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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.

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

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Guerlain Summer Edition (2015) Meteorites Pearls

Guerlain Summer Edition (2015) Meteorites Pearls
Guerlain Summer Edition (2015) Meteorites Pearls

Guerlain Summer Edition (2015) Meteorites Pearls ($62.00 for 0.88 oz.) is described as “delicate pastel colors” available exclusively at Nordstrom. According to the brand, it uses “fresh green” for anti-redness, fuchsia to revive, “sunny yellow” for anti-dullness, “pearlescent white” to reflect light, champagne to illuminate, and “rich coral” to enhance. The overall effect is supposed to give “your skin in a pure radiant halo of light while covering your skin in a delicate violet scent.” The back of the container also calls them Rainbow Pearls (rather than Summer Edition), and worth nothing is that they look little like the promotional image.

Whatever the shades, they mix to a pale veil of white-ish powder with lighter gold pearl. I think this one may not work as well as other combinations have for all skin tones, but keep in mind that the skin swatches are rather heavy just to show the product compared to the product applied to the face, where it is used as intended (dusted all over like a finishing powder). This combination seemed to create a more blurred effect with a little shimmer here and there, but it tended to give the skin a smoother appearance without mattifying it as much as traditional loose powder would. For me, the effect of these Meteorites seemed subtler than the usual, and it is already a rather subtle product, so it’s definitely not for everyone. If you’re looking for a more traditional highlighting product, Meteorites are more like brightening or finishing powders that are applied in a more translucent layer, though they can be dabbed on high planes of the face to create a highlighted effect. The latter tends to be more or less impactful depending on the specific shade of Meteorites, and I think this one doesn’t work well for that purpose. The texture seemed slightly chalky to me, but it seemed to last about eight hours (it is harder to really check for wear sometimes with such subtle products but I do my best!).

As you might expect, Meteorites can differ from shade to shade, but there are some that are rather similar. Guerlain Perles du Dragon (LE, $60.00) is more shimmery. Guerlain Perles de Nuit (LE, $60.00) is more shimmery. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

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Hourglass Ethereal Light Ambient Lighting Powder

Hourglass Ethereal Light Ambient Lighting Powder
Hourglass Ethereal Light Ambient Lighting Powder

Hourglass Ethereal Light Ambient Lighting Powder ($45.00 for 0.35 oz.) is described as an “opalescent sheer, cool white powder.” It’s a very light, ivory beige with subtle, cool undertones and a delicate shimmer-sheen finish. MAC Hot Sensation (LE, $26.00) is similar. Cle de Peau Pastel (11) (P, $55.00) is more shimmery. NARS Paloma Highlight (P) is similar. Chanel Jardin de Camelias (LE, $65.00) is warmer. MAC Forever Marilyn (LE, $26.00) is pinker, cooler-toned. Guerlain Mythic (P, $55.00) is more shimmery. Guerlain Clair (02) (P, $62.00) is slightly more luminous. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

Lo and behold, I never reviewed this shade of the Ambient Lighting Powders! For those unfamiliar with the formula, it’s a finishing powder, which is supposed to “capture, diffuse, and soften the way light reflects on your skin.” This is the lightest of the six available, and it is also one of the shades with the least visible shimmer/sheen to it. Hourglass says that all six shades available are universally flattering, though I’m not sure that this will work on deeper skin tones (and certainly would recommend one of the darker shades in that instance). On my medium skin tone, it softens the look of pores, lines, and my skin’s natural texture to a more even, smoother-looking canvas, while giving just enough of a natural finish that the skin doesn’t look dull or lifeless, but it doesn’t look shiny or shimmery either. The texture is lightweight and doesn’t look cakey, though it is so soft that it does kick up some excess powder when used. It extends the wear of my base products by about a half hour to an hour, though it is a finishing powder so it’s a happy bonus but certainly worth mentioning.

