Jan 062014
 

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Rose Gold01

Becca is well known for its liquid Shimmering Skin Perfectors–their legendary, sophisticated glow sets a beautiful standard for the perfect highlighter. Recently, Becca released a pressed powder version for those who prefer their glow from a pan. To complement my recent rose gold obsession, I tried the limited edition (and still momentarily available)  Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Rose Gold ($38).

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Rose Gold02

I’ve looked at various swatches of the Becca Rose Gold highlighter online, and I wasn’t sure how it would work on paler skin tones. MAC’s Riri Diamonds is a rose gold highlighter that is relatively sheer, however the pan of Becca’s Rose Gold Shimmering Skin Perfector seemed deeper in tone, akin to a neutral blush.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Rose Gold03

As I suspected, Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Rose Gold applies as a soft peach-gold blush on my light skin tone. I have been using it with a touch of bronzer-as-blush to provide a soft touch of warmth, then use Becca’s Rose Gold on the upper cheeks, chin, and around the temples.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Rose Gold08

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Rose Gold is absolutely gorgeous. It’s a bit hard to capture on camera, but it really modulates with the light. It shows as a soft glowing color, then (gasp!) this lovely sheen appears just when the light hits it right. It’s so pretty.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Rose Gold10

Here are some comparisons.  First on the left, Laura Mercier Matter Radiance Baked Powder in Highlight #1 (golden nude) is a pressed powder with a much softer color.  The Laura Mercier lacks Becca’s Rose Gold stronger peachy cast. MAC Superb Extra Dimension Skinfinish is more metallic with a stronger highlight effect. MAC Diamonds (part of the Riri collection) is a cream finish, with a high shine but very little color.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Rose Gold12

Here is the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Rose Gold on Liz’s upper cheeks. She is wearing this with Guerlain Crazy Terracotta bronzer underneath. The reflective quality is a little hard to capture on camera but we did our best. Ingredient list (click to enlarge):

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Rose Gold07

Overall, I like Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Rose Gold. It gives a very sophisticated glow, a pretty soft peach-bronzy wash of color, and a very pretty overall look.

This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup).

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Dec 142013
 
Burberry Nude Glow highlighter09

Burberry Nude Glow highlighter05This is a review of the Burberry Nude Radiance Fresh Glow Powder ($48), the sister of the Burberry Golden Radiance powder (reviewed here). As you might expect, Burberry’s Nude Radiance is the powder version of the liquid Burberry Fresh Glow Fluid Base (a product that can be used as either a primer or a highlighter, reviewed here). The powder version is a soft glowing highlighter.

Burberry Nude Glow highlighter01

As you might expect, Burberry Nude Glow works beautifully with the cool toned shimmery Golden Radiance. We found that, applied with one of our favorite large, soft brushes, the powder gave a slightly cool toned glow. You will want to use a brush with plenty of soft flex. I thought that the brush that was included with the product–although quite respectable quality for a give-away–applied the product a little too heavily to the point of frosting up a touch.

Burberry Nude Glow highlighter09

 Subtle highlighters are a bit difficult to capture in a photograph. Here, I tried to capture the liquid Burberry Fresh Glow next to the powder Nude Radiance. As you can see, the tonality of both is quite similar. Unsurprisingly, the liquid has a more pronounced glow and can be mixed directly with a foundation. The powder is more subtle, but might be preferred by those who prefer that medium. Both are more subtle compared to Kevyn Aucoin’s Candlelight (reviewed here), but more pronounced than the subtle Poudre Signe de Chanel.

Burberry Golden Radiance 3

Here is Liz wearing Burberry Nude Radiance on her upper cheek and forehead, and Burberry Golden Radiance on her lower cheek. She’s also wearing Guerlain Crazy Terracotta as a blush, Burberry Lip Mist in Oxblood. She’s styled her fair with the T3 Bodywaver (also available at Sephora), Alterna CC Caviar Cream and Alterna Luminous Shine Mist. She’s used the same look in the picture below, but with Guerlain Paresse on lips (in softer light):

Burberry Golden Radiance Bronzer 3

There is a nice glow with Burberry Nude Radiance. Even close up, applied with a soft brush, we detected only very subtle sparkle in direct sun. If you prefer this look without sparkle, go for the liquid Burberry Fresh Glow instead.

Burberry Golden Radiance08

I’m loving the pairing of Burberry’s Nude and Golden Radiance for a winter glow. The cool tone for both makes these are wonderful, unique option for those with cooler skin tones, or those looking for a cold-month version of a summer highlighter/bronzer combination.

