Hello from Tokyo! It's about 9:45 AM and I can't wait to start eating at Tsukiji Market. It's my favorite place in my favorite city, because the sushi is amazing and the snacks are perfect. Anyway, before I leave, I thought I'd write a quick review on a pretty popular complexion powder: the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette (P3,900 at Sephora.ph).Read More
Do you need bronzers and highlighters in your life? Frankly, no. You'd look totally great without them. But if you want to take your skin to the next glowy level then yes, these skin-enhancing products would be a great addition to your kit! You need them if you feel like your foundation and setting powder are no longer enough to make your skin look amazing.
Highlighters/illuminators help your skin look fresh by reflecting light off your face with ultra-fine shimmer. They are normally skin-toned, although some have a peachy or pink tint to them. Bronzers on the other hand are used to simulate the look of lightly tanned skin and are often used for contouring as well. Some are pink/peach-ish, which makes them fabulous blushes in their own right.
Bronzers are also a great way to bring some golden warmth to your face - that's really useful when you're looking pale and tired!
That said, I thought I'd show off some of my current favorite bronzers and highlighters. ^_^ I have five bronzers and three highlighters here that are perfect for Asian skin and can work with different budgets. Would love to know which ones you're looking to try!
A couple of weeks back, Rustan's sent me a few items from Laura Mercier's Spring 2014 Collection. This will be out in February, but I thought it'd be great to give you guys a full preview. I've already done a video tutorial featuring the products - that should give you an idea of how gorgeous the makeup is! But now it's time to get down to the nitty gritty.
This 2014, the beauty trend is along the lines of dewy, fresh skin. Heavy-looking, super matte bases are a huuuge no-no, and really, why bother? If you can get away with just a little makeup then that is precisely ALL you need! Take advantage of amazing technologies, such as a brightening base. Something like the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer in Radiance (P1,550).
What it is and what's it isn't. I initially thought that it's a primer for extending the wear of my foundation, but that is not the case. This is, more than anything else, a brightening base. It helps foundation glide on better, smoother. It makes your skin look more radiant and hydrated in the process due to the high water-content.
This is not an oil-controlling primer. Just wanna make that clear. However, if you have dull, sallow-looking skin, you'll love this! It perks up my skin in no time, without making it look shiny. It can subtly reflect the light back, thus blurring imperfections. I think this is a must-have if you're enjoying good skin and want to cut down on foundations and concealers.
This is a more affordable dupe of the Becca Skin Perfector and the Bobbi Brown Illuminating Face Base which can easily cost over P2,500 here. ;)
Finish and texture. The product looks like tinted moisturizer off the tube, but don't be fooled. It's completely sheer! It does leave a gorgeous champagne glow though.
The Too Cool For School Pearl Bay Invasion in Baby Clam Pink (~P800) is a beautiful golden-salmon illuminator that can make your skin glow without the tacky shimmer. It has a thin texture that adheres to the skin well, and an almost translucent finish.
The TCFS Pearl Bay Invasion is incredibly subtle. A lot of girls avoid illuminators because they don't want to shine like a sequined jacket under a spotlight - that's understandable! - but this one is quite hard to overdo. The coverage of the cream is very sheer and it's easy to blend out with your preferred buffing brush or just fingers.
I recommend three ways to use it!
- As an illuminating makeup base. If you want that glow-from-within skin, use a small amount all over your face, under your makeup. Let it dry, then add your foundation/concealer as usual. It's best under liquid or cream foundation to achieve that skin-like finish!
"Shimmer" is a word that has a lot of negative baggage in terms of cosmetics. Especially here in the Philippines, girls run the opposite direction when they hear about shimmer in face products! Well, it's hard to blame them when everyone is so oily and sweaty all the time here. Nonetheless I personally like a bit of shimmer on my face. I like how my complexion looks brighter overall, more skin-like and fresh.
Now I've said this before and I can go to my grave saying it: nobody does shimmer like Bobbi Brown. It's sooo fine, subtle, and twinkly when it needs to be! It's never vulgar or cheap-looking, but more importantly, it doesn't make skin look like a disco ball.
I'm currently loving the limited edition Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Lilac Rose (P2,400). This looks like blush at first glance, but it's really more of a skin illuminator and highlighter than anything else! It's a sheer golden pink shade that makes the skin look flawless and fresh. Seriously. Illuminators like this are the cosmetic world's best obvious secret.
I've had Bobbi's Shimmer Brick in Bronze for about two years now so this is more of the same, except it's considerably less pigmented. It can be a veeeeeery subtle blush if you layer it with a blush brush.
Have you always wanted to try the Lancome Teint Miracle Foundation but balk at the P2,200 price tag? Well, I have news for you: the L'Oreal Lucent Magique Foundation (P845) is a very close drugstore dupe. That's not surprising since L'Oreal owns Lancome, after all! The texture, finish, down to the ingredients are very much the same with only minor differences.
