- Beauty Journalist & proud Montrealer with a passion for beauty in all its fabulous diversity. "Beauty begins the moment you choose to be yourself" - Coco Chanel
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Filed In: Face Powders
I’ll put it out there: neutrals are my comfort zone, but I confess to an almost childlike glee when I received Kat Von D’s Pastel Goth Eyeshadow Palette. These happy colours also remind me of Easter and all things Spring, which is always a good thing in my book as it means warmer weather is not that far behind … that said, I guess that also means that this Makeup Setting Mist will probably be getting quite the work out too, no?
Primers & highlighters have become a ubiquitous part of our beauty regimen and now come in so many different forms — a good thing too, since this isn’t exactly a one-size-fits-all kind of product and options are always a good thing. One such item that can usually be found in most makeup artists kits and beauty vanities the world over, is MAC’s Strobe Cream, now available in 4 other shades apart from the original. Then there’s the Extra Dimension Skinfinish powders with their prismatic surfaces that just beg to be applied; I’ve yet to meet a highlighter I didn’t want to almost bathe in.
There’s something about CHANEL highlighters that just grabs you, doesn’t it? Mimicing the exquisite craftsmanship of the house’s Haute Couture creations, the face products of the Énergies et Puretés Collection, namely Plissé Lumière Illuminating Powder, Tweed Coralline & Tweed Cherry Blossom Blush Duos (all limited edition) may have been inspired by a fusion of Japanese aesthetics + Western modernity, but they all have something else in common: undeniable beauty.
Released as part of the Giorgio Armani Holiday 2016 Collection, the limited edition Night Light Eyes and Face Palette is positively stunning. Housed in the brand’s signature black-lacquered ovoid shape, it bears Mr. Armani’s signature in gold lettering across the outer lid and comes complete with a velour carrying sleeve and two sponge-tipped applicators, but the real magic lies with the actual shades.
And I thought last year’s version was amazing; the Night Light Palette has just blown that right out of the way …
Night Light Eyes and Face Palette, limited edition (US $140.00) | All-in-one type palettes seem to be exceptionally popular around this time of year and while several have landed across my desk that I’m quite impressed with, I confess that the Night Light Palette really made my heart skip a beat … and not only because I happen to have a soft spot for A) neutrals and B) luxury beauty (shameless, I know).
Created in two tiers, the upper level houses 10 eyeshadow shades in a variety of finishes: matte, pearl, satin, and shimmer with the black hue also doubling as a liner (applied with a dampened brush for major intensity), while the bottom level holds a healthy-size Luminous Silk Powder (one of the brand’s cult-fave products) and two complimentary shades of Maestro Fusion Foundation that can easily perform double-duty as concealers. While the eyeshadows appear to be relatively warmer-leaning, there’s an excellent mix of both cool and warm tones that depending on the shades selected, can be made to work on a broad range of complexions. As to the face products, those two can cover a wide variety of skin tones as well — all dependant on how heavily or not you choose to apply them.
- champagne, shimmer
- soft gold, pearlized
- warm brown, satin shimmer
- taupe, satin shimmer
- black, matte
- gold, metallic
- bone, matte
- soft taupe, matte
- milk chocolate, matte
- deep brown, matte
The top portion holds a neutral shade of Luminous Silk Powder and can be used either alone to help even out the complexion, or applied over foundation and used as a setting/finishing powder. The texture is incredibly fine-milled and blends seamlessly into the skin, without leaving behind any obvious traces or settling into fine lines.
The two bottom Maestro Fusion Foundation shades have an ultra-creamy texture that make them ridiculously easy to use as concealer as well, with a nice slip in the formula that helps provide smooth coverage. Their emollient nature is also perfect for anyone with dry skin; those with oilier complexions may need to set them with powder — that’s where the Luminous Silk Powder (on top) can help. Due to their smaller pan size, it may be difficult to use either as a full-face foundation since I can see them running out quickly that way; one way around that is to combine the two for a customized hue and thereby extending their lifespan as well.
Face palettes can be hit or miss and sometimes I feel like brands race to get something out there without really considering what the consumer would like to see; something that’s definitely NOT the case here. Created with the same exacting attention to detail as everything else in this range, Mr. Armani is not the type to put his name upon anything that isn’t 100% exquisite, clearly evident by the level of perfection found in this Night Light Palette. Each and every eyeshadow along with the face products, perform superbly and if you’re a fan of neutrals like I am, you’ll find yourself reaching for this palette over all others. The downside is two-fold: availability and price, so if you so happen to come across this lovely, I recommend giving it a test-drive. Then go ahead and add it to the very top of your Christmas list (highlighted and with bold lettering, while you’re at it).
Available at select Giorgio Armani counters and online
PR sample/As always, all opinions are my own
I’ve only recently begun exploring the Bare Minerals range, and if the skincare products I’ve tried to date have impressed me (more on that coming in future posts), this palette was an unexpected — and totally pleasant — surprise. The Be Beautiful Ready™ Face and Eye Palette holds pretty much everything you’ll need for a completed look (barring foundation & mascara) and what makes it even more unique? Everything has a matte texture, but not the flat light-absorbing kind; think more radiant-matte and you’ll get a better idea.
Be Beautiful Ready™ face and Eye Palette (CAN $58.00/value of $162.00) | This all-matte limited edition palette features products for both face and eyes in a travel friendly compact. The case is made of a rigid plastic that closely mimics metal and has an oversized mirror on the inner lid, along with a secure snap closure.
The shades for the face are all well sized and spaced apart enough that they’re easy to get to with a variety of brushes. The blushes all boast an 8-hour buildable colour along with skin-nourishing properties, and while the Finishing Powder appears somewhat yellow leaning in the pan, it applies fairly sheerly — just don’t be thrown by its chalky texture, since it can still be easily buffed into the skin for an nice setting touch.
The four neutral-leaning eyeshadows all have intense saturation and an almost creamy texture, with pigment-packed colour that’s stated to last up to 12 hours; that said, I still recommend applying primer first for the best wear (especially if you have oily lids like I do).
- Presence – parchment (actually this is an eyeshadow shade, but can double as a matte highlighter as well)
- Promise – palest mauve/white
- Finishing Powder – neutral flesh tone
- Golden Gate Matte – dusky rose
- Inner Beauty – ballerina pink
- Faux Tan Matte – soft mid-sheer tan
- Graceful – dirty lavender
- Exhale – taupe
- Beautiful – dusty rose
- Confident – deepest aubergine
I love shimmer, I really do … but matte shades are my sweet spot. For starters, I find that as I’ve gotten older, matte is much more flattering for me to wear, although I won’t say no to a little pop of shine here and there. The blushes in this palette apply sheerer than what’s seen in the pan — not an issue since the colour can easily be deepened. The pigmentation and effortless blendability of the eyeshadows makes them all winners, not to mention how flattering they’ll be on a wide range of skin tones. Final verdict? An excellent value palette and definitely worth looking into (or picking up as a Christmas gift, perhaps?)
Available at Sephora
PR Sample/As always, all opinions are my own