Browsing Tag

Concealer

Base Makeup

Concealer Roundup: Cle de Peau Beaute, MAC, First Aid Beauty, Cover FX + Sisley

November 8, 2018

Concealer Roundup Cle de Peau, Cover FX, MAC and Sisley

I have a concealer roundup today on some newer formulas I’ve been testing from a number of brands. Today I’m covering concealers from Cle de Peau Beaute, MAC, First Aid Beauty, Cover FX, Sisley plus another look at Charlotte Tilbury. There are so many different types of concealers on the market and each formula has a different purpose. Finding one that works for you truly depends on where you want to use it, how much coverage you want and also your skin type. Your moisturizer and foundation routine are also important in finding formulas that are right for you depending on whether or not they contain silicone, if they’re oil-free or not, etc. I’ll be giving you my thoughts on each formula and how I think they work the best. At the end I’ll give my recommendations by coverage/type.

I do want to mention briefly that I appreciate the discussions these days about expanding shade ranges and inclusion. Many brands still have a long way to go including some of the ones I’m featuring today. I know readers who are very fair or very deep have challenges finding options they can wear when color ranges are so limited. I think bringing awareness to brands about color gaps will help them learn more about where they need to expand. We’ve seen some brands take the feedback to heart and expand their ranges!

First is a look at the First Aid Beauty Hello Fab Bendy Avocado Concealer ($22 for 0.17 oz/4.8 g). This is one of the few I feel rivals my favorite NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. In general I like a creamy concealer that has a medium coverage. I don’t usually do spot cover-ups – usually under the eyes or around the nose/mouth where I have redness. For the most part my foundation does most of the covering I need. The First Aid Beauty Hello Fab concealer has a luminous finish that is weightless and glides onto the skin. I like that it’s been compatible with all the foundations I’ve tried. It doesn’t drag, cake or crease. It blends in well with the skin. I like Shade 3 the best for brightening. It comes with a soft flexible sponge tip applicator which I like the best. Available in 7 shades at Sephora and First Aid Beauty.

First Aid Beauty Hello Fab Concealer Review | The Beauty Look Book

First Aid Beauty Hello Fab Bendy Avocado Concealer swatches

MAC Studio Fix 24 Hour Liquid Concealer ($22 for 7 ml) is another great option that’s multi-purpose. It has medium to full coverage on me. It’s creamy and blends in easily with the skin. I can use it to brighten or spot conceal and it does last on me all day without budging. It has more coverage compared to the First Aid Beauty and NARS options with a slightly more opaque feel. It comes in 33 shades in both warm and cool undertones. I found the colors ran a little bit lighter than the other MAC concealers I’ve tried. I use NC35 in the Pro Longwear Concealer (full coverage and thick). In the Studio Fix 24 Hour version I found NC38 and 40 to be a better match. I haven’t tested it for a full 24 hours but it did last all day on me. Under the eyes it can pull a bit heavy especially if you have dry skin in which case I’d recommend you just make sure your under eye is primed with a good serum or opt for something more creamy or emollient like the First Aid Beauty or NARS options. Available at MAC, Nordstrom, Ulta Beauty.

MAC Studio Fix 24-Hour Liquid Concealer review and swatches

MAC Studio Fix 24-Hour Liquid Concealer swatches

Cle de Peau Beaute is a brand I try to stay away from because I’m always afraid I’ll fall in love with something but don’t want to because of the high price points. The quality cannot be beat in many of their products. Their Concealer was a go-to for a long time for opaque full coverage. I used to use the colors Beige and Almond. Since moving to Florida I have darkened and am more tan so Ocher is the color I use now. They reformulated the Concealer with SPF 25 ($70 for 5g/0.17 oz) and I found it to perform the same as the original. It’s very opaque and a little goes a long way. Since it is very opaque if you’re using it under eyes I find the best way for me to apply is by warming up a little on the finger then dabbing it under the eyes and blend. A number of you asked for a review on the Radiant Corrector for Eyes ($65 for 2.2 ml/0.08 oz). This is easier to use under the eyes for me. It comes in a click applicator with brush. It has enough coverage and pigment to cover some darkness. It is more emollient and creamier so it does not have a flat matte finish like the stick. Even though I consider myself a die-hard NARS fan I find myself reaching for this one a lot for under the eyes. Color-wise the Concealer Stick in Ocher has always been slightly too olive for me but it does work once blended. The Radiant Corrector for Eyes in Ocher has a little bit more gold which is perfect for me right now. I also did look at Almond which on my tan skin looked a little pink. When it comes to under eyes I don’t need an exact match – sometimes having a little peach or pink can really help to counter darkness. I could have gone either way, but picked Ocher since I tan really easily. Both are available at multiple retailers, I usually purchase my items direct from Cle de Peau, Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus.

