HOURGLASS – Ambient Lighting Blush

hourglass - ambient lighting blush complete
HOURGLASS – Ambient Lighting Blush (Incandescent Electra) Review & Swatch

Price: $45 CAD
Size: 0.15 Oz
Shade: Incandescent Electra


PACKAGING

The packaging for the blush is very similar to the highlighters – the only differences are the colour of the finishing which is gold instead of bronze and the size is a little smaller. For more on the packaging you can refer to my previous review on the highlighters. Overall, the packaging is beautiful and functional – though you should be careful as it can get scratched when thrown into a makeup bag.


PRODUCT

The blush is a marbled combination of a blush and highlighter and they come in 7 different tones. The powder blush is extremely fine and soft making blending smooth and effortless. The blush has shimmer and glitter which give you that highlighting effect which looks natural and beautiful on the skin. At first I was worried about having the highlighter sit on the mid to lower part of my check (which would be highlighting too much) – however I found it to not be an issue. Some of the shades are not as pigmented as others so swatching in the store is recomended. However, the pigmentation is buildable but I would recommend that you be careful as it could look overly glittery turning you into a disco ball. Overall the blush is a great 2-in-1 product that gives a naturally flush glow to the skin with little to no effort, it also lasts for the majority of my day (I would not call it a long lasting product).


SHADES

INCANDESCENT ELECTRA

The shade I purchased is Incandescent Electra which is a peach tone with a champagne highlighter tone. The blush runs a little on the light side especially for my medium toned skin so I do layer it with a plain blush underneath to bring out the colour. However, there are other colours available that do show up better for example, Diffused Heat and Radiant Magenta. But besides the pigmentation the colour and look is very flattering on my skin and looks natural. Overall, this blush is easily one of my favourite especially because its quick and easy and looks great for everyday makeup.

* Side note: because the product is marbled each one is different – some may have more blush and some may have more highlighter marbling – it really varies.

– SL.


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**Links to the product is provided above if you wish to purchase it. Simply CLICK on the image of the respective item.

 

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HOURGLASS – Ambient Lighting Palette

hourglass - ambient palette complete.jpg
HOURGLASS – Ambient Lighting Palette Review & Swatches

 

Price: $70 CAD
Size: 0.116 oz/shade
Includes Shade: Dim Light, Incandescent Light, & Radiant Light

Continuing with the highlighter series I decided to pull this palette out to do a review. When I first started to blog I already wrote a review on this product but in the single version so here’s an ‘updated’ review and my thoughts on the extra shades.


PACKAGING

In classic Hourglass fashion the packaging is very luxurious looking and feeling. The palette comes in pretty much the same style of packaging as the single powders with the reflective finished plastic. The closure and material are sturdy and solid making it travel friendly- and like last time I have personally travelled with this palette and have had no issues with it breaking or opening. The clasp clicks into place and is easy to open. Overall, the packaging looks great and feels great, in addition it also is travel friendly with a decent mirror on the inside.


PRODUCT

This palette consists of 3 shades which I will review individually below. The powders are very soft and fine allowing them to apply smoothly and blend easily. The texture is amazing and feels barely there which is perfect for anyone who dislikes using powder. Also as I mentioned before, highlighters will either help you hide imperfections or it could bring out imperfections in the skin (so use them carefully) – I found that this highlighter did not do that as much in comparison to others. This makes it a great introductory highlighter to try, especially because the powders also give a very natural glow to the skin helping it look fresh and healthy. Finally, the powders wear very well comfortably throughout the day and lasted me a full day at work with little fading. Overall, yes the powders are on the higher end but the texture and quality are worth it. Also I found myself using very little and have had the product for almost over a year now and have barely made a dent so it will definitely last you a while.


