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Hourglass Cosmetics Lips

Hourglass Unreal High Shine Volumizing Lip Gloss Review

May 17, 2019

Hourglass Unreal Volumizing Lip Gloss Review and Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

Hourglass launched their new Unreal High Shine Volumizing Lip Gloss ($30 each for 0.20 oz/ 5.6 g) in 18 shades. I hauled 11 of them during last month’s Sephora Beauty Insider Event. I’ve really loved all things Hourglass for so many years I felt like these could possibly be holy grail material. After testing these for a week I think they’re really beautiful and definitely worth looking into.

The Unreal Lip Gloss is a plumping lip gloss with medium to full coverage. Creams tend to be more opaque and for me the shimmers I tried are medium-sheer. The glosses are hydrating and have a nice smooth feel to them. There is a soft minty scent and slight cooling sensation when you apply. The plumping effect is noticeable after it sets for a few minutes and as one who has ultra sensitive lips I’m thrilled to report there is no tingle and no stinging. I can still feel them plumping my lips but it’s in a gentle way. Since these are hydrating and lush they aren’t weightless. At the same time they aren’t super heavy even though they do have a semi-thick lush feel.

Hourglass Unreal Volumizing Lip Gloss Review and Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

Color selection right now for the most part runs on the neutral side with a few bolder options. The finishes range from creams, shimmers and sparkles. Pigment is medium to me for most of the shades but you can layer for a more opaque finish. As mentioned above the shimmer sparkly options tend to be a bit more transparent (except the plum one).

I initially bought 5 and loved them so much I quickly ordered more to take advantage of the discount last month. At $30 each they are pricey but I’m happy with all the colors except two of them. These come with a flattened sponge tip applicator which makes for easy application. I like that they’re sturdy vs flexible. Sometimes the bendy wands make it hard to get gloss on my lips.

Hourglass Unreal Lip Gloss via Sabrina's Blog The Beauty Look Book

A closer look:

Hourglass Unreal Volumizing Lip Gloss Review | The Beauty Look Book

The colors I bought with descriptions below:

  • Ignite is a sheer shimmer with gold, this is the only one I didn’t like, it’s too sheer to have any color payoff on my lips so it’s basically clear, if you want a similar color to what you see in the tube I think Charlotte Tilbury Ibiza Nights is a much better option
  • Child is pale peach cream, this one applied streaky on my pigmented lips, I can blend to smooth out, but for me it’s a tad too pale
  • Provoke is the most beautiful neutral cool mauve nude, most colors like this look like death on me, this one works perfectly!
  • Sublime is what I envisioned Child to look like, it’s a much better neutral peach pink nude
  • Truth is a medium beige nude
  • Canvas is a nude beige rose, this is really similar to Truth, on me they’re so close I can barely tell the difference
  • Prose is a baby rose pink cream
  • Cosmic is a sparkling sheer pink fuchsia glitter, this is smooth without any gritty texture, I think this is one of the more fun shades
  • Fortune is a pink gold shimmer
  • Horizon is a perfect coral cream
  • Impact is a shimmering berry plum sparkle


Hourglass Unreal Volumizing Lip Gloss swatches | The Beauty Look Book

Lip Swatches, as usual all done on bare lips:

Hourglass Unreal Lip Gloss Lip Swatches

Hourglass Unreal Lip Gloss Lip Swatches

A few full face looks wearing:

With Horizon Lip Gloss:

Hourglass Unreal Horizon Lip Gloss

Below With Prose Lip Gloss

Hourglass Unreal Horizon Lip Gloss

Last one with Child Lip Gloss:

Hourglass Unreal Child Lip Gloss

A number of you wanted to know how these compared to my favorite Pat McGrath LUST Gloss (review and lip swatches here and here) and Fenty Beauty Gloss Bombs (all three worn in this post). Both of these formulas have a softer more cushiony feel. They also run sheerer. The Hourglass Unreal by comparison doesn’t quite have that same soft feel but are still glossy and smooth. The pigment is richer and more opaque with the Hourglass shades as well. All formulas are really nice. I’ve swatched some of the Pat McGrath LUST glosses next to similar colors of the Hourglass options.

Hourglass Unreal vs Pat McGrath Lust Gloss swatches

I cannot decide which of the three is best. All are excellent for different reasons. I love the Fenty Beauty Gloss Bombs for their lush sheer shimmery glow. The Pat McGrath LUST Glosses have been among my favorite for color selection and formula. Hourglass is more opaque but some of the colors settle into my natural lip lines (this is also the case with some Pat McGrath colors).

If I had to live with just one gloss formula the rest of my life though, right now I’d have to go with the Pat McGrath LUST Gloss. That being said a number of you felt they were too sheer for your liking so if that’s the case then you’ll most likely be happier with the finish of the Hourglass Unreal.

