I have a look at the Laura Mercier Rose Glow Collection today. The new Caviar Stick Eye Colors (6 shades, $29 each) and Highlighting Powder ($30) launched earlier in the summer and there are some really pretty options if you like shimmer or rose tones! I’m late to review this as it launched several weeks ago but I thought I’d add some comparison swatches in case you still haven’t had a chance to check it out.
Rose Glow Caviar Stick Eye Colors
There are six new shades of Caviar Stick Eye Color and they are all in a pink rose or plum tone theme. The shimmer is pretty high with these so if you feel like you can’t wear shimmery tones on your lids these may be too much for you. I still think you can use the deeper tones or layer 1-2 with your other shades without having it look too frosty. I really love that they did eye look swatches with all the shades on multiple skin tones and eye colors for their promotional photos (all available side by side on Lauramercier.com). I think these are so helpful!
I found these to have a little bit more shimmer than colors like Copper or Rose Gold. Similar to what I see in the Caviar Stick Eye Color in Sugar Frost. They’re easy to blend but they do set quickly and lasting power is excellent once it sets.
Comparisons below to Bobbi Brown, By Terry, Charlotte Tilbury and a few other Laura Mercier colors
Highlighting Powder in Rose Glow
The new Highlighting Powder in Rose Glow is a soft shimmery pale rose. It has a beautiful soft texture but the highlight is quite intense on my medium tan skin tone because it’s paler than my natural skin tone. Shimmer wise it’s smooth but for me it requires a light hand. I prefer it mixed with a regular satin or matte blush for a softer diffused look.
Below wearing Highlighting Powder in Rose Glow on top of Blush in Strawberry
I love the texture of the powder but color wise I have a lot of similar colors so I wouldn’t call it super unique for my skin tone. Performance wise it’s excellent and I do think it’s a beautiful highlighter.
Today I’m doing a best of roundup of one of my favorite makeup brands Laura Mercier. I have swatches of the new Caviar Stick Eye Colors and thought it might be a good time to do an updated round up of my favorite everyday makeup staples from the line. I get asked for my everyday makeup staples quite frequently and I’ve done several with a mix of brands. Some of you have asked for round ups by brand so I’ve decided to start with Laura Mercier. I’ve used them for years and even through numerous reformulations and revamps still find I use something from the brand almost daily.
If you like classic easy to wear looks and are in search of makeup staples I’m rounding up my favorites today.
I have a love/hate relationship with most primers. In my opinion there’s no one-primer-fits all formula. While I do find many will smooth and prep skin and also extend the wear I think finding a good primer depends on your skin type and also what foundation formulas you wear. As a good starting point, I’d recommend sticking with the same brand of primer and foundation as they usually make formulas that are compatible with their entire brand. For example I do think if you use an oil-free primer it might not be compatible with an oil-based foundation. If you find your foundation is separating on your skin I’d suggest looking at the ingredients and taking a look at what moisturizer or primer you are using underneath.
All that said, I put all of the new Pure Canvas Primers from Laura Mercier to the test. Since I use the Flawless Fusion or Flawess Lumiere Radiance formulas most frequently, I felt the new primers would all be compatible. Out of all the new ones my top three are the Protecting SPF 30, Illuminating (when I want more glow) and the Perfecting. All three will smooth the skin to give you better foundation application and help extend the wear. I don’t use them everyday as I think the foundations I have are quite good with lasting power and application, but I do think these are nice ones to try. They’re unscented and silicone-free for those looking for options suitable for sensitive skin.
Foundation and Concealer
I’ve written about the Laura Mercier Foundations countless times. Brands often reformulate and revamp and I have been really happy with all of the bases I’ve tried from the brand. My top 4 favorites:
Flawless Fusion Ultra Longwear Foundation is my holy grail long-wear foundation, it’s the best one that holds up in Florida heat and humidity, doesn’t irritate my skin and gives full but natural looking coverage, I wear Buff 3N1 most of the year.
