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Tag Archives: Bronzer

Hey everyone! Long time no see, I know, but I’ve been super busy with work, as in glamming people up!

Yesterday I just wrapped on a couple of shoots for a calendar that’s for a local charity, which I will share on here as soon as I get approved images from the photographer. I’m super excited about it because I got to do some really creative makeups as well as some classic looks and they all turned out SO well!

I’ve been trying to come up with a better layout/outline for reviews to make it easier to read when you’re in a hurry, but I still want to cover all the important parts, as always. I think I may split posts between a brief rundown and a more in-depth/how-to, or put the more extensive part below the summary… What are your thoughts on this? I’d love for some input!

Some additional ideas for regularly featured posts are monthly favorites, what’s trending in the makeup world, and adding a skincare feature each week for “Skincare Sunday” of something new or something that’s a must have product for me. I’m working on the whole YouTube thing but I’m still getting the hang of it and learning to edit, as well as overcoming my anxiety with filming (yep, I have anxiety disorder and it flares up PRETTY bad over some things)… Making videos is NOT as easy as it looks, but I’m getting there! I feel like I don’t want to half-ass my videos and disappoint anyone, ya know?

I’ve picked up a TON of new products over the past couple of months, which I’m currently photographing and rephotographing with my new lighting setup… I mean I’m working on it at this moment! So here are some of the posts that will be coming up in the near future:

  • Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette
  • Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray
  • Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment
  • Sunday Riley UFO Clarifying Face Oil
  • Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil
  • Melt Cosmetics Hot Box Collection Haze Eye Shadow Stack
  • Melt Cosmetics Hot Box Collection Lipstick in Cherried
  • Melt Cosmetics Hot Box Collection AllDay/Everyday Lip Liners in Kink and Edible
  • Melt Cosmetics Hot Box Collection AllDay/Everyday Eye Liners in Baked and Bloodshot
  • Jeffree Star Summer Chrome Collection Lip Vault (all 8 Velour Liquid Lipsticks and all 5 Lip Ammunition Lipsticks
  • Jeffree Star Summer Chrome Collection Watermelon Gum Lip Scrub
  • Jeffree Star Summer Chrome Collection Skin Frosts in Summer Snowcone and Crystal Ball
  • Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipsticks (several permanent colors)
  • Jeffree Star Beauty Killer Eye Shadow Palette
  • Jeffree Star Princess Cut Skin Frost
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Palette
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette (not sure why I never posted it before?)
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Glow in Perla, Bronzed, and Peach Fizz
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills new Matte Lipsticks – All 30 of them, but in singles or groups for posts… That would be too overwhelming as one review!
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills most recent single eye shadows from Summer 2017
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Lipglosses from Summer 2017 (only a few colors)
  • Kylie Cosmetics In Love with the Koko Collection Matte Liquid Lipsticks & Gloss
  • Kylie Cosmetics Send Me More Nudes Matte Liquid Lipstick set
  • Kylie Cosmetics Send Me More Nudes Velvet Liquid Lipstick set
  • Kylie Cosmetics Koko Collection Matte Liquid Lipsticks (excluding Gorg) & Gloss
  • Marc Jacobs Beauty Re(marc)able Full Cover Foundation
  • Marc Jacobs Beauty Genius Gel SuperCharged Oil Free Foundation
  • Marc Jacobs Beauty Under(cover) Perfecting Coconut Face Primer
  • Marc Jacobs Beauty O!Mega Bronzer in the color Tantric
  • Marc Jacobs Beauty Air Blush Soft Glow Duo Blushes
  • Marc Jacobs Beauty Re(cover) Perfecting Coconut Setting Mist
  • Marc Jacobs Beauty Dew Drops Coconut Gel Highlighter
  • L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara (waterproof and regular formulas)

There are a lot more products too, but that’s just some examples of what I’ve been photographing and testing recently. I plan on slowly posting EVERY Anastasia Beverly Hills Single Eye Shadow, Liquid Lipstick, and Lip Gloss too, as well as a lot of permanent products from MAC and other brands that have been my go-to’s for a long time!

Sometimes it may take me a while to get reviews up after a product launches because I do purchase everything myself, so I have to order it, receive it in the mail, THEN thoroughly test it out before I give you all my honest opinion. It’s also just dependent only work schedule at times, but I’m going to start pre-writing reviews so I can post them even when I’m swamped with other things and don’t have time to write!

I’ve been posting peeks at products on my TwitterInstagram and Snapchat more often and consistently, so be sure to go follow me on those platforms… All are under the name lesley_makeup.

Well, now you all know what’s been going on and what’s to come! If you have ANY suggestions for posts or products you’d like to see, please leave me a comment! I do this because of YOU, so your input is always appreciated!

Thanks for reading!

XO, Lesley

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Okay so the actual name for this bronzer, according to the Marc Jacobs Beauty website is O!Mega Bronzer Coconut Perfect Tan but that just doesn’t flow very well. Anyway, this seems to be the most coveted bronzer of 2017 and has been seen on many, MANY YouTube channels lately, which I didn’t even realize until trying to hunt it down. I was lucky enough to find it at my local Sephora and I am SO glad I did! This is the perfect shade of bronze for fair to medium or even medium-dark skin. It’s not red or orange at all so it gives you a very natural, sun-kissed look. I’ll get into more details later on in this post, but let’s get to the basics for now…

This is unfortunately a limited edition color. It sells for $49 and can be purchased from www.marcjacobsbeauty.com, Sephora, Neiman Marcus, and Bergdorf Goodman. As of right now (Friday 4/28/17) it’s in stock on all of those websites, so get it while you can! It contains 25 g / 0.8 oz of product which is a great value for such a high end bronzer! Something like MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinish in Give Me Sun contains 10 g / 0.35 oz and costs $33. Now I love Give Me Sun, it’s always been my go-to bronzer, but I’m just using it as a comparison since that’s about the average amount of product and price for most bronzers on the market. Marc Jacobs Beauty is a cruelty-free brand so this product was not tested on animals ❤

If you want to save some money on this product, you can go to the Marc Jacobs Beauty website and you’ll receive a 15% off discount code to use towards your entire first order when you sign up with your email address! I believe the code is WELCOME15, but I’m not sure if it will work without signing up for their emails.

