I had a whirlwind trip to NYC this past week. Always such a pleasure to be in the city for many reasons – inspiring, great food, full of energy. But one of my favorite things about a visit to NYC is a spin through giant Sephoras full of brands I love. I was doing a late night run after dinner (that city truly never sleeps, Sephora closes at midnight), and my beauty-guru friend, Pamela, asked me to pick up of her favorites for her. Naturally, I had to have one myself.
Benefit Cosmetics Watt’s Up! Cream-to-Powder Highlighter has always tempted me as I love a luminous finish and I have a long term love affair with this Benefit bronzer. Watt’s Up is a cream to powder with a champagne finish. It is definitely “high wattage” but the sophisticated hue makes it okay for daytime or work as well. Applied on the cheeks and brow bones, it adds a luminous sheen. I also like to use it down the bridge of my nose and cupid’s bow. The sponge on the other end of the stick is great for blending but I like to use my fingers. I’ve found it works best applied above tinted moisturizer/foundation but before brush/bronzer. But I also like it alone on skin for weekend days to add just a fresh and natural glow. No wonder this is a celebrity makeup artist favorite.
When something achieves “cult” status, it becomes hard for me to resist it. And when it is a highlighter promising to add just the right amount of glow, I just have to see for myself. On one of my rare in-person visits to Sephora last week, I picked up BECCA’s Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter in Moonstone (a pale and neutral gold).
I really like RMS Living Luminizer, but prefer BECCA because it is slightly creamier (and easier to apply) and comes with lasting staying power. It provides what best is called “shine” thanks to luminescent pearls that absorb and reflect light. The pigment is nuanced making it both dramatic and natural because it molds to undertones. The neutral Moonstone works with my redness and both over tinted moisturizer and on bare skin.
My favorite part is the creaminess. There is no caking and my drier skin soaks up the nourishment. The finish is sophisticated and healthy. Other shades include:
- Sephora exclusive Champagne Pop shade, a soft gold with sunny, peach undertones—created in collaboration with Jaclyn Hill.
- Pearl: A soft, luminescent white that’s perfect for fair skintones
- Rose Gold: A rosy pink with warm-gold undertones
- Opal: A neutral, white gold with universally flattering, soft pink undertones; adds a perfect amount of radiance
- Champagne Pop: Bestselling shade that’s a soft gold with pinky peach undertones
- Prosecco Pop: True, ethereal gold, that flatters medium to deep skintones; perfect for anyone who wants a flash of golden radiance
- Topaz: Radiant bronze with golden undertones that’s perfect for deeper skintones; adds a sunkissed, bronzy glow on fair-to-medium skintones
Available at Sephora.
While I kind of always wanted to believe in Anastasia Beverly Hills as a brow brand only, they have proved me wrong with this beauty of a palette. Lately, I am even more about the glow than usual. Maybe thanks to being exhausted from Daylight Savings Time (hate) and a rude, late winter cold (hate more).
I’ll be up front from the start: Anastasia Beverly Hills Nicole Guerriero Glow Kit highlighters are very metallic. Not glittery but highly luminous. So if you are looking for something more subtle, these might not be for you. That being said, they are still refined enough for work. And look fabulous on the weekend with some extra layers. They also make for beautiful eyeshadows.
These six flowers have an ultra-fine formula that work on the face and body. I like to use them with a powder brush, but they have a deepened effect with a damp makeup sponge. The shades are:
- Kitty Kat (pink with a platinum shimmer)
- Daydream (coral with white gold shimmer)
- Forever Young (pink pearl with silver shimmer)
- Forever Lit (platinum with lavender shimmer)
- Glo Getter (champagne with rose shimmer)
- 143 (rose gold with bronze shimmer)
The Kitty Kat looks great on brown bones and collar bones. The champagne adds a beautiful glow to cheek bones. And 143 adds a healthy glow to sallow skin with a light, all over application.
Available at Sephora.
I remember reading somewhere that this was like an Instagram filter in palette version. I wish I could remember where I read that because it is absolutely the perfect description of this beautiful cheek collection. The NARSissist Cheek Studio Palette is a well-curated set of four blushes, the iconic Laguna Bronzing Powder, and Paloma Contour Blush.
Top row from left to right: Contour Blush in Paloma I (pink beige), Paloma II (deep rose), Laguna Bronzing Powder (diffused brown powder with golden shimmer). Bottom row from right to left: Icy Lilac, Sausalito Sunset, Shimmering Rose Peach, Fleshy Pink.
While this palette basically allows you to do pretty much anything, I will share how I’ve been using it. I brought it to Napa with me last weekend and it served as my setting powder, blush, bronzer and eyeshadow. I have long adored Laguna for a sweep of sun-kissed on the temples and cheek bones. Paloma II then went down the sides of my nose and maybe a little extra under the apples of my cheek. I would blend Icy Lilac and Sunset Sausalito (two left blushes) for some glow on my cheeks. Last, Paloma I would go down my nose, under my eyes on on my lids.
The effect is soft-focus dimension and a glow. I like the natural, slightly matte finish. I find the powder wears just like my other favorite NARS blushes and bronzers, melting into my skin rather than drying out my complexion.
My goal for this weekend is to brave the bold and beautiful Fleshy Pink!
Available at Sephora.
They call is “Strobing” (as opposed to contouring) and I am totally down. Having recently fallen for RMS and Wander Beauty, I am seriously embracing a glow as opposed to chisel. And this look above is to die for. Some finds from the web this week:
Read more about “Strobing” on the Birchbox blog.
Fully admit to needing this guide to identifying the artist despite my semester studying art history in Paris. Oops.
My friend Hitha shares some great health hacks that I have already added to my Amazon wish list.
Not breaking news, but I just love everything at Otte, especially this shirt!
I am officially on the natural makeup bandwagon. While I have always appreciated responsible ingredients, I think the category has recently been elevated by some amazing new brands. One of those is Wander Beauty founded by Lindsay Ellingson, a high fashion supermodel. Not only is she gorgeous and knows makeup, but she is also a kind and energetic entrepreneur. She’s launched her brand with the perfect product for a jet-setter (or those who love a simplified routine).
The On-the-Glow Blush and Illuminator is a dual-sided stick with a highlighter and blush suited for every complexion. The formula is cream to powder and works on eyes, lips, cheeks and body. The soft-focus illuminator adds a nude glow and dimension. The blushes are equally flattering and really “wake up” my face. I have been using Soft Pink but I wouldn’t mind getting my paws on the Coral Rose as well. The pigment comes out fairly sheer but can be built up for more impact.
I follow Hitha‘s approach and apply the blush on the apples of my cheeks. The illuminator goes on my eyelids, cheekbones, corner of my eyes, Cupid’s Bow and a little below my lip.
My skin also looks healthier since I’ve been using the blush. Probably thanks to a formula packed with Vitamins A,C & E. Plant Derived Squalane works to hydrate and condition. Wander Beauty is cruelty-free, free of parabens, mineral oil, phthalates and fragrance. Made in the USA.
Available at WanderBeauty.com.
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