Natasha Denona launched a new glow palette called Bloom Blush and Glow ($55 for 13.7 g/0.48 oz, available at Sephora and Beautylish). I ordered this a few weeks ago and think it’s one of the prettiest cheek palettes I’ve seen. It comes in a medium sized compact with four cheek colors. I love the smaller compact size and find the pans are still large enough that I can dip a regular blush brush in the compact easily. (On the nails is Chanel Le Vernis in Jaspe.)
There are two creams and two powders:
Glow Cream Base is a sheer peachy champagne shimmer, this is a nice glow product, not too sparkly or frosty
Cream Blush is a super pigmented cranberry flush, a little goes a long way but it’s easy to blend
Glow Extreme is a extreme glow shimmery peachy champagne highlighter, it has large shimmer particles and is very glowy
Duo Glow is a duo chrome peach gold shimmer powder highlighter
All four layer nicely together for the ultimate glow. If you’re conservative on the shimmer you may find Glow Extreme too glowy and sparkly for you. I think it makes for a really nice eyeshadow too. Application is smooth and easy to blend. Pigment is perfect. You can sheer out for a lighter wash or layer for more intense coverage. Lasting power is very good although we’ve had a cold week so I haven’t tested this in full humidity.
Close ups and swatches below.
There’s a nice plastic lid inside to cover the two creams and protect them from the powder kick up of the other two shades. I really appreciate little details like this!
Makeup look wearing all four shades. The top left photo is just the glow cream blush base, other three have the other cheek colors layered on top (press samples have a *):
Overall glowy and beautiful. Compared to other Natasha Denona coral/peachy shades her Duo Glow in Alba is lighter and more golden compared to this palette’s blush. Her Diamond and Blush Palette in Darya is more coral/cool toned while this palette has more warmer tones and more glow/shimmer. I do think The Bloom Blush and Glow is different enough to justify owning if you have the others, although if you’re super conservative on shimmers and glows this will probably be too glowy for you.
You can find the Natasha Denona Bloom Blush and Glow Palette out now. Available at Sephora and Beautylish.
I bought mine and then also received a press sample so I’m going to give away my extra to one reader. To enter for a chance to win, use the widget below. Open internationally but you must be 18 years or older to qualify. Giveaway is going to run through Monday March 11 at 11:59 PM EST. ONE winner will be selected within 72 hours of giveaway end and contacted by me via e-mail. Not sponsored or affiliated. Note the first two options are mandatory. Other entry options will get you extra entries.
Becca just launched a cute BFFs Collection called Made With Love by Khloe and Malika. This collection was created in collaboration with Khloe Kardashian and her BFF Malika Haqq. There are new highlighting palettes, a new lipstick formula and mini X and O shaped highlighter. I think the concept is super cute with two sets of color options. I’m a huge fan of Becca Shimmering Skin Perfectors and their Be a Light Palettes. I had high hopes for this launch. In the collection we have:
Up first is a look at the Glow Letters Highlighter. This is a shimmery bronze and champagne mix of X and O shaped pressed highlighter shapes. I love the color and finish – it gives a beautiful glow without being overly frosty. The golden color is SO so pretty. I just hate the cardboard box packaging and presentation. I think this would have been better if it had been a pressed powder like their Shimmering Skin Perfectors. I give the product itself a solid A+ rating so I can overlook the box it comes in. I think I am just being really picky with this one.
Swatches also next to the two palettes side by side.
The colors are really pretty but I had a hard time getting into the palette. Becca launched a Bronze, Blush and Glow Palette with highlighting palette similar in concept to the Be a Light finish and shape. The Khloe Palette has:
Soft Focus Highlighter in Glow Up which is a shimmery champagne vanilla
Radiant Blush in Fierce a shimmery pale peach
Radiant Blush in Fabulosity which is a more coral peach shimmer
Satin Matte Bronzer in Koko Bronze which is a very soft sheer tan matte bronzer
The palette to me feels like three highlighters + one bronzer. On my skin tone I felt the colors looked too frosty when I wore 3 or all 4 of the colors layered. If I blended a lot or used with a super light hand I could wear this. It’s not a bad palette. I think the quality is excellent. Finish of the powders is smooth and super pigmented. I just couldn’t wear them all together easily like I could the Becca x Chrissy Palette which I still really love.
