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Review: Hourglass Ambient Strobe Powders + Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kits with Swatches on Fair Skin

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Strobing or highlighting or whatever new name they will come up with next – there is no shortage of powders these days to add a shine, shimmer or glow to the skin. As someone with oily skin, I used to shy away from anything that would add additional shine for fear I would end up looking like a greasy disco ball. But as I have said before, the formulations of highlighters nowadays is light years ahead of what it was even a few years ago. There are a ton that I use and love (read back on a few of my faves here), but recently these two have gotten a ton of buzz. The new Hourglass Ambient Strobe powders are a further addition to the ever popular (and personal favorite) Ambient Lighting powder range, and the new Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kits offer intense shimmer powders in one easy to travel-with compact.

1. Hourglass Ambient Strobe Powders – As with so many Hourglass products that launch, there is a ton of buzz followed by a wide range of opinions on their performance. I’ve said before that I drink the Hourglass Kool-Aid, but that doesn’t mean I blindly like anything they produce. I can definitely understand why many people had differing thoughts on these powders since they deliver such soft and understated results. I do think that for those that want a strong and intense strobe or highlight, these will not be for you. As you can see from my below swatches, they are a sheer powder with just a hint of color. It was not sunny this day so you can’t see the shimmer, but it is definitely there. There is slight glitter, but for me it was understated and blended into my skin right away. Incandescent is my favorite shade and gives the most subtle highlight that I can wear daily, while Brilliant provided the strongest contrast. Iridescent and Euphoric looked a tad more bronzy on my skintone and if I was wearing the right matte foundation and primer, looked beautiful dusted on the cheeks and cheekbones. The formula and texture of the powder is what I have come to know and love from Hourglass – it’s finely milled and looks undetectable on the skin. These are a win in my book, but I don’t think it’s necessary to buy all 4. I would recommend (if you prefer a more subtle strobe) picking out your favorite shade or two to add to your collection. But then again, if you hoard makeup like myself, just go ahead and purchase all 4 because you know you want to. Ha!
2. Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit in GleamAnastasia Beverly Hills has quickly become one of those brands that has the pigmentation and quality to qualify as a makeup artist brand first and foremost. But yet the colors and performance of the products make it desirable to the masses who want to wear the products for everyday. However, there is nothing subtle about the brand and that is again the case with these Glow Kits – high watt shine in the most stunning shades of bronze, rose-gold and champagne. These are a makeup artist’s dream and a kit must-have for photo shoots since they will give an unforgettable highlight. To adapt them for everyday may be a bit harder since the pay-off is so intense, however as someone who has mastered the light-handed technique I can make almost anything work for any occasion. Mimosa and Starburst looked stunning dusted on the cheeks themselves, while Crushed Pearl gave me cheekbones like never before. Hard Candy was the most unique shade of them all and became one of my favorite colors to wear on my eyes. Whoops. Frankly no one ever said the products had to be used exclusively for the cheeks, so I went rogue and used them on the eyes. It has a duochrome effect that I love as a single wash of color to the lids. I do think, as with almost the entire Anastasia range, this glow kit can be used on most if not all skin tones. The warm undertones of each shade make it appealing to so many and if you are looking for a highlighter that packs a serious glowy punch, then I advise you to pick this up immediately. You will find yourself mixing the colors to create your own shades which is half the fun of wearing makeup, amiright?
*pr samples included

Have you tried either of these products? What are your thoughts?
Shop more of my highlighter recommendations:

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Some Anastasia Discoveries

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I know it’s been a bit since my last post, but if you follow me on Instagram you know I recently had spine surgery so  I took some time off to recover. I am slowly beginning to get back on my feet, so I can finally get around to publishing posts on a ton of products I have been testing lately. Anastasia Beverly Hills has always been a brow brand for me (this product from them is one of my favorite brow products), but I have slowly been testing out other items from the line and have been quite impressed with the quality. There has been quite a bit of buzz about these illuminators (and after going on quite a highlighter kick – read this post to see some that I have been loving recently), I was anxious to try these. And later in the post, I will talk about my other discovery from the brand.
1. Anastasia Beverly Hills Illuminators in So Hollywood, Peach Nectar and Riviera – As one who does a more natural look with my makeup, highlighters and illuminators were not always products that I reached for since they tend to be more dramatic or suitable for evening looks. But over the years, the formulas have gotten better and I really enjoy incorporating them into my looks (even daytime ones) more frequently. These Anastasia Illuminators are definitely on the bolder end of the highlighting spectrum, so I need to be extremely light-handed compared to some other ones in my collection. That being said, they give such a gorgeous sheen on the skin that they have been too good not to add in. So Hollywood is the one I wear the most out of all three, but Peach Nectar comes in at a close second because of how warm it can make my cheeks look. I like to use So Hollywood more directly on my cheekbones, but Peach Nectar and Riviera look nice dusted lightly over the cheeks. And Riviera is unlike any highlighter I have seen because of it’s slightly plum (well it looks plum to me) undertone which is so unique. For those that have a weakness for highlighters, I think these are going to be hard to pass up with their high watt shine and how well they blend into the skin without looking too powdery.

2. Anastasia Beverly Hill Liquid Lipstick – As a lover of lipsticks, especially full coverage matte formulas, I have loved the liquid lipstick trend that has taken over. Being more of a makeup artist brand, I had heard that the Anastasia Liquid Lipstick formula is quite remarkable with amazing staying power. And I can tell you first hand that after swatching each of these colors, it took quite a good cleansing oil and concealer between each shade to ensure the prior color was fully removed. This formula is not for those that want something sheer and easy to just throw on and go, since these are truly full coverage and with certain shades do require a bit more maintenance and precision to apply.  
Top left: Blush, top right: Sorbet, bottom left: Candy Apple, bottom right: Sad Girl
The pale shades Blush and Sorbet were easy to apply and I thought that Sorbet was the most stunning peach shade perfect for a bronzey smoky eye. Candy Apple was surprisingly less intense than I imagined and looks beautiful as a daytime shade. I already knew that Sad Girl was going to require more patience to apply since the formula is so pigmented, so I dabbed it on with the applicator and then used a lip brush to apply. While I wanted to give a sense of the true color in the swatch, since this post, I have worn Sad Girl a few times because I adore it and use a nude lip liner first to prime the lips (I typically reach for this in Pillow Talk) and find that it applies much easier with that nude liner applied first. And I did not skimp on the amount I applied either because I wanted each shade to really read as true as it could on camera, and was shocked as how comfortable such a bold formula felt on the lips. It does still have some slip to it so those who shy away from dry matte lip colors may enjoy these. They definitely stain the lips and have intense staying power, but I did notice that the darker shades needed to be touched up during the day once as opposed to the paler shades. But using a nude lip liner as a base helped solved that issue, and the color wore much more evenly throughout the day. The shade range is so vast that it is nearly impossible not to find a color to fit every taste.

*pr samples included

Past Posts

A Bit Obsessed: February 2014 Favorites

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It’s baaaaack!!!  I skipped my monthly favorites for January because I was testing so many different things but I am back with some great picks for February.