There are some new eyeshadow palettes out and I put three to the test from MAC, Marc Jacobs Beauty and Kat Von D Beauty. At first glance the colors look really similar between the three that I have but swatching proves otherwise. They have varied undertones, different textures, finishes and pigment. I’ll say up front the new Marc Jacobs Beauty palettes win for pigment and blendability, MAC wins for the fun factor and Kat Von D is one I have mixed feelings on.
Base Shades are soft satiny shimmers: Porcelain, Dusk and Dune
Contour Shades are perfect smooth metallics: Copper, Cinder, Rust
Define Shades are glitters: Bronze, Onyx, Jasper
Topcoat Shades are chunky glitters: Sterling, Glacier and Quartz
The Base and Contour shades are really amazing in texture and pigment. They’re velvety soft and easy to blend. The Define and Topcoat Shades are where this palette gets high maintenance. There is chunky glitter with tons of fall out in application and after application/clean up. You need to apply with either a damp brush or over a super emollient base to make the shades stick. With some glitters I find applying with a finger in a patting motion helps the shadow + glitter stick better with less fall out but with these fall out happened no matter what. If all of the shades were glitter free or in the contour formula this would have been 100% perfect. I can get it to work but it takes a LOT of extra work and clean up.
MAC launched six personality palettes in their MAC Girls Collection and I received Mischief Minx as a press sample. I stopped by the counter and was seriously tempted by Prissy Princess and Power Hungry – some other gorgeous neutrals but decided for now to stick with Mischief Minx. It has a palette of shimmers and warm shades. Pigment is medium but buildable. This one is fairly warm in undertone but easy to wear (even the orange and red shades which I mix or blend). Each shade has a name but it’s only labeled in a removable plastic insert which is easy to lose.
Swatched from left to right is: Mischief Minx (shimmering orange gold), Natural Tease (shimmering tan gold), V Frisky (light silvery gold), She-Nani-Gains (shimmering warm tan), Flaming Femme (matte rust), Schemer (satiny matte warm brown), Been There Done That (shimmering dark brown shimmer), Totally Trouble (black matte), Stride of Pride (gold peach highlighter)
Last but not least is the Marc Jacobs Beauty Eye-Conic Multi-Finish Eyeshadow Palette in Glambition. I’m a fan of the original Style Eye Con ones and the new ones have excellent pigment and texture which are just as good as the originals. Glambition is the most neutral option and the texture is super soft with a velvety feel. Pigment is just so SO good. Color-wise this isn’t necessarily the most exciting palette but it has easy to wear mix of neutrals and bolds that just work. They also layer well together.
Colors left to right include She Was (satiny soft ivory cream shimmer), Infamous (soft rose tan matte), Known For (warm pigmented gold), Seeking (fawn brown matte), The Most (pale pink frost), Over the Top (matte warm brown), Glamour (matte black with gold flecks).
I highly recommend the MAC or Marc Jacobs palettes if you’re looking for a new one. The Marc Jacobs palettes have the best formula out of the three I tried but MAC has more fun wearable shade options to choose from. Kat Von D is one I have mixed feelings on – I still think the colors are just so good but formulas are hard to work with and super high maintenance which is not something I have the patience for. If you’re looking for a new eyeshadow palette that’s more streamlined and simple, you might want to check out the Chanel City of Lights Les 4 Ombres – I just bought it and will be reviewing soon.
I had planned to do some eye looks but I’m in the midst of a move and upcoming travel so I’m a bit limited on time for the moment. Have you tried any of these formulas yet? What did you think? In case you missed it my favorite eye shadow brushes listed in this post here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By popular request I have an updated roundup of my beauty tools. So many of you have asked me what the best tools are for eye makeup and I’ve often referenced older posts. I was going through some recently and it’s hard to believe the last round up posts were done three years ago! Time literally flies! I’ve been building my brush collection for many years (for over a decade) and yet I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface of the tools out there. When it comes to makeup brushes and tools I’m a creature of habit. For the longest time I’ve stuck with tried and true staples from MAC because they’re consistent in quality, they have kept the same designs for years and they get the job done. I have explored a lot of other brands over the years and today I have an updated roundup of the best eye makeup tools I own.
