Charlotte Tilbury has a special Nordstrom beauty exclusive called the Filmstar Bronze and Glow Blush Set ($75). This is a limited-edition set that’s part of the 2017 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale which opens up to everyone today! Out of all the makeup items I purchased this one is by far my favorite. My local Nordstrom didn’t have this so I ordered it online and think it’s the best cheek duo she’s launched to date. I’ve been a long time fan of her original Filmstar Bronze and Glow because it’s an effortless contour and highlight palette I find really versatile. She’s released a few other variations but this is the first that has a blush color. The set comes with a mini Artistry Blush brush which didn’t look like it would be the best quality from the cut but I was pleasantly surprised by how soft it felt and also how well it performed.
The bronze shade in this duo is the lightest out of all the Filmstar duo palettes but still has enough color to add warmth to my medium tan skin. If you’re super fair or light and want a natural looking bronzer I think this is an excellent option. The blush shade is a soft shimmering soft coral pink with a soft peach/gold sheen. To me it’s like a pink less frosted version of NARS Orgasm Blush. On me it looks medium but on lighter skins it will be more pigmented/brighter.
Texture of both sides is soft and luminous without any frost. This is perfect for summer to add a soft sheen. I found it perfectly soft – I was able to layer for more pigment by putting a tiny bit of cream blush or highlighter underneath to pick up more color. I feel like if I could only buy one makeup item from the sale, this would be it.
A few sets of comparisons, first a look at the Powder and Sculpt brush in the full size compared to the mini in this set. As you can see the mini seems to have a different cut on the brush – something I thought would be scratchy or harsh. It’s actually surprisingly smooth and easy to use.
For a blush comparison, long-time readers know I’m a huge fan of her Cheek to Chic blushes for their soft luminous glow. They each have two colors to swirl and pop for depth but I really just swirl a brush in the pan and mix before applying to the face. The Filmstar Bronze and Blush Glow shade resembles Love is the Drug the most, but it still has a slight hint of warmth to it while the blush is clearly pink.
Bottom line a solid winner and for me I call it a definite must-have. It’s naturally pretty, soft, luminous and easy to wear. I found it easy to control pigment by blending for a soft wash or layering for a more visible glow with color. I do think if you have dry skin this might not show up well on a bare face – it is powdery and with the soft texture it can feel a tad bit powdery. Make sure you have a well prepped face with some kind of tinted moisturizer or base. I found the duo performed well over a liquid base + powder, but it can look a bit powdery on bare or dry skin. Sometimes this can be fixed by spritzing a tiny bit of face mist like MAC Fix+ before applying powders or simply add a bit of a cream blush, luminizer or bronzer underneath to help the color adhere better.
For me it’s pure love and I think it’s 100% worth the splurge. I love these so much I’m going to giveaway 5 Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Palettes. Five distinct winners will be selected at random to pick their choice of 1 palette: Filmstar Bronze and Glow Light-Medium, Medium-Dark or Bronze and Blush Glow via the widget below. Simply enter by following one of the steps in the Rafflecopter widget. Open internationally but you must be 18 years or older to qualify. Giveaway runs through July 29th 11:45 EST. I’ll select and email the winners within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. Prizes will be mailed within 1 week after I receive a response. Please refer to terms and conditions in the widget for all the details.
By popular request I have a roundup of foundations and bases I’ve been testing since I’ve moved to Florida where the weather is warm, sunny and humidity levels are very noticeable. By comparison, San Diego is very dry although to me it always felt moderate and what I considered normal. We live in the Tampa Bay area and so far the humidity isn’t quite as bad as I had expected. I’m saying this because in December we drove to Key West which is extremely wet and humid feeling – so humid the air feels like you’re walking around in a sauna. Also a few years ago we took almost a month to travel throughout Europe through Italy and the Mediterranean in late June. It was so scorching hot and humid during out travels I completely gave up wearing makeup on most of the days after trying and failing. That being said, yes Florida is humid and hot and finding a makeup base that stays put, doesn’t budge and that won’t slide off has been a challenge.
To date I haven’t found any makeup base or combination of products can truly 100% last or stand up to serious humidity especially if I sweat. I’m the type of person who doesn’t break a sweat easily but since moving to Florida I start sweating if I’m outside for 5 minutes and there’s no wind or breeze. I’m rounding up what I’ve tested by formula and coverage and note what I’ve found wears the best. Even though it’s humid here the reality is that both Andrew and I are rarely outside for long consecutive hours unless we’re at the beach or a park doing touristy things. Also even on those occasions we can take a break from the heat while in the car with the AC or take a stop at a coffee shop or restaurant.
Up first are the more natural looking foundations with sheer to medium coverage. The most requested reviews I get are for BB Creams and CC creams and I am sad to say that those are products I really do not like. Most feel thick on my skin or look pink in undertone. As one with really yellow/olive skin I can’t do bases that have pink so unfortunately I will probably not review any. Also a quick note on shades – many of you have commented over the years that you’re the same shade as me. Since moving to Tampa I’ve tanned quite a bit – it’s something I can’t avoid. I also lose my tan quickly so my color changes on a weekly basis. Because of this annoying fact I have to mix colors a lot – more than I ever have.
