Essence Bloom Me Up Shimmer Powder Review

essence bloom me up higlighter

Hello lovelies,

this is the second highlighter I’ve picked up recently and while I love it, I do not think it is summer appropriate.

essence bloom me up higlighter 3

With its embossed floral motif, it is another winner from Essence. This powder is beige with strong cool pink undertone. It doesn’t contain glitter – it is actually on the shimmery frosty side. It is super soft and pigmented – a real pleasure to work with.

My main issue with this powder is that it simply refuses to work with my skin tone during warmer months. (I have other powders – such as Guerlain Meteorites, which only look good on my skin during winter). I think that the cool undertone is the one to blame. My skin has neutral, leaning to yellow undertone which requires something warmer. Instead of looking radiant and glowy, Essence highlighter makes me look sickly and pale (a bad kind of pale). Since it has a lightly pearly finish, it emphasizes the pores slightly – I notice it only if I’m actively looking and I can live with that.

Here are the swatches:

essence bloom me up higlighter 2

essence bloom me up higlighter 1

Left – thick; right – blended

Here’s the comparison with Love Letters highlighter. You can see what I’ve mentioned in my Love Letters review – that it is a basically a shimmery powder, while Bloom Me Up is cool and frostier.

essence love letters vs bloom me up

xoxo Tamara

Essence Love Letters Highlighter powder

essence love letters higlighter

Hello lovelies,

Essence always pleasantly surprise me with their limited edition products, and this collection is not an exception. This time they decided to emboss a love-themed quote in the powder. Very cute, IMHO.

essence love letters higlighter 3

Love Letters Highlighter powder does not look like a typical highlighter which, in my opinion, contains pearly pigments. Instead, this is a lightly coloured powder with tiny microglitter. The powder has a good pigmentation and it is far from translucent. If it weren’t for the glitter, I’d use it as an overall finishing powder. The glitter shows up on direct light, but it is still small enough not to be too obvious on the face.

This powder works great on my skin tone. The powder itself (if we ignore the glitter) is pretty matte looking so it subtly highlights the area on which it is applied. Surprisingly, the glitter doesn’t emphasize pores. I like the overall effect – the way this powder catches the light makes it look super natural. However, I’d be wary of recommending this powder to really dark skintones (NC50 +), simply because I have an impression that it would not blend too well with the skin.

Swatches (as you can see it is almost identical to my skintone):

Left – applied in a thick layer; Right – blended

essence love letters higlighter 2


essence love letters higlighter 1

xoxo Tamara

Drugstore Haul – Essence & Catrice

newin essence catrice 1

Hello lovelies,

I think I might have a blush problem :) During last few months I did a lot of on-line shopping and I didn’t visit drugstores a lot. However, recently I went in to see what’s new there and some things from Essence have caught my eye.

I saw two limited edition collections: Love Letters and Bloom Me Up and ended up getting two highlighters. My Guerlain blush which I use to highlight it almost gone. I’ve bought Shiseido High Beam White, but I also wanted a shimmery option. Granted, I have a bunch of Meteorites Pearls, but they can be a hassle to use. I think these Essence highlighters will serve me well. I haven’t worn them yet, but based on the quick swatch they do not seem overly shimmery.

newin essence catrice 2

I also got two ombre blushes from Essence. Shade-wise, they remind me of MAC Proenza Schouler blushes; however, I don’t have those to compare. On the orange/coral blush you can see the reason why I rarely buy anything in dugstores – someone swatched it.I guess it was too much of a hassle to open the tester drawer and they had to open a product intended for sale. I didn’t open it in store to check it in detail – the cover is transparent and it looked ok, but obviously store light masked it. I’ll be smarter the next time.

I’ve increased my collection of Essence nail polishes – I bought several more textures and some other shades which aren’t on the picture because I’ve moved my nail polishes and they currently all reside mixed in boxes. I’m dreading the day when I’ll have to organize it.

newin essence catrice

My final purchase is Catrice nail polishes. For a while this was my favourite brand, but then I discovered Golden Rose, indie and on line shopping. I got two texture shades: Oysters & Champagne and Call Me Princess. I also bought Berry Potter & Plumberdore (purple-blue duochrome) which I got mostly for its name, although the nail polish itself is pretty, too.