Flawless Fusion Ultra Longwear Concealer is also in my top 3 for concealers (swatches here) I alternate between 2N, 3N, 2W and 3W depending on time of year (as I tan easily), most of the time I wear the 3N or 3W which is good for highlighting, brightening the under eye or spot concealing.
I use the classic Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Powder on a regular basis with their Powder Puff or a Powder Brush. I also really like their Loose Glow Powders which I use more as a highlighter (lighter shade) or bronzer (for the deep color). The classic Translucent Loose doesn’t add any color and is compatible with all of the foundations I use regardless of brand/formula. Even though it’s white it doesn’t add any white cast to my skin. If you’re a long-time Laura Mercier fan you might remember she used to have tinted versions of the matte loose powder, I really wish they would bring those back!
For eyeshadows my absolute favorites are her Caviar Stick Eye Colors. I use Rosegold and Copper religiously for an all over wash or as a base for powder shadows. Rosegold is the best neutral shimmer – it looks good alone or with other shades. For her cream shadows I find they are creamy and easy to blend. Pigment ranges from sheer to full depending on how much you layer or blend (with fingers or a brush). Once they set they stay put on my eyes but they remain creamy long enough to work with.
She launched 12 new shades recently, I swatched and played with 10 of them (the ones I thought I would actually wear). They run warm and on the pink side. The fuchsia colors or pinks aren’t really my vibe but I swatched them anyways. I was able to wear Raspberry and Magenta when layered/mixed with other shades though. My favorite of the new ones are the pinks in Sunrise and Nude Rose.
I swatched 10 of the 12 new colors (there are 2 blue shades I didn’t swatch), new ones include:
Pearl is a pale cool white shimmer
Sunbeam is a pale yellow shimmer
Golden is a yellow gold shimmer
Sunrise is a satiny soft warm light pink with a slight sheen
Nude Rose is a shimmery rose pink
Sienna is a shimmery orange
Raspberry is a shimmery mauve rose
Burgundy is a slightly deeper plum shimmer
Magenta is a hot pink shimmer
Violet is a shimmery violet
I wear Rosegold, Copper and Sandglow the most frequently. In pulling the products for my roundup it occurred to me that it has been a while since I swatched the colors I have. These are the shimmer colors. There are also matte options but I find they pull a little dry on me. Colors swatched: Beam, Sugar Frost, Rosegold, Magnetic Pink, Moonlight, Grey Pearl, Intense Moonlight, Metallic Taupe, Sandglow and Copper.
Purples and deeper shades: Rush, Orchid, Intense Amethyst, Violet, Burgundy, Amethyst, Burnished Bronze, Plum, Cocoa and Smoke. I use the last 3 colors swatched as liner, I’ll apply them onto a detail brush and then smoke or smudge them along my lash line.
The world has gone highlighter crazy and the trend doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. Even with all the new launches I think the Laura Mercier Face Illuminator remains a good everyday staple. Indiscretion is the best neutral champagne in my opinion. It has enough warmth to not look overly frosty or pale on my skin. I ordered the two newest ones with the floral pattern from Nordstrom and think they’re beautiful!
Affection (new) is a light pale champagne shimmer, it has a good amount of shimmer in it but is smooth
Sensation (new) is a shimmery copper, on me it pulls more like a shimmery blush/bronzer but isn’t too orange
Devotion is a pale pink shimmer
Addiction is a pale yellow gold shimmer
Indiscretion is the best neutral champagne highlighter
Inspiration is a lovely pink mauve frost (detailed review + look here)
Color: Blush, Lipstick + Gloss
For color all the Laura Mercier products have gone through a reformulation at some point. I like what I’ve seen so far! The Blush Color Infusion in Fresco is a perfect everyday neutral blush. It has a tiny bit of shimmer so it’s not flat. I like that it adds a bit of warmth and color without darkening or oxidizing like a lot of nude blushes can do. For the lips the Rouge Essential Silky Creme Lipsticks are the best no-fuss classic lip formula. They’re creamy with full coverage but feel weightless. There’s a bit of shine in the finish which gives them a more natural lush look. I love all the neutrals but find Brun Pale and Nu Prefere are my kind of everyday nudes. I’ve used the Lip Glace since my high school days long before the repackaging and reformulation. I actually really liked the original perfume scent these had back in the day. Right now they’re vanilla scented and have a slightly sticky feel but it’s not too thick. Opal is my favorite for layering on practically everything.
