Apr 082014
 

Houglass Ambient blushes01

It’s Cafe Makeup’s turn to have some fun with the Hourglass Ambient Blushes ($35 each). I’ve been playing with four of the shades—Hourglass Radiant Magenta, Mood Exposure, Luminous Flush, and Diffused Heat. These blushes are available at Net-A-PorterBarneys New York, and Sephora.

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These soft shimmery blushes are gorgeous in their pans. The swirls of luminous highlighter and color look absolutely gorgeous, and it’s sort of fun to swirl a brush on these and find out the actual color that they give. Above are Radiant Magenta, Mood Exposure, Luminous Flush. Below is Diffused Heat.

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Because of their swirling pattern, no two blushes will be the same–even if their actual name is the same. Below are two different Radiant Magenta’s, and you can see that their swirl pattern is completely different.

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I’ve found that applying these to properly moisturized skin topped with a luminous foundation gives a gorgeous look. Although some have reported short lasting power, I didn’t find that to be the case with my skin and the colors that I tried. However, I did notice that one has to go slowly with these and build.  Specifically, when applying you might find that your brush is giving you very light pigmentation with these blushes. Then suddenly you add an extra layer and—voila!–maybe too much?  Then I had to powder down a bit. So I find that it is best to use a light hand and layer, holding back a bit from a heavy, over-confident amount that can become a bit too bright.

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Of the six shades that are in the current release, I think that I might have been happy with three total. I adore Hourglass Mood Exposure for natural, softly shimmered look.

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I am also very glad to have Hourglass Radiant Magenta. I love this softly bright pink color, and cool pinks can be so flattering.

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Of the remaining two, I could have gotten by with either Luminous Flush or Diffused Heat. Luminous Flush is pictured below.

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Diffused Heat looks very different in the pan, but applies in the same color family.

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Swatches of all four shades, taken in the light day sun with flash:

Hourglass ambient Blush swatches1

Another:

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My son’s friend, Yoojin, dropped by to play with some of the Cafe Makeup vault one recent afternoon. I must admit, we had fun. Here, Yoojin is wearing Hourglass Mood Exposure on cheeks, a very light dab of Estee Lauder Sculpting Lipstick in Intense Nude, and the Narsissist Palette (still available at Sephora, Nordstrom, as well as at Saks). You can see that Hourglass Mood Exposure can give a very natural, subtle, sophisticated look.

Hourglass Mood Blush applied2

One more, where you can see her cheek becomes a bit illuminated due to the subtle glow of the Hourglass Ambient blush:

Hourglass Mood Blush applied1b

Overall, I’ve been using and loving these blushes. Hourglass has captured some very pretty colors together with a touch of glow that is really very well done.

Hourglass provided Radiant Magenta to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. The other colors were purchased by me. This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup).

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Feb 142013
 

Hourglass Ambient31

Hourglass Ambient Powders ($45) have hit the market of the past few weeks via Sephora.com and soon to be available in stores. Essentially, these powders are intended to brighten, conceal by capturing and diffusing the way that light hits the skin. The company makes the powders in six different shades intended to work on all skin tones, so that one can choose the effect they desire.

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According to the company:

“I learned early on how different types of light can truly flatter the complexion,” says Carisa Janes, Hourglass CEO & Founder. “Growing up, my mother had pink light bulbs in all of the lamps throughout the house. She loved pink light because it was the softest and most flattering, and she always wanted to look good.” Janes was inspired to create a new generation of powders that can be customized according to the desired lighting effect.

Unlike traditional finishing powders, Ambient Lighting Powder alters the perceived appearance of the complexion by manipulating and filtering out harsh light. As we age, skin loses its natural luminosity, and Ambient addresses this deficiency with ‘photoluminescent technology’. These transparent micron-size, color-correcting particles emulate the appearance of young, healthy-looking skin.

The packaging is a lightweight compound that feels a bit like plastic and touch-up mirror. The company has released a accompanying Ambient Powder brush ($35) that is sold separately.

