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Hourglass Cosmetics Lips

Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim High Intensity Lipsticks

September 18, 2017

Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim Lipstick Review and Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

I’m back in Florida with my family and we are all safe and sound. We are all slowly getting back into the swing of things and today I have a review on the Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim High Intensity Lipsticks ($34 each 0.03 oz/ .9 g, $22 for the refills). I had planned to publish this weeks ago but as some say better late than never. I initially reviewed one shade called I Woke Up in my neutral lip haul back in July (time flies!). At that time there were only select handful of shades that launched in store but by now the Sephora stores I’ve visited have the entire color lineup. The Hourglass team sent all the refills for review and I’ve swatched them by color grouping below. Due to time restraints, life and travel I didn’t have time to photograph and edit all the lip swatches, but I did test each color. I find my initial thoughts to be the same across the board. The Confession Ultra Slim High Intensity Lipsticks are among the best formula I’ve tried. They’re creamy, opaque, smooth, incredibly long-lasting, they don’t feather, they don’t dry out the lips and there’s no detectable scent. The slim packaging has a good weight in the hand when you hold them – it’s actually a lot nicer in person than I had anticipated. The only downside is the price which I still think is too high considering the amount of product you get. After falling in love with I Woke Up, I had planned on purchasing 2-3 more colors as the formula is very very good. A press package arrived before I made it to the store.

There are 30 shades total available at most stores and counters which I have swatched and reviewed today. There are a few colors exclusive to the Hourglass website in I Dream and I Love, along with three shades exclusive to a Holiday Trio Set with My One Desire, True Love Means and You Are My. I don’t have these featured in this post but I will review the colors in the holiday set soon though.

Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim Lipstick Review and Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

In swatching 30 of the colors on the arm and testing them on the lips I was really impressed that each color had smooth opaque coverage. In lipstick launches I usually find at least a few colors that are either too pale and streaky or too dark and streaky. All the colors I tested covered my pigmented lips entirely with ultra smooth pigment and coverage. There were a few pale colors I found a bit too pale for my skintone but they still performed really well. As usual a lot of the reds looked really similar on my complexion but that is the case with most reds. You can see a slight difference in undertone in the arm swatches so if you lean more towards a warm or cool base I hope the swatches help you find your perfect red.

A quick look at the packaging. These are refillable lipsticks and they are easy to assemble. You can buy them as a complete lipstick for $34 or the refills at $22 each. The refills themselves are usable alone so if you want to skip the exterior you can. For the refills you basically remove the cap and base and insert them into the gold exterior. They twist up and down.

Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim Lipstick | The Beauty Look Book

I’ve swatched these by color grouping, up first are the lighter shades:

  • The First Time – pink beige
  • I Wish – neutral pale nude beige
  • One Day – neutral beige pink
  • No One Knows – light pinky peach
  • I Lust For – peachy beige cream
  • I’ll Never Stop – beige nude cream
  • I Want – deeper pink beige

Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim Lipstick Review and Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim Lipstick Review and Swatches The First Time, I Wish, One Day, No One Knows, I Lust For, I'll NEver Stop, I Want | The Beauty Look Book

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Next set:

  • I Always – bright fuchsia cool pink
  • You Can Find Me – peachy coral pink
  • My Favorite – neutral-cool pink
  • I’ve Kissed – medium neutral rose pink
  • I’m Addicted – tawny rose pink
  • If Only – pink with some berry tones
  • I’ve Never – medium peachy tan beige
  • I Woke Up – soft rose pink

Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim Lipstick Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim Lipstick Swatches Review I Always, You Can Find Me, My Favorite, I've Kissed, I'm Addicted, If Only, I've Never, I Woke Up | The Beauty Look Book

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Brighter and deeper shades:

  • I Believe – bright cool pink
  • I Can’t Wait – vibrant peony pink
  • I Live For – bright orange red
  • I Desire – bright orange red, slightly deeper than I Live For
  • I Crave – brick red
  • My Icon Is – true red
  • Secretly – slightly deeper red
  • I Can’t Live Without – deeper berry red

Hourglass Ultra Slim Lipstick Brights | The Beauty Look Book

Hourglass Ultra Slim Lipstick Brights | The Beauty Look Book

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Last set:

  • At Night – brick red with brown tones
  • I’ve Been – brown with red undertone
  • One Time – bright rose pink
  • When I’m With You – bright pink with cool plum tones
  • When I’m Alone – deep berry red
  • If I Could – plum red cream
  • I Hide My – plum

Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim Lipstick Review Reds | The Beauty Look Book Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim Lipstick Review At Night, I've Been, One Time, When I'm With You, When I'm Alone, If I Could, I Hide My | The Beauty Look Book

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I swatched 10 shades on the lips to try and show the range of color. These are all swatched on bare lips. Foundation shade worn is Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation and Concealer in Natural.

Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim Lipstick Lip Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

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Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim Lipstick Review and Swatches | The Beauty Look BookAs mentioned in my previous review these are excellent in formula, presentation, packaging and lasting power. They aren’t moisturizing but they don’t dry out my lips. These Confession lipsticks also feel comfortable and weightless on the lips even though they are full coverage. The slim design and angled mold these are formed in helps create a clean and precise line. By comparison the GIRL Lip Stylos have a creamier feel with more shine but also can get prone to looking messy once you wear the tip down (not a deal breaker for me, but just an observation). I love that the Confession lipsticks have a tiny bit of shine to them as I don’t find that matte finish lipsticks wear well on me (with the exception of the Louboutin and Charlotte Tilbury mattes). In terms of lipstick launches this formula is excellent with full smooth coverage. A quick note that Tom Ford did just launch new shades of Lips and Boys and their new Lips and Girls (which are significantly sheerer) – I splurged on quite a few shades (review soon) and since fall beauty launches are still trickling in you might want to wait and shop or swatch before you decide what to buy. Out of the new launches I have tested so far, I have no regrets purchasing I Woke Up and would have had no regrets buying a few more although I still think the price tag is too steep for the amount of product you get. If you are looking for a high quality full coverage long-wear lipstick that doesn’t look cakey or matte this is a great option.

You can find the Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim High Intensity Lipsticks along with the refills at all Hourglass counters now. Online at Nordstrom, Sephora, Space NK, Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys New York, Hourglass Cosmetics and all other Hourglass retailers.

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

Confession Ultra Slim High Intensity Lipsticks gifted courtesy of Hourglass for review.

Lips

Neutral Lip Testing from NARS, Bite Beauty, Hourglass + More

July 26, 2017

Nude Lip Haul from Sephora | The Beauty Look Book

I’m a neutral lip addict and have a roundup review of some new formulas and color out right now. All of these picks are from Sephora as it seems like that’s where most of the new launches are at for the moment. Sephora stores are actually where quite a few of my readers have run into me – in multiple cities and not always my hometown stores lol. Many thanks to each of you who have been so kind to introduce yourself and say hello – I’ve been really touched with how nice you all are in person.

So for the new stuff – many of you have been asking about the new Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquified Lip and NARS Powermatte Lip Pigments. I’ve put some shades from each formula to the test. I also have some new Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Glosses swatched, Make Up For Ever Artist Liquid Matte Lipsticks reviewed (not new, but new to me) and a first impressions of the Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim High Intensity Lipstick. There are also quite a few comparison swatches in this post for reference. It’s a little bit of a lot for the lips.

Up first are the new Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquified Lipsticks. My DMs and emails have been literally flooded with review requests. Since I really loved the Amuse Bouche Lipstick formula this was an easy yes for me. I went to multiple stores to track these down because one didn’t have all the colors. And one of these is an online exclusive for VIB Rouge.

These aren’t like the normal liquid lipsticks on the market which dry down to a matte finish. These are essentially lipsticks in a liquid form but with a creamy finish. In my opinion this is what all liquid lipsticks should look and feel like, but I know not everyone will agree with me. Cava is the VIB Rouge Online Exclusive shade and with one swipe on the arm I knew immediately this would not be a wearable one for me. On my tan/medium skin it looks like a lilac. I do think it will suit fair skins better so I did not swatch this on my lips and instead am saving this for a friend. Caramelized is a beige with warm tones, Whip is the perfect nude pink, Chutney is a medium rose.

The formula is opaque and creamy. There’s a beveled sponge tip applicator which allows for precise application at the tip and the angled end covers/fills your entire lip area. Lasting power is quite impressive. There is color transfer to cups if you drink but it still stays put really well for hours. Formula has a nice nourishing feel – since it’s opaque it is a bit thick, but you can easily blend it out since a little goes a long way. Most of the colors in the line ran dark. I picked the lightest options and then it jumped to fairly dark or deep. To me they have a fall vibe but I guess since fall is going to be here soon these have arrived right on time.

I think the best color is Whip.