Cle de Peau Concealer and Radiant Corrector for Eyes Ocher

I re-swatched all the Cle de Peau stick concealers below from a sampler card I got as a GWP. I only have 1 swatch for the Radiant Corrector in Ocher which is the one I bought.

Cle de Peau Concealer Swatches

Sisley Stylo Lumiere Radiance Booster Pen ($65 each) comes in 4 shades and is a highlighting pen I like to use in place of concealer under the eyes. This really does give the complexion a brightened radiant look and to me performs better than the cult classic YSL Touche Eclat. Coverage is medium and natural. I simply twist click the product into the sponge and apply directly on the face in a few dots under the eyes – usually 3 per eye. Then I blend with fingers and set with powder. It stays put on me all day long. I use Shade 3 and really wish it came in more color options for others – the formula is really good! Available at Sisley-Paris, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Beautylish.

Sisley Stylo Lumiere Concealer review

Sisley Stylo Lumiere Concealer review swatches

Cover FX Power Play Concealer ($30 for 10 ml) is a full coverage concealer. It’s one of the best full-coverage concealers I’ve tried for spot coverage. They also say you can use to highlight and contour – I’ve tried both and for me the coverage is really opaque and intense so using it for either works only if my base is slightly dewy. If I use a tinted moisturizer or glowy base I can add the Power Play on top to add more coverage, highlight or correct under the eyes. If I use a full coverage base underneath this concealer can be prone to dragging because it does have a semi-matte finish. The good things about this formula: it has smooth full coverage, comes in a wide shade range, stays put and doesn’t crease. They have a useful chart to help you find your shades. I use G40 and G50 mixed in the Power Play foundation (reviewed here). I found the colors G Medium 1 or 2 worked best for me.

I do not think this will work for you if you have super dry skin or use a super matte foundation. I do think dry skin can be adjusted by making sure you are well moisturized and primed, but if you have a lot of fine lines or creases this may emphasize them. Your best bet is to go to a Sephora or Ulta and try in person. I do think the Cover FX line is great for the variety of undertones they have. I struggle to find yellow/golden colors and they have the G range which is great for me. They also have the G+ range which is more olive than I can wear, but great for those who are truly olive.

For spot coverage this is a win. For under eyes/highlighting I have other favorites as this one is very opaque and I prefer more creamy/sheer for those areas.

Cover FX Power Play Concealer medium shades

Cover FX Power Play Concealer medium shades

Last but not least I wanted to give the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away another look since it’s newer and thought it would be helpful to put in the roundup. I still really like this for a full coverage concealer and for me it does work under the eyes. I find it compatible with the Charlotte Tilbury foundations which are natural in finish. A large number of you have messaged me on social that you had challenges with this formula to which I have a few thoughts. One is a little goes a very long way – you just need a tiny bit! Two is the applicator can be problematic when applying and blending. I use the applicator to dot on areas I want to apply then blend with a separate sponge. Three is that since it’s so opaque and full coverage it probably will not be good under the eyes if you have dry skin. I’d recommend priming the area with a nice emollient serum or any of her glow products. My full review here.

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Concealer 6

Concealer Swatches NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away, MAC Studio Fix 24 hour wear

Based on all the new product testing I think there are some nice options for concealing whether you’re looking for a spot concealer or under eye brightener. Thoughts on which formulas I think are best:

  • For under the eyes my top picks are the First Aid Beauty, Sisley Stylo Lumiere and Cle de Peau Radiant Corrector for Eyes
  • For spot concealing I think the Cle de Peau, Cover FX and Charlotte Tilbury are the best
  • Best versatile formulas are the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer and MAC 24-Hour
  • Best highlighting formula is the NARS and First Aid Beauty formulas
  • Favorite formula is still the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer

That wraps up my concealer roundup review! I hope you found this helpful. I didn’t mention about setting but I always set everything with a powder to make it last. My favorite powders in this post here. If you’ve tried any of these let me know in the comments what worked or what didn’t!

Update: I’ve been getting a lot of questions about other formulas. These aren’t all the ones I’ve tried, this roundup just covers the newer more recent launches. A few other reviews you may find helpful:

Press samples include the MAC 24-Hour Concealer, Cover FX Power Play, Sisley Stylo Lumiere and First Aid Beauty Hello Fab.

 

Base Makeup Charlotte Tilbury Eye Makeup

New Charlotte Tilbury Magic Powder, Magic Away Concealer + Stars In Your Eyes Palette

October 14, 2018

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Concealer, Magic Powder and Stars in Your Eyes Palette Review

Today I’m covering a few new launches from Charlotte Tilbury including her Genius Magic Powder ($45), Magic Away Concealer ($32) and swatches of the new Stars In Your Eyes Palette ($75). I’ve been the biggest fan of her Airbrush Flawless Finish Pressed Powder in #2 for years now. It’s one I still swear by today and I was really excited to put her new face products to the test. I hauled everything from Nordstrom and two of the three products I hauled are hits.