If I could just stick with one collection/brand I would – unfortunately no single brand has everything I want. I’ve split these into categories by shape/function. Also note that I don’t have a crease on my lids so I don’t use a crease brush like most would. I do a lot of blending to get a gradient or wash with neutral colors and then I also have a lot of detail brushes I use. I do realize this is a bit of a long list – I’ve included different options from a small handful of brands I really love as some of you may have different preferences for shape, brush size, handle size/width etc. I’ll round up my top picks at the end of the post as well.
Up first are the basic shadow/lid brushes. I like ones that are soft but somewhat dense so I can pick up powders. A lot of these I use for creams as well even though synthetic brushes often work better – I like the soft texture and feel. Shown below from left to right:
Hakuhodo J242G ($18) is a hybrid goat and synthetic fibers making it versatile for all products. It’s a smaller size making it easy to pack on color on the lids.
Hakuhodo B J004G ($20) is my favorite one for the lids, it’s made of goat hair and extremely soft. This is the best lid color brush I have – it picks up the perfect amount of color and blends powders seamlessly.
MAC 239SH ($25) is also another favorite, it’s one of my most-used brushes, the SH version is exclusive to MAC stores and online. It’s soft and dense and perfect for packing product on the lids. It’s not as soft as the Hakuhodo but still very good.
MAC 239 ($25) is the full size version, I like that both the full and short handle have the same size bristles.
Chanel Blender/Shader ($42) is a new double ended brush that’s super soft with a nice fluffy feel. The small end is also dense but fluffy, the larger side is perfect for blending.
Wayne Goss 18 (old, discontinued) is unfortunately discontinued but was the best option that was slightly larger than the MAC 239.
Chanel Large Eye Shadow Brush #25 ($38) is another great option that’s larger than the MAC 239, it’s not as dense and slightly more loose in how its packed, note that all the Chanel brushes with the silver handles (ones in the current collection) are going to be discontinued. New ones will be introduced around the 24th so if you have any current options on your wishlist you should buy them soon.
Marc Jacobs Beauty The Conceal ($30) is actually a concealer brush (which it’s great for) but I really love this one for cream shadows. It has a beveled/angled tip so it makes the creams apply easily to the lids.
Out of all of these my top two are the MAC 239 and Hakuhodo B J004G. I have multiples of both kinds and they’re probably the most versatile brushes I own.
Next are the blending brushes good for a light sweep of color, for blending or a nice wash. With some of these you will probably be able to use as a crease brushes too. I prefer the ones with white hair as they’re usually soft and super fluffy. They’re small enough so there’s some density to them. Often times I find the darker ones are a bit too loose in the way they are designed. Shown below from left to right:
Edward Bess Luxury Eye Brush ($40) is my favorite large domed fluffy brush because of the density. It’s perfect for sweeping color on the lids for a nice wash and it’s also a great blending brush.
MAC 217 (also available in 217SH) ($25) is another great basic blending brush because of the softness. It’s perfect for blending out colors. For the longest time this was my favorite until I tried Tom Ford, Hakuhodo and Wayne Goss.
Wayne Goss 18 (from the Eye Set $130, individual $27) in terms of quality, I feel Wayne Goss has among the best brushes. They’re right up there with Tom Ford. #18 is the closest option to MAC 217.
Hakuhodo J5523 ($19) is made of goat hair and the equivalent of MAC 217. This one is far better in terms of how it picks up color and blends it out.
Wayne Goss 17 (from the Eye Set $130, individual $28) is a smaller sized fluffy brush, good for detail blending or crease blending.
Wayne Goss 16 (from the Eye Set $130, individual $30) is a bit longer and bigger than #18. This is a good all around blending brush.
Tom Ford 13 ($57) is a fluffy blending brush good for blending things up on the lid for a nice gradient. In my opinion Tom Ford brushes are the best brushes I own.