What did you get recently?

xoxo Tamara

SISLEY Radiant Immediate Lift Review

I have to admit that I’m still not quite sure what this is. I have thought it to be serum, but it is often listed under make-up and the description of the products ays that it is to be used as a primer under make-up.

It comes in 30ml pump bottle and retails for $24.

It is a goldish liquid (like a slightly more yellow  version of Benefit’s Moonbeam) has a very runny consistency. A little goes a long way.

As for th illuminating properties, I haven’t noticed any. It is too yellow without enough pink to be illuminating. If you want a good illuminating product, go for Guerlain Meteorites Primer or Estee Lauder Spotlight (I don’t know if it is still made).

As fot the firming properties, there isn’t much to lift on my skin (I’m 25), but I have notices that my skin feels tighter after applying it. For me, this is very uncomfortable feeling, since my skin feels to small for my face, but those in need of a good lifting might appreciate it.

I don’t notice any difference in how my make-up applies when I use this prior to make-up application.  Also, there isn’t any difference in how long my make-up lasts.

I’ve used it for 8 times so far, and there is still a bit left in the sample.

Oh, and I have forgotten to mention that it has a very intense lavender scent which disappears upon application.


CLARINS Instant Light Complexion Perfector in #00 Rose Shimmer Review and Swatch

Clarins Instant Light comes in four shades. It claims that it will even out the skin tone and give radiance. It comes in a 30ml tube and retails for $33. I have the sample of the pink shade, but I think my skin would benefit more from the champagne shade.

The shade #00 Rose Shimmer is very light milky pink.

The effect is very similar to that of Guerlain Meteorites primer – they have a glowy appearance. It contains very tiny microshimmer which is visible only if you really look at your skin with magnifying mirror.

Texture-wise, Instant Light is not at all similar to Meteorites primer: Meteorites have more watery feel, while Instant Light seems much creamier. I’m happy that none of these has that siliconey primer feeling.

As my skin isn’t perfect – I have huge pores and occasional redness, I avoid wearing it on its own, because it doesn’t do much for my skin.

When I used Instant Light as a primer underneath the foundation, I haven’t noticed and difference in how the foundation wears or how matte my skin is.

The best use for this is to dilute the foundation – it works really nice in combination with Everlasting, giving the Everlasting a sheerer, glowier appearance.

It hasn’t caused any breakouts and I haven’t noticed any new clogged pores. The champagne shade will go on my wish list, since I think it could work nicely in evening out my complexion.


CHANEL Lumiere Sculptee de Chanel Highlighting Powder Review and Swatch (Holiday 2011)

Last week I’ve been bored so I’ve decided to do some swatches and some at-the-counter testing of Chanel Holiday 2011 Collection. I haven’t managed to check all, but this post encompasses all the eyeshadows and the lip products.

I’ve taken the liberty to write the reviews based on my first impression because I believe that if I wasn’t impressed with the product at the counter, I probably won’t change my opinion later.

Click for REVIEW and SWATCH

Project 10 Pans Samples Challenge

During spring, I’ve made a plan of finally finishing some products from my stash. I haven’t updated it for a while, but it is only because I haven’t managed to spend anything. Later I have also announced a possibility to include more samples in the challenge.

Last week I have finally managed to find some time so I’ve been rearranging my cosmetics storage and I have figured out that I have tons of samples and testers. As I’m a bit afraid that they don’t go bad, I’ve picked several products I would like to spend. Some of these are already reviewed, as I’ve been using them before, but some I’ll have to test for the first time. I will only write a review if the product was tested for at least a week of daily usage.

Click to see the PRODUCT LIST + PHOTOS

GUERLAIN Meteorites in Teint Dore Review

This is the new version of Meteorites pearls, which was released in the summer 2010. The new Meteorites come in three shades: 1 Teint Rose, 2 Teint Beige, 3 Teint Dore. They come in a plastic jar (metallic on the outside), with a metal cap and a white puff.