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Concealer, Magic Powder and Stars in Your Eyes Palette Review

Magic Powder + Magic Away Concealer

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Concealer, Magic Powder Review

Up first is a look at her new face products. The Magic Powder is a loose powder for under the eyes and all over the face. It’s a soft light-diffusing powder to blur the skin. I find that the Airbrush Flawless Pressed and Magic Powder Loose colors don’t match with the same numbers. #2 in the pressed is a perfect match for me while #2 in the loose is significantly lighter in color but it does have a translucent feel to me. The powder itself has a really nice matte effect without looking flat or cakey even though the color is pale. The jar seems well made and has a twist lid inside so you can keep powder from flying around when you store it. The only downside is the smell – it has a very strong plastic smell which I thought was the packaging, which could be the culprit. But if it is, it is also in the powder and it’s pretty bad. The good news is that once it’s on the face and sets, the smell dissipates after a while. Still it’s a scent I don’t think any makeup product should have. A quick look at the product description says it’s made of veggie powder and natural oils to absorb oil and condition the skin at the same time. This could be the reason it smells. For now I’m going to stick with the pressed version and other brands of loose powders. My favorites rounded up and reviewed here.

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Powder vs Flawless Pressed Shade 2

Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Pressed Powder, Magic Powder, Magic Away Concealer, Magic Foundation swatches

The Magic Away Liquid Concealer is a hit! I ordered two shades 6 and 7 sight unseen based on the fact that I mix the Magic Foundation in 6 and 7. Both concealer shades work for me, 6 is a good brightening color but 7 is an exact match for my tan skin right now. It’s a smooth finish, full coverage concealer with a sponge tip applicator. I actually prefer tube or wand applicators but this one works to blend out the product right on the face without having to use another sponge. I’ve been a die-hard fan of the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer for under eyes because I need something that is a little bit dewy. This comes in very close second. The Charlotte Tilbury has full perfect coverage, stays put, blends easily and does remove the subtle darkness I have under my eyes some mornings. Shade 6 applied below:

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Concealer 6

Left is applied heavily straight from the tube, you can apply as much or as little as you want. I did a heavy face swatch so you could see the color and texture. Right side is completely blended out with a sponge. Also wearing a mix of Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation in 6+7 mixed all over the face, Diorshow Brow Styler in Universal Brown and NARS Velvet Lip Glide in Swing on the lips. Top from Madewell.

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Concealer 6

I’ve swatched the concealer below next to the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard, Macadamia and Ginger. I’ve also included one of the new MAC Studio Fix 24 Hour Wear Concealers in NC35, NC38 and NC40 (reviewing these soon, but I find this formula runs a tad bit lighter than the foundations).

Concealer Swatches NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away, MAC Studio Fix 24 hour wear

Stars in Your Eyes Palette

The Stars in Your Eyes Palette is new for the season and it is one of the most beautiful warm palettes I’ve tried. I still don’t consider myself as really loving the red/warm eye shadow trend that’s been going on for a while, but this one is very wearable, doesn’t look too warm on my skin and has excellent color payoff. There is a mix of matte and shimmers. I think it’s a significant improvement compared to last years which I bought and still use but find high maintenance because it takes me a lot of layering to get the pigment I want. This year’s is perfect in every way for me.

Charlotte Tilbury Stars in Your Eyes Palette Review

This one has four sets of color-themed trios designed to Prime, Enhance and Smoke, but you can mix and match any of the combinations.

  • Love Eyes has a matte cream, shimmery rose gold, matte warm rose
  • Power Eyes has a shimmery soft gold, pale champagne shimmer, shimmery bronze
  • Happy Eyes has a rosy shimmer, warm soft brown matte, deeper soft brown matte
  • Confident Eyes has a shimmery mauve, shimmery plum and matte plum purple

Charlotte Tilbury Stars in Your Eyes Palette swatches

Below wearing a mix of Stars in Your Eyes Palette Love Eyes and Happy Eyes, First Love Chic to Cheek Blush and NARS Velvet Lip Glide in Swing, same base as mentioned above:

Charlotte Tilbury Stars in Your Eyes Palette Review

As much as I love the pretty rose gold packaging it makes photographing product difficult. Colors will look slightly different in photos depending on what you see in the reflection, so I’ve included two photos, one with flash, one without.

Charlotte Tilbury Stars in Your Eyes Palette Review

Charlotte Tilbury Stars in Your Eyes Palette Review + Swatches

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Concealer, Magic Powder and Stars in Your Eyes Palette Review

Overall I highly recommend the Magic Away Concealer. I think it’s worth a look if you want a full coverage, smooth creamy concealer. It doesn’t cake or crease on me under the eyes and it also has enough pigment that you can use it to cover spots like sun spots or dark circles. I find it has better coverage than her other formulas. The Stars in Your Eyes Palette was a pleasant hit given last year’s formula was just ok for me. I’m thrilled that even though it’s warm toned it’s not too red or warm and easy to wear. The Magic Powder was something I had such high hopes for. The shades are a bit odd to me because the numbers don’t match in different formulas and the smell is so bad, but as a product it works on my face just fine. For now if you’re in the market for a new loose powder I’d say my top picks are the Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder and Laura Mercier Translucent Loose (both compared here).

