Filed In: Highlight Powders

CHANEL · Plissé Lumière, Tweed Coralline & Tweed Cherry Blossom — Énergies & Puretés Collection

 

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.

 

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Dior · Diorskin 002 & 004 Nude Air Luminizer Spring 2017 Colour Gradation Collection

 

Thank God for the Spring collections which have been steadily arriving to break up the Winter blah-ness, and I have to say that these new Diorskin Nude Air Luminizers sure know how to make a gloomy day glow. Shade 001 which was released as part of the Fall 2016 Skyline Collection (previously reviewed here) became an instant hit as a result of the stunning radiance it imparted to skin, becoming a beloved fave with everyone who tried it out. For Spring 2017 the brand has added 2 more shades to the lineup, extending the reach of this lovely product to an even broader selection of skin tones.

Each Luminizer comes with its own mini kabuki brush that’s actually quite effective for application, helping to buff the product into the skin for a seamless finish. The texture of the powder is incredibly fine-milled, with the shimmer coming across as luminous and never overdone.

002 Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer (CAN $68.00) | A pearlescent hue with pink undertones in the base and the lighter of the two shown. More obviously suited for fair complexions, I’ve been loving this applied on my light-medium skin as it gives a bright pop of colour without any skin tone clashing.

004 Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer (CAN $68.00) | The darkest of the four hues available, this is a gorgeous bronze/tan hue with a complex shimmer base containing both cool & warm undertones, making it also suitable for a wide range of complexions. Something tells me this shade is going to be simply awesome applied once my skin has a light tan going (hopefully soon…)

I currently have 3 of the 4 Luminizers to show, and it’s clear even before swatching that they’re each distinct from one another. Of the three, shade 001 is probably the most universal and easiest to wear for a broader complexion range.

And just because I was curious, I pulled out the two Illuminating Powders from Dior’s Glowing Gardens Collection (Spring 2016) for comparison. As seen in the swatch below, they’re both very close to Luminizer shades 001 & 002, and while there are slight differences in colour, the texture is relatively identical, perhaps being a few degrees less intense.

 

In a beauty world filled with highlighters, these Dior Nude Air Luminizers are the Goldilocks of the beauty world: just right. The texture is in a word: stellar, while the glow they provide skin is positively ethereal. If you haven’t guessed by now, I’m a huge fan and the fact that I tend to reach for these more than any others in my arsenal, speaks volumes. Enough said.

Available exclusively at Sephora until May – all Dior counters as of January 15

 

PR samples/All opinions my own

MAKE UP FOR EVER · Pro Light Fusion Highlighters

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When MAKE UP FOR EVER launched their Pro Sculpting Duos last year, fans of the brand went absolutely wild for the highlighter segment in each pan and begged for single versions; their cry was masterfully answered in the form of these newly released Pro Light Fusion Highlighters (CAN $48.00/each).

Available in 01 Rose Gold (for light to medium skin tones) and 02 Gold (for medium to dark skin tones), these unique highlighters each have an ultra-high concentration of emollients generated by a ‘Gellifying System’ technology in the formula that creates a luminous creamy powder gel-like texture. Synthetic mica are added to help reflect light for major radiance, while synthetic spherical powders provide staying power and a soft-focus effect.

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Highlighters are not going away anytime soon, and I for one am glad. That said, not all highlighters are made equal and even though I’ve tried more than my share of fails, I’m happy to say that both Pro Light Fusion shades pass the test with flying colours (so to speak). Application is literally effortless as this unique texture seems to fuse beautifully with the skin without overly emphasizing pores, and even seems to get better with the wearing as it warms up with one’s natural oils. This gossamer-light powder is virtually impossible to overdo, although those inclined can certainly dial up the wattage by layering it on. The best part can be summed up like this: they’re permanent. Thanks for listening, MAKE UP FOR EVER.

Available at Sephora

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PR sample/As always, all opinions are my own

Urban Decay · Naked Illuminated Trio Shimmering Powder

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Urban Decay wants you to get your glow on (and on, and on, and…you get the picture) and has just made it even easier with the release of the limited edition Naked Illuminated Trio. Complimenting the armada of Nakedness that the brand has become known for, these are not highlighter shades for the shimmer-phobic; think of the effect instead as being about faking it, and faking it well.

