Swatches of Previously Reviewed Makeup in New Shades

With today being Black Friday and holiday sales approaching, now is the time it’d be the most useful for me to get as many reviews out as possible. I’m constantly testing new products, but it takes ages for me to get closeups, swatches, demos, and the written portion of posts completed to my level of satisfaction. I’m allergic to posting first impressions, but I think it may be helpful to share photos of the new makeup I purchased that are just new shades of things I’ve already reviewed for this blog. The formulas of everything should be the same, and therefore the performances should be no different, with the exception of the first item I’m showcasing below.

Fenty Beauty Double Cheek’d Up: Freestyle Cream Blush Duo

The compact color is stunning! I bought this partly for the packaging, along with liking Fenty’s permanent cream blush formula that I reviewed here. Since “Freestyle” is still in the name of the duo, I expected the formula to be the same, but it’s a little more emollient and slightly less pigmented. Because Peony Droppa is on the lighter side, it takes an extra few layers to build it up on me, but Mali’booze just needs one additional layer to build up to the level of opacity I get from the original shades. I was pleasantly surprised that Peony Droppa showed up on me and actually looked nice despite being cool-toned (warmer blushes look better with my undertone). I’ve only used this duo twice so far and I prefer how they look when I use the darker blush all over my cheek and keep the lighter one on just the apples. Trying to wear them mixed was a little tricky trying to find the tonal balance I liked, so I think I’ll stick to either using Mali’booze alone or applying both in those specific zones on the cheeks.

The compact is much bigger than the standard cream blushes and each half of the duo is 3g, meaning each shade in the duo has the same amount of product as the full size single cream blushes. The cream duo compact has the same dimensions as the full size bronzers, highlighter duos, etc. I get two products in one for $34 instead of $44 if they were sold separately, however, I still prefer Strawberry Drip to both of these shades because I get the bright popping color without it clashing with my skin tone. So, in my case, I’d still be better off buying a single blush. I got the duo at a discount via Ulta, and my single blushes from Fenty are two and a half years old by now, so this is a good time to have a replacement.

I was planning to make a dedicated Fenty update post, so I have photos already wearing this one, but I thought it would be best to just include them here.

Fenty Beauty Sun Stalk’R Face + Eye Bronzer & Highlighter Palette

I bought this one from Mercari. I have reviewed the Mocha Mami shade of Sun Stalk’r Instant Warmth Bronzer as an update to one of my bronzer posts here. I barely used it because the shade was more red than I liked, particularly for a matte formula. I suspected one of the other colors could work, or that I could mix the deepest two in this palette together as a better match. It turns out I was correct, as Coco Naughty works on me, or I can mix that one with Thick Mint for extra intensity. I was so concerned with knowing my correct shade that I failed to consider the fact that the formula is good but not great. There wasn’t a need to try and find a better color if I was still going to reach for my Huda Beauty Glowish Bronzer, Charlotte Tilbury, Kosas, and Nars bronzers first.

I find it interesting how much the color Private Island blended into my arm. At some point I’m going to test if that shade can be used as an all over setting powder or to set my under eyes. If so, that would be a nice way to make this palette even more useful.

The Phat Glass highlighter was a little broken, but I pressed it back. Also, that shade is way too light for me, so I don’t wear it alone anyway. The Gold Card color is very beautiful and suits me really well. I can wear it alone or mix it with Phat Glass for a little extra brightness. I’ve also used it on the cheekbones and then added Phat Glass to a tiny portion of the highest point to really emphasize the structured look I want in that area. It’s nice to finally have a Fenty highlighter that matches my preferences in terms of the smaller shimmer particle size. All others I tried from Fenty had some aspect that’s usually a negative, such as being in stick form in the MatchStix, an unnatural color as a Killawatt, or ultra glittery like the Diamond bombs. Even the Chocolate Swiller Fenty Toast’d Swirl Bronze Shimmer Powder with its smooth texture has some larger particle size shimmer specks that makes it something I only want to use periodically.