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquified Lip | The Beauty Look Book

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquified Lipstick | The Beauty Look Book

Below all four shades I bought swatched, compared to the Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Honeycomb, Pepper and Sake. I normally can’t wear super cool-toned colors on the lips because of my yellow skintone, Sake is about as cool as I go unless it’s a darker plum. The Liquified Lipstick has more opaque coverage compared to the Lipstick version.

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquified Lip | The Beauty Look Book

Next is are two of my favorite lip gloss formulas. I’ve already featured the Marc Jacobs Enamored Hi-Shine Lip Lacquer in Skin Deep here in May but wanted to feature it again. It’s the perfect neutral-cool toned nude that has medium sheer pigment. On me it goes on a bit mauvey because of my tan and pigmented lips. If I were lighter it would be more on the neutral side. About a year ago Anastasia Beverly Hills launched some mini lip gloss sets with colors exclusive to that set. Set I purchased reviewed here. The other set has been repromoted this year at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale now. Earlier this summer she finally launched most of them individually in full size. I bought three Lip Glosses from Sephora in Toffee, Amber and Caramel as they are my favorites. For quick reference I’ve swatched a couple other neutrals from her line. Her packaging has changed slightly but the applicators are the same.

Descriptions of the following: Marc Jacobs Skin Deep is a neutral nude pink. It has medium coverage with a glossy sheen. The Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Glosses have full opaque coverage and a flat sponge tip applicator. Toffee is a neutral beige, Amber is a light peachy cream, Caramel is a medium warm pink, Kristen is a neutral pink-brown, Vintage is similar but more pink/rose. The Anastasia Lip Glosses are perfect – I wish she had more wearable conservative neutrals but for now these are perfect.

Marc Jacobs Skin Deep and Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss | The Beauty Look Book

Marc Jacobs Skin Deep and Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss | The Beauty Look Book

Marc Jacobs Skin Deep and Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss swatched | The Beauty Look Book

Next is the Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim High Intensity Lipstick. These are refillable and my local Sephora had a small handful of shades. The colors on display pretty much all looked the same and they were all neutrals. I swatched them on my hand and every single one looked perfect. Texture is creamy with a natural shine and it had impressive coverage. I limited myself to 1 in I Woke Up which is a perfect medium rose pink. Everything about this is perfect from color, formula, finish, feel and lasting power yet it has one major drawback for me: I find it overpriced for the size. I’m not one to pass up a lipstick because of price (ie Tom Ford, Louboutin, Cle de Peau, Surratt etc.) These lipsticks are supposed to be refillable with the refills priced at $22 which seems a bit more reasonable. But when you see these in person, they are SUPER tiny. The upside is that if you buy one or a few you will most likely use it up entirely before it goes bad. I feel conflicted about these – I actually find the packaging sleek and pretty. It’s something you have to see and feel in person to see how nice they are. The formula and coverage is excellent. I just can’t help but feel the price can’t really be justified for the size. These are 0.03 oz for $34 while Tom Ford Lips and Boys are 0.07 oz for $35.

Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim Lipstick I Woke Up | The Beauty Look Book

Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim Lipstick I Woke Up | The Beauty Look Book

Swatch comparisons next to some of the GIRL Lipstylo, Bite Beauty Meringue and Chanel Le Crayon in Beige Rose.

Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim Lipstick I Woke Up | The Beauty Look Book

Last are the mattes. In general matte liquid lips do not do so well on my lips. I have full lips and the matte dry down tends to emphasize lip lines and make my lips look very dry. I have still put quite a few to the test – I can make them work by adding a balm like the Dior Addict Lip Glow Pomade or Reviver Balms underneath or by dabbing a tiny bit of gloss on top. Some of the colors from these lines are so perfect – I wish they were made in other formulas. The Make Up For Ever Artist Liquid Matte Lipsticks have been raved about by so many people. For me the lighter shades 101 and 103 are a miss because they’re too pale for me, but deeper ones like 109 work better. The formula is a true matte and it’s super opaque. You only need a thin layer to get full coverage. I dab a tiny bit and blend with the fingers. These dry down to a full matte which I’m not a fan of – still the formula didn’t dry out my lips even if it made them look dry and they do stay put once you apply them.

