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Estee Lauder x Victoria Beckham Java Sun Bronzer

Estee Lauder x Victoria Beckham Java Sun Bronzer
Estee Lauder x Victoria Beckham Java Sun Bronzer

Estee Lauder x Victoria Beckham Java Sun Bronzer ($65.00 for 0.42 oz.) is a muted, medium brown with warm, yellowish undertones and a matte finish. bareMinerals Faux Tan Matte (LE, ) is brighter (95% similar). Tom Ford Beauty Terra (P, $68.00) is warmer (90% similar). Marc Jacobs Beauty Tantric (P, ) is lighter, brighter (95% similar). Physicians Formula Bronze (P, $14.99) is more shimmery, warmer (90% similar). Laura Mercier Bronze (01) (P, $40.00) is lighter (90% similar). MAC Scone (LE, $27.00) is warmer (90% similar). Urban Decay Sun-Kissed (P, $28.00) is lighter, cooler (90% similar). Tarte Provocative (LE, $28.00) is lighter, warmer (90% similar). MAC Baiana Bronze (LE, $27.00) is darker, brighter (90% similar). Laura Mercier Bronze (03) (P, $40.00) is lighter (90% similar). NARS Casino (LE, $40.00) is lighter, brighter, warmer (90% similar). Too Faced Gingerbread (LE, ) is warmer (90% similar). Tarte Park Ave. Princess #2 (LE, ) is lighter (90% similar). Laura Mercier Bronze (02) (P, $40.00) is lighter (90% similar). Tom Ford Beauty Terra (P, $110.00) is lighter, warmer (90% similar). Marc Jacobs Beauty Tan-tastic (LE, $49.00) is darker, cooler (95% similar). MAC Matte Bronze (P, $27.00) is lighter (85% similar). Tarte Sculpt (P, ) is darker, cooler (85% similar). Makeup Geek Tawny (P, $22.00) is darker, warmer (85% similar). MAC Aphrodite's Shell (LE, $33.00) is lighter (90% similar). Top 20 dupes listed, see the rest. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

There is not much said about this bronzer, beyond that it is a “matte bronzer” and “is as natural-looking as it gets” (which could refer to finish, color, or even coverage!). The texture is incredibly soft and silky, very smooth to the touch without being too powdery or too dusty, though there’s a little bit of excess product kicked up in the pan. Speaking of the pan, the amount you get is massive, so you’ll want to really be a fan of this if you want to hit pan! It had good pigmentation that was true-to-pan, while the silkier texture made it easy to blend and diffuse (or sheer out). It wore well for eight hours on me before fading noticeably.

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Stila Star Light, Star Bright Highlighter Trio

Stila Star Light, Star Bright Highlighter Palette
Stila Star Light, Star Bright Highlighter Palette

Stila Star Light, Star Bright Highlighter Palette ($39.00 for 0.50 oz.) includes three highlighters that seem to be a hybrid between cream and powder. The formula is supposed to have “ultra-fine, light-diffusing particles” that make the skin look “naturally luminous.” The formula is very interesting, because to the touch, it is one of the smoothest powders I’ve ever come across–it feels so smooth that there’s almost a cooling, wet feel to the powder, but it is definitely a powder product. However, I noticed that airy, less dense highlighting brushes tended to have poor pick up with the product, whereas more traditional blush brushes or flatter highlighter brushes (I had no trouble using softer bristles like squirrel with it, but the shape mattered).

Transcendence is a light, pinky lavender with cool undertones and an icy, opal shimmer. This was the sheerer shade of the three, with semi-sheer coverage that was buildable to–at most–semi-opaque coverage when packed on. On me, I found it was more noticeable as I moved, as the undertone was more contrasting against my warmer undertones, but it was subtle when I looked straight on. It wore well for eight hours on me before fading a bit.

Kitten is a medium, coppery bronze with warm, orange undertones and soft pink and light copper shimmer. It had medium, buildable coverage paired with an incredibly smooth texture. It had a very lightweight feel on the skin, and despite it having a higher shine finish, it did not emphasize my pores or my skin’s natural texture. On my skin tone, it did had noticeable warmth and a bit of color, so I imagine it will appear more as a highlighting blush/bronzer on fairer skin tones and work well on deeper complexions as a truer highlighter. It lasted well for eight hours on me.

