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Hourglass

Bronzer + Blush Hourglass Cosmetics

Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush and Bronzer – New Shade Extensions

April 19, 2017

Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush and Ambient Lighting Bronzer | The Beauty Look Book

Hourglass fans rejoice because they’ve added new products to their Ambient Lighting Collection with their Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush ($38 each for .15 oz/4.2 g) and two new shades of Ambient Lighting Bronzer ($50 each for .39 oz/11 g). Sephora.com has an early exclusive on these right now, they’re expected to launch in stores on May 5th. As a long-time fan of the Hourglass highlighters I’m thrilled to be able to review the new shades and swatch them for you.

Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush and Ambient Lighting Bronzer | The Beauty Look Book

Up first, a look at the blushes. For those new to the Ambient Strobe Lighting Blushes these are the most glowy blushes in the Hourglass line. I find that on my medium toned skin the colors appear borderline more like highlighters than blush. The shimmer is finely milled but on the glowy side. While I don’t see any frost in them, I will note that if you don’t like shimmer, you may want to opt for the Ambient Lighting Blushes instead. They have more color and less glow.

What I love about these is that they are glowy without being too frosty. They apply smoothly on the face and don’t emphasize pores. I do find they warm up a little bit about 30 seconds after application, however they don’t oxidize in color.

  • Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush comes in 4 colors:
    • Incandescent Electra is described as a cool peach blended with Incandescent Strobe Light
    • Brilliant Nude is described as a deep amber blush with Brilliant Strobe Light
    • Euphoric Fusion is described as a lilac blush blended with Euphoric Strobe Light
    • Iridescent Flash is described as a vivid magenta with Iridescent Strobe Light
    • Note that three of the four Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders were in the limited-edition holiday palette and Incandescent Electra has been released as an individual color for quite some time
    • For reference you can see the review/swatches of the Strobe Lighting Powders here

Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush | The Beauty Look BookHourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush | The Beauty Look Book

Face swatches of all four on medium-olive skin. On the face I’m wearing the Hourglass Vanish Seamless Foundation Stick in Nude. Lip colors worn with each blush listed below:

  • Hourglass Incandescent Electra with YSL Volupte Tint in Balm #7 (swatched here)
  • Hourglass Brilliant Nude with GIRL Lip Stylo in Believer (review here) + YSL Volupte Tint in Balm #7
  • Hourglass Euphoric Fusion with GIRL Lip Stylo in Activist (review here)
  • Hourglass Iridescent Flash with GIRL Lip Stylo in Creator + Achiever mixed (review here)

Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush in Incandescent Electra, Brilliant Nude, Euphoric Fusion, Iridescent Flash | The Beauty Look Book

Up next are the bronzers. The original two bronzers Luminous Bronze Light and Radiant Bronze Light looked almost identical on me. The variation for me was slight but I do suspect colors will vary depending on how much highlighter versus bronzer you have mixed into yours. The powders are hand made which means each one is unique and different. I really loved Luminous Light and I still do. On me for some reason Diffused Light pulls warm even though it looks cool-toned in the pan. I love Nude Bronze Light because it appears slightly more matte than the other two. That being said they all look similar on me. The difference is in the undertone. These bronzers also warm up a little after application but they don’t darken or oxidize. A little goes a long way and they are super easy to apply/blend.

  • Ambient Lighting Bronzers are now available in 4 shades:
    • Luminous Bronze Light is a medium toned bronzer with Luminous Light highlighter mixed in (reviewed here)
    • Radiant Bronze Light is slightly deeper and warmer with Radiant Light highlighter mixed with a beige base (reviewed here)
    • Nude Bronze Light is a new shade with a neutral nude bronze and a soft matte nude powder
    • Diffused Bronze Light has a mix of cool brown bronze and a pale yellow powder

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer | The Beauty Look BookHourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer | The Beauty Look Book

These were swatched with a heavy hand on the face to try and show the difference in undertone. On the lips is GIRL Lip Stylo in Idealist for all the face swatches below. To me they all look very similar. Nude Bronze Light seems to be the darkest on my complexion. Brush shown below is the Hourglass Brush #2. I have a couple of their brushes and need to explore more of them. They are synthetic and PETA friendly. They’re among the softest smoothest brushes I’ve tried. I think they’re under-rated.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer | The Beauty Look Book

If you missed out on the holiday palette you can find the shades individually now. I swatched my palette next to the individual ones and the colors, pigment and texture are the same. I still stand by original review and feel like the Ambient Strobe Lighting Blushes have more of a highlighter feel on me, but I still love them. For the bronzers variations will most likely be more apparent on you if you have lighter or deeper skintone. I’m right in the middle where all four have a very similar effect. My favorite is Luminous Bronze Light.

Bottom line beautiful powders, gorgeous packaging, seamless application. I love a good glow and these have a perfect mix of shimmer and color to look natural but still noticeably glowy.

You can find the Hourglass the blush and bronzer additions now at Sephora.com and Hourglass. Right now the blushes are also available online at Nordstrom. They are expected to arrive in stores in May. Have you tried these yet? Or did you buy the palette over the holiday? What did you think?

Don’t forget if you’re shopping at Sephora to take advantage of the Beauty Insider Event! Dates and discounts as follows below. Also my recommendations in this post here.