Overall thumbs up. I think they’re beautiful glosses although I don’t know that I would call them truly innovative like their description suggests. To me truly innovative life changing products are more along things like the Hourglass Scattered Light Shadows, Pat McGrath MatteTrance Lipsticks and Charlotte Tilbury’s Flawless Filter. Still the Hourglass Unreal Lip Glosses are really nice and well made. I’m thrilled to find a nice plumping gloss that doesn’t have a tingle or sting. My top three favorite colors are Horizon, Fortune and Canvas. If I could do the haul over again I’d skip Ignite and Child and would also pick either Canvas (slightly more pink) or Truth (more beige) but not both.


You can find the Hourglass Unreal High Shine Volumizing Lip Glosses out now. Available at Sephora, Nordstrom, Hourglass Cosmetics and all other Hourglass retailers.

Have you tried these yet? What did you think?


Base Makeup

New Base Testing from Hourglass, Armani and Kosas

April 10, 2019

Foundation Testing Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Liquid, Armani Power Fabric Balm, Kosas Tinted Face Oil Review

Finding a good makeup base is something I always get questions about and I have three newer formulas to review today. It’s taken me a while to try some of them because I’ve had several allergic reactions to product this year. Testing a number of things on my face on any given week can be tricky so I had to wait for skin to recover and retest just the foundations to check it all out. The good news is that none of these foundations caused my allergic reaction. If you have sensitive skin check the ingredients and do a patch test first. For those curious I was allergic to some of the Dr. Bronner liquid soaps that I used to wash my sponges in and a couple sunscreens I put on my face (more on the sunscreens later because I have a dedicated roundup for those). The three I’m reviewing today include:


Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Liquid Foundation

Hourglass Vanish Seamless Foundation Liquid in Nude Review

Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Liquid Foundation ($56) launched earlier this year. So many of you have loved the Vanish Seamless Foundation Stick and were excited about the liquid version. It has very mixed reviews online and I also have mixed feelings. The Vanish Seamless Finish Liquid is an opaque full coverage foundation with a velvety matte finish. I feel any time a foundation is a full matte + full coverage it’s not forgiving because you need an exact match and often times it can emphasize imperfections. This is not an easy foundation to wear but it is workable if you can find a good match. The trick to applying is to use very little and buff with their Vanish Foundation Brush. Most of the time I really prefer sponges but with this one even a damp sponge will pick up too much product. Color matching was tricky for me because a lot of the shades run really yellow/olive. I consider myself yellow/golden but many of the shades are too yellow for me. My best match is Nude which you can see below blends and darkens slightly to give a perfect match right now.

It’s described as a base that doesn’t need primer, but I 100% think it needs one. It works well with the Hourglass Veil Primer and less than 1 full pump is enough to dot my face and apply all over. Once buffed and blended with their brush it covers my skin entirely. Most of my sun spots and freckles aren’t visible. It looks seamless but matte. Setting with a power is essential and the best one to use with this is their lightweight Veil Translucent Loose Setting Powder. Since it’s opaque and matte adding some other matte powders can make it look too matte.

For me it lasted all day without budging – I did need to use a primer and buff with the brush. Without a primer or applied with a sponge it started to look very cakey within a few hours.

Bare skin vs. Vanish Seamless Liquid Foundation in Nude (no concealer or powder). A few other makeup products added including the Hourglass Arch Brow Gel in Soft Brunette, L’Oreal Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara, Confession Lipstick in I Woke Up, Tee by Reformation.

Hourglass Vanish Seamless Foundation Liquid in Nude Review

Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Liquid Foundation Nude

Swatches of a few shades, plus Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion in Buff (to show how yellow the Hourglass colors run):

Hourglass Vanish Seamless Liquid Foundation Swatches in Warm Ivory, Nude, Sand and Beige

Ingredients from Sephora:

Water, Dimethicone, Isododecane, Isoamyl Laurate, Caprylyl Methicone, Mica, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Hdi/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Peg/Ppg-18/18 Dimethicone, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Quaternium-90 Bentonite, C10-18 Triglycerides, Acacia Decurrens Flower Wax, Caprylyl Glycol, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Wax, Hexylene Glycol, Jojoba Esters, Polyglycerin-3, Propylene Carbonate, Quartz, Silica, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Gluconate, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Iron Oxides (Ci 77891, Ci 77492, Ci 77491), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77499).


