HIGHLIGHTER

I have been showcasing this beautiful Hourglass Ambient Lighting Surreal Light Palette (bought here with free international shipping) a lot on my insta lately. The marble packaging totally captured my heart. I have lots of individual Hourglass ambient lighting powder, as well as the Ambient Lighting palette. Since this palette comes in 6 new never-before-released shades, that makes a wonderful excuse for me to add it to my stash.

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Basically, the ambient powder adds a soft lit-within glow to the face. All powders are not fully matte, but they are also less shimmery than a traditional shimmer product. It imparts a luminous glow to the face that looks good with all age groups (unlike the ultra glamorous finish that you see on Insta which may not look good in real life!), and all powders go on semi-translucent with a tinge of color so it would look flattering on all skin tones. The application is fool-proof as the pigment is soft and easy to blend, and the powder does not enhance the pores.

The palette contains 1 finishing powder, 2 blushes, and 1 bronzer and 1 highlighter.  All of them contain very fine micro shimmer that does not look visible on the face.

  1. Surreal Light: A sheer nude finish powder that goes on translucent on my NC15/20 skin tone. I like to use it to set my makeup over the center of the face. It instantly brightens, and makes the face look more dimensional and lifted as the powder reflects light softly, as well as controlling the oil all day long.

2.  Surreal Bronze Light: A neutral tan shade. Great for creating a subtle contour, and adding warmth to the face.

3.  Surreal Glow: A pale peachy pink blush that looks very delicate on the skin. Can also be used as a highlighter depending on your skin tone.

4. Surreal Effect: A cool, pink rose fused with a soft, warm peach for a pop of flattering color. Goes on quite bright and adds a flush of color to the cheeks.

5. Surreal Strobe Light: A glimmering golden peach powder, and can also be used wet for an intense highlight.

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Swatch

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I added another new highlighter to my stash. The MAC Star Trek Trip the Light Fantastic Powder is just too good to be missed. There are 3 colors released, and the standout for me is Luna Luster as the color is the closet to my complexion and I know it will look flattering on me. The other two colors appear very bronzey on me.

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I am not the biggest fan of Star Trek, but the design of this powder is just too pretty and fancy. It has a marbled multi-color design that looks like the universe, and the powder twinkles at some angles when it catches the light. It contains strips of ivory, peachy pink, and magenta – when all colors are swirled together, it shows up as a peachy pink champagne color but applies pretty much translucent with a brightening effect on my NC15/20.

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The texture is not the creamiest, with a slightly gritty feel. However, it applies beautifully on the face without looking powdery nor chalky. It gives an amazing pearly sheen to the face (not frosty/metallic), that actually blends into my skin. The finish is glowy and dewy that gives a visible highlight effect, whilst still looks natural and doesn’t make your face look like a disco ball. I have to say that I am surprised by how good it performs, and the finish of this highlighter is amongst my top 3 given the color works so well for my complexion.

Swatch

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Bottom line: Highly recommend!

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I know it’s true love when I keep a makeup product in its original packaging in my favorite drawer, and use it with ultimate care for fear of spoiling the design – that was my relationship with the Dior Glowing Gardens Illuminating highlighter (reviewed here). So when I spotted this gorgeous Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer Shimmering Sculpting Powder 001 from the Skyline Fall 2016 Collection, there was not a second of pause before I added it to my basket (bought here in Australia)! It is just as pretty as the Glowing Gardens release with a slight difference in color, so can also become my backup.

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Texture wise, it is consistent with the limited edition highlight powders from the previous releases. The powder is extremely finely milled, buttery soft and silky smooth to apply. There is no fall-out during application, and the powder is easy to blend to create a soft glow, or can be built up for a more glamorous sheen. The powder blends into the skin seamlessly, so it doesn’t enlarge the pores, and it illuminates the skin without visible shimmer and glitter.