If you’d like to get updates on upcoming posts, chat with me, or get sneak peeks of new products that I’ll be testing and reviewing, be sure to follow me on twitterinstagram, and snapchat, all @ lesley_makeup!

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The packaging for this product is beautiful and very luxurious. Normally, the Marc Jacobs bronzers come in a black compact but to go along with the rest of the Coconut collection for summer, Tan-Tastic comes in a sleek, and HUGE, white compact. While the packaging is simple, I appreciate that. There’s no unnecessarily oversized logo or anything because this product truly speaks for itself! The Marc Jacobs logo on the lid is small and matches the silver clasp that keeps this compact closed. Exterior aside, my favorite part about this compact is the mirror! It fills the entire lid and is big enough to use while applying your makeup, so if you’re traveling with this, you won’t have to being an additional mirror.

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The formula of this bronzer is by far my favorite type of powder for this kind of product. It almost feels creamy but it’s actually a very fine, jet-milled powder that applies smoothly without getting blotchy or going on too heavily. Tan-Tastic is lightweight but buildable so even if you have porcelain skin, this shade will work for you. While this bronzer is stunning on fair to medium-dark or even some dark skin tones, it’s not quite pigmented enough to show up on dark to deep skin. There is another permanent bronzer that’s darker and warmer in color, so it’s much more suitable for people with deeper skin tones! While Tan-Tastic may give a hint of color even on dark to deep skin, make sure you try it before you buy it since it has a more neutral undertone and could appear a bit ashy. The more olive-brown undertone is why it’s flattering on lighter skin because it doesn’t make you look orange at all! This bronzer can also be used on the body, which is why it comes in such a big size.

Marc Jacobs’ bronzers are free from parabens, sulfates and phthalates, so it won’t irritate your skin or clog pores. It is scented with an absolutely heavenly hint of coconut but it’s not overpowering and isn’t terribly noticeable once applied. I feel like some people may not love it, but that was definitely one of the selling points for me personally! As far as application goes, any fluffy, somewhat tapered powder brush is suitable. There’s a brush from Marc Jacobs that was released along with the coconut collection and has a white handle to match this packaging, but it costs $78 which is a little bit pricey in my opinion. If you really want to treat yourself, by all means go for it, but I’m pretty happy applying Tan-Tastic with my MAC 138 or Morphe R1 brushes!

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Photo taken indoors using lighting from a ring light. Bronzer swatched on NC20 skin.

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Photo taken outdoors using natural sunlight. Bronzer swatched on NC20 skin.

Tan-Tastic:   This bronzer is a medium, neutral toned bronze so it’s universally flattering on most skin tones. It has a natural matte finish that doesn’t really have a shine, but gives the skin a radiant, sun-kissed appearance. The texture is incredibly smooth so it applies and blends out easily. Color payoff is actually pretty much exactly how it looks in the pan and doesn’t seem to look warmer once applied or oxidize at all. The coverage is anything from sheer to opaque, depending on how much you apply and layer, so it’s customizable for whatever level of bronzed you wish to achieve! I got over 12 hours of wear before this began to fade, which is impressive for such a smooth, almost creamy feeling formula!

Dupes:   The formula of this bronzer reminds me of the limited edition Extra Dimension Bronzers that MAC has released once or twice for summer collections, but the color for all of those aren’t even close. The formula for Tan-Tastic is actually even creamier feeling, to be honest. As far as color goes, Benefit’s original Hoola bronzer was the closest I found, but it’s less pigmented and has a cooler undertone. I actually like to use Hoola to contour with if I feel like I need a contour in addition to using Tan-Tastic as my bronzer, they compliment each other very nicely!

Overall Rating:   5 / 5

Application:   5

Coverage:  5

Color Payoff:   5

Texture:   5

Wear Time:   5

Packaging:   5

 

*** This post expresses my own honest opinion. I purchased this out of pocket and did not receive any type of PR or compensation for this review ***

 

Benefit has really been making an effort to widen their range of products and formulas lately, which I think we all appreciate, BUT I’m still on the fence with the Hoola Quickie Contour Stick… I’m just going to state the obvious here and say that I definitely wouldn’t call this a true “contour” stick because it’s quite warm toned. On the other hand, it does make a nice bronzer for certain skin tones. It’s convenient and has a wonderful formula. I’ll get into more details about what skin tones this is best suited for, along with application tips later on in this post, so keep reading! And as always, I hope you enjoy this post as much as I enjoy sharing these new products with you!

This is a new but permanent product which you can purchase at Ulta, Sephora, Macy’s, www.benefitcosmetics.com, and wherever else that Benefit is sold. It goes for $28 and contains  8.5 g / 0.3 oz of product. That seems to be a pretty average price for something like this, considering that ABH’s foundation sticks sell for $25 and contain 0.32 oz of product. Since Benefit is a cruelty-free company, this was not tested on animals ❤

If you’d like to get updates on upcoming posts, stay in touch or chat with me, and get sneak peeks of new products that I’ll be testing and reviewing, be sure to follow me on twitterinstagram, and snapchat, all @ lesley_makeup!

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The Hoola Quickie Contour Stick comes in a tube that looks like a gilded stick of bamboo. It’s very eye-catching and perfect for summer! I tossed it in my makeup bag for a day to see if it held up well and it didn’t pop open or make a mess. The stick itself twists up and back down into the tube, so it’s well protected and convenient to use. My darling French Mastiff, Wednesday, ate the box before I could snap a photo of the ingredients list, but I’ll try to get one up for you soon!

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Alright, so let me give you the rundown on this “contour stick”… It’s not one, unless you like a pretty darn warm toned contour. Both personally and professionally when doing makeup on clients, I go for cooler tones 90% of the time when I’m contouring. Let me explain why: When you look at natural shadows on a face, which is what a contour mimics, they’re cool tones because, well, that’s what real shadows are! Therefore, if you want an actual CONTOUR, you want to go for a product that has less warm/red/orange tones, which is what this stick has. That said, I do think this makes a nice bronzer if, in MAC terms, you are a NC/NW15-20 to NC/NW30. The darker your skin tone, the more subtle this is going to look on you.