  • 4/18 to 4/24 VIB Rouge will receive 15% off, use code ROUGESPRING
  • 4/19 to 4/24 VIBs will receive 15% off, use code VIBSPRING
  • 4/20 to 4/23 BIs will receive 10% off, use code BISPRING

Many thanks to Hourglass for sending the Ambient Lighting Bronzer and Strobe Lighting Blushes for review.

Monthly Favorites

Monthly Beauty and Skincare Hits and Misses

January 31, 2017

January Hits and Misses for Beauty | The Beauty Look Book

I cannot believe the first month of 2017 has come and gone – I feel like the last few weeks have been a blur! I hope each of you have had a great start to the new year. In the beauty world I feel like things have been all about lips and highlighters. It appears the liquid lipstick trend is here to stay for quite some time. I still have my battle of the liquid lipstick post coming soon – with new launches almost weekly it seems like there’s more to test and try out. I’ve put a cut-off for testing though – I have two more detailed reviews to post before the official roundup. Today I have a roundup of the best and worst in beauty testing for January even though many of these have been put to the test for more than a month. Sometimes with products you know by the second or third use that a particular item just won’t work. Other items take a bit more testing to decide. By popular request here is my first Hits and Misses post of the year. We’ll start off with the hits.

January Favorites – Makeup

Monthly Beauty Favorites - MAC, Dior, Chanel, Marc Jacobs | The Beauty Look Book

This month’s favorite items and discoveries include:

  • MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium Plus is something I finally tried and can’t believe it took me so long, it gives the skin a nice soft diffused look, it removes shine without looking heavy or overly matte and the best thing about this one is the color selection which I think is pretty good (shown on the skin here and also worn here)
  • Diorskin Nude Air Glow Powder in 002 Freshlight (shown on the face here) has been my go-to soft bronzer shade for the past few months, it has the perfect amount of warmth and has a sheer but buildable finish that works for my winter skintone color right now
  • Chanel Joues Contraste in Elegance (review here) is my perfect everyday beige blush, it goes with everything and adds life to the face without looking too dark or orange
  • Chantecaille Faux Cils Longest Lash Mascara is one that took me years to try because I tried a mini and thought it literally was the worst thing ever. Based on raves of a few friends who swore it was THE best thing in mascara I decided to order one and was blown away. They assured me the full size was better than the minis and they were right. I don’t know that I’ll repurchase this because even I have limits when it comes to expensive items. At a whopping $72 I don’t know that I can say it’s worth it but this mascara is really good. It lengthens, volumizes, holds curl, doesn’t smudge and doesn’t look crunchy. It’s supposed to have lash-growth ingredients but I haven’t used it long enough to see results.
  • Hourglass GIRL Lip Stylo (c/o, swatches here) are great in terms of formula, color payoff and color selection
  • Chanel Le Rouge Crayon de Couleur (c/o, all shades swatched here) are my favorite lip launch of the year so far, I love a good glossy lip and these have a feel and look like the Rouge Coco Shines but with a lot more pigment
  • Marc Jacobs Le Marc Liquid Lip Creme in Truth or Bare (c/o, all shades reviewed here) is my favorite rose pink liquid lipstick
  • Dior Addict Lip Glow is something that is almost always in my purse these days (review of all shades here), my most-worn shade is either Lilac or Coral, the new Berry color (c/o) is a really pretty one too
  • Tom Ford Lips and Boys in Douglas (c/o, review here) is my go-to these days for a soft cool-toned pink shimmer

January Favorites – Skincare

Monthly Skincare Favorites | The Beauty Look Book

Skincare favorites include a mix of old and new:

  • I’ve found myself reaching a lot for the Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate and the Midnight Recovery Concentrate for evenings, both feel just so amazing on the skin giving it just the right amount of hydration, it’s brightened the skin and makes it feel healthier and smoother, if you don’t want to splurge on the full sizes you may want to consider the Day to Night Set which has miniatures of six items at a value price, alternatively if you visit you local Kiehl’s store they usually have samples so ask if they have these available (making a purchase will usually make it easier to get a couple samples)
  • Bioderma Sensibio was mentioned in my 2016 favorites, I use this as a toner and it’s just perfect for my sensitive skin, it leaves the skin feeling refreshed and clean, it has helped calm and comfort the skin, especially since I’m prone to flare ups or sensitivity, I have both the 250 and 100 ml versions (one I took with me on travel), can’t rave about this enough
  • Chanel La Solution 10 de Chanel (c/o) is another good gentle moisturizer for sensitive skin, I’ve been reaching for this a lot, it hydrates without feeling greasy and gives relief for dry skin without being heavy, I will definitely repurchase once this is used up
  • Tatcha The Essence (c/o) is something I got a mini of with an order (I had a promo code) and fell in love with it immediately, I discussed essence a few posts back and many of you gave me some really good feedback on what to try! I’m currently testing three, this one from Tatcha and the SK-II Genoptics Aura Essence and Genoptics Spot Essence (c/o). It’s going to take me several weeks to see which one is truly the best, but I noticed results immediately from the Tatcha Essence. It softens the skin without feeling heavy or leaving a film on the skin like some other essence or serums do. It’s watery but not too runny so it’s easy to apply. It does make my moisturizer absorb into the skin better. As one who doesn’t like things that feel heavy on the skin I absolutely love this one.
  • Kate Somerville EradiKate Daily Cleanser is something I ordered the day it launched online at Sephora. By the time this post is going live I’ve already used up one full tube 85% of the way and the one shown is a backup. I don’t have acne but I do experience breakouts and earlier this month I started breaking out around the chin and cheeks from a combination of getting really sick and experiencing a high level of stress. Using this helped clear up the skin without drying it out. It has sulfur which targets acne and blemishes. Based on the formula I don’t think it’s going to be for everyone, but I’ve tried every single one of Kate Somerville’s cleansers and her line is the one I keep replenishing for cleansers. I can use this daily without it drying out my skin and love it. That being said I still love her Gentle Daily Wash for times when I don’t have skin issues.