Tom Ford 11 ($57) is the ultimate wash brush. It applies the perfect amount of color to the lids and is super soft in feel. They’re really well made. The ones I have are made with natural bristles – at an event in the spring I was told Tom Ford was moving towards making brushes with synthetic materials but I haven’t received confirmation of when or if it has happened yet.
Hakuhodo J220G ($24) is a larger fluffy flat brush made of goat and synthetic fiber. I like this one and use it a lot but it’s not as dense as other ones so I prefer the other ones for density and this one for it’s size on some occasions.
MAC 227SH (discontinued, $32) has been discontinued unfortunately, it’s more dense than the Bobbi Brown, but for now the BB is the next best option.
For detail brushes my long-time go to has been the MAC 219 Pencil Brush which I’ve had for years. Unfortunately I lost mine either in the move or while traveling (but sometime in the past few months) and never got around to replacing it. It’s the best all around smudge or lining brush I’ve had but there are still quite a few others that are really good. Shown below from left to right:
Wayne Goss 08 (from the Anniversary Set $225, individual $17) is the tiniest detail brush I own. It’s perfect for getting into the tiny corners of the line or right along the lashes. It’s stiff but not harsh on the eyes.
Bobbi Brown Eye Definer (one shown is a special-edition one from a holiday set, but same as regular one) ($34) is a classic angled brush you can use for powder or gel liners. It’s also a good one for brows.
Wayne Goss 07 (from the Anniversary Set $225, individual $17) is the softest mini smudge brush, perfect for a smokey eye or blending out colors along the lash line.
Tom Ford 15 (discontinued) is the best smudge brush I have, unfortunately it’s discontinued.
Wayne Goss 05 (from the Anniversary Set $225, individual $20) is a super soft pencil brush, it picks up color a lot better than the MAC Pencil, but it’s smaller in size so not quite the same.
Laura Mercier Corner Eye Brush ($26) has been discontinued in most places, you can still find it online at a few stores right now like Bluemercury. It’s a good corner eye brush that gets color in tiny spaces with precise application but it’s large enough you can blend it out a little.
Hakuhodo G5514 ($17) is another great detail pencil brush to get that soft smokey eye.
Misc brushes and tools shown below:
Chanel Large Tapered Blending Brush 19 ($38) this originally came in the brown natural hair, then was released in a white version, but not it appears it’s back to the brown. I have both and they both perform the same. This is a good detail blending brush – I use it for under the eye when I want a very soft diffused line or to blend out shadows along the upper lash line. It’s soft and blends colors perfectly. The shape is perfect. At this time I don’t have the full list of what brushes will be coming out around the 24th, but if this is on your list I recommend you get it soon as Chanel will be phasing out their current brushes and replacing them with a new line.
MAC 226 (discontinued) is the best small to medium blending brush, why they discontinued it is a mystery to me because there’s none other like it! For now one of the Wayne Goss brushes from The Eye Set (scroll up) will perform the same way, if not better because of the material it’s made of. However this one is still a really good one.
Wayne Goss 21 (from The Brow Set, $55) is the best brow brush for powders for me. I love that it’s wider than most and it’s super dense making it easier for me to get even application for both sides.
Surratt Eyelash Curler ($30) is one of the best curlers I own. It took me some time to learn to use because it’s so much wider than other brands. It performs really well.
MAC Eyelash Curler ($22) is my most-used lash curler. It always curls perfectly and I really like the shape.
That wraps up my favorite eye makeup brushes and tools post! I hope you found this helpful in case you’re looking for new tools. If I had to pick just one brand it would be nearly impossible to do – but at the moment it would probably be Wayne Goss but I’d have to add a couple from MAC. Overall great basics can be found from MAC – it’s easiest to find at stores and counters which means you can actually see and feel the brushes. For the longest time I didn’t buy brushes unless I could try them in person, but even when I lived in San Diego, I couldn’t find them all so finally had to order some sight unseen. There are a lot of great brush blogs out there so if you need more reference or comparison a google search will bring up some amazing reviews. Best quality and performance goes to Tom Ford, Wayne Goss and Hakuhodo. If I had to pick only 10 brushes to use for the rest of my life, it would be: MAC 239, MAC 217, Hakuhodo B J004, Hakuhodo J552, Edward Bess Luxury, Wayne Goss 07, Wayne Goss 08 and Wayne Goss 18.
