Browsing Tag

Fall 2017


New Highlighter Launches for Fall

September 24, 2017

New Highlighter Launches for Fall | the beauty look book

The highlighter trend is still going very strong and brands show no signs of slowing down with new releases. I love a good glow and trying new highlighters is one of my favorite things to do. I tend to be ok with varying degrees of glowy shimmers but these days it seems like the more glitz the better. I can’t pull off lots of frost, glitter or super light colored shimmers with my olive tan complexion so for me this roundup has some misses alongside some hits for me. There are a number of new launches out that aren’t included in this post. I’ll add a few notes at the end with some extra thoughts.

One of the palettes that caught my eye immediately was the Laura Mercier Exotique Face Illuminator Collection Palette. It’s exclusive to Sephora and has two new shades of their Face Illuminators in Infatuation and Temptation. I already own the other two Indiscretion and Devotion in the full size (reviewed here) and while I would have really preferred to have a palette with all new shades I do like that it has these as it will be a good one for travel. Indiscretion happens to be one of my favorites that I own. Going forward if I had to travel with 1 highlighter palette I think this would be in my top 3 picks. Formulas is true to full size – smooth, easy to build, doesn’t emphasize pores, beautiful color and shimmer. They last long on my skin even in humid weather. You can wear on the eyes or cheeks, alone or over blush/bronzer. It’s a solid winner for me.

Laura Mercier L'Amour Exotique Face Illuminator Collection Palette Laura Mercier L'Amour Exotique Face Illuminator Collection Swatches Palette | The Beauty Look Book

Next are the highlighters from Hourglass and Fenty Beauty. I’ve been a long time fan of Hourglass Ambient Lighting highlighters. This holiday they have two new palettes. One is the Ambient Metallic Strobe Lighting Palette and the other is the Ambient Lighting Edit Volume 3. I have the trio reviewed today and the other palette will be reviewed separately as it has more than just highlighters.

The Ambient Lighting Powders in general have a softer but noticeable glow. This season they’ve increased the intensity with the Metallic Strobe Lighting Palette which has the most intense shimmer I’ve seen from them. Pigment is smooth, nicely pigmented and very metallic. Colors are on the pale side and on my olive tan skin they look very similar on the face with the exception of the middle color which is clearly more gold/yellow. I can wear this with a very light and soft hand. I use a skunk brush to apply on the cheeks and it’s still very intense and metallic. Compared to previous powders launched from Hourglass this is very unique in color and finish. It has a less powdery finish compared to the Ambient Strobe Powders which some of you reported you found glittery or chalky (although they worked well for me). The Metallic Strobe Powder by comparison have no glitter particles and there isn’t any matte/chalky/powdery base but instead has a more metallic shimmer like a wet-look shimmer.

I’m kinda mixed on this one. I do think it’s a good palette. Quality, finish, pigment, texture and price are all a thumbs up. Color-wise it’s a miss as I find it’s a little too pale for me as I have quite a bit of tan and the paleness of color makes it look extra shimmery on my skin.

Hourglass Metallic Strobe Lighting Palette

Hourglass Metallic Strobe Light Swatches and Fenty Beauty Starstruck + Sinamon swatches

Next are the Fenty Beauty Match Stix Shimmer Skinsticks. I bought both sight unseen but have since had a chance to play with the entire line at Sephora. My first test with Starstruck (pale champagne pink) wasn’t good. I found it had a gritty texture and looked really dry. I tested it a few more times and it grew on me. However there is still something with the paleness that makes it too contrasted with my tan skintone and it ends up emphasizing texture. Sinamon works better for me as it is a pretty bronzey color. Both have a buildable shimmer quality and they adhere well to the skin and in this hot humid Florida weather they held up remarkably well. That being said if you have any dry patches or if you find shimmer can emphasize texture – definitely be aware these can emphasize both. I don’t think these would work for me in normal weather climate on the cheeks as they have a rather dry texture that almost tugs at the skin. They are easy to blend with fingers and I think the issue with most cream products in general is they are lacking in lasting power. For me the two shimmer sticks I tested held up really well so I’m ok with the slightly dry texture. I actually wanted to get Rum but my store was sold out. Given the number of highlighters I have and also keeping in mind holiday will probably have more offerings I’ll hold off on purchasing more.

I was able to wear both without any irritation or clogging of skin. This is something I’m always concerned about when it comes to cream or liquid cheek products. I give these a thumbs up for formula even if the colors I picked aren’t really all that unique. Starstruck just didn’t work color-wise on the cheeks for me but the formula is still really good and I find it’s lovely on the eyes.
Fenty Beauty Match Stix Shimmer Stick Starstruck and Sinamon | The Beauty Look Book

Edward Bess makes my holy grail cream highlighters with the All Over Seduction compacts. This fall he has new launches with a Harmonious Hues Light Stick Trio which are twist up highlighters in a chubby pencil form. The colors include Candlelight (champagne), Ambience (peachy gold), Aura (soft bronze) and I absolutely love these. The shimmer is subtle but still noticeably glowy, the texture is creamy and easy to swipe on the face or eyes and easy to blend. They have a semi-emollient finish which makes the color adhere well to the skin. It’s as natural as it gets without being invisible. The colors are right up my alley.