You can find the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Concealer, Powder and Stars in Your Eyes Palette at Nordstrom. Also available online at Charlotte Tilbury.

Have you tried any of these yet? What did you think?

 

Charlotte Tilbury

Charlotte Tilbury The Supermodel Brow Lift Kit Review

March 29, 2017

Charlotte Tilbury Supermodel Brow Kit | The Beauty Look Book

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:

  1. Legendary Brows Brow Gel
  2. Brow Lift Brow Pencil
  3. The Retoucher Conceal and Treat Stick
  4. Life Changing Lashes Eyelash Curler
  5. 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.

Charlotte Tilbury Supermodel Brow Kit | The Beauty Look Book

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).

Beauty Look Book Brows Charlotte Tilbury

Brow swatch comparisons: Diorshow Brow Styler in Universal Brown is my most-used brow pencil because it’s the easiest for me to use without overdoing it, Kevyn Aucoin Precision Brown Pencil Brunette is darker, Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Medium Brown has a bit more warmth, Tom Ford Brow Sculptor Espresso is my second most-used pencil because the color works for me, Glossier Boy Brow in Brown is a good one for natural brows and runs a bit lighter but still works for my dark hair, Tom Ford Fiber Brow Gel in Espresso is my favorite tinted brow gel because the tiny fibers help fill in the brow naturally, By Terry Brow Mascara in Dark Brown was my first tinted brow product which I’ve repurchased many times.

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!

Brow Pencil and Brow Gel comparisons | The Beauty Look Book

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.

Charlotte Tilbury Supermodel Brow Kit | The Beauty Look Book

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!

Charlotte Tilbury Life Changing Lashes Curler | The Beauty Look Book

Swatches of the set, first without flash:

With 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.

Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher Concealer | The Beauty Look Book

I swatched them all in a concealer story I did a while back but am reposting for reference:

Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher Concealer Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

Charlotte Tilbury Supermodel Brow Kit Review | The Beauty Look Book

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.

You can find the The Supermodel Brow Lift Kit online now at Charlotte Tilbury for $124. Have you tried any of these before? If so what did you think? If not do you have any go-to brow products?

Brow kit provided courtesy of Charlotte Tilbury for review.

Base Makeup NARS

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer vs Radiant Creamy Concealer

February 17, 2017

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer vs Radiant Creamy Concealer | The Beauty Look Book

NARS launched a new concealer called the Soft Matte Complete Concealer ($30 for 0.21 oz) and being the fan that I am of their bases I knew I had to try it. To date the Radiant Creamy Concealer ($30 for 0.22 oz) has been one of my favorites for under the eye and around the nose to help with redness and create a more brighter more awake look. Since I tan easily and also because I use a different shade under the eyes versus spot concealing, I rotate between three shades. I used to mix Custard and Ginger together for my best match. Then NARS added another color in between which is Macadamia with slight peachy tones. This one is perfect for me as I actually prefer something with the tiniest bit of peach for under eyes. The warmth helps brighten the eye are for me. For the Soft Matte Complete Concealer, I ordered the same three shades. The colors are pretty close between formulas for the ones I bought, not identical but pretty close.

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer vs Radiant Creamy Concealer | The Beauty Look Book

The Soft Matte Complete Concealer offers full-coverage finish with a soft matte look. It’s oil free, light weight yet ultra pigmented so a little goes a long way. It feels creamy and soft to the touch, almost like it has just the slightest bit of bounce. I tried it under the eyes and on a few spots using the finger to dab and blend. Under the eyes it was like an instant eye lift with a blurring effect. It didn’t cake or darken and lasted all day (I did set with powder). For spots it didn’t cover them 100%, but I would say that it still did a really good job at covering them to about 85% of the way. For the corners around the nose it works well to reduce redness.

Color-wise these look a bit dark in the pot. Also side by side I thought they all looked the same in the container. Even when swatched on the back of my hand and arm I thought they were all going to be too dark but they actually work better than I expected on the face. I love that it blends effortlessly on the skin and even though the coverage is near full it still manages to look natural on the skin. I will say that I have normal combo skin – since it’s matte and opaque I do think if you have dry under eyes it could emphasize dry patches. In this case I would just make sure you have a good primer to hydrate the eye area (I like the Marc Jacobs Coconut Primer for dry skin days).