Kosas Tinted Face Oil

Kosas Tinted Face Oil Review Shade 6

The Kosas Tinted Face Oil ($42) has received a lot of attention from you! It’s very fluid as it is an oil so I apply straight to a sponge. Applying on the back of my hand or fingers results in a very runny drippy mess. I didn’t know what to expect from an oil as a foundation, especially living in humid Florida and having combination skin I was pretty skeptical about this. My match is Shade 6. It has surprisingly decent coverage given how sheer and fluid it is. It’s not as sheer as the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer, but the Kosas is still sheer-medium. Once on the skin it will look very dewy. I have to set with a powder otherwise it’s too dewy. I like to use this on no-makeup makeup days or for the beach when I need just a little coverage. Most days I feel like I need and want coverage so for me this is not an everyday kind of product. Being an oil it’s not really budge-proof and it will require touch ups if you’re outdoors. On me it will last for hours without issue if I’m indoors for most of the day. I do need to set with a powder and a couple of touch ups are necessary. I can layer concealer on top for more coverage and it does make the skin look very nice and fresh, but I need powder otherwise it’s really too dewy for my preference.

Bare skin on the right. On the left added brows and mascara with Chanel Rouge Coco Flash in Jour but the skin has just the tinted oil on it, no concealer or powder.

Ingredients from their website:

Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Octyldodecanol, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Silica, Kaolin, Mica, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Extract, Tocopherol, Limnanthen Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Camellia Oleifera (Tea) Seed Oil, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Seed Oil, May Contain [+/-] Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, 77499, 77491, 77492)

Kosas Tinted Face Oil in Shade 6

Some swatches of shades 5, 6 and 7:

Kosas Tinted Face Oil 5, 6 and 7


Armani Power Fabric Foundation Balm

Armani Power Fabric Balm Foundation review in 6.5

The Armani Power Fabric Foundation Balm ($64) came highly recommended by several friends. I would like to test it more but I’ve received so many questions I thought I’d give you my first impressions. Initial thoughts are that it is very good, but I think other formulas are better. It’s a solid balm foundation that has a semi-velvety matte finish. Coverage is very good. On me it’s nearly full coverage but still manages to look like skin. I ordered the color 6.5 which is a pretty good match, it pulls a little more on the neutral side versus the Luminous Silk or Power Fabric Liquid 6.5 (both are more golden). I would have preferred it to be a little more golden but it works one blended. Pros are that it makes the skin look really nice, even and smooth with good coverage. I applied with the sponge applicator it comes with and it doesn’t absorb too much product. It looks like skin but a lot better. The downsides for me are that it can emphasize dry patches or texture and after 5-6 hours or so it separates if I don’t set with a good powder. I need to experiment with different primers but with either the Tatcha Dewy Skin Cream or Drunk Elephant Polypeptide Moisturizer it looks good on the skin. I really do like the way it looks, covers and blends. All that said I prefer the liquid Power Fabric Foundation a lot more in terms of coverage and lasting power – on me it just looks better. First impressions are that it’s worth checking out. It’s a nice solid formula foundation and photographs well. I just prefer their Luminous Silk and Power Fabric Liquid for lasting power and finish and color.

Two close ups wearing the Balm Foundation on the face, no powder or concealer. On the lips is By Terry Lip Expert Shine in Bare Flirt.

Armani Power Fabric Balm Foundation in 6.5

Swatch comparisons:

Armani Luminous Silk, Power Fabric Foundation swatches 6 and 6.5 and 7

Ingredients from Nordstrom:

Cyclohexasiloxane, Phenyl Trimethicone, Isohexadecane, Polyethylene, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Aluminum Calcium Sodium Silicate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Arachidyl Propionate, Acrylates Crosspolymer, Lauroyl Lysine, Aluminum Hydroxide, Parfum/Fragrance, Perlite, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Benzyl Salicylate, Hexyl Cinnamal, Benzyl Alcohol, Limonene, Linalool, [+/- May Contain Ci 77891/Titanium Dioxide, Mica, Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499/Iron Oxides].

Quick note on the Power Fabric Concealer. I reviewed it in a roundup earlier but I’m still really loving it! I use Shade 6.5 and it has good coverage and an easy to blend texture. It’s described as a full matte finish concealer but to me it’s not really a full matte and I find it more of a natural middle of the road finish (I consider the Cle de Peau Concealer to be a true full matte). Definitely give it a swatch at the counter as the dry down feel will vary depending on your skin type. If you need something creamy I think the best one is still the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer.


I hope you found this foundation roundup helpful! I ended up liking the one from Hourglass the best out of the three formulas but the shade range makes it challenging for me to find a good match since it pulls very yellow and colors oxidize/darken. Nude works for me now and I’m hoping Beige will work as spring/summer progresses and I tan. I try to stay covered as much as I can but there’s no avoiding the sun in Florida! The Kosas Tinted Face Oil is a nice product that gives the face that fresh dewy glow but if you have oily skin it will most likely make you look too dewy. I’m still undecided about the Armani Power Fabric Balm. I really want to 100% love it and think it’s a good one, but it did emphasize some dry patches and I feel like the Power Fabric Liquid is better in terms of how it blends and sits on my skin.


Kosas Tinted Face Oil and Hourglass Vanish Seamless Foundation Liquid provided for review.



