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!


Blushes So Good I Needed Another

2020 has been the year of blushes for me. I’m not sure why, but my blush obsession has surpassed even my eyeshadow obsession! That being said, I always buy one blush to start with from a brand, even if they have multiple colors I want. If I end up loving the formula, I still tend to stick with that single shade (or buy a better-suited shade to use instead). However, these are the exceptions to that rule; the blushes I loved so much that I felt compelled to buy another!

I will be excluding MAC, NYX, and Rituel de Fille from this list, as I’ve discussed them in posts before and we know I didn’t stop at just two with those brands!


Swatches in different lighting

These are the blushes that inspired this post! Hourglass is notorious for having a stunning powder formula but making shades suited primarily for pale to medium skin tones. Diffused Heat was the first one I bought. It takes a lot of building up to show on my cheeks but despite how many layers I have to add, it still doesn’t look powdery! The poppy color gives a healthy youthful flush that I love. It imparts a subtle glow without looking shimmery or glittery due to the finely milled powder Hourglass is famous for.

A heavy application of Diffused Heat on the cheeks

Since their initial blush launch in 2014, medium tone pinks have been the darkest shades Hourglass has been willing to make. Besides being uninclusive in their powder range, the other issue with making multiple medium tone blushes is that they end up looking too similar on the cheeks. Below is an example of their six darkest blushes using Temptalia’s swatch comparison feature. It should be noted that Vibrant Flush and Mood Flush are only available in limited edition quads/palettes with other products too light for my skin tone. So, to even have access to these blushes, I would’ve had to pay $60-$80. Vivid Flush was the limited edition 2019 Lunar New Year shade that was sold individually but is no longer available.

Photo Credit: Temptalia

After buying my first Hourglass blush, I only had to wait six months for a shade different enough from Diffused Heat to be worth purchasing.
At Night is described as a brick red. The dark maroon marbling gives the impression that it will be a deep shade, but when mixed with the lighter base powder, it turns it into a warm medium to medium-dark pink. I love this shade, perhaps even more than Diffused Heat because I don’t have to work as hard to get the color to show.

A heavy application of At Night on the cheeks
At Night Again

To see how the original Hourglass blushes look on someone with a complexion closer to mine, I recommend this video by The Fancy Face.

10/11/2020 Update: I purchased Radiant Magenta thinking that if Diffused Heat worked on me then this shade would as well. I was mistaken. Despite the gold shimmer, this shade appears too cool-toned on my cheeks and is too light for me. I don’t like the way it looks, so that was unfortunately a bad purchase. At least I got it at a reduced price.

This brand has a decent range of complexion products, so it’s very strange to me that for the past six years I’ve seen customers implore Hourglass to make deeper blushes, bronzers, face powders, and highlighters. The demand is so high, yet Hourglass ignores it. After the release of At Night, I was hopeful that the brand would finally fulfill the barrage of requests for a light version and dark version of their holiday face palettes this year. Instead, they repromoted old products and paired them with “new” powders that look like the old ones, just half a shade darker. I give most brands who promised to be more inclusive in the future some leeway because of COVID-19. However, Hourglass has had over five years to make it happen. It’s disappointing because I like the brand. I like their products. I wish more people were able to use them.


The left column shows how they look in natural lighting.

My Fenty blushes are like deeper cream versions of my Hourglass blushes! I bought Strawberry Drip during the initial product launch and loved it, then immediately purchased two additional blushes. I don’t like to return things, but Daiquiri Dip was too bold of a red shade. I’ve kept plenty of items I don’t care for, but if there’s something I know I will literally never use again, that’s when I will make a return. Thankfully, I loved Rosé Latte and kept that as my second shade. There are several more colors that appeal to me from the line, but cream products don’t last as long, so I stopped at these two.

Strawberry Drip is described as a “soft coral pink” but is a bright intimidating looking shade to me, so I was surprised how much I liked this one!

Rosé Latte is described as a “soft bronzed nude,” which doesn’t look very special in the pan. On the skin, you can see the subtle red tone that gives this shade it’s oomph.

Because the formula isn’t as pigmented, but still buildable, a wider range of people can use these shades. Though they can be built up, I prefer to wear them on natural makeup days. These mostly set, and although they aren’t transfer-proof, I can still rub my finger over my cheek without it turning patchy. It also doesn’t disturb my foundation using the two methods I have tried: scooping out some product onto the back of my hand and warming it up with my finger before applying with my fingers or a sponge.

This was taken earlier in the year. I’m wearing Rose Latte towards the back of the cheek and Strawberry Drip on the apples of the cheek towards the front. This is my preferred combo.