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We tried Houglass Ambient Powder in Luminous Light, a champagne pearl powder that looks magnificent in the pan:

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We wanted to love Luminous, we tried to. We actually had a meltdown, of sorts, about the fact that the powder didn’t work for us. Well, two meltdowns, really. (We get passionate about makeup in a way that’s sort of not, well, normal maybe. What of it?).  

It was our opinion that the Hourglass powder was too visible and shimmery to use as an all-over face powder for our personal taste. For comparison, here are heavy applications of the nearly-invisible Nars Light Reflecting Setting Powder (loose). As you can see, this very heavy application of the Nars Powder sets up as a demi-matte finish and adds no color, compared to the shimmery Hourglass Luminous. I also swatched the Guerlain Pressed Meteorites in Wulong. As you can see, this very heavy application Guerlain Wulong deposits a subtle soft color, compared to the more visible Houglass Luminous. Of course, you’d never wear any of these as heavily as they are applied here–I’m trying to show relative visibility (not actual).

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I’m not sure how visible these will be to you, as setting powders are notoriously tough to swatch. One more, same powders:

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We took a cue from The Beauty Look Book, who loved it as a highlighter. I tried, but found that the color blocked up a bit on me and left a touch of frost.  Back of the compact:

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Edit on Feb. 22, 2013:  I was able to try Hourglass Ambient Dim by applying it over my Tom Ford foundation in a Sephora. Still not working–my husband said I looked better prior to application. I didn’t buy, and I won’t be pursuing more of the powders–this is just not the product for me.

Our advice: There are others who are giving these fabulous reviews. In our book, this is a “try before you buy.”

Hourglass sent this Ambient Powder and Ambient Powder Brush to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup)

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Jan 302013
 

Dior

Dior Las Vegas (phone: 702-734-1102) is receiving the Dior Pink Champagne collection in mid-February. This includes the Diorskin Nude Shimmer Compact (reviewed here by Mostly Sunny), two nail vernis polishes in the colors Golden Era and Tutu, as well as a twinset in Beige Ribbon (according to the store, a wonderful lid base color for other shadows). The collection will also include a Dior Lip Maximizer in a sparkle pink shade ($31, not pictured).  The store is taking orders as of now.

Nars Release

Nars is releasing some pretty gifts for the mid-winter season.  First, Nars 413 Blkr Multiple ($39) is a burgundy shade that echos the brick outside the New York City Bleecker street store, as well as the colors in the other Nars 413 Blkr Street line. This will be sold at the two Nars flagship stores–New York and Los Angeles–as well as on Nars Cosmetics.com starting February 1st.

NARS Bleecker Street1Nars is also introducing a lovely eye set  And God Created Woman (pictured above). This one looks drool-worthy, as it includes some of the nicest and richest shades collected from Nars duos and singles over the past several years. Seriously, the gold from Kalahari in the same palette as Galapogas? Sign me up.

For $59, the set includes a travel size primer and the No. 3 Eye Shader Brush. Available February 1st on Nars Cosmetics.com and it’s already up for sale at Sephora.com.

Hourglass

I’ve been terribly excited for these new Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders, just releasing now on Sephora.com. I was fortunate enough to be sent Luminous which I’m currently test-driving (review due soon). I’m hoping to pick up a few more of these as I’ve been impressed so far.

Hourglass Ambient

Which products have you found lately? Is there anything good, bad, exciting or not that you’d like to share?

Hourglass sent the Ambient Powder without charge to Cafe Makeup for consideration for review. This post includes affiliate links (for more information, please see About Cafe Makeup)

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Dec 092012
 

 

This fall, Hourglass released a line of Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick ($28 each , available at Sephora, Bergdorf, Space NK and Barney’s). These provide highly pigmented, very vivid color and a matte finish. At Cafe Makeup, we love a new formulation. There have been some real game changers this year, making it an exciting year for beauty. When Hourglass offered to send us some to try, we were delighted to accept.

