Laura Mercier Watercolour Mist Eye & Cheek Palette
Laura Mercier Watercolour Mist Eye & Cheek Palette

Laura Mercier Watercolour Mist Eye & Cheek Palette ($58.00 for 0.332 oz.) contains six eyeshadows and two cheek colors. Everything about this palette was a disappointment. It’s a bit like wearing a bunch of faded, barely-there eyeshadows that just make your natural lid look muddied, dreary, and powdery. Both cheek colors were stiff and required a spatula to scrape off color to get anything to show up in a swatch, but I couldn’t get either to visibly appear on my cheeks. The eyeshadows are very soft and powdery, and unfortunately, most of them blend away to poor versions of themselves in practice. I was a bit surprised, because it swatched better than anticipated, but it was a mess trying to use this. The only way to salvage it would be use to a white, tacky/creamy base. The only nice thing about this is the packaging, which has “water’ droplets on the exterior (exactly like MAC’s Alluring Aquatic collection).

Mist is a muted, light-medium green-teal with strong gray and cool undertones. It had a satin finish. It had decent color payoff but was so soft that it sheered out to semi-sheer coverage. It was noticeably faded after five hours of wear. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Fog is a light-medium, khaki green with subtle, warm undertones and a satin finish. The texture was soft yet powdery enough that it tended to blend away to a rather sheer, faded color applied to the lid in practice. It wore well for five and a half hours on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Storm is a muted, overcast green with subtle, warmer undertones and a satin finish. It had semi-opaque color coverage but was prone to sheering out to a very faded, sheerer version of itself. It only wore well for six hours on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Wind is a soft, muted pink-lavender with hints of gray and a subtle, warmer undertone and a matte finish. The color payoff was mostly opaque, but it had a somewhat powdery texture that made it difficult to keep at that intensity–it wanted to sheer out almost instantly. It lasted for six hours on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Purple Rain is a cool-toned, purple-gray with a semi-matte finish. It had so-so pigmentation with a soft texture that was somewhat powdery. It was faded within six hours. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Cloud is a muted, medium-dark gray with cool undertones and a matte finish. It was powdery, semi-sheer, and lasted a mere five hours on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Sunset (Cheek Color) is a pink-peach with subtle warm undertones and a satin finish. I had to chip away at the pan’s surface to dislodge product with a metal spatula, because the surface was so firm and hard that it nearly felt like plastic. What I managed to scrape away ended up being chalky, powdery, and dry. I couldn’t get it to show up on my skin tone, but I did see a slightly chalky cast in person, though it seemed to disappear nearly instantly, because it was gone less than an hour later. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Earth (Cheek Color) is a medium-dark reddish brown with a satin finish. It had a similarly hard surface that required scraping to get any product out of it for swatching. It was powdery, dry, prone to fading, and incredibly difficult to blend on the skin. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

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Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette

Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette
Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette

Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette ($46.00 for 0.72 oz.) includes three highlight shades (0.08 oz. each) and three contour shades (0.16 oz. each). I wish the palette ran cooler in overall tone, or at least had the first set of highlight/contour be cool-toned, the middle be more neutral-cool, and the last set be deeper and more neutral-cool. They all run warmer both in the pan, swatched, and applied. The texture of the powders is incredibly silky and smooth with a little bit of powderiness, but it’s not excessive, and it seems to make these incredibly easy to work with, so blending and diffusing the color on the skin isn’t frustrating. If you are fairer and prefer very subtle contours, this palette might be too dark overall, but the shades are quite forgiving and blendable, so I think that they can all be worn across most skin tones, just depending on the intensity of application.

