Makeup Wars shines with favorite Highlighters and Illuminators

Favorite highlighters & illuminators from Tom Ford, Hourglass, IT Cosmetics, Becca

Favorite highlighters & illuminators from Tom Ford, Hourglass, IT Cosmetics, Becca

MAKEUP WARS is sharing some of the highlighters and illuminators that make us twinkle and shine, that make us glimmer and shimmer, that make us excited to be women in 2016.

Not every one of my highlighters is shown here, just the 3 newest and one all time favorite. There are many more that I really like but some just stand out more than others. Introducing 4 of mine: TOM FORD MOODLIGHT, HOURGLASS AMBIENT IRIDESCENT STROBE LIGHT, IT COSMETICS HELLO LIGHT CREME ILLUMINATOR, and BECCA MOONSTONE.

Tom Ford Skin Illuminator Powder Duo in Moodlight

Tom Ford Skin Illuminator Powder Duo in Moodlight

Tom Ford Skin Illuminator Powder Duo in Moodlight ($80) is one gorgeous illuminator. I resisted this for so long but the more I read about it and saw photos the more I desired it. This is amazingly subtle even if the photo doesn’t look that way. You are able to control the amount of illumination, easily building it up from an understated amount that brightens and lightens your face to a shimmery amount that gives more of a bronzing highlight. Tom Ford Moodlight (sometimes seen as Moonlight on a website) can be used separately or together. Use a big fluffy brush for an all over sweep of illumination or a blush brush to emphasize certain areas of your face.

Hourglass Ambient Iridescent Strobe Light

Hourglass Ambient Iridescent Strobe Light

There are 4 different Hourglass Ambient Strobe Powders. I chose Iridescent since it has a touch of pink that the others I’ve been using lack. Hourglass Ambient Iridescent Strobe Light is described as an illuminating pink powder imparting a soft highlight. I have very fair cool toned skin and I thought this would add enough brightness without being overwhelming. And I was right. This is subtle yet lights up my face. The powder is angel soft to the touch yet doesn’t ever look powdery on me.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone ($38) is the golden highlighter that I have. I bought a set that contained a travel size of Moonstone and it was one of the best buys I made. Moonstone, one of 7 shades, is a pale gold. It is slightly sparkly so it’s not a daytime look for me. I prefer to apply this with my fingers instead of a brush. It has an almost creamy finish to it so my fingers pick up this very soft powder and I find that my face is more luminous when used this way. The formula is enriched with ultrafine luminescent pearls. If I had to pick one brand for highlighting and illuminating it would be Becca. They really do stand out in this field.

Becca, Hourglass, Tom Ford swatches

Becca, Hourglass, Tom Ford swatches

As someone who favors cream products I couldn’t leave out IT COSMETICS ($24). They’ve created two Hello Lights! Anti-Aging Illuminizers – Powder and  Creme. I love them both but IT Cosmetics Hello Lights Anti-Aging Creme Illuminizer is my favorite.

IT Cosmetics Hello Lights Anti-Aging Creme Illuminizer

IT Cosmetics Hello Lights Anti-Aging Creme Illuminizer

Besides having wonderful anti-aging and hydrating ingredients (infused with peptides, hyaluronic acid, hydrolyzed collagen, silk and vitamins A, C, & E), it gives such a subtle and luminous glow. It’s perfect for spot highlighting like at the top of your cheekbones, above your eyebrows, and the cupid’s bow of your mouth. It’s a lit from within look and one I use often.

There are dozens more highlighters and illuminators that I enjoy using. Adding a bit of a liquid highlighter into foundation gives a beautiful dewy look, using an illuminating primer like COVER FX does all the work for you. Just don’t go without at least one of these wonderful products in your makeup collection.

Do you have a favorite in this category? Dare I ask what it is?  — Marcia


Makeup Wars loves Nude lippies

Makeup Wars and Top Ten Tuesdays have tempted you with pink lips, peach and coral lips, red lips but never true nudes. Now’s the time though and I was ready for this challenge. Most of my collection is nude lips. It got to the point that I had so many that I had to force myself not to buy new ones unless I was absolutely desperate for them. I was once a MACaholic and I’d buy every rendition of nude they had – and then I’d wear them twice and put them aside. I haven’t chosen any MAC to share with you since I don’t seem to grab for them anymore so instead you’ll see some of my favorites from other brands.

