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Spring-to-Summer Bronze and Glow

June 2, 2014

I shared my favorite bronzers and illuminators with you last year in my Summer Glow post. There are a number of new bronzers and glowy products out this year that I’ve been testing lately that I wanted to share with you. Two have made the favorites list again this year. I’ve split this year’s post into two categories: glow and bronze. For me the two aren’t necessarily separate, I like to mix, blend and layer products to create a custom natural bronze or subtle glow. All of these work well with my normal combination sensitive skin (no break outs or reactions to these).

  • RMS Living Luminizer is one of those cult classic products. I’ve long resisted because after feeling it a few times in stores thought it would be too greasy for my normal/combination skin. I finally caved after a few friends demanded I give it a try. It is one of the most dewy and glowy highlighters I own but it does miraculously give a natural healthy sheen. It has barely any color on my medium skin and isn’t too pale to give a sharp white contrast. It just gives a subtle sheen. I like this under blush or over it to add a bit of glow. I dab it on very lightly with fingers.
  • NARS Illuminator in 413 Blkr (review here) is a lovely champagne colored highlighter that isn’t too pale or too yellow, it’s gorgeous mixed in with foundation or used as a highlighter
  • Edward Bess All Over Seduction in Afterglow is one of my holy grail highlighters, it’s perfect for medium-tanned skin beauty lovers who are looking for a good neutral highlighter that isn’t pale, I use it as an eye base, on the cheeks, on the temples, I’ve hit pan on this twice, it’s a must-have with gorgeous shimmer and non-greasy finish, it’s perfection
  • NARS Illuminator in Hot Sand is new for summer, also limited-edition, I had to wait several weeks for this one, it sold out at all the counters near me so I ordered online, if you haven’t checked this one out, I recommend it, it’s a unique gorgeous peachy shimmer that dries down to a non-dewy finish (so it stays put)
  • Tom Ford Skin Illuminator in Fire Lust is repromoted this year, it sold out in the blink of an eye last year, if you missed out the first round, you have a chance to buy it this year (but with a white cap), I’m about half-way through mine from last year, it’s extremely pricey but worth every penny (review last year here)

  • Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Radiant Light made the list again this year, it’s a sheer glowy powder with tiny micro sparkle particles but looks very natural on the skin, I recommend using a cream base (highlight or blush) underneath to help the color adhere better, once it does you get a lovely natural glow (also available in the palette/trio reviewed here)
  • Chanel Les Beiges Multi-Colour No. 02 (review here) if you’re looking for something new this summer, this is the bronzer to buy, it’s soft and natural and for me, it’s back-up worthy
  • Chanel Blush Creme in Cheeky is a new blush creme from the summer collection, I thought it would be too similar to Destiny but it proved to be more pink and neutral
  • Armani Liquid Summer Bronzer (review here) is a nice darker liquid bronzer, if you like a layerable fluid bronzer, I recommend this one (although if you have the classic Bronze Universel by Chanel, you don’t need this one because the color is similar)
  • MAC Extra Dimension Bronzer in Aphrodite’s Shell and Delphic are both part of the Alluring Aquatic collection (both limited-edition). These are on the more subtle end of bronzers with a unique satiny-matte texture. They are buildable and with a slightly harder texture which makes these easy to layer on softly. They also adhere well to the skin and don’t budge once applied. I adore both shades and prefer Delphic because it’s more dramatic but they are both gorgeous. I would highly recommend acting fast with these, I’m surprised they are still available online and at counters.
More close ups in case you want to see the texture and shimmer in more detail:

There are a number of classic products such as NARS Multiples, Armani Fluid Sheers and all sorts of bronzers and highlighters that I adore. These are some that have been on my radar for a while (new ones along with tried and true).

What’s in your beauty rotation right now for bronzers or highlighters?


Day 4 of Beauty Essentials: Primers & Fix Sprays, Illuminators, Foundations

July 31, 2009

I’ve searched through numerous brands and formulas to find the right foundation for me. My skin is overall normal but very sensitive and prone to break-outs and reactions. This post will list what I’ve found to work the best for me to get a flawless but still natural glow. If you have any favorites, please share them! I’m always looking for new products to try out.

Foundations & Tinted Moisturizers (left to right):

* Laura Mercier Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer gives a sheer glow to the face that isn’t overly shimmery or sparkly. I also love her other regular and oil-free formulas, but have been loving this one recently.

* Laura Mercier Undercover Pot contains her Secret Camouflage and Secret Concealer on the top layer with a mini mirror and translucent powder on the bottom to set. It is very tiny for the price, but great for travel. Luckily there have been a few sets that I’ve purchased that have contained this as part of a kit, so I haven’t had to spend the full retail price on it.

* Chanel Hydramax+ Active Teinte is part of the Hydramax line which “boosts the hydration process at its source, with formulas targeted precisely to meet skin’s moisture needs.” This is a nice lightweight tinted moisturizer that evens out the skintone and has SPF15.