There are two lipsticks are new formulas which are ultra pigmented creams. They’re scented with a sweet almost coconut like scent and vanilla cream. At first swipe I felt they were super thick. The formula is smooth and long lasting though. As long as you don’t swipe on too much it’s not too thick. Cupid’s Kiss is toasted almond nude, Hot Tamale is a hot bright red.
The Made with Love by Malika Bronze Blush and Glow Palette has the same products, I find the palette to be equally glowy but the deeper colors make it easier for me to pull off. Pigment is ultra rich and smooth and easy to blend/layer. Colors include:
Soft Focus Highlighter in Dusted is a peachy pink champagne
Radiant Blush in Yes Girl! is a warm bright coral shimmer
Radiant Blush in Make Me Blush is a shimmering pink rose
Satin Matte Bronzer in Bestie Bronze is a medium deep warm bronze satin matte
True to Becca’s style this palette is still very glowy. Finish is lightweight in feeling so it’s not heavy but it’s still very pigmented. Lipsticks have a similar vibe to Khloe’s while the Malika colors have a different undertone. Yours Truly is a warmer peachy nude. Brave is a classic true red that is neutral-cool.
Same beauty breakdown as above but with the Malika collection colors. Left is Yours Truly for the lips. Right is Brave for the lips. For skin tone reference I’m in between a MAC NC30 and NC35 right now.
Overall thoughts is that this is a beautiful collection and all the items are well made with great color payoff, lasting power, pigment and textures. I think the palettes are well priced and true to Becca’s classic signature glow style. I still love highlighters and will probably look forward to any new ones but at this point I’m finding it challenging to get SUPER excited about them. I have too many, there have been too many launches, most of it has started to look all the same. The only thing I didn’t like was the Glow Letters packaging.
The Khloe palette was a little too glowy for my skin tone right now. To clarify, it’s too glowy to wear ALL the colors in one look. If I mix in a matte blush or just use the bronzer with one other shade it’s very wearable and pretty. I find it interesting that the Malika palette has the same glow finish but with the deeper colors I find them a lot more wearable.
Lipsticks are ok. I think they’re nice but a little thick. I understand they’re super opaque with rich color payoff so it makes sense they’re really creamy. I’m going to check my Sephora to see if there are other colors out yet in store and will let you know if I pick any more up. Price seem a little steep to me, but the product is also nicely sized and has super intense pigment.
I have an Urban Decay Naked Cherry Collection review + swatches for you today! This is a collection I did not expect to work for me based on the color scheme. I rarely wear reds or pinks on the eyes (Naked Heat was too warm for me) so I was pleasantly surprised to find the colors are actually easy to wear for my neutral-makeup loving self. I’ve been the biggest fan of the original Naked, Naked 2 and Naked 3 eyeshadow palettes. Anytime anyone asks what palette I’d recommend to start out their makeup collection it’s one of those (sad that the original one was discontinued though!). In the Naked Cherry launch we have:
The star in the collection is the Naked Cherry Eyeshadow Palette. Urban Decay makes some of the best eyeshadow formulas for their mattes and shimmers. They’re buttery smooth, have excellent pigment, are easy to build and layer. They also stay put, even the glitters. Naked Cherry pulls more pink and plum with cranberry tones rather than cherry colors to my eye, but I’m all for that because a true cherry red would probably not work on my complexion.
A lot of you have asked whether I prefer the Naked Cherry palette or the Charlotte Tilbury Stars in Your Eyes. It’s a tough call because while there are similar tones, I find them very different. The Charlotte Tilbury has more shimmer and glow with lighter warmer gold tones. It has more of a glam feel because of the shimmers. The Naked Cherry has a more monochrome feel with pink, plum and cherry colors. It also has more variety in the deeper colors for plum/pinks. Right now if I had to pick one it would be the Charlotte Tilbury one simply because I like the gold and champagne colors. I do think the Urban Decay one is more unique compared to what I already own.