Makeup Wars Nude Lip favorites

Makeup Wars Nude Lip favorites

Nude lips are interesting because they all have different undertones plus what I consider nude might be too light for you depending on your skintone.

Makeup Wars lip crayons: Ardency Inn, Tarte (x2), Hourglass

Makeup Wars lip crayons: Ardency Inn, Tarte (x2), Hourglass

I’m a big fan of lip crayons but nude ones don’t overpopulate my collection. Ardency Inn Bowery, tarte exposed and Hourglass Nude No 3 are the ones I usually crave.

Hourglass Nude No3 and Ardency Inn Bowery

Hourglass Nude No3 and Ardency Inn Bowery

I bought Hourglass Femme Nude Stylo No3 because everyone was raving about these. Hourglass has an amazing reputation and these Nude lip crayons made beauty lovers so excited. No3 is described as “medium rose nude with hint of pink”. This has a pink undertone but it’s very light once on my lips, not medium to my eyes.

top Hourglass, bottom Ardency Inn

top Hourglass, bottom Ardency Inn

ARDENCY INN AMERICANA Natural Lip Color Pencil in Bowery was my next buy. These are $23 compared to the $30 of Hourglass so that made me happy. ARDENCY INN lip crayons seem to be truer nude shades too. Bowery is a light peach on my lips even though Sephora tells me that it’s a “light nude with pink undertones”. It just isn’t pink on me but it is pretty and I’m very comfortable in it. The consistency is smoother and a little more glossy than Hourglass.

tarte exposed - old vs new versions

tarte exposed – old vs new versions

Tarte Exposed was one of the colors saved when tarte revamped all their lip crayons. Tarte still sells LipSurgence but I didn’t find Exposed. The original fat crayon has a matte finish while the new tarte exposed is a glossier finish. The new pencils are called Power Pigments and Exposed is described as “nude with pink undertones”.

tarte exposed original version and new Power Pigment

tarte exposed original version and new Power Pigment

Power Pigment in exposed is glossier and slightly more pink while the original is definitely a matte on me and a little darker. Can’t go wrong with either but there is a slight difference between the two.

Makeup Wars Nude Lipsticks: Tom Ford, Lunasol, Armani, Gosh, Armani, Shiseido

Makeup Wars Nude Lipsticks: Tom Ford, Lunasol, Armani, Gosh, Armani, Shiseido

6 lipsticks made the cut for Makeup Wars: Tom Ford Pink Dune, Lunasol 25, Armani Shine 17, Gosh Darling, Armani 103, Shiseido RS701

GOSH Darling

GOSH Darling

GOSH Darling was a lipstick that everyone had to have. It was so hot on boards like Makeup Alley that you felt like you didn’t belong there if you didn’t own it.

Gosh Darling

Gosh Darling

I finally got it and was shocked at how much it looks like concealer. It’s so light and so beige that I couldn’t get it to show in a single swatch photo. I couldn’t resist putting this in even though it’s not a favorite, I’m including it for shock value.

Armani Shine 17, Lunasol 25, Armani 103

Armani Shine 17, Lunasol 25, Armani 103

These are the lipsticks that I reach for when I want moisturized lips with beautiful nude shades. Armani in particular makes outstanding nude colors for lips and I think they are among the finest lipsticks available. I get a little overwhelmed at an Armani counter because I want too much. All of these lipsticks were bought long ago.

from left: Armani 103, Lunasol 25, Armani Shine 17

from left: Armani 103, Lunasol 25, Armani Shine 17

Rouge d’Armani in 103 is my newest Armani and still available. 103 is the pink nude that I love to wear. It looks beige in the tube but once on it picks up pink.