Now for the good news… The formula for the Hoola stick is fantastic! You have a lot of control with this type of stick and it has a wonderful texture! It’s a cream-to-powder product so it’s easy to apply and blend out and looks incredibly natural as a bronzer. This is one of those products that’s perfect if you’re in a hurry and want to add a little bit of color and dimension to your face without going for a completely beat look. I DO love that, especially for Spring and Summer, since this time of year most of us usually go for “less is more” look and want to look sun-kissed. Since it’s a cream-to-powder and dries quickly, you don’t have to set this with a powder if you don’t want to, which is great if you’re in a rush or if you have dry skin. I’ve discovered that it also works well with oily skin, due to the fact that it sets as a matte finish so it’s not going to fade or slide off. It does set relatively quickly, though, so you’ll want to be sure to blend this out as you apply it since it doesn’t give you much play time.

I wanted to love this product, I really did… But I don’t. If YOU do, that’s awesome! As we all know, not all products work for everyone because we all have different skin tones and preferences, and well, I just don’t prefer this particular bronzer (not contour). As I said earlier, this will work best if you have a light to medium skin tone, whether you’re warm, cool, or neutral. If you are very fair, this can take on an unwanted orange hue and if you have dark to deep skin, it’s not even going to show up! I really hope that Benefit will release other shades, similar to what they did with Hoola and Hoola Lite powder bronzers.

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Photo taken outdoors in natural, indirect sunlight. Product swatched on NC20 skin.

This stick is a light-medium to medium, cocoa bronze color with some almost peanut butter-like, warm, peachy-brown undertones. It dries to a soft, natural looking matte finish. The texture feels amazing on the skin, blending out easily and evenly. Color payoff looks as intense as it does in the tube, but may pull more yellow on cooler undertones (like I have). Coverage is full if that’s what you desire, but it also sheers down very well when worked into the skin. Wear time was the most impressive thing about this product, as it lasted over 12 hours on me without fading, even on a warm, humid day!

Dupes:   The only actual cream bronzer I have is the Soleil Tan De Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base that comes in the little pot, which is nearly identical in color, though it may have bit more of a neutral to pinky undertone to it. It also has a very subtle glow, whereas the Hoola stick has a natural matte finish. The bonus to the Chanel one is that it contains 1 oz of product and costs $50, which is over three times what the Hoola stick has in it, so you’re getting a lot more for your money with the Chanel product! I also feel like the Chanel cream bronzer works with more skin tones.

If you want to compare feel and formula, the MUFE Ultra HD Foundation Sticks are much more creamy and emollient, but you can find similar colors in them. I haven’t compared this to the Hourglass or ABH foundation sticks yet, but I plan to in the future and when I do, I’ll let you all know what I think!

Overall Rating:   4 / 5

*** Overall rating would be a 4.7 / 5 BUT since the name of this product is a little deceiving and it is not very versatile as far as skin tones are concerned, I had to knock it down to a 4.

Application:   4

Coverage:  4

Color Payoff:   5

Texture:   4

Wear Time:   4

Packaging:   5

Application:

As Bronzer:   When applying this as a bronzer, you’ll want to put it on the areas of the face you’d like to give color and soft dimension to, then buff it out with some type of tapered brush. A few of my favorites for a more diffused look are MAC’s 109 Small Contour Brush and 168 Large Angled Contour Brush, Morphe’s R1 Deluxe Pointed Powder Brush (same thing as their other types of “pointed powder” brushes), or R13 Pointed Contour Brush (same thing as their other Pointed Contour Brushes), Real Techniques Contour Brush (yellow/gold handle), and Zoeva’s 110 Face Shaper Brush. You basically just want something that’s tapered, somewhat stiff and not too long/bendy/fluffy, and will work well with creams (synthetics are best for that).

For placement as a bronzer, imagine the areas of the face that look darker when you’ve been out in the sun… Under the cheekbones, and even on and around them, a little along the temples and forehead/hairline, and maybe even on your neck and chest (my personal favorite if I’m showing off some skin in that area).

As Contour:   You can use the same brushes, just don’t buff out as much so you have a more defined line! I also recommend NOT using this around the nose as a contour because using a warm toned shade in that area that tends to look very unnatural!

As far as placement goes for a contour, you’ll want to apply this just under your cheekbones (not too far forward, though), temples, and around the hairline and jawline.

For both a bronzing and contouring application, a Beauty Blender also works VERY well so blend this stick out, especially if you want a more natural look!

 

*** This post expresses my own honest opinion. I purchased this out of pocket and did not receive any type of PR or compensation for this review ***

I’ve been a big fan of Benefit’s original Hoola Matte Bronzer for years, but I always had trouble wearing it unless I had a tan. Needless to say, once I discovered that they released Hoola Lite, I rushed to Ulta to pick it up! In MAC terms, I’m NC25-30 as of last week (thanks to Versaspa), while I’m normally NC10-15. Having such a fair complexion makes it SUPER difficult for me to find a light bronzer that’s matte and doesn’t run too warm toned. So for all of you fair to light babes out there, this bronzer is a must have for spring and summer!

Hoola Lite is new to Benefit’s permanent lineup and is available at Ulta, Sephora, Macy’s, and of course www.benefitcosmetics.com. It sells for $29 and contains 8 g / 0.28 oz of product. If you’d rather get a little more bang for your buck, you can get this bronzer in Benefit’s Cheek Parade palette which, in addition to Hoola Lite, contains the original Hoola Matte Bronzer as well as Dandelion, Rockateur, and Galifornia blushes. The awesome thing about the Cheek Parade palette is that ALL of the products in there are full size! It sells for $58, so you’re saving $87! I may have to go pick that up next week… If I do, I’ll be sure to post it on here for all of you to check out. This is a cruelty-free product and Benefit Cosmetics does not test on animals ❤

If you’d like to get updates on posts are coming up, stay in touch with me, and get sneak peeks of new products that I’ll be testing and reviewing, be sure to follow me on twitterinstagram, and snapchat, all @ lesley_makeup!