Top Makeup Favorites You Can Find At Sephora

November 2, 2018

Favorite Makeup Staples from Sephora | The Beauty Look Book

I’m have Part 2 of my beauty recommendations for the second weekend of the Sephora Holiday Bonus Beauty Insider Event! This weekend continues with savings for Rouge Tier Members. This roundup focuses on my top makeup favorites for bases, cheeks, eyes and lips. You can find Part 1 Skin, Body and Hair recommendations here. Dates, codes and details:

  • Rouge get 20% Off 11/2-11/5 with code: ROUGEBONUS
  • VIB get 20% off 11/9-11/12 with code: VIBBONUS
  • Insiders/ Non-BI members get 15% off 11/16-11/19 with code: BIBONUS

Terms, conditions and exclusions listed here. I tried to narrow my absolute top picks and favorites limiting myself to under 10 per category. There are so many good products available right now, especially with holiday beauty launches. Most of these are products I consider tried and true staples but there are a few newer items I’ve tried recently I think are really worth the splurge. Products that are press samples have a * next to them.

Favorite Makeup Staples from Sephora | The Beauty Look Book

Foundations + Base:



Powders + Setting:

  • Hourglass Veil Translucent Loose Powder * is one of the new launches this year, I love this for it’s truly translucent finish (no white cast) and sheer natural matte finish.
  • Laura Mercier Translucent Loose * is my most-worn loose powder, I like it with either the puff or a regular powder brush.
  • Armani Neo-Nude Fusion Powder is the best all over setting pressed glow powder, doesn’t make me too shiny, just adds the perfect amount of even coverage and glow, if you’re oily you should probably opt for an all matte option though. Review here.
  • La Mer Sheer Pressed Powder is one I have gone through several of Light and Medium, it’s the best sheer natural pressed matte powder I’ve tried, although I will say I think MAC Next to Nothing Pressed is a very close dupe that’s cheaper (but they don’t carry MAC at Sephora).
  • Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Pressed Powder in Medium is my holy grail blurring powder, it covers and smooths imperfections, I wish it came in more shades but am happy Medium has worked for me.
  • Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray is my go-to setting spray to set makeup and help make it last longer. It’s available in a number of size options including a mini if you want to try one before splurging on the full size.


Eye Makeup:

  • Charlotte Tilbury Stars in Your Eyes Eyeshadow Palette is the prettiest large eyeshadow palette I think I’ve tried of the season, it rivals NARS Singapore (which is sold out everywhere as it was limited-edition), versatile for a wide range of looks – reviewed here. Swatches of the palette in this post here.
  • Urban Decay Naked2, Naked3 or Naked Cherry are great options if you’re new to shadow and don’t know where to start. Naked2 has the neutral taupes and browns, Naked3 runs more pink but still neutral, Naked Cherry * is trendy but still wearable. I reviewed Naked Cherry in this post here. There is also this pretty awesome Naked Cherry Vault in a limited-edition set available now too.
  • Tom Ford Eye Color Quad in Honeymoon is probably my favorite warm neutral, it goes with anything and everything and brightens the face with any cheek color. Nude Dip comes in close second for neutrals.
  • Pat McGrath anything wins unless you’re not a glitter fan in which case I still think her MTHRSHP Subliminal Platinum Bronze Palette is amazing (review here). I’ll have a review of her Opulence collection posted tomorrow so stay tuned!
  • Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Sticks are my most worn shadow sticks, I don’t have oily lids so they last all day for me and don’t crease. Rosegold is my holy grail go-to shade I wear the most, followed by Copper.
  • Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerise Cream Shadows are also ones I like to wear a lot, I use them alone on lazy makeup days or layered with powder on top to make them last longer.
  • Natasha Denona makes amazing eyeshadows, the pigment, intensity and complexity of her palettes are really truly beautiful. It’s hard for me to pick one but I think her Camel or 5-Pan in Color Option #2 are great ones.

Brows and Lashes:

  • Anastasia Brow Wiz * in Medium Brown has been a go-to until I discovered Dior and Hourglass, since getting highlights I’ve felt the need to change my brow color to match a bit more, Taupe and Caramel have been working great for me.
  • Diorshow Brow Styler in Univeral Brown is still my holy grail, it still works even with highlights!
  • Hourglass Arch Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel * is among my favorite tinted brow gels (in either Soft Brunette or Warm Brunette), although the Tom Ford Fiber Brow Gel is also very good.
  • Surratt Lash Curler is spendy and you can find good alternatives for less, but I think it’s worth the splurge.
  • Mascara – my current favorites aren’t carried at Sephora but I’ve linked a few I’ve enjoyed in the shop the post carousel below.






That wraps up my top makeup picks and recommendations for things you can find during the Sephora Beauty Insider Event! Hope this helps if you’re looking for ideas. It’s always nice to have these events each year to help save on new things or to stock up on favorites. I’ll have a haul post soon and will also have another giveaway when I post the haul.