SHADES (left to right)
DIM LIGHT

First is Dim Light which is the shade I reviewed last time. It is a neutral peach beige which blends well into my yellow toned skin. For this shade it depends on your skin tone as it works best for a medium to dark skin tone – it looks extremely subtle and gives you a naturally light highlight. Unfortunately, if you are on the lighter end it may come of a little dark for your skin and I would not recommend you to use it as a highlight – maybe more as a setting powder. This shade is also a little hard to describe look wise but I would say it looks like a mix of a shimmer and matte kind of powder but does not come off chalky. There are no glitters so a plus for those who do not like glitter particles in their products. Lastly, the product gives more of a blurring effect than a light bouncing highlighting effect.

INCANDESCENT LIGHT

Second is Incandescent Light which is unfortunately exclusive to the palette so it is not available in the single format. This shade is the lightest in the palette and is the shade that looks the most like a traditional highlighting powder. This shade looks white based in the pan but is more of a pale champagne tone which helps to blend seamlessly into your skin. It is a shimmer power with a light amount of glitter particles (nothing too overwhelming). However, because it has a champagne tone the highlighter may not work well for extremely fair skin types unless you prefer a warm highlight. On the plus side it worked well to reflect light in areas that I wanted to hide (dark under eyes) in photos. Finally, this shade works well for my skin tone as a highlighter but may not work out well for cooler skin tones and extremely fair skin types.

RADIANT LIGHT

Last shade in the palette is Radiant Light which is a golden beige toned highlighter. This shade is a lot like a glowy bronzer instead of a highlighter. Like the Incandescent Light it is a shimmer and glitter formula that is also not too overwhelming. It is great for achieving a sun kissed look especially for the summer time. Personally, I found myself using this shade the least out of the 3 as the other 2 looked best for my skin tone (both during my pale and tanned seasons). This shade also runs a little on the orange side so it makes it a little difficult to work with. Overall, it is still a beautiful shade but sits a little too much on the orange end for my light-medium skin tone – however it will give you a beautiful finish to a bronzed look.


OVERALL

This palette is a little on the pricey end however, if the shades all suite your skin tone and work well with the looks you are trying to achieve (natural glowy looks) then I would recommend it as quality and quantity are both decent . However, because the palette runs on the warmer and deeper side it is mainly best for medium to dark skin tones – as they may come off a little muddy looking on lighter skin tones. On the plus side if all the shades work for you it is a palette worth investing in as it will last you a while and above all give your skin an amazingly natural and healthy glow.

– SL.


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**Links to the product is provided above if you wish to purchase it. Simply CLICK on the image of the respective item.

 

BENEFIT COSMETICS – BLUSHES, BRONZER, & HILIGHTER (CHEEKY SWEET SPOT)

CHEEKY SWEET SPOT
CHEEKY SWEET SPOT

Price: $36.00 USD (palette) $36 CAD (individual full size)
Size:
PALETTE
Dandelion – 0.14 oz
Bella Bamba – 0.17oz
Sugarbomb – 0.21 oz
Hoola – 0.17oz
Coralista – 0.17oz
Rocketeur – 0.17oz
Watt’s Up – 0.05oz
INDIVIDUAL FULL SIZE
~ 0.28oz each

This palette is unfortunately ‘out of stock’ and in other words discontinued as it was available around Christmas and carries a holiday concept. Luckily, the products included are just smaller amounts of their regular line so I have decided to do the review anyways so that you could get an idea on their cheek products. It is unfortunate that this palette was limited time only as it was an amazing deal and a good way to try out all their blushes for a reasonable price.


PACKAGING
I will talk about both the palette’s packaging and the original packaging for their cheek products.
CHEEKY SWEET SPOT PALETTE
This palette came in a tin box that was shaped like a house with a cutesy candy theme in green and red. I personally feel it was appropriate for the holidays but was very happy to see that it was not overly Christmassy so that I would not look silly bringing it out during other seasons. Sadly, the palette is about the length of my forearm and therefore is rather large so it is a little inappropriate for traveling – and the products seem a little hard to depot without destroying the packing. The overall packaging was great on the outside as it was sturdy and provided good protection for the product however, the inside looked a little cheap as it was a piece of foam that held the products in place.
INDIVIDUAL FULL SIZE
For the regular packaging I find it is a little cheap looking for a product that is priced at $36. It usually comes in a cardboard box that feels a little cheap and has a small mirror that is a little hard to use as mine was often covered by powder that has come loose. Personally I do not love the feel or look of the packaging as it does not blow me away and could easily be mistaken as drug store quality. Also when you open it up and take out the brush the product sits at the very bottom of the cube and makes you feel like there is not a lot of product included. However, the closure is decent and I have not had any issues with it opening on its own so far.