What are your favorite tools?
Press samples include the Charlotte Tilbury Eye Lash Curler, Wayne Goss Eye Set and Anniversary Set brushes.
I’m a sucker for minis so when I saw the Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Nude Lip Set ($28, limited-edition) it didn’t take me long to buy one. It sold out online but just restocked so if you haven’t seen it yet I hope these swatches will either help you decide to splurge or save $$$. I also got their Beauty Insider Birthday Gift and redeemed my points for a Tarte mini so I thought I’d round them all up in one post here.
The Sephora Favorites sets have a lot of great options to sample products in mini sizes. I have my eye on the Ultimate Travel Bag because it looks like it has a little bit of everything. I bought and reviewed their spring version back in January. The one for summer is just as fun. Quick note first – the current set still comes with the black stuffing, but I swapped it out for some white stuffing I had from a different set simply because it was easier to see the product.
How cute are the minis?! (On the nails is Essie Spin the Bottle)
Inside the Give Me Some Nude Lip Set you get 6 lip products, all are minis except for the Urban Decay lip which is full-sized:
Tarte Lingerie Lippie Matte Tint in Revealed is a mocha brown shade. I love the formula, pigment, texture and finish – I just found the color too dark for my personal preference. It’s a smooth finish chubby stick with a semi velvety finish. It says matte but it’s not flat looking and feels super lush on the lips. I will definitely try to check out other shades in this formula.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss in Kristen is one of my favorite opaque glosses, I already own it in the full size. It’s a neutral pinky brown color and perfect for any occasion. I love the rich opaque pigment and high shine. The color is just perfect.
Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi Shine Lip Lacquer in Sugar Sugar is a light nude champagne color. For me this one is best when worn over another lipstick or liner. Alone it has a sharper contrast to my natural lip tone making it look like I have a dark rim around the lips when I wear this because my lip shows through. The glosses in line have a lush cushiony feel without the tacky sticky finish.
Too Faced Lip Injection Glossy in Spice Girl is probably the most painful lip product I’ve ever tried. Tingles scare me because I’ve tried a few in the past where my lips literally flare up from an allergic reaction. This one started to sting within 10 seconds in such a sharp burning manner. I couldn’t wear it long enough to test because it hurt so much. I had it on probably 5 minutes just swatching and photographing it. The color and finish is really pretty but I just couldn’t tolerate the tingle.
NARS Velvet Lip Glide in Bound is another one I own in the full size. I definitely should have read the labels on the box to see if I already owned most of these, but the minis got me. This one is a perfect soft mauve color. It has the word “velvet” in it but on me these still have a slight sheen to them.
Urban Decay Vice Waterproof Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick is a full size metallic rose color. I’ve tried this one before and it was a total fail for me. The color dried on the lips in a way that make them look dried out and shriveled. In the past when I tested this one it dried out my lips so bad they peeled for several days after. They do last a long time as in they don’t budge all day long so if you don’t have sensitive lips this formula might be worth a try. Based on my one experience with this color though I’m passing on all the rest.
Next are some Beauty Insider Perks. This year you have a couple options for the Beauty Insider Birthday Perk. You can pick between skincare from Caudalie and makeup from Tarte. I opted for the Tarte options but in reality I should have gone with the skincare as they would have been perfect to travel with. The Tarte set comes with the Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Paaarty (1.5 g/0.05 oz) and a Creamy Matte Lip Paint in Birthday Suit (1 ml/0.034 fl oz). Both are really pretty neutrals, the blush is a matte pink brown and the lip paint is a creamy nude pink that doesn’t wash me out. I also picked up a mini Quick Dry Matte Lip Paint in Rose (1 ml/0.034 fl oz) as a 100 point perk. I actually already own this one in the full size but couldn’t resist the mini. It’s a warm rose peachy color on me. I’m not the biggest fan of matte lips or matte liquid lipsticks but the colors from Tarte are pretty good and I can add a bit of balm or gloss on top.