January Misses

January Beauty Misses | The Beauty Look Book

Four items that did not work for me include:

  • Burberry Liquid Lip Velvet (review here) did not work for me because the color selection just wasn’t flattering for my olive skin tone, even the neutrals did not work. Shades were either too light or too dark, colors lacked life and washed out my complexion. Formula-wise they were ok, but none of the colors worked for me leading me to call these a miss.
  • Make Up For Ever Water Blend Foundation is something I bought months ago back in early fall. I had high hopes as it looked amazing on a few of my fellow blogger friends. I mixed two shades in Y315 and Y405 to get a good match although the product is so sheer an exact color match isn’t really necessary. This was a miss for me because it caused my skin to become irritated which I suspect is from the fragrance. Tiny bumps surfaced all over my cheeks and since I test a lot of skincare and foundations, this took months of testing to make sure this was the culprit and not something else. Formula also felt sticky because of the gel-like texture. Coverage was not enough for me. This was a huge let-down since I consider the Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick and Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation to be in my top picks for foundation.
  • Glamglow PLUMPRAGEOUS Nudes got me based on their social media marketing. As a nude lip lover I just couldn’t resist and ordered 4 online sight unseen. The colors looked SO perfect! These come with a plastic spatula applicator which I found did not apply product evenly or easily. Second these are THE most painful lip plumping products I’ve ever tested – they burned my lips and if a tiny bit touched my tongue, a spicy tingle sensation went shooting to the back of my mouth. I tested two on separate occasions and the most I could tolerate was 45 minutes on the lips before I had to wipe it off and give the lips a thorough cleanse. I returned 3 of the 4. The one shown is going to a friend who is curious about this and doesn’t mind a tingle.
  • Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara was an impulse buy. The packaging has written on it a few statements like 1,944% more volume, 97% saw intense volume and length, 94% said this mascara stays put all day. There is an asterisk that says based on consumer study results. I did not research how many people tested this or were part of it, but at $23 it seemed worth a try. I know some mascaras take a few pumps or uses to get going so I gave this one 6 tries on 6 separate occasions. It does add volume and length and the color is a rich deep black. However the clumps were seriously horrible with this one. Layering was an absolute no for me. It made my lashes look super spidery and when I tried to separate or comb them out the mascara just looked even more clumpy and made the lashes stick together. It’s also extremely difficult to remove.

That’s wraps it up for January’s beauty hits and misses! I’d love to hear about yours as well – so please feel free to share them in the comments. If you have any feedback about the items I tried let me know.

P.S. A number of you have sent me e-mails saying you weren’t getting the email newsletters anymore. I’ve re-added the subscribe feature on the sidebar at the top of the page (if you’re on a desktop computer). Let me know if you have any issues – if you enter your email address you’ll be sent a verification link and should be good to go!

Press samples indicated with c/o.

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Hourglass Cosmetics

Hourglass Cosmetics GIRL Lip Stylo

January 20, 2017

Hourglass GIRL Lip Stylo | The Beauty Look Book

Hourglass Cosmetics just launched 20 twist-up lipsticks called the GIRL Lip Stylo ($32 each for 0.09 oz/2.5 g) to celebrate and recognize the good in others and ourselves. Each lipstick shade has a special name that evokes empowerment and positivity. These come with medium to medium-full coverage, a very soft shea butter vanilla scent, moisturizing comfortable feel and that is still lightweight. The finish has a soft natural looking sheen.

The color range is just perfect. Every single one of the 20 shades are very wearable. As a neutral lip lover I was beyond thrilled to find natural colors that go beyond the basic beige, pink nude or peach. There are roses, plums, mauves and a variety of nudes with different undertones. After testing these colors I really feel that Hourglass took the time to test these on real women to make sure that they have the right undertones to be flattering and wearable.

Hourglass GIRL Lip Stylo | The Beauty Look Book

Many of you have asked for a comparison to the Hourglass Femme Nude Lip Stylo and also the Chanel Le Rouge Crayon de Couleurs. The original nude twist up pencil crayons from Hourglass by comparison are thicker and tug a little at the lips, they are also more opaque with a very limited color range (I could really only wear the 2 darkest options). The Chanel Le Rouge Crayon de Couleurs have a creamier feel with a more emollient texture. They glide on the lips and have more of a shine. I also find that the Chanel crayons have more pigment and coverage.

Coverage-wise the GIRL Lip Stylos swatch sheer-medium on the arms and hands. On the lips the color adheres a lot better for more noticeable coverage. A few of the plums have a slightly transparent almost jelly finish on my lips. They have a satiny nourishing feel. On my lips I tested a few of the naturals for extended wear testing – they lasted a long time without sliding or budging. The colors will transfer if you eat or drink though.

