Archive for the 'highlighter' Category

Tarina Tarantino Pearl Glow Primer Review & Swatches

April 6, 2010
TARINA TARANTINO Pearl Glow Primer ($32 for 1 oz.)

Since spotting Nicci Nix’s seriously glowing complexion on American Idol, I’ve been a little obsessed with achieving that perfectly dewy, glowy look without looking greasy or like I have gigantor pores (which sadly I actually do), and to that end I’ve been playing around with a million different primers and highlighters that have promised me that healthy, luminescent glow.  So how does the TARINA TARANTINO Pearl Glow Primer stack up?  Click on after the jump for the review!

The Science: Pearl Glow Primer contains actual pearl powder, which from what I’ve heard is not only ideal for giving skin that glowly look, but is also pretty great for softening your complexion and reducing skin pigmentation.  Yay for a multi-tasking product! 

The Review: I’ve actually been using the Pearl Glow Primer in two different ways: (1) as a primer, and (2) as a highlighter, either blended right into my foundation or patted on top, and so of course you’ll be getting a review of how the product performs in both respects.

As a primer Pearl Glow is decent – it doesn’t rock my world and make me do a happy dance in the morning, but it does absorb quickly without leaving behind that somewhat greasy, slick feel so prevalent in primers heavy on the silicones (it has a sort of light moisturizer feel to it) .  So why wasn’t it love for me?  Well here’s the thing – if you’ve got nearly perfect skin and don’t wear foundation, Pearl Glow applied over your usual skincare regimen will give you the most beautiful, luminescent, glowing looking skin without any of the strange multi-hued shine that a lot of luminzers can give, but if you’re like me and need to apply a good amount of foundation over your primer, the luminosity pretty much disappears under it all.  Why bother with a luminizing primer that disappears when you use it as primer?

As for how it looks and wears, I will say that it really helps my foundation shades to stay true all day long which I’m thrilled with, and it does a pretty good job of controlling my oilies all day long.  So all in all it makes a solid primer, I guess I’m just a little disappointed that I don’t get more luminosity out of it. 

Swatches below!

But while I do have my complaints about this as a primer, as a luminizer it’s really second to none.  Every other luminizer I’ve ever tried has emphasized my pores and given me a sort of odd pink luminescent glow that’s not very flattering on my skintone, but Pearl Glow somehow manages to give all the glow without any of the accompanying weirdness.  I like to mix a pump of it into my foundation pre-application, then to top it all off by patting small dots onto the tops of my cheekbones, along the bridge of my nose and just a tiny bit on my forehead (basically all the sports the sun would naturally reflect off of). 

If you’re in the market for a fantastic luminizing product that will give you a beautiful, youthful look, Pearl Glow is your product, but if you’re still on the hunt for that perfect primer I’ve got some better suggestions coming your way sometime soon so stay tuned!

Ingredients: Water, Octyldodecanol, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Oleosomes, Glycerin, Alumina, Manganese Dioxide, Polyacrylamide, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Laureth-7, Sodium Hydroxide, Pearl Powder, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891)

I obsessively checked the Sephora stores to see if the Tarina Tarantino line had launched and when I saw this I snatched it up – I mean if I don’t spoil myself, who’s going to spoil me, right? 😉

The Amazingly Luminous Helium Girl on Idol

February 3, 2010

Last night I managed to catch the tail-end of the American Idol auditions taking place in Denver, Colorado, and while the singing was rather atrocious (did we all really need to have our delicate eyes subject to bikini boy?) I was entranced by the gorgeousness that was Nicci (Helium Girl) Nix’s complexion – from the moment I caught sight of her on camera all I could think of was how radiantly her skin glowed, and apparently Victoria Beckham agreed as she felt the need to comment on her beautiful skin.

While her skin was pretty amazing, Nicci definitely had the aid of a healthy dose of luminizer in achieving that glowing look. Check out her audition video and a luminizer suggestion after the jump!

LORAC Oil-Free Luminizer Pearl L1

While the video quality on YouTube and the still up above don’t capture Nicci’s glowing skin in all its glory, it really was pretty amazing and has inspired me to dig up some of my luminizers to experiment a little. In my desire to achieve matte, long-wearing looks I’ve forgotten the beauty of healthy, glowing skin.