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer vs Radiant Creamy Concealer | The Beauty Look Book

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer

3 shades of the matte formula swatched on the face, under eye area and along jawline, on the lips is Kat Von D Beauty Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Ludwig:

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer | The Beauty Look Book

Custard was too light for me, but I put Macadamia on one side and Ginger on the other, both look like they’re a good match, right now I have a slight preference for Macdamia:

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer | The Beauty Look Book

The Radiant Creamy Concealer has been a long-time go-to for me. I tend to prefer something with a tiny bit of radiance because I find it blends better on my skin type and also looks more natural. Matte often looks too opaque, too matte and therefore a bit fake on the skin. For years the Radiant Creamy Concealer was one of the few I could use under the eyes no matter what condition my skin was in regardless of season and weather. I still love it.

If I had to pick one, I would say Radiant Creamy wins because of the packaging and also because I like something a bit more creamy. I’m not the biggest fan of pots because they tend to get messy. I also really don’t like matte finishes because I find they don’t work the best with my skin – they tend to emphasize pores, imperfections and look cakey. However for a matte formula the new Soft Matte Complete Concealer is seriously impressive and I do think it’s worth owning even if you have the other formulas. I found it easy to blend, but that being said if you need something with a bit more slip to blend easier, go with (or stick with) the Radiant Creamy Concealer formula.

I didn’t swatch the Radiant Creamy one on the face as it blends out slightly sheerer so it’s a bit more forgiving color-wise. When I use any of the shades, Custard, Macadamia or Ginger, it blends to match the skin really well – it looks so natural you can barely tell there’s anything on the face. I do have side by sides of the corresponding shades in both formulas. You can see the difference in finish. Colors are pretty close but I feel the Radiant Creamy formula has slightly more yellow undertones.

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer vs Radiant Creamy Concealer | The Beauty Look Book

Bottom line a solid win. Macadamia is the best match for me, but if I need a bit of brightening I can mix in some of the Custard to lighten or brighten certain areas. Since I tan easily I suspect Ginger will be a match within the next few months and as I’m often in between shades I don’t mind owning multiple colors so I can mix them as I transition between colors. I don’t know how I feel about the pot style. I’ve avoided this type of packaging for years and a quick look at my concealer stash shows that they are literally all either wands or twist/click up pens. I also don’t like that NARS does that matte almost velvety finish packaging on their face products because it gets dirty so easily. If you get any bit of concealer or cream product on it, it’s pretty much stuck there forever (I’ve tried getting it off, but it’s near impossible). It’s not a deal breaker though and that’s just me being picky.

You can find both the Soft Matte Complete Concealer and Radiant Creamy Concealer at all counters now. I bought the new Soft Matte Complete Concealer from Sephora. It’s also available at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Barneys New York and all other NARS counters.

Have you tried this one yet? What did you think? If not, what are your current go-to concealers?

P.S. I’m also testing out concealer formulas from Too Faced, Tarte and will compare them to Kat Von D in the next couple of weeks.

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Base Makeup Laura Mercier

Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder and Candleglow Concealer and Highlighter

October 31, 2016
Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder and Candleglow Concealer and Highlighter

 

Laura Mercier added two new items to her Candleglow Collection with a Sheer Perfecting Powder ($38 for 9 g / 0.3 oz) and Candleglow Concealer and Highlighter ($32 for 2.2 ml/ 0.07 fl oz). I received some press samples but also ordered one of the powders sight unseen online as I was unsure of what color I would be. The color options are on the small side with six powders and seven concealer shades but I will say up front the range is pretty wide – if you have medium to deep skin tone I think there’s a good chance there will be a match for you.

 

I reviewed her Candleglow Foundation earlier this year back in February and still find it to be a very good for giving medium natural-looking coverage with a dewy but not too dewy finish. I still am in between shades and have to mix colors (I mix Dusk and Golden, although there is a possibility there is a better match – I just haven’t had a chance to reinvestigate). The Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powders have a soft finish which makes the colors more forgiving if you don’t have a 100% exact match.

 

Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder - The Beauty Look Book

 

I can use either #1 or #2 to set my foundation and I am beyond obsessed with both. The color difference is noticeable on my face if I apply one on each side to set. Dusted and applied to the whole face both give the face a gorgeous flawless finish that is matte and radiant at the same time. There are shimmer particles to the powders which are apparent with a heavy swatch. On the face it gives a subtle glow much like the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders in Dim Light or Diffused Light. Ithink the colors for the Laura Mercier Candleglow powders work better for my skintone compared to the Hourglass ones in terms of setting powders.

 

Lasting power is very good and it stays put well. After a few hours I don’t look like a greaseball. It has a forgiving finish like the Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour powders. #3 is too dark to set for all over the face but I can use it as a soft wearable contour to warm up the complexion.