The NARS Powermatte Lip Pigments were sent to me for review. I have all the colors and if you’re interested in a separate review let me know in the comments. For this post I tested the colors I knew I would wear on a regular basis. These are liquid matte lipsticks with a thinner formula which makes them easier for me to work with. Still they dry down to a velvety matte finish which I don’t like so to test these I had to apply the Dior Addict Lip Glow Balms underneath to make them work. The colors of the Powermatte Lip Pigments are so good – American Woman and Walk This Way are the best colors pinks I’ve tested in a long time. They’re not quite neutral but at the same time aren’t super bright. Just What I Needed is a perfect mauve neutral. I’m a huge fan of the Velvet Lip Glide because they’re more forgiving and don’t dry down to a full matte. I wish that NARS expanded that color range instead of this formula, but I’m happy that I can make it work with a bit of balm underneath. Lasting power even on top of a balm is really good – like most liquid lipsticks it will stay put for a long time. They don’t dry out the lips.

Make Up For Ever Artist Liquid Matte Lipstick and NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment | The Beauty Look Book

Make Up For Ever Artist Liquid Matte Lipstick and NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment swatch | The Beauty Look Book

Make Up For Ever Artist Liquid Matte Lipstick and NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment swatches | The Beauty Look Book

That wraps up my neutral lip testing and buys from Sephora. I hope you found this review helpful. To sum up all this testing, I’m still a lip gloss person at heart. My favorite lip gloss formula for opaque coverage is the Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss. Marc Jacobs has the best shine and smooth finish for a cushiony non-sticky feel. The next best opaque liquid lipgloss is the Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquified Lipstick. If you’re in search of a more traditional matte finish go with the new NARS Powermatte Lip Pigments.

I personally would give the Make Up For Ever Liquid Lipsticks a miss because I really don’t like the super matte dry down. These are ultra matte even with a balm underneath. I’m still undecided on the Hourglass lipsticks. If I were to rate them just on performance, quality and color, I’d 100% give it an A+. The price is what is holding me back from giving it a huge thumbs up – but product-wise it’s excellent.

All this being said, fall is usually a huge season for lip launches. I don’t know what’s in store for the upcoming season, but if you’re unsure about any of these there should be no rush. It appears that all are permanent, at least for now until the brand decides to reformulate something or discontinue a product. They will be around for a while. If you want to know what one new lip formula I think you should buy from this round up it would be to try one of the new Bite Liquid Lipsticks. If those really aren’t your thing I’d say wait a month or so to see what fall has in store for us.

Have you tried any of these formulas or colors yet? What did you think? You can find all of these now at Sephora. The NARS Powermatte Pigments were sent for review. All others purchased by me.

 

Hourglass Cosmetics

Hourglass Ambient Diffused Light Palette

July 14, 2017

Nordstrom Beauty Exclusive Hourglass Ambient Diffused Light Palette | The Beauty Look Book

For the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale the Beauty Exclusive for Hourglass this year is the Ambient Diffused Light Palette ($62 for .34 oz/9.7 g, made in Italy). I’ve been a fan of the Ambient Lighting line since it launched in 2013 and to date I haven’t missed any of the limited-edition palettes except for one of them. They’re great for travel and if you’re new to the line it’s a nice more affordable way to try multiple colors rather than buying individual ones separately. The Ambient Diffused Light Palette has existing shades:

  • Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light – light pale yellow with fine shimmer
  • Ambient Lighting Blush in Diffused Heat – poppy with the Diffused Light Powder swirled in to the color (full review here)
  • Ambient Lighting Bronze in Diffused Bronze Light – soft warm bronze swirled with the Diffused Light Powder (full review here)

Nordstrom Beauty Exclusive Hourglass Ambient Diffused Light Palette | The Beauty Look Book

These performed true to Hourglass style – they’re soft and luminous without any harsh frost. In terms of a highlighter or hybrid kind of product these give the prettiest soft glow to the complexion to mimic the way light hits the face naturally. Pigment is medium but can be sheered out or layered for more impact. On me they are easy to apply and never look frosty. If you’re like me you most likely already have all the colors individually – I usually still get the palettes anyways because they are super convenient for travel or to carry around for touch ups. I rarely calculate the prize per oz of palettes vs individual items but for those curious, individually the Powder is $46 for .35 oz ($182.35/oz), the Blush is $38 for .15 oz ($253.33/oz) and Bronzer is $50 for .39 oz ($128.21), Palette is $62 for .34 oz ($182.35/oz).

In this palette for some reason when I saw it in store, Diffused Heat looked pink rather than poppy in color. I compared them when I got home and the difference is slight but still noticeable. The individual Diffused Heat is clearly more red while the palette version is a bit more pink. On the face however the difference is slight. Comparisons below. I threw in Luminous Flush as well for comparison. Since these are hand swirled no two powders will look the same.