The easiest way to infuse a small dose of luminosity into your life? Just take a pump or two of liquid luminizer (like Lorac’s Luminizer pictured above) and mix it into your liquid foundation prior to application – voila, instant glow!

What are your favorite liquid luminizers? Any suggestions as to one I absolutely must check out? Share with me in the comments!

Guerlain Meteorites in ‘Perles Imperiales’ for Imperial Holiday 2009

November 8, 2009

Rarely do I tell you that a product is a must-have for me, but if you love high end makeup and beautiful products, the Guerlain ‘Meteorites’ in Perles Imperiales ($53) really do fall into that category. For a quick video review, check out this YouTube review I did of the Perles Imperiales Meteorites, and but don’t forget to read on for more info and lots of photos!

This close-up of the Perles Imperialies up above is probably one of my favorite cosmetics photos I’ve taken – it’s so pretty that I’ve even made it the wallpaper on my iPhone!

More photos including swatches and the full review after the jump.

The 2009 Perles Imperialies Meteorites come in this dramatic, expensive-looking jet-black packaging (some Meteorites packaging can tend to look a little cheap and cardboardy but not this rendition) decorate with faux-crystals and shimmery bits and house pearls in soft ivory, orangey gold, pink and lavender.

Swirl the pearls together and you’re left with a soft pink highlighter that’s subtle but brings a nice glow to your face. I wouldn’t recommend purchasing these to use as a blush unless you’re Snow White pale, but as a soft pink highlighter they’re absolutely gorgeous – no chunky glitter, no crazy shine, just a soft, subtle glow that’ll light up your face. And of course the usual delicious Guerlain violet scent which I’m oh so enamored of.

I like to pair this with my Chanel Narcisse blush (there’s a review of it somewhere on the blog – I’ll just say that this is my HG blush and I use it almost every day) – first Narcisse on my cheeks, then Perles Imperiales pretty much everywhere else for some subtle glowy shimmer. Part of the appeal of Guerlain’s Meteorites, at least for me, is the luxury of swirling my brushes across such a beautiful, delicately-scented surface and applying the silky powder to my face, but honestly the pearls themselves aren’t a bad deal at $53. I know my fellow Meteorites owners can attest to the fact that you’ll never make a dent in these – I have some I’ve been using for ages and they look as new/full as the day I bought them.

Which is all my roundabout way of saying ~ if you’ve been wanting Guerlain’s Perles Imperiales Meteorites, go get them! They embody everything that I love about holiday cosmetics releases – luxurious shimmering packaging, beautiful colors, and that special quality that just brings a smile to your face. These definitely get a thumbs up from me!

These Meteorites were sent to me by Guerlain’s PR people to blog consideration. I probably would’ve purchased them myself as it was quite literally love at first swatch – the gorgeous shades of the pearls, the amazing violet scent and the stunning holiday packaging – it’s just all too gorgeous!

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TEMPTU AIR pod Blush & Highlighter Review & Swatches

August 19, 2009

TEMPTU AIR pod™ Blush in #403 Washed Rose ($30)

I figured if I was going to give the TEMPTU AIRbrush Makeup System (review HERE) a shot, I might as well try everything including the blush and highlighter pods in order to properly assuage my curiosity. I picked up Washed Rose thinking that it would give me a nice bright pink flush (it’s described as petal pink) but sadly I was a little disappointed with the shade.

Don’t get me wrong it’s a very nice shade of subtle, soft pink, I was just expecting a brighter more vibrant pink – I probably should’ve gone with 404 Sheer Berry. The blushes themselves are really easy to use – you just load them in place of the foundation pod on your device and spray away. You can actually feel where the blush is going thanks to the strong air flow (you should set your device on “Less” for this) and of course color is buildable.

Sheerly applied swatch of Washed Rose.

I’m hoping that TEMPTU will release a few more fun/dramatic shades in the future. The AIR pod Blush was wonderful for the convenience factor and for sheer, very very natural flush but I Just happen to prefer my powder blushes to this one.

TEMPTU AIR pod™ Highlighter in 301 Champagne ($35)

I generally don’t wear highlighter but again decided to try this for the sake of experimentation and was pleasantly surprised by the beautiful subtle glow I could achieve using TEMPTU’s highlighter pod.

