Filed In: Highlighter

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

Tarte · Pretty Paintbox Collector’s Makeup Case, Holiday 2016

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For Holidays 2016, Tarte has released the limited edition Paint Box Collector’s Makeup Case, filled with 24 tarteist™ eyeshadows, 4 tarteist™ cheek products, a full-sized so fine micro liner in black, a deluxe-sized tarteist™ lash paint mascara in black, and a tarteist™ glossy lip paint in obvi — all housed in a pucci-esque fabric case with gold accents.

The holiday period usually sees more than its share of palettes being launched by practically everyone and while in the past I have tended to pass on anything too “all-in-one”, it appears like brands have really stepped up their game in this department by releasing well-curated collections that not only have visual appeal (I mean, just look at the outer packaging here) but that are good performers as well. Case in point is the palette showcased today — which would also make for a pretty impressive Christmas gift, by the way #hinthint

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Pretty Paintbox Collector’s Makeup Case, limited edition (US $59.00)

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Created with mineral pigments for an ultra-soft application and smooth feel along with Amazonian clay for long-lasting wear, these eyeshadows come in a broad mix of matte, lustre, satin, and metallic finishes with catchy art-inspired names. Upon opening the case, I confess to staring in admiration at the array presented, as all sit totally in my comfort zone of neutrals. Swatching these eyeshadows revealed another surprise: with the exception of a few, all show good pigmentation (obviously the deeper hues have a stronger colour payoff) and blend effortlessly. Despite some powdery kickback on certain shades, none result in fall-down and when worn over primer, they stay true until removed. I’ve opted to divide them by vertical rows (starting from the left) for the swatches below:

Row 1

  • glitter glue – pearly white with shimmer
  • waterlilies – bone, matte
  • pearl earring – oyster, satin shimmer
  • fresco – nude, matte
  • porcelain Dali – pink/nude, matte
  • pastel – nude rose, matte

Row 2

  • nudes – champagne, matte
  • van Gogh with it – milk chocolate, matte
  • frameworthy – soft camel, matte
  • hearts & crafts – light pink/tan, matte
  • monochrome – pearlized light taupe
  • I Louvre it – dusty mauve, matte

Row 3

  • bronze casting – light bronze, shimmer
  • metal work – copper, shimmer
  • first impressionism – blackened teal, shimmer
  • selfie portrait – champagne taupe, shimmer
  • hot MoMA – cranberry, shimmer
  • get surreal – lilac, multi-tonal shimmer

Row 4

  • silhouette – black, matte
  • charcoal sketch – deep brown, matte
  • starry night – blackened navy, matte
  • one too Manet – rich brown, shimmer
  • stained glass – berry, matte
  • still life – eggplant, matte

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The covered compartment across from the eyeshadows holds a black liner, black mascara and a neutral lip gloss. The so fine micro liner in black has an ultra-fine tapered felt tip for precision work, although you can also create a thicker line by using it more along its width. The waterproof formula does dry relatively quickly, so I suggest working on one eye at a time. The tarteist™ lash paint mascara in black has a full head of bristles with a good sized width, making it easy to use on both upper & lower lashes. Not the most volumizing formula I’ve tried, but I do like how the brush grabs each lash to coat it well. As nude lippie shades are what I usually turn to, I’m really liking how this tarteist™ glossy lip paint in obvi has hints of rose in it to keep it from appearing flat, coupled with a good pigmentation which provide decent coverage — a feat not always easy to accomplish in a shade this light.

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The cheek/face portion of this palette is really, really pretty — both visually, and applied. With one blush, two bronzers and a highlighter, all shades do lean more on the warm side but as the pigmentation isn’t too strong, they can still be made to work on those with fair/cooler complexions.

  • moment – peach blush, satin finish
  • authentic – champagne highlighter
  • unique – warm tan bronzer, lustre finish
  • provocative – taupe/tan bronzer, matte finish

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I have to say that all the colours in this palette are totally up my alley, and that includes both the face and eye shades. To sum up, the eyeshadows performed well enough, although some definitely blew me away while others could have used a bit more work. Surprisingly the lip gloss had more pigmentation than I expected (a good thing), while the face products appear to fall much lighter than what’s seen in the pan, but can also easily be built up for more intensity. Overall, the Pretty Paintbox has a well thought-out colour selection and would make that budding beautista on your list very happy indeed. Bonus point scored for this awesome outer print (love anything Pucci-looking).

Available exclusively at Sephora

PR Sample/As always, all opinions are my own

shu uemura x Murakami Cosmikawaii & Cosmicool Palettes

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I dare you to find a beauty collection that’s happier-looking than this latest shu uemura x Tadashi Murakami collaboration for Holiday 2016. The brand has partnered once again with the iconic pop artist to release a grouping of products that’s knocking it into the stratosphere with the most whimsical packaging EVER to go along with an impressive array of products — such as the Cosmic Blossom Eye & Cheek Palettes in Cosmikawaii and Cosmicool (both limited edition) featured in today’s post.