In summary I like Tarte Birthday Suit enough to consider buying the full size. It’s a good neutral nude color that works for my skin tone and doesn’t wash me out. For the Give Me Some Nude Lips set turns out I like the colors I already own the best (NARS Bound, Marc Jacobs Sugar Sugar and Anastasia Kristen). The others were nice to try and even though I didn’t like the colors or formula so much at $28 it was worth it for me to try. That being said $28 could still have gone towards a full size gloss or lipstick that I really wanted – but I never use the lip testers in store on my lips because of all the germs so sometimes it’s hard to guess what a color will look like. I’ll swatch lip products on my hand and then hold it up to my face to see if I can kinda tell what it will look like, but I’m one who cringes when I see others using store testers on their lips.
Bottom line not a total win, but not a total fail either. You can find the Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Nude Lip set at Sephora. It’s limited-edition and they’ve launched a few variations over the past few seasons.
Have you picked up any Sephora Favorites sets lately? If so which sets did you try and what did you think?
Today I have a roundup of some new launches from Marc Jacobs Beauty. This year they’ve launched quite a few new things including a Coconut Collection with coconut-scented face products, new Highliners in a matte gel formula, and new shades of the Enamored Hi-Shine Lip Lacquers. I reviewed one of the new glosses Skin Deep already in this post here, but thought I’d swatch it next to another newer shade I got in Rah Rah! which is a mini that I ordered as a Beauty Insider perk several months ago. The items I have been the most excited for are the Coconut O!Mega Bronzer and Coconut Gel Highlighter in Dew You? – unfortunately both have sold out online several times, even after restocking. I almost gave up on the bronzer but found it in New York earlier this spring. After I got back home to Tampa found it popped up several places online and also in my local Sephora stores. I am hoping they will restock both again because the coconut scent is to die for!
Up first is the Coconut Collection. I received an unexpected press package with four items but by the time I received it I had actually already bought the gel highlighter and bronzer. I also had the primer (when it originally launched, used it up, but never repurchased). So now I have a couple backups and am well stocked on coconut-scented items. I also received a mini setting spray as a Beauty Insider perk from months ago so I thought I’d review the entire collection here for those who haven’t tested it yet.
Below is a closer look at three of the new items. The Coconut Gel Highlighter in Dew You? was previously reviewed and swatched in my spring highlighter edit. It’s a light gold gel highlighter that has a quick dry down with a light golden sheen. It’s very concentrated so I like to dab a little with my fingers as the finishing touch where I want to add a bit of a highlight. The O!Mega Bronzer Coconut Perfect Tan in Tan-Tastic! is a really good soft matte bronzer that doesn’t oxidize on the skin. It’s slightly cooler than the Tantric version. Both have a super smooth finish and look very natural on the skin. I usually prefer a little shimmer in bronzers because matte ones tend to look muddy or darken on me but both of these are really among the best in terms of matte options. The Bronzer Brush is so soft and plush – I love the white packaging although if you already have the original one they perform exactly the same.
Swatches below also shown next to the Marc Jacobs Beauty Spotlight Glow Stick, O!Mega Bronzer in Tantric which is warmer (on the face here), and Air Blush in Flesh and Fantasy (reviewed here). If you already have the Spotlight Glow Stick I don’t think you need both – they have a similar effect, unless you want something to mix into foundation then the drops make more sense for that purpose. Also the Dew You drops have that amazing coconut smell, but color-wise they look very similar on my skin.
The Under(Cover) Perfecting Coconut Face Primer is one of the nicest primers I’ve used. It is a hydrating formula that smooths the face and primes it well for foundation. I’ve never been a huge fan of primer so if I buy one I tend to use it up but rarely repurchase. This one did work for me to help extend the wear of foundation. It has a light refreshing feel with a hydrating finish. I do think it’s better suited for normal to dry skin. I’ll be testing out more primers with this humidity but for now I’m perfectly happy with my moisturizer, sunscreen + foundation and powder without adding an additional layer.