Shown below from left to right:
MAC Next to Nothing Face Color is the sheerest base I’ll do. It really has a super natural tint but adheres well to the skin. I fluctuate between Medium and Medium Plus. The shades run on the pink side but since the formula is so sheer it’s really forgiving. Review and swatches of all shades here.
Bobbi Brown Nude Finish Tinted Moisturizer with SPF15 is more like a natural foundation. It’s sheer like a tinted moisturizer but gives better coverage than most that I’ve tried. It does contain Octinoxate 7.5% and Titanium Dioxide 3% so if those cause problems for your skin you may want to skip. I had no issues with this formula for my skin. If I were still in San Diego I would probably use this more regularly – since it has a mild moisturizing quality it can get a little bit dewy. I bought mine at Nordstrom but Bobbi Brown Online has more shades available.
NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint with SPF 30 is one you’ll see me wearing a lot in beauty looks or lip swatches. This one has Octinoxate 7.5% and Octisalate 3% – it’s one that doesn’t irritate my skin and has a natural looking finish that isn’t too matte, just naturally velvety. I wear St. Moritz now but on my lighter wear Groenland or mix the two.
Diorskin Forever Foundation SPF 35 is one of the best foundation bases I’ve ever tried. The only downside is finding a match can be a bit tricky. I tested 30 and 31 first – in store I had one on each side and they both matched perfectly. When I got home and tested again I found they sometimes darkened about a 1/2 shade. 31 is more yellow while 30 is more pink so I kept 31. I went back to find the next shade down which is 21 (even though there are a lot of shades in between). 21 is the most yellow. If you’re normally my skintone go with either 21 or 25. I use both 21 and 31 mixed together to get my perfect match. For me it’s 100% worth it because this looks naturally flawless on the skin and gives me exactly the coverage I want. It also stays put the best for me. It has 3% Octinoxate and 1.75% Titanium Dioxide.
I have tried the Diorskin Forever Makeup Primer and it’s quite good. I’m just not really a primer kind of person but do think this one is one of the better ones I’ve tested.
Next up medium to full coverage foundations which is what I usually prefer. Most people, friends and family included don’t realize that I’m almost always wearing a full coverage foundation until they see me with bare skin and see all my freckles. I was active in outdoor sports while in high school and even though that was YEARS ago I still got a lot of freckles and sun spots from being outside a lot. I have tried a number of whitening/brightening treatments over the years which has helped with acne scars and dark spots but I still have a lot of freckles.
Shown left to right:
Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation and Concealer is hands down my most-worn foundation base. It offers medium to full buildable coverage and I love everything about it. For me Tom Ford Beauty has the best foundation shades to match my skin tone. It blends easily and covers my skin exactly how I like it without getting cakey. It lasts an impressive amount of time without sliding, creasing or budging. Review + swatches here.
Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation is the newest one I’ve tried. I got an early sneak peek at some of the shades and given my challenge finding a match in the Candleglow version I was skeptical about this one. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how good a formula is for a base – if there’s no decent match, it’s going to be a no-go. I was lucky to find my match to either Buff or Dusk. Right now Dusk is the better match because it’s more olive. On a few occasions I have found I need to mix in a bit of Macadamia to lighten it just a slight amount. I am extremely impressed with this formula. You do need to blend quickly as it dries and sets in a short amount of time. Once it sets it gives a flawless finish that looks matte but not flat. This is one of the few true matte finishes I’ve tried that I like the look of. I’ve found it pretty budge-proof – this is one I wore this on the 4th of July. I applied a fresh face of makeup in the early evening before we headed downtown to scope out some firework locations. I had this on from 4:00 pm until around midnight. That evening the air wasn’t too and we were thrilled that it actually stopped raining by the time we found parking and walked a mile to downtown. After looking around the Channelside area we decided downtown was not for us so we walked back to our car and drove to Hyde Park Village for dinner. After we then walked another mile to Bayshore Boulevard to watch the fireworks. All this rambling is to explain how this formula held up. The humidity was probably the highest I’ve felt here to date – this one held up remarkably well although I did get very glowy looking, it did not slide off or budge.
Giorgio Armani Power Fabric is another long-lasting full coverage foundation that works well in this heat. Before I had to mix 4 and 6. Right now I’m probably 6.5 which is more golden, but I can make 6 work. If you can find a shade match this an exceptionally good one for lasting power.
Next are cushions. I’ve always been interested in cushions but testers usually look pretty gross and also finding the right shade can be a challenge. Korean brands tend to run pink (at least the ones I’ve tried) but I’ve had luck with a few in the past. The best thing about the cushions is that they usually come with a refill pack so you’re getting 1 plus a backup. Right now there are 3 cushions I really like:
Dior Capture Totale Dreamskin Cushion is one I featured in my sunscreen story. It has SPF 50 and isn’t really a foundation but actually a skincare product. I can use this alone or as a base for other foundations. I think the swatches can be a bit misleading because you have to put this on your skin to see how it matches. 30 looks way too dark for me but because it’s sheer it blends in seamlessly with my skin.