I’ve purchased it instead of loose powder. I initially wanted to get a new Voilettes Mineral loose powder, but since there was a lack of Guerlain in my country, I couldn’t find a shade 02 Beige Clair anywhere.

After I’ve seen the swatches on Temptalia, I thought that the shade Teint Dore would be too dark for me. Nevertheless, in the store, the shade Teint Dore seemed like the best choice for my skin tone.

Teint rose seemed too light and too white, just like Teint Beige. This surprised me because I am very light (NC15 in the winter, NC 20-25 during summer). Still, I think that Teint Dore is universally flattering shade.

Click for the rest of the REVIEW

My Stash: Blushes, Bronzers, Concealers

My stash posts are almost finished. This post will feature all of my blushes, bronzers, concealers and other random face products.

Click for the pictures

My Stash: Meteorites

I think that there is no person which hasn’t heard about Guerlain Meteorites pearls. My Meteorites collection is tiny. Even though I’m Guerlain fan, I wasn’t impressed with the pearls for a very long time. My first purchase were the giant pearls form Midnight Butterfly collection, which were a bit disappointing. They had far more shimmer and they did not give that subtle healthy skin glow.

I also have compact Meteorites powder, which is discontinued and replaced with the new one. I was a bit reluctant purchasing it, because none of the shade (except the LE one) didn’t match my skin 100%, but after testing it a bit more, I’ve realized that the powder really adapt to the skin. It’s a shame that it is discontinued.


Project 10 Pans: Update #2

You thought that I have forgotten about my Project 10 Pans? Well, I didn’t.

Here’s another update with the items I have spent in the last three weeks, since the Update #1.

The last two weeks have been really slow and I didn’t spend so many products. But the good thing is that many are close to finishing, so I hope that soon, I’ll be rid of many more items.

But for now, this are the products that are gone:

Dove Pro Age Body Lotion (yes, I have finally gotten rid of this horrible, horrible product)

Estee Lauder Spotlight (if you by chance own this product, please cut the tube, as I have found out that even when I couldn’t squeze anything out, there was over 5 ml of cream left in the tube). 

Clarins Pink Clay mask.

As I have said, it is not much, but still, it is 3 products less.

And not to forget, ever since I have realized that Meteories Illuminating Perfecting Pressed Powder  is being discontinued (I don’t know why, because this pressed powder is the best out there), I’ve been searching to stock up. I have found an amazing deal ($35), so I’ve got Mythic Parfait, which I will save for the winter.

GUERLAIN Météorites Illuminating Powder Perles D’Or Review (Holiday 2010)

This is my so-far favourite item of Guerlain holiday 2010 collection. You get 30grams of pearls for $56.

The pearls are housed in a silver box which looks metallic on the outside, but the inside is made of black plastic. The cap is completely metallic and has a golden bee in bas-relief. The pearls come with a black puff (regular Meteorites come with a white one).

The shade Perles d’Or contain five different pearl coulours: white, light champagne, golden, light pink and medium dark eggplant.

I’ve bought three versions of Meteorites pearls so far (Perles d’Or, Midnight Butterfly pearls from holiday 2009 and regular Meteorites in Teint Dore) and this version is the least shimmery of these three.

While I use others shades of Meteorites on the whole face, this is not possible with this one. Perles d’Or, contrary to its name, leave a pink colour on the skin. Therefore, do not use it all over your face as you will end up looking very pink.

So how can you use it?


GUERLAIN Holiday Haul

Guerlain Holiday 2010 collection came a bit late in my country, and I wasn’t sure if I’ll purchase anything. The promo pictures seemed nice, but since I’ve been on a vacation, I didn’t have the time to test everything.

Finally, yesterday, I’ve picked the eyeshadow quad and the meteorites. I’ve also decided to get a lip-balm, so I’ve picked Kiss Kiss Baby.

This is the list of the stuff I’ve purchased:

Guerlain Ombre 4 Eclats #410 Velours d’Or (7,2gr for $59)

Meteorites Illuminating Powder Perles d”Or (30gr for $56)

Kiss Kiss Baby in #200 Crystal Nude ($31)

I know that holiday collection is almost passe, but since it is still available, the reviews will follow soon, so that those still indecisive may pick something up.