Dates, codes and details, online and in store at Sephora:

  • Rouge get 20% Off 11/2-11/5 with code: ROUGEBONUS
  • VIB get 20% off 11/9-11/12 with code: VIBBONUS
  • Insiders/ Non-BI members get 15% off 11/16-11/19 with code: BIBONUS

Let me know if you hauled anything yet! Or any fun beauty items recently if you’re not shopping the Sephora Beauty Insider Event. Always love hearing about what you end up buying!

Press samples indicated with a * next to the product listings.


Hourglass Cosmetics

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Volume 4 + Confession Duo – Holiday 2018

October 25, 2018

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette Vol 4 and Confession Lipstick Duo Review + Swatches

Reviewing some more Hourglass Cosmetic holiday launches today with swatches and thoughts on their limited-edition Ambient Lighting Edit Palette Volume 4 ($80 for 1.3 g x 6) + Confession Lipstick Duo ($34 for 2 lipsticks). Everything is limited-edition and comes in metallic lavender pink packaging.

I already reviewed the Ambient Lighting Edit Palette Unlocked Edition earlier in the month but received so many requests to compare it to the Volume 4 Palette. The two have a similar luminous feel, Unlocked has all new shades while Volume 4 has mostly repeats. The shades are easy to wear and have a range of setting powder, highlight, bronzer and blush.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette Vol 4 Holiday 2018

Ambient Lighting Edit Volume 4 Colors include:

  • Dim Light – nude pale pink with a satin finish
  • Diffused Light – pale yellow with a satin matte finish
  • Euphoric Strobe Light – shimmering champagne
  • Filtered Bronze Light – new, neutral soft light bronze shimmer
  • Luminous Glow Blush – new, shimmery peach with champagne (similar to Incandescent Electra, but this one is deeper)
  • Euphoric Fusion – swirled champagne highlight with mauve plum shimmer

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette Vol 4 Holiday 2018

Because the reflection of the packaging plays tricks on my eyes depending on light, I have two close ups. In indoor lighting below:

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette Vol 4 Holiday 2018

In direct sunlight:

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette Vol 4 Holiday 2018 in sunlight

The palette performs really well. Part of me wishes it had all new shades. Even the new ones have a similar vibe to existing colors. I do really love this one, I think I prefer it to Unlocked. I find it works better for my skintone and has more of what I’m looking for in an entire look. Unlocked is still very pretty, it just runs darker on my skin. Everything has smooth application. The texture is the same quality as individual products. Skin is left luminous and glowing. Shimmers don’t emphasize pores. Lasting power is excellent.

A look at Unlocked (reviewed here) vs Volume 4:

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Unlocked vs. Volume 4

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Unlocked vs. Volume 4 swatches

There are a few lip set options this holiday, I ordered the Confession Lipstick Duo with My One Desire and At Night. I neglected to check my stash and didn’t realize I already had these from previous launches until I swatched them. These come with one case (the pink tube) and the black case is the refill. You can definitely use the lipstick without the metallic case. My One Desire is a neutral cool mauve pink, At Night is a deep brick red. Both perform true to the Confession Lipstick formula – ultra creamy, opaque, smooth and long lasting. I still think these are among the most overpriced lipsticks on the market, but the quality, color selection and finish are truly excellent. A look at the Hourglass Confession Lipstick Duo My One Desire and At Night vs original Gold Packaging. All the existing Confession Ultra Slim Lipsticks swatched here.

Hourglass Confession Lipstick Duo My One Desire and At Night vs Gold Packaging

Hourglass Confession Lipstick Duo My One Desire and At Night swatches

Hourglass Confession Lipstick Duo My One Desire and At Night swatches

Hourglass Confession Lipstick Duo My One Desire and At Night swatches

Hourglass Holiday 2018 Ambient Lighting Edit Palette Vol 4 and Confession Lipstick Duo Review + Swatches

Beauty look below with new hair! Also wearing Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in 6.5 + 7 mixed. Ambient Lighting Edit Palette Volume 4 Dim Light + Diffused applied all over as a setting powder, a mix of Filtered Bronze Light and Euphoric Fusion on the cheeks, Euphoric Strobe Light on the eyes. My One Desire worn on the lips.

Ambient Lighting Volume 4

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette Vol 4 and Confession Lipstick Duo Review + Swatches

Quality-wise everything is excellent. I’m really happy with the palette even though I have repeats. I always find them convenient for on-the-go or travel. All this said if you already own some Hourglass powders or palettes I’d recommend that you shop your stash. If you’ve never splurged on an Hourglass Ambient Lighting powder the palettes are a great way to dive into the line. Quality is great and even though the price of palettes is steep it’s a nice way to try multiple colors and finishes rather than buying individual colors which add up to more. Yes, value-wise price per ounce or gram the palettes are not the smartest buy. I also feel this way about the lipsticks but have mentioned numerous times the quality is excellent.