PRODUCTS
Included in the set are the cheek products listed above and a tiny version of the signature blush brush. Though this specific palette is unavailable the products inside are just their regular line so you can still purchase them. For the original products that are sold individually the blushes have a different fragrance to each which is included in this palette however, because all of them are in one box the smells have mixed and it is hard to differentiate which belongs to each – therefore I will not be reviewing the smells of the products. I will tell you this though, since they are fragranced the entire palette smells great but I do not know which one it is thanks to.

SWATCHES
SWATCHES
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DANDELION

DANDELION is a pale pink blush that has a small amount of glitter in it. Personally, this shade does not show up much on my yellow under toned skin however, it would look great on fair and light skin types. Or even as a highlight with a warm background. Also I found that this shade came off slightly chalky but that may have had to do with my skin tone. Overall I recommend this for people with lighter skin tones that are looking for a natural looking blush.

DSC_9446
BELLA BAMBA

BELLA BAMBA looks bold and intimidating in the pan however it comes off very differently. I would describe this shade as a warm pink with gold flecks that remind of champagne and strawberries for some reason. Out of all the blushes this would be the most glittery and shimmery. This shade looked alright on my skin and blended well though glitter is quite visible – so I would not recommend this if you do not like a glittery blush. Overall this blush would be great for summer months as it would give you a nice flushed glow. (I cannot find this one being sold on its own, sorry!)

SUGARBOMB
SUGARBOMB

SUGARBOMB is a little more complex as it is a blush created from 4 different shades: peach, rose, strawberry pink, and coral. Since it is a combination of 4 shades this blush will come off differently depending on how you pick up the product from the pan. I did my best to swatch it evenly and it came off like a shimmery peach shade – making it a little bit of a struggle to appear on my skin tone once again, however it worked well as a tinted highlighter. The glitter amount in this blush is a little less than BELLA BAMBA but the flecks are slightly finer. Overall, this blush works well as a peachy highlight or as a spring time blush.

WATT'S UP
WATT’S UP

WATT’S UP! is a cream highlighter that usually comes in a stick form however it came in a pan for this palette. The pan format made the product a little bit harder to apply nicely and smoothly but I would assume that the stick format would cut out the need to pick up the product with a finger or brush therefore being a little easier to apply. As for the shade itself it is champagne colour that does not have flecks therefore giving you a natural ‘glow’ and highlights beautifully. However, because of its champagne tone I would not recommend this product for fair and lighter skin tones as it may come off a little dark and yellow. Overall, it is a decent highlighter if you have medium to dark skin tones and the original packaging looks like it would be better to apply with.

HOOLA
HOOLA

HOOLA is the bronzer by Benefit and is well loved by many, especially over the internet. Personally I too have fallen to the hype and have made this bronzer a summer time staple. The shade is a soft brown that is matte; also the product blends well which is important for contouring. However, for fair and light skin tones you may find that this bronzer is a little dark depending on your preference. For myself I tend to only use this bronzer for contouring the outer parts of my face and I opt for a a lighter one for contouring my nose, as I am not looking to create the Kim K contouring.

CORALISTA
CORALISTA

CORALISTA is also a well loved product from Benefit, it is a shimmery, glittery, orangey peach shade that looks great in the summer months. However, since it is glittery it will not give you a natural flush that some of you may prefer, but if you are okay with shimmery products then you may like this for the spring and summer. Overall it is a beautiful shade that should work for most skin tones and does not come off chalky.