Previously reviewed Urban Decay highlighters:

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Naked Illuminated Trio, limited edition (CAN $49.00) | Housed in a cardboard box with a magnetic closure and full-sized mirror on the inner lid, there’s also a dual ended brush included with the set. The formula is baked on a terracotta disc for 24 hours then finished by hand; this results in a powder that not only holds a high level of shimmer, but will “provide the colour payoff of a loose powder, the convenience of a pressed powder, and the feel of silk”. The shade breakdown:

  • Pyrite – gold-champagne
  • Oasis – marbled frosted taupe
  • Twilight – iridescent pink

The size of each shade is more than decent enough to work with, and while there may powdery kickback upon swirling a brush across their surfaces, any fall down is easily eliminated by simply tapping excess off your brush first first. Of the three hues, Pyrite displays the smoothest application with Twilight a close second, but Oasis definitely leans more along the chalky side. One option is to try buffing it in thoroughly, but you’ll take away pretty much most of its glow that way; instead, try using it on other areas apart from the face such as the collarbone, décolleté, shins – this way you get to not only use the shade, but add a nice touch of holiday sparkle to skin.

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Urban Decay · Naked Illuminated Trio Shimmering Powder swatches

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I wanted to see how this trio compared to previous released UD singles, although I couldn’t find anything close to Oasis. The swatch below shows that Lit is warm leaning like Pyrite, but with more of a coppery undertone and even though Aura appears very similar to Twilight, it doesn’t apply as pigmented.

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Urban Decay · Naked Illuminated Trio Shimmering Powder & comparison swatches

 

If shimmer is your thing, then go ahead and dive head-first into this Naked Illuminated Trio. Another bonus for highlighter fans, is that you also happen to get three distinct hues all in one conveniently sized palette plus with a good-sized brush. Well priced, especially when you consider you’re getting three shades in total, I think this is yet another example of a thoughtful gift for the beauty fan on your list. If on the other hand, subtlety is your style, you’ll probably want to keep on looking (although I hear that loads of shimmer can be such naughty fun …)

Available at Sephora and online

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Press sample/As always, all opinions are my own

Guerlain · Shalimar Collection by Natalia Vodianova, Holiday 2016

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Several weeks ago I was honoured to be amongst a select few invited to a special media preview of the Guerlain Shalimar Collection for Holiday 2016 which was held at Restaurant Europea in the heart of downtown Montréal. Discreetly tucked away on de la Montagne Street, the unassuming exterior belies the gastronomic delights we were about to discover, along with the exquisite beauty collection itself. Presented by key members of the Guerlain team along with International Makeup Artist for the brand, Maxime Poulin (whose talent is simply phenomenal), we were given a thorough breakdown of not only the entire collection, but of several other new releases, including Orchidée Imperial Black, the most über-luxurious skincare cream I’ve ever come across, and the newest additions to the Les Exclusifs de Guerlain fragrance range.

The Guerlain holiday release is always one of the season’s most highly anticipated (last year’s version sold out as soon as it hit counters), and the Shalimar Collection which was created by Shalimar face & muse Natalia Vodianova in collaboration with the house’s Creative Director, Olivier Echaudemaison, is no exception — drawing inspiration from Imperial India and one of history’s great love stories, that of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Tahal. Their passion and love for one another has since reached legendary status and when she passed away, her grief-stricken husband dedicated one last homage to her: the creation of one of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal, a tomb fit for a queen.

I’m going to warn you right now: this post is quite picture-heavy so get comfortable and read on. I’ve begun with the event itself, immediately followed by my review with swatches of the entire collection. I’ve also included the Shalimar full-length video produced by Bruno Aveillan — an absolute must-see for any die-hard romantic. Personally, I can watch this on repeat all day long as it is just so beautifully crafted and visually arresting. Then there’s the divine jewelry worn by Natalia that I’m absolutely lusting after …

*Note that the entire collection is limited edition

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Natalia Vodianova for Shalimar

The Legend of Shalimar, directed by Bruno Aveillan

 

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The venue: Restaurant Europea, downtown Montréal, Québec

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Brought to the event from the Guerlain vault: the Shalimar Talisman Bizantin by Maison Gripoix, bearing 1.5 litres of Shalimar Extract and valued at $11,500 — of which there are only 25 pieces in the world

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It’s all in the details: delicate beading surrounds the neck with the iconic chauve-souris (bat) label in front

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Table settings and ambiance — all perfectly meshed

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Guerlain Shalimar Collection by Natalia Vodianova, Holiday 2016

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Lobster Capuccino with truffle purée

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Lower-River shrimps & pea gazpacho, creamy celery remoulade, citronnade, roasted sunflower seeds & wild pansy petals (*photo taken before the gazpacho was added)

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Strips of cured meat paired with white wine

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Caramelized scallops, citrus & yuzu juice, creamy risotto with green sprouts & crispy-fondant sautéed mushrooms

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Lemon Pie Cristalline with fresh berries

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Vanilla meringue buttons and raspberry cotton candy

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Guerlain · Shalimar Collection by Natalia Vodianova, Holiday 2016

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The uniqueness of this collections starts with the intense cobalt blue outer packaging, a  hue that’s also carried throughout the rest of the pieces. Inspired by the colours of India’s precious  metals and stones, blue & gold decorates the detailing of the Météorites container, a design which is reminiscent of elegantly delicate lapis lazuli jewelry boxes. Taking things to the next level, a faux-sapphire cabochon adorns the luxurious Rouge G lipstick, turning this ubiquitous beauty item into a covet-worthy work of art that just begs to be taken out in public. Rounding the collection out is the body & hair spray; delicate, ethereal and the only festive touch you’ll need for the holidays.