I swatched and photographed these in batches according to how they were displayed in the press box I received from Hourglass. Colors and descriptions detailed below. For the most part they all act and swatch like creams. I couldn’t detect any shimmer in these. Even though they are cream finishes they don’t look flat on the lips.

_____________________________

Set 1 includes:

  • Believer is a light beige nude cream
  • Creator is a soft pink
  • Explorer is a bright peachy shade
  • Seeker is a cool medium rose pink
  • Peacemaker is a medium beige

Hourglass GIRL Lip Stylo Believer, Creator, Explorer, Seeker and Peacemaker | The Beauty Look Book

Hourglass GIRL Lip Stylo Believer, Creator, Explorer, Seeker and Peacemaker | The Beauty Look Book

As always these are swatched on bare lips, no liner or primer underneath. For skintone reference I’m wearing NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint in Groenland with MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium Plus (which I just discovered and am OBSESSED with!).

Hourglass GIRL Lip Stylo Believer, Creator, Explorer, Seeker and Peacemaker | The Beauty Look Book

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Set 2 below includes:

  • Achiever is a neutral-cool mauve brown
  • Influencer is a meidum beige brown rose
  • Dreamer is a soft warm baby pink
  • Idealist warm peachy beige
  • Futurist beige pink nude

Hourglass GIRL Lip Stylo Achiever, Influencer, Dreamer, Idealist, Futurist | The Beauty Look Book Hourglass GIRL Lip Stylo Achiever, Influencer, Dreamer, Idealist, Futurist | The Beauty Look Book

Hourglass GIRL Lip Stylo Achiever, Influencer, Dreamer, Idealist, Futurist | The Beauty Look Book

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Set 3 below includes:

  • Activist is a medium rose
  • Inventor pinky rose
  • Lover bright orange red
  • Innovator is a bold bright red
  • Visionary slightly deeper but bright red

Hourglass GIRL Lip Stylo Activist, Inventor, Lover, Innovator, Visionary | The Beauty Look Book Hourglass GIRL Lip Stylo swatches Activist, Inventor, Lover, Innovator, Visionary | The Beauty Look Book

Hourglass GIRL Lip Stylo Lip Swatches Activist, Inventor, Lover, Innovator, Visionary | The Beauty Look Book

__________________________

Set 4 below includes:

  • Icon is a classic red
  • Leader is a bright fuchsia pink
  • Liberator is a gorgeous mauve plum
  • Protector is a pretty violet purple, but goes on my lips a bit patchy
  • Warrior is a deep vamp, also went on a bit patchy

Hourglass GIRL Lip Stylo Icon, Leader, Liberator, Protector, Warrior | The Beauty Look Book

Hourglass GIRL Lip Stylo Icon, Leader, Liberator, Protector, Warrior | The Beauty Look Book

Hourglass GIRL Lip Stylo Icon, Leader, Liberator, Protector, Warrior | The Beauty Look Book

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A quick look at the color options will show a lot of neutrals that look similar and also a lot of reds. As a neutral lip lover I’m beyond obsessed with the color selection and I know there are at least a handful of you who will echo my thoughts that they are similar but still different. Same applies for the reds, but since I don’t wear reds a lot I can understand that some will find a lot of repetition among color groups. The best thing about this to me is that each color has a slight variation or undertone which I think is great. Many of us gravitate towards warm or cool, brown undertones or peachy undertones, light versus medium versus deep. I really believe there is something for everyone in this color range and even though I normally wear neutrals, even the brights like Lover and Leader are wearable and did not leave me feeling like a clown.

Hourglass GIRL Lip Stylo Review | The Beauty Look Book

My top 5 picks: Seeker, Influencer, Activist, Liberator, Dreamer.
You can upload your own version at Hourglass’s website for fun!

I know many of you want to know whether I prefer these or the Chanel crayons that were just launched and I simply cannot pick a favorite. I do think the Hourglass pencils will last longer on the lips and a comparison of the packaging makes them look larger in size so overall they will probably last longer. If you prefer a glossy lip the Chanel is the way to go. Also for the deeper colors Chanel offers more coverage and pigment. If you like neutrals I suspect you will find more options to choose from the Hourglass range.

Hourglass GIRL Lip Stylo | The Beauty Look Book

Bottom line I love these. I’m a gloss or shiny lipstick girl at heart and these GIRL Lip Stylos offer a nice sheen but with more pigment and coverage than a sheer glossy lipstick. Even with all the swatching and wiping I did over the past few days, my lips did not dry out or peel at all. I think everyone should own at least 2 ๐Ÿ™‚ They are that good. If I had one thing I wished were different, it would be that I wish there was some kind of color indicator on the outside so I could tell the difference between colors without having to look at the label or open up the cap. Still it’s not a deal breaker as most of the other beauty brands do the same thing with their lipsticks and compacts.

You can find the Hourglass GIRL Lip Stylos at Sephora, Nordstrom and Hourglass Cosmetics.

Many thanks to Hourglass for sending these gorgeous GIRL Lip Stylos for review.