The (Re)Cover Perfecting Coconut Setting Mist shown below is a mini that I got as a Beauty Insider Perk. The first few times I used it I thought the misting pump was defective but I read the reviews online and many said to use it as the instructions indicated which is to press down on the top COMPLETELY for a super fine mist. If you spritz it like a regular spray, the mist that comes out is uneven resulting in a splotchy application. If you press down all the way the mist does comes out in a super fine even spritz. This is another hydrating product designed to “revive your glow” and I found it very hydrating – probably one of the most hydrating mists I’ve ever tried. Since I don’t have super dry skin I found it too moisturizing for me. I do think this will be good for in flight since my skin tends to dry out during travel. I’ll keep this one in my travel bin for our next trip. I think our instinct is to do a quick spray when it comes to face mists – the packaging on this one is actually pretty well designed, but not really intuitive unless you read the directions on how to spray it. If you have this one and thought it had a defective nozzle give it another try and let me know what you think.
Up next are two Enamored Hi-Shine Lip Lacquers. Rah Rah! is a new shade that I got as a mini beauty insider perk a while back. It looks like a light apricot peach and the pigment is sheer to medium, but on my lips it transforms into a milky almost pinkish color. Your mileage will definitely vary depending on your lip tone. Since I have slightly pigmented lips this looks more pink than peach on my lips. Skin Deep was reviewed here. I’m completely obsessed with this one! There’s more coverage with these two compared to the first round of gloss colors that were launched. In case you missed it, all the original shades reviewed and swatched here. I did side by side comparisons below of what I thought might be similar.
Last but not least are some of the Highliner Gel Eye Crayons. Earlier this year they launched a matte version. These are really under-rated. They’re gel pot liners in pencil form and truly last a long time without smudging or fading. They have a lot of fun edgy colors but I usually only wear bronze or brown (yes, boring but it’s what works for me). Swatched below are the colors I’ve worn and tried. My favorite is Brown(Out). I may have put the parentheses in the wrong places for the labels but I double checked the names and they’re all labeled correctly. Huge thumbs up for their lasting power. I’ve had and used up RoCoco before and really liked the formula. Make sure you cap them tightly though because they can dry out a little at the tips.
Marigold is a bright shimmery yellow gold, Rococo is a shimmery taupe brown, Brownie is a matte warm brown, Brownout is a deep shimmering brown, Earthquake is a matte deep brown, Irony is a matte grey black.
Bottom line if you can find the Tan-Tastic Coconut Bronzer, get it. To date there are very few matte bronzers that work for me. Tom Ford Terra (small size is still the original color/formula), Benefit Hoola and Benefit Hoola Lite are the best ones in my experience for powders. Otherwise most darken or look muddy on my skin. I’m a huge bronzer addict and most of the time I need either a cream or if it’s a powder I need at least a tiny bit of shimmer. Marc Jacobs also makes great matte ones so I highly recommend you try either one.
The Primer and Mist are good if you have normal to dry skin. If you’re like me and have normal to combo skin you may find them a bit too moisturizing, especially with warm weather for the summer time.
If you’re in search of an eyeliner that stays put I highly recommend you check out the Highliners. And final thought is if you can splurge on a bronzer brush, the Marc Jacobs Bronzer brush is one of the softest fluffiest ones I’ve ever tried. Definitely worth checking out if it’s in your budget.
You can find Marc Jacobs Beauty at Sephora, Neiman Marcus and online at Marc Jacobs Beauty. I’m hoping they will restock the bronzer and dew drops! If you’ve tried these let me know what you thought 🙂
Marc Jacobs Beauty items featured in this post sent courtesy of Marc Jacobs Beauty for review. I did also purchase the Bronzer and Dew Drops separately from Sephora. Skin Deep Lip Gloss also purchased by me from Sephora.
I’ve been hauling some of the new lip shades from Marc Jacobs Beauty and have a roundup today of the neutrals that I’ve picked out over the past few months. New colors have been added to three of the formulas in the New Nudes Sheer Gel Lipstick, Le Marc Lip Creme and Enamored Hi-Shine Lip Lacquer Lipgloss and I’ve been thrilled to find a lot of great nudes. I’ve reviewed each formula in depth before but I’ll recap the differences on each and describe the shades below.