BENEFIT High Beam review


The full size High Beam comes in a bottle with a brush applicator (which is very similar to a nailpolish applicator). My mini-size High Beam has a doe-foot applicator, which I prefer.

High beam is a light pink highlighter which can be used on the browbone, cheeks or mixed with the foundation.


I am a NC15-20 and at first I thought that High Beam would be too pink, frosty and too obvious on me but it blends very easily and looks very subtle.

I prefer to use it to highlight under eyebrows and in the inner corner of the eyes. I don’t use it to highlight the cheek bones, where  I have a lot of expanded pores, it can emphasize them a lot. Also, I cannot use it under the eyes, because it looks entirely too pink and too unnatural, not to mention that it creases in the tiny lines.

I like it a lot, but this isn’t the type of highlighter which I can use all over my face. For that, I prefer Guerlain Meteorites.

Click for SWATCH

GUERLAIN Issima Precious Light Concealer Review


The product comes in a pen style applicator with a brush, so you have to twist the pen to get the product on the brush and it is difficult to control how much product comes out. This is the shade 10 Beige Clair.

Guerlain Issima isn’t what I would call a concealer, because it doesn’t conceals much; is more like an illuminator. That being said, it covers dark circles a bit and lightens up the undereye area. It doesn’t settle into lines and doesn’t look cakey. It blends in well. It doesn’t moisturize, but it neither dries out the eye-contour skin.

The pen contains very small amount of product (1,5ml), but it lasts a very long time.

Click for more PICTURES

ESTÉE LAUDER Spotlight Skin Tone Perfector Review

Estée Lauder claims that this product „instantly gives skin a healthy-looking, even-toned glow. …A blend of protective anti-oxidants (including Vitamins C, E and natural botanicals) fights off free radicals to help fade the look of discolorations and prevent new ones.“

It is a light lotion which comes in a 50ml tube. The lotion is lightly scented, but the fragrance disappears upon the application. I haven’t used if often enough so I cannot comment how it works on the discolourations. It is neither moisturizing nor drying. It doesn’t control oil.

Spotlight has a very light golden with pink shimmer. The colour is very similar to Benefit Moonbeam highlighter.

However, on the skin, Spotlight gives a pink glow. It may freshen up people with yellow undertone, but unfortunately, it doesn’t look that good on those with pink skin undertone. I like this product a lot, but I have pink undertone and if I use it on its own, it makes my face look too pink. I prefer to use this to dilute full-coverage foundations – I usually mix one half of Spotlight with one half of the foundation. It gives the foundation the luminosity. The foundation instantly looks better and more natural on the skin.

I’ve also found out that it works great as a make-up base. Sadly, if you use it that way, the foundation will fit perfectly on the skin, but it won’t give you that natural, healty-looking glow.

Click for SWATCH

GUERLAIN Meteorites Illuminating Perfecting Pressed Powder in 10 Nacre des Mers Review

This wonderful complexion enhacer comes in three regular shades: 01 Mythic – which makes me look too pale, 02 Rose Frais – which makes the face too pink, and 03 Beige Lumineux – which is too dark.

The central shade is correcting, and the lighter shade on one side illuminate complexion, while the darker shade on the other side evens out the complexion.

I’ll review the shade 10 Nacre des Mers, which is a limited edition from 2009 summer collection.

Nacre des Mers has a blue pearl in the centre, surrounded by a very light beige. One half of the outer circle is a darker warm beige, while the other half is a darker cold beige. Both beige colours are much lighter than the beige in 03 Beige Lumineux, therefore making it appropriate for a light skinned persons.

The powder has a shimmery pearly owerspray, which disappears once you swipe the brush over it.

Once you put it on the face, the powder gives the most amazing natural luminous finish. It is not shimmery at all, but neither dull matte. It really enhances the complexion and minimizes the appearance of the pores. Unfortunately, its oil-control abilities aren’t impressive.

In spite of that I’m really impressed with  this product and I really regret that this shade isn’t a part of permanent collection.