Both are available at Nordstrom and other Burberry sources.

This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup).

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Nov 032013
 

By Terry Kevyn Aucoin01

We received three little treats from b-glowing on OpenSky.com. In case you don’t already know, OpenSky is an online retailer that allows entities to curate their “best of the best” for easy finding and shopping. b-glowing is one of the retailers that has a store on OpenSky, which shows a delightful array of high-end products that can make you b-glow, including is amazing Anna Sui blush (these colors remind me of the Guerlain Noir G palette), ways to keep hydrated like this bkr Summer  Color glass bottle, and this b-glowing OpenSky Curated Gift Box “All that Shimmers.” Pretty, pretty, pretty! 

By Terry Kevyn Aucoin02

The items sent to Cafe Makeup includes the By Terry Baume de Rose ($60), a multi-tasking moisturizing and healing product that works beautifully on lips and cuticles on the fingers. This is truly one of the finest lip balms on the market, and it softened both my lips and cuticles to youthful, healthy softness in one overnight session. I’m glad that I won’t have to face the drying winter air without this.

By Terry Kevyn Aucoin05

Like many luxury products, By Terry Baume de Rose works beautifully. It applies nearly clear with a pleasant, faint, soft rose scent. It works amazingly quickly and well–far better than the balms and cuticle products that sell in the under $20 range. It doesn’t feel heavy, oily, or buttery–rather, it goes on with a very soft feel and is absorbed into the skin gradually. Since I got it, I’ve been carrying it from my desk side to my purse, I simply don’t want to be without it. If you’d like another perspective, check out this video review by Seth Akins who loves it as much as I do.

By Terry Kevyn Aucoin07

b-glowing also carries the By Terry Ombre Blackstar in #8 Paradise Island.  This is a pretty, bright pearly blue aqua color. I’ve long coveted the By Terry Ombre Blackstar, and it’s only a matter of time before I start acquiring more items in her line. Here’s a photo of nearly all the rest at The Black Panties.

By Terry Kevyn Aucoin09

These eye colors go on with the gorgeous, gliding luminosity. I’d love to get more colors in this same formula.

By Terry2

Finally, b-glowing carries Kevyn Aucoin’s The Celestial Powder Candlelight

By Terry Kevyn Aucoin10

This is a gorgeous, perfect highlighter that gives enough glow to make a difference but includes no sparkle. Housed in a chic, slim package with a brush, this is a powder is ready to travel.

By Terry Kevyn Aucoin12

For those that like a little bit of natural looking, healthy glow, this product is amazing.

By Terry Kevyn Aucoin16

Here are some comparison swatches with the more Chanel Poudre Signe, Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight, the metallic rose gold MAC Superb Extra Dimension Skinfinish (which I believe will be re-promoted just around December 26th, and Bobbi Brown Skinfinish in Gold (which does have glitter bits and is far more yellow).

Kevyn Aucoin Candelight swatches6

Another set:

Kevyn Aucoin Candelight swatches7

By the way, if you’re interested in a genius highlighting tutorial, check out this one from Wayne Goss. I love this highlighter. By the way, look at this cute sample kit that b-glowing included with the products–including a sample of Mad Madame from Juliette with a Gun, First Aid Beauty, Oscar Blandi and Erno Lazlo. These people know how to glow!

By Terry Kevyn Aucoin18

These products were sent to Cafe Makeup for consideration for review. This post contains link, but they are not affiliate links.

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Jun 292013
 

Laura Mercier highlighter1

A few weeks ago, I found that this Laura Mercier Radiance Baked Powder Highlighter ($36/ 7.5 gm/ 0.26 oz.) was introduced, along with several matte bronzer shades in the same format.  Although the bronzer shades look lovely, I was more drawn to the highlighter for the finely-milled, natural qualities and the look that give it gives to the skin.

Laura Mercier highlighter2

I think baked highlighters are beautiful, and I love their luminzing effect. There have been a few problems with baked powders that have been released in the beauty world–some are not finely milled, some have large glitter bits that don’t work for everyone, or only available as a limited edition. With some variegated formulas, there is a color variation which makes purchasing unpredictable (Will you get a “good” one? Sounds like makeup roulette?). I appreciate that Laura Mercier created stability through a well-designed, beautiful, consistent baked highlighter. Although I love the thrill of the chase, there’s a definite niche for a steady source of products that make us look like glowing gods and goddesses. Every time.