Most Laura Mercier products featured are press samples. Items purchased by me include the Face Illuminators in Indiscretion (repurchase), Affection, Sensation, Lip Glace in Opal, Tinted Moisturizer in Sand 3N1.
Laura Mercier just revamped her Tinted Moisturizer and Tinted Moisturizer Illuminating into new formulas and I’ve been testing them for the past couple of weeks. The original was considered a cult-classic for that dewy no-makeup makeup look and while it was wildly popular I found it hit or miss for me with the colors and formula. The new versions now come with higher SPF 30, new packaging and new ingredients. The active ingredients for the sunscreen include Octinoxate 7.49%, Avobenzone 2.5%, Octocrylene 2% and Oxybenzone 1%. You can find the new versions out now at Laura Mercier and Sephora.
If you were a fan of the original I’d recommend you buy a tube or two sooner than later as they usually pull them from stores and counters when new formulas are released. You can still find it online at a few places right now but I suspect they will be pulled eventually.
New Tinted Moisturizer – Sand 3N1
It has been a long time since I’ve worn her original Tinted Moisturizer. I reviewed it numerous times over the years and have always had a love/hate relationship with it. In San Diego I could only wear it in winter and even though the formula was sheer I never found the colors to be a good match. Sand is what I wore back in the day but it was always a touch too warm and oxidized just slightly giving my skin a peach look that didn’t quite go with my yellow/golden neck. The new Tinted Moisturizer works much better for my skin type and skin tone right now. Your mileage may vary depending on what your skin can tolerate for sunscreen ingredients but I had no issues, irritation or clogging of pores. There are 20 shades and she has three different color undertones C for Cool, N for Neutral and W for Warm. I find the colors work better for me now with my sunny Florida tan.
The Tinted Moisturizer has a dewy look with a very sheer finish. Coverage is barely there but it does a decent job at evening out the skin in the most natural fresh way. I fully expected it to be too dewy for me and did not think it would last the day in Florida humidity but it surprised me! Indoors it holds up pretty well. Outside even at the beach it holds up ok, it stayed put even after some swimming, but it does get more dewy looking when you sweat. Since I don’t have perfect skin and need more coverage I find layering her Flawless Fusion Concealer and setting with her Translucent Loose Powder or Charlotte Tilbury’s Airbrush Flawless Finish Pressed Powder on top gives me a good look.
I was sent the color 3W1 Bisque which I can definitely wear but I felt it warmed up just a little when it set and was a bit too dark so I bought 3N1 Sand at Sephora. I have a look below with bare skin vs. tinted moisturizer vs. full makeup look below. Coverage is very very sheer. I’ve tested it over bare skin and also over other moisturizers and it works well either way. Moisturizers I’ve tested it with include the Chanel Camellia Water Cream, Farmacy Honey Drop Moisturizer and Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream.
New Tinted Moisturizer Illuminating – Warm Radiance
The new Tinted Moisturizer Illuminating formula comes in 6 shades and has a soft shimmer. It adds radiance all over. As long as I set with a powder the shimmer/dewy effect is cancelled out just enough that I don’t end up looking too shimmery. This has a similar effect to the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter on my skin, but the Laura Mercier is sheerer, more dewy and not quite as pigmented. Below is an application demo, the color sheers out when blended.