Naked Cherry 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Love Drug and Black Market are smooth eyeliners. The 24/7 Glide-On is among the smoothest pencils I’ve tried and they never tug or dry out. They haven’t always been smudge proof on me and don’t last 24/7 like a liquid liner but they do stay put without sliding around for several hours on my eyes. I usually top/set with a deep powder shadow as a liner to help it stay longer. Your mileage may vary depending on how oily your lids are.
Love Drug is a shimmery plum, Black Market is a satiny black with a sheen. I’ve swatched a few other pencils I still have next to the new ones:
The Naked Cherry Highlight and Blush Palette was very different from what I expected. Colors swatch with medium pigment on the arms, but on the face it is sheer. Also there’s almost a secret shimmer in one of the colors you can’t see in the pan. Once swatched the colors are a soft champagne with a hint of pink, sheer light cherry pink (goes on a lot more natural than I anticipated) and a duo chrome pink flash shimmer. The good news is that this is a palette I think is impossible to overdo. It applies smoothly, doesn’t emphasize pores or fine lines, colors blend naturally on the skin. But if you need pigment and color this might be too natural for you.
Vice Lipsticks in Juicy, Devilish and Cherry are new to the launch with special-edition cherry packaging. They’re not scented (thank goodness, because I don’t like cherry smells). I’ve tried a few Vice Lipsticks before and find the formula hit or miss depending on color. Some were really dry and patchy on my lips, but others are smooth, creamy and comfortable. All three in the Naked Cherry line are excellent. Juicy is a unique sheer shimmery iridescent peach with copper and bronze micro shimmers. It’s sparkly but not gritty on my lips. Devilish is a bright berry pink with micro shimmers. Cherry is the perfect deep cherry cream. Coverage is sheer-medium for the shimmers, full for the cream. Application is smooth and there’s a slight sheen to the finish. Lasting power is very good. They’re creamy and semi-thick so they adhere to the lips but they don’t feel heavy.
Naked Cherry All Nighter Scented Makeup Setting Spray is something I was so reluctant to try simply because I don’t like cherries. I did try it though and it’s actually a lot more pleasant than I expected. It smells like a sheer sweet cherry, almost like a toned down candy cherry. It performs just as well as the regular All Nighter Spray to set makeup and keep it in place for hours. I still don’t know how I feel about scented face sprays that smell like fruit. I’m all about ones that smell like rose or lavender, but the only one I truly love that is food scented is the MAC Fix+ in Coconut because I love anything coconut.
Natural look wearing Juicy Lipstick, the lighter shades of the Eyeshadow Palette and the Highlight Blush Cheek Palette. Same base + brows as what’s listed in the photo above.
Overall a really cute collection! I think the eyeliners are definitely dupeable, so if you have black or plum in your stash you can probably recreate the look with something similar. Love Drug does pull a little more cherry in color and Black Market is more of a muted black rather than a classic deep version. I feel like the Highlight and Cheek Palette is going to be hit or miss for many of you. If you’re lighter than me it will show up. I’m right at the skin tone where it gives a barely there glow. If you’re darker I suspect it will be too sheer/light for your complexion. The eyeshadow palette was an unexpected YES for me. I’m still a peach/gold/bronze kind of gal for eyeshadows but it’s nice to branch out here and there with colors you normally wouldn’t wear. Considering I rarely wear reds or pinks I find myself being braver with color and love trying new combinations.
You can find the Naked Cherry Collection out now. I’m really surprised to find that several items have sold out here and there. You may have to do a little shopping around to find all the colors you want.
Hourglass launched a new palette called the Ambient Lighting Edit Unlocked Palette ($80 for 0.04 oz/1.4 g x6, made in Italy) for holiday 2018. I ordered this from Sephora and as with most of their 6-pan palettes it’s limited-edition but this year’s version has all new shades! This is the first of a few items the brand is launching for holiday. More teasers on their Instagram @hourglasscosmetics for another palette launching in a couple of days.
The Unlocked Ambient Lighting Palette has two finishing powders, one bronzer, two blushes and a metallic strobe powder. Quality is excellent with a medium coverage finish that’s very natural. The overall look and feel of the colors ended up being darker than I anticipated. On my skin they apply a little deeper than what I see in the palette but it worked well. The colors also applied with a more diffused glow rather than the high shimmer sheen. Since these are luminous with light reflective particles, the palette is going to look different depending on how the natural light catches it. Lasting power is excellent as well. They stay put on the skin without emphasizing pores or fine lines.