Described from left to right:
New Nudes Sheer Gel Lipsticks ($30 each) come in magnetic beige tubes and are a gel formula. They’re described as being sheer nudes although in my experience the pigment isn’t really sheer but rather medium to full in coverage with a semi-thick texture. They do glide on nicely and hug the lips. Color-wise there is a wide range of nudes in the line. I like that there’s no detectable scent. Original review on older shades here.
In the Mood is a light peach, I thought it would be too pale on my lips but it actually works well for a pretty light peachy lip.
Screen Test is a Sephora.com exclusive, it’s a nude with slight pinkish tones.
Skin Deep is a neutral beige nude. This one has significantly more pigment than the other glosses. I quickly swatched a few of the new colors in store and a lot of them seem to have more pigment.
Le Marc Lip Creme is a full coverage cream lipstick. They have rich pigment and cover the lip entirely without looking flat but they still have a semi velvety finish. There’s no detectable scent. Texture is smooth but due to the creme texture they don’t glide quite like the gel formula. Original launch reviewed here.
Sonic Truth is a light neutral pink.
No Angel is a medium light beige tan.
Swatches with the flash:
Without the flash, below you can see the difference in texture/finish a bit better. The gels have more of a natural sheen while the lip cremes have a more velvety finish.
Lip swatches on bare lips, I’m wearing the Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation in Natural 5. Do note that nudes tend to pull differently on my lips and this was the case with this launch. Screen Test pulled more pink on me and so did Hey Stranger.
Comparison swatches to the other lipsticks in the Marc Jacobs range:
Moody Margot, Anais, Understudy and Eat Cake are the New Nudes Sheer Gel Lipstick formula
Role Play and Georgie Girl are the Le Marc Lip Creme Formula
Fawn Over Me is the Le Marc Liquid Lip Creme Formula
Overall some great additions to the Marc Jacobs Beauty lip range and well worth the splurge. I think the colors are all wearable and great for everyday. There is enough variety to suit different preferences for undertones in nude shades. I think every single shade is wearable for me with the exception of Sonic Truth which is a little pale for my tan right now but still wearable. Quick note – I didn’t pick up all the new colors so if you’re looking for darker/deeper options there are definitely more to choose from with the new launches.
For highlighters there are so many factors to consider when picking one. Skintone plays a key role in determining whether a highlighter will actually look like a highlight or more of a bronzer on you. I know for many fair skin beauty lovers many colors that look like a highlighter on me turn peachy or bronzey on lighter skin tones. On the flip side some super pale highlighters will look more true to pan on fair skins while on medium to deep skins like me, some will just look like a white frost.
Skin type and shimmer preference are also other things to consider. If you have a lot of texture or larger pores sometimes the more glowy powder shimmers will emphasize fine lines or settle into pores. If you’re oily you will probably prefer powders if you’re normal to dry creams may be better for you.
I have a lot to roundup today, but first since many of you have asked, I can finally share the details about the upcoming Sephora Beauty Insider event today. If you’re a Beauty Insider member check your mail or e-mail for the codes! We have the official dates:
4/18 to 4/24 Rouge will receive 15% off
4/19 to 4/24 VIB will receive 15% off
4/20 to 4/23 RBI will receive 10% off
Up first is the palette I was most excited about but did not end up loving. I’m a huge fan of the Anastasia Glow Kits even though they tend to be more on the intense side of shimmer. The limited-edition ABH x Nicole Guerriero Glow Kit comes in the prettiest pink packaging with gorgeous glowy colors. There’s a mix of pink, mauve, peach, white, gold and tan – unfortunately on my medium skintone they pull a lot lighter than what you see in the pan and most of them look very similar. I knew before ordering that it would be on the extra glowy side but the shades are all too intense to wear on the face. I love them with a super light hand on the eyes but I prefer Sun Dipped by far for more variety and more wearable colors. It’s currently sold out online but check your stores to see if they still have them.