Laura Mercier highlighter3

Laura Mercier’s Matte Radiance Highlight gives a natural sheen to the skin. It kicks up a little dust upon application, but less than others I’ve seen, and it doesn’t translate to the face.  It gives a pretty glow that doesn’t look chalky. In the pan, it’s a soft peachy color that seems transparent when applied on my warm, light skin tone.

Laura Mercier highlighter5

On Liz, you can see how the flash hits the highlight on her cheek.  She is wearing the highlighter in a “C” shape around her outer eye area, but that is hard to detect unless the light is hitting there more directly. It showed up beautifully as she wore it throughout dinner afterwards. The way that the light plays with this highlighter is gorgeous. Here, she is wearing Chanel Rouge Coco lipstick in Gabrielle and Chanel Moon River eyeshadow (which is now reaching its “sold out” stage, sadly).

Laura Mercier Highlighter liz 1

As with many baked powders, fan brushes and duo-fiber brushes work well (avoid dense kabukis unless you are going for a “superstar” glow). Here are comparisons with the finely milled, more subtle Poudre Signee de Chanel, MAC Lightscapade (limited edition, not currently available), and Bobbi Brown Nude Shimmerbrick (not currently available) (click to enlarge to see texture):

LM Highlighter `1

Overall, Laura Mercier’s Matte Radiance line is a welcome addition to the beauty world, especially the new baked Highlighter.

The Laura Mercier Radiance Baked Powder Highlighter is available at Nordstrom and other Laura Mercier sources.

 This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup).

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Aug 082011
 
Estee Lauder Pure Color04

One of the most dramatic offerings from Fall 2011 is Estee Lauder’s Modern Mercury Collection, particularly the Pure Color Illuminating Powder Gelee in Modern Mercury ($40).  The texture is a very soft powder with pigment that seems to absolutely leap onto your applicator.  The shimmer is a strong pearl tone that has an unbelievable dimension and shine.

At first I assumed that this multidimensional wave of shimmer was an overspray. I think I’m wrong. We’ve dug down pretty far and that’s the color still.  It’s shockingly pretty if you love pearly shimmer.

Although the word “Gelee” is used in the product name, the powder block is firm and has not “gel bouncy give” of the Chanel Illusion D’Ombre gel eyeshadows released this Fall.  Rather, the powder pan bears a closer resemblance to Chanel’s Ombres Perlees eyeshadows released for Spring 2011.

Estee Lauder’s Modern Mercury Illuminating Powder Gelee is more than a highlighter.  Rather, it deposits a layer of soft peach color.  In fact, Estee Lauder’s Modern Mercury adds enough opaque color to the cheeks with the lightest of brushstrokes to act as a subtle blush on pale skin tones.  Today, I wore it as a soft blush/highlighter alone on my NC15/20 Chanel Cameo skintone.  Why did I think this was a highlighter?

Here are comparisons with Estee Lauder’s Modern Mercury Illuminating Powder Gelee with a few highlighters in my collection.  First, Modern Mercury is much more opaque than the very sheer fairy-dust Estee Lauder Pure Color Night that was a very limited release last year.   I played with swatches from the two lightest shades from Chanel’s Ombres Perlees palette (the white and the peach/pink as marked, below).  Of all of my powders, I found that Modern Mercury bore the closest resemblance to the Chanel Ombres Perlees.  In addition, I’ve swatched Nars Albatross, which is not as shimmery or pearly as Modern Mercury.  Finally, I’ve added Chanel’s Pearl Glow from the recent Le Blanc release.  I found that Chanel’s Pearl Glow as more transparent, more gold pearly and had a harder pan texture compared to Modern Mercury.

Because comparisons for highlighters are hard to capture, I did several different swatches under different lighting conditions. Here, in sun:

Indoors with flash:

Another:

It takes almost no effort to build up the peach color that you see in these swatches.  Indeed, that color is what you get with the lightest touch of this very soft, high shimmer pigment.

On the left, Liz is wearing Burberry Tangerine alone on her cheeks and no eyeshadow (complete breakdown is here).  On the right, she added Estee Lauder Pure Color Illuminating Powder Gelee in Modern Mercury to her upper cheeks and her eyelids.  You can see how much more color is on her cheeks and her upper lids:

You can see the added color:

Yes, Liz also changed her lip color (more on that in another post).

Overall, I have to love Estee Lauder Pure Color Illuminating Powder Gelee, properly applied.  It’s a very pretty, light-reflective highlighter/blush on my fair skin tone.  It gives a very beautiful glow.  In addition, Modern Mercury does a lovely job of building up without being frosty. As with anything this pearly, too many layers will give a metallic effect so proceed with a single layer at a time.