LYS Beauty Higher Standard 3-Piece Cream Blush Set

Grateful looks so much like Confident in the pan, but when swatched, it looks more like Self Love instead. This mini trio is $20, making it a really great option for trying out additional shades from the brand. The retail price of the single blushes is $16 and each individual “mini” has about 2/3 the product of the full size. The packaging isn’t as lux with the clear lid, but that also makes it easier to figure out which shade I’m grabbing. I only tried these out once so far, and don’t have pictures of each blush included, but that one time using it was enough to know the formula of the minis is the same. It’s one of my absolute favorite cream blush formulas, if not the top favorite, and I’ve felt like this long before I joined the LYS ambassador program. I’m technically still one, but I haven’t done anything for the brand in nearly a year. More about that is detailed here. As for my first review of this cream blush formula, that can be found here. All three included in this set show up on me.

Huda Beauty GloWish Cheeky Vegan Soft Glow Powder Blush in Sassy Saffron

This is another one of those situations where I was so enamored with the look of the new shades that I forgot how I actually felt about the formula being “not particularly special,” mentioned here. I thought this was colorful enough to work on my skin tone, especially with how much richer it looked online, but it was very ashy the first time I tried it. I will have to try it again focusing on the deeper swirl to see if that helps, but I have my doubts. I bought this during Sephora’s previous VIB sale, but Huda’s official website has an even better deal going on.

Chantecaille Perfect Blur Finishing Powder in Med/Dark

In my powder declutter post discussing the original shade here, I mentioned that I wasn’t getting the same amazing results that had been hyped up in all the reviews I’d seen, so perhaps a darker shade would work better on me. I planned to sell the original and get a darker version. The first iteration of the Med/Dark shade was from Chantecaille’s Flower Power line, but I hated that packaging and that wasn’t nice enough to make up for me having to sell that gorgeous hummingbird packaging. I contacted Chantecaille during that time, and they told me they wouldn’t bring the new shade in that hummingbird packaging, but it would at least come in the larger size of their “pebble” compacts, like their philanthropy blushes. After that, the Dior Powder-No-Powder was released and I got so much more blurring from that than I ever did with the original shade and at half the price, so I decided to just give up on this powder. Then, as luck should have it, Space NK had it deeply discounted during their sale in June this year. With shipping included, I only paid $33 for it!

The Med/Dark shade is much better suited to me. It looked invisible on my inner arm, so there was no point trying to post a swatch of it here. Even with the photo uploaded to my computer, I had a guess as to where it was based on my skin looking slightly more matte, but I wasn’t confident enough to mark it. Getting that new shade did work out better for me than the original. I could see a little bit of blurring, but it was nowhere near as good on me as the Dior Powder-No-Powder. So, I still recommend that one over this (though the Dior one has a sheen and this powder does not). I’m just glad I didn’t spend a fortune on it to figure that out!

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blushes in Blissful and Natural Beauty

The Tarte blushes I owned were minis reviewed here. I really enjoyed them, so when Ulta had the full-size blushes on sale in September for $14 each, I couldn’t resist and bought several more. Since Exposed worked for me, I thought Seduce would be even better, but it doesn’t show on me at all. That one is out of my collection, so I couldn’t include it here. The tartelette blush in bloom Amazonian clay cheek palette didn’t work for me either, excluding the darkest shade, but it was too cool toned looking on me so that’s not in my collection anymore either. I’m glad Blissful and Natural Beauty worked out! Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Blushes have the issue of looking light in the pan but sometimes they work for me and sometimes they don’t, so I never know until I actually try them out.

One/Size Cheek Clapper 3D Blush Trio Palette in Phat Ass

I loved the Freaky Peach shade, reviewed here, and was always drawn to Phat Ass, but with how similar the cream and powder versions looked, I didn’t think it would be worth it to buy another trio from One/Size. However, I saw a good deal on Mercari and bought this. Unfortunately, the shimmer exploded in the package, so it took quite a while for me to repress it (not my best work) and clean off the cream which it had also gotten into despite the plastic flap. Unlike Freaky Peach where the shimmer blush was light enough for me to use as a highlighter, the BBL shade in this one is a bit too deep and pigmented in the base color for that. I can use this as an actual shimmer blush or blush topper though, the way it was intended. It’s the kind of shade that’s along the lines of a Nars Orgasm X, but I like this one better!