A closer look at the palette in a few different lighting options, swatches and all the shades applied on the face below.
First color descriptions of the shades you get in this year’s holiday palette:
Soft Light is a sheer light ivory beige finishing powder with a subtle sheen
Filtered Light is a tan beige finishing powder, almost a soft contour for me
Golden Bronze Light is a warm golden bronze shimmer
Nude Glow is a shimmery nude peach
Mood Flush is a satiny rose pink, looks cooler-toned in the pan, but on my skin applied more neutral-warm
Champagne Strobe Light is a high shimmer champagne
Close up of the palette indoors natural light:
Versus with a flash:
On the face it gives a very natural glow. There’s no harsh frost or glare even with a flash, also wearing:
Size comparison of the different Hourglass compacts.
A lot of you have asked what brushes I recommend using with this palette. The pans are on the small side so there’s a high chance you’re going to be mixing colors with your brush. A few smaller ones I use and recommend shown below.
Top to bottom:
MAC 168 SH (mine is an older short discontinued version, full size here brush head is the same size)
Overall well made with beautiful colors. I think the quality is excellent. It has a very natural look to it but the colors are buildable if you layer. Given all the highlighters that are out there on the market at this point many launches are looking the same to me. These colors are new to Hourglass and I think a couple are unique while others are not. I would love to see them expand their Ambient Lighting finishing powder range to include full sizes of Soft Light and Filtered Light and perhaps shades in between and darker. I love the satiny almost matte powders and right now there’s not a color that works to match my skin although I used to use Dim Light as a setting powder when I was lighter in skin tone.
I do love the look and vibe of Nude Glow Blush because I love a good peachy shimmer. Mood Flush is nice but for some reason doesn’t quite apply the same in the pan on my face (it goes on warmer). I’m the equivalent of MAC NC35 and I think if I were up to 3 shades darker in skintone this would still show up on me, but the overall look is still very medium-natural.
I think it’s a good buy. I’m really happy with it and love that it has new colors. I’m also ok with having similar options because these palettes are so convenient for travel or to create a look with a single compact. I don’t know that I’d call it entirely unique and I’m also ok with that. At this point given all the highlighters I own and have tested I don’t know that I’d call it a must-have, but I do really like it. It’s pricey but well made.
You can find the Hourglass Unlocked Ambient Lighting Edit Palette out now at Sephora and Hourglass. It’s limited-edition for Holiday 2018.
This month Laura Mercier launched a new Face Illuminator called Inspiration ($44 for 6 g/ 0.20 oz). This shade was created to support the Laura Mercier Ovarian Cancer Fund she founded back in 2012 to raise awareness and fund research to help diagnose and treat women with ovarian cancer. Each September she donates 100% of the proceeds from the specially curated product towards the fund.
Inspiration Face Illuminator is a pretty mauve tinged rose gold shimmer. It’s multi-faceted so it will look different in every photo you see depending on how the light catches it. In indoor light it appears softer and more diffused, in direct sunlight or with a flash the deeper mauve rose tones will shine through. On the skin it’s also multi-dimensional. Some angles will show a warmer finish, others will be reflect more of the lighter pink tones. It’s a really beautiful color and I think it will suit a wide range of skin tones. If you’re lighter than me it might almost be blush-like rather than highlighter material. Regardless of your skintone her Face Illuminators create a beautiful radiant glow that stay put and meld well with the skin.
Finish is smooth and luminous with a buildable coverage. You can use her Fan Powder Brush or really any powder / blush brush to apply. The denser the brush the more intense the color and shimmer will be. It’s something you can use anywhere – eyes, cheeks, temples, nose, forehead or shoulders. The quality with this is the same as her other Face Illuminators which are among my favorite. They stay put for hours without fallout or budging.