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Beauty Roundup

Best Beauty Discoveries 2016

December 29, 2016

Best makeup discoveries in 2016 Tom Ford Chanel Anastasia NARS MAC

I can hardly believe another year has flown by! Thank you to each and every one of you who followed me along on my beauty journey this past year. Today I have a round up of my 2016 favorites in makeup (skincare to follow in a separate post). As a long-time nail polish junkie I was surprised to find this past year was pretty light on the nail polish features and reviews – I remember in past years going through tons of nail wheels and bottles of polish remover. Perhaps by now I simply have collected all the possible colors? 2016’s focus seemed to be all about lips and highlighters for me. As always I’d love to hear what your favorite makeup discoveries were for the year! I picked out items that were new in 2016 (they’re listed in alphabetical order by brand):

Lips

Face and Cheeks

Eyes

Nails

  • Chanel Le Vernis in Organdi (review here) was my most-worn color this year
  • Louboutin had the best colors and formulas for me this year, I loved Miss Mars and the Hawaii Kawai Trio minis were so fun to shoot, there were three Red Nail Extensions that I was able to play with back in May to swatch for you, months later I ended up buying Jazzy Doll and Edgypopi

What were your makeup favorites this past year? They can be new launches, rediscoveries or new-to-you products! I love reading about your favorites so please feel free to share in the comments below. Several of you have asked that I bring back the monthly roundups on a regular basis, some have asked for a hits and misses roundup as well. I’ll be starting a monthly review series in the new year!

Highlighters Hourglass Cosmetics

Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush Palette

December 9, 2016

Hourglass Ambient Strobe Blush Palette reviewed from the Sabrina of The Beauty Look Book

For holiday Hourglass Cosmetics launched a new limited-edition palette called the Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush Palette ($62 for 3 x 0.09 oz/ 2.55 g). It launched as a Sephora VIB Rouge Exclusive on Cyber Monday and I ordered it as soon as it popped up online. This palette combines the illuminating particles from the Strobe Lighting Powders mixed with Blush Pigments for a radiant glow. Those familiar with Hourglass powders from the Ambient Lighting Line already know the powders are hand made with a special mixing technique which makes every powder different and unique. The colors in each palette will all similar to each other based on the formula but there will be slight variations in depth of color depending on how much highlighter your palette has versus blush pigment.

I’ve acquired almost all of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palettes (all except for holiday 2015) and a number of individual colors. The latest Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush Palette is the most glowy out of all the palettes and powders I’ve tested, even more so than the Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders (reviewed here).

Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush Palette reviewed from The Beauty Look Book Blog

Texture and pigment in this palette is ultra smooth and glowy without being frosty. There are three colors, Incandescent Electra is supposed to be the same as the one available individually, but the ones I have from the original 2014 blush palette and one I have in individual form are different from this season’s palette. The Incandescent Electra in my Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush Palette is significantly more glowy but the color is the same if that makes sense. Descriptions per Hourglass’s website:

  • INCANDESCENT ELECTRA: A cool peach blush blended with Incandescent Strobe Light for a celestial glow.
  • BRILLIANT NUDE (NEW): A deep amber blush blended with Brilliant Strobe Light for a lustrous glow.
  • EUPHORIC FUSION (NEW): A soft lilac blush blended with Euphoric Strobe Light for a resplendent glow.

On my medium complexion, the colors in the palette I purchased are all more like highlighters on my skin versus blushes. Yours may vary depending on the swirl you have and also differ if you have different skintone. Close up and swatches:

Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush Palette reviewed from The Beauty Look Book BlogHourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush Palette reviewed from The Beauty Look Book Blog

Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush Palette reviewed from The Beauty Look Book Blog

Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush Palette reviewed from The Beauty Look Book Blog

Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush Palette reviewed from The Beauty Look Book Blog

Comparisons to the other two palettes I have:

Top – the Ambient Lighting Blush Palette (review from 2014)
Middle – the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2016 exclusive (review here)
Bottom – Holiday 2016 Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush Palette

Hourglass Palette Comparisons from The Beauty Look Book Blog

Comparison swatches:

Hourglass Palette Comparisons from The Beauty Look Book Blog

Overall a lovely addition to the Hourglass Ambient Lighting line. Even though I already own Incandescent Electra the one in this palette has more glow and shimmer compared to previous versions that I own. It is on the glowy side so the colors are more highlighter than blush on my skin. I wasn’t able to swatch comparisons to the other holiday launch Ambient Lighting Edit Palette in Surreal Light (review here) before I left for my trip however I will say that between the two I prefer the larger one for the colors. Both palettes are different enough to justify both if you don’t mind having a lot of blush or highlighter.

Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush Palette reviewed from The Beauty Look Book BlogBottom line I love it and the glimmer in each of the powders is perfect for adding a bit of a nice holiday glow on the eyes or cheeks. They layer well with other blushes (both powders and creams), meld nicely with the skin and don’t emphasize my pores like some highlighters can do if they have lots of shimmer. Whether or not you’ll like this will most likely depend on your skintone. On fair to light skins the colors will most likely show up more. On my medium olive toned skin the color shows up o arm swatches but once on my face, Brilliant Nude and Euphoric Fusion are more highlighter-like and almost nude in the sense that they give a glow rather than a tint like blush. My MAC shade right now is about an NC30 in the MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation (swatched here with other foundation shades). Note that since I tan easily I fluctuate in color by a few shades on a regular basis depending on how much sun I’ve been exposed to. How this palette shows up your skin will also depend on how much pigment your palette has swirled in compared to strobe powders.