 

Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder - The Beauty Look Book

 

Swatched with a heavy hand to show the color which makes the shimmer glow more apparent. On the face when dusted with any powder brush the shimmer is softer for a very natural glow:

 

Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder - The Beauty Look Book

 

Some comparisons for packaging and also color:

 

Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder vs Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders - The Beauty Look Book

 

To date the Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Finish Powder in #2 is my holy grail setting pressed powder because it really does give the skin a flawless finish, doesn’t darken and doesn’t make the face look flat. Now that I’ve tried the Laura Mercier it is now tied as my second favorite pressed setting powder. Swatches next to the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders in Dim Light and Diffused Light. I added the Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder in Bronze #2 to compare below.

 

Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder vs Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders - The Beauty Look Book

 

Up next are the Candleglow Concealer and Highlighters. These come in a click-type of pen applicator with a puffy sponge tip. My best match is #2 which is an exact match for my under eye area. For this one, the coverage is medium in coverage under eyes and the applicator is very soft to the touch. It has a hydrating glowy feel but isn’t heavy. I have mixed feelings about this one – for my undereye area it just doesn’t offer enough coverage. Texture wise it’s good. There are few concealers I can wear under my eye area because most look super patchy or emphasize fine lines and end up making my skin look dry and aged. The Candleglow works well to covers dark circles and brightens and the fact that it has a dewy finish makes it so it feels nice and blends well and does not look dry. I just need more visible coverage so this one is not for me right now.

 

To use as a highlighter on the face works better for me, however given the packaging design I think layering it on the face, especially if you layer over foundation will get the applicator dirty fast. I suspect it might be easy to clean off with a bit of cleansing water and cotton pad.
If you’re one who finds you only need a little bit of extra coverage this is a nice one to check out. If you need more noticeable coverage, I’d say opt for the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealers or NARS Radiant Creamy Concealers instead.

 

Laura Mercier Candleglow Concealer Highlighter - The Beauty Look Book

 

Laura Mercier Candleglow Concealer Highlighter - The Beauty Look Book

 

Laura Mercier Candleglow Concealer Highlighter - The Beauty Look Book

 

Swatch comparisons below to MAC Prolongwear Concealer in NC35, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard, Macadamia, Ginger, Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher #3 (which is too dark for me now) and Natasha Denona Eye Light #2.

 

Laura Mercier Candleglow Concealer Highlighter vs NARS MAC Natasha Denona - The Beauty Look Book

 

Overall I’m 100% in love with the new Candleglow Sheer Setting Powders. I love the finish, the subtle barely there glow, the lasting power and color selection. They have the perfect glowy finish that won’t give you that frosted look and I really like that they are sheer and natural but not invisible. The Concealers are ok – I think finding the right concealer depends on so many factors such as skin type, coverage preference and skin tone. For me they aren’t my favorite. I don’t think they are bad, I just prefer more coverage when it comes to concealers. (Ingredients are listed on each page on Sephora.)

 

You can find both the Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder and Candleglow Concealer and Highlighter at Laura Mercier counters now. Online at Laura Mercier, Sephora, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom.

 

Laura Mercier Candleglow Setting Powders and Candleglow Concealers provided for review consideration. Powder #3 purchased by me.

 

Base Makeup Eye Makeup

Natasha Denona Star Palette, Eye Light Highlighting Concealer, Eye Shadow Base and Mascarade Mascara Launches

October 28, 2016
Natasha Denona Star Palette - The Beauty Look Book

Natasha Denona’s Star Palette ($169) launches today at Sephora and Beautylish and it’s a stunning beauty with 18 eyeshadows. The shadows are cased in a magnetic flat palette similar to the Eyeshadow 28 Palette (Green Brown reviewed and swatched here). The overall color theme of the Star Palette is warm, bold and glitzy. She’s launched some other basics for eyes over the past few months and today I have a roundup to share with you today.

Natasha Denona Star Palette - The Beauty Look Book

In today’s review includes:

Up first is the Star Palette which is just breathtaking at first glance. I’ll say up front it probably will most likely not be for everyone just
based on the color options, especially if you’re on the conservative
side for makeup. I rarely ever wear glitter shadow (except for ones by
Tom Ford and Charlotte Tilbury) as it’s not something I feel comfortable
wearing. I also don’t wear reds or wine colors on my eyes. Still this palette has a mix of colors and textures that is mesmerizing. In general I really like Natasha Denona’s mattes and shimmers – they are really great in quality, smooth in texture and have the prettiest finishes. Her glitters come in a mix of really fine shimmer/glitter and then chunky. Out of all the colors in this palette I would say there are 2 glitters I won’t wear and 2 of the reds that I don’t think I would wear on my eyes.