Champagne is a sheer metallic golden nude shade that’s perfect for highlighting your cheekbones and browbones. I like to lightly sweep this in a C motion around the sides of my face to contour along my cheekbones and right along the browbone for some barely there shimmer and glow, but you can definitely build more shimmer.

Swatch of TEMPTU Highlighter.

Some of your had expressed concerns that this might be way too metallic after having seen the model in the TEMPTU video on Sephora’s site applying this to herself, but I believe that she was using a pretty heavy hand in order to get anything to show up on camera, and it really won’t look that frighteningly metallic on you!

I love that TEMPTU has these accessories available for us to use with our TEMPTU AIRbrush Systems – when you spend a significant chunk of change on a product, it’s always nice to have some flexibility and options!

Kanebo Sensai Silky Highlighting Powder Review & Swatches

June 1, 2009
Kanebo Sensai Silky Highlighting Powder ($45)
Light, pearly powder complements and enhances foundations with a subtle, youthful glow. Instantly adds natural-looking highlights. Apply over foundation to desired areas.

Sensai’s Silky Highlighting Powder is formulated with Silky Pearl Powder to complement your foundation (or bare skin if you’re lucky enough to not need foundation) by adding an invisible and natural brightening boost. It contains a high concentration of silk to create a radiant, silky-smooth complexion and contains Sensai’s revolutionary Weightless Moist Glow Factor, an exquistely deather-light and translucent powder that provides lightweight coverage to give your skin a luminous glow. The Silky Highlighting Powder also contains Phyto-Qualane and Rice Extract, two highly moisturizing natural ingredients.

It’s taken me some time to realize the benefits of a good highlighting powder. I’ve never really been too into the liquid luminizers as they make my already oily skin look and feel even oilier, but the warmer weather has had me wanting to emphasize those areas of my face where light hits naturally, such as the cheekbones, forehead and nose, and Sensai’s Highlighting Powder is seriously the best I’ve tried.

While I love my shimmer, I don’t love a highlighting powder that has large chunks of glitter in it as I think it can be overkill and create a not-too-flattering disco-ball appearance. Sensai’s powder is unique in that it doesn’t actually look shimmery in the pan–it’s more of a subtle, luminescent glow that’s uber-flattering on everybody.

The texture, as with all Sensai products, is gorgeous–silky, smooth, blends beautifully, and just overall great. Plus the brush that it comes with is also nice and soft, making for easy, precise application.

There’s just something so beautiful about the sun reflecting off the contours of your face just so, highlighting your cheekbones and creating a subtle glow, and Sensai allows you to carry that with you in a petite black compact. It’s like instant sunshine!

LOL okay I just lost my train of thought–as I’m typing this, my sweet little Chloe just started snoring away. Where was I? I guess this is one of the hazards of late night blogging–well along with the fact that I’m really tired =X. But as I was saying, if you’re on the hunt for a subtle highlighter that’ll give you that “look-at-my-great-bone-structure” look, definitely check this out!

The Body Shop Roseflower Radiance Stick Review and Swatch

February 25, 2009
The Body Shop Roseflower Radiance Stick (now $17 from $22)

Who knew that you could capture the essence of a bouquet of roses in shimmery stick form? The Body Shop’s Roseflower Radiance Stick evokes thoughts of sweet romance and gorgeous spring weather with its beautiful delicately sensual rose scent.

The Roseflower Radiance Stick is a sheer lightweight highlighter that comes in handy, twist up form and contains Community Trade marula oil helps to repair skin’s moisture barrier. I usually avoid stick blushes/highlighters at all costs because I can never really get them to blend without an inordinate amount of pulling and tugging at my skin, but this product glides on beautifully and has a soft, almost velvety texture that just feels heavenly against the skin.

I wouldn’t really recommend this for those of you who are on the very very oily side as it may aggravate that and simply make you look like a disco-ball, but for everybody else this is a great and easy way to highlight the contours of your face. I use this along the tops of my cheekbones most days, and on those days that I want to emphasize my bone-structure even more, I make a large “C” shape starting from beneath my browbone, swinging around my eye then along my cheekbones if that makes any sense.