Lucid is described as a “pinkish nude.” It’s a brightened, light beige with subtle, yellow undertones and a matte finish. The texture was soft and silky–just slightly powdery–but sat well on the skin. It had good color payoff and was both buildable and blendable, as desired. It wore well for eight hours on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Sombre is described as a “true taupe.” It’s a medium taupe brown with warm undertones and a satin-matte finish. It had good color payoff with a soft, smooth texture that was easy to work with. It wore well for eight hours before fading. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Lyric is described as a “yellow beige.” It’s a brightened, yellowed beige with warm undertones and a satin-matte finish. It was nicely pigmented with a very soft, finely-milled texture, but it was a bit powdery. I thought it exacerbated dryness if/when I had any, but if you have oilier skin, I don’t think it will be an issue. It lasted for seven and a half hours on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Shadowplay is described as a “soft brown.” It’s a medium brown with warm undertones and a satin finish. It had fairly good color payoff, but it was weaker compared to other shades in the palette. The texture was soft, blendable, and not at all powdery. It wore well for seven and a half hours on me. The color appears more bronzer-like than a true contour, though it has a muted quality that makes it not quite as warm or orange-toned as a bronzer can be. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Levitation is described as a “soft peach.” It’s a yellowed peach with warm undertones and a satin finish. It had rich color payoff that was easily sheered out or blended, depending on the look you wanted. The texture was finely-milled, incredibly soft and smooth, but a little powdery. It lasted for seven hours on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Subconscious is described as a “deep brown.” It’s a dark brown with warm, yellow undertones and a satin finish. It had nice pigmentation that was blendable on the skin with a soft, silky texture. It wore well for eight and a half hours on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

9
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
8.5
Longevity
5
Application
90%
Total
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A-

Lucid

Permanent
Read Review
A

Sombre

Permanent
Read Review
B+

Lyric

Permanent
Read Review
B+
B+

Dolce & Gabbana Desert Bronzing Powder

Dolce & Gabbana Desert Bronzing Powder
Dolce & Gabbana Desert Bronzing Powder

Dolce & Gabbana Desert Bronzing Powder ($68.00 for 0.35 oz.) is a slightly muted, medium brown with warm, yellow undertones and a satin finish. Urban Decay Naked on the Run Bronzer (LE) is lighter. MAC Matte Bronze (LE, $70.00) is less yellow. Tarte Park Ave. Princess (P, $29.00) is darker. MAC Love, Rihanna (LE, $25.00) is warmer. Wet ‘n’ Wild Bikini Contest (P, $3.99) is darker. MAC Soft Sand (LE, $25.00) is darker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The version pictured in the post is the Collector’s Edition, though the color itself is available year-round in the permanent collection (without the red lacquered case and design on the powder itself) for $51. I believe the permanent version has no shimmer overlay, as the Collector’s Edition had a ton of bronzy shimmer (which I did my best to remove prior to swatching) on about half to two-thirds of the surface of the powder. It’s not too yellow or orange, but it is likely a better fit for warmer skin tones. The texture is soft and finely-milled but somewhat powdery, and it tended to sheer out more readily as a result. It had buildable coverage, but I felt like you had to be careful not to blend it too much or else it would disappear. It lasted for six and a half hours, which is on the shorter side for face products on my normal skin.

Desert
Desert
C

Permanent

7
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
6.5
Texture
7
Longevity
4.5
Application
74%
Total

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Kevyn Aucoin Tropical Days The Celestial Bronzing Veil

Kevyn Aucoin Tropical Days The Celestial Bronzing Veil
Kevyn Aucoin Tropical Days The Celestial Bronzing Veil

Kevyn Aucoin Tropical Days The Celestial Bronzing Veil ($48.00 for 0.34 oz.) is a medium, golden brown with a hint of gray–there’s an almost “dirty” aspect to the color–and a shimmery, luminous finish. IT Cosmetics Warm Radiance (P, $34.00) is warmer. Too Faced Snow Bunny (P) is more shimmery. Too Faced Spice (LE) is slightly darker. Urban Decay Gilded (P, $26.00) is more shimmery. bareMinerals Secret Radiance (P, $19.00) is more shimmery. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

It’s designed to add both color as well as glow by using “crystal pigments in bronze, gold and silver” (the latter seems to give it that more neutral/dirty vibe that I see). The color payoff was excellent and easily delivered true-to-pan color onto the skin, but the silky, lightweight, ultra-soft powder is easily blended and manipulated on the skin. You can also concentrate your brush towards the upper half of the pan for a lighter, more shimmer-based glow, or towards the bottom half of the pan for more color with less shimmer. I tried to swirl for a good mix of color and shimmer when I applied it to my cheeks for testing. I really loved the texture, as it was a cinch to apply. It didn’t accentuate my pores, and the powder sat well on the skin without looking powdery nor shiny. It wore well for eight and a half hours on me.

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