Up next are some liquid drops. Cover FX launched three new shades of the Custom Enhancer Drops and I bought two in Blossom and Rose Gold. Both of these have a softer finish compared to the first round they launched (reviewed here). I really loved the first round of shades even though they are shimmery. You can easily blend for a pretty glow. Blossom is the prettiest shade of soft pink and rose gold is a soft rosy peach gold. Both are close to my skin tone so they look very natural on me but the color still shows up. The drops are fluid and easy to blend and layer.
Marc Jacobs Beauty launched a Coconut Gel Highlighter called Dew You? and it’s a lovely light gold. The texture is a gel and you have to work quickly with this one because it dries fast. The nice thing about the texture is that it’s great for oily skin and I found it lasted longer on me than most liquid highlighters. Once it sets it pretty much does not budge. It also smells like coconuts 🙂
Third are some Algenist Concentrated Luminizing Drops. A while back I received a mini duo that you can buy as a set, but you can also find them separately in the full size. I am obsessed with the way they smell – it’s not really scented but it has this makeup scent that I really like. These are probably among the most subtle and sheerest out of the drops I’ve tried. Once on the face the shimmer almost disappears into a very subtle sheen. I would say these are probably best for mixing in with your foundation for a subtle glow. Because they are so sheer I found they did not do much for me other than add a sheen. That being said these have a serum skincare element in them so I do suspect they are meant to apply all over the face under foundation for a very soft glow.
Next up is the Laura Mercier Lightstruck Prismatic Glow Palette. As a huge fan of the Face Illuminators I had high hopes for this one but after testing this I found this was completely not for me. First I’m not into the holographic makeup trend – it just doesn’t work well for my skin coloring. That being said the packaging is more prismatic than the creams, but the lighter creams are on the glittery side. Aurora and Reflect have a softer smooth texture but they’re so sheer they disappeared on my skin completely. I do like a good neutral glow sometimes but I feel like there are so many other products on the market that already do this – this just didn’t really wow me.
I’ve already featured the MAC Quikstick Sticks before with the Work It Out review but had shot the photos before I reviewed them. I do believe they are limited-edition so if you have your eye on any I’d recommend checking them out soon. These have a highlighter on one side and a blush/contour on the other.
Perhaps my favorite launch of all the new highlighters I’ve tried are from NARS. I featured the Sheer Pop Multiples when I reviewed the Pop Goes the Easel Collection a few weeks ago. Navagio Beach is a pretty soft sheer gold (exclusive to Nordstrom), but my heart was completely won over by the Banc de Sable Highlighter Palette (exclusive to Sephora, now available online at NARS). A close up and swatches of both below. The Banc de Sable has a finely milled shimmer that glides on the skin smoothly and without any harsh frost. I wish more highlighter formulas and finishes were like this – it looks smooth and pretty on the skin and doesn’t emphasize lines or pores. Complete win for me on this one.
Last but not least because I’m a lover of all things Tom Ford, I had to include the new cheek duos again in this roundup. I really love both Reflects Gilt and Paradise Lust. I’m in the process of packing for a few trips at the end of the month and will be packing both of them to bring with me. Full review here.
So even though I mentioned at the top I prefer some other ones over these I do think there are a lot of new launches that are different and unique enough to justify splurging on. Picking one will depend on your preference for shimmer intensity.
My top picks of the new releases: Tom Ford Reflects Gilt, NARS Banc de Sable, Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops in Rose Gold.
For me misses were the ABH Nicole Guerriero and Laura Mercier Lightstruck Palette.
There are so many more that have launched recently I could not possibly test them all. If you’ve tried the Burberry Fresh Glow Highlighter let me know your thoughts.
Do you have a favorite go-to highlighter? Or have you splurged on anything recently from new launches that you have fallen in love with? Let me know what your favs are!
Press samples featured include MAC Quiktrick Sticks, Laura Mercier Lightstruck, Tom Ford Cheek Duos, Algenist Mini Reveal Drops Duo and Chanel Plissee Lumiere Highlighter.