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Hoola Lite comes in a little square box with a flip-top lid that contains a small mirror. I know it’s not the most luxurious packaging ever, but I do like the fact that it’s something that doesn’t weigh a ton and isn’t going to raise the price of the product. Honestly, this bronzer speaks for itself so it doesn’t even need crazy, fancy packaging. And don’t worry, the box has a magnetic feature to keep the lid closed so it won’t open up and make a mess in your makeup bag! It comes with a flat, square-ish brush which can be used to get a pretty defined line if you’re contouring with this but it does feel a little rough, so I recommend just using whatever brushes you already have! I’ll recommend a few in the application section below.

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Photo taken outdoors in indirect sunlight on NC20 skin             Left: Hoola Lite             Right Hoola

***     I will try to post new swatches ASAP! It’s very overcast and stormy today so this photo didn’t turn out how I wanted it to     ***

This bronzer is described as a “natural light bronze”. It’s a pretty light cocoa color with slightly warm undertones and a matte finish. The texture feels very smooth and almost buttery. You may notice a little bit of powdery fluff when you dip your brush into the bronzer but there’s no fallout once applied. The color payoff is great but depending on your skin’s natural undertone, this may look a little warmer or cooler once you put it on. That’s not a bad thing, though, and this bronzer is universally flattering on warm, neutral, and cool skintones. Coverage is easily made full and opaque if you want to apply it that way (I often use it as an eye shadow in my crease). If you don’t want too much definition, it can also be applied lightly and blends out very easily so you don’t get a harsh line. Hoola Lite wears well on me all day long… I didn’t notice any fading until I had it on for 10-12 hours, and that’s with the weather being pretty warm and humid lately, so I’m impressed!

Dupes:   Obviously it’s much lighter than Benefit’s original Hoola! It’s lighter and a bit warmer toned than Sombre from Kat Von D’s Shade + Light Contour Palette. Compared to MAC’s Sculpt Powders (from MAC PRO), it has a more golden tone than Bone Beige. While I couldn’t find an actual bronzer very similar to this, Hoola Lite does seem to fall right in between MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinish Natural Powders in Medium Golden, which is a little less golden/yellow toned, and Medium Tan, which is slightly darker and more tan/warm toned. The texture of those is also incredibly similar to Hoola Lite.

Overall Rating:   4.7 / 5

Application:   5

Coverage:  5

Color Payoff:   5

Texture:   5

Wear Time:   4

Packaging:   4

Application:

As Bronzer:   When applying this as a bronzer, you’ll want to use a fluffy, tapered brush. A few of my favorites are MAC’s 138 Tapered Face Brush, which is the best bronzer brush EVER, and 135 Large Flat Powder Brush used sideways to hug the curves of the face. I also really like Sephora’s #55 Pro Airbrush, Real Techniques Blush Brush (pink handle), and I just started using Morphe’s R1 Deluxe Pointed Powder Brush (same thing as their other types of “pointed powder” brushes).

You’ll want to follow the natural curves of the face, sort of in the areas where you would normally contour, except the nose, but by using a larger, fluffier brush, it will differ the product leaving you with a subtle, sun kissed look! The areas you’ll want to concentrate on are below the cheekbone, the temples and lightly around your hairline, and the jawline. I also put a bit on my neck and above/below my collarbone if I’m wearing a top that shows that area.

As Contour:   If you’re using Hoola Lite to contour with, you’ll need a more dense, smaller type of brush for a more precise application. The brush it comes with actually works alright for the cheekbones, temples, and jawline, but my favorite brushes are MAC’s 109 Small Contour Brush and 168 Large Angled Contour Brush, Real Techniques Contour Brush (yellow/gold handle), Zoeva’s 110 Face Shaper Brush, and Morphe’s R13 Pointed Contour Brush (same thing as their other Pointed Contour Brushes). While this is usable as a face contour, it isn’t the classic, more cool toned type of contour and I suggest avoiding using this on the nose. Using warmer tones in that area tends to look a bit unnatural on most people.

To apply as a contour, you’ll want to use a light hand, gradually building up the product. I like to start at the back of the area right below my cheekbone and blend it forward so the most concentrated amount of color is closest to my ear. Then you can hit the other areas of the face like your temples, jawline, and hairline.

*** This post expresses my own honest opinion. I purchased this out of pocket and did not receive any type of PR or compensation for this review ***

I figured it’s about time to update the posts for these palettes. I made the original post back when these were released for PRO only, but things have changed since then! The product is still the same, but it’s been available at MAC stores and has been part of the permanent Studio line for some time now. My apologies that these are a bit ugly and used… These are the second round of palettes that I’ve purchased, so they’re pretty new, but they’ve have been put to work in my kit… I had to redo the photos because I have a MUCH better lighting set up and know how to use my camera better now, so these are a more accurate representation of the colors!

Originally, these were designed with the professional makeup artist’s need in mind and released through MAC PRO only, but they’re great to have for personal use as well. Since there are a variety of colors in each palette, it makes it easy to find the right match, either by using them individually or by combining them to create the perfect color. For personal use, these are nice to have because so many people have fluctuations in their skintone between seasons, so you will never run into the “oh no my concealer is too dark/light” dilemma! You can also use these to contour and highlight with if you prefer creams.

The Studio Conceal and Correct palettes are the same size as the Pro Lip Palettes and eye shadow quad palettes. They fit easily into any makeup kit or travel bag and contain a total of 6g / 0.21oz of product… That’s 1g per concealer/corrector, as opposed to the 7g / 0.24oz you get in an individual Studio Finish Concealer. PRO Conceal and Correct Palettes sell for $40. That may or may not seem like a great value to an everyday consumer, but for us professional makeup artists, these are worth every penny due to the convenience factor! These are eligible for the MAC PRO discount as well. You can purchase these at any MAC store or online at www.maccosmetics.com.