Bronze is a medium, golden copper with warm, reddish-orange undertones and a sparkling, metallic sheen. It had medium, buildable coverage that had visible color, warmth, and shine on my skin tone. The texture was smooth, almost wet in feel, and it was blendable on the skin, but more feathery brushes did not pick up product well. This one also had a few noticeable bits of actual sparkle, not just fine shimmer, on the skin. The color wore well for eight hours before fading noticeably.

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Also In This Review

B

Transcendence

Limited Edition
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B+

Kitten

Limited Edition
Read Review
B+

Bronze

Limited Edition
Read Review

Hourglass Surreal Light Ambient Lighting Edit Palette

Hourglass Surreal Light Ambient Lighting Edit Palette
Hourglass Surreal Light Ambient Lighting Edit Palette

Hourglass Surreal Light Ambient Lighting Edit Palette ($80.00 for 0.30 oz.) includes a finishing powder, bronzer, two blushes, and highlighter inspired by Surreal Light, which is a new shade in the Ambient Lighting Powder family (currently only available in this palette). This palette will work best for someone who is less concerned about a “value-packed” palette/is unlikely to finish their products and really needs everything in a single compact. I think the palette, all being in the same family of Surreal Light, ends up getting muddled a bit between the blush, bronzer, and highlighter with the Surreal Effect blush being the one lone shade that stands out as a bit different. It is a distinctively warm-toned palette, so it will likely not work for everyone. The texture seemed a bit drier across the majority of the powders as the permanent range, though I did not notice the dryness as applied to the face in practice.

Like last year’s palette, the only value is in whether you like the idea of getting five shades for less than the cost of two or three full-sized Hourglass Ambient Lighting products (which range from $38 to $50 in price). There’s only $53.30 worth of product in the palette, so it’s obviously not a value-packed palette. This is something that will be best for someone who wants everything in a single palette and will wear at least three of the five shades often. This year’s palette is marginally better in value than last year’s (which was $48.05 in product value at the same $80.00 price point), but their palettes prior to that were significantly better in value.

  • Ambient Lighting Powder | 0.14 oz. is worth $18.40
    Ambient Lighting Blush | 2 x 0.04 oz., 0.08 oz. total, is worth $20.27
  • Ambient Lighting Bronzer | 0.04 oz. is worth $5.13
  • Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder | 0.04 oz. is worth $9.50
  • Total Value: $53.30