Saturday Skin All Algow Sunscreen Perfecting Cushion Compact with SPF 50 is probably the best cushion I’ve tried. I ordered two shades online sight unseen. 05 Honey is my match as this darkens just a tiny bit on my skin. Color selection is pretty limited – so far I’ve only been able to find 4 total, 3 are available at Nordstrom and all 4 are available at Urban Outfitters. It offers medium to full coverage but pulls more towards the full size. It gives the skin a very natural looking glow without being too dewy. It also stays put and doesn’t budge. Active Ingredients are Octocrylene 2%, Octyle Methoxycinnamate 7%, Octyle Saliclate 4.8%, Titanium Dioxide 9%, Zinc Oxide 2%.
Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion has full coverage with limited shades. I bought the Brightening Version while in New York in 25 and 33 and after testing them at home was so disappointed to find they are simply too pink for my skin. I ordered the Perfecting Cushion in 25 to try instead which has fuller coverage and a better match. This darkens about one full shade on my skin. The formula is a bit on the heavy side for my preference but still holds up well in warm weather. I don’t hate this but don’t love it – I suspect it’s due to the fact that I don’t have a 100% shade match but I can make Shade 25 Deep Beige work for me.
Next are a few miscellaneous items I love for powders, concealers and a couple tools. I own a lot of loose powders but in general prefer pressed ones because they’re not as messy and easier for touch ups.
For pressed powders:
Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Skin Perfecting Micro-Powder has one of the longest product names I think I’ve ever seen but it’s seriously THE best pressed powder I’ve tried. I saw this applied in action on my BFF at a Charlotte Tilbury event. Her foundation/base had completely worn off already and she told the artist she didn’t really want to try the foundation. The artist applied #1 on her skin and it was literally transformed into a smooth flawless canvas in front of my eyes. My shade is #2 and although I think she could add more options this one has been my go-to for at least a couple years now.
Armani Luminous Silk Compact Dual-Use Powder is another great setting powder. This one has more color options compared to the Charlotte Tilbury. It offers medium natural coverage and comes with a dual-sided sponge so you can either apply it for sheer or more full coverage. I use a powder brush to set my liquid foundation with this one for the most part. The sponge is something I use for touch ups. Even though I’ve darkened quite a bit I’ve still found Shade #4 to work perfectly for me.
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium Plus is one of the few mineral powders I actually like. I tried so many when mineral powders were in – so many just looked too heavy on the skin, even after buffing it in. This one offers medium coverage and I use a brush to set my foundation. It gives an airbrushed finish but it’s not completely weightless in feel. It is a very natural looking product though and holds up well with the heat/humidity.
For concealers, I really don’t find myself using concealer a lot anymore. I simply don’t need it with good coverage foundations but my 3 most-used ones:
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer is my all around go-to for everything, spots, under eyes, red areas. It’s creamy and blends in seamlessly with the skin. Coverage is medium but can be built up. It never looks fake or cakey and stays put as long as I set it with powder.
Tools, an updated brush tool series coming up soon on the blog, but for now my two must-haves:
beautyblender is the best foundation application tool I’ve used. I’ve tried a number of the different colors and while technically they should all perform the same, I don’t find they do. The best ones for me are the original beautyblender (bright pink), bubble and nude. Review from a few years ago in this post here.
MAC Brush 140 S Synthetic Full Fan Brush is probably the best powder brush I own. It launched with the MAC Next to Nothing collection and has the perfect density and softness to pick up powder and apply it in a sweeping motion all over the face.
I wasn’t able to face swatch and photograph all the foundations, but here’s a look at two and also what my bare face looks like. With the Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Foundation in Dusk I’m just wearing the foundation (no powder to set). It was taken with a low flash and I didn’t get any white cast or flashback. Lipstick is MAC Faux.
I hope this roundup was helpful for you! A few notes on other formulas I tested, previous favorites and why I don’t use them as much now:
The Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer worked better for me when I was in San Diego. Right now it’s really too dewy for my skin type. It’s still a great product for sheer coverage.
The Make Up For Ever Ultra HD is still an amazing line for the liquid and stick foundation. I used my shades up the first month I arrived here (this was back in March). Since I’ve gotten darker I haven’t had a chance to investigate other shades to find what my current match is.
The Becca Aqua Luminous Foundation is too luminous for me right now. Earlier in the spring or even when I was here in December it worked perfectly. Right now it’s a no-go just because I have normal/combo skin.
I will be testing the new Diorskin Forever and Chanel Les Beiges cushions. Will keep you posted. I have tried the Lancome Cushion but it’s really heavy in coverage – too heavy for me.
