It’s a bit late to post about last year’s holiday items, but as these products are still available and on sale, I really wanted to post my thoughts on them.

Pur x Barbie Palette

I received this palette as a birthday gift. Until this point, I hadn’t tried anything from PUR, but I heard mixed reviews about their eyeshadow formula. I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed using this palette! The shadows have a decent amount of pigment, are smooth, and blendable. I am very happy that the orange mattes are distinctly different on my eyes and although the orange shimmers are similar, Trendsetter is actually a duochrome that shifts from the lighter orange in Dream House to a slightly darker red-orange. I’m not sure if I should even call them “shimmers” because they have a semi-flaky texture that reminds me of metallic foiled shadows. I don’t know if I’m a fan of the textured look when applied dry on the eye or even with my finger. In order to get them to look the smoothest, I apply them with a wet brush, which changes the texture, but then it becomes sheered out. That’s when I apply an additional layer on top using my finger. The wet shadow underneath meshes with the dry powder applied on top to keep it smooth yet have that extra layer of pigment. All of the “shimmers” are like this, excluding Icon which is more of a satin formula. The foiled shadows also leave a ton of glitter particle fallout as the day progresses. I recommend using something like a glitter glue/primer to help with adherence.

The shade Barbie Style is medium pink and Timeless is medium red. Although I can tell the difference when I use them separately, because they’re the same depth, I find them to be too similar to use together in an eye look. Motivate and Innovator are both dark brown shades, but I prefer to use Motivate for warmer looks and Innovator if I’m going for something cool-toned.

This palette is great for anyone who wants to dabble a bit into color eyeshadows. The shadows are colorful yet soft with enough neutral shades to keep the looks grounded. Although I love shimmers, I can see myself using this palette mainly for the matte shades.

Pur x Barbie Confident Glow Signature Illuminating Highlighter

Seeing the eyeshadow palette in person made me curious about the highlighter, so I bought it afterwards. I don’t believe it’s available at Ulta anymore, but at the time of writing this, PUR still has it for sale on their website. The formula of this highlighter is very soft and I was happy to see that whether I used exclusively the gold shade, the pink, or both swirled together they basically look the same on the skin. Since I tend not to like the look of pink highlighters on me, I was worried about keeping the shades separated when I apply them, but Pink Taffy has gold shimmer in it which keeps it looking warm toned and not much different from the Bubbly shade. The base color isn’t very strong in either shade, so it blends into my skin nicely.

All the Barbie highlighter swatches are over Kiko Milano’s blush in Candy Cane and Make Up For Ever Velvet Matte Foundation in Macao.

When I apply a heavy amount side by side to my cheekbone (as shown above), there is a minimal difference between them. It’s even less noticeable when I use my usual amount. Since I didn’t purchase this with the intention of having two different highlighters in one, I’m happy that they are similar so I can just swipe my brush in the pan and not have to worry about the shades mixing.

Pur x Barbie Gloss in Boss Gloss

I received this as a free gift with purchase from Ulta. I had the option to choose between this shade or the lighter one called Girl Gloss. Boss Gloss has about as much pigment as a standard Fenty Gloss Bomb, plus noticeable glitter particles. The predominant glitter color is a hot pink/magenta that has an almost metallic affect on the lips. It’s a bit sticky, so I wouldn’t normally wear the amount that it takes to look a bit metallic (double layer). I’m happy to have this, especially at the low cost of $0.

Kiko Milano Holiday Gems Highlighter Palette

I really wanted this, even though I could clearly see in photos that the texture looked glittery. I was so happy when I got it in person and saw that after touching the powder, it looked like more of a wet sheen, rather than sparkly! That’s not to say it isn’t glittery, because it is, but it’s not at the level that would prevent me from wanting to use it (excluding the golden brown shade).

These highlighter swatches were all over the Kiko Milano Unexpected Paradise Aspirational Mauve blush. Kiko didn’t give them names, but they are numbered instead. Highlighter #2 was so subtle in my initial photo that I retook the picture. Although I applied a generous amount, the base color is so close to my skin tone that you can’t see it and all that shows are the sparkles.

As is common with highlighters on me, they look similar, especially on camera. However, there is a faint enough difference that I can say I like shade #1 and shade #3. #1 is my typical highlight color. #3 in person has a warm sheen that compliments my skin tone. #4 is okay, but I find it to be a touch ashy.

Kiko Milano Holiday Gems Plush Suede Blush in 02 Candy Cane

I’m happy to report this blush had no detectable scent! It’s supposed to smell like vanilla, according to Kiko’s website, but I don’t smell anything from the powder. Unlike the Unexpected Paradise blush, which is on the texturally softer side with some kickup, this blush has very little kickup. I wouldn’t say it’s hard-pressed, as I can pick up the product easily enough with any brush regardless of the bristle type, but it’s on the medium side and harder than my other Kiko blushes. Although this shade is a much brighter pink than I’d typically go for, I didn’t think the other two shades would show up on my skin tone (though it’s difficult to tell via online photos which is the only way I have access to these products) and the pretty packaging was a major factor in me purchasing this. I did get this on sale, which happened very quickly after being released on Ulta’s site.

After a little while, this blends into the natural oils of my skin and looks better than the initial application. For that reason, I definitely like it. Even when it first goes on it reminds me of winter wind-kissed cheeks!

Kiko Milano Wonder Woman Starlight Blush in 03 Athena Strategy

I have mixed feelings about this blush. In warmer lighting, this blush looks extremely metallic. I like the color, but it’s as though I put a metallic eyeshadow on my cheek. In brighter and slightly cool lighting, it looks more like a shimmery eyeshadow instead, but in a somewhat nicer way. Regardless of the light, this does emphasize texture and accentuates my pores, which is normally not a problem for me. For those looking out for fragrance, this has a pleasant fruity scent. I don’t smell it once it has been on my cheek for a bit, but the smell lingers in my blush brush.

I don’t see myself using this again, but I wanted it for the Wonder Woman theme anyway. This is the only Wonder Woman collection I’ve seen within my price range (*cough* House of Sillage *cough*) that excited me. So, I’m holding onto it for collector purposes.

Kiko Milano Unexpected Paradise Blush in 03 Aspirational Mauve

This blush smells a bit like coconuts and sunscreen or tanning oil. The smell is very artificial but it fades quickly on the cheek. There are three shades in total. I thought MAC was the only brand that could make mauve and plum blush shades I like on me, but after wearing this one, I’m beginning to accept that perhaps mauve is a generally nice color for me! Although it’s the darkest shade they had, it gives me a flush of color that I can’t overdo, even if I really pack this on. However, this will probably not work on someone more than a few shades darker than I am.

Here are all the blushes swatched together with flash off and on.

That’s everything! It was fun to try PUR and Kiko Milano for the first time. I don’t think any of these products will end up being holy grail status, but I’m happy to have and enjoy them.

Thank you for reading!

-Lili

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