Hourglass Ambient Diffused Light Palette swatches vs individuals | The Beauty Look Book

Palette swatched next to the individual colors. You can see the Diffused Heat in the palette is a bit more pink than the Diffused Heat in the individual version. Let me know if you see the same in yours (I checked about 4-5 compacts in store and they all looked consistently the same).

Hourglass Ambient Diffused Light Palette swatches vs individuals | The Beauty Look Book

Left photo is just with a base, right photo is with the palette. For those curious on what I used to prep:

On the right, I’m wearing all three shades from the Ambient Diffused Light Palette on the cheeks.

Hourglass Ambient Diffused Heat Palette Look

Since so many of you ask what brushes I recommend, really any blush brush will do. My favorites coming soon in an updated post. For now here are some of my smaller-sized favorites. Left to right is the Wayne Goss #02 (mine is from The Collection Set, Charlotte Tilbury Powder and Sculpt, Wayne Goss Air Brush, Chanel Blush Brush, Wayne Goss #14 (from The Face Set) and Hourglass Brush #2. Picking one will depend on what kind of pigment/coverage you like. The Hourglass brush is a good all around blush and powder brush. Loose fluffy ones like the Wayne Goss #14 will give a more sheer wash.

Favorite Cheek Brushes | The Beauty Look Book

One last look, it also comes with a tiny sample pack of their Mineral Veil Primer (not shown):

Nordstrom Beauty Exclusive Hourglass Ambient Diffused Light Palette | The Beauty Look Book

Bottom line pretty and very wearable. Perfect for travel or if you’re just getting into Hourglass. If you’re like me and have been collecting for years this is a pretty redundant option. If you already own these, unless you travel a lot or want something for on the go that’s easy to touch up, you might want to explore other options. For me it was worth purchasing even though I already have the colors.

You can find the Ambient Diffused Heat Palette exclusively at Nordstrom for the Anniversary Sale. Don’t forget to check out the Gift With Purchase page – there’s a gift with $75+ beauty purchase going on from multiple brands, you do need to enter a code (site has different options). Is this one on your wishlist?

Press samples featured include the Dior skincare and Wayne Goss brushes. All others purchased by me.

Base Makeup Beauty Favorites

Summer Foundation and Base Edit

July 7, 2017

Best Summer Foundations for Warm Weather | The Beauty Look Book

By popular request I have a roundup of foundations and bases I’ve been testing since I’ve moved to Florida where the weather is warm, sunny and humidity levels are very noticeable. By comparison, San Diego is very dry although to me it always felt moderate and what I considered normal. We live in the Tampa Bay area and so far the humidity isn’t quite as bad as I had expected. I’m saying this because in December we drove to Key West which is extremely wet and humid feeling – so humid the air feels like you’re walking around in a sauna. Also a few years ago we took almost a month to travel throughout Europe through Italy and the Mediterranean in late June. It was so scorching hot and humid during out travels I completely gave up wearing makeup on most of the days after trying and failing. That being said, yes Florida is humid and hot and finding a makeup base that stays put, doesn’t budge and that won’t slide off has been a challenge.

To date I haven’t found any makeup base or combination of products can truly 100% last or stand up to serious humidity especially if I sweat. I’m the type of person who doesn’t break a sweat easily but since moving to Florida I start sweating if I’m outside for 5 minutes and there’s no wind or breeze. I’m rounding up what I’ve tested by formula and coverage and note what I’ve found wears the best. Even though it’s humid here the reality is that both Andrew and I are rarely outside for long consecutive hours unless we’re at the beach or a park doing touristy things. Also even on those occasions we can take a break from the heat while in the car with the AC or take a stop at a coffee shop or restaurant.

Up first are the more natural looking foundations with sheer to medium coverage. The most requested reviews I get are for BB Creams and CC creams and I am sad to say that those are products I really do not like. Most feel thick on my skin or look pink in undertone. As one with really yellow/olive skin I can’t do bases that have pink so unfortunately I will probably not review any. Also a quick note on shades – many of you have commented over the years that you’re the same shade as me. Since moving to Tampa I’ve tanned quite a bit – it’s something I can’t avoid. I also lose my tan quickly so my color changes on a weekly basis. Because of this annoying fact I have to mix colors a lot – more than I ever have.