MAC Studio Fix Fluid is one of the most full coverage foundations I’ve tried, I do like the formula but it’s a bit too opaque for me on its own. I can wear it and find it has impressive lasting power in this heat but I need to mix it with a Strobe Cream or something along those lines to sheer it out for my coverage preference.
Some final thoughts and favorites:
Best foundation for me is anything from Tom Ford, but right now my favorite formula is definitely the Waterproof Foundation/Concealer. I used to use Bisque. Now I alternate between Natural (more neutral) and Sable (more olive/yellow).
Longest lasting matte base is the new Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion. If you have normal to dry skin definitely make sure your skin is well moisturized or add a hydrating primer. Reason for this is it’s medium to full coverage and matte formulas can emphasize lines. For me this one went on flawlessly without a primer but my skin is a bit more combination with the heat/humidity.
My most-used concealer is from NARS.
Best sheer/natural looking foundation is the NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint.
Best new discoveries this year for me are the Diorskin Forever Foundation and Saturday Skin All Aglow Cushion.
I really can’t pick 1 favorite powder (sorry!) – it’s tie between the Charlotte Tilbury and Armani. If you want a flawless truly airbrushed look go with the Charlotte Tilbury. However shades are limited as there are only 3 so the next best option is Armani. The Armani has sheerer coverage with a brush.
For other touch ups and this heat I swear by the Tatcha Japanese Blotting Papers. While my in-laws were visiting we went to Orlando. All of us were sweating with the heat, humidity and thunder showers. I kinda forced them to use these – even my husband didn’t want to use it, he looked at the little square and said “there’s no way that’s going to help.” I gave them 2 each and assured them it really would help and after they tried it I was really happy to find that they did feel a lot better after using them.
Finding a good base in truly humid weather is going to be a challenge and results will definitely vary depending where you are located. Even within the Tampa Bay area humidity levels vary depending on how close I am to the coast. We live in one of the canal areas and while we aren’t directly on the bay we can see if from our house. Temperatures just a few miles inland in certain areas fluctuate and since the weather changes by the hour here so there are some times and places where it’s so hot literally nothing will truly stay put.
For those who are looking for a new base to try I hope this gave you some good ideas. If you have any you swear by let me know in the comments!
Press samples featured include the Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion, MAC Next to Nothing, Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer, MAC Brush 140S Brush. All others purchased by me.
I’m all about the natural makeup look and with the warm weather here I’ve been into items that are easy to apply and effortless to touch up on-the-go. I’ve teamed up with Nordstrom to share a few new makeup bag finds along with some previously launched staples that I’ve been loving lately. I’ve always been a sheer glossy lip or tinted balm kind of person and right now I have tons inside my bag. I featured some of my favorite neutrals last week. Today I’ve rounded up some items that will give a bit more color and life.
First, as a lover of flat pouches, I’ve found that Nordstrom just launched some great simple pouches from Delfonics. Sometimes I just want a no-nonsense basic streamlined pouch and these small PVC zipped pouches are exactly what I needed. Right now there are two sizes available online – I ordered a couple colors in both sizes because sometimes multiples are necessary depending on what you carry. The exterior is on the thin side so I’d try to keep these for smaller items or flat products but the larger one is quite roomy so you can fit a lot in the pouch. The Large Pouch measures 10 1/4”W x 7 1/4”H x 1/2”D and the Medium Pouch measures 7 1/2”W x 5 1/2”H x 1/2”D. (Sandals below by Joie.)
Warm weather beauty loves, makeup beauty details and swatches below. With hot weather I’ve been using more dry shampoo simply to refresh and touch up. The humidity levels are increasing here and so I’ve been experimenting with more. The Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo has been a long-time favorite. For touch ups I also really like the Armani Luminous Silk Powder Foundation. It sounds like it could be heavy based on the product name but it’s one of the most lightweight powders I’ve tried and I use to set my makeup and also for touchups. It looks natural and doesn’t cake up.
Bronzer has always been a must for me. I’ve reviewed quite a few luminous bronzers, like the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzers which double as a bronzer and highlighter in one. Some of you prefer a matte finish and the one I reach for the most is the Tom Ford Small Bronzing Powder in Terra. It’s sheer to medium and one of the lightest colors I own making it wearable and effortless. Another great option is the new NARS Sun Wash Diffusing Bronzer in Seaside. It’s the lightest option and looks peachy in the pan but wears beautifully on the face for a natural wash of color. Also I know some of you prefer the no-shimmer look, but the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Global Glow is one of the prettiest glowy bronze shades I own. I wear it on both the cheeks and eyes. Anytime I wear it on the face I always get asked, “what’s that pretty glowy highlight you have on your face?” and it’s usually this one.
These look dark because I swatched them with a heavy hand but I assure you they can sheer out on the face for a more natural look.
Lip products are my weakness. I always carry so many with me even though I really only need 1 or 2 products max at any given time. The Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfectors are the definition of effortless beauty when it comes to tinted balms. I have and love all the shades, Apricot Shimmer is a light sheer peach. You can just add a bit of liner like Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk for color and you’re all set. They’re really easy to touch up too.
Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss in Melted Honey is a great sheer gold shimmer to add a nice soft glow. It’s sheer so if you need more color there are others to look into like Douceur or Amuse Bouche. They’re moisturizing and add a pretty shine to the lips. Louboutin launched new Meatlinudes Loubilaques and I’m OBSESSED. All the colors are amazing! Detailed review on the entire collection to come soon but the first one I’ve put on is Bronzissima which is the prettiest flawless bronze shimmer. 100% worth the splurge.
Clarins added new shades of their Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil and two of them transform in color to your lip pH to create a unique color. Tangerine is the best kind of juicy peach red for summer.
Tom Ford launched their Clutch Sized Tinted Balms early spring and I’ve been obsessed for months. There’s a light peach shade for the neutral lip lovers in L’Odissea but I adore the sheer brights like Fathom.
Last but not least the Tom Ford Cream Powder Eye Duos have been a staple since they first launched and Naked Bronze and Golden Peach have been favorites. They’re so easy to apply even if you’re on the go. I can apply these with the fingers and it’s pretty much goof-proof. This year they launched three new shades in Young Adonis, Sun Worship and Paradiso. I’ve already reviewed these new launches but re-swatched them side by side for reference. Paradiso is indeed different from Golden Peach but they are very similar so I don’t think you need both. I prefer the cream in Paradiso and the glitter in Golden Peach.
That wraps up some of my favorites for warm weather beauty! With the heat I’ve been experimenting with different bases and will have a roundup on those in the upcoming weeks. For now I hope you liked this post for ideas on effortless beauty. I included some non-neutrals but colors that are still easy to wear and natural looking. As always I’d love to hear your favorites. What are you loving these days as we transition from the spring to summer season? You can find all my picks at Nordstrom.
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Many thanks Nordstrom for partnering to sponsor this post. Press samples include lip items from Clarins and the Tom Ford Clutch Balm.
I’m obsessed with fresh pretty neutrals for spring and I have a roundup today of some old and new things in beauty. Over the past few months some new formulas in lips, eyes and cheeks have launched and of course I had to check out the nude options. I feel like we didn’t really see any trends for spring makeup but rather more mini launches and a lot of reformulations on products. I’ve teamed up with Nordstrom today to share a look at some things I’m loving right now along with some first impressions on new formulas.
First up my favorite category for lips. I’m a gloss girl at heart even with the liquid lip trend still going strong. I have dozens of neutrals and even though so many are similar I just can’t get enough. Glosses are more forgiving on dry lips compared to lipsticks or liquid lipsticks. A few I’ve been obsessed with, shown below left to right:
My most-used lip liner these days is MAC Lip Pencil in Boldly Bare – it’s the perfect go with everything kind of rosy tone. MAC repackaged their Lipglass and changed some of the colors. I’ll do a full review soon but for now the neutrals I have top to bottom are Love Nectar, Spice, Lust, Beaux and Oh Baby.
All of these have medium coverage that shows up on the lips with the exception of Bobbi Brown Buff which is on the sheerer side.
Swatches below (I added Chanel Caramel to the mix). If you’re looking for a less expensive option to the Chanel Caramel or Caresse, I’d say MAC Lust and Spice are pretty close in color. I do think the Chanel formula is superior, the MAC ones can settle in lip lines if you don’t have a base, liner or lipstick underneath. (My go-to lip base is the MAC Prep+Prime Lip.)
Next for eyes, I still think one of the best neutral shadow palettes is Urban Decay Naked2 but I’m always looking forward to new formulas and colors. Chanel launched two new formulas called Ombre Premiere Longwear Powder Eyeshadow and Ombre Premiere Longwear Cream Eyeshadow. I ordered three sight unseen and WOW they are truly long-wearing. In the powder I ordered Flesh which is a satiny soft champagne with a very soft finely milled sheen. It’s just gorgeous! For the creams I ordered Scintillance, a peachy champagne and Undertone, a neutral brown taupe. Both have the most beautiful shimmer I’ve ever seen.
The powder has a super soft texture and has rich pigment that is easy to blend. It wears well alone or over the cream. The creams have a stiffer texture than you’d normally think of in a cream but the color is easy to pick up and blend with the little brush or with fingers. These stayed put all day from morning to evening through a hot day (it ranged from 80’s to low 90’s). I have dry lids so I don’t recommend layering the creams over each other – they set quickly to a long-wear finish without any emollient texture. I do think any powder layered over them quickly will help intensify the powder color.
I also checked out the NARS counter recently and a Velvet Shadow Stick in Siros caught my eye. I don’t know if it’s new or an older color but it’s a soft copper bronze. For those who want a tiny bit of shimmer but not frost this is a great option.