Swatches next to some corresponding color names in other formulas, left to right, all Laura Mercier:
Tinted Moisturizer Illuminating Warm Radiance
Tinted Moisturizer 3N1 Sand
Flawless Fusion Concealer 3N
Flawless Fusion Foundation in 3N1 Buff
Tinted Moisturizer 3W1 Bisque
Flawless Fusion Concealer 3W
Flawless Fusion Foundation in 3W1 Dusk
A few swatch comparisons:
Chanel Les Beiges Sheer Healthy Glow Tint in Medium and Medium Plus (review here)
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Illuminating Warm Radiance
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in Sand and Bisque
NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in St. Moritz (too yellow for me now)
YSL Touche Eclat All-in-One Glow in B40 (too warm for me now)
Overall I like both formulas a lot more than I anticipated. I have normal combination skin most of the year, although it does get quite dry with the weather changes here and non-stop AC. I almost always prefer medium to full coverage on most days so the Tinted Moisturizer formula isn’t something I feel like I’d gravitate towards on most days. I really love the fresh look it gives but I do need to add concealer and a tinted powder on top to even out my skin the way I want. If you have super oily skin I do think it might be too dewy for you. I like the new formula a lot better than the original.
Compared to other tinted sheer coverage bases I still love the NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer but don’t have a good color match at the moment. The YSL Touche Eclat All-In-One Glow in B40 is too dark for me but I haven’t looked to see if the next shade down is a better match since I like other foundation formulas better.
I think it’s worth looking into if you don’t want or need a lot of coverage. You can find the new Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizers out now at Laura Mercier and Sephora. Some other stores still have the original but I suspect they’ll be pulling them soon.
Have you tried the new formula yet? What did you think?
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizers provided for review.
I’ve been working my way through some new foundation launches and today I have a review of the new Laura Mercier Flawless Lumiere Radiance Perfecting Foundation ($48 for 1 oz/30 ml) along with her Translucent Loose Setting Powder in Glow ($39 for 1 oz/29 g). The new foundation is probably my favorite that I’ve tested this year. Both the powder and foundation are crazy good for a flawless luminous finish and I find both are still suitable for normal/combination skin even with the luminous finish. The powder launched last year but I never did a dedicated review (you can see it on the face in this post with a full makeup look). Several of you have been asking for more swatches so I have it in today’s post for you!
To date my favorite Laura Mercier foundation has been her Flawless Fusion Ultra Longwear Foundation. Looking back at the archives I’ve been using this for almost 2 years now and it’s one of my favorites for humid Florida weather. It’s natural full coverage with a matte finish. Finding a good matte finish is hard for me because my skin tends to look better in something with a little glow. The Flawless Fusion is long wearing, matte but not flat, and the color range is pretty good. The new Flawless Lumiere Radiance Perfecting Foundation by comparison is a lot more luminous. Coverage is medium but buildable to full for me. It definitely has a more hydrating luminous feel to it but isn’t too dewy and has no greasy feeling. For me her Tinted Moisturizers simply don’t work well in Florida humidity (it’s too dewy and too luminous). The Flawless Lumiere has a natural finish with a lot more coverage compared to her Tinted Moisturizer.
Shade options come in C for cool, N for neutral or W for warm. I’m normally in the W range for yellow tones but some of the options are a little too yellow and I find N works best for me. On shade matching the Laura Mercier team sent me my normal shade Buff 3N1 and one lighter color Cashew 2N1 as press samples. One was too dark and one was too light so I went to the counter to shade match myself.
For shades across different formulas I found that the new Flawless Lumiere runs a bit darker than the Flawless Fusion. In the matte Flawless Fusion I wear Buff 3N1, but in the Flawless Lumiere I wear a lighter shade Latte 3N1.5 – by this naming convention it would seem like 1.5 should be darker than 1, but in both formulas if you swatch them side by side for some reason you’ll find 3N1.5 slightly lighter and more yellow/gold than 3N1. At the store I did a couple more side by side comparisons between formulas and it seems most of them run darker in the luminous formula but I’m not sure if this is the case across the entire shade range. I could have also gone with one of the W colors like 2W1.5 in Bisque, but it was just a tad too light.