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On first glance, it looked quite similar to the Glowing Pink from memory, but after I have seen them side by side, this powder is more peachy and a tad warmer than the Glowing Pink. I would describe it as a champagne color with a hint of peachy golden undertone. It is a universally flattering all-purpose highlighting color for most complexions, as well as for the eyes. On my NC15-20 color, it goes on translucent with a glow if applied sheer, otherwise it adds a hint of peachy color if applied heavily, but it doesn’t appear to warm on me and still goes well with pink blushes.

Shimmer degree is about medium, as it’s not too shimmery (ie Becca and Nars) but one swipe is enough for creating a visible highlighting effect. This is not a powder that can be used all over the face for an illuminating glow.

Swatch with 1 swipe

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Comparison

Clockwise: Dior Luminizer 001; Chanel Perles Powder (reviewed here); MAC Dunes At Dusk Gleamtones Powder (reviewed here); Becca Champagne Pop (reviewed here); Dior Powder 001 Glowing Pink

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Bottom Line: Must have! Particularly for those of you who missed the highlighters from the Glowing Gardens collection – the good news is this item will be added to the permanent line.

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This fall my top favorite makeup collection has to be the Dior Skyline Fall 2016 Collection, as I can never resist a beautifully designed collection with a neutral color theme (check out my picks on my insta)! There are also some really great practical products from the collection which have been added to the permanent line including the Diorblush Light and Contour Sculpting Stick Duo (bought here in Australia). I got the shade 001 Soft Contour, and it goes well with my skin color (NC15).

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First of all, I love the design of this dual-ended contour and highlight stick, as it makes the application much easier and is portable to carry around. It will be my go-to product for a fuss-free contour and highlight application when I’m on holiday next week! I know lately we are spoiled with lots of choices, but for a fresh and clean look, all you need is one contour color that suits your skin-tone, and one highlighter to bring out the features. The Dior is such a perfect simple product that delivers the results.

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Between the contour stick and the highlighter stick, I definitely think the contour is more superior.  It has a creamy consistency without shimmer, and is silky smooth to apply. It is very pigmented, so one strip is enough for shading one area such as the cheekbone. It is very easy to blend – almost like a stick foundation as the color is blended into the skin seamlessly without any visible edges and patches.  It gives a cream-matte finish which is perfect as a contouring product. You can use it for sculpting the cheekbones, jaw as well as the nose bridge.

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The highlighter is a pale champagne color with fine shimmer which reminds me of the famous Nars The Multiple Copacabana. As with most shimmer sticks I have used in the past, I find them to be a little challenging to work with. It imparts a beautiful subdued gleam to the complexion that looks dewy and glowing but not shiny.  For application it only works well on top of a moist base. If your skin is dry, or apply the highlighter on top of the powdered face, the product won’t blend in, and looks like it is sitting on top of the skin. It also tends to enlarge the pores a little over the cheek area, but on top of the cheekbone it is ok. Having said that I have yet to find a shimmer stick with a texture that melds into the skin. My tip is to press some loose powder with a velvety puff into the skin which will then remove the enlarged pores look. Overall I think the texture and the finish is very similar but a tad more hydrating upon application than the Nars multiples.

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I included some of my preferred brushes for application with this product, including the Marc Jacobs The Shape and Contour Blush Brush (absolutely my HG, reviewed here); Tom Ford Cream Foundation Brush (reviewed here);  CHIKUHODO GSN-5 Brush. For applying an opaque product in cream formula, it is always recommended to use a firm and dense brush.

Swatches at different angles

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I have lots of weaknesses – one of the biggest has to be collecting all the beautifully designed highlight powders. I am a big fan of highlighting, and whenever I come across a product that suits my complexion color, I have to own it. Reviewing the latest MAC Gleamtones Powder in Dunes at Dusk (LE) from the Vibe Tribe collection which did take me some effort to acquire, as it is all sold out at major MAC counters in Sydney.

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Dunes at Dusk is a multi-color bronzing and highlighting powder in one pan. Love the motif design, and it contains four harmonious block of shades in soft shimmer finish. The texture is better than the permanent MAC powder – it feels more creamy and moist with a velvety touch to it, and it can be easily picked up by a soft bristle brush. All of the colors go on sheer as they are meant for a soft illuminating finish. You can apply the colors individually, and personally I prefer to swirl the colors together for application.