ROCKETEUR
ROCKETEUR

ROCKETEUR is my favourite of all the included products. It is a dusty rose shade with a subtle glow in the back that just gives your checks a nice lift. Even though there is a very subtle shine in the back the blush looks very natural when applied and really bring out the cheeks. This product double is much like a highlighting blush and blends seamlessly. I have enjoyed using this during the winter months and it gives the checks the effect of just being out in the snow.

BRUSH
BRUSH

BRUSH is a small replica of the brush you get with the blushes and bronzer. In my opinion it is a decent brush in comparison to other brushes or applicators that you receive with products. However, density and quality does not match up to a high end brushes that you would purchase on their own. But of course that is expected, if you do not use makeup a lot this brush is quite sufficient and blends the product out beautifully. However, I would warn you when washing it that you be gentle as some bristles may fall out.


OVERALL
Benefit blushes are bendable and subtle enough to look natural, also they last a good few hours on the cheek depending on the foundation you use and whether or not you applied a setting spray. However, for a full sized product it is about $36 CAD and this may be a little much for 1 shade, that also comes in a cardboard box. However, I personally have used the full sized HOOLA bronzer almost on a daily basis for about 2 years now and I still have quite a bit of product left though I have hit pan. If I were to recommend 1 of the products from above I would definitely say that Rocketeur would be a good choice especially if you have a similar skin tone to me.

– SL.


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**Links to the products are provided above if you wish to purchase it. Simply click on the image of the respective item.

JOSIE MARAN – Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee

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Price: $26 CAD
Formulated without: Parabens, Sulfates, and Phthalates
Size: 0.18 Oz
Colour: Poppy Paradise

PACKAGING
The packaging design is sleek and clean, with a glass pot and plastic lid (coloured the colour of the shade you purchase). It feels sturdy and is a good weight for a high-end product which which I expect it should be. The cap does feel a little on the breakable end and it does spin off quite quickly, so be aware of that. The overall size of the product was a little disappointing as I thought it would be a little bigger, but it is about the size of a lip balm, so I worry it may be hard to extract the gelee out of the pot when it gets low. Overall, I do wish the packaging was a little bigger and it would be nice if the lid was made out of sturdier plastic.

PRODUCT
I purchased the colour Poppy Paradise, which is a warm pink with a little bit of an orange undertone. I thought this colour would give my face a fresh look for the summer, which would still look like a natural flush. My first impression of the product was not great, because there is a top coating which made the colour  payoff very translucent. I had to get rid of the first layer before getting the proper opacity of the product. This product has a subtle and translucent colour pay off, much like water colour paints (as suggested in the name). I would not suggest this to those looking for a bolder blush as it gives only a gentle wash of colour to the cheeks. I love the look that Poppy Paradise gives, and it looks great in combination with my warm yellow skin tone. However, on the down side since it is a gelee they are not as easy to blend out in comparison to stains like the Benetint from Benefit, which is a liquid consistency. I recommend that you blend out one cheek at a time since the product does set quickly and slowly apply product to the cheeks in order to build the opacity. Besides its quick setting time i did enjoy the cheek gelee as it provides a flush that looks like it comes from within. The product also does not feel sticky or irritating on my skin throughout the day. Lastly, this product is not very long-lasting so if you are keen on longevity of blush, then i would not recommend this product for you.

– SL.

Tarte – Be Mattenificent Amazonian Colored Clay Matte Eye & Cheek Palette

tarte - be mattenificent palette

Tarte Be Mattenificent Amazonian Coloured Clay Matte Eye & Cheek Palette
Price: $43 CAD (Click photo to go to product on Sephora)
Free of: parabens & phthalates
Size:
– Eye shadows (6): 0.0758 Oz each
– Blush (1): 0.1244 Oz
– Eyeliner/eye shadow (2): 0.1185 Oz each
Included in the palette:
EYE SHADOWS
1. Sand out from the crowd
2. Peach for the stars
3. Two plums up
4. Pink outside the box
5. Rose to the occasion
6. View from the taupe
BLUSH
7. Elevated
EYELINER/EYE SHADOWS
8. Dream in chocolate
9. Don’t stand black

**Palette can be found my on LUVOCRACY page.

If you want the short version of my opinion, it is: I LOVE THIS PALETTE FOR EVERYDAY LOOKS! IT IS SO VELVETY SMOOTH!