For application I find the Laura Mercier bases work best with her primers. In general I try to match the brands foundations with their primers because they’re often formulated to be compatible with each other. Laura Mercier has a wide range to suit different skin types. My favorites are her Radiance and Primer Protect with SPF 30.
They also sent their new Flawless Finish Sponge which I was really excited to try. It has a really nice bouncy squishy feel but I found the shape really awkward to work with. It has a shape designed to help you work with the contours of your face or get foundation into detail areas. No matter how I held it I found it hard to apply. I really hands down just prefer the classic beautyblender.
A look at her three of her loose powders. OG Laura Mercier fans will remember she used to have tinted loose powders I used to use Beige and her Stardust. She also had some lovely mineral loose shimmers which I was sad to see discontinued. I’ve loved her powders for years. Her Translucent Loose Setting Powder comes in two colors, clear and deep. I use the white/lighter option and it doesn’t leave a white cast. Last year she added two shades of Translucent Loose Setting Powder Glow in Translucent and Translucent Medium Deep. These can be used any way you want. I tried it all over as a setting powder and found it too glowy for all over the face or even under the eyes. As a highlighter it adds a luminous sheen much like a liquid luminizer but in powder form. The lighter option has a soft yellow gold champagne pearl and deeper is a soft bronze. I love both with the Glow Powder Brush.
Swatches, I also added her Face Illuminator to show how soft the shimmer is in the loose powder compared to her highlighters. With the Glow Powders there’s no flash back in flash photography, it gives the skin a soft glow.
Before and after application of Flawless Lumiere Foundation in Latte, set with her Translucent Loose Setting Powder, and full natural makeup look, wearing:
Overall a solid thumbs up for the new Laura Mercier Flawless Lumiere Radiance Perfecting Foundation. It’s a winner and I’m happy I was able to find a shade match. Lasting power is very good, I do need a touch up on warmer days mid-day, but it lasts long on my skin and I love how natural it looks. It gives that glow from within kind of finish and has good medium buildable coverage – enough to cancel redness and dark under eye circles on puffy eye days.
I have a few extras that I’m giving away! ONE winner will be picked within 48 hours and emailed to win: 1 Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder (winner can pick color), 1 Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder Glow, 1 Powder Puff, 1 Glow Powder Brush, 4 Caviar Eye Sticks in Copper, Rosegold, Beam and Rush. Open internationally to 18 years and older. Enter through the widget below. Giveaway will run through March 27th, 2019, 11:59 PM EST. Note the first option is MANDATORY to qualify for this giveaway (you must subscribe to my newsletter). Not sponsored or affiliated.
This month Laura Mercier launched a new Face Illuminator called Inspiration ($44 for 6 g/ 0.20 oz). This shade was created to support the Laura Mercier Ovarian Cancer Fund she founded back in 2012 to raise awareness and fund research to help diagnose and treat women with ovarian cancer. Each September she donates 100% of the proceeds from the specially curated product towards the fund.
Inspiration Face Illuminator is a pretty mauve tinged rose gold shimmer. It’s multi-faceted so it will look different in every photo you see depending on how the light catches it. In indoor light it appears softer and more diffused, in direct sunlight or with a flash the deeper mauve rose tones will shine through. On the skin it’s also multi-dimensional. Some angles will show a warmer finish, others will be reflect more of the lighter pink tones. It’s a really beautiful color and I think it will suit a wide range of skin tones. If you’re lighter than me it might almost be blush-like rather than highlighter material. Regardless of your skintone her Face Illuminators create a beautiful radiant glow that stay put and meld well with the skin.