The left side of the palette has:

  • Spectrum is an antique gold sparkle with tiny micro glitters
  • Earth is a dark chocolate matte brown
  • Bellatrix is a metallic peachy champagne
  • Flesh is a matte warm peach flesh
  • Orion is a duo-chrome blue brown shimmer
  • Gemma is a soft satiny brown plum gold
  • Atria is a sparkling copper orangey shade with tiny micro sparkles
  • Titania is a matte warm brown
  • Cosmo is a sparkling brassy gold

Natasha Denona Star Palette - The Beauty Look Book

Natasha Denona Star Palette - The Beauty Look Book

For the right side of the palette:

  • Diadem is a matte dusty grey-mauve
  • Vega is a matte pink peach rose
  • Galaxia is a sparkling glitter icy white with a chunky finish
  • Phoenix is a bright red satin shimmer
  • Supernova is a silver taupe shimmer
  • Electra is a red magenta satin
  • Polaris is a glitzy pale gold
  • Atik is a matte brown sand color
  • Rhea is a gorgeous peach red copper with shimmer

Natasha Denona Star Palette - The Beauty Look Book

Natasha Denona Star Palette Swatches

The colors are all very soft in texture. The glitters and crystal shimmer colors are a bit chunky and prone to have more fallout when you apply so it’s best to use with a damp brush or over a super creamy base in a patting motion rather than brushing. Quality-wise her shadows are excellent. When it comes to palettes if there are 2-3 shades I don’t think I will use I try to restrain myself from purchasing so in this case if I had applied my rule I would have probably skipped it (this was kindly gifted by Natasha).

Next are here Eye Light Highlighting Concealer and Eye Shadow Base. I’ll say up front I give both a thumbs up.

Natasha Denona Eye Light and Eye Shadow Base

Natasha Denona Eye Light and Eye Shadow Base

For the Eye Light there are four shades, my best match is Shade #2. These come in a twist up click pen applicator with a brush. #1 for some reason was a dud for me as there was a lot of separation that happened inside the tube and the product came out very watery. The other three shades had no issues. These have what Natasha calls “spherical powders” inside which means they don’t need to be set with powder after application. I always set concealer and foundation with powder, but the formula really is one that sets well and doesn’t need power. Swatch comparisons for reference to NARS Radiant Creamy Concealers, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Concealer (review here) and MAC Pro Long Wear Concealer in NC35.
I use these under the eye and they cover my moderately dark circles really well and brighten the area. It goes on smooth, there’s no creasing and they blend to a flawless finish. Many look dry under my eyes (the NARS, MAC and MUFE are among the few I can wear) and the Natasha Denona one joins the club of Beauty Look Book approved undereye concealers. It doesn’t darken which is a huge plus for me in terms of color matching.

Natasha Denona Eye Light Concealer, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, MUFE Ultra HD, MAC Prolongwear Concealer

Next are the eye bases which are creamy and dry to a soft smooth finish. I feel as though I’m one of the few who does not have oily lids – I usually need a base with some kind of emollient texture and to date the Edward Bess Illuminating Eye Base has been my favorite. Others like ones from NARS, Urban Decay, Too Faced, etc. dry out my lids and make my skin look wrinkled.

The Natasha Denona Eye Shadow Base is perfect for evening out the lids and has a creamy feel to help powder shadows adhere better, not just with her brand but also other powder shadows. I find it tied in terms of quality and finish with the Edward Bess one.

Natasha Denona Eye Shadow Base vs Edward Bess Illuminating Eye Shadow Base

Last but not least are the Eye Lash Curler and Blackest Black Mascara. I found both to be just ok, but not great. For some reason the Eye Lash Curler just would not curl my lashes, although the shape and size worked well for my eye shape. No pinching and my fingers fit inside the loops just fine. I just found the curling pad didn’t help create a curl like the MAC Eye Lash Curler or Chanel Eye Lash Curler (my two favorites).

The Mascara has an odd shape brush, almost pear-shaped and I had a difficult time getting my lashes coated with the brush. It did add depth and dimension. There was no smudging which many readers know is rare for me with most mascaras. I just need lots of volume and this was lacking in that department for me. For reference two that work for me right now are the Stila Huge Lash and Bobbi Brown Eye Opening Mascara.

Natasha Denona Star Palette, Eye Lights, Eye Shadow Base

I think the Star Palette has some amazing colors but palettes can be hard to love if you don’t love all the colors. There are only 4 out of the 18 I don’t see myself wearing on a regular basis and perhaps I’ll experiment more with the glitzy ones in the upcoming weeks. The Eye Light Concealer and Eye Base are both excellent – I hope the swatches help if you’re ordering sight unseen.

You can find select Natasha Denona products now at Sephora and Beautylish. Do note that the Sephora Rouge 20% off sale starts soon and will run from 11/4 to 11/7 so if you have this on your wishlist you may want to wait until the sale to buy this.

Many thanks to Natasha for sending a lovely package of items for me to try out.