Pat Mcgrath Skin Fetish: Divine Glow Highlighter in Venus Nectar

Venus Nectar was another broken item I had to repair (dry pressing wasn’t an option with how broken it was). It’s on the pink side, but I love this formula from Pat Mcgrath. It’s a shame that I still can’t get the exact golden tone in this formula that I’m looking for with Bronze Mirage, reviewed here, being a bit deep for me. PML’s Ultra Glow Highlighter in the pink packaging still hasn’t been topped for me. Swatches of Venus Nectar and Bronze Mirage will be in the next section of PML highlighters lower down.

Pat Mcgrath x Bridgerton Skin Fetish: Sublime Skin Highlighter in Incandescent Gold 002

Don’t ask me why I bought a Bridgerton highlighter. I’m citing temporary insanity. I know I hate deep yellow highlighters (being scarred from Fenty’s Trophy Wife), so I opted for the other one instead because I heard it’s still gold but with a sheer base that’s technically supposed to work on the majority of skintones. The glitter level is my main issue with it, but I forgot that the highlighters in this particular formula, similar to my Lunar Nude highlighter (reviewed here), share this excessive sparkle feature. I only have this photo to show of it on my bare face. As much as I’d prefer not to show something like this, it’s all I’ve got at the moment.

As the swatches above show, the sparkle level and shimmer particle sizes are very different. I prefer the Divine Glow over the Sublime Skin, and I need to remember that in the future!

Rose INC Cream Blush Refillable Cheek & Lip in Wisteria

I’m sensing a pattern here. The pattern of trying to find the ultimate blush shade from every brand, despite how I feel about the formula. The Rose Inc blushes don’t dry down, as mentioned in my review here, so I have to be in a particular mood to wear them. I don’t know if I got confused while comparing the different shades on the Rose Inc website, but I could have sworn Wisteria looked darker in photos I saw. This shade does not work on me at all. It shows up, but is extremely ashy. I didn’t know it was going to be significantly lighter than Foxglove, which is already just a flush of color on my cheeks. In any case, I vow to myself that I will not buy another Rose Inc Cream Blush. Now, if they start making powder blushes, that will be another story.

Rose Inc Skin Enhance Luminous Tinted Serum in 100

In one of my Rose Inc orders, I got samples of additional foundation shades. Because of that, I was able to see that despite how much I loved the shade 110 (in that same review linked in the blush section), shade 100 is the better undertone match for me. So, I utilized Rose Inc’s fantastic Pre-Black Friday sale to get my better shade! I have to add though that I was shocked 100 is my shade considering the model photos on the website. Based on the model, 100 shouldn’t be for me at all. But it is!

Rose Inc Solar Radiance Hydrating Cream Highlighter in Prismatic and Lustrous

This is a bonus mention because I hadn’t shown these on the blog until now, and I don’t intend on including it in any other posts this year. I bought the two refills of the Rose Inc Cream highlighters because I wasn’t sure if this formula would be closer to the blushes or the bronzers. These fall somewhere in the middle. They don’t fully dry down like the bronzers, but they aren’t as emollient feeling on the skin as the blushes, but that may also be due to me needing less product to get the impact I want. Prismatic is too light for me and I don’t intend to keep it in my collection. Lustrous is the perfect shade for me though. I wasn’t sure if I should get it because it looks dark online and bronzes tend to be too deep on me, but this is a lot lighter in person and more golden leaning. I’ve only worn them a few times, but I still don’t know how I feel about this product. As of now, they don’t get a recommendation from me despite the color and wet look that I like. Towards the end of the night I notice more texture and I’m not sure if the product slightly picking up is user error yet or a formula issue.

Nars Blush in Dolce Vita

I saw a review somewhere that this blush would work on deeper skin, despite how light it appeared in other photos I had seen. It was so pretty that even though Nars blushes (reviewed here) don’t quite measure up to MAC blushes that I have no shortage of, I still wanted it. Sometimes when I see a Nars blush shade I don’t own, I think I should hold off on buying it because chances are high that it will end up in a palette with some other repromoted shades. But Ulta had another deal, so I went with it and have no regrets! I like it quite a lot!

