Saturday, September 10, 2016

Hourglass, Kevin Aucoin, Natasha Denona + Pat McGrath Labs: Brand New Beauty to Behold!

Fall is officially here and the amount of gorgeous new beauty releases has left my head spinning!  It feels like the moment I cover one incredible launch, the next hotly anticipated product becomes available and I am left racing to photograph it and gather my thoughts at lightening speech...such is life, however, in beauty blogging land. That being said, I am excited to share an overview of some gems from Hourglass, Kevin Aucoin, Natasha Denona and Pat McGrath Labs as well as some current skincare loves.

Kindly scroll on for more details, swatches and images of the products in action as well as the Bottom Line...

What beauty does this marble palette possess?
First up is the glorious Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette in Surreal Light; nestled in chic, marble-inspired compact rife with five flattering shades of powder, this palette creates a full face in seconds. 

The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette in Surreal Light. 
Each shade is finely milled and melds into the face upon contact for a naturally perfected visage.  I have only experimented with the palette for a couple of days and so far, this is how I like to use it:
  • The bronze shade (#2) works well as a light bronzer and, consequently, I sweep it along the hollows of my cheeks and perimeters of my face
  • The blushes (#3 and #4) are both natural peachy pink tones that I swirl together and blend on the apples of my cheeks for a glowing flush
  • The strobing powder (#5) is a lovely champagne that I sweep along the high points of my face (cheekbones, brow bones, bridge of nose and Cupid's bow)
  • The finishing powder is marvelous; this sheer nude gossamer veil simultaneously banishes shine, evens the complexion, sets makeup and leaves skin slightly radiant...I hope they release this shade on its own in the future.  In the meanwhile, it makes the entire palette arguably worthwhile. 
All in all, the sheer, buildable shades are easy to work with and make the skin look its best; possessing the capacity to bronze, blush and highlight in seconds (these days, the holy grail trifecta), this palette is a utilitarian achievement.  

In turn, I predict that this limited-edition wonder will fly off of the shelves and enthusiasts of both the Hourglass brand and the no-makeup makeup look should run, not walk, to secure their marble encased wonder before they are gone for good!

Close up.
Gorgeous in the palette, gorgeous on the face. 
Official details, courtesy of Sephora:

 What it is:
A limited-edition palette of universally-flattering powder, bronzer, blushes, and a covetable highlighter—only for this holiday season. 

What it does:
These never-before-released shades of pressed powder, bronzer, blushes, and highlighter are great for all skin types with everything you need to finish, brighten, contour, and highlight skin in a single compact. The travel-worthy case features the latest addition to the Ambient® Light collection—including Surreal Light—a sheer nude powder, evokes the magic hour where the sun brings the softest, most flattering glow to the complexion. Formulated with Photoluminescent Technology, the optically transparent particles flatter the look of skin by refracting favorable light. The result is skin that looks smooth, even, and enhanced—not masked. The soft-focus technology also helps to minimize the look of wrinkles and imperfections, neutralize discoloration, and emulate the appearance of younger, healthy-looking skin for a lit-from-within, holiday glow. 

This palette contains: 
- 0.14 oz/ 4 g in Ambient Lighting Powder in Surreal Light (sheer nude) 
- 0.04 oz/ 1.4 g in Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Surreal Bronze Light (neutral tan with Surreal Light) 
- 2 x 0.04 oz/ 1.4 g Ambient Lighting Blush in Surreal Glow (pale peony pink with Surreal Light), Surreal Effect (cool, pink rose with soft, warm peach) 
- 0.04 oz/ 1.4 g in Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder in Surreal Strobe Light (glimmering peach) 

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
- Parabens 

What else you need to know:
"I wanted to recreate the coveted lighting of magic hour or as my family likes to call it "magic time"—the time of day where the light is warm and soft at the same time and makes everyone look so good. The soft, warm tones of Surreal Light give you that effect any time of day."—Carisa Janes, Hourglass Founder

Swatches in direct sunlight. 
Swatches in direct sunlight. 
Kevyn Aucoin The Etherealist Skin Illuminating Foundation #8. 
Next, the Kevyn Aucoin The Etherealist Skin Illuminating Foundation (also soon to be available at Neiman Marcus) has been buzzed about for months as the early reports from makeup artists who were able to test it in advance were undeniably glowing.  This medium coverage formula has intense pigmentation that perfects the canvas while still feeling incredibly light on the skin.  The fragrance-free liquid veil creates--in my experience--a natural matte finish that takes on a touch of radiance as the day progresses.  The lasting power is remarkable and I love how even and smooth my skin looks when wearing is, without question, my favorite Kevyn Aucoin foundation to date. 