My goodness, I haven’t discussed any KVD products since the Mi Vida Loca Remix Palette from 2015! Controversies aside, I wasn’t interested in anything from “Kindness Vegan Discovery (Doing Good) Vegan Beauty” until the blush release in January 2020.
I have to address the name change. Did they really need to put Vegan in there twice?

This is an actual banner used in the past by KVD Vegan Beauty. I just added the Meme-ish caption.

I bought Snapdragon at full price shortly after the product launch. At this time, everything else from KVD was going on sale, but I couldn’t resist that rose packaging. I intended to get another blush when I thought it would inevitably go on sale too, but as of September 21st, it still hasn’t. Excluding the new eye primer that was released a month or so ago, the blush is the one item that hasn’t gone on sale yet. What I also find interesting is that these blushes are the only items in the brand that isn’t available at Ulta. Even the new primer is available there.

*DEC 26th, 2020 UPDATE: The blushes are finally available at Ulta!

*MARCH 2021 UPDATE: KVD now stands for Kara Veritas Decors (latin for Value, Truth, and Beauty) in the latest “brand reinvention.” They are to be known as KVD Tattoo Inspired Vegan Beauty.

As you may know, LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy) is the parent brand of the beauty retailer Sephora. They also own Kendo Holdings, which owns KVD Vegan Beauty. It makes sense that KVD products would be exclusively sold at Sephora and their own website. Ulta Beauty, Sephora’s competitor, now carries KVD products. This is highly unusual. The only other LMVH brand allowed to be sold at Ulta, to my knowledge, is Benefit Cosmetics. Many speculate that this addition to Ulta is because KVD is struggling with their sales and they hope working with Ulta will change that. Because of Sephora’s marketing structure and trying to maintain a high pricepoint as to not devalue their products, things only go up to a certain percentage on sale before they offload everything else to TJMaxx (where makeup goes to die). Because Ulta carries drugstore items, as well as prestige, they can offer products at prices Sephora is unwilling to sell for. So, to have the blushes kept from Ulta leads me to believe that it’s the top-selling KVD item and probably the only real money maker the brand currently has. They’ve revealed a new holiday palette that I think is beautiful, so perhaps they can turn things around. Anyway, back to the blushes.

KVD was always known for making a statement, so I expected these blushes to be pigmented, but dang! I have to use a light hand with Snapdragon, but especially with Poppy. Poppy creates a lot of kick-up in the pan. The Everlasting Blush formula is very smooth and of good quality. It just comes down to deciding which shade one prefers.

I included comparisons to Lolita because it is so similar to Snapdragon. Lolita eyeshadow/blush was released in 2017. I bought it back then, returned it when I discovered a long hair/fiber embedded in the powder, and then didn’t repurchase it until 2020. The difference between Lolita and Snapdragon is that Snapdragon is slightly darker and redder. Snapdragon is also a smoother powder. Even though I bought this is 2020, Sephora has had issues in the past of keeping products in the sale section for much longer than they should. I remember when Sephora added some KVD eyeshadow trios I hadn’t seen before. The pigmentation was awful, so I did my research and found out that not only were the trios supposed to be discontinued, they were originally released 4 years prior. I have no way of knowing if the Lolita shade I have is from a new batch or the first restock after it became permanent. KVD’s vegan eyeshadow formula tends to worsen in performance quicker than other brands of eyeshadows I have, and since Lolita is technically also considered an eyeshadow, it’s possible that it doesn’t feel as soft in comparison or as easy to blend because of its potential age. However, my hypothesis is just that the Everlasting blushes have a better formula.


Melt Cosmetics recently released their Royal Blush collection. There are three duos in total. I started with buying Queen Bee with the intent of using both shades strictly as highlighters. MAC taught me how to love brown blushes, but the left side called Queen is a warm bronze that doesn’t have enough depth or richness of brown I’d consider flattering as a blush. It’s perfect as a highlighter though. The same can be said of the lighter honey gold shade on the right side called Bee. It reminds me of the Topaz shade from Becca Cosmetics, and although yellow-toned blushes are very popular this year, I don’t like the way it looks on me as a blush alone. I prefer it as a highlighter or blush topper.

After seeing some swatches online, I thought Buzz Kill might still work for me despite looking light in the pan. Though it does look darker and more pigmented in swatches, on my cheeks I get much more of the golden shimmer than the pink pigment, making this not really a blush for me either. Here are swatch comparisons to other light pink blushes with gold shimmer I have in my collection.