Rouge d'Armani 103 (nordstrom.com)

Rouge d’Armani 103 (nordstrom.com)

Armani Shine 17 is an oldie but goodie. It’s more sheer than 103 but just as glossy.

LUNASOL 25 is also an older lipstick and I doubt it’s still for sale. Lunasol lipsticks were introduced to me by an old friend. I’d go nuts cosmetic shopping in Japan or Singapore! I have 2 LUNASOL lipsticks and they are so wonderfully creamy. They have a very similar consistency and look to the Armani ones I love.

Tom Ford Pink Dune, Shiseido RS701

Tom Ford Pink Dune, Shiseido RS701

Tom Ford Pink Dune barely has any color on my lips but that doesn’t stop me from loving it. It was a limited edition shade that I bought in the early winter but didn’t really wear at first. It felt too nude for winter but I can wear it now. Sometimes I’ll put it over another lipstick to ‘nude’ it up a bit.

Tom Ford Pink Dune, Shiseido RS701

Tom Ford Pink Dune, Shiseido RS701

I had to include Shiseido RS701 even though it’s not available. This was my first Shiseido lipstick and it reminds me of shopping with my blog partner Lisa. It’s one of my favorite lipstick buys. It’s a pink nude (RS stands for Rose) that has the perfect depth for me.

from top: TF Pink Dune, Lunasol 25, Armani 17, Gosh Darling, Rouge d'Armani 103, Shiseido RS701

from top: TF Pink Dune, Lunasol 25, Armani 17, Gosh Darling, Rouge d’Armani 103, Shiseido RS701

I’m sure these swatches all look alike but as a true beauty afficionado knows they are different as different can be.

What’s your favorite nude lipstick? There’s always room for one more! — Marcia

Join my Makeup War friends and see what they’ve chosen to delight and tempt us with.

Favorite Illuminators with Makeup Wars

Makeup Wars Illuminators galore

Makeup Wars Illuminators galore

Welcome to the Illuminator edition of Makeup Wars. When I first started thinking about what to include I came up with about 4 items. My mind became blank. I started combing through my drawers and lo and behold, what did I see? Illuminators galore. Winter had dulled my mind and obviously my face because I was only using a few of these. But now that they are all out in their glory I guess it’s time to share them with you and start using these again.

It Cosmetics Hello Light Illuminating Powder, It Cosmetics Hello Light Illuminating Cream, Face Stockholm Highlighter Dignity

It Cosmetics Hello Light Illuminating Powder, It Cosmetics Hello Light Illuminating Cream, Face Stockholm Highlighter Dignity

The very first items that came to my mind were It Cosmetics two Illuminating ones. Since receiving these I’ve gotten a lot of use out of them. I first reviewed Hello Light Illuminating Powder and later Hello Light Creme Illuminator. I get the most use out of the cream but as you can see from my pictures, I’m a creamy type of woman. Another great illuminator is the Face Stockholm highlighter in Dignity. (I know I’m supposed to stick to illuminating but there’s very little difference).

MAC Beauty Powder in Pretty Baby, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette, MAC Lightscape Mineralize Skinfinish

MAC Beauty Powder in Pretty Baby, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette, MAC Lightscapade Mineralize Skinfinish

MAC Lightscapade Skinfinish

MAC Lightscapade Skinfinish

The next item that came to mind is the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette. My guess is that any of the Makeup Wars bloggers who own this (or individual Ambient Light powders) will be including this. It’s become a classic in a very short time. The two MAC products are actually just examples of the many from MAC that I own. MAC Skinfinishes, especially, are great illuminating tools and Lightscapade is the best of the bunch for someone older since there’s no glitter. I’m sorry to say you won’t be able to purchase any of these but more will come along someday.

Dex Mineral Illuminator, Maskcara Illuminator, Le Metier de Beaute Refresh powder

Dex Mineral Illuminator, Maskcara Illuminator, Le Metier de Beaute Refresh powder

Happily you can buy all 3 of these items. These are totally different and not interchangeable. First there’s Dex Mineral Illuminator. I bought this on a whim at an IMATS show mainly because my friend fell in love with it. I thought it would be a substitute for YSL Touche Eclat but it’s more yellow and glowy. MaskCara Illuminator came as part of the MaskCara set I bought but you can buy it separately. It’s actually the one product I keep using and would recommend from this new line. Le Metier de Beaute’ Refresh powder is a very subtle illuminator that I use under my eyes as a last step. It can be used on your eyes too. It does what it says and helps refresh your undereye area.

