Press Sample, Purchased (Affiliate Links)
When the Makeup Wars Team decided to feature our favorite cream highlighters and contours, I quickly realized that my stash is primarily made up of powders, so with their blessing that is what I am featuring. I have a huge selection of powder highlighters, including numerous limited edition beauties from Guerlain and Chanel that are long since available. Therefore, I decided to select some of my very favorites that are still available.
I tend to take the less is more, subtle approach to highlighting, rather than that less-than-subtle highlighting that we saw so much of in 2016.
I have many more highlighters from Hourglass, but narrowed my selection down to these three.
TOM FORD Beauty Skin Illuminating Powder Duo in Moodlight ($80.00 for 0.42 oz. from Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale's, Harrods and Selfridges): is a stunning highlighting and illuminating powder duo that is ultra finely milled, glides across the skin effortlessly and it neither emphasizes pores, nor does it settle into fine lines. Both powders have a velvety smooth texture that make them both exquisitely satisfying, and easy, to use.
I experimented in order to find the best brush to use with the TOM FORD Beauty Skin Illuminating Powder Duo, and find that I get the best effects with soft and fluffy brushes. A stiffer brushes tend to lay down more color than I want– therefore a fluffy brush gives me the more natural glow that I seek.
That the creamy smooth texture facilitates effortless blending is a supreme understatement. In fact, the texture is so enviable that you will find yourself looking for excuses to use these beauties. Both shades offer buildable coverage– should you seek a more obvious glow, but as previously noted, I prefer using a lighter hand to achieve a more natural glow. When built up excessively the finish becomes more metallic and less natural looking.
Furthermore, I noted exceptional wear-time for both powders– in fact both tend to wear all day without a primer on my combination skin, but your experience may differ. If you have particularly oily skin, then the use of a primer will certainly increase the wear-time of these shimmering beauties.
Tom Ford created this highlighting and illuminating powder duo to capture the two most flattering types of natural light on the skin—a soft white shade is like the luminous glow of daylight and a radiant golden shade is like the romantic illusion of candlelight. These lightly shimmering shades can be applied individually or layered together to create a multidimensional glow.
Surratt Artistique Highlighter in Aureole ($32.00 for 0.14 oz. from Barneys New York, Sephora, and Cult Beauty): is a staggeringly beautiful, and infinitely subtle and refined golden highlighter. The texture is soft, smooth, creamy and glides across the skin effortlessly, evenly and blends out seamlessly. While it is a powder it feels like a cream to the touch as a result of the slurry technology employed in its making. It is this very textural difference that makes the formula unique and indescribably luxurious to the touch. The finish is best described as a natural and luminous glow from within– particularly so when applied with a light hand.
Furthermore, as I have previously stated in other posts, anyone who has ever tried any of his powder-based products will attest, their smooth creamy textures are utterly peerless. As Troy explained to me, his powder products are made using the Japanese slurry-technology whereby they begin their life as a liquid that is poured and then evaporates leaving behind the most creamy and easy to blend powder. The textures of these products are utterly sublime, and the tactile experience is so superbly satisfying that one is naturally inclined to reach for these products with great regularity. Troy's products boast a modernist design with eco-friendly minimalist packaging, and his eyeshadow and blush pans can be placed in one of the chic Surratt Palettes for added convenience.
Surratt Beauty's 'Artistique Blush' is a lightweight powder that gives your complexion a flawless, natural-looking finish. Designed to accentuate your features, 'Auréole' is a highlighter that makes your skin look more radiant and your bone structure more defined. Use it below the arch of your brow, down the bridge of your nose or across the highest part of your cheeks.
Created using the Japanese ‘slurry’ method, which allows for an ultra-blendable ‘artistic’ application, Surratt’s Artistique Highlighter in shade ‘Aureole’ lends ‘high points’ a beautiful, soft focus glow. Just use the Highlight Brush to sweep pigment on top of cheekbones, brow bones and the cupid’s bow to draw attention to your favourite features and achieve a more ‘3D’ effect.