You can find the Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush Palette now online exclusively at Sephora. I ordered mine online. At this time I’m not sure if will launch at other retailers.

Holiday Gift Guide

Holiday Gift Guide: Sephora Favorites Sets and Birchbox Discovery Kits

November 3, 2016
Holiday Gift Guide - Birchbox Kits and Sephora Favorites Sets

I have my first holiday gift guide of the year today featuring some great discovery gift sets. Birchbox and Sephora each have their own curated box sets with hand-picked items. They’re often grouped and boxed by themes such as dry shampoos, berry lips, nude lips, sunscreen, skincare etc. They’ve basically taken their best sellers and packed them into sampler boxes with minis at a value price. I love these for myself because it allows me to try a lot of items without having to buy the individual full sizes I’m unsure about. Each store has their own exclusive selection which makes them unique.

There are tons of boxes and kits to choose from. Many are pretty affordable and tons at the $25 price point. This year I shopped sets early as I know there’s a good chance the value sets of them will sell out early. My friends this year are all about hair styling and highlighters. It seems like every single female friend I have doesn’t have time to wash and dry their hair on a daily basis. The good thing this year is that there are TONS of dry shampoo sets and holiday styling sets for all hair types. Highlighters are also as popular among my friends as they are on Instagram lol. Sets are great because even though I think I can find the perfect highlighter or dry shampoo for my close friends we all have different tastes and preferences.

Up first are some of the Birchbox Kits. Birchbox is known for their monthly subscription boxes and for the longest time I thought that was all that they offered. Not true. The Birchbox Collection has an entire shop of discovery kits, limited-edition box sets, and much more. If you visit their store you’ll see their products grouped by product type and then brand. An entire wall will be dedicated to suncare and they’ll split it by types of sunscreens. Their value sets are really cute and well put together. You can also buy individual full-sized items as well.

Up first is The Dry Shampoo Starter Kit for $32 ($74 value) you get an amika (Fort)Tress Shower Cap, amika Perk Up Dry-Shampoo, R+Co Death Valley Dry Shampoo (one of my favorites), Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo, Living proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo, Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk.

To date the R+Co had been my favorite but has been replaced with the Oribe Dry Shampoo that just launched a couple months ago. Neither leave my hair looking dusty or matte and there is no white residue. One of my friends swears by the Living Proof one which I tried. It left my hair looking too matte. As this set is a gift I won’t be reviewing the other items but thought you would like a peek at this one.

Birchbox The Dry Shampoo Starter Kit - The Beauty Look Book
If Dry Shampoo isn’t your thing, not to worry. They have a Thin to Thick Styling Kit ($20), Coily and Curly Hair Kit ($18), The Wavy & Curly Hair Kit ($18). Numerous brands have their own sets as well.
Next is the one I’m just beyond obsessed with. In my What’s In My Bag post I mentioned this Birchbox + Oribe Styling Kit. It has five minis of Oribe – cute beyond words!! I ordered two of these, one for me, one for a friend. I suspect I will be ordering a few more as you just can’t go wrong with Oribe. It’s priced at $35, each bottle is tiny but if you’ve never tried Oribe before this is a great way to try out the line without having to buy individual bottles which are around $20 each for the minis.

Birchbox Oribe Styling Kit - The Beauty Look Book

One kit I received as a press sample was the Complete SPF Kit. When I visited the Birchbox Soho Store over the summer I was just blown away by the presentation and display of the store. If you’re in NYC definitely make a stop there. The bottom floor is for men’s grooming and skincare so bring your boyfriend, husband, brother or male friends with you. They can build their own Birchbox too!

This one is priced at $18 – you get mini sample sizes of Supergoop! Advanced SPF 37 Anti-Aging Eye Cream, MDSolarSciences Mineral Moisture Defense SPF 50, Dr. Jart+ Every Sun Day SPF 30 UV Sun Fluid, Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF 50, COOLA Face SPF 30 Unscented, COOLA Daydream SPF 30 Mineral Makeup Primer. I have yet to try all of these but I’ve tried both the Coola ones and find them suitable for my sensitive skin.
Birchbox Complete SPF Kit - The Beauty Look Book

Next are the Sephora Favorites. I think one could seriously get carried away with the sets because they have SO MANY good things in them! One of the complaints my friends have about makeup is that the size of some things are just too big and it take them forever to use something up. Minis are popular among friends who like to rotate items frequently because you can use them up faster.

Up first is the Sephora Favorites Scouted by Sephora set which is $24 for five minis. This one features 5 up-and-coming brands at Sephora. I received this one as a gift and haven’t had a chance to try the items yet, but have been really curious about Milk Makeup so I’m eager to try the mascara. It has a Bรฉsame Cosmetics Red Matchbook, GrandeLIPS Hydrating Plumper, Makeup Eraser Mini in Pink, MILK MAKEUP Ubame Mascara, Wander Beauty Lip and Cheek Mini in Pink City.