I bought my holiday picks from Sephora. The limited-edition pink packaging is also available at Hourglass Cosmetics, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Beautylish and Barneys New York. Don’t forget that tomorrow is the start of the Sephora VIB Sale so if you have this on your wishlist you might want to save it for the event! Recs and roundup to go live soon 🙂

Have you checked out any of the Hourglass holiday launches this year yet? What did you think?

Highlighters Hourglass Cosmetics

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette Unlocked Edition

October 1, 2018

Hourglass Unlocked Ambient Lighting Palette Review

Hourglass launched a new palette called the Ambient Lighting Edit Unlocked Palette ($80 for 0.04 oz/1.4 g x6, made in Italy) for holiday 2018. I ordered this from Sephora and as with most of their 6-pan palettes it’s limited-edition but this year’s version has all new shades! This is the first of a few items the brand is launching for holiday. More teasers on their Instagram @hourglasscosmetics for another palette launching in a couple of days.

The Unlocked Ambient Lighting Palette has two finishing powders, one bronzer, two blushes and a metallic strobe powder. Quality is excellent with a medium coverage finish that’s very natural. The overall look and feel of the colors ended up being darker than I anticipated. On my skin they apply a little deeper than what I see in the palette but it worked well. The colors also applied with a more diffused glow rather than the high shimmer sheen. Since these are luminous with light reflective particles, the palette is going to look different depending on how the natural light catches it. Lasting power is excellent as well. They stay put on the skin without emphasizing pores or fine lines.

Hourglass Unlocked Ambient Lighting Palette Review

A closer look at the palette in a few different lighting options, swatches and all the shades applied on the face below.

Hourglass Unlocked Ambient Lighting Palette Review - Soft Light, Filtered Light, Golden Bronze Light, Nude Glow, Mood Flush, Champagne Strobe Light

First color descriptions of the shades you get in this year’s holiday palette:

  • Soft Light is a sheer light ivory beige finishing powder with a subtle sheen
  • Filtered Light is a tan beige finishing powder, almost a soft contour for me
  • Golden Bronze Light is a warm golden bronze shimmer
  • Nude Glow is a shimmery nude peach
  • Mood Flush is a satiny rose pink, looks cooler-toned in the pan, but on my skin applied more neutral-warm
  • Champagne Strobe Light is a high shimmer champagne

Hourglass Unlocked Ambient Lighting Palette Swatches

Close up of the palette indoors natural light:

Hourglass Unlocked Ambient Lighting Palette Review

Versus with a flash:

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Unlocked Palette Review Holiday 2018

On the face it gives a very natural glow. There’s no harsh frost or glare even with a flash, also wearing:

Hourglass Unlocked Ambient Lighting Palette Review + Swatches

Size comparison of the different Hourglass compacts.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Powders and Palettes

A lot of you have asked what brushes I recommend using with this palette. The pans are on the small side so there’s a high chance you’re going to be mixing colors with your brush. A few smaller ones I use and recommend shown below.

Best Small Cheek Brushes

Top to bottom:

Hourglass Unlocked Ambient Lighting Palette Review


Overall well made with beautiful colors. I think the quality is excellent. It has a very natural look to it but the colors are buildable if you layer. Given all the highlighters that are out there on the market at this point many launches are looking the same to me. These colors are new to Hourglass and I think a couple are unique while others are not. I would love to see them expand their Ambient Lighting finishing powder range to include full sizes of Soft Light and Filtered Light and perhaps shades in between and darker. I love the satiny almost matte powders and right now there’s not a color that works to match my skin although I used to use Dim Light as a setting powder when I was lighter in skin tone.

I do love the look and vibe of Nude Glow Blush because I love a good peachy shimmer. Mood Flush is nice but for some reason doesn’t quite apply the same in the pan on my face (it goes on warmer). I’m the equivalent of MAC NC35 and I think if I were up to 3 shades darker in skintone this would still show up on me, but the overall look is still very medium-natural.

I think it’s a good buy. I’m really happy with it and love that it has new colors. I’m also ok with having similar options because these palettes are so convenient for travel or to create a look with a single compact. I don’t know that I’d call it entirely unique and I’m also ok with that. At this point given all the highlighters I own and have tested I don’t know that I’d call it a must-have, but I do really like it. It’s pricey but well made.

You can find the Hourglass Unlocked Ambient Lighting Edit Palette out now at Sephora and Hourglass. It’s limited-edition for Holiday 2018.