The texture is a bit miraculous. Modern Mercury’s texture is extremely finely milled.  Extremely.  The pigment virtually leaps onto your brush or finger effortlessly.  As I mentioned above, the experience is a bit like the texture of the Chanel Ombres Perlees.

As with any highlighter, those with larger pores will wish to proceed with some caution.  Unlike some other highlighters, Modern Mercury is not sheer but rather gives a warm peachy glow. Adjust your blush accordingly.

Bottom line:  Pumped up gorgeous.

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Jun 012011
 

Previously, I introduced the Rouge Bunny Rouge brand (see here) and today I’m looking at the line’s Seas of Illumination Highlighting Liquid in Sea of Tranquility (approximately $70 for 1 ounce, available for shipping to the U.S. from Zuneta.com).  This liquid highlighter is a refined version that gives a smooth glow without any sparkle or heavy metallics.

Sea of Tranquility has a decided pink cast, which shows up with a fair amount of drama on my pale warm skintone.  Those will cooler skin tones will love this color–the pink is believable, healthy and beautiful.  If you like Benefit Highbeam or Nars Liquid Illuminator in Copacabana (reviewed here), you will find that Sea of Tranquility is a slightly pinker, more refined version of either.  The texture of Rouge Bunny Rouge’s offering is more natural and less thick compared to High Beam.  Rouge Bunny Rouge’s Sea of Tranquility is less sparkly compared with Nars Copacabana.  One might expect this from the different price points–Benefit’s High Beam is $24 for .45 ounces, and Nars Copacabana is $29 for 1.2 ounces.

Comparisons:

The Black Panties makeup blog has done this comparison between Rouge Bunny Rouge Sea of Tranquility and Giorgio Armani’s Fluid Sheer #7.

Bottom line: You don’t need all three, but if I had to choose one I’d go with Rouge Bunny Rouge’s Sea of Tranquility because the texture is the most refined.  I find that wearing a color that stands out on my skin tone is really apparent, and softer textures look more natural.  (Thanks to Liz for letting me borrow her Benefit High Beam and Nars Copacabana for the comparison.)

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Dec 102010
 

Holiday 2010 has been all about metal textures, shimmer and shine.  To this season, Giorgio Armani adds the Gold Rush collection, which includes the Platinum Palette Sheer Shimmer Powder ($55).  Although the name infers cool toned silver tones, in fact the palette imparts a soft candle lit glow.

The round, sturdy sleek palette uses the same design which draws me to reach for Giorgio Armani when I need an elegant product that fits into virtually anything and holds up through the roughest handling.  Inside:

A close-up shows the beautiful texture of this palette:

The palette is roughly the same circumference as the Armani eyeshadow palettes, but is a solid pan of highlighting powder.  In direct flash:

It’s safe to let the pictures do the talking to demonstrate how beautiful this palette is.  The effect of this is subtle– here I’ve swatched it quite heavily over a base to bring out the color and shine:

Another, also applied heavily over a base to show the candlelight soft shimmer color:

Here’s a comparison between Giorgio Armani’s Gold Rush Platinum and Yves Saint Laurent’s Colorama Highlighter:

Do you need them both?  No, unless you like the versatility of the different color choices.  Both a beautiful, excellent quality palettes that give a soft, beautiful glow.  Gorgeous.

Here is the ingredient list for the Giorgio Armani Platinum highlighter (click to enlarge):

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Oct 252010
 

NARS Sweet Disposition ($40/Nordstrom) is a set of three mini-multiples for eyes, lips and cheeks:  Malibu, Orgasm and Luxor.  At .14 ounces each, these mini’s make an adorable, gift-able way to play.  I was so excited when these arrived that I couldn’t wait to open the box.  First, they are mini’s and therefore automatically adorable beyond belief.  Second, these are products that I’ve always wanted to play with, but could never commit to just one.  Sweet Disposition gives me three options–a deep shade (Malibu), a medium shade (Orgasm) and a light shade (Luxor).  How could I not love this set?

I assume that this set is limited edition for Holiday 2010. If you prefer, each of these colors is available in a full sized version (.50 oz.) for $38 each.  One thing that I love about NARS is that their use of limited editions are very restrained. There is no tricky hook shade in this collection that is only in this set and then it is gone forever, leaving you with a lingering feeling that you needed to buy the whole set or be forever haunted that you didn’t.  Instead, NARS played it straight and thereby earns my undying loyalty (once again!).