All The Body Shop Roseflower collection products are currently $5 off, so definitely check out this line as I was really surprised by how lovely everything is!

Beauty Credit Lovely Q10 Pearl Shine Make Up Base: Review and Swatches

September 10, 2008
Beauty Credit Lovely Q10 Pearl Shine Makeup Up Base ($14)

All the photos in this post can be clicked to be enlarged, so have fun!


If you’re feeling too lazy to click on the photo to enlarge the text: “The shine base has hologram pearl that makes your rough skin more even and brightening by excellent light reflection. And Coenzyme Q10 keeps the skin firm and volumized while various herb extracts keep your skin revitalized and hydrated all day long.”

LOL at the Engrish! No in all seriousness it’s pretty good, since I was actually able to understand this one!


Isn’t it pretty?

What do I love about this primer? Well to begin with, the price! Korean brands are often hard to find in the US, and even if you do manage to find a retailer, the prices are usually hiked up so that they’re double or triple retail–meaning what may have been cheap at one point in Korea isn’t cheap for you! Thankfully, there’s a little store by me that stocks Beauty Credit at pretty much the original prices =D

Beauty Credit’s range of primers includes a green shade, lavender shade, and this pearl shade. I decided to go with the Pearl Shine because I’m pretty sure you’ve noticed that I can’t resist shimmer! The Pearl Shine Makeup Base is a pale peach shade that contains a multitude of golden microshimmer suspended throughout it. The shimmer is fine enough that it’s not noticeable unless the light hits you just so, but it’s really beautiful. I love this primer because it makes my skin feel soft, and lightens and brightens my complexion enough that on a good day I can go without foundation.

My favorite way to use this, however, is not as a base but as a luminizer mixed into my foundation. A squirt or two of the Pearl Shine base mixed into my favorite foundation is glowing perfection!

Can you see the hints of shimmer?

Click to enlarge and check out the shimmer (especially on the right half).
I know it looks eerily white in this photo, but I promise it’s not! It’s more of a peach shade.

Half my hand has Pearl Shine Base on it, the other doesn’t–can you guess which half does? =P

Related Posts:
See my review of Etude House’s Pore-Erasing Peach base here to read about another great and affordable Korean primer.

Check out one of my favorite primers here!

Givenchy Prisme Again! Compact Powder Quartet in 07 Crazy Pink: Review and Swatches

September 9, 2008
Givenchy Prisme Again! Compact Powder Quartet in #07 Crazy Pink (on sale for $25 from $50)


The pink on the compact lid is actually lighter and much prettier in person, but we all know I’m no professional photographer!

Inside of Compact

Aaaaahhhhhh–shimmery goodness! Too bad the second I swiped these, the surfaces were completely ruined and not nearly as yummy looking.

Open Compact

Compact and Included Brush

I’d always been drawn to the elegant and chic packaging of Givenchy products, but never really purchased them due to the fact that they weren’t readily available at any of my frequent makeup haunts. However, thanks to the fact that Sephora now carries a large array of great Givenchy products, I’ve been able to give them the attention they deserve–hence my Givenchy Phenomen’Eyes mascara review a few weeks back and now this.

This Prisme Again! powder was actually purchased from thanks to a kind reader who informed me that these were 50% off and therefore a mere $25!! There was no way I could resist Givenchy at 50% off, especially with a name like Crazy Pink!


To be honest I was expecting a shimmery pink blush, but that’s not at all what I received. The name “Crazy Pink” is deceptive since this product is neither crazy nor pink! Yes there are two pink color blocks in this compact, but the overall effect is more of a shimmery golden peachy pink (more peach than pink) that acts as a beautiful highlighter, but not as much of a blush. I’m going to have to try the shades individually as eyeshadows at some point to test out how sheer (or not) they are.

The compact itself is also relatively small, so if you’re expecting a jumbo-sized quad this isn’t it! I’d seen these in person at Sephora so wasn’t surprised, but if you haven’t seen these for yourself just keep in mind that these are not large at all. The included brush is admittedly decent for a “comes with the compact” brush, but still can’t compare to my regular cosmetics brushes.

Overall this is a lovely product, albeit not what I’d expected, and I’ll definitely be getting a lot of use out of it!