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Precious Light Pink Pearly Illuminator (CAN $62.00) | A subtle highlighter in a pen format that you click to release the product onto the brush. The shade is a pale pink with pearly reflects and can be used to bring radiance to key points of the face: inner or outer corners of the eye, upper cheekbones, bridge of the nose, brow bone and/or cupid’s bow of the lips. The shade is actually universally wearable due to the complexity of the pearly particles, and should even suit the darkest complexions without appearing ashy.

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Guerlain · Precious Light Pink Pearly Illuminator

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Guerlain · Precious Light Pink Pearly Illuminator swatches

 

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Écrin Shalimar Precious Eyeshadows, Gold & Sapphire (CAN $51.00) | The two shades of this palette are not only incredibly complex formula-wise, but work in perfect harmony together. The gold has a nice balance of both cool and warm tones, therefore making it workable on a broad range of skin tones, while the sapphire is truly jewel-like with hints of indigo, purple and even a fine blue shimmer thrown in to keep it unique. The texture is incredibly smooth — almost creamy to the touch — and blends beautifully. The colour of both shades, while not initially overly strong, is also easily built up; you can apply either as a sheer wash of colour, or layered for more impact and depth of tone. One thing to note with Guerlain eyeshadows: if you opt to use the shades damp, then you probably won’t be able to go back to using either dry again, as wetting them changes the texture.

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Guerlain Shalimar Collection · Écrin Shalimar Precious Eyeshadows, Gold & Sapphire

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Guerlain Shalimar Collection · Écrin Shalimar Precious Eyeshadows, Gold & Sapphire

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Guerlain Shalimar Collection · Écrin Shalimar Precious Eyeshadows, Gold & Sapphire swatches

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Guerlain Shalimar Collection · Écrin Shalimar Precious Eyeshadows, Gold & Sapphire

 

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L’Or Eyeliner, Felt Eyeliner Sparkling Gold (CAN $42.0) | A scintillating gold eyeliner with a felt tip for ease of use and precision application. The texture is initially cooling to the touch upon skin (but which dissipates fairly quickly) and you can build up the intensity  for more impact. Apart from using this in place of a traditional eyeliner (i.e.: to line either the upper or lower lash line), you can also apply some to your finger then lightly pat that on the mobile lid for some extra sparkle, or my favourite, along the tips of the outer lashes for a unique glittering touch. There’s about 30 seconds of play time before it sets, because once it does, it’s there until removed. True fact: I swatched a bit on my hand and even after showering, it was still there — how’s that for crazy staying power?

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Guerlain Shalimar Collection · L’Or Eyeliner, Felt Eyeliner Sparkling Gold

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Guerlain Shalimar Collection · L’Or Eyeliner, Felt Eyeliner Sparkling Gold

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Guerlain Shalimar Collection · L’Or Eyeliner, Felt Eyeliner Sparkling Gold swatches

 

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Guerlain Shalimar Collection · Terracotta Terra India Shimmering Bronzing Powder

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Terracotta Terra India Shimmering Bronzing Powder (CAN $64.00) | There are several facets that make this Terracotta powder stand apart from the brand’s other versions: first up is the indigo outer packaging, followed by the intricate pattern embossed on the powder’s surface. Not meant to be a bronzer in the traditional sense, the hue appears more rose-gold when applied thus turning it into an almost hybrid highlighter/bronzer type of product. That being said, there’s a unique versatility to this shade in the fact that all skin tones can get something out of it: the über-fair can use this as bronzer without fear of overdoing things, it works as a gorgeous highlighter (neither blingy nor ashy) for women of colour, and makes for a gorgeous touch of radiance for just about everyone. The texture is [unsurprisingly] highly refined and blends/buffs into the skin flawlessly, while the product can be worn either as a sheer wash or layered for more depth — all depending on your preferences and the look you’re going for.