It gives a beautiful translucent and polished sheer veil of lit-within-glow to the complexion. When all colors are mixed, it has a very subtle tint to it, but it applies nearly colorless with in a hint of pink using a brush. It looks neither too warm nor too frosty on my face, which is hard to find for my NC15-20 cool toned complexion color.

mac-gleamtones-powder-dunes-at-dusk-vibe-tribe-review-swatchSwatch & Color Description (clockwise)

Shimmery golden peach

Shimmery lilac

Shimmery dusty mauve (also makes a great eyeshadow color)

Shimmery champagne  (great for the eyes as well)

mac-gleamtones-powder-dunes-at-dusk-vibe-tribe-review-swatch-3On me: Just a quick phone snap showing the MAC Gleamtones applied on the top of my cheekbones

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Believe it or not, Tom Ford Soleil Color is the only 2016 summer collection that I picked up this year! (yep I skipped the Chanel..and many others) Normally summer collection involves lots of bright colors and bronzers which are not of my best interest, so for me it’s the easiest season that I can save my money from lol! With the exception of the always breathtaking release from Tom Ford. I managed to pick up some highly popular items including two beautiful face palettes – the Contouring Compact (limited edition) and Bicoastal Sheer Cheek Duo, and one lip color in Les Mepris on the first day of release. The entire collection is available on David Jones Online in Australia.

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The Soleil Contouring Compact in The Afternooner is beyond gorgeous. If you own the Illuminating Powder Duo (reviewed here), you will love this palette too, as it includes a highlighter and a bronzer that are just as gorgeous as the duos, with an additional blush that makes this palette very versatile and practical to use. I won’t go into the details of the quality in this post, as they are always consistent with Tom Ford’s items from the past and permanent collections which I have reviewed many times. Overall Tom Ford is known for their cream-like powder based makeup with an ultra buttery and smooth texture for an effortless application.

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Color description:

Highlighter: A soft nude shimmer highlighter with a pale gold undertone. On the swatch it leans slightly warm. However on my cool toned NC15 complexion, I am glad that it doesn’t pull too warm on me as some other golden highlighters do. I normally apply a sheer layer on top of the cheekbone, and it goes on translucent and gives a beautiful natural looking glow.

Blush: A semi-matte coral pink blush that gives a pretty flush of color and looks flattering on any skin tones.

Bronzer: A semi-matte sable brown color that compliments my skin-tone. It particularly goes well with the blush and highlighter – when all three colors are applied, they give a harmonious and sophisticated finish. The bronzer looks great for contouring the cheekbone, or dust a little all over the face for a bit of sun-kissed look. The color is too warm for my complexion as a real contouring product for the jaws and nose.

Swatch

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The Tom Ford Bicoastal Sheer Cheek Duo is another palette not to be missed from the collection! It’s my kind of blush color that I can wear all year around. It has the two prettiest shades of pink in different finishes housed in the signature TF white and gold compact. On the top is a baby peachy pink shimmer highlighter. The blush at the bottom is a semi-matte rosy pink. I like to mix the two colors together for a natural and pretty glowy effect . Both colors go on sheer, so I prefer to use a dense powder blush for application, and they can be easily build up to a more vibrant finish.

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tom-ford-bicoastal-sheer-cheek-duo-review-swatch-1Group Swatch

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Tom Ford released two sets of lip color collections in this release. I passed on the entire Moisturecore Lip Colors as I just did not like the finish on me. With the white tube Ultra Rich Lip Color, I have an eternal affinity with them. They are beautifully packaged, feel luxurious with a creamy and silky formula. I only picked up the color Les Mepris so far, but in the back of my mind I kept on thinking about Purple Noon and Revolve Around Me which are more edgy colors. Les Mepris is a go-to pretty pink coral color that is universally flattering for all complexions. It goes well with any makeup look, and it instantly brightens up my complexion for a youthful appeal.

tom-ford-ultra-rich-lip-color-les-mepris-review-swatchSharing some of my FOTDs wearing the Soleil Compact with all three colors applied and Lip Color Les Mepris.