Dex and MaskCara illuminator swatches

Dex and MaskCara illuminator swatches

MaskCara Illuminator is very white and does a nice subtle job of highlighting once it’s blended in. MaskCara’s philosophy is that you HAC – Highlight, Accent and Contour. I’m not sure why her Illuminator isn’t called Highlighter if that’s the case.

Smashbox Artificial Lights, MAC Gleam Coat, Chanel Pur Brilliance

Smashbox Artificial Lights, MAC Gleam Coat, Chanel Pur Brilliance

Sorry but here are some more discontinued items. I’ve had a thing for liquid illuminators obviously. Smashbox Artificial Lights came in several shades and I still have 2. I like to either mix them with a little foundation for when I’m looking wan or use them on cheekbones to brighten. MAC Gleam Coat has a light bronze cast so it’s perfect for someone as fair as I am who doesn’t do any sort of tanning. It’s pretty in the summer when everyone else is glowing. The Chanel Pur Brilliance are sheer with light reflecting pigments. They are fragrance free which is amazing for Chanel so I never got rid of them.

Benefit High Beam, Benefit Moon Beam, Inglot Illuminators

Benefit High Beam, Benefit Moon Beam, Inglot Illuminators

Benefit High Beam and Moon Beam are products I’ve had forever and still bring out occasionally. They’ve always been top sellers for Benefit and have made many a “best of” list. Inglot has quite a few Face and Body Illuminators which aren’t a typical illuminator. They are more like a liquid blush that’s glowy. I stuck them in mainly to show that Illuminators can come in all colors.

Armani Fluid Sheers

Armani Fluid Sheers

My last picture is of my beloved Armani Fluid Sheers. I prefer the earliest ones because they were less shimmery. Fluid Sheers are products I never could resist. The ones on the left are my newest ones which aren’t see through. The packaging has been changed since I indulged in these. The ones above are #7, #0, #7 again, and #1. (I didn’t realize there were two #7 because they aren’t the same exact shade when on).

My brainstorming of 4 items (It Cosmetics, Hourglass and Dex) quickly grew and grew. Now that I see them all together I know I need to resist what my fellow Makeup Wars bloggers are going to be tempting you and I with! Do you see any Illuminators above you have? Or want? — Marcia