After playing around with the new Chanel and NARS I thought they looked really similar to some Tom Ford and Burberry options I had. I had to pull them out to compare for you. There are similarities but the formulas and finishes are very different. I love the Tom Ford Cream Color for Eyes but I know some of you find them a bit too emollient in which case I’d recommend you check out the Chanel Ombre Premiere because they stay put longer. The Burberry Eye Contour Shadow Stick in Pale Copper has more shimmer and is more pigmented compared to the NARS Velvet Shadow Stick in Siros.
For cheeks my go-to neutral blush is the Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic in First Love. It has the prettiest soft sheen and two colors to swirl together. I loved the formula so much I bought almost all the colors. It occurred to me that I never swatched them all so I’ve added them below. My next favorite is Ecstasy which is a pretty peach option.
Bobbi Brown launched these new Glow Sticks which are cream twist up sticks. I fell in love with Island at the counter because of the pretty soft gold sheen it has. They are emollient similar to the texture of the RMS Mix Master and Living Luminizer so if you can wear those you will like this formula/texture. If you’re super oily you may want to skip or try before you buy. On my skin Island has a barely there kind of glow. I’ve gotten tan so this one almost matches my skin tone. I wore it under blush the other day and it stayed put without getting oily. I haven’t tested it by itself yet but will keep doing so in the upcoming weeks.
Ouai launched a new Rose Hair and Body Oil and it comes in a pink tinted oil. I’m obsessed with this as a body oil. Compared to the original Hair Oil the Rose version has a less powdery scent and has a lighter more fluid texture. For the hair I feel the original Hair Oil is more versatile to use as a pre or post styling treatment. For the Rose version I tried it several different ways – the best results for me were to use it on the ends of either towel dried hair or blow dry hair that was about 70 to 80% dry. Sometimes I just want my roots to dry first so it doesn’t irritate my scalp but I want the rest of my hair to air dry. Leaving it on ends of damp hair left the hair looking soft and shiny. A little goes a very long way – it’s fluid and absorbs quickly so I thought I wasn’t getting enough the first few tries, I applied too much and it left my hair looking stringy. I only use 1 pump and evenly distribute. On the body it leaves the skin feeling lightly hydrated and soft. It’s a win for me.
Last but not least a few beauty staples that I love from Tom Ford Beauty. I’ve been playing around with different bases for the past few months but regardless of weather the Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation and Concealer wins. The name makes it seem like it might be too opaque or too heavy, but I assure you it’s not. It is full coverage but looks very natural, doesn’t cake, doesn’t oxidize and lasts all day. I love the finish and the colors in the Tom Ford line are always great for my olive/yellow skintone. My most-worn neutral polish is Sugar Dune which I highly recommend. It’s the best neutral nude pink with good smooth coverage. You do need 2 to 3 coats but the color is perfect and formula is excellent. With the hot humid weather more mascaras have started to smudge on me. The Waterproof Extreme Mascara is pure love. I need to buy another tube soon because this one is hitting the 3 month mark. It volumizes, holds the curl, doesn’t smudge and lengthens. Last but not least I think the best nude lipstick from Tom Ford is the Lips and Boys Lipstick in Bradley. I’ve featured it so many times on the blog – it’s the perfect peachy beige neutral and doesn’t wash me out. I lost mine and after looking for it for a week decided it was lost for good and bought another one.
That rounds up my latest testing of spring neutrals and new beauty launches from Nordstrom. I hope you enjoyed and if you’re on the hunt for a good neutral nude lip gloss I hope the side by side swatches help! Also be sure to check out their Gift With Purchase page. There are a lot of great GWPs going on 🙂
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Many thanks to Nordstrom for partnering to sponsor this post. Press samples include the Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation and Ouai Hair Oil (original). All others purchased by me.
Charlotte Tilbury’s latest in beauty is a new Instant Look In A Palette called Beauty Glow ($75, made in Italy). This is the darkest option of the three that have been released to date. Natural Beauty (reviewed here) was one that looked so pretty swatched on my arm but was too sheer to show up on my face. I ended up gifting it away. Seductive Beauty was launched last year with deeper options (review here) but I have not reached for it very often as I’ve found I still prefer her individual products, palette-wise I’ve found myself using the By Terry Sun Designer Palette #2 or Tom Ford Winter Soleil Palettes instead. The latest one in Beauty Glow is the best one yet. At first glance I suspected it would be too warm with the warm browns and rose gold shades but it’s actually just perfect. Quality wise everything is excellent, however I have mixed feelings about the face products. The pigment isn’t bad – just by comparison her individual Filmstar Bronze and Glows and her Cheek to Chic Blushes are so much better in terms of pigment and texture leaving me wanting a bit more for the palette. In general I feel the face products in her palettes are on the sheer side with a slightly powdery feel.
A closer look at the palette and color descriptions. These palettes are truly for the person on-the-go. It’s designed for a quick and easy look or for touch ups. It’s goof proof, simple in concept and super easy to use. If you’re into a super natural look, want as few steps as possible, but still want to look like you have some makeup on these palettes are definitely worth a look.