9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
98%
Total

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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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Also In This Review

Too Faced #TFNoFilter Selfie Powders Palette

Too Faced #TFNoFilter Selfie Powders Palette
Too Faced #TFNoFilter Selfie Powders Palette

Too Faced #TFNoFilter Selfie Powders Palette ($36.00 for 0.42 oz.) contains three “lightweight, finishing face powders” designed to act like photo filters in real life. The powders have a dryness to them (even though they feel soft to the touch) that make them harder to really dust on evenly as all-over finishing powders. On my skin tone, only the bronzing powder worked well; the brightening one made my complexion look yellower, but in a jaundiced kind of way, while the illuminating powder smoothed out pores, it didn’t actually add radiance–quite the opposite, as it made my skin look very, very flat and matte.

I think these are a poor imitation of some of the more cult classic finishing powders on the market. I ended up removing all of my base products and redoing it to finish out the rest of the photos I was taking for the day (for lip products and the like), since they really made me look worse rather than better and saved testing for another day entirely. (My husband actually asked, “Are you feeling okay?” when I popped into his office with the yellow powder on.)

Sunrise is described as a “brightening diffused warmth.” It’s a light-medium yellow with a satin finish. It is semi-sheer, but it’s actually more pigmented than merely translucent, and as a result, it actually turns my skin yellow. It’s not really warming on my skin tone, more sickly and either like I’m getting jaundiced or my foundation is a poor match for me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Totally Toasted is described as a “bronzed smoothing glow.” It’s a muted, medium gold-shimmered brown with warm undertones and a soft sheen. The top layer of the product was really soft and yielded more pigmentation than anticipated (what you’d expect from a bronzer, not a finishing powder), but after initially swatching it, the pan was firmer and harder, and then it had sheer color coverage. For those who like their bronzers more matte, once that top layer disappears, it applies with such translucent coverage that there’s almost no visible shimmer on the skin. The effect is subtle and does warm my skin up slightly, but if you are much darker than me, I don’t think it will do anything for your skin tone. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Moon River is described as a “cool ethereal light.” It’s a sheer, lavender-leaning white with a very subtle satin shimmer. It is translucent like you’d expect from a finishing powder, but it doesn’t provide an “ethereal glow” to my skin at all. It makes the skin appear smoother (but all of the powders did that to the same level) without adding any luminosity or glow–I actually felt like it flattened the skin to the point where you lost the natural radiance that helps done-up skin still look like skin. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

7
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
7
Texture
8.5
Longevity
4
Application
78%
Total
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Also In This Review

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Anti-Aging Concealer

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Anti-Aging Concealer
IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Anti-Aging Concealer

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Anti-Aging Concealer ($24.00 for 0.28 fl. oz.) is thickened, liquid-cream concealer that has medium-to-full coverage that doesn’t settle into or exacerbate fine lines underneath the eyes. It’s definitely a full coverage concealer, but it’s spreadable enough that you can get more medium coverage if desired. It brightens and minimizes the shadows underneath the eyes while subtly softening fine lines (they’re still there, but they seem less severe). I like to pat the concealer into place with a fingertip, then buff and blend it out using a fluffy eyeshadow brush. The concealer wears a full nine hours on me (without setting powder).

The brand says that it’s supposed to be a full-coverage, waterproof, “crease-proof” concealer that will also “diffuse the look of lines and wrinkles” and “give a more youthful radiance.” The latter characteristic is apparent; it’s has a definite radiance/sheen to its finish once it dries down, so if you like an ultra-matte finish, you won’t find it with this concealer on its own. It diffuses some lines, but it’s very subtle, on my normal-to-dry skin. There are four shades–Light, Neutral Medium, Tan, and Deep–and that’s the main complaint I have, which is that the shade range could be larger. I’m typically medium in most ranges (perfectly between light-medium and medium, really), but Neutral Medium is too light while Tan is a bit too dark (also worth noting, Tan leans more peach, which can be nice for covering up under-eye circles, but it is quite warm-toned and may not double as an under eye and face concealer if you prefer double duty), so I mix both shades to get a matching under eye concealer. As far as personal usage goes, I like to use a setting powder to further soften my under eye circles, and it’s always worked well with the concealer (never makes it appear dry or caked).

9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
9.5
Longevity
5
Application
98%
Total

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