Conceal and Correct Palette Medium 1

Studio Finish Concealers are SPF35 and packed with nourishing antioxidants. They are highly pigmented and have a creamy consistency that is easily blendable. While they’re suitable for all skin types, if you have a dry under eye area, just make sure to use a lightweight eye cream before you apply your concealer (usually 30 minutes or so prior to doing your makeup)… That will prevent it from looking too dry or emphasizing lines. When I apply concealers or correctors, I like to put on my primer, then put on my foundation, THEN concealer… I know a lot of you may do concealer, then foundation, which is fine too, but you’ll actually use less concealer or corrector if you do it AFTER foundation! This is because when you apply foundation over your concealer, you may be wiping it away or thinning it out, giving you less coverage. If you wanna give it a shot applying your foundation, then concealer/corrector, just be sure to use your foundation brush with whatever product is leftover on there, or beauty blender sponge, gently patting over the concealer after you put it on to blend it in!

You can apply these with natural to full coverage, depending on what type of brush you use. For heavier coverage, you can use a flat concealer brush like a MAC 193, 194, or 195 brush, or a MAC 287 duo-fibre brush… For a lighter application or for more blendability, you can use a fluffier brush like a MAC 217, 222, 224, or my favorite, the 286 duo-fibre brush.

There are four concealers in each palette and two correctors at the bottom. The correctors are made to counteract redness (yellow toned) and to brighten dark areas, like under the eyes, around the nose/mouth, and any scars or spots from blemishes (peach/orange tone).

These wear best when they are set with some type of powder after application… I like using a translucent or transparent finishing powder, such as MAC’s Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder or MAC Set Powder in Invisible. When set like this, I get at least 8 hours of wear before any fading or movement occurs.

For a brief explanation of how MAC names/codes their products:

W = Warm (typically more pinkish undertones)

NW = Neutral Warm (beige mixed with pink/salmon or red undertones)

N = Neutral (very neutral beige with no apparent pink or yellow tones)

NC = Neutral Cool (beige mixed with yellow/olive undertones)

C = Cool (yellow to olive undertones)

Medium palette Label

Medium Palette 2

Photo taken outdoors in natural sunlight. Concealers and Correctors swatched on NC15 skin.

Photo taken outdoors in natural sunlight.
Concealers and Correctors swatched on NC15 skin.

Overall Rating:   4.8 / 5

Application:   5

Coverage:  5

Color Payoff:   5

Texture:   5

Wear Time:   4

Packaging:   5

NC30

NC30

NC30:   This concealer is a light-medium, cool beige with yellow undertones. Since it’s not super yellowish, it can be used to conceal on the face and highlight with, or to brighten the under eye area. NC30 can be purchased individually, as well as in the NW25/NC30 Studio Finish Concealer Duo.

NW25

NW25

NW25:   This concealer is a light, warm, creamy beige with strong peachy-pink undertones. I most frequently use this to correct dark circles under the eyes, though it can also be used as a highlighter. You can also buy NW25 by itself, or pick it up in the NW25/NC30 Studio Finish Concealer Palette.

NC35

NC35

NC35:   NC35 is a medium, slightly cool toned beige and works well to correct redness or blemishes on the face, as well as works as a highlighter. On some people, this may look good as a corrector/brightener under the eyes too, but you have to be careful when you get into cooler tones… NC35 is not quite so yellow as some of the other NC shades are, though. If you’re fair like I am, you can even use this as a subtle cream bronzer. You can get NC35 individually or in the NW30/NC35 Studio Finish Concealer Duo.

NW35

NW35

NW35:   This concealer is a medium to medium-dark, warm, brownish-beige with peachy/orange undertones. NW35 can be used on the face to conceal or used as a corrector for dark areas, like under the eyes and around the mouth and nose. Like NC35, it can also be used as a cream bronzer on fair/light skin tones if you prefer a warmer toned bronze. NW35 can be purchased by itself.

Mid-Yellow

Mid-Yellow

Mid-Yellow:   Mid-Yellow is one of the correctors in this palette… It’s a light-medium, cool toned yellow. Colors like this are best for correcting redness, but can also be mixed and layered with other concealers to highlight other areas with. Mid-Yellow is available exclusively in this palette.

Mid-Peach

Mid-Peach

Mid-Peach:   This corrector is a light-medium peach with warm undertones. I love using this to correct dark circles and other dark areas on the face. It can also be mixed with other concealers to warm them up to use for concealing or highlighting. Mid-Peach is only available in this palette.

Hello again! This post was supposed to be up like two days ago but I decided to get all creative and try to change the layout on here and TOTALLY messed everything up, so that took forever to fix… My bad!

Anyway, the Kat Von D Shade + Light Contour Palette has been out for a little while now, but I just got it about two weeks ago… I’ve been using it the whole time so I’ve been able to do lots of testing and I really dig it! It works well for fair to medium dark skin tones, depending on how deep and defined you like your contour to be. It’s really well pigmented, so I would say it could be used by anyone up to about a MAC NC42-45, though I haven’t been able to try it out on anyone else just yet. All of these colors have a matte to natural matte/almost satin finish, which I’ll go into more detail about in the individual reviews. The contour shades in this palette aren’t terribly warm or orange/bronze, making them perfect for even the lightest of skin tones! I’m a MAC NC15, so it’s usually difficult for me to find the perfect contour color but this palette works well… The highlight colors are neutral, warm, and cool, and the colors sort of transform, depending on your squinting, so you can use them on different areas of the face, especially using a slightly warmer tone under the eyes to set your concealer and help to further brighten and correct any darkness. I’ll explain in the review for each color where I like to use them, and for which skin tones they’re ideal for!

Side note: As soon as my lighting gets here and I play around with my editing software, I’ll be making a highlight and contour video, so I can show you my techniques for using a highlight and contour palette like this! SO EXCITING!