Sephora Favorites Scouted By Sephora - The Beauty Look Book

Next is the Sephora Favorites Glow for It. This one sold out online but I spotted it in store and picked up two. It’s since been restocked online and I can see why it’s been a popular one. For $30 you get minis of Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid in Moonstone, Benefit Watt’s Up, Cover FX Custom Infusion Drops in C+ Lemongrass – Radiance, Hourglass Ambientยฎ Strobe Lighting Powder in Incandescent Strobe Light, MILK MAKEUP Sunshine Oil and a full size Lancรดme Glow Subtil Silky Crรจme Highlighter in Glowing Lights 06. The Lancome blush itself is $30 so the set is a steal.

I already have 3 of the items in the full size (Hourglass Strobe Powders swatched here) but almost want one for myself.
Sephora Favorites Glow For It - The Beauty Look Book

Another one is the Sephora Favorites Hair Rescue Masks on the Go ($25). This one is listed as being an $85 value. It has quite a lot of product to sample – to date I’ve tried three of the items from Ouai, Phyto and Christophe Robin and all three are great. This one has Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Balm-to-Oil Pre-Shampoo Masque, Phyto Phytokรฉratine Extrรชme Exceptional Mask, Gloss Moderne High-Gloss Masque, Christophe Robin Regenerating Mask with Rare Prickly Pear Seed Oil
, Living Proof Perfect Hair Dayยฎ Night Cap Overnight Perfector, Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair!โ„ข Deep Conditioning Mask, Ouai Treatment Masque, VERB Hydrating Mask, and two packet sets of Rita Hazan Weekly Remedy Treatment For Deep Hydration & Superior Shine Treatment Step 1 & 2. 

I wish I had this set last year when I was traveling for a month. It would have been perfect as it has packets small enough to pack in a carry on. One of my friends is obsessed with masks – skincare and haircare. She is going to freak out when she gets this one.
Sephora Favorites Hair Rescue Mask Set - The Beauty Look Book

Last but not least is the Sephora Favorites Ready, Set, Style! This one was a bit pricier at $29 but the sizes of each spray was pretty impressive. You get five sprays for hair refreshers, volumizers and texturizers. It includes Bumble and Bumble Thickening Dryspun Finish, Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo, IGK Down and Out Dirty Spray, Ouai Texturizing Hair Spray, Living Proof Flex Shaping Hairspray.

Sephora Favorites Ready Set Style Hair Set - The Beauty Look Book

I’m also a sucker for hair care minis like my friends. Three sets that caught my eye for me were the Ouai Style Edit Set ($25), Bumble and Bumble Big Beachy Hair Surf ($31), and the Sephora Favorites Style, Treat & Repeat! Custom Hair Essentials On the Go ($25) – you can mix/match to pick 5 of 15 of their bestselling hair treatments. As my bathroom is overflowing with hair care products I’ll have to try to resist these and use up what I have. I won’t complain if one of them shows up in my Christmas stocking though ๐Ÿ™‚

That wraps up my first holiday gift guide. I hope these give you a better idea of what the sets look like compared to stock photos although I do think that both Birchbox and Sephora do a really good job at giving us accurate stock images on their websites.

The Sephora VIB Rouge 20% off sale starts tomorrow November 4th and runs through November 7th. If you’re shopping online use code 20ROUGE. I received an early code from a Sephora employee so was able to shop the sale early. I’ll have my Sephora shopping recommendations roundup up later this afternoon for those who are trying to research early.

For now I hope this sets post give you some ideas for affordable gift options. The ones I featured are all very reasonable in price ranging from $18 to $35 which won’t break the bank if you buy multiples. They’re great for holiday gifts or to treat yourself. I’m seriously tempted to keep a few of these for myself – I may order one or two more once the Sephora sale starts.
The Birchbox Complete SPF Kit and Scouted By Sephora Set gifted as press samples. Remainder featured purchased by me.
Highlighters Hourglass Cosmetics

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette in Surreal Light

September 20, 2016

I’ve been playing with something very exciting which is the new Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette in Surreal Light ($80 for 9.6 g). It’s a limited-edition for this season a part of their holiday launch. Right now you can find it at Sephora, Nordstrom and Hourglass but it will be available at all other counters soon. The colors have good pigment and enough color to show up on medium to tan skin. I’d consider myself to be medium bordering on light-medium now and the colors show up very well on me.

I’ve been a long-time fan of Hourglass Cosmetics especially when it comes to their entire Ambient Lighting Powder line. The Ambient Lighting Powder in Luminous Light (originally reviewed here) is one of my top picks for powder highlighters for my skintone. It gives that glow from within kind of effect, melds beautifully with the skin, looks glowy but natural, doesn’t emphasize pores and lasts forever! (Well almost … mine has lasted years!) Since the initial launch back in 2013 I’ve looked forward to each new year’s launch. They’ve added something special to the line with new products and variations. Last year’s palette was the first launch I skipped because of the repeated shades. This year’s palette is cased in marble pattern packaging (gorgeous!) and has shades that are different from existing colors.