Vieve Sunset Blush in Piazza

In my March purchases post, here, I said the blush formula was great quality and that I wanted the Piazza shade, but it was supposed to be too similar to others I already own in my collection. SpaceNK’s pre-Black Friday sale made me change my mind and I bought this, plus the bronzer I had been curious about since its launch. It takes a while to arrive from GB, so it only arrived a few days ago. I haven’t actually worn this shade yet or the bronzer on my face, but they all look like they’ll work for me. And I have no reason to think Piazza will not be great since I’ve enjoyed Sorbet so much.

Whew! That’s everything for today! I did way more talking than I expected, though this isn’t a typical Swatchfest.

I hope everyone had a great day yesterday and that this post will be helpful for all the sales going on! I tried to get this post out in a rush, so if there are typos or errors I missed, please excuse them! Thank you for reading!


Fenty Beauty Review

I already posted about the Fenty Sun Stalk’r Bronzer here and the Cream Blushes here, but these are additional photos of those products. Mocha Mami is in the first picture alone and in the second photo is a lightly applied mixture of Strawberry Drip and Rose Latte along with Mocha Mami. I’m a fan of all three products.

Today, I will be focusing on the other Fenty Products in my collection!

Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizers and Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick

Fenty Glow – (shimmering rose nude) I have this shade in the full size. During the initial launch, the gloss bombs were, and I believe still are, very hyped up. Fenty Glow is specifically marketed as a universally flattering shade. I do love the way it looks on me! The gloss bombs are thick without being goopy. It’s the kind of formula that clings to the lips and will last longer than thinner gloss formulas. If your hair gets in your face, it will stick to the gloss, but when I open and close my mouth, I don’t get that sensation of my lips getting stuck the way some sticky glosses can.
The sparkles in this are nice and fine. All three of my gloss bombs have a sweet fruity scent.

Cheeky – (shimmering bright red-orange) I have this in the mini size from the mini gloss bomb set that was released for Holiday 2019. I wanted Cheeky and Hot Chocolit the most, so I gifted the other three shades. Cheeky is available in the full size exclusively on the Fenty website.

Hot Chocolit – (shimmering rich brown) I expected to love this shade the most, but it’s my least favorite of the three. I tend to only wear it on top of another lip product that is too light of a shade in order to deepen it up. Hot Chocolit has bright red glitter, which is pretty in the tube, but I don’t like it on my lips. Also, the glitter particles in Cheeky and Hot Chocolit are larger and more noticeable on the lips, which is not my preference.

I wish there was a bit more color pigment to Cheeky and Hot Chocolit. I was tempted to get this year’s mini set, but because the shade differences are so subtle on my lips, I don’t think it’s worth getting more when the current ones I have will suffice. Tower 28 glosses have now reached the hype of the gloss bombs, so I’m more likely to try those in the future than get the new gloss bomb mini set. The gloss bombs are still my favorite glosses in my collection and my overall favorite Fenty Beauty product.

Griselda – (bold burgundy) I have this Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in a trial size. It had the Fenty logo on the bullet, but I cut off part of it to be used in some DIY lip projects of mine. It’s such a beautiful color, and although mine is getting old and the consistency isn’t quite the same, I remember enjoying how smooth it was and thinking that if I wore lipsticks more often, this is one of the shades I would get for some gorgeous vampy looks. I tend to prefer this kind of purple with a red tone over more blue toned purple shades.

Match Stix Matte Contour and Shimmer Skinsticks

Espresso – (contour for medium deep skin tones, cool undertone) This was my favorite contour product in 2019. It’s creamy and blends out nicely. Even though it’s described as cool, it pulls a little warm on my nose which is why I only used this for contouring other areas of my face.

Caviar – (contour for deep skin tones, cool undertone) this is one of the two deeper shades that were introduced to the line in 2020. I bought this because I wanted something cooler-toned, but I underestimated how rich of a color it is. Contour products are ideally only a few shades darker, so this one is too intense on my complexion. It’s not that I can’t wear it at all, but it takes a lot of extra time to sheer and blend it out so it won’t look too harsh on me.