Shown below from left to right:

  • MAC Next to Nothing Face Color is the sheerest base I’ll do. It really has a super natural tint but adheres well to the skin. I fluctuate between Medium and Medium Plus. The shades run on the pink side but since the formula is so sheer it’s really forgiving. Review and swatches of all shades here.
  • Bobbi Brown Nude Finish Tinted Moisturizer with SPF15 is more like a natural foundation. It’s sheer like a tinted moisturizer but gives better coverage than most that I’ve tried. It does contain Octinoxate 7.5% and Titanium Dioxide 3% so if those cause problems for your skin you may want to skip. I had no issues with this formula for my skin. If I were still in San Diego I would probably use this more regularly – since it has a mild moisturizing quality it can get a little bit dewy. I bought mine at Nordstrom but Bobbi Brown Online has more shades available.
  • NARS Charlotte Gainsbourg Hydrating Glow Tint is one that really surprised me. It’s hydrating but not too rich or heavy. It makes the skin glow naturallyΒ  Review and swatches of all shades here. It was limited-edition so may be hard to track down.
  • NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint with SPF 30 is one you’ll see me wearing a lot in beauty looks or lip swatches. This one has Octinoxate 7.5% and Octisalate 3% – it’s one that doesn’t irritate my skin and has a natural looking finish that isn’t too matte, just naturally velvety. I wear St. Moritz now but on my lighter wear Groenland or mix the two.
  • Diorskin Forever Foundation SPF 35 is one of the best foundation bases I’ve ever tried. The only downside is finding a match can be a bit tricky. I tested 30 and 31 first – in store I had one on each side and they both matched perfectly. When I got home and tested again I found they sometimes darkened about a 1/2 shade. 31 is more yellow while 30 is more pink so I kept 31. I went back to find the next shade down which is 21 (even though there are a lot of shades in between). 21 is the most yellow. If you’re normally my skintone go with either 21 or 25. I use both 21 and 31 mixed together to get my perfect match. For me it’s 100% worth it because this looks naturally flawless on the skin and gives me exactly the coverage I want. It also stays put the best for me. It has 3% Octinoxate and 1.75% Titanium Dioxide.

Sheer to Medium Foundations | The Beauty Look Book

Sheer to Medium Foundations | The Beauty Look Book

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Next up medium to full coverage foundations which is what I usually prefer. Most people, friends and family included don’t realize that I’m almost always wearing a full coverage foundation until they see me with bare skin and see all my freckles. I was active in outdoor sports while in high school and even though that was YEARS ago I still got a lot of freckles and sun spots from being outside a lot. I have tried a number of whitening/brightening treatments over the years which has helped with acne scars and dark spots but I still have a lot of freckles.

Shown left to right:

  • Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation and Concealer is hands down my most-worn foundation base. It offers medium to full buildable coverage and I love everything about it. For me Tom Ford Beauty has the best foundation shades to match my skin tone. It blends easily and covers my skin exactly how I like it without getting cakey. It lasts an impressive amount of time without sliding, creasing or budging. Review + swatches here.
  • Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation is the newest one I’ve tried. I got an early sneak peek at some of the shades and given my challenge finding a match in the Candleglow version I was skeptical about this one. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how good a formula is for a base – if there’s no decent match, it’s going to be a no-go. I was lucky to find my match to either Buff or Dusk. Right now Dusk is the better match because it’s more olive. On a few occasions I have found I need to mix in a bit of Macadamia to lighten it just a slight amount. I am extremely impressed with this formula. You do need to blend quickly as it dries and sets in a short amount of time. Once it sets it gives a flawless finish that looks matte but not flat. This is one of the few true matte finishes I’ve tried that I like the look of. I’ve found it pretty budge-proof – this is one I wore this on the 4th of July. I applied a fresh face of makeup in the early evening before we headed downtown to scope out some firework locations. I had this on from 4:00 pm until around midnight. That evening the air wasn’t too and we were thrilled that it actually stopped raining by the time we found parking and walked a mile to downtown. After looking around the Channelside area we decided downtown was not for us so we walked back to our car and drove to Hyde Park Village for dinner. After we then walked another mile to Bayshore Boulevard to watch the fireworks. All this rambling is to explain how this formula held up. The humidity was probably the highest I’ve felt here to date – this one held up remarkably well although I did get very glowy looking, it did not slide off or budge.
  • Giorgio Armani Power Fabric is another long-lasting full coverage foundation that works well in this heat. Before I had to mix 4 and 6. Right now I’m probably 6.5 which is more golden, but I can make 6 work. If you can find a shade match this an exceptionally good one for lasting power.
  • Hourglass Vanish Seamless Foundation Stick is one of my top picks for foundation sticks in this humidity. While in San Diego in my winter skintone I wore Warm Ivory. I’ve since moved up to Nude but only use this on areas I need extra coverage. It does warm up/darken a little. Right now I could probably use the next shade up but since I don’t use this all over my face I haven’t bought it yet.