There is an impressive expanse of 16 hues in the shade range and, based on what I saw of initial swatches on the Kevyn Aucoin Instagram account (see below), I ordered shade #8 which is a befitting match for my post-summer NC 25 first impressions of this foundation are highly favorable and I look forward to continuing to test it in the days ahead. 

Shades #1-16 in order...image courtesy of the Kevyn Aucoin Instagram account
Official details, courtesy of Sephora

What it is: 
A moisture packed foundation that creates an airbrushed appearance, leaving skin with a radiant glow. 

What it does: 
The Etherealist Skin Illuminating Foundation blends effortlessly for shine-free, comfortable wear while hyaluronic acid boosts hydration. It features light diffusing particles and high definition pigments work together in a silky smooth formula to deliver medium coverage with a semi-satin finish.

Ingredients: Water, Isododecane, Dimethicone, Phenyl Trimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Cetyl Peg/Ppg-10/1 Dimethicone, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Cyclopentasiloxane, Talc, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Sodium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Boron Nitride, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Propylene Carbonate, Xanthan Gum, Aluminum Hydroxide, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Hydrogen Dimethicone, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Tetrasodium Edta, Mica, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glycerin, Peg-8 Methyl Ether Dimethicone, Perfluorodecalin, Glycosphingolipids, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Extract, Yeast Extract, Sucrose Palmitate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate. May Contain (+/-): Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499).

A swatch of Shade #8 in direct sunlight.
Face elements.
To complete the face, I also utilized the Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Bronzing Veil in Tropical Days (reviewed HERE), applied with the *Chikuhodo GSN 4 Brush (reviewed HERE).  I used the sublime *Surratt Beauty Artistique Highlight Brush (reviewed HERE) to apply the shades in the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette in Surreal Light.

All about eyes. 
For eyes, I am over the moon for the soon-to-be available *Natasha Denona Blackest Black Mascara (also to be available at Beautylish).  As the name implies, this intense onyx formula truly creates the darkest lashes while building length and volume in two coats.  The formula is stalwart (no smudging, flaking or smearing, even for more seasonal allergy-ridden eyes) and I cannot get over how dramatically raven it makes my lashes.  

I also am smitten with the unique bulb shaped brush...the skinny end can be used for precision application and the wide tip brings my lashes to their maximum length while fortuitously rendering a slight curl as well.  Natasha takes such personal pride in each and every one of her products and this mascara is no is truly exemplary, indeed and I cannot wait for it to be readily available. 

Natasha Denona Blackest Black Mascarade Mascara. 
Blackest Black facts. 
To round out my deep dark lashes, I used select shades from the *Natasha Denona Eyeshadow Palette 28 Green Brown (reviewed HERE, also available at Sephora and swatched below) and blended them up to my brow bone. I then swept the *By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Beyond Gold (reviewed HERE) along my lower lash line for some extra gleam.  For brows, I used the *Giorgio Armani Eye & Brow Maestro in 04 Ambre (reviewed HERE), applied with my trusty *Jenny Patinkin Angled Brow Brush (reviewed HERE).

Swatches of all eye products used in direct sunlight. 
Pat McGrath Lust 004 Flesh Lip Kit.
Finally, I couldn't resist the Siren call of the Pat McGrath Lust 004 Lipstick Kit in Flesh.  With two nude(ish) matte lip colors, an ultra-brilliant clear gloss and two finely milled glitters, this quartet offers endless customization for a perfectly personalized lip edit. 