The above picture shows the difference in size between the three mini’s in Sweet Disposition compared to the larger Cadaques Multiple Tint reviewed here.  The mini’s are packaged in similar matte black packaging as their larger sisters, although the smaller ones do not have the same rubberized cushiony feel.

Continue reading »

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Dec 212009
 

It may be difficult to imagine, during this week of snow and cloud cover, the warm spring days that lie ahead–when we’ll be wearing both bronzer and sunscreen and may want to add some glow to the face.  As always, the beauty industry runs a season ahead and I can imagine that Chanel had these days in mind when it designed the Emprient de Chanel (Chanel Imprint) Poudre Eclat Illuminating Powder (Radiant Glow Highlighting Powder) ($65).

As the name implies, the surface has an imprint of the iconic Chanel logo in gold, surrounded by a multicolored circles which are packed with shimmer.  Aside from a light surface overspray, which quickly wears away, the bulk of the product applies as a warm, peachy-gold shimmer.  Despite the name, the product does deposit some visible color to the cheek.  For all but the palest skin tones, this amount of color will not be sufficient to substitute as a blush.

There is a small brush included, about half of the size of Chanel’s typical powder brushes that come with bronzers or the like.  It is sufficient for travel, and was probably included to assist with precise placement.  You may prefer to use a larger brush, depending on the area you wish to cover.

Below, I’ve swatched this next to Chanel’s Les Tissages Lames de Chanel highlighter released for this holiday (two slightly different swatches).  Here are some differences that were apparent to me:

  • The Empriente de Chanel’s large double CC’s give the impression that the palette is primarily gold, however the background textured area is a warm golden peach with a barest hint of pink
  • The Empriente de Chanel is not as gold as Les Tissages
  • Les Tissages has more — and slightly larger– glitter bits, where the Empriente de Chanel has a multidimensional smooth sheen

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Les Tissages Lames de Chanel: Can It Make You Happy?

 Chanel, Highlighter  Comments Off on Les Tissages Lames de Chanel: Can It Make You Happy?
Dec 122009
 


Chanel SuitFor Holiday 2009, Chanel released its annual over-the-top “creation” called Les Tissage Lames de Chanel ($60).  This year, its a tweedy gold shimmery compact, with a surface that resembles the classic Chanel tweed fabric used on its iconic suit developed by Coco so many years ago.  As every year, the product is packaged and sold beautifully, with a silver shimmer overspray that sparkles like diamonds.  When I opened it, it was gasp-worthy.

I demand more from beauty products than to sit on a counter looking pretty.  I want them to actually work well. And confronted with this product, I had to ask myself–could I use it?  Could I wear it to Starbucks without looking like “The Crazy Sparkling Chanel Lady”?  In other words, could it make me happy?

I rarely go anywhere draped in pearls and shimmer.  I never play with mini-birdcages.  But I did want to use the product several times a week to make the purchase price worth it. Chanel Birdcage copy

So after purchasing Les Tissages online, I went to my local Chanel counter.  As luck would have it, a Chanel representative was visiting that day, and gave me a lot of ideas. After a demonstration, I was convinced that I could actually use the item to pan.  First, she showed me that I could use this as an eyeshadow wash for an everyday look.  It leaves a sheer gold sheen that’s really pretty.

Second, she showed me that it could be used under foundation to give a subtle dewy look.  Here are the steps:

1. Apply foundation

2. Apply Les Tissages on the upper cheek, over the brows (yes, over), on the chin and even on the bridge of the nose.  If this is too shimmery for you, apply another layer of foundation over the highlighted areas.  These areas are circled on the facechart, below.  Stand back and gasp.  Yes, that’s actually your dewy skin.

Third, it can be used as a beautiful, sheeny highlighter all by itself.  This will give you the strongest look, but can work for daytime looks.  I’ve done a swatch in the shape of an “x” below, on my arm so you can see the full color and highlight effect.

As I left, I felt that although $60 is high.  However, I will use a substantial amount of the product.  And, it is a beautiful and useable product once you know how.  I especially like the “under foundation” trick.

For comparison, I would say that this has about the same amount of shimmer (tiny tiny glimmer bits) as a Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick, but more overall light-reflecting sheen.  The silvery sparkle that you see on the surface does come off with the first use.  This will mean that the shimmer bits will only be obvious for the first few uses, but the sheen goes through and through.

Les Tissages with Overspray

Facechart

Tissage Swatch

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