We were able to try Edition, a soft pink with nearly imperceptible shimmer. As with the rest of the line, Edition is packaged in a slip-in-your-clutch convenient size with a clear front so that you can see both the color and the amount that remains. The doe-foot application is a familiar winning feature–it’s predictable, easy to use, and always makes application foolproof.

The delightful part of this formula is that a single swipe lays down enough color to match the color you see in the tube, no layering required. This allows you to get a gorgeous swipe of color without a thick layer of product (“thick layer” and “lips” isn’t usually a good combination). We found that this performed well, and gave long-wearing performance.

This is a single layer, no lipliner or balm was used. I suspect that adding a moisturizing balm would soften some of the lines on Liz’s lips (above). Straight from the tube, we found Hourglass Opaque Rouge delivered a flattering matte texture. It’s an edgy, on-trend look that stays flattering.

We also tried Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Canvas ($28), a soft dusty rose without any shimmer.

We found that Canvas’ texture was very similar to Edition, which is a good sign that suggests that the high quality formula is consistent across the line. Here is Canvas on Liz (we were working a little too quickly as the early winter light began to fade, as you can see Canvas isn’t 100% dry on the bottom lip but is dry on the top lip):

Here are swatches of both Edition and Canvas:

Both Edition and Canvas are crowd-pleasing colors that can be worn anywhere. There are edgier colors in the line, including the tangerine Riviera (reviewed here at Olivia Frescura) and the deep dark Empress (reviewed here at GlitterGeek). Overall, we found that these delivered comfortable, on-trend color with a long-wearing formula and a pleasing range of colors.

 Hourglass send these Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipsticks to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. 

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May 152012
 

Hourglass Nº 28 Primer Serum ($65) is a best-in-class primer for dry skin. According to Hourglass, the “28” in the name refers to the key ingredients in the primer, which includes 14 essential oils, 10 lipid-rich plant oils, and 4 vitamins. I’m no stranger to using rich and essential oils on my skin, having used Rodin’s legendary Olio Lusso for the past year whenever my skin feels dry and in need of nourishment. I’ve finally learned that even my combo-oily skin can benefit from the caring properties that well-chosen oils can bring.

Unlike Olio Lusso, Hourglass Nº 28 Primer Serum is a true primer intended to act as a hydrating base for foundation. In my opinion, the ideal user for this product has dry (or combo-to-dry) skin, and is concerned about anti-aging because the treatment properties are an important part of this treatment. The scent is light and pleasant, to my mind it seems like a slight floral with a touch of sandalwood. I find the scent far more pleasant and unobtrusive compared to Olio Lusso. I didn’t notice the scent after about 1/2 hour after application (and that’s being generous).

The product applies as a sheer liquid. With this product, you do not need very much to get a velvety base–I used at most three little droplets. It absorbs quickly. My liquid foundation applies like a dream over it, giving me a very smoothly textured base. I used Nars Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30++, as well as Burberry’s liquid and Chanel’s Perfection Lumiere.  These foundations lasted all day. I was surprised to find that my skin did not feel “oily” in any way–rather, the finish was more velvety. Truly a “best in class” primer.

Using so little, I can see that this bottle is going to last a very long time. Note that, according to Hourglass, the Nº 28 Primer Serum can be used as a night treatment and even to put on the ends of your hair as a conditioning treatment.

Some of you may be wondering how this compares to another of my favorite primer, Burberry Fresh Glow Luminious Fluid Base.  These really do serve two different purposes.  The Burberry is intended to add a glowy highlighter to the skin, but not to add any skincare properties. On the other hand, the Hourglass is completely sheer (no added glowy bits), but is intended to treat and moisturize. I really love both for different reasons, and I think you can see that those with dryer skin types (or those who live in dryer climates) are really going to love the moisturizing benefits of Hourglass Nº 28. And (because I know your wondering)–no breakouts from the Hourglass primer. Trust me, it’s always a concern.