Medium to Full Coverage Foundations | The Beauty Look Book

Medium to Full Coverage Foundation Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

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Next are cushions. I’ve always been interested in cushions but testers usually look pretty gross and also finding the right shade can be a challenge. Korean brands tend to run pink (at least the ones I’ve tried) but I’ve had luck with a few in the past. The best thing about the cushions is that they usually come with a refill pack so you’re getting 1 plus a backup. Right now there are 3 cushions I really like:

  • Dior Capture Totale Dreamskin Cushion is one I featured in my sunscreen story. It has SPF 50 and isn’t really a foundation but actually a skincare product. I can use this alone or as a base for other foundations. I think the swatches can be a bit misleading because you have to put this on your skin to see how it matches. 30 looks way too dark for me but because it’s sheer it blends in seamlessly with my skin.
  • Saturday Skin All Algow Sunscreen Perfecting Cushion Compact with SPF 50 is probably the best cushion I’ve tried. I ordered two shades online sight unseen. 05 Honey is my match as this darkens just a tiny bit on my skin. Color selection is pretty limited – so far I’ve only been able to find 4 total, 3 are available at Nordstrom and all 4 are available at Urban Outfitters. It offers medium to full coverage but pulls more towards the full size. It gives the skin a very natural looking glow without being too dewy. It also stays put and doesn’t budge. Active Ingredients are Octocrylene 2%, Octyle Methoxycinnamate 7%, Octyle Saliclate 4.8%, Titanium Dioxide 9%, Zinc Oxide 2%.
  • Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion has full coverage with limited shades. I bought the Brightening Version while in New York in 25 and 33 and after testing them at home was so disappointed to find they are simply too pink for my skin. I ordered the Perfecting Cushion in 25 to try instead which has fuller coverage and a better match. This darkens about one full shade on my skin. The formula is a bit on the heavy side for my preference but still holds up well in warm weather. I don’t hate this but don’t love it – I suspect it’s due to the fact that I don’t have a 100% shade match but I can make Shade 25 Deep Beige work for me.

Cushions Dior Dreamskin Cushion, Saturday Skin All Alglow Cushion, Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion | The Beauty Look Book

Cushions Dior Dreamskin Cushion, Saturday Skin All Alglow Cushion, Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

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Next are a few miscellaneous items I love for powders, concealers and a couple tools. I own a lot of loose powders but in general prefer pressed ones because they’re not as messy and easier for touch ups.

Best Pressed Powders, Concealers and Tools | The Beauty Look Book

For pressed powders:

  • Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Skin Perfecting Micro-Powder has one of the longest product names I think I’ve ever seen but it’s seriously THE best pressed powder I’ve tried. I saw this applied in action on my BFF at a Charlotte Tilbury event. Her foundation/base had completely worn off already and she told the artist she didn’t really want to try the foundation. The artist applied #1 on her skin and it was literally transformed into a smooth flawless canvas in front of my eyes. My shade is #2 and although I think she could add more options this one has been my go-to for at least a couple years now.
  • Armani Luminous Silk Compact Dual-Use Powder is another great setting powder. This one has more color options compared to the Charlotte Tilbury. It offers medium natural coverage and comes with a dual-sided sponge so you can either apply it for sheer or more full coverage. I use a powder brush to set my liquid foundation with this one for the most part. The sponge is something I use for touch ups. Even though I’ve darkened quite a bit I’ve still found Shade #4 to work perfectly for me.
  • MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium Plus is one of the few mineral powders I actually like. I tried so many when mineral powders were in – so many just looked too heavy on the skin, even after buffing it in. This one offers medium coverage and I use a brush to set my foundation. It gives an airbrushed finish but it’s not completely weightless in feel. It is a very natural looking product though and holds up well with the heat/humidity.