There are 3 eyeshadows with labeled numbers so you know what order to apply. The colors can be applied as a wash or gradient as they go from light to dark. Cheek options include bronzer/contour, two blush shades and a highlighter.
1 Eyeshadow is to brighten, it’s a shimmery peachy champagne color, I love this one!
2 Eyeshadow is a stunning shimmering copper shade, I want this in a larger pan, it has the right amount of warmth to be coppery-rose but doesn’t give me a red pink-eye look
3 Eyeshadow is a matte warm brown, pigment is excellent
4 Face is a bronze shade, it has a slight hint of shimmer but applies more like a matte
5 Cheek is a brown terracotta like blush, it looks scary in the pan but applies with a semi sheer finish and is easy to blend out
6 Cheek is a sheer coral pink with a hint of shimmer
7 Highlight is a pale off-white shimmer on my skin
Swatches with a medium hand:
Swatches with a heavier hand:
Quick five-minute face (if you exclude foundation and base application because that usually takes me a while):
Foundation is Diorskin Forever Perfect Foundation in 30 Medium Beige (I’m experimenting with both 30 and 31 as I’m changing color by the day, even 5 minutes of sun here is pretty intense but if I stay out of the sun for a couple days then I lose color just as fast as I darken)
Top by Caslon (for sizing reference I went with a PXS)
A quick look at Seductive Beauty vs Beauty Glow. For some reason this round I couldn’t fit all the swatches on one arm. I’ve done it before so I don’t know why I had so much trouble this round. You can see Seductive Beauty review in this post here.
One last look:
Overall thoughts are this is a good palette. I think that it is the best one she has launched to date. I love the shadows in this palette and wish I could buy them all separately. I’m going to have to hunt for a good dupe on the Eye #2 color because it’s just perfect. The cheek colors are smooth and have sheer to medium color payoff. Again I don’t think they are bad, it’s just that her individual face products are far superior in quality and texture (at least in my opinion) so by comparison they’re just ok. I think the entire set is worth the $75 price point for a combination of factors: color selection, pigment, convenience, ease of use and quality. That being said if there are only a handful of shades you like then I’d say pass and buy something you think you’ll use more of.
You can find the Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette in Beauty Glow online at Charlotte Tilbury. Have you tried this yet? What did you think? If you have any rose-gold shadow favorites let me know! So far I still have and love the Urban Decay Naked3 which has some amazing rose shades but doesn’t have warm options. Always on the hunt for wearable rose-gold copper ones – they are hard to come by for me!
Beauty Glow Palette and Legendary Brows featured were press samples.
Charlotte Tilbury launched a new set called The Supermodel Brow Lift Kit ($124) containing 5 of her essentials for creating her flawless eyebrow look. I’ve already tried a few of the items individually in the past and I think it’s great that Charlotte Tilbury has launched some sets for those who are just starting to get into her line. This kit allows you to choose your own colors, if you were to buy everything separately it would retail at $138.50 so you do get a bit of a price break with the set. What’s inside the kit:
Legendary Brows Brow Gel
Brow Lift Brow Pencil
The Retoucher Conceal and Treat Stick
Life Changing Lashes Eyelash Curler
Full Fat Glossy Lashes Mascara in Black
Up first are the Brow Lift brow pencil and Legendary Brows gel. I selected the color Supermodel for both which is a good neutral-cool medium-deep brown. I have dark black hair but it has a lot of natural streaks of red and brown so pure black is often too harsh and some browns contain red which is a no-go for me. Supermodel is a deep enough to look natural on me and doesn’t look harsh.
The Brow Lift brow pencil has beveled tip and it’s a twist up on one side with product and a brush at the other end. It has a slightly waxy feel which helps fill in sparse areas. The color and texture are really good and easy to apply.
The Legendary Brows comes in a clear shade which I’ve tried and liked. I was really interested to try the tinted version which I like a lot better. It helps add a bit more definition in a natural way and does help to keep flyaways in place.
Here’s what the Supermodel brow pencil and gel look like on me, since I have odd-shaped brows I usually go light with product because one swipe too much ends up looking really harsh. Foundation shade worn is the Becca Aqualuminous Foundation in Light and Beige mixed (review here), on the lips is MAC Lustre Lipstick from the Work it Out collection Testosterone (review here). It’s barely noticeable but on the cheeks is a sheer wash of the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow duo in the lighter option (both options on the face here).
If any of you want a more comprehensive brow post for natural brows let me know and I’ll put one together with thoughts on some powder formulas and tools I like. Let me know in the comments!
Up next are the Full Fat Lashes Mascara in Glossy Black and the Life Changing Lashes curler. I’ve tried both and I think the mascara is just ok. I have super straight lashes so I need a lot of volumizing for them to show up. What I do like about the mascara is that it’s a true black, it doesn’t clump and is pretty good at not smudging. It doesn’t hold my curl and it doesn’t add much volume but everyone I’ve talked to about this in person loves this one.