Pat McGrath Lust 004 Flesh Lip Kit.
The two matte lip colors are stunning...Flesh 1 is a creamy, peachy beige with just enough color to work on most skin tones.  Flesh 2 is a deeper rosy nude that is sure to flatter due to its universal appeal.  I prefer mixing the two shades for a rosy peachy nude that looks great on its own.  The lip color formula is rich, velvety and opaque and my lips feel decently moisturized--especially for a matte--over the duration of wear. 

Adding the Clear Vinyl Gloss atop delivers new dimension to the matte effect and, in terms of shine and tack, the gloss reminds me of the original MAC Lipglass (super reflective but hair beware on a windy day!).  

For more aesthetically adventurous moments, tapping a bit of either or both of glitters on top of the gloss creates a brilliant sheen...the Gold glitter is so finely milled that it feels like almost a metallic powder so it mixes into the gloss without maintaining its glittery consistency.  The Flesh glitter has more of a micro-paillette effect; in other words, the glitter stays visible, even when pressed onto the gloss.  Both glitters serve a unique purpose in the kit and while I prefer the texture of the Gold glitter, the Flesh toned glitter is stunning. 

Overall, I am really pleased with the matte lipsticks (the formula is lovely and I don't have duplicates for either in my massive nude lip color collection), so much so that they make the kit feel entirely worthwhile; the gloss and glitter are simply bonus inclusions in my mind and I am sure I'll get some use out of them during the holidays!

The lip possibilities are endless. 
Swatches in direct sunlight.  
Swatches in outdoor lighting. 
Skin stars. 
For skin, I've been delightfully intrigued with the:
  • *Sisley-Paris Radiant Glow Express Mask (also available at Beautylish, Neiman Marcus and Sisley-Paris): This nourishing mask has a penchant for brightening and tightening while imparting an unmistakable glow from which my currently sleep-deprived skin benefits.  
  • *Mirigal High Voltage Oil: With an intoxicating fragrance and deeply restorative ingredients this beauty oil can be used on the face and decollete resulting in potent hydration and anti-aging benefits.
  • *Sisley-Paris Eau de Campagne EDT (also available at Neiman Marcus, Beautylish and Sisley-Paris): I adore this extremely fresh, green and mood-lifting feels a touch collegiate and wildly apropos for the autumn; with just enough spice to make it interesting, I envision using this frequently in the months to come. 

The following images reflect all products in action in outdoor by Ragdoll LA:  

Last look.
--Shop the Post--

Bottom Line: I hope you enjoyed this breakdown of some of the latest beauty launches from HourglassKevin AucoinNatasha Denona and Pat McGrath Labs and would love to know what you've been loving lately!

Good things ahead, including newness from Jouer and Sisley-Paris...also, I'll be hosting Project Beauty at Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills next Saturday (9/17) and would love to see you there if you are in the area. More details to follow (including how to RSVP) coming up early next week...

Finally, if you happen to be in Seal Beach this weekend, consider swinging by the Seal Beach Arts and Crafts Fair (at the Pier).  This free event features over 100 artisan booths and my brother, Seth, will be showcasing his handcrafted leather bags...his latest designs are positively breathtaking.  I'll be helping him both days as well (Saturday 9-6 and Sunday 9-5) so stop by and say hi if you can!


--The Beauty Professor

** PR samples provided for review denoted by an asterisk (the rest purchased by me),  however, as always, all of my opinions are expressly and unequivocally my own.  © 2012-16 Beautyprofessor® All Rights Reserved. Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author's written permission.


  1. Great post! I have been trying a sample of the Kevyn Aucoin Etherialist foundation for about 2 weeks. I really like it! I can't wait for it to actually come out. Too bad Sephora is out of shade 9 !! I really enjoy your posts. Esp when you're reviewing something I've had my eye on! One of the items happened to be the KA celestial bronzer!

  2. Hi Rachel! The Hourglass palette is lovely and seems like the perfect travel palette for a kit. I love the ambient lighting offering for any allowing look. You look lovely with all the products you are offering. Thanks

  3. Beautiful and interesting as usual. You look beautiful as usual. xoxoxo


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