Surreal Light is a light, yellowed beige with fine gold shimmer over a matte finish. This is the original Ambient Lighting Powder, which is a finishing powder, so it is something applied after setting powder, at the very end (hence “finishing!”) to “diffuse” and “soften the look of the skin.” It added very subtle warmth and made my skin appear smoother and more matte, but this particularly iteration had very subtle shimmer, which added a little bit of light all-over but was only noticeable in certain lighting in person. The texture was soft, a little dusty and prone to kicking up excess product in the pan, but it applied well and dispersed easily. It was sheer, as promised (and as you would expect for a finishing powder). Guerlain Perles de Legende (LE, $60.00) is more shimmery, cooler (90% similar). Dior Luxurious Beige (LE, $82.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). Dior Cosmopolite (LE, $45.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). Too Faced Light Cocoa (P, ) is less shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Tarte Filtered Light (P, ) is lighter (90% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Surreal Glow is a light-medium peach with warm undertones and a satin finish. It had semi-sheer to semi-opaque coverage, which is in line with the brand’s promise of “buildable color.” It does not deliver the “otherwordly glow” much, as it is more satiny and just keeps the blush from appearing totally flat. The texture was soft, a little dry and dusty, but it blended well and was impossible to overdo on my skin tone as it barely showed up (that’s a warning for those with similar skin tones!). I think this color would be better on fairer complexions. It wore well for seven hours on me before fading. NARS Silent Nude (LE, $30.00) is lighter (90% similar). Kevyn Aucoin Sahara (P, $54.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). Kevyn Aucoin Sahara (P, $54.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). Kevyn Aucoin Sahara (P, $54.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). Make Up For Ever B304 (P, $23.00) is darker (90% similar). Catrice I Am Nuts About You (P, $5.99) is cooler (85% similar). By Terry Savannah Love #4 (LE, ) is lighter, cooler (85% similar). Zoeva CR040 (P, ) is lighter, brighter (85% similar). Sisley Paris Mango (3) (P, $85.00) is lighter, brighter (85% similar). Surratt Beauty Coup de Genie (P, $32.00) is lighter (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Surreal Effect is a light-medium pink with warm, coral undertones and a satin finish. It had semi-sheer, buildable pigmentation that was very soft, silky, and smooth without being dusty or excessively powdery. The texture sat well on the skin, and it did become a little more satiny when buffed and blended on the skin. For reference, I get noticeable color when applied to my skin, but it is very subtle and doesn’t get any more intense than as shown in the face swatch below, so it would not be good for someone with deeper skin and/or someone who wanted bolder blush. This shade stayed on well for seven and a half hours. MAC Cheeky Bugger (LE, $23.00) is brighter (95% similar). LORAC Wavelength (LE, ) is more shimmery, lighter (95% similar). Milani Berry Rays #4 (P, ) is cooler (95% similar). Makeup Geek Spell Bound (P, $10.00) is more muted (90% similar). Clinique Pink Honey Pop (P, $21.00) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Makeup Geek Spell Bound (P, $9.99) is more shimmery, lighter, warmer (90% similar). Catrice La Vie En Rose (P, $5.99) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Burberry My Burberry Blush (P, $68.00) is darker, cooler (90% similar). Colour Pop Trickery (DC, $8.00) is more shimmery, lighter, brighter (90% similar). Sephora Shame On You (01) (P, $14.00) is warmer (90% similar). MAC Spellbinder (LE, $23.00) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). MAC At Dusk (LE, $27.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). Catrice Coral Me Maybe (P, $5.99) is brighter, cooler (90% similar). Dose of Colors Statemint (LE, $22.00) is brighter (90% similar). NARS Day Dream (LE, $30.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). Tom Ford Beauty Frantic Pink (P, $60.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). KIKO 109 Candy Rose (P, $12.00) is lighter, cooler (90% similar). Physicians Formula Natural (P, $12.99) is lighter, brighter (90% similar). LORAC Tinge (P, $23.00) is lighter (90% similar). Chanel Sakura (87) (LE, $45.00) is lighter, brighter (90% similar). Top 20 dupes listed, see the rest. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Surreal Bronze Light is a soft, light-medium brown with warm, rosy undertones and a soft, dusting of gold shimmer. It had semi-sheer to medium, buildable coverage that sat well on the skin, even though the texture seemed a little thin and dusty. I had no trouble blending and diffusing the color, and it showed up a little more noticeably than Surreal Glow. I think it would be a lovely option for someone wanting a subtle bronzing shade that wasn’t too yellow or too orange in tone. It wore well for seven and a half hours on me. Laura Mercier Bronze (03) (P, $40.00) is lighter, warmer (90% similar). MAC Optical (LE, ) is darker (90% similar). Urban Decay Streak Bronzer (-, ) is more shimmery, brighter (90% similar). Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze (Original) (P, ) is lighter, warmer (85% similar). Urban Decay Sun-Kissed (P, $28.00) is warmer (90% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Surreal Strobe Light is a soft, light-medium yellowed peach with warm undertones and gold shimmer. It had sheer coverage that did not really build-up, while the texture was drier and looser. It is supposed to be sheerer, though this is a lot sheerer than the other permanent shades. I do not think this would apply as well over drier skin types as it would just not stick well, but if you normally wear primer, liquid foundation, and so forth, it should be okay. It does add a nice, luminous glow that isn’t metallic or shiny, so I think those who like a a more subtle sheen may like the finish of it. This highlighter wore well for seven hours on me. MAC Glow Rida (LE, $22.00) is darker (95% similar). Clinique Nude Glow (P, $27.00) is lighter (90% similar). Cle de Peau Sand Beige (13) (P, $55.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). Tom Ford Beauty The Afternooner (Highlighter) (LE, ) is more shimmery (90% similar). Essence Be My Highlight (P, $4.49) is more shimmery, cooler (90% similar). Urban Decay Side Piece (LE, $26.00) is more shimmery, darker (85% similar). Cle de Peau Gold (12) (P, $55.00) is more shimmery, lighter (85% similar). Hourglass Euphoric Strobe Light (P, $38.00) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

8.5
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
8
Texture
8
Longevity
5
Application
87%
Total
See All Glossovers