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This spring there are two must-have lust worthy gorgeous highlighters to collect – the Chanel Perles ET Fantaisies Illuminating Powder, and the Dior DiorSkin Nude Air Glowing Gardens Illuminating Powders in Glowing Pink. First of all the designs of both powders are to die for, as well as the quality and the finish are just flawless and look extremely flattering on fair to medium skin tones as you would expect from a premium beauty brand. Both products are limited editions, and it seems the Dior is already sold out everywhere in the US, but I think you can still find them in Australia. I am combining these two products into one post as they are quite similar in terms of finish.

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The texture of Chanel Illuminating Powder feels buttery silky smooth. It is so creamy and finely milled that when I rub my fingers over the powders I don’t feel any grainy and powdery texture. Both the white and pink powders are pigmented enough with one to two swipes to show the color and give a glowing effect. It is not as intensely pigmented as some other highlighters such as the Nars and the Becca (reviewed here).  I actually prefer this level of pigments, meaning I can easily create a soft glow effect without worrying of being overdone.

comes with a mini fan brush

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The white powders applies to a translucent shimmery icy white color which also makes a great color to highlight in the inner corners of the eyes.  The pink color is beautiful, when it is applied it actually doesn’t show up as barbie pink as it looked in the pan. It is a translucent shimmery baby pink that adds just a perfect touch of fresh color as a highlighter to the face. When mixed two colors together, the pink adds a touch of warmth to the white, and that gives a natural, lit-from-within glow without looking frosty. Highly recommend this illuminating powder if you are after a pretty luxurious product that gives a natural glow, and it works well on fair to fair/medium skin tones.

Swatches

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The Dior Glowing Pink Powder gives a very similar illuminating effect as the Chanel.  The texture is also superb, and the powder feels slightly more firm and not as moist as the Chanel. It doesn’t enhance pores, and also sets beautifully on dry skin.  The color is a pale delicate pink with a hint of champagne pearl tone to it, so it would work better on warmer skin tones. The finish is a tad more shimmery than Chanel, imparting a radiant dewy glow to the skin.

comes with a mini kabuki brush

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Swatch:

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Comparison Swatch:

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Today’s review is for the highly in-demand highlighter – the Becca x Jaclyn Hill Shimmering Skin Perfector Champagne Pop Pressed Powder . Their shimmering skin perfector products (come in liquid, pressed powder and cream forms) have always been the best sellers for Becca, especially with shades like Opal and Moonstone that are the absolute staples in many beauty guru’s makeup kit. The Champagne Pop, released in collaboration with youtube guru Jaclyn Hill combining with her fan base, was pretty much set for an immediate success as it was sold out worldwide for a long time.  It is now finally back in stock at Sephora Australia.

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Texture

It feels buttery soft and creamy to the touch, and silky smooth to apply with the tiniest amount of product going a long way. For $38 each, the texture is as superb as the higher end highlighters such as Tom Ford’s and Charlotte Tilbury’s.

Finish

Ultra pigmented and shimmery. It’s not the usual illuminating highlighter that adds just a soft glow to your face – this offers some serious highlighting effect which is best for creating a glamorous sculpted and lifted glow to the cheekbones. I would not recommend applying this all over the cheeks and forehead as it will just look too shimmery under daylight. For application, I like to use an ultra soft and fluffy brush for picking up less product for a softer finish.

Color

Absolutely breathtaking! It is a warm pale peachy gold shimmer with a hint of rose gold sheen, and this color would look absolute perfect on medium warm skin tone. On my NC15-20 complexion, it leaves a tinge of color and looks slightly too warm on my skin. It’s best to be used on top of a peachy, or peachy pink blushes (such as classic the Nars Orgasm) so the colors compliment. I have used it with cool pink blushes and they seemed a little odd together.

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Swatch

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Comparison swatches with Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar (review); Tom Ford Illuminating Duo Moonlight (review); Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Pink; Nars Albatross (in the swatch only)

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