Finish is smooth and luminous with a buildable coverage. You can use her Fan Powder Brush or really any powder / blush brush to apply. The denser the brush the more intense the color and shimmer will be. It’s something you can use anywhere – eyes, cheeks, temples, nose, forehead or shoulders. The quality with this is the same as her other Face Illuminators which are among my favorite. They stay put for hours without fallout or budging.
A look at how the color shifts when in direct sunlight:
Below are some comparisons to other pink highlighters including Bobbi Brown Highlighting Powder in Afternoon Glow, Sunrise Glow, Tawny Glow, NARS Highlighting Powder in Maldives and Hourglass Ambient Lighting Strobe Blush in Euphoric Fusion. I feel like the ones from Bobbi Brown are a lot more shimmery in finish because of the pale sparkle. NARS Maldives almost looks like a pale pink next to it. Hourglass Euphoric Fusion is a deeper blush version with a hint of shimmer mixed throughout.
Look featuring Inspiration wearing the following (press samples indicated with a *):
Today I have Part 2 of my current skincare routine focused on my favorite face scrubs and exfoliators. This post has an added portion for Andrew’s favorites as several of you mentioned you liked the men’s grooming recommendations I’ve done in the past. I haven’t always been a fan of face scrubs. I’ve found so many too gritty and harsh for my skin but with a lot of trial, error and recommendations from friends and experts I’ve discovered that regular exfoliation has been a major key to maintaining good skin. Both Andrew and I have used each other’s skincare to see what works best. In general ones for men are indeed tougher or more gritty as I think men typically have tougher and thicker skin than women but there are actually some of his skincare items that I like to borrow on a regular basis from Jack Black.
Favorite Face Scrubs for Her
My favorite exfoliators are gentle ones. I don’t usually exfoliate everyday unless it’s with a rice powder that’s activated by water. I’ve found scrubs gentle enough for daily use but really find that every other day is enough for me. I’ve used several variations of the Clarisonic including the Mia2 and Mia Fit. I must admit that I’m not the most diligent about using it consistently – especially when traveling. Sometimes having a small bottle or tube of face scrub is just so much easier and convenient. My favorites below plus one that I’ve just started trying:
Caudalie Deep Cleansing Exfoliator is the newest scrub I’ve tried. I bought it during the Sephora sale because of the high ratings. It has a cream base which makes it less harsh than a lot of scrubs and it works well over wet skin. I like that it’s gentle for me and effective. Skin feels cleaner and smoother. I do think it’s better for oily or combination skin. It has a slight citrus scent that I’m not the biggest fan of. I will use it until the end but don’t know if I’ll repurchase.
Kiehl’s Epidermal Micro-Dermabrasion is in my top picks for face scrubs. I thought it would be too harsh based on what I felt on my hands. When applied over a wet face it’s a great scrub. It’s also one Andrew has used and liked. It has crush microshells from the ocean sand, Willow Herb to sooth, shea butter and sea algeanates. Over time with regular use I do believe it helped minimize our pores.
Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Gentle is one of my most repurchased face scrubs. It has papaya, pumpkin, and pineapple enzymes reduce pore size, stimulate circulation, and improve oxygen flow. It’s a more gentle version of her regular Exfolikate which sometimes has too much tingle for me. I’ve had both applied on me during Kate Somerville facials which are the best facials I’ve ever had. I recommend any of her products.
Laura Mercier Face Polish is one I have in a mini right now but I have bought and used up the full size multiple times. It’s a great all around basic face scrub that does the job well without being too harsh. It does have a grittier texture but there’s a good cream base to balance it. With this one there is a slight almost apricot scent to it. Once you rinse it off you don’t notice it as much. I would say this one is better for normal to dry skin.
Fresh Sugar Face Polish is a newer favorite that I suspect will be in my top three. I bought mine in a mini size from the cutest Fresh Mask Wardrobe which I think would make a super cute gift. This scrub is an emollient brown sugar scrub with strawberry seeds that smells like sugary lemons. It’s emollient and leaves the skin feeling well nourished without leaving any oily film or residue. Skin feels super soft and has the smoothest feel out of the scrubs I’ve tried. I 100% recommend and will be getting the full size soon.