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Also In This Review

A-

Surreal Light

Limited Edition
Read Review
B

Surreal Glow

Limited Edition
Read Review
A-

Surreal Effect

Limited Edition
Read Review
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Bite Beauty Blondie Multistick

Bite Beauty Blondie Multistick
Bite Beauty Blondie Multistick

Bite Beauty Blondie Multistick ($24.00 for 0.17 oz.) is a light-medium peachy brown with warm undertones and a satin finish. bareMinerals The Close Call (P, $22.00) is more shimmery, darker, warmer (95% similar). Tarte Sensual (P, $28.00) is warmer (90% similar). KIKO 106 Beige Rose (P, $12.00) is darker, warmer (90% similar). Chanel Cheeky (79) (DC, $38.00) is darker, warmer (90% similar). Urban Decay Video (P, $26.00) is more muted, warmer (90% similar). Zoeva ND010 (P, ) is less glossy (90% similar). Colour Pop Magic Wand (P, $6.00) is warmer (95% similar). Kat Von D Bow 'n' Arrow (P, $20.00) is darker, cooler (90% similar). Becca Amaretto (LE, $32.00) is more shimmery, darker, warmer (85% similar). MAC Yash (P, $17.50) is cooler (90% similar). Chanel Jersey (80) (P, $45.00) is more shimmery, warmer (85% similar). Zoeva Shy Beauty (P, $11.80) is lighter, more muted, less glossy (85% similar). Bite Beauty Honeycomb (P, $26.00) is lighter, brighter, warmer (80% similar). MAC Doe (P, $21.00) is darker, cooler (85% similar). MAC Cherish (P, $17.50) is darker, brighter, cooler (85% similar). MAC Velvet Teddy (P, $17.50) is darker, cooler (85% similar). Estee Lauder Covetous Nude (P, $30.00) is darker, warmer (80% similar). Urban Decay Uptight (P, $17.00) is darker, warmer (80% similar). LORAC Prism (P, $23.00) is lighter, cooler, less glossy (80% similar). Urban Decay Stark Naked (DC, $22.00) is brighter, warmer (80% similar). Top 20 dupes listed, see the rest. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

For an in-depth look at what the formula is supposed to do and how it performs generally, please check the overview below the rating. Blondie worked best as a blush, where it blended out nicely and lasted well, but it was more problematic as a lip and eye color, where it pulled into lines and had a shorter wear time.

As a cream blush, it delivered buildable, blendable color that was easy to work with and spread across the skin. I could apply with fingertips or brushes, and both types of tools worked well. It lasted for just over eight and a half hours on me as a blush. I do expect that this will be more suitable for fairer complexions as it just barely shows up on my skin tone once I blend it out, unless you’re of light-medium to medium complexion and want something subtle and warming.

As a lipstick, this was one of the more unflattering shades applied to the lips, even though the texture did not feel that different from other shades, as it looked drier, emphasized lip lines, and sunk into those same lip lines on me. I felt like the texture felt a bit drier, more powdery, on my lips, and the wear was shorter (not entirely unexpected, as it is one of the lighter shades) at four hours. The formula was neither drying nor hydrating over time.

As a cream eyeshadow, it actually looked similar on the eye as it did on lips: it pulled into my fine lines and creases with ease and looked somewhat dry applied. The color itself blends in with my natural skin tone, so the creasing wasn’t as noticeable from a normal viewing distance, but it was definitely there within five minutes of application.

Please note, the rating is an average across performance on eyes, cheeks, and lips.

Blondie
Blondie
7.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
5.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
80%
Total

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Bite Beauty Macaroon Multistick