Bottom line: Loved this best in class primer.

Ingredient list (from Sephora.com): Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Ethylhexyl Cocoate, Dimethiconol, Phenyl Trimethicone, Ceramide 3, Sphingolipids, Jojoba (Simmondsia Chinensis) Oil, Rose Hips Seed Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Sweet Almond (Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis) Oil, Green Tea (Camellia Sinensis) Oil, Olive (Olea Europaea) Oil, Hazelnut (Corylus Americana) Oil, Borage (Borago Officinalis) Seed Oil, Kukui (Aleurites Moluccana) Nut Oil, Cherry (Prunus Avium) Pit Oil, Tocopherol, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Linoleate, Panthenyl Triacetate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Ascorbic Acid, Octyldodecanol, Dioctyl Succinate, Peg-8, Tridecyl Stearate, Neopentyl Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Tridecyl Trimellitate, Lithospermum Officinale Root Extract, Octyldodecyl Myristate, Citric Acid, Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia) Oil, Geranium (Geranium Maculatum) Oil, Rose Geranium (Pelargonium Roseum) Oil, Vanilla (Vanilla Planifolia) Oil, Clove (Eugenia Caryophyllus) Oil, Orange (Citrus Aurantium Dulcis) Peel Oil, Petitgrain (Citrus Reticulata) Oil, Amyris (Amyris Balsamifera) Oil, Benzoin Siam Absolute, Lemon (Citrus Medica Limonum) Peel Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Oil, Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis) Leaf Oil, Bois De Rose (Aniba Rosaeodora) Oil, Cedar (Thuja Occidentalis) Leaf Oil, Ylang Ylang (Cananga Odorata) Oil.

Hourglass Nº 28 Primer Serum was sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

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Oct 102011
 

This Fall, I’ve begun to notice a heavily contoured cheek used on the runway and in magazines.  For example, look at this look from last week’s Paris runway show of Louis Vuitton Spring Summer 2012:

I noticed another heavily contoured look in this feature from the October ’11 Vogue in this androgynous take on the trend:

I was tempted to try this look, because I love nude blushes, light bronzers and highlighters and have several in my stash.  However, I did not want to apply the product so heavily and dramatically because the heavy application that you see in these examples seem best suited for a runway or fashion studio.  Some ways that I played with the look include using a deeper foundation shade on the lower cheek, and a subtle highlighter on the upper cheek.  This is the most subtle version of the contoured cheek that I can create.

Another is to use a deep blush and highlighter combination, such as the Chanel Soho blush/ highlighter that was released last Fall (limited edition)

If you prefer a cream version of the colors in the Chanel Soho palette, Nars Multiples in Maui and Luxor is a good substitute (swatches below).  I bought the Nars multiples as mini’s in this Sweet Disposition set.
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A third way is a highlighter/combination, including this Hourglass Illume Creme-to-Powder Bronzer Duo in Bronze Light ($40), which is sold at Sephora.  On the top of the compact, there is a champagne gold sheer highlighter.  On the bottom, the compact holds a warm-toned cream bronzer that runs to a medium-toned depth.  The top mirror keeps the compact sleek when stored, but can be swiveled up so that the large mirror can be used.
This Hourglass duo can be worn with the two tones applied separately to create a defined, contoured cheek.
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Alternatively, I can wear the bronzer more traditionally with the highlighter all over the cheek and on the brow bone. The Hourglass Bronzer duo holds one of the deepest bronzers that I can get away with, and I have to apply it sheerly to get it to work.  If you have a medium warm skin tone, you can be more liberal with the use of this bronzer. Those with cooler skin tones may find this duo is too warm.
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I also own Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base ($48) (swatched below).  The Hourglass bronzer is a traditional creamy texture that dries down to a powder on the skin and can be beautifully sheered out.  Chanel’s cream bronzer feels drier in the tub, and feels as though it contains some silicon.  Chanel’s is lighter in tone than the Hourglass.  The Chanel tub is a rather enormous 1.0 ounce;  the Hourglass duo holds .39 ounces of product in total (both bronzer and highlighter).
Here is a comparison of Nars Multiples in Luxor and Maui, the two shades from the Hourglass Illume Bronze Light compact, and a combination that I created the Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base and Edward Bess All Over Seduction in Sunlight ($38) (reviewed here).
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 Have you played with a contoured cheek?  What are your thoughts?