For the Life Changing Lashes curler I bought one a few years ago when her line launched. I no longer own it because it got so much use and wear I had to throw it away. I haven’t repurchased or looked at them since – not until this kit arrived for review. For some reason I feel like the one she has right now has been improved – it feels a bit larger in size and more hefty than the original (which I really liked). The one she has now is still very good. The curler portion seems to be larger but since I don’t have the original one I owned I can’t really compare – if you have purchased them before let me know if you think there’s a difference. It does a great job at curling without pinching. The rosegold finish is just so pretty!
Swatches of the set, first without flash:
Last but not least is The Retoucher Concealer. This is a twist up with brush kind of concealer. I’ve owned #3 in the past and used it up but since then have gotten around 1 to 1.5 shade lighter in color. Of course now that I’ve been in Florida for a month now I’ve gotten a bit of a tan with the outdoors so I’m in between shades. Right now #2 works well to brighten the under eye area perfectly for me. It has medium smooth coverage and gives a natural looking finish. If you need more coverage I would say this is not the best for blemishes or dark spots. I used mine up to the end and planned on repurchasing but have a lot of other formulas I’m testing so never got around to it.
Bottom line this is a great kit for easy to do brows. You can use the Retoucher under the brow bone to highlight or open up the eyes and also underneath to brighten. The soft emollient blendable texture makes for a nice natural look. I love both of the brow products for a natural easy everyday kind of look. The only item I’m not crazy about is the mascara but I’m going to try experimenting with some primers and lash bases to see if I can try to make it hold the curl better.
Charlotte Tilbury has launched two new lipsticks in Pillow Talk and Valentine for spring, both currently exclusive online to Charlotte Tilbury. True to her style of wanting to help women create an entire look, she also has launched corresponding look sets with existing permanent colors for eyes and lips to go with each lipstick color. Pillow Talk is a pinky nude and comes in the Matte Revolution formula and matches the Lip Cheat Lip Pencil in Pillow Talk exactly. The color is one of my favorites for liners and the idea of launching it in a lipstick is just pure genius. Valentine is in the K.I.S.S.I.N.G formula and is a baby pink. I think Charlotte Tilbury makes some of the best neutrals and light nudes for the lips and this one has a very girly soft romantic vibe. Both colors have medium coverage that is buildable to full coverage.
Pillow Talk is a pinky nude, depending on the light it can look more coral or warm, but for the most part it’s a neutral nude pink color. I find it similar to Very Victoria Matte Revolution but Pillow Talk is warmer and by comparison makes Very Victoria look like it has a slight grey undertone. This is the perfect everyday neutral – not too light, not too dark, not too pink and yet not too brown.
Valentine K.I.S.S.I.N.G lipstick is a baby pink. I suspect it might not be the easiest for everyone to pull off. I think Bitch Perfect is easier to wear because it’s slightly deeper and also has just a tad bit more beige.
I received the Naturally Beautiful Date Look Makeup Kit with Pillow Talk for review but being the Charlotte Tilbury fan that I am, I actually already own all the items in the set from previous purchases. Love Glow Cheek to Chic blush is one of the prettiest soft glowy blushes I own. Since I don’t believe I reviewed the Golden Goddess or Love Glow items before I’ve swatched them here for reference. You can buy the items individually or in the set:
Love Glow in Cheek to Chic Blush has a mix of soft pink and peach to brighten the skin, it has a soft shimmer that glows but doesn’t look frosted
Feline Flick Eyeliner is a true black liquid liner
Full Fat Lashes is a thick black mascara
Luxury Eyeshadow Palette in Golden Goddess has a shimmering sand, olive brown tan shimmer, brown glitter (this is one of her least glittery shades therefore making it really wearable even for everyday), shimmering bronze
Pillow Talk Matte Revolution
Pillow Talk Lip Cheat Lip Pencil
Quick look using the Pillow Talk Naturally Beautiful Date Look kit. Foundation worn is the Armani Power Fabric in Shade 4 (c/o) and 6 mixed (still testing but will have review soon).
For those who like the comparisons, two sets below in case you want to shop your stash for similar colors. I’ll say right now I think Pillow Talk Matte Revolution is a must-have. It’s one I know I’ll be reaching for frequently. It’s a great neutral that won’t wash out the complexion and isn’t too light.
I’m beyond obsessed with the Pillow Talk in lipstick form. I hope it’s permanent and here to stay because the color is just perfect. I like Valentine but I think it’s one of those shades that might be higher maintenance for some just because it’s lighter. Valentine is definitely wearable even with my pigmented lips but I prefer Pillow Talk all the way.
You can find both shades now exclusively online at Charlotte Tilbury. Pillow Talk Matte Revolution and Valentine KISSING Lipstick are $32 each. Look sets range in price depending on what is in each kit (products vary per look). The Secret to Seduction Look is $165. The Naturally Beautiful Date Look is $190.
Are these on your radar or wishlist?
The Naturally Beautiful Date Look set provided for review. Valentine purchased by me.