A look at how the color shifts when in direct sunlight:
Below are some comparisons to other pink highlighters including Bobbi Brown Highlighting Powder in Afternoon Glow, Sunrise Glow, Tawny Glow, NARS Highlighting Powder in Maldives and Hourglass Ambient Lighting Strobe Blush in Euphoric Fusion. I feel like the ones from Bobbi Brown are a lot more shimmery in finish because of the pale sparkle. NARS Maldives almost looks like a pale pink next to it. Hourglass Euphoric Fusion is a deeper blush version with a hint of shimmer mixed throughout.
Look featuring Inspiration wearing the following (press samples indicated with a *):
MAC launched two new collections of metallics and shimmers called Supreme Beam and Dazzleshadow Liquid. I feel like MAC created the original glow with so many outstanding items. I think it’s amazing to see how long the shimmer and highlighter trend has been going on since then.
The Supreme Beam Collection has what MAC calls a “heavenly halo” theme. Everything feels like a throwback to the 90’s for me and I can’t get over how nice the new glosses are this launch! By popular demand they’ve brought back some cult classics for the face with the Illuminating Loose Powder and Hyper Real Foundation. The new formula of Dazzleshadow Liquids has a liquid eyeshadow formula that stays put all day. In today’s post we have:
The Grand Illusion Glossy Liquid Lipcolour comes in the same packaging as the Retro Matte Liquid Lip Colours. The formula itself isn’t new but there are 10 new shades with this launch. I felt the original launch last year had colors that were too trendy for me. This round has more wearable options. They have a shiny finish (no matte drydown like most liquid lip colors do). They have a very smooth non-tacky feel and have full smooth coverage. Even for metallics they are streak-free. Colors are iridescent and shimmery. Pigment is very good and they have a soft cushiony feel and a slightly minty scent.
Polar Fleece – pale iridescent opal pink
Goldiloxxed – metallic light peach tan
Autumn Russet – perfect warm russet shimmer
Just Hustlin’ – metallic taupe pink lavender shimmer
Party Sparkle – duo chrome pink lilac
Sugar Poppy – iridescent blue pink
Dance All Night – metallic lilac
Ruby Princess – iridescent purple
Spoil Yourself – goregeous metallic pink
It’s Just Candy – metallic candy red
Lasting power is really good. I wish this formula came in soft shimmers or cream colors. They feel comfortable, glossy and lightweight. I can’t pick a favorite, but Spoil Yourself, Goldiloxxed, Dance All Night and It’s Just Candy are really pretty.
There are also two complexion products. They brought back the Iridescent Loose Powder in Silver Dusk and Golden Bronze, both must-haves in my book. Silver Dusk is like the perfect fairy dust with a pale silver pink shimmer. Golden Bronze is a deeper bronze shimmer. I’ve swatched them below next to the Mineralize Skinfinish in Shimpagne, Soft and Gentle and Cheeky Bronze.
Hyper Real Foundation is back in four metallic shades. I actually remember this as an actual foundation formula with skin shades and a shimmer glow mixed in. There are four liquid illuminators you can wear under foundation all over, mixed in with your base or on top to illuminate areas. I found it best when I mixed a little in with my MAC Studio Fix Fluid or Next to Nothing Foundation. I did try it all over under foundation and it was too glowy for me. It also worked well as a highlighter on top of my base. Colors include Violet FX (flashes violet), Gold FX (flashes gold), Rose Gold FX (perfect rose gold peach shimmer), Bronze FX (shimmery soft bronze). By comparison the MAC Strobe Creams are thinner and more lightweight in texture with a sheerer finish. I also feel they have more of an iridescent duochrome flash while the Hyper Real Foundation has more of a traditional glow.
The last part of the metallic launches this round is the Dazzleshadow Liquid. These have different finishes. Some are glitters and others are metallic sparkles. Online some have a description called “Satin” for finish but to me the satins are still very metallic and shimmery. These blend easily and stay on the lids all day long. They set nicely and once they do they don’t budge. At the same time they don’t crease and once they dry they don’t make the lids shrink or shrivel.
They have a sponge tip applicator which I use to swipe on the lids. Then I blend with my fingers.