Each palette bears four eyeshadows in a mix of shimmer, pearlized, and matte finishes (the four larger pans at the top), 3 eyeshadows in glitter finishes (top two at right, bottom left), and one blush. Apart from all the shades being generously sized so that you can easily pick up the hue you want without fear of cross-contamination, the palette also includes 2 small applicators: one has a fluffy brush on one end and a more compact brush on the other, while the second is a dual-sponge tipped applicator.

I’ve had some misses with shu uemura eyeshadows in the past, but the shades of both Cosmikawaii and Cosmicool are all quite pigmented and provide good colour payoff along with a very smooth application and effortless blendability. The glittery hues are not really meant to be worn opaque; think of them more as “accents” to be used either strategically (under the brows, inner eye corner) or even layered over other eyeshadows to provide a touch of sparkle — plus they can easily double as highlighters, albeit on the more visible side but since we’re in holiday mode, that works too. The blushes may look rather intense in the pan, but in reality they fall much lighter upon the skin and can be easily diffused for a softer look or even amped up for a stronger effect.

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Flower Ball (3D), 2002 Acrylic on canvas mounted on board ∼ Takashi Murakami

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Cosmikawaii Cosmic Blossom Eye & Cheek Palette (CAN $85.00) | The warmer leaning of the two, here is the shade breakdown:

  • cosmic red – cranberry shimmer
  • orange – orange shimmer
  • mauve purple – lavender pearl
  • midnight purple – eggplant matte
  • yellow gold – pale gold with glitter
  • powder blue – icy blue with silvery glitter
  • rose pink – baby pink with silvery glitter
  • coral with gold glitters – tangerine based coral with ultra fine gold glitter

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Cosmicool Cosmic Blossom Eye & Cheek Palette (CAN $85.00) | The obviously cooler-leaning of the two palettes, although I find the shades can easily be worn by warmer complexions as well — it’s all about mixing and layering. The shade breakdown:

  • cosmic blue – more like dirty light purple with a light iridescence
  • purple gray – lavender with shimmer
  • gray – browned grey with iridescence
  • midnight navy – blackened navy matte
  • lavender with iridescent glitters – icy lavender with silver glitter
  • deep gold – yellow gold with glitter
  • silver – starlight silver with glitter
  • pink with silver glitters – true rose with ultrafine silvery glitter

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Even if it weren’t for the outer packaging that makes me want to almost frame these lovelies, and forgetting for a second that my comfort zone is with neutrals, there’s just something about both Cosmikawaii and Cosmicool that just works. Lately, I’ve been experimenting with more colour (baby steps, though) and I really appreciate that both palettes have this fun yet sophisticated vibrancy that’s totally in line with the Japanese aesthetic, but not so intense that the average woman couldn’t pull off as well. But I do confess that those smiley flower faces so totally have my number …

Available at The Bay, Sephora & online

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PR samples/As always, all opinions are my own

Stila · Star Light, Star Bright Highlighting Palette

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While I love adding a touch of radiance to my makeup all year long, something about the holidays makes wearing a highlighter almost mandatory, no? Thankfully, the Star Light, Star Bright Highlighting Palette from Stila is one that even the most shimmer-phobic will embrace with open arms. Cue the angelic chorus …

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Star Light, Star Bright Highlighting Palette, limited edition (CAN $51.00) | The texture of these highlighting shades is pretty extraordinary, bearing a [fun] bouncy feel when you touch them with a fingertip. Using either fingers or a brush for application, each shade is infused with ultrafine light-reflecting particles and provides either major wattage by building the colour up, or dialled down to a more diffused glow when blended out. Regardless of application choice, the common denominator is the fact that the feel upon the skin is completely weightless. Staying power (over foundation) depends on how much is applied, but expect to get a good 8 hours wear.

  • Transcendence – opalescent pink
  • Kitten – shimmering nude pink (cult-fave shade)
  • Bronze – sun kissed radiance

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There’s several reasons why you’ll want to check this palette out; for starters, there’s the choice of colours conveniently housed in one compact. Then there’s the excellent price point to sweeten the deal. But the real reason you’ll want to indulge is for the unique texture and how beautifully all three look upon the skin, regardless of complexion. If there’s one downside, it’s the fact that the Star Light, Star Bright palette is limited edition — something THIS awesome should be permanent. Stila, sure hope you’re reading this.

PS: also makes THE perfect gift for any highlighter fans on your Christmas list #subtlehint

Available at Sephora 

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PR sample/As always, all opinions are my own