If you want the long version of my opinion and thoughts, well here it is: I am not a big fan of glitter shadows and usually gravitate towards matte shadows, so this was a great find for me. I do have to warn you though, on the box it comes in you will see ‘CC’ on it. Do not be fooled this palette has nothing to do with the ‘colour correcting’ products you see on the market. The ‘CC’ is meant to stand for Coloured Clay, which is one of the main ingredients in the palette. Tarte is known for their use of Amazonian Clay in their products, but what are its benefits? Well I did a little research for you and below is what I found.

ABOUT AMAZONIAN CLAY
Now you may wonder what Amazonian clay is and what the benefits are. I tried to do a little research on the ingredient ‘Amazonian clay’ but was met with very little answers outside of the Tarte website. So I took a look at the ingredients listed in the product and found ‘Amazonian clay’, rose clay, vanilla clay, and mineral pigments, which are ingredients that are found in many cosmetic products. As I looked at the compound break down, I did not find any harmful chemicals, so from my knowledge I do not think these products are bad for your skin as some people fear. However, I do not know for sure outside from Tarte’s claim that these products are fully natural. With this in mind I have not had any negative experiences with the product and my mother, who has sensitive skin, did not react to any of the ingredients. Amazonian clay: (as stated on the Tarte website) is known to remove oils, nourish, reduce dryness and flakiness, provide a smooth appearance, improve clarity and texture, and hydrate the skin. Overall, Amazonian Clay is what gives the product its smooth and silky texture, along with oil absorbing powers that prevent the product from creasing and smudging.

PACKAGING
The packaging is very beautiful, sleek, and sturdy. The top is made to replicate the look of amethyst, giving it a unique and luxurious look in comparison to other palettes. Tarte definitely put equal effort into the outside as they did the product on the inside. The closure on the palette clicks and locks in place, so when put into a bag for traveling, you can be sure that it will not open up and get destroyed.

INCLUDED IN THE PALLET
6 Eye shadows
– 3 nude tones
– 2 dark nude tones
– 1 dark tone
1 Blush
2 Eye liner / eye shadows
1 Double ended brush
– Blender side (great for blending in the product)
– Eye shadow (good for patting the product onto the eyelid)

ABOUT EACH
1. Sand out from the crowd

This is a nude with a yellow undertone, making it great if you want the ‘no makeup’ makeup look for warm skin tones. This can also be used to lightly highlight and even out the look for your eye lids. All you need to do is pick up a bit on to your fingertip and dab it onto your lid lightly and delicately.
2. Peach for the stars
Like the name says, it is a peachy pink nude made for warm skin tones. It will give you a natural looking peachy pink tint to your eye lids and is also ideal for a matte pink smoky eye look
3. Two plums up
This is the only bold eye shadow in the palette which is a deep purple, that is quite versatile since it is a toned down deep purple. It can be applied all over the lid for a hazy purple look or in the crease to add depth. This colour looks amazing in combination with the nudes of the palette, and the purple really made my chocolate brown eyes stand out.
4. Pink outside the box
This is a nude pink that compliments cool skin tones, making it ideal for the ‘no make’ makeup look. It is very similar to ‘sand out from the crowd’ but because the undertone, it will appear more flattering that the other, depending on your own undertones.
5. Rose to the occasion
Do not be fooled by the name but this is a taupe with a mix of rosy pink. This colour will go great with ‘pink outside the box’ for a natural looking gradient look. I used this on my day to day look to contour my crease just slightly.
6. View from the taupe
Like the name states it is a simple taupe colour, a very natural looking grey-brown which pairs well with ‘sand out from the crowd’ if you want the natural gradient. It is also a great way to contour lightly in your crease.
7. Elevated (blush)
This is the blush, which is a rosy pink that looks very natural on skin. When you wear this it will not be obvious that you are wearing blush but it will give you a nice rosy tint. The blush makes a perfect complement to the natural and everyday look you will produce from the shadows in the palette. This blush is a very good way to finish your natural look.
8. Dream in chocolate
This eyeliner / eye shadow is a dark brown that completes neutral looks. It allows you to line your eyes without making you look harsh. Since it doubles as an eye shadow, it combines amazingly well with the ‘view from the taupe’ and ‘sand out from the crow’ for a matte brown smoky eye.
9. Don’t stand black
The second liner colour is a toned down black (not a dark black) which does not create a harsh line. This is a good option if you want a bolder line to your look without it looking like liquid liner. It also doubles to at depth to your crease if you want a smoky eye.