Soft focus photograph to underscore the luminosity.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Mood Light ($46.00 for 0.35 oz. Available from Hourglass, Space NK US, Space NK UK (£40.00), Bergdorf Goodman and Sephora): Mood Light is indeed "a soft, sheer lavender pink powder, that mimics the softest and most forgiving light...." I find that it is the perfect color for my cool-toned complexion. One might think that it would be too lavender or pink to dust all over the face, but I find that it works beautifully in this capacity. It boasts a nearly matte finish with a very subtle and refined sheen that effectively brightens and illuminates the complexion. It reduces the appearance of redness and gives the skin a very even and flawless finish. I have found that it leaves my skin looking naturally glowing and healthy. Every single time that I wear it people comment on my beautiful skin, and while my skin is in very good shape without makeup there is no question that Mood Light gives me the highly coveted "My Skin but Better" appearance that we all seek in finishing products. I also like to use Mood Light as a highlighter when I don't feel like dusting my entire face, and it offers a subtle beautiful glow in all of the right places. The texture of Mood Light is just spectacular: it is soft and silky to the touch and ultra-finely milled, and it effortlessly glides across the skin. It is truly powder perfection incarnate!Left to Right: Heavy, Medium & Light Swatches of Mood Light
Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder in Iridescent Strobe Light ($38.00 each from HOURGLASS, Nordstrom, Space NK, Barneys New York and Sephora) is described as an "illuminating pink powder imparting a soft highlight." It is a stunning pale pink powder that is ultra-finely milled to the extent that it has a rather creamy consistency. This faint pink will flatter many skin tones, but I suspect that those among you with cooler-toned will be particularly elated by this shade since it is often difficult to find flattering illuminator shades for blue-based skin tones. It spreads across the skin and deposits color effortlessly and evenly, and it neither settle into fine lines, nor does it accentuate pores. Instead of depositing discernible glitter, that looks decidedly artificial, it leaves skin with a stunning ethereal glow.
The Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders are formulated to be used wet or dry whether one opts to use a brush or the Ambient Strobe Light Sculptor (full review forthcoming) that was created specifically for the Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders. HOURGLASS suggests that it is best applied with the Ambient Strobe Light Sculptor, and that whether used wet or dry one can easily "achieve varying levels of intensity, taking you from day to night."
Whether you prefer to use a brush or the Ambient Strobe Light Sculptor, these powders could not be easier to use. You simple dip your tool of choice into the powder and sweep it wherever illumination is desired.
Initially, I thought that I might prefer using a brush to the Ambient Strobe Light Sculptor, but after some experimentation I concluded that the Ambient Strobe Light Sculptor offers greater precision than a brush. It is firm enough not to yield too much against the skin, and the angled side offers perfect placement wherever you want to highlight the face.
According to HOURGLASS,
For a soft, sheer highlight - Sweep the angled side of the Ambient® Strobe Light Sculptor across the powder and apply to the tops of your cheekbones, bridge of nose and cupid's bow. Gently blend in with the flocked side for a smooth finish.
For a more intense highlight - Dampen the angled side of the Ambient® Strobe Light Sculptor and sweep across the powder. Apply to the tops of your cheekbones, bridge of nose and cupid's bow. Gently blend in with the flocked side for a smooth finish.
Available in 4 shades:
• Iridescent Strobe Light: An illuminating pink powder imparting a soft highlight.
• Incandescent Strobe Light: An opalescent pearl powder bestowing a celestial highlight.
• Euphoric Strobe Light: A pearlescent beige powder bestowing a natural highlight.
• Brilliant Strobe Light: A shimmering gold powder imparting a lustrous highlight.HOURGLASS Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder in Brilliant Strobe Light ($38.00 each from HOURGLASS, Nordstrom, Space NK, Barneys New York and Sephora): is described as a, "shimmering gold powder imparting a lustrous highlight." It is a stunning pale gold powder that is ultra-finely milled to the extent that it has a rather creamy consistency. This ethereal and refined gold shade will flatter a variety of skin tones, and it is even flattering on cooler-toned skin, like mine. It spreads across the skin and deposits color effortlessly and evenly, and it neither settle into fine lines, nor does it accentuate pores. Instead of depositing discernible glitter, that looks decidedly artificial, it leaves skin with a stunning luminous glow.
The Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders are formulated to be used wet or dry whether one opts to use a brush or the Ambient Strobe Light Sculptor that was created specifically for the Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders. HOURGLASS suggests that it is best applied with the Ambient Strobe Light Sculptor, and that whether used wet or dry one can easily "achieve varying levels of intensity, taking you from day to night."
As was the case with Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder in Iridescent Strobe Light, I actually prefer applying Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder in Brilliant Strobe Light wet rather than dry. One might surmise that it would create a metallic foiled effect, when, in fact, it creates a more luminous finish than it does when applied dry. I found that the damp application accentuated the pale golden hue without appearing harsh or metallic. There is a more pronounced, albeit subtle, sheen that occurs when it is applied damp.Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder in Brilliant Strobe Light and Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder in Iridescent Strobe Light could not be easier to use. Simply dip your tool of choice into the powder and sweep it wherever a luminous finish and ethereal glow is desired.
Press Sample & Purchased. All views expressed are categorically my own (Affiliate Links).
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