Shade + Light Face Palette 1

This is a powder highlight and contour palette, so it’s easy to use and blend out, especially if you’re just getting into highlighting and contouring. You’ll want to use these after you’ve applied the rest of your face makeup, but before your blush… I usually like to do my liquids and creams, then setting powder, then contour/bronzer, highlight, then blush. While it’s not a huge deal if you do the highlight before or after blush, you want to do your contour first so you can blend your blush back into the line of the contour color, softening it and making everything look more natural. To apply the contour shades, I like to use something like a MAC 109, Sigma F05, or Real Techniques Contour Brush… You want a brush that’s dense and slightly tapered or round enough to fit into the hollows of your cheeks, but soft enough to swirl around and blend with. If you find that either one of those are too intense for you, you can also try an angled face brush like a MAC 168. I know a lot of people who use that to contour with, and I used to use the 168, but now I prefer it for blush! To me, it’s just bigger and more difficult to control when I want a more defined contour, but it will give it a more diffused look if you aren’t wanting too much intensity… To contour your nose, try something smaller, like a MAC 224 or 217 eye shadow brush. For the highlighters, you’ll want to use something fluffier and less dense like a MAC 165 (discontinued… sad face), Sigma F35 (same as the 165), or a Real Techniques Setting Brush. You can also use a MAC 224 for smaller areas like your nose, cupid’s bow, or under the eye if you just need a light dusting of product.

The packaging for this palette is nice and is made of a heavyweight, matte black, cardboard-ish stuff, just like the Contour Kit from Anastasia Beverly Hills… Now if you’re like me and you mainly keep this in a drawer or makeup bag, packaging isn’t a big concern because it’s safely stowed away and will be handled with care. However, if you are using this in a professional makeup kit or travel a lot and might be tossing this palette around, it may not hold up as well. While the packaging itself and magnets that hold it together are sturdy, it might get a little beat up and not stay closed if it takes too much torture. One major plus with this packaging is the mirror… It’s big and not the cheap, plastic stuff that gets scuffed up and cracks, so you can easily see that beautiful face of yours! On the front it has “Shade + Light” in shiny black with a silver outline. On the back, it has the names of the colors as they are in the packaging, going left to right (as in the colors don’t match up with what’s in front of it, so it’s backwards I guess?), in silver.

Shade + Light Contour Palette Packaging Front

Shade + Light Contour Palette Packaging Back

The Shade + Light Contour Palette is permanent and is available exclusively at Sephora and through Sephora’s website. It sells for $36, though the Kat Von D website says $36-$46? (Not sure why)… It contains a grand total of 20.4g / 0.72 oz of product, with each highlight color being 2.3g / 0.08oz and each contour color being 4.5g / 0.16oz. MAC’s Sculpt and Shape powders (available online and at PRO stores), as well as their blushes, contain 6g / 0.17 oz and sell for $17 each in the refill pan form, so you get more for your money with this palette, but you don’t get as much of each color as you would if you just bought it individually in the form of Sculpt and Shape powders or blushes from MAC. Since you can get the MAC powders for contouring and highlighting individually, you may want to do that if you don’t feel like you’ll use 6 different colors, plus you can get any of them in palette form and pop them into your blush palette, making them just as easy to store and travel with. Personally, I like having a few options for contour and highlight colors, but as I mentioned, I use different ones on different areas of the face… That may not be something you need or want to do if you’re just starting out, or if you aren’t as much of a makeup hoarder as I am!

Another comparable contour/highlight palette is the one from Anastasia Beverly Hills, which sells for $40 (with or without a pro discount) and contains a total of 18.7g / 0.66oz (each containing 3.12g / 0.11oz), so that makes the Kat Von D Shade + Light Palette a better deal than the ABH Contour Kit. The original (Light to Medium) ABH kit also has a shimmery color for highlighting, while all of the powders in the KVD palette are matte. That said, you can choose three different shades in the Contour Kits available from ABH, so if you prefer to have something a little darker and better suited for your skin tone if you’re ohhhh say a NC30-35+, you might find that one of the ABH palettes is better for you! Also, like MAC, you can buy the contour and highlight powders from ABH individually in a palette refill pan, so you can customize your palette, or just get a couple of shades that you know you’ll use a lot… I do LOVE the Kat Von D Shade + Light palette, though, so for me personally, I would buy this over the ABH version, which you can get at Sephora, from the Anastasia Beverly Hills website, Ulta, and perhaps from Macy’s.

Oooookay that was a LOT more long winded than intended (ha! I made a rhyme), but I want you all to be able to find the perfect contour palette, especially when most are not super cheap. Anyway, I won’t keep the pretty photos from you any longer! Thanks for reading 🙂

Note: Soooo the weird thing about some of these pictures is that the colors look warmer in them than they do when I’m sitting here looking at them in the palette, even though I used really epic lighting when I took these… BUT they actually apply looking like the color they are in the pictures, rather than how they look in person… Gosh, I hope that made sense. Just a random observation… Okay, carry on!

Top: Lucid, Lyric, Levitation Bottom: Sombre, Shadowplay, Subconscious

Top: Lucid, Lyric, Levitation
Bottom: Sombre, Shadowplay, Subconscious

Photo taken outdoors in natural sunlight. Highlighters swatches on NC15 skin.

Photo taken outdoors in natural sunlight.
Highlight powders swatched on NC15 skin.

Lucid

Lucid

Lucid:   This color is described as a “pinky nude” and is a pale, slightly warm toned beige with a pinkish undertone. It has a natural matte finish that’s not completely flat, which makes it work well to brighten the face, including the under eye area. This is the one that I use, being that I’m quite fair and it’s the lightest highlight in this palette. If you’re someone who prefers a cooler, more yellow toned highlight under the eyes like Lyric, you can still use Lucid to highlight other areas of your face like the tops of your cheekbones, nose, chin, etc. I probably wouldn’t use this on anyone deeper than about a NC30, due to the fact that it can wash you out.

The texture of this powder is very smooth and silky, making it easy to apply and blend without it looking too heavy. If you have a drier under eye area, make sure you apply this sparingly, or lightly dust it OVER a translucent setting powder. Even though these highlight powders are incredibly smooth, they’re also a little powdery and super pigmented, so it can emphasize creases under the eyes if your skin is dry or if you have many lines to begin with. Color payoff is warmer than it looks in the palette, but like I said, they’re highly pigmented, so that makes up for the difference in color. Coverage is great and you don’t need to use much product at all. As far as wear time goes, Lucid lasted for over 8 hours before I start to notice any fading, maybe more like 6-7 on the under eye area on days it’s been hot and humid outside.