Lucent Magique promises to give skin a "radiant halo" with its liquid-light technology. True enough, it's quite illuminating - I love how my skin looks like with this foundation on. Now this kind of stuff is right up my alley, but if you're oily this might be something you want to think about.
Here's the run down!
What I love about the product
- It gives a gorgeous radiant finish on skin. I don't see any shimmer in the formula but it has a subtle satiny shine. It looks absolutely natural with its sheer to medium coverage. Expect to it to cover reasonable blemishes and discoloration!
- Watery texture is light and easy to smooth all over the skin. It never feels greasy or mask-like even if the humidity is in full force.
The Bobbi Brown Illuminating Face Base (P2,650) aka the reason I can go out without foundation is now a mainstay in my routine. It has SPF25 which is always useful during the day, but most importantly, it makes my skin look amazing. You'll see a photo later. For now, lemme run through what's awesome about this product!
What I love about it
- The micronized pearl pigments infused in this cream base gives skin the perfect glow. You'll see a bit of shimmer if you look reeeeallly closely but when worn, there's just a can't-put-your-finger on sheen to your skin. Don't worry, it's subtle that it won't make oily skin look oilier.
- Helps makeup glide on better as it smoothens skin. It also helps keep your makeup look fresh longer, although it won't block oil in my experience.
Yesterday I went to the mall with only serum, an illuminating SPF base, a spot of concealer, and pressed powder. I felt I didn't need foundation! I used to have a TON of blemishes on my face, but they are clearing out faster because of a product I've been using these past two months: the Shu Uemura TSUYA Skin Serum (P3,250).
The TSUYA Skin Serum is perhaps Shu Uemura's star product of the year. It promises bright, translucent skin in seven days as it re-activates the cells that make our skin look younger. Yes, we've heard that before in other serums released this year. I'm still not sure if it's possible for skincare to do that, but claims aside the TSUYA is damn good and here's why!
What I LOVE about the product
- I did indeed get brighter, less tired skin in seven days or less. That may be due to the fact that the serum is infused with a purplish pearly shimmer that instantly gives skin a subtle glow. It's also an illuminator aside from skincare, but I didn't spot shimmer once it's on.
A product's packaging is important to the overall experience of using that product. It's not just how it actually looks like on you; it's also about how it looks like on your dresser, how it feels like when you hold it in your hands. That's why it's not surprising that people gravitate to good-looking products. The experience of using and keeping something gorgeous is just too good to pass up.
The Milani Illuminating Face Powder in Beauty's Touch (P490 at Digital Traincase) called out to me as soon as I laid eyes on it. I love the rosebud surface of the powder compact! It's too pretty to touch no? The compact itself feels like thick, sturdy plastic with a gold base. Very luxe and chic.
Packaging oohs and ahhs aside, this powder packs a pretty wallop on skin. It has no visible shimmers or glitter but it gives this subtle pinkish glow on my face with only a few swipes.
Foundations even out the skin and soften blemishes, but they don't always give the illumination that our face needs. They usually have a matte or satiny finish so you may need another product to sort of finish off your face in a literal halo of light. Illuminators do this for you by having light-reflecting ingredients that create this subtle haze of light around your skin.
Sounds too complicated? It's actually easy to get illuminated! It's only difficult when you're using the wrong product - by wrong I mean too shimmery, too pigmented, too obvious. I love the Guerlain Meteorites for that instant ethereal glow but for a warmer finish, I prefer to use the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Compact in Bronze (P2,300).
Shimmer bomb? As the name suggests, the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick is shimmery in the pan. However, when it goes on your face, the fine shimmer diffuses and isn't really detectable unless you look closely. It's more shimmery than the Guerlain Meteories (which is more on the pearly side) but less pigmented than the NARS Laguna Bronzer.
Pigmentation and finish. At first, I was trying to get it to work like a bronzer by contouring my cheeks and the sides of my face with it.
I have come to accept that I have naturally puffy eyes. It seems that the best thing I can do for them is to moisturize and soothe them to somehow lessen the appearance. If I really want them to go away, a good concealer is the best solution. It's a two-step process, but what if there's a product that can do both in one go?
Enter the Estee Lauder Idealist Cooling Eye Illuminator (P3,200).
Utilizing a first ever patent-pending specially-contoured, cooling ceramic-tip applicator, New Idealist Cooling Eye Illuminator instantly cools, massages and re-energizes the look of tired, puffy eyes, while innovative, exclusive Triple-Optic Technology instantly makes dark circles look lighter. Additionally, an exclusive, highly concentrated Dark Circle Correcting Complex works over time to help reduce and prevent the appearance of dark circles and puffiness.
In other words: it's awesome! I've been using this for more than a month now and I love it. Unlike most products out in the market, this does exactly what it promises.