Smashbox has just released their spring 2011, In Bloom. It features two shades of long-wearing SPF lipgloss, a soft neutral eye palette, a creme blush duo, a luminizing powder and two new soft powder eyeliners. The colors in this collection seem to reflect the colors of nature throughout spring... The soft greyed colors in the shadows make me think of the bare trees, rainy skies and the still-frozen ground that has not quite begun to cover itself in green summer grass... The pinks and corals remind me of the first flowers of the year starting to bloom. I suppose that's why it's called In Bloom!
Anyway, I got a chance to try out a couple of the items from the collection, so here are my thoughts.
One of the items they introduced with this collection is the Artificial Light Luminizing Powder. It's inspired by their classic Artificial Light Luminizing Lotion, but now it's in an easier to use powder form.
The tube is a nice small, portable size.
It has a really soft precision sponge tip applicator. Perfect for applying to the inner corner of the eye.
Swatched on the back of my hand. The left is applied thickly with the sponge, the right is applied with the sponge and very lightly blended out. It's not a pure white so it isn't stark. It has a slight peachy undertone like the Artificial Light lotion; it counteracts darkness and adds a little more brightness.
This powder is especially of interest to me as I'm a big fan of brightening products. I'm sure you can tell from my eye of the day pictures that I have a bit of darkness in the inner eye/bridge area. Lately I've been using a pencil product to counteract the darkness, but it doesn't blend very well. I've also used other liquids and powders, but now that I've tried the Artificial Light, I may have found my holy grail.
To illustrate the problem, here's my naked eye; no makeup at all:
See how it's a little dark and discolored toward the inner corner and slightly under the eye? It just seems to get worse and worse every year. Also, please forgive my brow stubble.
Now take a look at the difference the Artificial Light makes:
The left side has a little bit of Benefit RSVP Creaseless Cream Shadow just on the lid, Smashbox Artificial Light Luminizing Powder from lashline to browbone and in the inner corner, and a coat of Fusion Beauty LashFusion XL mascara. Right side has nothing.
You can see that it has a very soft, luminous brightening effect. It's subtle, but really pretty. Here's a few closeups:
I like to use it on my eyes as a sort of concealer on the dark areas, but it makes a really good browbone highlight because it's not too stark frosty white. Subtle, soft pearly shimmer with a hint of peachy warmth. You can also use it to highlight other areas of the face- bridge of the nose, cheekbones, cupid's bow, et cetera. You can use it as eyeshadow for a super fast no-makeup makeup look like I did in these pictures. Or, how about on the collarbone? It's pretty versatile.
The only downside is the size. It's only one gram of product (0.035oz!) and it retails for $20. So, you don't get a whole lot of product for the price. True, you only use such a tiny amount that the tube may last forever, but still, not the most cost effective product.
I've tried it out for a while now and compared it to the similar products I currently use, and I really do prefer it over everything else I have. After using it, if I had the chance to do it again, would I buy it? Absolutely. I definitely would. It works perfectly for me. It's easy to use, it does what I want it to do, it has great packaging, and I just really, really like it. One of the main advantages it has over liquid and pencil highlighters is that it doesn't disturb your eyeshadow and eyeliner when you blend it. It's worth $20 to me for sure.
That's the Fusion Beauty LashFusion XL that came in that Top Picks Beauty Insider gift from Sephora that I reviewed a while ago. This is only one coat. I think it looks pretty nice! I'll have to see how well it holds up against a darker shadow look with lots of liner like I usually do.
The Artificial Light Luminizing Powder is available now at Sephora, Ulta (and you can use your $3.50 off coupon on it), and Smashbox.com (Don't forget about Let's Do Lunch, today's gift is a Lip Enhancing Gloss in Aura) and it costs $20.
(This was sent to me for review.)