Different lighting and over Nars Sheer Glow Foundation in Macao.

The Kill side has bigger glitter specks than any of the three other shades and would only work as a highlighter for me. I wouldn’t even try to use it as a blush topper.

The shade I didn’t buy is called Raw Honey. The Raw side is a mauve bronze. The Honey side is a pink beige. I didn’t think those would work as blush or highlights for me, so I skipped it.

The first digital dust formula I heard about from Melt were highlighters, and these all have that highlighter quality to them. I wonder if Melt marketed these as blushes because the “Glass Skin” trend made products that use glitter/shimmer for shine instead of creating a wet sheen, traditional highlighters, and blinding highlighters drop in popularity. However, blushes have remained popular, if not risen in popularity. I don’t think this is an instance of trying to release unconventional blush shades to be different. Although I can see this being trendy on Instagram, and the packaging/imprint/design is aesthetically pleasing, I don’t know how many people would consider these staple blushes in their collection. I do like the Queen Bee duo, though, as highlighters and eyeshadows. I will continue to use it. Buzz Kill is an example of loving a blush so much I had to get another…but the other didn’t work for me.


These blushes were initially released in April 2019, but I didn’t buy my first one until that August during Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty sale when it was half off. I bought Spiced Cinnamon and loved it, but didn’t get Warm Honey until this year’s 21 days of beauty at half price again.

I can see why these duos were so hyped last year! The mattes aren’t quite as smooth as KVD’s everlasting blushes, but they are less powdery and very pigmented! The shimmers in the duo remind me of a less glittery version of Melt’s Digital Dust blush formula.
For Spiced Cinnamon, I typically use the matte side alone or mix the two halves together. As I mentioned before, it is very pigmented and just two swirls of my brush in the powder are enough for me.

For Warm Honey, although the matte half is pigmented, the shade is closer to my skin tone so it takes a few more layers of building up to get it to show on me. It’s great for days when I want a more neutral looking flush of color. The shimmer side doesn’t have enough pigmentation for me to use on its own and I don’t like the way it looks as a highlighter.

I love the mattes from both duos. The shimmer sides, although nice quality, are not in my preferred shades. The mattes are comparable to MAC, but MAC blushes range from $25-$30. If you like both shades in Cover FX’s duos, then the $39 price is more reasonable since you’re getting two products in one. If you only like one side, I recommend waiting for a sale. I should note that I’m unsure if these duos are being discontinued. Sephora had them on sale for $19 before removing them from their site. It’s possible the brand as a whole is being removed from Sephora (since all Cover FX items have been on sale there for a while) and that these blushes will continue being available at Ulta.


I mentioned in my 2019 favorites how much I loved the Nabla Skin Glazing Highlighters. I bought Amnesia and followed that up with Lucent Jungle, which is a bit too dark for me, but I kept it anyway. In 2020, Nabla released two blushes which were still given the same Skin Glazing name and packaging. The shades Adults Only and Truth were part of their original launch, but the blushes released this year are called Lola and Independence. I purchased Lola, which Nabla refers to as a “watermelon with amber and peachy reflects” shade of blush. It looked and sounded so beautiful that I had to get it. It’s on the lighter side of blushes, but it still works for me. I really like the way it looks and am happy I bought it. As with the other Nabla products in this formula, these are harder pressed than regular powders. If you like using natural brushes like I do, then I suggest a goat hair brush, although my squirrel-goat mix HS-2 Hana Sakura Blush Brush does the job well. I’m not sure if this will cause some long term damage to the bristles though, so just be careful!

My curiosity got the better of me, and even though I don’t need more bronzers, I picked up the darkest shade called Profile. The packaging on the Skin Bronzing is a slightly different color to distinguish from the two product types. The product swatches of Profile looked so dark that I contemplated getting the lighter shade called Revenge. However, in-person, Profile was nowhere near as dark as I expected. It works for me but I’m not sure how well it would work on someone even a few shades darker. Since this is a blush post, I’m saving a more in-depth review of the bronzer for the bronzer post I have scheduled next week.

Picture using Nabla’s Profile Bronzer, Lola Blush, and Amnesia Highlighter.

This concludes the post! I was debating adding the monochromatic Patrick Ta blush and the Headliner Blush to this review, but they didn’t fit the theme. Although I have two Patrick Ta blushes, I only stuck to one shade from each formula. So, I may save those for the future in a dedicated post or another themed post. I’ve been so inspired this Summer and Fall that I have plenty of reviews planned. It’s just a matter of having the time for this hobby of mine!

Thank you for reading!