In the photo on the left, I’m wearing Espresso. I’m wearing Caviar in the middle picture and in the last one I have the two shades blended together.
I still like this product, but love the Uoma Beauty Double Take Sculpt + Strobe Duo Stick even more. #3 Bronze Venus is a better shade match for me and the formula is creamier, which makes it easier to blend. Bronze Venus is neutral-warm for a contour but it’s deep enough to still have a chiseling effect, even without having enough grey to create an actual shadow effect.

With the contour sticks, I typically draw a line and blend it out with a dense synthetic brush or the mini Tati Blendiful. Occasionally, I blend with a damp sponge, which leads to gorgeous results but I’ve never gotten into the habit of using a sponge consistently.

Blonde – (glimmering gold) I’ve only used this twice and never in public. I like some strong yellow-based highlighters, like Becca’s Champagne Gold, but this one I feel stands out in an unflattering way on my skin tone. It also has very noticeable glitter up close.

Rum – (gilded bronze) This is my favorite of the three because it blends in well with my skin tone and is a traditional highlighter shade. Because it matches so well, the glitter is less noticeable. It just has the appearance of a shimmery sheen. Unlike the contour sticks, I prefer to apply the shimmer sticks to my face by rubbing some of the product onto my fingers and dabbing it onto my skin. I think it looks more seamless when I use a sponge, but I dab the product onto my cheeks first with my finger, just to place it, and then blend with the sponge. When I rubbed the sticks directly onto the sponge and then blended it onto my face, I felt that I ended up with a thicker area of highlighter than I normally would have. I was also unsuccessful in being able to completely remove the stain from Chili Mango off my sponge.

Chili Mango – (sun-kissed orange sheen) I bought this during my search for the best traditional orange shade of blush. I don’t really like how it looks as a blush on me (more sheen than base color), but I do like it as a highlighter.

I have to admit that although these are three very distinct shades, the differences aren’t as pronounced on the cheeks. I always knew this was the case logically, but as I’ve taken a closer look at all the highlighters in my collection (especially Becca Shimmering Skin Perfectors which I have plans to blog about in December), it has finally begun to sink in that most highlighters will look the same. Variety is extremely limited in terms of color and being able to identify what brand or shade a highlighter is by the way it looks on the face.

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighters

Trophy Wife – (3D hyper-metallic gold) Sometimes I want things because they are pretty, even though I know full well the product isn’t something I would actually like to use. This highlighter is the perfect example of that because it is the epitome of glittery. It’s an intensely more sparkly version of the Blonde Match Stix.

I wouldn’t wear this as a highlighter, but it makes for a beautiful eyeshadow.

I wear it dry over Nyx Glitter primer and the glitter remains textured but highly reflective. If I use a damp brush, Trophy Wife turns a lighter and brighter yellow but smooths out and looks more metallic. I wore it dry on one eye and wet on the other, and was surprised to discover the difference was immediately recognizable in a video chat. It looked like I used two different yellow eyeshadows. Even my boyfriend (who I was in the chat with) noticed!

Mimosa Sunrise (metallic tangerine) / Sangria Sunset (metallic magenta) – This is from the Foil version of the Killawatt Freestyle Highlighters. It’s not glittery the way Trophy Wife is; it has more of a satin texture. I bought this for the orange shade when I was looking for that perfect orange blush.

I think they’re pretty, but I don’t like them on my cheeks. They’re too dark for highlighters but I can use them as eyeshadows and they are stunning together! They’re actually not the most opaque. They give a wash of color but I can see my skin underneath unless I build up a few layers. To use them as eyeshadow, I recommend dampening the brush. Since this is specifically in the Foil line, the name suggests that using the wet brush to foil it is expected of the product.