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Guerlain Shalimar Collection · Terracotta Terra India Shimmering Bronzing Powder

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Guerlain Shalimar Collection · Terracotta Terra India Shimmering Bronzing Powder

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Guerlain Shalimar Collection · Terracotta Terra India Shimmering Bronzing Powder

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Guerlain Shalimar Collection · Terracotta Terra India Shimmering Bronzing Powder swatches

 

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821 Rouge Saphir Rouge G Exceptional Complete Lip Care (CAN $61.00) | The epitome of luxury lip colour, if a fairy-tale Indian princess carried a lipstick, then I’m betting this would have been it. The finesse starts with the casing, which here is a gleaming pewter that bears a solid heft to it and adorned with a faux-sapphire cabochon. Popped open, it reveals a mirror — perfect for touch ups and basically made to be pulled out in public to do so (I mean, how could you not?). The shade is a lush scarlet and so incredibly pigmented that you basically get full coverage/opacity from the first swipe. As to the texture, I almost have no words: buttery, velvety, and hands down superior to anything else I’ve ever applied to my lips. Even the staying power is impressive, lasting through eating & drinking with minimal fading, and leaving a beautiful deep-rose stain behind.

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Guerlain Shalimar Collection · 821 Rouge Saphir Rouge G Exceptional Complete Lip Colour

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Guerlain Shalimar Collection · 821 Rouge Saphir Rouge G Exceptional Complete Lip Colour

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Guerlain Shalimar Collection · 821 Rouge Saphir Rouge G Exceptional Complete Lip Colour swatch

 

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Météorites Perles de Légende (CAN $79.00) | I may have an slight obsession with Météorites, begun when I first discovered these little pearls of perfection years ago and saw first-hand the effect they can have on one’s skin. This collection’s iteration is no less amazing; housed in a stunning metal container that bears a design perhaps Peter Carl Fabergé might have imagined, the 3 shades it holds were personally selected by Natalia as they reminded her of ‘the colour of mosaics in Indian palaces’, although there’s more to them than that. The pink hue provides brightness and enhances the complexion with a touch of freshness, the blue shade works to even out the skin, while the golden hues act as subtle illumination and call forth light to the face.  Bearing the brand’s signature violet fragrance, it does dissipate fairly quickly after application and instead of the usual powder puff (which honestly, I never use) the pearls are protected by a foam cover. Slightly more shimmery than any of the Météorites in the permanent range by virtue of the golden pearls, the effect is still delicate enough that you won’t come off as appearing overly glittery. In fact, trying to describe what this powder does is beyond difficult; you basically have to try it to fully understand, but it’s like an invisible veil that somehow magically makes your skin look a zillion times better. The type that will have people asking what you did, because your complexion looks so good.

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Guerlain Shalimar Collection · Météorites Perles de Légende

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Guerlain Shalimar Collection · Météorites Perles de Légende

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Guerlain Shalimar Collection · Météorites Perles de Légende

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Guerlain Shalimar Collection · Météorites Perles de Légende

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Guerlain Shalimar Collection · Météorites Perles de Légende

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Guerlain Shalimar Collection · Météorites Perles de Légende swatches

 

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Souffle D’Or Perfumed Iridescent Body & Hair Powder (CAN $105.00) | The final crowning touch, Souffle D’Or is literally bottled fairy dust. I kid you not.

Imbued with a subtle version of the Shalimar fragrance, this gossamer-light mist is meant to add delicate golden touches to either hair or skin and retains some of the scent long after it’s applied, only to be picked up ever-so-softly with movement. The indigo bottle bears the traditional Shalimar shape and has that Old Hollywood-glam style bulb for applying it with, lending a sensuous boudoir touch to the entire experience. The shimmery bits come in a variety of sizes and while some may fade, others stay behind along with a whisper of scent, just to keep things interesting.

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Guerlain Shalimar Collection · Souffle D’Or Perfumed Iridescent Body & Hair Powder

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Guerlain Shalimar Collection · Souffle D’Or Perfumed Iridescent Body & Hair Powder

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Guerlain Shalimar Collection · Souffle D’Or Perfumed Iridescent Body & Hair Powder

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Guerlain Shalimar Collection · Souffle D’Or Perfumed Iridescent Body & Hair Powder (in action)

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Guerlain Shalimar Collection · Souffle D’Or Perfumed Iridescent Body & Hair Powder swatch

 

If you’ve made it all the way to this point, then I applaud you for sticking it out but sometimes you just can’t condense something so spectacular in just a few words or pictures. Guerlain is a luxury brand that refuses to comprise on details, and that fact is brilliantly apparent with the Shalimar Collection, a first for Natalia Vodianova who’s been the muse for the Shalimar fragrance range running on 8 years now. This collection has been beautifully curated and nothing has been overlooked, but it does lean on the steep-side price-wise; the lipstick alone is a hefty investment, but I can honestly say that I have never worn anything like it before (and trust me, I’ve worn a lot). Last year’s Météorites had a waitlist a mile long and something tells me that this year’s version will fare the same, especially when you consider that the shade range is so suitable to a much broader complexion range. With the Christmas season and holidays upon us, any one of the pieces here would make an absolutely incredible gift for the beauty-lover on your list … that’s assuming you don’t scoop everything up for yourself first.

Available November 1

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Press samples/As always, all opinions are my own