Swatches: (top) all the shades swirled together; (bottom) squares swatched clockwise starting from top left corner

Related Posts:
Interested in checking out more Givenchy products? How about their revolutionary new Phenomen’Eyes mascara with the ball applicator? See my review and photos of it here, then check it out on Nicole here.

Love highlighters? See some of the most beautiful ones on the market by Guerlain here.

Not so into the subtle? Click here to check out some truly flurescent blushes!

Laneige The Secret of Snow Crystal Snow Radiant Blusher in 01 Snow Prism: Review and Swatches

September 9, 2008
Laneige Snow Radiant Blusher in #01 Snow Prism from The Secret of Snow Crystal Collection


I love all the pretty veins of pink, purple, green,, gold, and opalescent white that run through this! It’s really and truly beautiful.



Swatch After Blending

Laneige’s Snow Radiant Blusher in Shade #01 is more of a highlighter than a blush, but like all of the other blushes that were a part of this collection, it’s absolutely stunning to look at. It reminds me a lot of MAC’s Mineralized products, except prettier and much more pigmented!

The veins of pink, purple, green, gold, and white running throughout this baked powder combine to form a frosty silvery white shade that gives your skin an ice princessy glow. I’m not entirely sure if I’m loving this just yet, because the first few times that I used this I applied too much and managed to create a look reminiscent of The White Witch a la The Chronicles of Narnia!


However with a lighter touch this should give me a beautiful shimmery glow. I love the way this powder looks so I’m determined to make it work for me!

Related Posts:
Interested in more Laneige? See my review of their Sliding Pact Powder Compact (which looks like a shiny pink cellphone!) here, and learn about their Ideal Glossy Rouges here.

Crave more cute and affordable Korean products? See one of my current favorites–Etude House Pore Erasing Peach Base–here!

Guerlain Meteorites: A Myriad of Forms

September 3, 2008
Nicole’s Guerlain Meteorites Haul
Three little Meteorites standing in a row… ❤

Guerlain Meteorites Powder Pearls in #01 Mythic ($51)

“For an unrivaled radiance with a single product. These little powder pearls are the secret to a perfect complexion: Mythic 01 (translucent glow), a perfecting and classic blend of pink, green, gold and white for an instantly bright and even complexion; Pink Fresh 02 (rosy glow), a stylish and delicious merging of pink and slightly apricot shades for an instant healthy glow; and Beige Chic 03 (golden glow), a timelessly elegant harmony of soft beige to even out the complexion in absolute transparency.”

I have the Guerlain ‘Pucci’ Meteorites Pearls, but after seeing Nicole’s colorful photos I’m feeling the need to purchase them in Mythic! Unfortunately the LE Pucci ones that I have are probably the least popular of the Meteorites in terms of color pay-off (although the packaging is gorgeos and pretty much the only reason I got them), so I’m anxious to try the originals.

A Rainbow of Pretty!

Guerlain Meteorites Illuminating Pressed Powder in Mythic Parfait ($65)

“The latest member of the Meteorites family draws its inspiration from the classic pearl. This high-tech powder accentuates light, conceals blemishes and brings out radiance—without shine. Each compact contains an array of four complementary shades that create a luminous glow; the correcting color in the center can be used to conceal redness, cover blemishes or tone down dark undereye circles. Swirl on the corresponding matte and pearlescent hues to touch up your look with a subtle iridescence.”

Remember reading about this pebbled-beauty here? I still haven’t managed to get my hands on this, but of course Nicole has! Can you say dying of jealousy???

Looks good enough to eat! Or at least sniff =D
(all Guerlain Meteorites products have the most heavenly scent)

Guerlain Meteorites Travel Touch ($50)

“This travel-ready compact contains a silky-soft loose powder version of the iconic Meteorites Pearls that provides a glowing, translucent finish. It helps erase shine, leaving a matte texture to the skin, while concealing imperfections. The 01 Mythic color blend offers correction and natural illumination for your complexion at any and every moment.”


For some odd reason this is my favorite photo of the bunch! I love the etched Guerlain script on the side-so chic!

Related Posts:
Read my review of the Guerlain Meteorites Light-Diffusing Perfecting Primer here to check out what may be the prettiest primer on the market!