Snap Shadows Mix & Match Eyeshadow Palettes

6 Smoky – I love the concept of these palettes with their convenient packaging, but the eyeshadows are lacking for me. The pigmentation level is okay, but the tones are so soft and subdued, which is just not my preference. The difference between Tan Lines and Chestnutz is so minimal on the eye that I don’t recommend bothering to use both at the same time. Also, despite these having warm sounding names, those two shades are way cooler toned grey instead of brown. Patti Cakez was less purple than I wanted and had more of a brown maroon tone. The mattes overall are okay and blend fine, but if I use glitter glue to get the shimmer shades to show up a little better on the lid or try to foil it, it changes the ability for That Deep to build on top of the shadows. To avoid this, I apply That Deep first but if I accidentally cover too much with the lid shade, it’s very difficult to build That Deep back up. The other mattes have the same issue, but since I only use them in the crease, I’m less likely to get my lid shade on them.
Second Date is the only shadow that exceeded my expectations. It’s like a sequin shade done right. It feels dry like a matte but there’s so much glitter in it that it looks like an actual shimmer shade on the lid without any sparse areas. The downside to this shadow, at least for some people, is that it’s made with the plastic-type of glitter (Polyethylene terephthalate) and not synthetic fluorphlogopite or other plastic alternative glitters.

Swatches were applied over Nyx Glitter Primer.

8 Pastel Frost – In bare skin swatches, the shimmers are lackluster, and using MAC Paint Pot does nothing to improve the way they look. I used glitter primer to get them to show their maximum potential in these swatches.

Swatches were applied over Nyx Glitter Primer.

Using the two blues next to each other looks like the same shade, except that Durty Denim is more reflective/sparkly. I have some eyeshadow looks coming up which demonstrates this issue. Lei’d Up and Mula-La also look too similar on the eyes, as well as Ice Cream Kisses and Lady Pimp. If these colors weren’t so soft, perhaps this wouldn’t be as much of a problem. Another thing that bothers me about the shimmers is that although I enjoy eyeshadows with dimethicone or other silicone derived ingredients which give it some slip, since I have to use glitter glue, the two products combined actually become too slippery. If I manipulate the shadow too much, it moves and I end up having to apply layer upon layer of eyeshadow to make it opaque. I even tried this over the Anastasia Beverly Hills primer, which typically works very well to make pastel shades show up better. This works with a very thin layer and just patting it on instead of blending (plus you have to apply it wet). However, I learned that applying too much ABH primer just makes these Fenty shadows turn even lighter and harder to see.

Being softer colors isn’t inherently bad, but it drives me nuts that unlike other brands of eyeshadows, trying to intensify them via glitter primer and wetting my brush only has a minor impact. It’s only slightly more improved. I also don’t like the fact that trying to make the shimmers pop prevents me from being able to easily go over those shades again with mattes.

I’ve heard that the new palette additions 9 and 10 are a bit better quality, though they still have shades too close to each other. When you only have 6 eyeshadows in your palette, you don’t want interchangeable shades.
It’s not just me that doesn’t like the Fenty Snap Shadows. I tried selling both these palettes at a combined $25 price with free shipping included. I had this deal for 4-6 months and no one wanted it, even at 50% off. It’s one of the only makeup products I’ve been unable to sell on Mercari, even in used condition and even during the pandemic.
Softer colors are not my preference, but even that aside, I don’t believe these palettes are worth $25 each. I recommend the $3 ELF quads over Fenty Snap Shadows.

Additional Notes

Fenty launched with foundations, but I don’t own any. According to Sephora’s shade matching Color IQ system, 420 is my shade. However, it was slightly too dark and too orange on me when I tried it in-store. 400 and 410 were still too orange or red, despite them being listed as my undertone. 390 was my closest match, but the matte formula was too drying on my skin. I was very excited when Fenty released their hydrating formula, but when I tried the shades in store again, I ran into a similar shade matching issue and for some reason 390 was more on the pink side than the matte formula. The hydrating foundation still wasn’t hydrating enough and emphasized texture on my face, so I gave up trying.

Although I didn’t have success with the foundation, the product this brand has been highly praised for and made a huge impact on the cosmetics industry, I’m glad I’ve been able to find other products from Fenty that I love. Even when certain products aren’t made for me, I’m always excited to hear about the new launches from this brand.

Thank you for reading!