Base Makeup

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer

January 10, 2016

Make Up For Ever just launched a new product to their Ultra HD range called the Ultra HD Concealer ($27 each for 7 ml/0.23 oz). These are designed to conceal the under eye area described as “invisible, luminous and comfortable” and are made to correct and conceal dark circles while blurring fine lines and wrinkles. Make Up For Ever kindly sent over the shades for me to test out. They do not disappoint. According to Make Up For Ever these contain:
  • Lamellar structure pigments that reflect and diffuse light, erasing under eye shadows and blurring imperfections
  • An anti-dark circle complex comprised of green algae and amino acids to help conceal and correct cobined with a radiance booster comprised of an Asian berry extract that helps stimulate collagen production to brighten and smooth skin
  • A 3D elastomer gel to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines

There are 10 colors in total that are split into two color families R (peach) and Y (yellow):

Color Correct: neutralize dark circles with a peach shade:
R20: Light Skintones
R22: Light to Medium Skintones
R30: Medium Skintones
R32: Medium to Tan Skintones
R40: Tan Skintones 

Conceal: brighten and awaken undereye area:
Y21: Light Skintones
Y23: Light to Medium Skintones
Y31: Medium Skintones
Y33: Medium to Tan Skintones
Y41: Tan Skintones 

Onto my testing and thoughts. These come in a thin squeeze tube without any sponge tip applicator. They are really easy to apply on the face, you can use a brush or sponge to blend, but I like to dab two tiny dots of product under each eye straight from the tube and then blend with the fingers.

On the nails, Louboutin Miss Loubi

On colors, I’m yellow and olive in undertone and in general often have a hard time finding a good match for under eye concealers. Most are either too pink, too light, or too dark. I know many like to go one shade lighter for under the eye to brighten and counter dark circles, but often times that “1 shade lighter” is just too light. An exact match is ideal, but many tend to warm up and oxidize slightly making colors too dark for me. I’m not one who likes to mix colors. Last year I was lucky to discover quite a few new formulas and color matches. Concealer roundup from last fall in this post here (with lots of swatches from Surratt, Urban Decay, YSL, Charlotte Tilbury and more).

For the under eye area I have been using the Charlotte Tilbury Retoucher #3, Bare Minerals Bareskin Concealer in Medium Golden and Urban Decay Naked Skin in Medium Neutral. My other favorite NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger is still too light for me at the moment but I adore the formula.

The Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer has made the cut to join my top picks. It’s an incredible concealer for under eyes. It’s described as invisible because once you blend it into the skin it doesn’t look like you have makeup on, but at the same time it really does conceal and cover up dark circles. My initial thoughts were that I would find a match in the Y family. Y33 is a pretty good match, but I actually like the ones with peach tones because it brightens the face and neutralizes dark circles better. I can get away with either R30 or R32. These add just the right amount of brightness under the eye without too much contrast. They do warm up but don’t oxidize as much as the ones from Urban Decay.

I don’t have under eye wrinkles yet but some full coverage foundations or cream concealers can emphasize fine lines. The Ultra HD concealer blends in with the skin for a smooth looking blurred skin look. Lasting power is quite good – it lasts all day without budging, creasing, or fading. I do set with a powder though (some favorites in this post here).

I’ve been a fan of the Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealers as well, alternating between colors 7 and 8. These are a lot thicker in texture – many find it too thick for under the eye (I found it was ok, but yes it can feel a little thick). The Ultra HD Concealer is thinner in texture but still very creamy and very concentrated. You get less than half the product with the new Ultra HD formula but a tiny bit goes a long long way.

Swatches plus two sets of comparisons:

My best matches in the Ultra HD Invisible Cover Concealer range are Y33, R30 and R32. Swatch comparisons to some other concealer shades I use (or have used when I have been lighter) and a few foundation swatches to help. As you can see below there is a lot less product with the Ultra HD Line (7 ml/0.23 fl oz) compared to the Full Cover Concealer (15 ml/0.5 fl oz). The Ultra HD is more concentrated though so a little bit goes a longer way compared to the Full Cover formula.

Two sets of swatches comparison below with prices and product sizing included for reference to save you time from having to look it all up (prices as of 1/10/2016):
The entire Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer ($27 each for 7 ml/0.23 oz) lineup compared to:

Bottom line, definitely worth checking out if you’re searching for an under eye concealer. The colors do seem to be limited but what impressed me was the fact that they included several that I think will work for super fair skintones. I know a few of my fellow beauty lovers have fair skin and find it challenging to find something light enough for their skintones. For tan to deep skin tones, you might be able to try either of the two darkest colors, but for now I suspect Charlotte Tilbury, MAC and NARS will still be the best bet for having a wider color selection available for those with deeper skintones. I feel lucky to have found 3 that work for my under eye area. I give this a huge thumbs up.

The Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealers ($27 each) are available now at Sephora and Make Up For Ever. Have you checked these out yet? If yes, please share what color(s) you picked out and your foundation or concealer shades in other lines to help others who can’t swatch in person to find their match 🙂

The Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealers and Foundation were provided as courtesy press samples for review. All opinions my own.

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