*all items are personal purchases except for It Cosmetics where are PR samples

Top Ten Tuesdays returns with palettes we love

Top Ten Beauty always brings a bit of anxiety. What if I leave something out? What if I put something in and then change my mind? What if when I read all the other posts I see something that makes me slap my face and wonder why I haven’t use that in so long?
I’ve picked 9 palettes that I use all the the time and rely on plus one major wishlist palette.
1. Marc Jacobs The Starlet – I’m sure this surprises absolutely no one who has read Beauty Info Zone. I’m crazy about The Starlet (and The Vamp) and think this line was a great addition to the makeup world. Marc Jacobs takes me from my typical staid and brings out the makeup artist I used to be.
2. Sephora+Pantone Universal Precious Metals Shadow Palette – this wasn’t a very popular palette but I love it and pull it out all the time. The shadows are a mix of quality but in general they are well pigmented. There are so many shades I can count on when I need a certain “something”. Unfortunately it’s discontinued but things do pop up occasionally.
3. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette – this is new to me and it’s so wonderful. I resisted the individual Ambient Light singles because I just couldn’t decide. Now I have three so I’m glad I waited before purchasing any.
4. Le Metier de Beaute Blush Kaleidoscope – this is the only blush palette that I use. I use blush every day but the only palette. I usually wear one or two shades at a time with it. It’s great for travel since I’ve got enough variety to keep me happy.
5. Kat Von D True Romance palette in Saint – If you notice I didn’t put any of my Urban Decay Naked palettes even though I have them all. When I want those types of shades I pull out the Kat Von D instead. Of the 8 shades, I wear 6 of them often.
6. TheBalm Shady Lady Volume Three – I could just as easily have picked Volume Two or Balm Jovi or Nude ‘tude since I like all of them. Watch out on Hautelook for TheBalm sales since they have outstanding prices on this brand. It’s the green shade in Volume Three that gets me going.
7.  Dior Bonne Etoile – This is almost too pretty to use. I hate that this was a limited edition because it sold out quickly. I bought both Constellation (purples) and Bonne Etoile (green and brown) but never got around to reviewing them, now it’s too late. But if you can get your hands on either, go for it. Beautifully pigmented, great combinations, stellar design and quality.
8. Too Faced Boudoir Eyes – Too Faced is an eyeshadow lover’s dream and nightmare. They keep coming out with beautiful palettes that I think I can’t live without. Boudoir Eyes is a great neutral palette that I reviewed on Blushing Beauty if you care to read about it.
9.  Bare Minerals The Scenic Route – This is technically not a palette since it just has two shadows but oh what shadows they are. This is my favorite green eyeshadow and I really needed to include it in this post. I don’t wear white shadow often but it just works with the green.
10. Serge Lutens Nude Lip Palette – My wishlist item. I labored over buying this during Barney’s last Beauty Event but the $140 price stopped me in my tracks. I’m still lusting over it but I just don’t imagine myself using it enough to justify that kind of money. Now if my husband gets me mad enough some day —- you never know!!
Thank you for reading my Top Ten Palettes. I’d recommend every one of these. I bought all of these (except Serge) and don’t regret these purchases at all. Any you like or own? — Marcia
Please read what my fellow bloggers have chosen.

Hourglass Suede Visionaire Eyeshadow Duo – a soft and gentle review

Picture in your mind the softest suede fabric with its luxurious feel. That’s the touch equivalent of Hourglass Suede Visionaire Eyeshadow duo. This pair of eyeshadows is as soft and creamy in texture as it is in color.

Suede on top, Dune on bottom

I recently reviewed Hourglass Dune which I bought at the same time. I wore Dune first and was amazed at the intensity of it. The pigmentation is off the charts with Dune. Suede on the other hand has the softest yet sweetest pigment around. It contains a very light taupe as well as a light beige. While the colors are distinctly different when I first applied them I wondered if the taupe would even show up. The queen of taupe eyeshadows (aka PinkSith) would be appalled to see that I said that this has a touch of taupe but I do see a touch of it on my eyes even though it’s classified more as a beige. Her review for this duo gives you another reason to consider buying it.

Hourglass Suede

Swatched

When I swatch I rarely use a primer although I always use one on my eye. Suede barely shows up in my swatches but it’s a beautiful look on my eyes. It’s so subtle yet so elegant. It’s the perfect eyeshadow combination for those of us who aren’t spring chickens anymore. But it’s also perfect for those of you who aren’t into vivid shades or too much eyeshadow.  Hourglass describes the shades as ivory shimmer and light beige shimmer so you can see what I mean when I call it subtle. The shimmer in this is so soft and fine that even those that are afraid when they see that word shouldn’t fear it. It just adds brightening.

I buy my Hourglass through Dermstore.  I’ve got my eye on more Hourglass Visionaire Eyeshadow Duos, especially Gypsy. This is  the kind of luxury that we all need every once in a while.– Marcia

champagne side

beige side

Disclaimer: I’ve linked to Shop Our Favorites which is Dermstore. I paid for this duo myself but if you choose to buy through Shop Our Favorites then Beauty Info Zone would make a small amount of money to help pay for further products to review. There’s no photo of Hourglass but any picture will take you to the site. Thanks for considering this.