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Sep 102011
 

On-again off-again line Imitation of Christ showed at New York Fashion week S/S 12, with a joyously clean look using some lovely Hourglass products.  The show featured a wedding motif, and the makeup seemed like one could actually wear this look to a wedding.

Imitation of Christ S/S '12 NYFW

Unlike this Fall’s fascination with clumpy lashes, the look on this model is modern, clean and could be worn by almost anyone.  The skin virtually glows (with some thanks to a new primer that Hourglass will be releasing), the lips make a serious statement, and brows look like they remain healthy but were not overwhelming.  Hallelujah!!

Click to enlarge:

NEW

Models were prepped with a new Primer Serum (launching Summer 2012), which is a silky blend of 28 oils and vitamins.  This primer glides on to create a retexturized surface for foundation, leaving hydration and fragrance behind.

Models with oily complexions were sporting Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation, launching Spring 2012. The advanced new makeup base delivers an exquisitely matte finish that lasts all day—without the need for touchups. In addition, the foundation uses clinical levels of two anti-aging ingredients to visibly improves the skin’s texture and help create a more youthful-looking visage.

GET THE LOOK

SKIN: Start with Primer Serum to create a moisturized canvas for makeup. Follow with Illusion Tinted Moisturizer, or Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation, and apply with No. 2 Foundation brush. Conceal dark circles or blemishes with Hidden Corrective Concealer.

EYES: Apply Visionaire Eye Shadow Duo in Lagoon (blue), Dune (gold) or Prism (silver) on the lid and blend with fingers. Follow with a subtle application of Script Precision Liner to enhance the lash line. Follow with Film Noir Mascara to define the lashes and finish with a glossy topcoat of Film Noir Lash Lacquer.

CHEEKS: Apply Aura Sheer Cheek Stain in Flush to the apples of the cheeks and blend with the fingers. Highlight cheeks with Illume Crème-to-Powder Bronzer Duo in Bronze Light.

LIPS: Apply Aura Sheer Lip Stain in Flush to lips

 


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Aug 212011
 

Hourglass was kind enough to send one of their newly released Film Noir Lash Lacquer ($28), together with a sample sized Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara (full size runs $28) to try at Cafe Makeup.  Film Noir Lash Lacquer is a newly designed product that is like a top coat for nails, or gloss for a lipstick.  It is used to add a wet look, together with the addition of length, volume and shine.

As you can see from the photograph, above, it comes with a brush applicator to “paint” lashes similar to the way that one would paint nail polish on your nails.  Application tips:

– Film Noir Lash Lacquer works with many mascaras, and works best on lashes already coated with a good lengthening mascara (not tubing or volumizing)

– Hold the wand at a horizontal angle to your lashes and delicately paint in short strokes

– You can use all over lashes (top and bottom), or just the ones on the outer corner

Liz and I were very impressed the Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara.  We liked the separation and length, and thought that it was a real contender against Guerlain’s Le 2 mascara ($36/ reviewed here).  Liz said that she would definitely re-purchase it. It had great separation and curling properties.  Our little sample gave us plenty of reasons to believe that this is an excellent choice at $28.

Film Noir Lash Lacquer was easy to use–the directions were clear, and we found the brush easy enough to control.  For these pictures, Liz applied Lash Lacquer over the Full Spectrum Mascara.  We found that it did add a deep glossy look to lashes.  The volumizing properties tended to occur by adding volume.  We did experience some clumps, but expected that effect from a volumizing product.  Perhaps this is due to the brush configuration, which does not attempt to separate lashes.