Sisley-Paris Gentle Facial Buffing Cream is an excellent face scrub that I reviewed here. It’s very pricey but one I think is excellent with one of the best formulas I’ve tried. It is better suited for normal or dry skin types in my opinion. I’ve been trying to use mine as sparingly as possible because it’s so good and I want to make it last as long as I can.
Currently working on finding the full ingredient list.
Tatcha Rice Enzyme Powders come in different formulas for skin type. I’ve tried all of them and find the difference between them is subtle but still noticeable. Over the summer I used the Deep Polish (green one) but also alternate with the Indigo Soothing Rice (for sensitive skin) and Classic. You can find these in travel sizes online at Tatcha.
Clarisonic Mia2 shown in purple is the traditional Clarisonic with the handle. It comes with a compact storage case that doesn’t take up a lot of room making it convenient for travel and it also protects the brush. This helps with gentle exfoliation and the sonic facial brush cleanses the skin up to 6 times better than hands alone. I do think it does a better job at keeping skin clear and washing the face than hands. It’s just one more step in the routine that I skip when I’m rushed in the mornings or feel tired at night.
Favorite Exfoliators for Andrew
Andrew and I are really close in age. He has thicker skin than I do. His main concerns are primarily related to sun damage and sun spots. His skin type is normal to oily and with the Florida heat and humidity his skin has become more oily. Out of all the skincare he’s tried he feels daily exfoliation is the one thing that has improved his skin (or rather to maintain clear smooth skin). There are four he’s tried recently, his favorite is the same no matter what he tries (ones for men or even mine). In general his two favorite skincare lines are Kiehl’s and Jack Black. I’ve bought him numerous skincare gift sets over the years and that’s how he’s discovered what he’s liked.
Away has brought back their Minis for the holiday! You can buy the Mini Suitcase Individually, as a Gift Set (there are multiple options) or as a Gift Card Set. I’d recommend ordering soon as they are selling out really fast. I was lucky to get my hands on a few over the past year and absolutely love them for travel.
You can see my review on their Bigger Carry On here. Regular Carry On here.
Kiehl’s Dual-Action Exfoliating Cleanser is something I bought for him because he likes multi-tasking products and I thought this could be a good 2-in-1 scrub. Turns out he says it’s more like a cleansing cream with tiny beads but not really a scrub. It’s supposed to double as a mask that you can leave on to help exfoliate skin. He says it’s not bad, he just doesn’t love it and feels like it’s a knock-off of the Jack Black Deep Dive Glycolic Facial Cleanser which is another one of his staple go-to’s.
Jack Black Face Buff Energizing Scrub is his favorite face scrub. He’s tried to convert me to loving this as much as he does. I do like it a lot and have used it many times. It has fine particles, methol and vitamin c to invigorate the skin and help prepare it for shaving. He finds this helps clear up congested pores the best and helps prevent breakouts.
Kiehl’s Epidermal Micro-Dermabrasion (also shown above in my review) is one Andrew thought he liked the most, but after going back to his Jack Black decided that was his favorite. This one is good according to him but he likes something with more grit to exfoliate more.
Clarisonic Alpha Fit is something Andrew was diligent about using every day in the shower until we moved and started living the nomadic life in August. After moving month to month exploring and traveling he stopped using it and opted for face scrubs instead. In case you missed it our six months in Florida post here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Top row left has the new Laura Mercier L’Amour Exotique Face Illuminator Collection with Infatuation
Top row right has the new Laura Mercier L’Amour Exotique Face Illuminator Collection with Temptation
Bottom row left has Hourglass Absolute Strobe Light
Bottom row right has the FX Custom Enhancer Drops in Rose Gold on the right
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!
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.