Hauls Sephora

Sephora Haul Picks

August 28, 2018

Sephora Haul Picks Glow Recipe, IGK, Fenty Beauty, Glamglow | The Beauty Look Book

I have a roundup of my Sephora haul picks from the Beauty Insider Appreciation Event for Rouge. I ended up purchasing a little bit from every category for makeup, skincare and hair care. I still have a few things sitting in my online cart but since I did a massive haul I will probably not be purchasing anymore items for the event. I just hauled everything on Friday so I haven’t had time to test everything. Notes and first impressions on the items I have been able to test.

Makeup Base Picks

Makeup Base Haul beautyblender, It Cosmetics, Natasha Denona

There were a few new bases I wanted to try out. Foundation shopping kinda stresses me out with the matching process. Some oxidize to different levels and in store lighting isn’t the best, so it can be a little tricky. There are a few other formulas I’ve been meaning to try but testers weren’t available so I’m going to have to guess sight unseen. Ones I did pick up:

  • beautyblender Bounce Liquid Whip Long Wear Foundation in 3.50 and 3.60, they only had a tester of 3.50 and while it looked good in store it did apply a little on the light side. I bought 3.60 and tried it at home which is a perfect match. I am getting tan though with regular outdoor runs. The next shades up look like a big jump so I may have to mix when I get darker. First impressions are really good, I like the coverage, it lasts all day, it’s not irritating and didn’t oxidize too much. A more detailed review to follow.
  • It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream Oil-Free Matte in Medium Tan – I’ve yet to try any of the It Cosmetics bases even though they’re extremely popular! Medium looked too light in store but after swatching Medium Tan at home I think it may be too dark. I will report back after I give it a test.
  • Natasha Denona Transformatte Pore Vanishing Matte Foundation samples in 27WY, 30W and 31W. These oxidized like crazy in store on my hand, but when I tried this on the face at home they did not. I still need to do more testing, but this is a full coverage true matte. I think my best match is 31W which is more yellow/olive.
  • Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Primer (mini, beauty insider perk) – excited to try this!

Swatches below. Also included MAC Studio Fix Fluid in NC30 and NC35 for reference.

Foundation Swatches MAC NC30, NC35 vs Beautyblender 3.5 and 3.6 and It Cosmetics Medium Tan

Also not a haul item but since some of you have asked, I wanted to share some swatches of the new First Aid Beauty Concealer. It’s available in 7 shades. I received press samples of this formula but haven’t had a chance to test this out. I will keep you posted. I think my shade match is going to be #3.

First AId Beauty Hello Fab Bendy Avocado Concealer

First Aid Beauty Hello Fab Bendy Avocado Concealer swatches

Skincare Picks

Skincare Haul Picks Glow Recipe, Glamglow, PTR

I have mostly skincare in my online shopping cart, so many things are either online only or not available in my local store. It’s tempting to stock up but for now I picked up:


Hair Care Picks

Hair Care Haul Ouai Scalp Scrub, IGK Keratin Spray

I’m in need of a curling iron and had the T3 1.25″ Iron on my list. Part of me wants to wait until holiday to see if there are any sets. Part of me wants to take advantage of the discount and buy it now. Decisions, decisions! I hauled 3 items:

Eye Makeup Picks

I already reviewed and swatched the five Hourglass Scattered Light Eyeshadows a few days ago. I wore Smoke yesterday and loved it! In addition I bought the Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam Eyeshadow Palette and Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Amplifying Eye Primer. I didn’t have time to swatch or test the palette or primer but I did give them a quick look in store and the shadows are super soft and pigmented!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam, Hourglass Scattered Light, Fenty Pro Primer

Lipstick Haul

I’m always a sucker for a good lip. I actually bought the Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipsticks before but they were lost in all our moving last year. I repurchased S1ngle and Spanked, both are ultra smooth with full coverage and aren’t dry looking. I need to try more of these! I also picked up two of the Bite Beauty French Press Lip Glosses in Salted Caramel and Dirty Chai. Both are perfect neutrals. I tried Salted Caramel and think it’s the perfect pink beige. I also bought one of the new Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Glosses in Estrella which is so sparkly I don’t recommend it. It’s not chunky, it’s very smooth but the shimmer is a little too much (it was an impulse buy). Last but not least the sparkles got the best of me and I picked up the Pat McGrath Lip Fetish in Gold Astral to try.

Lipstick Haul Fenty, Bite, ABH, Pat McGrath Labs

Swatches Fenty S1ngle, Spanked, Bite Salted Caramel and Dirty Chai, Anastasia Estrella and Pat McGrath Gold Astral

Sephora Haul Picks Ouai, Glow Recipe, IGK, Bite Beauty, Glamglow | The Beauty Look Book

That wraps up my Sephora haul! If there are any items you want reviewed first let me know in the comments and I’ll try to prioritize those!