You have five shades of powder. All are finely milled with a soft touch. There will be some powdery kick up if you dip your brush in the palette but there isn’t any fallout once it’s on your face. The colors and product sizes:

Colors:

  • Finishing Powder in Surreal Light (4 g / 0.14 oz) is a sheer nude warm shimmer, I thought this would be too shimmery to use as an all over setting powder but it actually works well without making me look like a statue, it has a yellow undertone
  • Bronzer in Surreal Bronze Light (1.4 g / 0.04 oz) is a neutral bronzer shade, it’s lighter than the two existing Hourglass bronzers by a little bit making it more natural looking
  • Blush in Surreal Glow (1.4 g / 0.04 oz) is a what Hourglass calls a “pale peony blush pink” it’s a nude pink on my skin and it shows up
  • Blush in Surreal Effect (1.4 g / 0.04 oz) is a cooler-toned rose pink compared to the other shades in the palette, there is a soft warm peachy shimmer mixed throughout which makes the color itself more on the neutral warm side
  • Strobe Powder in Surreal Strobe Light (1.4 g / 0.04 oz) is a golden peach yellow shimmer highlight
Below are close ups of the palette in different lighting. I did order two (by accident) and as you can see the swirl patterns are unique in every palette similar to that of the Ambient Lighting Blushes and Ambient Lighting Bronzers. If you’re new to the Ambient Lighting collection the powders brighten and highlight the skin. Their powders have what Hourglass calls “… Photoluminescent Technology to capture, diffuse and soften surrounding light to refine the appearance of skin.” These powders do indeed smooth the skin.

I’ve been able to use all five colors on the face at once. I’ll use the Finishing Powder to set my foundation all over the face (it’s not too glowy for me). I’ll mix both shades of blush and apply them on the cheeks, although you can definitely just use one. Bronzer is added to warm up the face. The strobe powder is used to highlight temples, cheekbones or eyes. You can use it however you feel comfortable using it though – no need to use all the colors at once.

 Close ups:

Swatched with numbers labeled according to the chart on the back of the box and what’s on the Hourglass website:

Swatch comparisons below:

Thoughts on comparisons:

  • Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder in Brilliant Strobe Light (review here) is paler and brighter than Surreal Light
  • Ambient Lighting Powder in Luminous Light (review here) is almost pink by comparison to Surreal Light
  • Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure (review here) is cooler-toned and more mauve than either of the Surreal Blushes
  • Ambient Lighting Blush in Luminous Flush (review here) is brighter, deeper and warmer than Surreal Effect
  • Ambient Lighting Bronzers in Luminous Bronze Light and Radiant Bronze Light (review here) are both more golden and bronzey compared to the palette
  • I didn’t swatch compare the Surreal Strobe Light because it’s one of the darker more yellow/gold highlighters in the Hourglass line and I could not find anything similar

The powders perform really well and I like that it has enough color to show up even though the overall feel is neutral. Sometimes those neutral palettes can be a bit too neutral but this one has visible color. The pans are small – I remember from last year’s reviews many had done comparisons on the pan sizes in the palette to individual full sized products. I think the biggest complaint about this one is the price for the size and product amounts but this year’s palette does contain more product in grams and ounces compared to last year’s. I do think the $80 price tag is extremely steep but I don’t feel as though it’s outrageous. Here’s a comparison break down in price per grams:
  • Palette $80 for 9.6 g is $8.33/g
  • Powders are $46 for 10 g which is $4.60/g
  • Blushes are $38 for 4.2 g which is $9.05/g
  • Bronzers are $50 for 11 g which is $4.55/g
  • Strobe Powders are $38 for 4.6 g which is $8.26/g
I personally feel this was worth the splurge. I love all things glowy and this is one of the most natural highlighter palettes I’ve tested. There are a number of highlighter palettes I’ve seen pop up online (in particular at Sephora) so you may want to do some browsing or swatching in stores if you can before deciding which one to buy. I’ve taken a quick peek online and this is the only one I’ve bought so far and I’m very happy with that decision. The packaging is so pretty, colors work really well for my medium olive toned skin. Many of you keep asking what MAC shade I am for reference and I’ve been severely allergic to MAC Studio Fix for many years so I stopped using it. I’ve always been in between NC30 and NC35 but it’s been a long time since I last tested any of their foundations so out of curiosity I went and got shade matched. For MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation I can go with either NC35 or NC37 (for some reason NC37 is a bit lighter than NC35) and for Matchmaster I’m a 3.0 (but it runs slightly less yellow than I like). In the Hourglass Vanish Seamless Foundation I’m in between Warm Ivory and
Nude. In NARS I’m in between Groenland and St. Moritz for the Velvet Matte Skin Tint.

One quick note on brush testing. There is an Ambient Lighting Edit Brush ($46) which is a double-sided brush designed and sized for this palette. In my experience Hourglass brushes are very well made and perform well. They’re synthetic and PETA-approved. I did not buy it but have been using my Wayne Goss Brush #2 for the smaller pans and MAC #187 Duo Fibre brush for the finishing powder.

Bottom line spendy but worth it for me. It exceeded my expectations. I knew I would like it but didn’t know if I could “love” it at the $80 price. After testing it I can say that I do love it. It will be a great one for travel and it’s a palette I can see myself using every single shade. It’s an exquisite well-executed palette. I’m not sure if the shades will show up on deeper skintones but if you’re about 3-4 shades darker than me I do think it will still show up. Now that you know what MAC shade I am if you have tested it any have any thoughts let me know in the comments.

You can find the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette in Surreal Light at Sephora, Nordstrom and Hourglass but it should launch at all other counters very soon. The palette is limited-edition.