Colors I have are:
Everyday is Sunshine – metallic champagne with a hint of peach sparkle
Flash and Dash – gold and silver glitter
Beam Time – rose gold that flashes champagne
Love Yourself – cool metallic pink
Rayon Rays – metallic brown rose copper
Overall if you’re looking for more ways to glow MAC has you 100% covered. I did try a full look with everything in the collection and for me it was too glowy to wear everything shimmer. I did more testing and found that it was best to incorporate 2 shimmer areas max with this collection, such as face and eyes, or lips and eyes, or lips and cheeks. I think everything is well made but if you have a lot of shimmers I’d recommend you shop your stash. If you’re a true beauty junkie and have been for years there’s a high chance you already own and have been hoarding Silver Dusk from years ago. One jar will last you a long time and if you missed out I highly recommend you get it now.
I think all the formulas are standouts. Everything applies smoothly and blends flawlessly. If I had to pick just 1 item from each category it would be: Gloss in Spoil Yourself, Hyper Real Foundation in Rose Gold FX, Silver Dusk Loose Powder and Beam Time Dazzleshadow Liquid.
Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powders are among my favorites for a soft, smooth and diffused look. This formula has been around for years but I wanted to give it some love with a post as many of you have asked for recommendations on natural looking bronzing powders and I this is what I often recommend. There are four Bronze powder options and one Highlight color. I’ve used the Matte Radiance Baked Powder Bronze 02 the most. Sometimes when I’m tan it almost matches my skintone and I can use it as a cheek finishing product to add warmth. Right now I still use Bronze 02. Compared to this time last year when we were in Florida (as seen here and here) I’m lighter in skintone although I still have a tan. This year I’ve actively spent less time in the sun, pool and ocean so I haven’t tanned quite as much. If you’re looking for a natural bronzer or something to help extend your summer glow in a natural way, the Baked Powders from Laura Mercier are a great powder to look into.
Top Row: Highlight 01, Bronze 01, Bronze 02
Bottom Row: Compact, Bronze 03, Bronze 04
The Matte Radiance Baked Powders are described as an ultra smooth baked powder with a soft matte radiance. This describes it perfectly. The texture is baked and comes in a dome shape. Powders are on the powdery side in the pan but they apply perfectly on the face for a very soft glow. Concept is similar in texture to the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders, but the Laura Mercier Matte Radiance powders come in matte flesh-like soft tan shades while the Hourglass matte options are really pale in color.
There are four Bronze shades 01, 02, 03 and 04. I feel 01 and 02 are nearly identical with 02 being a little more cool-toned. You can use any brush to apply. I’ve used anything from a fan brush, bronzer brush, powder brush to sweep across the face. The Bronze colors are matte with a tiny bit of glow, but no shimmer. Then there is one Highlight 01 shade which is described as a “golden nude” but to me on my olive complexion it’s more of a pale champagne ivory. You can find this in a mini in a lot of the Sephora Favorites sets. Right now it’s available in the Sephora Favorites Sunkissed Glow. The minis actually last quite a long time. I’ve used mine for years now and just decided to buy the full size. Highlight 01 is definitely shimmery but it melts into the skin for a less-frosty shimmer compared to other highlighters like the Face Illuminators or Becca Shimmering Skin Perfectors.
Lasting power is excellent. I think it’s ideal for any climate, in particular with the Florida heat + humidity I’m really impressed how they stay put and stay looking matte for hours.
Swatches, comparisons and a look at Bronze 02 on the face.
Beauty look with Bronze 02, everything same as above, just no highlighter, just Bronze 02:
Bottom line I think they’re perfect. I can wear either Bronze 01 and 02 to add a soft glow to the face. They’re really impossible to overdo. I did try out Bronze 03 and 04, they’re both too dark for my complexion right now, but since summer usually lasts until November in Florida there’s a chance I will get more of a tan and need to go up in a color.
If you’re interested in sets you can find the Highlight 01 Mini in the Sephora Favorites Sunkissed Glow Set. These sets usually change seasonally. There is also a gorgeous Rose Glow Radiance Collection with a full size of Highlight 01 with a few other beauty items. Have you tried these yet? What’s your favorite natural looking bronzer?
Matte Radiance Bronze 01, 03 and 04 provided courtesy of Laura Mercier for review. Bronze 02 and Highlight 01 purchased by me. Other press samples featured indicated with a *.