Have you bought anything yet for the Sephora Beauty Insider Appreciation Event? What did you haul? You can use the Sephora Beauty Insider Appreciate promo code once online and unlimited times in store. Valid in both US and Canada, dates for each tier:

  • Rouge Members: 20% off with code YESROUGE, valid 8/24 through 9/3
  • VIB Members: 15% off with code YESVIB, valid 8/30 through 9/3
  • Beauty Insiders: 10% off with code YESINSIDER, valid 8/30 through 9/3

First Aid Beauty concealers provided for review. Other items purchased by me.


Eye Makeup Hourglass Cosmetics

Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow Review + Swatches

August 26, 2018

Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow Review | The Beauty Look Book

Hourglass Cosmetics launched a new eyeshadow called Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow ($29 each for .12 oz/3.5 g, made in Korea). I bought all five shades while at Sephora for the Beauty Insider event and every color is amazing. These are pressed pigments with micro-glitter that give the eyes a beautiful glimmer. The word “glitter” had me a little worried which is why I didn’t order them online sight unseen. I love a good sparkle but sometimes glitter can be too much for what I’m comfortable wearing. These aren’t too glittery for me although they are sparkly. You can wear these alone, layered over shadow, layered together or if you apply with a damp brush it will give you a more foiled look. Lasting power is excellent. I’ve only given these a 2 day test since I just bought these but they stayed put for hours without fall out or budging. On Friday night I’m embarrassed to admit I fell asleep with my makeup on. It’s something I tell myself to never do, but it was one of those exhausting weeks. The eyeshadow was still in tact the next morning.

Hourglass Scattered Light Aura, Reflect, Foil, Smoke and Blaze | The Beauty Look Book

Shopping the shades at Sephora:

Sephora shopping trip

There are five shades, two are more glitzy than the others (Foil and Blaze). Shimmer-wise they are indeed shimmery but the glitter is super fine and not chunky. Even on the eyes they have a smooth finish. I like apply with the fingers. They’re easy to smooth and blend out.

  • Aura is a soft shimmering cool pink sparkle
  • Reflect is a champagne neutral sparkle (my favorite!)
  • Foil is a very sparkly yellow gold
  • Smoke is similar to champagne, but more taupe
  • Blaze is a sparkling warm copper, glitzy sparkle

On me Foil and Blaze are the most sparkly. I don’t think I can wear them alone everyday, although layered over a powder shadow tones down the sparkle a little. Also if I layer the gold on top of the copper it creates one of the prettiest multi-dimensional looks.

Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow Aura, Reflect, Foil, Smoke and Blaze | The Beauty Look Book

Hourglass Scattered Light swatches Aura, Reflect, Foil, Smoke and Blaze | The Beauty Look Book

There is an insert inside to keep the shadows pressed and in tact:

Hourglass Scattered Light Eyeshadow

A closer look at all the shades:

Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow swatches | The Beauty Look Book

Beauty look with Reflect which is my favorite color out of the five, also wearing:

Hourglass Scattered Light Reflect | The Beauty Look Book

Hourglass Scattered Light Reflect | The Beauty Look Book

Close ups and more swatches:

Hourglass Scattered Light Eyeshadow Blaze

Hourglass Scattered Light Eyeshadow

Hourglass Scattered Light Eyeshadow Foil

Hourglass Scattered Light Eyeshadow Reflect

Hourglass Scattered Light Eyeshadow Aura

Hourglass Scattered Light swatches

Some swatch comparisons to Armani Eyes to Kill Eyeshadows (now discontinued) in 8, 9 and 5. Also swatched next to the Natasha Denona Crystal Top Coats. The Armani Eyes to Kill had a more metallic finish with less glitter. Natasha Denona’s have more glitter and a sheerer base color. MAC Dazzleshadow Liquid is more like a metallic finish (review soon on these).

swatches hourglass vs armani and natasha denona

Hourglass Scattered Light swatches Aura, Reflect, Foil, Smoke and Blaze | The Beauty Look Book

Bottom line I love them all. 100% worth the splurge. If I had to narrow down my picks I would pick Reflect and Smoke. They are on the sparkly side but they wear beautifully in a variety of ways. I like that they are easy to apply and that they don’t have fall out on me. I think all the colors are standouts although Foil is a very yellow gold and I usually don’t like gold colors like this but it is pretty when layered with other shades.

You can find the Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadows out now. You may have to shop around as they have sold out on a few sites. Available at Sephora, Beautylish, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Barneys New York, Space NK and Hourglass Cosmetics.

If you’re shopping at Sephora, don’t forget you can use the Beauty Insider Appreciate promo code once online and unlimited times in store. Valid in both US and Canada:

  • Rouge Members: 20% off with code YESROUGE, valid 8/24 through 9/3
  • VIB Members: 15% off with code YESVIB, valid 8/30 through 9/3
  • Beauty Insiders: 10% off with code YESINSIDER, valid 8/30 through 9/3

Did you try these yet? I think they’re phenomenal!

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