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