Hourglass Visionaire Eye Shadow Duo in Dune – review & swatches

Long ago and far away I was swept away by the Hourglass family of cosmetics. Way before it was available at Sephora I maniacally collected their palettes and obsessively used them until I actually had dips in them. A dip in an eyeshadow is a rarity in my life but it does happen occasionally and Hourglass was one of those exceptions. Those palettes eventually fell deeper and deeper into the cosmetic dungeon and are no longer in use.

Hourglass Suede top, Dune bottom

Hourglass popped back up though whenever I’d read about their new duos until I couldn’t take it anymore and ordered two of their Visionaire Eyeshadow Duos, Suede and Dune ($38 each at Sephora, DermStore or Barneys). These turned out to be two very different duos yet equally beautiful. Today you get to meet Dune.

Dune’s shades are a deep forest green and a shimmery light champagne. The green is one of the most highly pigmented shades I’ve ever tried. I was in shock the first time I applied it. The color was darker and more intense than I expected. The color is described as olive on Sephora’s site but in my opinion it’s more forest green. Wearing it I see a touch of blue in the color which makes it a little softer and easier to wear. What I’ve learned is that the brush I use with this side must be firm enough to pick up the pigment yet soft enough to diffuse it properly. Too stiff a brush just plops it on without enough give for blending. Even though the Visionaire Duos come with a decent brush, it’s not enough to stand up to the pigment of the green side.
Intense closeup to see the microshimmer

I didn’t give enough credit to the champagne side of the duo at first. It just looked like an ordinary shade with a lovely very light shimmer to it. I’m finding though that it’s absolutely beautiful and the perfect complement to the green. It’s not wimpy. Hourglass knew what they were doing when they put this duo together. The champagne stands up to the green while taking a back seat at the same time. If I overapply the green I use this over it to soften the look.

Dune is the perfect duo to use when you want an intense eye or an unusual smoky eye. It’s not as easy to wear for everyday use unless you are very careful with the green and apply it with a light fluffy brush and a light hand. The shadows blend beautifully and you can obviously build them up.

I love the packaging of Hourglass. They’ve always done an outstanding job with that. These sturdy palettes swing open to reveal the beauty underneath.

The quality of Hourglass Visionaire Eyeshadow Duos is exceptional and long lasting. Check out Prime Beauty’s review of Dune for a softer look and a romantic description.

Hourglass Dune is a beautiful eyeshadow duo to own but only if you love highly pigmented colors.  This is not for the neutral lover. It’s worth taking a chance on because of its unusual beauty. — Marcia

Sunday Spotlight on Hourglass with a contest to boot!

There are only 7 reviews on Emakemeup.com about Hourglass cosmetics but there should be a lot more. For a long time this was only available through Hourglass’ own website so it was harder to find. It’s now available on Sephora.com for us lucky purchasers.

At Beauty Info Zone we love this brand and have decided that we need to open more people’s eyes to it therefore we are running a contest with two lucky winners. Each contest winner will receive three individual eyeshadows from Hourglass that we’ve purchased for this contest. The eyeshadows are Bottle, Wind,  and Gaze. These aren’t available individually anymore so that makes the prize more precious, don’t ya think??

The reviews on Emakemeup are mostly for items that are currently discontinued since Hourglass has changed as have other brands. You’ll get an idea though about the quality of this prize by reading what we have to say in these reviews

Marcia reviewed two Hourglass palettes and had nothing but praise for them. The first is Island and the second is Landscape. These still get a lot of love in Marcia’s house.

Alisa was entranced with the Oasis palette that you can read about here.

Marcia has a few new duos from Hourglass that she will be sharing with you in future blogposts. In the meantime TWO of you can find out for yourself how fabulous Hourglass eyeshadows are. Below is a picture of the shades: a light green, a light brown and a purple that didn’t photograph well (it’s much prettier in person).

In order to enter you must be a subscriber. Just comment on this post about something you’ve read on Beauty Info Zone and enjoyed PLUS email us at [email protected] and write Hourglass in the subject line. Tell us your user name on your comment. Winners will be notified through the site and an email. You’ll have 4 days to respond to the email with your address. One entry per subscriber. The contest runs for one week and will be over at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, July 18th. Good luck and good eyeshadow go hand in hand!