Dupes:   Vanilla from Anastasia Beverly Hills is a little lighter and less pink. Emphasize Shape Powder from MAC PRO is lighter, not as pigmented (not a bad thing, though), and is a cooler cream color with less pink tones. It also has a more satiny/pearl finish. Ben Nye Cameo Luxury Powder is similar, but a little lighter.

Overall Rating:   4.5 / 5

Application:   4

Coverage:  5

Color Payoff:   4

Texture:   4

Wear Time:   5

Packaging:   5

Lyric

Lyric

Lyric:   Lyric is a “yellow beige”… It’s a light, creamy, yellow beige with neutral to warm undertones (the cooler your skin, the cooler toned this color looks). It has a natural matte, almost satiny finish that’s really nice, especially on the tops of the cheekbones and higher planes of the face. While I can use this color on my cheekbones and to highlight my face, it’s a little too yellow under my eyes. On anyone with skin that’s NC25, maybe even 20, and darker, it would be more suitable to highlight with!

The texture of Lyric felt a little more powdery than Lucid, but it’s still very finely milled and smooth. Color payoff is almost exactly how it looks in the palette and it’s highly pigmented. Coverage is also great. I got about 8 hours of wear with this highlighter.

Dupes:   Ben Nye Banana Luxury Powder is a little more yellow and darker, but it’s pretty close. Banana from Anastasia Beverly Hills (part of the original or Light to Medium Contour Kit), is also similar, but is a hint darker. Thank you, Kat Von D, for not naming this color “banana”.

Overall Rating:   4.7 / 5

Application:   4

Coverage:  5

Color Payoff:   5

Texture:   4

Wear Time:   5

Packaging:   5

Levitation

Levitation

Levitation:   This is a “soft peach” and is the deepest of the three highlight colors in this palette… It’s a light peach with warm undertones and a more satiny finish than the other two highlighters, but it’s not satiny to the point of having a noticeable shine, it just looks like naturally glowy skin. While I can’t quite use this under my eyes (it’s a little too dark), I have tried it on my cheekbones, but it’s almost a little warm for a NC15 like myself. This is the perfect color to counteract darkness under the eye and add a beautiful, warm highlight to anyone who is NC25-30 to NC40-NC42ish.

It seems like the more satiny the finish, the more powdery the texture, because Levitation had the most lightweight, powdery feel out of all the highlight colors… Plus side is that it makes it easy to blend and apply lightly, which is perfect for the under eye area. Color payoff is just about how it looks in the pan. Coverage was not as heavy as the other two highlight colors, but it’s super pigmented… That seems like an odd combination, but I promise it makes sense when you try it out! I got around 8 hours of wear before I noticed any fading.

Dupes:   Accentuate Shape Powder from MAC PRO is super close, though maybe a liiiiiitle bit peachier. The texture is very similar, though.

Overall Rating:   4.5 / 5

Application:   4

Coverage:  4

Color Payoff:   5

Texture:   4

Wear Time:   5

Packaging:   5

Photo taken outdoors in natural sunlight. Contour powders swatched on NC15 skin.

Photo taken outdoors in natural sunlight.
Contour powders swatched on NC15 skin.

Sombre

Sombre

Sombre:   This contour is a “true taupe” and is the lightest of the contour shades in the palette… It’s a light cool taupe in the pan, but applies with more neutral to warm undertones. Even though it looks a little warmer on the skin, it has no orange or bronze to it, so it won’t make you look like an oompa-loompa no matter how fair you are! It’s less satiny than the highlight powders in this palette are, but it’s not quite matte… It has more of a natural matte, skin-like finish to it. This is the contour that I use most often… It’s perfect for even the pastiest of pale skin tones (like me) to use all over. Sombre is also great for a nose contour, even if you’re up to an NC35+ or so, because it’s more neutral and lighter than the other two contour shades in this palette, so it won’t look crazy dark and dramatic on your cute little nose!

The contour shades feel slightly less powdery than the highlights in this palette do, but are still silky smooth when applied. I found this texture very easy to blend out with no harsh or noticeable lines to be seen. Color payoff, as I mentioned, is warmer on the skin than it is in the pan, and it’s SUPER pigmented, so don’t go nuts with this right from the start! You can apply a VERY small amount and it will go a long way… That said, if you do accidentally apply more than intended, don’t worry, it blends out really well. I know because I did that the first time I used it haha. Coverage with this shade is wonderful too. Sombre wore for over 8 hours on me before I saw any fading.

Dupes:   Java from Anastasia Beverly Hills is pretty close, maybe a little darker. Harmony blush from MAC is a near perfect dupe. Also from MAC, Taupe blush is slightly cooler toned (which I prefer), but close. Sculpt Sculpt powder from MAC PRO is also similar, but has more neutral to cool undertones.

Overall Rating:   4.8 / 5

Application:   5

Coverage:  5

Color Payoff:   4

Texture:   5

Wear Time:   5

Packaging:   5

Shadowplay

Shadowplay

Shadowplay:   Shadowplay is described as a “soft brown”… It’s a medium, warm toned brown with a natural matte finish. It’s a little more satiny than Sombre is, but still lacks a true sheen. On me, and I would imagine on most people, this shade works best as a subtle bronzer, rather than a true contour. It’s not orange and intense like a lot of bronzers are, which I like, so I mostly use this to add a little bit of color around my hairline on my forehead (or fivehead in my case) and I blend this into my contour color on my cheeks, just so I look like I may have actually been out in the sun for a little while and got some color in my skin! To apply this, I like using a bigger fluffier, tapered bronzing brush like a MAC 138, or you can use an angled contour brush like a MAC 168.

The texture of this contour shade was super smooth and easy to apply. Color payoff is nearly a perfect match to how it looks in the pan, maybe a little warmer once it’s on the skin for some people. Coverage wasn’t as good as the other two contours in this palette, but I’m glad, because the intensity might get a little out of hand and look way too warm if it was as pigmented as the other contours are! I got 7 hours of wear with Shadowplay.