Bite Beauty Macaroon Multistick
Bite Beauty Macaroon Multistick

Bite Beauty Macaroon Multistick ($24.00 for 0.17 oz.) is a medium pink with subtle, cool undertones and a satin finish. Tarte Fomo (P, $20.00) is darker (95% similar). Illamasqua Peaked (P, $26.00) is glossier (95% similar). Colour Pop Thames (LE, $8.00) is less glossy (95% similar). Chanel Rosewood (350) (P, $45.00) is warmer (95% similar). Bite Beauty Pastille (P, $24.00) is darker, warmer (90% similar). Sephora Love Sick (22) (P, $14.00) is warmer (90% similar). Make Up For Ever M200 (P, $22.00) is lighter (90% similar). MAC Red Water Lily (LE, $40.00) is brighter (90% similar). By Terry Tan & Flash Cruise #1 (LE, ) is lighter, brighter (90% similar). Tom Ford Beauty Virgin Rose (P, $54.00) is lighter, cooler (90% similar). MAC Peaches & Cream (LE, $23.00) is more shimmery, cooler (90% similar). MAC Brave (P, $17.50) is lighter, warmer (90% similar). MAC Nouvelle Vogue (LE, $17.50) is lighter (90% similar). Colour Pop Thirsty (LE, $5.00) is brighter (85% similar). NYX Peach (P, $5.00) is lighter, warmer (85% similar). Tarte Irreplaceable (LE, $28.00) is lighter, warmer (85% similar). Kat Von D Mother (P, $20.00) is darker, less glossy (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

For an in-depth look at what the formula is supposed to do and how it performs generally, please check the overview below the rating. Macaroon was fairly creamy, light-to-medium in weight, and smooth on the skin and lips. The color spread easily across the skin and blended out well on eyes, lips, and cheeks. It worked best as a cheek color, then as a lip color, and was worst as an eye color. It had buildable pigmentation from semi-sheer to fully opaque depending on application method.

On the cheeks, the color blended effortlessly without losing its color or tone. The texture was smooth and sat well on the skin with a soft, natural finish. While the product didn’t dry down fully (so it would transfer if you touched it), it didn’t move or migrate on the skin and lasted well for nine hours on me. On the lips, it didn’t tug or drag on the lips, but I had some color emphasize lip lines as some color pulled into them. It lasted for four and a half hours on the lips and was neither drying nor hydrating. On the eyes, I experienced creasing within minutes of applying the color, as the formula did not set or dry down.

Please note, the rating is an average across performance on eyes, cheeks, and lips.

Macaroon
Macaroon
7.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
6
Longevity
4.5
Application
82%
Total

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MAC x Selena Techno Cumbia Powder Blush Duo

MAC Techno Cumbia Blush Duo
MAC Techno Cumbia Blush Duo

MAC Techno Cumbia Blush Duo ($29.00 for TBA oz.) is blush duo that features a split-pan with more of the deeper shade (Blunt) and a smaller portion of the lighter shade (Ven Conmigo). The smaller blush is hard to apply on its own, as it doesn’t accommodate the average blush brush well, and even my smaller blush brushes were too large and I had to pinch the brush head to get it to narrow and fit in the area. This was the weakest product in the collection, so I figured we’d get it out of the way.

Blunt is described as a “muted golden brown.” It’s a dark, rosy brown–almost plummy–with a mostly matte finish. It looked warmer and more like that “golden brown” in the pan, but it darkened up a lot and looked much cooler in tone (though still warm overall) swatched on my arm as well as on my cheeks. I am warm-toned, so things looking cooler than they do in the pan is usually not something I experience! The texture was fairly soft, moderately blendable, but it wasn’t the best texture for such an intense, pigmented blush as it required extra work to blend and diffuse the color. It wore well for almost nine hours on me before I noticed fading. Chanel Plum Attraction (LE, $45.00) is lighter, cooler (90% similar). MAC Earthshine (LE, $33.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). MAC Tea Petal (P, $21.00) is lighter, brighter (85% similar). Viseart Bronze #3 (P, ) is lighter, warmer (85% similar). Make Up For Ever S404 (P, $23.00) is lighter, brighter, warmer (80% similar). MAC Film Noir (P, $23.00) is darker (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Ven Conmigo is described as a “beige pink.” It’s a soft, medium rosy mauve with warm undertones and a matte finish. The texture was firm and difficult to get color out of; I had to scrape at the top layer to get enough powder off the surface to even show up on the skin. It wore well for six hours on me before fading.
Tarte Royal (LE, $28.00) is cooler (90% similar). Makeup Geek Puppy Love (P, $10.00) is darker (90% similar). LORAC Cinematic (P, $23.00) is darker (90% similar). Anastasia Blank (P, ) is darker (90% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

The MAC x Selena collection will be available online September 28th for MAC Select members and October 1st for all others. It will be in select store locations on October 6th–call your local store to find out if they will be one of those locations.

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Also In This Review

B+

Blunt

Limited Edition
Read Review
D

Ven Conmigo

Limited Edition
Read Review