He also has a new powder highlighter called the Marbleized Rose Gold Highlighting Powder. It’s a very pale yellow gold with smooth luminous shimmer. I love this video he did with an application on lighter skinned complexions. I think it looks amazing on them! Yellow golds really aren’t my thing as I already have yellow-based skin but I like this one on the eyes for me. The texture is very smooth and beautifully pigmented without the frost.

Edward Bess Harmonious Hues Light Stick Trio and Marbleized Rose Gold Trio

Edward Bess Harmonious Hues Light Stick Trio and Marbleized Rose Gold Trio

Cover FX launched a new set of mini Custom Enhancer Drops in a set of 4. These are larger than the ones you may have seen in a few GWPs or Beauty Insider gifts but smaller than the full size. I’ve shown them below. If you’re one who wants to try a bunch of colors or want to travel with more than 1 these are perfect. When I ordered them I didn’t realize they were existing shades (I should have read the description). I saw “minis” and it went in my cart and I didn’t think twice. Since I already own these I’m sending these to my niece. They come with a similar dropper style packaging as the full size. The shimmer is buildable to full intensity. Don’t be scared at how shimmery they look. They are actually very wearable and easy to blend out. Review on the full sizes here and here.

Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops Set Minis vs Full Size | The Beauty Look Book

Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops Set swatches

Last but not least Charlotte Tilbury launched a Beauty Light Wand with her Hollywood Collection. I just reviewed it a few days ago here but wanted to include it in the fall roundup. It’s a really pretty one and surprisingly convenient for on the go touch ups or for travel.

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Contour Wand and Beauty Light Wand

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Contour Wand and Beauty Light Wand

I managed to get a few decent face swatch shots. We are in between places living a rather nomadic life and are about to make our fourth move this year very soon. My setup for everything has been rather on-the-go for the past few months and I couldn’t get the focus right on the camera the last few rounds of reviews. Four highlighter face swatches shown below:

Highlighter Swatches Beauty Looks

New Highlighter Launches for Fall | the beauty look book

Additional ones that were on my radar that I haven’t tested (yet):

  • Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Smoky Quartz is on my wishlist, I wish it were available at Sephora or Ulta because it’s where I can get points or perks, this one looks so so pretty, I obviously do not need, but if you have it let me know what you think
  • Fenty Beauty Killawatt Freestyle Highlighters are something I swatched in store and the colors/pigment is quite impressive, with each duo at least 1 side has some micro sparkles which I thought would be too over the top for what I’d normally wear, I may give one a try – the pigment is soooo good!
  • Bobbi Brown Highlighting Powder Trio looks amazing, I really loved her highlighting powders this year and think it’s possible the trio would be dupes for the individual shades I own, but the finish of these powders is really divine
  • By Terry Compact Expert Dual Powders are new powder + highlighters in a compact, I will have a review on all the shades soon, I bought 5 of the 8 shades, fell in love, ordered the remaining 3 which should arrive soon, the texture and finish is so naturally beautiful (some look light in color like they could be highlighters but I’ll have to do some more testing to report)
  • Burberry Fresh Glow Highlighters have such a lovely glow, I’ve swatched on several occasion in stores and have been extremely tempted but I really love my Laura Mercier and Dior highlighters and felt it would be like owning duplicates
  • Victoria Beckham Estee Lauder Modern Mercury has been on my radar for quite some time but it kept selling out with previous launches, that being said it should be easy to find now, if I can test it in person first I’ll give it a try, I still own the Modern Mercury color before it was part of the VB collection (I had a backup) and I suspect it’s identical so I don’t think I’ll be purchasing it

All this being said, if you feel overwhelmed by all the highlighter options, you are definitely not alone. I’m on highlighter overload (and also feel that way about new foundation base launches too). I still feel my top highlighter picks include the Dior Nude Air Luminizer Powders (all four reviewed here), Laura Mercier Indiscretion (review here), Hourglass Luminous Light (review here) and Edward Bess All Over Seduction (reviewed here).

Out of the new launches the Laura Mercier palette is my favorite, followed by the By Terry Compacts (not reviewed yet, but will be soon!).

Have you jumped on the highlighter bandwagon for fall launches? What have you picked up lately (new or previously launched colors)? Let me know what you’ve been loving!

Press samples include items from Hourglass, Edward Bess and Charlotte Tilbury.

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


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


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


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


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


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. 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.