Dupes:   This is sort of in between Java and Havana, both from Anastasia Beverly Hills, and both of which are in the original Light to Medium Contour Kit… Java is lighter and cooler, while Havana is a bit deeper and even warmer/more orange. Shadester Sculpt Powder from MAC PRO is similar, maybe darker and more neutral. Milk Chocolate Soleil Bronzer (Light/Medium) from Too Faced is slightly lighter, but has about the same tone. It’s also more intense, so these two actually look really close on my face anyway.

Overall Rating:   4.5 / 5

Application:   4

Coverage:  4

Color Payoff:   4

Texture:   5

Wear Time:   5

Packaging:   5

Subconscious

Subconscious
This looks a little darker in the photo than it does in person… No clue why.

Subconscious:   This contour is a “deep brown” and has a satin finish… I’m assuming this is because a lot of darker brown powders tend to look dry and unnatural on pretty much anyone’s skin if they’re too matte, so I do love the finish for this color. It’s a dark, chocolate brown with warm undertones. It looks dark, especially in the swatch on my skin, but it’s also extremely blendable, so if you are in need of a darker contour just in the hollows of your cheeks, you can use it as long as you apply it VERY lightly! I actually use this after I apply Sombre, just to deepen the part of my cheek contour closest to my ear. To do so, I use one of the brushes I would normally use to apply my highlight with (MAC 165, Sigma F35, or Real Techniques Setting Brush)… That way, it’s more diffused and not too dramatic. If you have a skintone between about a MAC NC35 and NC45ish, you can probably get away with this as your cheek/face contour as well.

The texture of Subconscious felt the smoothest out of all the contour shades, which is good since it makes it easier to blend out if you make an oops. Color payoff is super close to how it looks in the palette, and coverage was totally opaque with very little product used, so start out light-handed with this one and build it up! Wear time is excellent. I didn’t notice any fading until about 8 and a half hours into having this contour on.

Dupes:   Blunt Blush from MAC is cooler and a bit lighter. Definitive Sculpt Powder from MAC PRO is very similar, though it’s not as pigmented. I believe there is a similar shade from Anastasia Beverly Hills, but I would have to see it again in person to confirm that! It’s not part of any of the three Contour Kits, though.

Overall Rating:   5 / 5

Application:   5

Coverage:  5

Color Payoff:   5

Texture:   5

Wear Time:   5

Packaging:   5

As we all know, Rihanna always has flawless, bronzed skin, so of course MAC released a brand new Bronzing Powder with the RiRi Hearts MAC Holiday collection! I’m pretty impressed with the “Love, Rihanna” bronzer because it’s versatile… It’s buildable and not so warm that fair skinned people can’t pull it off, yet it’s pigmented and just warm enough that it also works on dark skin tones.

Love, Rihanna

Love, Rihanna

Love, Rihanna

Love, Rihanna

This Bronzing Powder comes in the beautiful special white pearl packaging with rose gold accents, like the rest of this collection. It also features the signature “RiRi” and “R” on both the packaging and product itself. MAC Bronzing Powders are silky smooth and buildable, so they work well on nearly all skin tones (this one is particularly nice)! While I don’t love contouring with these, as it’s just TOO bronze for a contour shade, they make perfect bronzers to brush on the cheeks for some sun-kissed color.

You can use these alone or with a blush… If using with a blush as well, I like to apply this bronzing powder more towards the back of the cheek and blend the blush from the apples of the cheeks back into the bronzer. For a heavier application of Love, Rihanna, I suggest a more dense brush such as a MAC 129, 116, or 168 angled brush. If you’d like a softer wash of bronzer or are fair-skinned, try a MAC Duo-Fibre brush like a 188, 187, or 159.

This Bronzing Powder is limited edition and was released at MAC stores and counters on Thursday, December 12th and online at www.maccosmetics.com a few days before. It sells for $30 and contains 9.5g / 0.335 US oz of product, so it’s a bit more than other MAC Bronzing Powders that contain 10 g / 0.35 US oz of product and sell for $25… Still, I think that Love, Rihanna is worth it because it’s just so pretty!

Love, Rihanna

Love, Rihanna

Left:   Applied Heavily      Right: Blended Out

Left: Applied Heavily                                     Right: Blended Out
This swatch is WITH the rose gold overspray.
Photo taken outdoors in natural sunlight. Bronzing Powder swatched on NC15 skin.

I will update this post with an additional swatch photo without the shimmery overspray tomorrow… It’s just too cloudy today to get a good one!

Love, Rihanna is described as a “soft, golden brown powder with overspray of gold pearl”… It’s a medium, soft, slightly warm toned tan-brown with subtle warm, golden-bronze undertones. With the overspray, this is much more shimmery and has a lot more of a warm, copper color to it. Without the overspray, it’s a much more subdued bronzer, which I like. Even with no overspray there is a soft, satiny sheen that contains no shimmer particles.  As I mentioned, this is buildable so the color payoff and opacity really depend on how much product you want to apply. It’s definitely pretty true to the color it is in the pan and gives great, even coverage.

I typically get around 8 hours of wear with MAC’s Bronzing Powders, with Love, Rihanna being no different. Sometimes if you have larger pores or oily skin, shimmery bronzers (or shimmery anything, for that matter) can emphasize shiny areas and pores… However, the shimmery, rose gold “R” on this bronzer is only an overspray and does not go all the way through the product, so it will only show up during the first few applications. Though some of you may be bummed about that, I’m glad! I feel like the “R” contains so much shimmer that it nearly overpowers the gorgeous color of the bronzer itself. If you’re really into the shimmery area and miss that glow once the overspray wears off, try layering Gold Deposit Mineralize Skinfinish over Love, Rihanna!

Dupes:   Soft Sand Bronzing Powder, which was limited edition and released last summer with the Temperature Rising collection, is VERY similar. Hibiscus Kiss Bronzer/Blush duo, which was released with the RiRi Hearts MAC Summer 2013 collection is also similar, but contained a pinkish color as well.

Overall Rating:   4.7 / 5

Application:   5

Coverage:  4

Color Payoff:   5

Texture:   5

Wear Time:  4

Packaging:   5