PRODUCT FORMULA
EYE SHADOWS
I fell in love with the eye shadow the moment I swatched them. They were so buttery, silky, and velvety upon application providing them with the ability to blend with ease. In combination to its soft powder, it is highly pigment, therefore you do not need to pick up a lot of product onto the brush. On the down side, the nudes are quite similar to each other, and I was hoping that ‘peach for the stars’ and ‘rose to the occasion’ would be on the deeper side, but I still like them a lot. That is why this is definitely not a bold or statement palette, it is designed for a natural and subtle ‘wash of colour’ look. I am not sure if it is thanks to the clay, but I noticed that the shadows looked different from other shadows when sitting on my lid. When you apply other eye shadows it is quite obvious that powder is sitting on your skin, but with these, it looked like I used a tint giving a more natural affect. To put the product to the test I tried it once with primer and once without primer.
With primer: It glided on very easily and beautifully like a cream eye shadow, with little to no fall out. By the end of the day I observed that it did not crease or smudge, even when put up against the cold Canadian winter and my watery eyes.
Without primer: it still stayed true and applied beautifully and smoothly. However, since it did not have primer to stick to, I did require a little bit more product but not a significant amount more. With that in mind I did not notice much fallout and it still looked flawless once applied. As for longevity I did not notice much of a difference, it once again did not smudge or budge.

EYE LINERS/EYE SHADOWS
The formula was a little more compact than the shadows, therefore to the touch it was not at the same level of silky-ness. Though it did not feel the same, it still applied and glided on effortlessly without any breaks in the line. They were both pigmented with little to no fallout. The lines created from the powders were easy to line the eyes with, as they were consistent and smooth without skips in the line.

BLUSH
I found that the formula was just as soft and velvety as the shadows, helping it blend well into the skin. Just like the shadows, it did not appear like powder on my skin it gave almost the same effect that stains give.

OVERALL
I really loved this palette and it is getting a place in my everyday look. I really think it, is a great value for the quantity and quality you get. This palette is a great find for the matte lover who prefers the natural look. You can create everyday looks that do not make you look too done up for the occasion. I recommend this palette if you are new to using eye shadows on your everyday look. It is a great way to learn how to create smoky eyes without looking like you are about to go clubbing. However, due to its predominance in nudes, it may not show up on some skin tones, I am an Asian with a light-medium skin tone and from my experience it showed up well and blended beautifully with my skin. From reading reviews, I do not think this palette is universal to all skin tones so I recommend testing the colours on your skin before purchasing the palette. I feel, beside this negative point a lot has gone into the quality of the product from the packaging to the formulas. Finally, the brush that came along with the palette was perfect for my eyes. My fold is very close to my eyes, minimizing the space I have to work with; because of this I have avoided using normal size blending brushes. I was pleased to find that the one provided fit perfectly in the fold and blended the shadows smoothly without bringing the colour too far up. I really love this product and would recommend it if you are into nude and natural looks.

– SL.