Here is a comparison without Film Noir Lash Lacquer.  Only the Full Spectrum Mascara is applied, below:
Overall, Film Noir Lash Lacquer adds drama, volume and a deep black lacquer effect.  We found the product easy to use.  I separately tried Film Noir Lash Lacquer, and got a very similar effect to Liz’s–it gives a very fringy, very black, with a tendency to pull the lashes together (rather than having separation).   We thought that it achieved the promised effect of maximizing lashes.  We actually loved the Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara by itself more, which should not be surprising given that we prefer a more natural look.  However, if you are looking for drama, the Lash Lacquer certainly delivers.

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May 032011
 
Hourglass Script 1

Hourglass Cosmetics has just released a new felt tipped liner, the Hourglass Script Precision Liquid Liner ($32) (available at Sephora).  Unlike the earlier version, the Hourglass Calligraphy (pictured at top, above) (reviewed here) ($32), the Hourglass Script has a very, very fine-tipped point.  Otherwise, both have:

  • A deep, inky-black color
  • Long-lasting, no-smudge and no-flake wear
  • A smooth, even application and ink flow

Both Hourglass pens allow the liquid ink to flow without any pumping or twisting–the ink is deposited with slight pressure.  They are both well-machined, foolproof and beautifully packaged.  Both have a slight “heft factor” that is pleasant and balanced.  At $32, these are in line with the price range of other high end liquid liners (Chanel’s Automatic Liquid Eyeliner is $34).

I’m very comfortable applying liquid liners–fearless, in fact.  Start by practicing on the back of your hand.  Like Julia Child flipping a potato pancake, it’s easier if you go in confident.

Let’s compare the Hourglass Script, the Hourglass Calligraphy, and the Le Metier de Beaute Precision Liquid Liner ($42) (reviewed here).  As shown here, the tip of the Hourglass Script is quite precise–the tip is tiny.

I was surprised to find how distinct all three liners are.  You can see that when Hourglass says that the Script is precision, they are not kidding–the fine point allows you to draw an extremely fine line.  It must be layered to get a thicker line.

Below, on the left you can see a light and a heavy line that I drew with Le Metier’s Precision (in Noir).  In the second line, you can see how lightly Le Metier’s can be applied.  Here, the ink isn’t quite a deep and dark (it looks almost brown).  Had I added another layer or two, the Le Metier would be as black as the Hourglass swatches.  Hourglass Script (in Jett) is swatched in the center.  Hourglass Calligraphy (in Ebony) is on the right.

Both the Hourglass Script and Calligraphy provide a deeper, blacker line out of the brush, compared with Le Metier de Beaute’s.

No, you don’t need all three.  If you have light-toned skin, delicate features or prefer a very natural look, you will prefer the ability to draw a more subtle line that the Le Metier Precision Eyeliner allows. The Le Metier must be applied with some pressure, or in built-up layers, to get a full-on black line. “Priming” the brush helps, by holding it down on the back of your hand for a second to get the ink flowing freely (but that’s a little messy).

If you want a deep, black ink out of the pen, the Hourglass delivers beautifully.  Between Script and Calligraphy, it’s going to depend on whether you prefer a thin or thick line.

Note that I found that I was able to get a very fine line with the Hourglass Calligraphy by using just light pressure on the very end of the tip, but it was not easy.  Really, if you want a fine line then go with the Script.

However, I’m glad that I do own all three.  I find myself reaching frequently for my Hourglass Calligraphy when a want a good, quick defined black line.  I love the Le Metier when my makeup is very subtle.  I have no doubt I’ll use up the Hourglass Script, because it adds something that the others don’t have–a quick, very deep black fine line that works well for my coloring and features.  I love it–highly recommended.

Hourglass Script and Calligraphy were provided to Cafe Makeup for review/consideration by Hourglass.

 

 

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