For concealers, I really don’t find myself using concealer a lot anymore. I simply don’t need it with good coverage foundations but my 3 most-used ones:

Concealer Swatches Cle de Peau Beaute, MUFE, NARS | The Beauty Look Book

Tools, an updated brush tool series coming up soon on the blog, but for now my two must-haves:

  • beautyblender is the best foundation application tool I’ve used. I’ve tried a number of the different colors and while technically they should all perform the same, I don’t find they do. The best ones for me are the original beautyblender (bright pink), bubble and nude. Review from a few years ago in this post here.
  • MAC Brush 140 S Synthetic Full Fan Brush is probably the best powder brush I own. It launched with the MAC Next to Nothing collection and has the perfect density and softness to pick up powder and apply it in a sweeping motion all over the face.

I wasn’t able to face swatch and photograph all the foundations, but here’s a look at two and also what my bare face looks like. With the Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Foundation in Dusk I’m just wearing the foundation (no powder to set). It was taken with a low flash and I didn’t get any white cast or flashback. Lipstick is MAC Faux.

Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation and Concealer photographs the best in my experience. This was also taken with a flash and I’m facing a sliding glass door so some natural light is on my face. Lipstick worn here is Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk (you can also see it on me when I was a shade lighter here).

Foundation Face Swatches Tom Ford and Laura Mercier | The Beauty Look Book

I hope this roundup was helpful for you! A few notes on other formulas I tested, previous favorites and why I don’t use them as much now:

  • The Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer worked better for me when I was in San Diego. Right now it’s really too dewy for my skin type. It’s still a great product for sheer coverage.
  • The Make Up For Ever Ultra HD is still an amazing line for the liquid and stick foundation. I used my shades up the first month I arrived here (this was back in March). Since I’ve gotten darker I haven’t had a chance to investigate other shades to find what my current match is.
  • The Becca Aqua Luminous Foundation is too luminous for me right now. Earlier in the spring or even when I was here in December it worked perfectly. Right now it’s a no-go just because I have normal/combo skin.
  • I will be testing the new Diorskin Forever and Chanel Les Beiges cushions. Will keep you posted. I have tried the Lancome Cushion but it’s really heavy in coverage – too heavy for me.
  • MAC Studio Fix Fluid is one of the most full coverage foundations I’ve tried, I do like the formula but it’s a bit too opaque for me on its own. I can wear it and find it has impressive lasting power in this heat but I need to mix it with a Strobe Cream or something along those lines to sheer it out for my coverage preference.

Some final thoughts and favorites:

  • Best foundation for me is anything from Tom Ford, but right now my favorite formula is definitely the Waterproof Foundation/Concealer. I used to use Bisque. Now I alternate between Natural (more neutral) and Sable (more olive/yellow).
  • Longest lasting matte base is the new Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion. If you have normal to dry skin definitely make sure your skin is well moisturized or add a hydrating primer. Reason for this is it’s medium to full coverage and matte formulas can emphasize lines. For me this one went on flawlessly without a primer but my skin is a bit more combination with the heat/humidity.
  • My most-used concealer is from NARS.
  • Best sheer/natural looking foundation is the NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint.
  • Best new discoveries this year for me are the Diorskin Forever Foundation and Saturday Skin All Aglow Cushion.
  • I really can’t pick 1 favorite powder (sorry!) – it’s tie between the Charlotte Tilbury and Armani. If you want a flawless truly airbrushed look go with the Charlotte Tilbury. However shades areΒ  limited as there are only 3 so the next best option is Armani. The Armani has sheerer coverage with a brush.
  • For other touch ups and this heat I swear by the Tatcha Japanese Blotting Papers. While my in-laws were visiting we went to Orlando. All of us were sweating with the heat, humidity and thunder showers. I kinda forced them to use these – even my husband didn’t want to use it, he looked at the little square and said “there’s no way that’s going to help.” I gave them 2 each and assured them it really would help and after they tried it I was really happy to find that they did feel a lot better after using them.

Finding a good base in truly humid weather is going to be a challenge and results will definitely vary depending where you are located. Even within the Tampa Bay area humidity levels vary depending on how close I am to the coast. We live in one of the canal areas and while we aren’t directly on the bay we can see if from our house. Temperatures just a few miles inland in certain areas fluctuate and since the weather changes by the hour here so there are some times and places where it’s so hot literally nothing will truly stay put.

For those who are looking for a new base to try I hope this gave you some good ideas. If you have any you swear by let me know in the comments!

Press samples featured include the Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion, MAC Next to Nothing, Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer, MAC Brush 140S Brush. All others purchased by me.

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. 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

_________________________

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

_________________________

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

__________________________

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 πŸ™‚ 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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