* Chanel Lift Lumiere Foundation is meant for smoothing & firming, also contains SPF15. At age 28, I don’t really need any smoothing or firming, but I do find it has a nice medium coverage, lasts all day, and does make the skin look very smooth.

* Giorgio Armani Lasting Silk UV Foundation SPF20 was made to replace their Matte Silk foundation and has a “water-based foundation provides 14-hour satin matte coverage without the coverage feel. For normal to oily skin, providing medium coverage.” I had previously used their Luminous Silk Foundation and loved the full flawless coverage and finish, but found it made my skin very oily within a couple hours. The new Lasting Silk works much better for my skin. I wouldn’t say it lasts a full 14 hours, but then I haven’t used it with their primer or other products.

*Chanel Teint Innocence is probably my most frequently used foundation for a sheer-medium coverage that gives a natural glow. (I have gone through over 6 bottles.) This is more moist than the Lift Lumiere, but not overly so. That being said, if your skin is more on the oily side, I would avoid this one. It contains SPF12. I prefer the liquid formula, but it also comes in a cream compact foundation formula that I find heavier in texture and coverage.

* Chanel Correcteur Perfection is their newest concealer which is lightweight and gel-based. I like this for under the eyes to brighten the skin and dark circles.

Primers & Sprays (left to right):

* Laura Mercier Foundation Primer really helps the application process for foundation and powder, I like to use this over moisturizer.

* Le Blanc De Chanel is an illuminating base that primes the skin for foundation while adding a subtle glow.

* Chantecaille Rosewater is meant to “purify, tone, and hydrate skin.” It is definitely refreshing, but fairly pricey. Pictured is a mini size that is often given in their gift with purchases at beauty events.

* MAC Prep & Prime Skin is a great silicone based primer that has subtle sparkle to the actual product. I like to use this sometimes instead of moisturizer.

* MAC Fix+ Rose came out with the Rose Romance collection this past year as a limited edition product, but still comes in a regular version. A must have for everyone – you can spray this on the face before foundation to moisten the skin, or after foundation & powder to set your makeup and make your face look less powdery and more fresh. I also like to spray this on my eyeshadow brushes sometimes to lightly dampen the brush to apply eyeshadows more heavily.

Illuminators (left to right): I love using liquid illuminators and mixing them with foundation to give an all over subtle glow. These are great because of the sheerness so you don’t end up looking greasy. These are also great to use over foundation/powder in certain areas to highlight the eyes or temples.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal, Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer 3 & 7, MAC Strobe Cream (mini size from a travel set), Chanel Brilliance Pur Sunkissed


Bobbi Brown Illuminating Bronzing Powders + New Bronzer Brush

May 22, 2009

Bobbi Brown has released 6 new illuminating bronzing powders for summer. They come in a round mirrored compact just like her regular bronzers, only all of these new ones have some degree of shimmer. They retail for $33 USD and the colors are Antigua, Aruba, Maui, Bali Brown, Barbados and Bahamas.

The look for the summer features Maui Illuminating Bronzer, Burnt Sugar Metallic Eyeshadow, Black Everything Mascara, Cocoa Lip Color and the new Shimmer Brick for the body.

I have 4 of the new ones pictured here, plus Laguna Bronze which was a Neimans Exclusive in their Cabana Collection this past Christmas.

* Maui – gorgeous healthy but natural pink glow shimmer

* Antigua – soft pink with subtle shimmer (lighter than Maui, gorgeous powder pink, but not too pale)

* Aruba – shimmery golden bronze (this one has the most shimmer)

* Bali Brown – soft medium brown with subtle gold sparkles (the shimmer doesn’t really show)

* Laguna Bronzevery similar to Aruba, just slightly more orangey

The 2 other bronzers were different variations of brown. Right now I’m a Chanel Shell 1.5 in Teint Innocence (equals Armani 5.5 LSF and MAC NC30), so I passed on the Barbados and Bermuda – they were too dark for me right now, but would be great on darker skin tones.

The rest of the collection features gorgeous colors that seem flattering for most skin tones. Pigment is medium, like her regular bronzers, but can be built. Shimmer isn’t over the top, except for Aruba, which has the most shimmer, but isn’t quite as frosty as her shimmer bricks.

Some comparison pictures to Giorgio Armani and MAC Powder Bronzers.

Also featured with this collection is a new Bronzing Powder Brush which retails for $50 USD. Super soft and plush, a bit more than I am comfortable spending, but the texture is so soft, it’s well worth the investment. (Similar size bristles to the Laura Mercier Bronzing Brush, just a lot softer.)

The old bronzer brush on the left (in a mini version) versus the new plush bronzer brush on the right. As an FYI, Bobbi Brown is re-doing all her brushes, according to one of my favorite BB makeup artists, they will come in one size for the handle.